Well cared for, brilliant gold toned Prussian Crown Order 4th Class in original black leather presentation case….
Well cared for, brilliant gold toned Prussian Crown Order 4th Class in original black leather presentation case….
This is an interesting variation of the Crown Order 4th Class. On the top arm, we see a Red Cross symbol which would make this award for a medical professional, likely a Doctor. The enamel on the obverse is unblemished. There is some chipping to the enamel on the reverse. The decoration is parade mounted.
This is a most unusual medal bar combination of the two medals listed below.
*Order of the Red Eagle 4th Class – Prussia. The Red Eagle’s hand-painted center is in flawless condition. The decoration is not hallmarked for a maker.
*Crown Order 4th Class with the Fifty Years Long-Service Button-Prussia. The decoration is in first-class condition. Its blue/gold enameled center is flawless. The fifty-year button is mounted on the decoration’s jump ring. The six o’clock arm’s edge reveals a “W” hallmark for one of the House of Hohenzollern’s premiere house jewelers.
It is a superb medal bar. Both the medals and their ribbons are crisp and clean. The bar was probably awarded to a civilian, who was most-likely in his seventies when he wore it.
This is a very fine miniature Prussian Crown Order 4th Class……
This is a proclamation issued by König Wilhelm I of Württemberg. The proclamation is dated 23 September 1818. It announces the Kingdom’s establishment of the Order of the Crown. It is a printed copy of the proclamation, which was issued throughout the Kingdom. While not actually signed by Wilhelm I, it is authorized by him, by the Ordens Kanzler and State Minister Graf von Zeppelin. This was the father or uncle of the Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin who founded Germany’s airships. The document measures 9 1/4” x 7 1/4,” and is four pages long.
This is an Order of the Iron Crown 3rd Class with Swords along with its original award document, from Austria. The award document is quite large and ornate. It measures 12 3/4″ x 7 1/4.” The document’s format is quite similar to Prussian documents in many ways. At the top, the document begins,” Seine Majestät Der Kaiser von Oesterreich König von Bohmen u.s.w. und Apostolische König von Ungaren.” The document follows that the awardee is a Dr. Artur Trotter, who serves in the Army Reserves. The award is dated 7 February 1916 with notice made in Vienna on 26 February by the Chief or the Ordens section. This official’s signature is at the bottom. In the left lower cover of the document is a huge embossed seal of the Kaiser’s House, complete with the double-headed Austrian Eagle. This document is in PERFECT condition for being ninety years old. It has never even been folded. It has been cared for beautifully all of these years. This is the identical theme used on the Iron Eagle itself. As for the Iron Eagle, it is in wonderful condition. The decoration’s obverse is in sparkling condition, with all of the enamel in first-rate condition. The same goes for the reverse. The decoration’s blue and yellow ribbon is in the Austrian tri-fold style. The gilt crossed swords are attached to the ribbon. They make a very fine pair.
This is a very high-quality example of the Knights Cross 1st Class of the Albrecht Order with Crown. Its obverse features a white, enameled cross with white, gold, and blue enamel in its center. An image of Albrecht appears as the focal point within that center…
The Order of the Iron Crown 3rd Class with Swords has always been a personal favorite among the Austrian decorations. As with many of the higher grade Austrian decorations, the enamel work is sensational. Today we are offering a highly detailed miniature of the decoration. The miniature (not counting the jump ring) measures 1 1/8″ x 1/2.” Suspended from the jump ring is a handsome, articulated, gilt crown with red enamel embedded in it. This crown is in turn attached to the two-headed House of Hapsburg Eagle. In the center of the Eagle’s chest is a handsome blue enamel shield. In the center of that shield is an “F.” Green enamel laurel leaves appear on either side of the eagle. The decoration’s reverse is similar to the obverse. The only difference is that the blue shield features “1815” in gold.
This is a very fine example of the Red Eagle Order 4th Class with Crown. The Red Eagle Order was one of three Prussian decoration families. These families include the Red Eagle Order (Roter Adler Orden/RAO), the Crown Order, and the Hohenzollern Order. The decorations within each Order consisted of a Collar, Breast Stars, a Großkreuz, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Classes, as well as the Medal of the Order. The RAO was instituted in 1792. It was the oldest of the three Prussian Order families. Many models were issued during the RAO’s lifetime. Our offering today is a Red Eagle Order 4th Class, which was the order’s final model, instituted in 1892. By itself, the medal measures 1 1/2” x 1 1/2.” The articulated crown measures 3/4” x 3/4.” The medal has pebbled arms. The silver crown boasts a red enameled interior. The decoration’s center features a hand painted Red Eagle. The decoration’s reverse displays König Friedrich Wilhelm III’s crowned royal cypher “FW.” The decoration is not hallmarked. A beautiful, watermarked silk ribbon, measuring 2,” accompanies it. The decoration is in excellent condition.
The Order of the White Falcon was awarded in very small numbers to native sons of this Saxon Duchy, and to other important persons in the civilian and military sectors. The example, which is in excellent condition, is one that we infrequently see. It will make for a fine addition to any collection!…
Constructed of silver, with partially black enameled arms, green enameled oak and laurel wreath…
This is the 1st Class Ehrenzeichen of Braunschweig’s Order of Henry the Lion. The decoration was produced in silver from 1903 through 1918…
This is small Prussian / German boutonniere which bears the ribbons of the Knights Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order and the 1914 Iron Cross……
The Red Eagle Order 4th Class in its final pattern awarded from 1888 until the end of the Empire in 1918. The Red Eagle has pebbled arms and a multi colored enamel center. The reverse has the crowned royal cypher of Friedrich Wilhelm.
There is no manufacturer hallmarking and there is a short piece of replacement ribbon.
This Red Eagle Order 4th Class. comes with a sixty year button which indicates how long the holder of this decoration has been a member of the order. This red eagle is the “final pattern” which was awarded from 1888 until the end of the Empire in 1918. It has pebbled arms and a multi colored enamel center. The reverse has the crowned royal cypher of Friedrich Wilhelm……
PRUSSIA – KNIGHT’S CROSS WITH SWORDS OF THE HOHENZOLLERN HOUSE ORDER – MINIATURE.
This is a very fine example of a miniature Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order, Prussia’s number two award for bravery. It was only bested by the Orden Pour le Mérite. The cross’s enamel arms are multicolored, as is its center. A pair of swords extends through that center. Just like the full-sized examples of this decoration, the miniature sports an articulated crown. A correct ribbon is attached.
The Grand Cross with Swords on the Ring of the House and Service Order Herzog Peter Friedrich Ludwig was one of the highest awards that could be given by the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. This relatively small Grand Duchy fielded a single infantry and cavalry regiment along with one artillery Bataillon. The decoration was awarded as a sash…..
This decoration is the Ritterkreuz grade of the Kingdom of Saxony’s highest military order for bravery. [PLEASE NOTE: Within the Heinrich Order family, this “small” award was the highest that a Saxon soldier could receive.] While the Orden Pour le Mérite was the highest award given in the Reich (originally Prussia’s highest award, first-issued by Frederick the Great in the 18th Century), each German Kingdom, Grand Duchy, and Duchy had its own top decoration, which was most often reserved for that state’s native sons. Such was the case with the Kingdom of Saxony, so it was common for an officer who received one award to also receive the other. This award was reserved for officers ONLY. [Several states offered a different award to NCO’s or enlisted men].
The order’s cross measures 1 ½” x 2 ¼” from its bottom to the massive articulated crown’s top. The order has an extremely-detailed and interesting obverse and reverse. The obverse features a beautifully hand-painted representation of St. Heinrich at the very center. This small center area displays SIX different colors of enamel. Surrounding that is a blue and gold Latin motto. White enamel trim on a gold metal background extends out to the cross’s arms. The previously-mentioned large, articulated gold crown sits atop the cross. A jump ring at the crown’s top allows the attachment of the decoration’s ribbon.
The decoration’s reverse features Saxony’s well-known Coat-of-Arms: a black and gold enamel background featuring a diagonal green branch in its center (in the same position as St. Heinrich on the obverse). It is surrounded by a blue and gold enamel circle that features Saxony’s motto in gold against the blue enamel. The cross’s arms are connected and decorated in a manner identical to the obverse. That said, it is important to emphasize that the enamel work displays NO cracks or chips—this cross is 100% intact and unrestored. Many Heinrichs’ Ordens DO exhibit enamel problems due to the extensive enamel work comprising their design, and the fact that most were usually sandwiched between other orders on an Ordensspange. It is quite common for them to have received restoration work over the years. While acceptable, such work always affects an award’s value. This cross’s workmanship is PERFECT.
Our order is a silver-gilt example, dating from the mid-to-late-war period. It is NOT hallmarked, which was quite common. A small portion of period ribbon accompanies it.
Perhaps the most famous man to be awarded this decoration was Max Immelmann. He was, along with Oswald Boelcke, one of the first two Imperial German Air Service pilots to be awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite. He also is the person for whom the Pour le Mérite was nicknamed. [“Blue Max” sounds better than the “Blue Oswald,” doesn’t it? Manfred von Richthofen did not receive his PLM award until the following year, and the “Blue Manfred” just doesn’t have the same ring]!
The decoration is in excellent condition with no enamel damage. It is a beautiful piece.
This is a truly magnificent example of the Henry the Lion Officer’s Cross from the Duchy of Braunschweig. The Henry the Lion Order was the principal decoration family from the small duchy. Braunschweig fielded one cavalry regiment, one infantry regiment, and one artillery battery. The orders from the decoration family included a Collar (Kette), Grand Crosses, Commanders Crosses, Breast Stars, Officer’s Crosses, and so on….
This is a one-place medal bar for the Heinrich the Lion Service Order 2nd Class from the Duchy of Braunschweig. This order is a silver cross measuring 1 ½” x 1 1/18.” The motto of Braunschweig appears on the four arms. A crowned “W” is in the center. The cross’s reverse is plain. It does bear .900 silver hallmarking, along with a crown and a half moon. It also displays hallmarking for the firm of Hermann Jürgens, the House Jeweler to Braunschweig’s royal family. It was located in the capital city of Braunschweig. The decoration was civil in nature. It appears on a red and yellow ribbon. The backing of the medal bar is red felt. A sturdy pin is present.
This is a superb example of the Franz Josef Order, which Austria instituted in 1849. The cross has red enameled arms and a white enameled center featuring “FJ.” Atop the cross is an articulated crown with red enamel imbedded at the crown’s top. The decoration is attached to a red and white ribbon. Attached to the ribbon’s center is an officer’s device consisting of a smaller example of the main decoration. The decoration is housed in a very smart-looking presentation case, which measures 4 1/2″ x 2 1/4.” The case is red leatherette. Embossed in gold in the center is “F.J.O.” Inside the case, the upper lid is white silk. The case’s lower half is fitted and covered in light beige or tan velvet. The reverse of the case is dated 1916. It is a very handsome decoration that comes to us directly from Vienna (Wien).
This is the Knight’s Cross of the Franz Josef Order, named for Austrian Kaiser Franz Josef (1830-1916). The decoration is quite handsome. Measuring from the crown it is 2 1/4″ x 1 1/4.” Excluding the crown, the decoration measures 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2.” The cross’s arms are made of gorgeous red enamel. The Hapsburg Crown is articulated……
The Albert Order series was a key decoration range in the Kingdom of Saxony. Like Prussia, Saxony had more than one line of decorations. The kingdom awarded two principal groups of orders and decorations. The first group contained the Military St. Heinrich Orders, and the second held the Albert Orders. The St. Heinrich was reserved for military officers in both peace and wartime. The Albert Order was given to both military and civil officials. The Albert Order was first offered in 1850. It was awarded as a first model from 1850 to 1876. The second model was awarded from 1876 to 1918. It was awarded at the top level as a Grand Cross (Großkreuz), in both a neck badge and a Breast Star. The next level down was the Commander’s Cross (Komturkreuz). Again, it was awarded as a neck order and as a Breast Star. Following the Commander’s Cross, the Albert Order was offered as a pinback award (OFFIZIERKREUZ), Knight’s Cross 1st Class, Knight’s Cross 2nd Class, and finally as the Albrechtskreuz (Albert Cross).
Our offering is an Albert Order at the Commander’s level. This very handsome decoration measures 3 1/2″ from crown to bottom. The crown measures 1″ x 1 1/4,” while the cross itself measures 2 1/2″ x 2 1/8.” The decoration sports massive, white, enameled arms. In the obverse’s center is a gilt profile of Albert, with blue and gold enamel surrounding the white enamel background to which the Albert medallion is affixed. A green enameled wreath connects all of the decoration’s arms. The reverse displays the Saxon Coat-of-Arms on a white enamel center. The date of institution, 1850, also appears on the reverse.
The decoration is made of silver gilt. On the six o’ clock arm is a “G” for Glaser. This well-known firm was located in Dresden. They produced excellent orders and decorations, even flight badges. The decoration comes on a 15″ length of correct green and white ribbon, which also measures 2 1/4″ in width. It is not a full-length ribbon, as the ties are not in place. This example is in beautiful condition. It has no enamel problems that I can detect.
This is a superb decoration that we are offering to you for the first time. It is the Albert Order Offizierkreuz (Officer’s Cross), Steckkreuez (Pinback Cross). It was a very rare award. The Albert Order was awarded in a full line that included the Grand Cross, the Commander’s Cross, the Knights Cross, etc. We rarely hear much about the Officer’s Cross because of its scarcity. It was only awarded to senior officers, in peacetime and also during wartime, when it was awarded with swords. It is a most striking decoration that measures 1 ½” x 1 ½.” Its white enamel arms measure an impressive 2″ x 2.” Circling the white arms is a green enamel wreath. The decoration’s center sports Albert’s gold-toned likeness. The center onto which he is mounted consists of blue, gold, and white enamel. A small chip appears in the blue portion between “Albertus” and “Animmosus.” Topping the white enamel cross is a lovely gilt crown which is quite detailed. The bottom arm’s edge sports an “S” for Scharffenberg (or silver as some sources have told me), the Saxon royal household’s court jeweler. This firm produced very fine work which compared favorably with any of the Berlin house jewelers. The reverse features a sturdy silver pin. Underneath the pin is yet another hallmark for G. A.. Scharffenberg in Dresden. This hallmarking is quite large and very intricate. The device’s center displays Saxony’s Coat-of-Arms.
At the outset we indicated that this was a scarce decoration. It was awarded from 1890 through 1918. During that period, 580 were awarded in gold and another 870 were awarded in gilt, for a total of 1,450. Our example is one of the 870 that were awarded in silver gilt. The decoration’s presentation case measures 3″ x 4″ x 1 ½.” It is made of red leatherette. The Saxon Coat-of-Arms is embossed in gold on the outer lid. When one opens the case, a white silk upper lid is revealed. The case’s bottom is covered in red velvet, which is fitted to accommodate the decoration. Two labels are displayed on the outer case’s bottom, one for Scharffenberg and one for C. E. Kunathe. [Allow me to make a point about presentation cases in general. Anytime that a decoration comes with a presentation case, it should be considered an added value. So many cases were not retained by their owners for any number of reasons. Having a case also is an attractive way to present your decoration. It adds true value to a decoration. One often sees a 50% addition to a decoration’s cost when accompanied by the correct case]. All that I have said is even more true for this particular decoration. I was very eager to buy it from an advanced collector in Germany. We are especially pleased to offer it to you today.
This decoration represents the highest military order for bravery from the Kingdom of Saxony. It was the Knight’s Cross of the Military St. Heinrich Order. [Please Note: within the Heinrich Order’s family, this “small” award was the highest that a soldier serving Saxony could receive]. While the Orden Pour le Mérite was the highest award given in the Reich (originally Prussia’s highest award, first-issued by Frederick the Great in the 18th Century), each German Kingdom, Grand Duchy, and Duchy had its OWN top medal, which was most often reserved for that state’s native sons. Such was the case with the Kingdom of Saxony, so it was common for an officer who received one award to also receive the other. This award was reserved for officer’s ONLY. Several states offered a different award to NCO’s or enlisted men.
The order’s cross measures 1 ½” x 2 ¼” from its bottom to the massive articulated crown’s top. The order has an extremely-detailed and interesting obverse and reverse. The obverse features a beautifully hand-painted representation of St. Heinrich at the very center. This small center area displays SIX different colors of enamel. Surrounding that is a blue and gold Latin motto. White enamel trim on a gold metal background extends out to the cross’s arms. A system of enamel studded with semiprecious stones connects the cross’s four arms. The previously-mentioned large, articulated gold crown sits atop the cross. A jump ring at the crown’s top allows the attachment of the decoration’s ribbon.
The decoration’s reverse features Saxony’s well-known Coat-of-Arms: a black and gold enamel background featuring a diagonal green branch in its center (in the same position as St. Heinrich on the obverse). It is surrounded by a blue and gold enamel circle that features Saxony’s motto in gold against the blue enamel. The cross’s arms are connected and decorated in the identical manner as the obverse.
After examining the medal as closely as I can through a high-powered lens, I can find NO hallmarks for the manufacturer or the silver content. I believe the medal is a gilt-coating over silver rather than a gold example. It just does not have the look of gold. I DO judge it to be a WW I era example, probably late-war.
The ribbon is quite attractive and quite a bit longer than what we normally see. It measures some 17 ½” in length. A black suspender is attached to the ribbon.
Perhaps the most famous man to be awarded this decoration was Max Immelmann. He, along with Oswald Boelcke, was one of the first two Imperial German Air Service pilots to be awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite. He also is the person for whom the Pour le Mérite was nicknamed. [“Blue Max” sounds better than the “Blue Oswald” doesn’t it? Manfred von Richthofen did not receive his award until the following year, and the “Blue Manfred” just doesn’t have the same ring either]!
The decoration is in excellent condition with no enamel damage that I am able to see. It is a stunning piece.
This is an infrequently seen Bavarian decoration, the Military Merit Order 4th Class. The order was founded in 1866, during König Ludwig II’s reign. It was part of a larger series of decorations within the Military Merit Order (MMO). The MMO was an officer’s-only decoration….
This is a well-made miniature displaying the ribbons for the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class and the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order (KCHHO)…..
The Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order (KCHHO) was one of the most important of the Imperial German decorations. It was founded during Prussian König Friedrich Wilhelm IV’s reign. He was König Friedrich Wilhelm III’s eldest son. The latter led Prussia during the Napoleonic Wars. The decoration was founded in 1851. During WW I, it was awarded to officers (only) who previously had been awarded the Iron Crosses 1st and 2nd Class (in most cases). Generally, the KCHHO was to have been awarded BEFORE the Orden Pour le Mérite (PLM). This was not a firm and fast rule, however. Sometimes it was skipped or quickly awarded before the nomination for the PLM was put forward.
Rudolf Windisch (1897-1918) had one of the more interesting stories of aviators of WW I. After pilot training he was assigned to an observation squadron. In a daring move he and his observer Maximilian von Cossel blew up a bridge when von Cossel was dropped off to pull of this daring act. Both were personally decorated by Kaiser Wilhelm II with Windisch receiving the Prussian Crown Order 4th Class with Swords….
This is a Gustav Liersch Postcard Nr 7783, which features Oberleutnant Alexander von Cossel. He was an Observer and was best known for his pairing with his pilot Vizefeldwebel Rudolf Windisch. They were assigned to an observation plane. They flew a mission on the Eastern Front behind the Russian lines in which von Cossel blew up a key Russian bridge, and Windisch returned the next day to retrieve the intrepid observer. Both aviators were personally decorated by Kaiser Wilhelm II. Von Cossel received the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order. Windisch received the Prussian Crown Order 4th Class with Swords. [This was the latter decoration’s ONLY award to a WW I pilot. Even more remarkable, the decoration usually was awarded to officers ONLY, and Windisch was an NCO. What the Kaiser wanted, however, the Kaiser got]! This studio pose shows von Cossel wearing a Prussian Observer badge, 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class, and a ribbon bar. The postcard was not mailed
This is a Gustav Liersch Postcard Nr 7783, which features Oberleutnant Alexander von Cossel. He was an Observer and was best known for his pairing with his pilot Vizefeldwebel Rudolf Windisch. They were assigned to an observation plane. They flew a mission on the Eastern Front behind the Russian lines in which von Cossel blew up a key Russian bridge, and Windisch returned the next day to retrieve the intrepid observer. Both aviators were personally decorated by Kaiser Wilhelm II. Von Cossel received the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order. Windisch received the Prussian Crown Order 4th Class with Swords. [This was the latter decoration’s ONLY award to a WW I pilot. Even more remarkable, the decoration usually was awarded to officers ONLY, and Windisch was an NCO. What the Kaiser wanted, however, the Kaiser got]! This studio pose shows von Cossel wearing a Prussian Pilot badge. He is also wearing his visor cap and the ribbon for the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class. The postcard was not mailed
This is an officer’s-level seven-place ribbon bar. Included in the ribbons are the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class for Non Combatants, Kriegshilfekreuz, Red Eagle Order, Crown Order, Officer’s Long Service Award, Kaiser Wilhelm I Centennial Medal, and a medal from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. This was most likely a ribbon bar for a doctor. Seldom do we see the Iron Cross 2nd Class with the Non Combatants ribbon.
This is a fine pair of matching six-place medal and ribbon bars. From left to right are the following:
*1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class.
*Crown Order Medal. This is a nifty little medal we rarely see. It is circular and measures 1″ in diameter. Mounted atop the medal is a crown. The medal’s reverse features the cypher “WR” (Wilhelm Rex).
*1914 War Service Cross 2nd Class – Braunschweig.
*Hindenburg Cross with Swords for Combatants.
*XII-Year Long-Service Award.
*Third Reich Long-Service Medal.
As previously mentioned, a matching ribbon bar accompanies the medal bar. The ribbons for the Hindenburg Cross and the Third Reich Long-Service Medal sport attached devices. They make a fine pair for any collection.
This is a Prussian Army and Navy Rang und Quartier-Liste for the year 1867. At the time the Prussian military was so small that Army and Navy officers could be included in the same book. (Major changes occurred once WW I began)! Even then it is not a large book, measuring only 7 3/4″ x 5″ x 1 1/2″ and weighs 1 pound 5 ounces. Regardless of the time period, Ranglistes were intended to enumerate officers and the units in which they served. This is a significant Rangliste, as it reflects the Hanoverian regiments Prussia acquired as a result of the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. Prussia annexed Hannover, along with Braunschweig and Nassau, and their regiments became Prussian ones. In addition, any officers who served in the 1864 Danish-Prussian War most likely would appear in this particular volume. It means the volume serves as a helpful reference for the two final pieces in Germany’s consolidation jigsaw puzzle, which saw Prussia and König (later Kaiser) Wilhelm I become dominant. The Prussian Navy, which was quite small at the time (prior to Wilhelm II’s enthusiastic build-up), is also listed in the volume. Each officer who received decorations has them listed next to his name. In the book’s front is a pictorial listing of the various types and classes of decorations. We see Red and Black Eagles, Hohenzollern House Orders, Crown Orders, Orden Pour le Mérites, and even the 1813 Iron Crosses 1st and 2nd Class! (The Iron Cross was NOT awarded for the 1864 and 1866 wars and was not reinstituted until 1870). The naval section is only about FIFTEEN pages long! Before being acquired by an American collector, this book was assigned to a military bureau in Breslau, East Prussia. It is a fascinating and very helpful historical book. [SALES ON ALL RANGLISTEN ARE FINAL. We do NOT send them out on approval, or for someone to do research and then return them. Please keep this in mind when ordering any rangliste].
Here we have the Prussian Army’s 1898 Rang-Und Quartier-Liste. This is a more complete listing than a pure Rangliste. It is a larger book physically than a Rangliste. Regiments and other units from Württemberg, Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, Braunschweig, and Anhalt are also listed within the book. [No Saxon or Bavarian units appear in a Prussian Rangliste because each kingdom published its own]. The volume measures 2 ½” x 5 ½” x 8 5/16,” and weighs 3 pounds, 6 ounces. In addition to actual field units (from the Armeekorps down), it contains a listing of officers who served on the General Staff and at the War Ministry. An interesting feature of Ranglisten is their display of officers’ awarded orders and decorations. For example, one can find several senior officers who were awarded the 1870 Iron Cross. Officers who received the Red Eagle Order, the Crown Order, and so on also appear. The book is in excellent condition with a tight, firm binding. The pages’ print quality is excellent, revealing crisp pages that are little changed after more than one-hundred-years of existence. The title page features an unidentified officer’s bold signature. [I do not know if he did this to show it was his personal property, or if the book was a gift to a fellow officer]. [SALES ON ALL RANGLISTEN ARE FINAL. We do NOT send them out on approval, or for someone to do research and then return them. Please keep this in mind when ordering any Rangliste].
This is the 1913 Prussian Army Rangliste. Regiments and other units from Württemberg, Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, Braunschweig, and Anhalt are also listed within the book. [No Saxon or Bavarian units appear in a Prussian Rangliste because each kingdom published its own]. The volume measures 2″ x 5 ½” x 8 ½,” and weighs 2 pounds, 6 ounces. In addition to actual field units (from the Armeekorps down), it contains a listing of officers who served on the General Staff and at the War Ministry. An interesting feature of Ranglisten is their display of officers’ awarded orders and decorations. For example, one can find several senior officers who were awarded the 1870 Iron Cross. Officers who received the Red Eagle Order, the Crown Order, and so on also appear. The book is in excellent condition with a tight, firm binding. The print quality is excellent, revealing crisp pages that are little changed after more than one-hundred-years of existence. [SALES ON ALL RANGLISTEN ARE FINAL. We do NOT send them out on approval, or for someone to do research and then return them. Please keep this in mind when ordering any Rangliste].
I have been holding onto this document group for more than three years. I kept it partly because it is extremely interesting. Another reason: it took a long time to familiarize myself adequately with its contents so I could describe it. It concerns a Prussian officer with the unexpected name “Arthur Hay.” Hay went from an Unteroffizier in 1886, to at least the rank of Oberstleutnant in 1917. He started in the cavalry and served in both Ulanen, Husaren and Dragoon regiments prior to the war’s outbreak. He achieved the coveted rank of Rittmeister well before the war began in 1914. As best as I can make out, he went from the cavalry to the infantry [as the war developed, most cavalry fought as dismounted troops. WW I showed once and for all that mounted troops were outmoded]. He served as an infantryman until the end of the war. I do not know his final rank, but he may have gone on to be an oberst, or possibly a general. I will leave this as part of the fun for the eventual buyer researching this man. Hay served at least THIRTY years in uniform. He survived the war and even received the Hindenburg Cross in 1935. No less than SIX Promotion Patents are present, covering him from the ranks of Unteroffizier up to major. Each patent is very ornate and hand printed by a skilled calligrapher, with special seals. Also in this group are many award documents. Of his three wartime decorations, we see the documents for his 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class and his Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order (HHO). The latter document is signed by the Graf Zeppelin, prior to his death in 1917. I have never seen his signature on an award document; having it on an HHO document is a real plus! There are a couple of other documents that I have not described which enhance the group. Below is a listing of this amazing group’s contents:
Promotion Patent: from Unteroffizier to Portopee Fähnrich, dated 13 November 1886.
Promotion Patent: from Portopee Fähnrich to Second-Lieutenant, dated 17 September 1887. [I find this interesting, note the old-fashioned use of the French rank: “second-lieutenant”].
Promotion Patent: from Second-Lieutenant to Premier-Lieutenant, dated 14 November 1895. I again find it interesting, the old-fashioned use of the French ranks second-lieutenant and premier-lieutenant.
Promotion Patent: from Oberleutnant to Rittmeister, dated 10 September 1908, personally signed by Kaiser Wilhelm II. Why he has a second document for this same rank, I do not fully understand.
Promotion Patent: from Rittmeister to Major, dated 17 September 1909, again with the personal signature of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Award document for the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order, dated 20 May 1917 while Hay was an oberstleutnant. It is signed by Graf Zeppelin!
Award document for the Prussian Crown Order 4th Class, dated 12 May 1901.
Award document for the Red Eagle Order 4th Class, dated 11 May 1908.
Award document for the Kaiser Wilhelm I Centennial Medal.
1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class. The document is double-dated. The date 3 November 1914 appears, which is the document’s original award date. The document was prepared on 5 June 1916. This either is the document’s reissue date, or they were correcting an oversight.
Award document to the Hamburg Hanseatic Cross, dated 12 March 1917.
Award document for the Hindenburg Cross for Combatants, dated 1935.
[A helpful reader has done some additional research on Arthur Hay. As you can see from the list below, published research shows that our man eventually achieved the rank of Generalmajor at his retirement in 1919. He was born in 1866 and died in 1940. (I only wish that the additional three patents were available). It remains an amazing group with even more opportunities for research. Also, in the book Hussars and Mounted Rifles. . . by D. H. Hagger, page 30 displays a photograph of Oberleutnant Hay when he was a member of Husaren Regiment Nr 9! It is wonderful to put a face with the name. MANY thanks to Chris F. for his research and diligence!
[Sekondelieutenant: 17 Sep 1887
Premierlieutenant: 14 Nov 1895
Rittmeister: 21 Sep 1898
Major: 17 Sep 1909
Oberstleutnant: 24 Dec 1914
Oberst: 6 Nov 1917
Generalmajor aD: 1919]
This wonderful group follows the very successful military career of a young man who came up from the ranks. It includes two signatures from Kaiser Wilhelm II, and a signature from the legendary Graf Zeppelin.
This is an award document for the General Honor Decoration from Prussia. The modestly-priced document appears in the same general format used by Prussia to award many of its decorations. This included the Orden Pour le Mérite, the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order, the Red Eagle, the Crown Order, etc. The document measures 13″ x 8 1/4.” It was awarded in November 1903. The document is signed by the Prussian Ordenskanzler, Prinz Salm-Hortsmar. The document has previously been folded in quarters.
This is a mini group of the Allgemeines Ehrenzeichen 2nd Class in silver. The civil decoration was first awarded in two classes during the 1810 Napoleonic War, while König Friedrich Wilhelm III ruled Prussia. Our offering today is the final version, which was awarded from 1895 through 1917. The decoration is in nearly-mint condition. It measures 1 1/2″ in diameter. The 2nd Class was only awarded in silver. The obverse displays König Friedrich Wilhelm III’s royal cypher. The reverse states “Verdienst Um Den Staat” (Service for the State). The decoration is housed in a black leatherette case that measures 2″ x 2 3/4″ x 3/4.” Inside the case gold trim runs around the frame’s edges. The case opens from the side rather than from the bottom. The silk liner on the left is black, while the case’s fitted bottom is lined in black velvet. An 13″ length of original red and white ribbon is laid over the decoration’s top. The original urkunde (award document), measuring 13″ x 8,” is included. The document is in the same format used by virtually all Prussian decorations, including the Red Eagle Orders, Crown Orders, Hohenzollern House Orders, and even the Orden Pour le Mérite. The man receiving the award was named Wilhelm Geuting. The award was made in September 1902! Below the basic information, the document is signed by Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Ordens Kanzler. It is a beautiful set, in superb condition.
This is a consignment item. Today we are sharing a fascinating artifact group with you from Generalleutnant Walther Wilhelm von Gersdorff’s (1848-1929) estate. [The von Gersdorff family had a long history of service to Prussia and the German Empire].
Generalleutnant Walther von Gersdorff’s History
Von Gersdorff entered the Prussian Army as a cadet in 1860. He served with distinction during the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. Subsequently, he was awarded the Crown Order 4th Class with Swords. Next, he was attached to several Garde units as a leutnant during the 1870/71 Franco-Prussian War. He. This time he was awarded the 1870 Iron Cross on 19 February 1873. Following the war’s conclusion, von Gersdorff began his rise through the German Army. He was attached to several Garde units, including the 3. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß. His first regimental command came in 1895, when he became the oberst of Infanterie-Regiment Nr 52. Previously, he had been a Bataillon commander as both a major and an oberstleutnant. He was promoted to generalmajor in 1899, commanding the 16. Infanterie-Brigade. In his career’s final years, he received several other awards, and retired (in 1905) as a generalleutnant. (As was the German Army’s custom, an officer usually was advanced one rank upon his retirement for pensionary and social reasons). Von Gersdorff died in 1929.
Walther Wilhelm von Gersdorff’s Documents
The documents listed below are included in this group from Generalleutnant Walter Wilhelm von Gersdorff’s estate.
1) Promotion Patent to Premiere Lieutenant. This document was prepared at General Headquarters in Versailles (during the 1870/71 Franco-Prussian War). The document measures 8 11/16″ x 9 5/8.” A string binds the document. Also, a major tear measuring 6 1/4″ appears along a tear across the document’s folded middle section. The document is NOT signed by König Wilhelm I (he had not yet assumed Germany’s throne), as usually was done for a hauptmann’s rank or higher.
2) The 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class Award Document. The document measures 9″ x 14.” (It has some minor bends at the corners, and has been folded in half, but remains in near-perfect condition). Von Gersdorff and his unit, the 3. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß, are named. The document is boldly signed in black ink by Kaiser Wilhelm I. The document is dated 19 February 1873. I cannot emphasize enough the sheer RARITY of these documents! It is an amazing part of this group.
3) Promotion Patent to Oberst and Infanterie-Regiment Nr 52’s Commanding Officer. The document measures 8 7/16″ x 14.” The document opens to reveal information written on three of its four pages. It represents his promotion from oberstleutnant to oberst. It also confirms von Gersdorff’s first regimental command. The document has been folded in half and has sustained some damage at its bottom (a small section appears to have been torn off). This damage, however, does NOT affect any of the pertinent information, which is clearly visible. The document is completed by Kaiser Wilhelm II’s large, bold, and distinctive signature. The House of Hohenzollern’s seal has been applied above his signature. [It is a very important document in von Gersdorff’s career.
4) Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Confirmation Letter (with Envelope) to Generalmajor von Gersdorff. This is an interesting document and envelope that von Gersdorff received from Kaiser Wilhelm II. The document measures 8 3/16″ x 10 ½.” It has been folded into quarters so that it will fit into an envelope measuring 5 1/4″ x 6.” The document is quite simple and entirely handwritten. It confirms von Gersdorff’s appointment as commander of the 16. Infanterie-Brigade. The document was prepared by one of the Kaiser’s clerks, then he signed it with quite a large signature. The Infanterie-Brigade was located in Magdeburg. [An Infanterie-Brigade generally consisted of two regular regiments paired with two Landwehr (Reserve) regiments].
Its envelope is equally as interesting. It is blue. Its exterior’s writing was done by the same clerk who prepared the document for the Kaiser’s signature. It is addressed to “Generalmajor von Gersdorff” in Magdeburg. It was delivered to him by registered mail. Its flap and reverse are secured with the House of Hohenzollern’s red wax seal. The two artifacts create an amazing set.
Photographs of von Gersdorff
As a part of the group, we have two photographs to share with you. They are from two different times of von Gersdorff’s life. Each depicts him with a different medal bar size and type.
1) CdV of Walther von Gersdorff. This CdV of von Gersdorff measures 2 ½” x 4.” It shows him at a Berlin photographic studio. I would guess the photo was taken between 1873 and 1883. It depicts von Gersdorff in the 3. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß’s uniform. Behind him we can see his Garde-Regiment pickelhaube. On his left breast is a five-place medal bar that includes his 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class, and his Crown Order 4th Class with Swords. His sword and portopee are at his side.
2) Cabinet Photograph of Walther von Gersdorff. A cabinet photograph is a larger example of a CdV. This one measures 4 1/4″ x 6 ½,” and comes from a studio in Cottbus. Here, von Gersdorff is a bit older than the CdV above. He is no longer wearing a Garde-Regiment uniform. (We can tell this from the tunic’s neck). Although I cannot see his shoulder boards, the medal bar on his left breast not only displays a significant increase in its decorations, but reveals that the 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class on the extreme left boasts the 25-Year Jubilee Oak Leaves! This dates the photograph from 1895 (at least), when von Gersdorff was an oberst AND regimental commander.
von Gersdorff Family Artifacts
Von Gersdorff Family Seal. This is a small seal that bears the von Gersdorff family’s Coat-of-Arms. The seal stands 2 1/4″ tall. The metal device on the bottom featuring the Coat-of-Arms measures ½” x 5/8.” Its handle appears to be made of ivory. As we look at the family’s Coat-of-Arms, we see it is topped by a “Freiherr’s” (Baron’s) Crown, which has seven points. [In the accompanying photographs, we have printed an example of the seal on paper. Because it is on paper, not wax, the recessed Coat-of-Arms’ details do NOT appear].
Generalleutnant Walther von Gersdorff’s Decorations
Crown Order 4th Class with Swords. He received the decoration following the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. The Prussian Crown Order decoration family was instituted by König Wilhelm I in 1861. The decoration’s obverse displays a (Hohenzollern) crown as its central theme. It is surrounded by blue enamel. Within the blue enamel is the gold enameled phrase “Gott mit Uns.” (It is important to note that the blue enamel shows substantial chipping). The decoration’s reverse displays the König Wilhelm (Rex) royal cypher. The blue field displays (in gold) the decoration’s authorization date, 18 October 1861. Once again the blue enamel has suffered substantial chipping.
The balance of the decoration is gilt. A pair of gilt swords extends through its center. As the ribbon was awarded with swords, the decoration has a black and white war ribbon (from the Iron Cross), which measures 7 ½” in length.
1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class. This is the 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class owned by von Gersdorff. While the paint is nearly complete, some “bubbling” shows on the cross’s surface. It is very common in both 1813 and 1870 Iron Crosses due to their age. Its overall condition is quite good. A ribbon, measuring 5 ½” in length, comes with the cross.
This very diverse and important group from a man who participated in two of Germany’s wars (1864 & 1870), and went on to become a general officer. He was a nobleman and a member of a well-known German military family. We are very pleased to share it with you.
This is a very high-quality, Prussian three-place boutonniere with miniature decorations. From left to right, we see……
This is a finely made, seven-place mini officer’s tie-bar chain. We can determine that due to certain officer-level-only decorations on the tie bar chain. From right to left, we can see the……
The 1st Garde Regiment zu Fuß was the most elite infantry regiment in the Prussian and German army. It wdas garrisoned in Potsdam with its Kavallerie Regiment counterpart, the Regiment der Garde du Corps. The 1. Garde Regiment zu Fuß was loaded with denizens from Imperial Germany’s highest royal and noble families…..
Beautiful period framed photograph of Kaiser Wilhelm II. This is the most well known photograph of him during WW I. It was produced in postcard form and was very much prized by the German people….
Pre WW I officer visor cap for the Regiment des Garde du Corps…
Most impressive statue that we have ever been able to offer, by way of a generous consignment by an advanced collector, whom we have known for many years. This was the center piece of his collection and he has entrusted it to us to pass on to a new owner….
This is Gustav Liersch card Nr 7784 of Vizefeldwebel Rudolf Windisch. Windisch had a most interesting career. He flew as pilot with Alexander von Cassel on a sabotage mission. For this feat he was personally awarded the Prussian Order of the Crown 4th Class with Swords. He was the only pilot to be so honored….
This is Sanke card Nr 565 of Leutnant Leopold Anslinger. In this photo he is seen well docorated wearing the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class, Prussian pilot badge, Knights Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order and the Austrian Iron Crown 3rd Class….