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….
Fine patriotic pin which has the Hohenzollern Eagle as the central theme….
This postcard shows in color two sinking British armored cruisers and the U-9. There is also a portrait of Otto Weddigen within a green wreath topped by a Hohenzollern crown and his name in a banner at the bottom. All of this is superimposed on a German national flag.
This postcard is in excellent condition and has never been mailed. There is a lengthy message written in 1917 two years after the death of Weddigen…
Perfectly patinaed circular silver medal with combatants ribbon for Oldenburg….
This is a patriotic plate which represents the Kaiserliche Marine….
The U-Boot Kriegsabzeichen (War Badge) was first authorized on 1 February 1918. It was awarded after the completion of two war patrols. Many sailors and officers did not receive or acquire the badge until AFTER the war. Many of the badges produced during the war’s closing months also were low-quality pieces…..
This is a very elegant boutonniere for the Knights Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order (KCSHHO)……
This is a rather large unidentified royal oval serving platter. The cyper and twin border trim are painted black. The cypher is placed in the center between the twin borders. The unknown crowned cypher is either the letters “AT” or “TA.” Below that we see the number “18.” I have no real idea who or what this represents……
SOUTHWEST AFRICA – GERMANY – TUNIC – ENLISTED MAN/NCO – POST WW I
This is an excellent tunic once worn by a German Enlisted Man/NCO who served in the Colony of German Southwest Africa. This was the lesser known colony as compared to German East Africa which was larger and more productive……..
PRUSSIA – FELDGRAU FELDBLUSE – GENERALLEUTNANT.
Today we are offering a rather intriguing Prussian Generalleutnant’s Feldgrau Feldbluse. Prussian Generals usually acquired their uniforms at military effects shops, or from their tailors in Berlin or other Prussian cities. This particular tunic, however, was acquired at a military depot near the Front. Why did this happen? We can speculate that the general’s need for a tunic was so immediate that he lacked the time to order it from his tailor, or to shop at his favorite, hometown military effects establishment. We simply do NOT know.
Nevertheless, this is, indeed, a Prussian Generalleutnant’s Feldgrau Feldbluse. [This rank certainly would have merited the command of a Division. Later in the war, the command of an Armeekorps would not have been out of the question]. First, it is called a Feldbluse (Field Blouse), a tunic whose buttons are concealed under a flap on one side. The result presents a clean front whereon NO buttons are visible. In my opinion, it delivers a very clean and sleek appearance. A Generalleutnant’s shoulder boards are sewn to the tunic (more often, a General’s shoulder boards are slip-ons). Each shoulder board displays a small, gilt-crowned button. The General’s kragenspiegel are also in place (they are pre war rather than M-1915 subdued shoulder boards). Three pockets are featured on the tunic’s obverse, each displaying a single, large, crowned, gilt button. [One appears on the tunic’s left breast, and then one appears on each tunic side. The tunic’s cuffs are trimmed in red. Two more large, gilt buttons show up on the tunic reverse’s vent.
Another of the Prussian Generalleutnant’s Feldgrau Feldbluse obverse’s features certainly is worth mentioning, its many sewn-in loops. First to appear are four horizontal loops that could easily accommodate a ribbon bar of six or more decorations. These are followed by two sets of (two) vertical loops that could have held a 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class and another similar decoration. The interior contains a partial cotton liner, while the remainder is bare feldgrau material. It is stamped with a number of depot markings, including one for the Armeekorps.
This Prussian Generalleutnant’s Feldgrau Feldbluse is not an elegant tunic; one can find a small number of moth nips. The latter are NOT full moth blooms, nor are they easily seen. Although it is somewhat utilitarian (essentially off-the-rack), it displays well and is reasonably priced.
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GERMANY – PRESENTATION SWORD – LOTHAR VON RICHTHOFEN – DAMASCUS LIONSHEAD – NO SCABBARD. Over the years, we have been privileged to offer you some very interesting edged weapons. [Most recently, this included a spectacular Court Degen that once belonged to Prinz Heinrich of Prussia, Kaiser Wilhelm II’s younger brother]. Today’s sword is equally intriguing, and presents a unique historical background. It is a presentation sword for Lothar Freiherr von Richthofen (1894-1922), which was given to him by a family friend. Although Manfred is the more famous of the two brothers, Lothar was an equally-accomplished flyer who achieved spectacular results in a relatively-short time period at the Front.
Imperial German aristocrats often practiced a custom wherein a male child’s birth required that the father (or a close family friend) present his son with a sword. A family friend of Albrecht von Richthofen, Lothar’s father, presented this Kavallerie sword to the boy. Serving in Prussia’s Kavallerie was something of a tradition within the von Richthofen family. Albrecht had served in Kürassier-Regiment Nr 1, and eventually achieved the rank of Major. While rescuing one of his troopers from a river, the Major damaged one of his ears, which led to his being medically retired from active service. Later on his sons continued the tradition, with Manfred serving in an Ulanen-Regiment, while Lothar belonged to a Dragoner-Regiment.
[PLEASE allow me to fill in some background information about the way this wonderful sword came to its current owner. This gentleman’s father served in the U.S. Army during the 1960’s. He was based in West Berlin, where he was in charge of all the Western sector’s military clubs. From time to time, the father crossed into East Germany on U.S. Army business, or to scout out militaria artifacts to add to his collection (a man after my own heart)! He discovered this sword during a museum visit, and was able to acquire it. The sword remained with the family for many years, then was passed on to the son when his father died. That son has now entrusted Der Rittmeister Militaria to find it a new home].
You will notice that this sword does NOT have a scabbard. It does, however, boast a “Damascus” blade. Damascus blades are among the finest swords that one can find, and are VERY desirable to edged weapon collectors. It is a type of steel known for its amazing sword characteristics. Damascus blades display an unusual pattern in the steel due to different elements present during the smelting process. [If you will indulge me with this comparison, a Damascus blade could be considered the Porsche of edged weapons]! This handsome, massive, Lionshead presentation sword measures 38 ½” from the brass Lionshead atop the pommel to its elaborately-engraved blade’s tip. The blade’s width (it measures 1 ½” at its widest point) helps to confirm its status as a presentation piece.
The Lionshead and the rest of the brass-fitting on the sword handle’s back are adorned with elaborate scroll-work running down from the lion’s mane, while the brass guard displays a pattern of finely sculpted oak leaves and acorns coming out from the lion’s jaws. The Lionshead’s eyes are made of faceted black stone or glass, and are NOT original. [The current owner remembers seeing the sword for the first time when he was a boy, and noticing that its eye sockets were empty. His father had a jeweler insert the black stones later]. The sword’s brass, quillon finial (cross guard’s end-piece) sports a smaller, less elaborate Lionshead. The sword’s sharkskin grip (which displays some worn areas) is triple wire-wrapped (a copper strand, a twisted, silver-toned, metal strand, and a second copper strand). Decorative brass rain guards adorn both sides of the cross guard. One rain guard features crossed cavalry swords above two leafy, berry-bedecked branches that are tied together at the base. The other rain guard boasts the von Richthofen Coat-of-Arms, with a Freiherr’s (Baron’s) Crown perched atop the knight’s helmet. The underside of the cross guard features the words “Geschütztes Muster” (Protected Pattern), which means the design essentially was copyrighted.
The blade itself features elaborate, somewhat faded, gilt engravings upon the elegant Damascus steel. Gilt scroll-work decorates the upper part of the sword’s spine above the false edge. The sword’s ricasso (unsharpened length of blade just above the guard) displays the words “Gust. (av) Günther Metz.” This firm was involved in producing “Drillings” (a combination gun with three barrels that was used by sportsmen all over Europe). [Gustav Günther Metz evidently worked with the steel and weapons company Krupp, probably specializing in producing decorative plates for the shotguns and specially decorated sword blades].
Just below the rain guard that features the cavalry swords the blade is decorated with a panel displaying two scrolls inside a border of oak leaves and acorns. The first scroll displays the name v.(von) Wendt u. (und) Niemann i/l.” The second scroll reads “Frhr. v. Richthofen” (Freiherr von Richthofen, Lothar’s father), “Metz,” and “1894″ (the year of Lothar’s birth). The panel’s decoration is finished with an illustration of a Kavallerie Offizier’s sword, Pickelhaube, and Küraß sitting atop a military drum.
The blade’s reverse contains five different panels filled with gilt illustrations. They start just below the rain guard depicting the von Richthofen family crest. Most of them are typical of the images found on military-themed sword blades. The most interesting panel features ANOTHER very detailed gilt image of the von Richthofen Coat-of-Arms. [PLEASE NOTE the illustration at left]. The Coat-of-Arms features two crowned knights’ helmets above a Freiherr’s Crown, with a stork perched atop the right-hand helmet. In turn, the Freiherr’s Crown sits on top of a heraldic shield held between two rampant lions. The shield features items related to the family’s history. The seated figure on the right depicts a judge, which relates to the family name’s original meaning (“Richter” means judge, while “Hof” means court).
In conclusion, this is a historically-important sword associated with a famous German family that produced two of WW I’s best fighter pilots. [Manfred’s story is related on other parts of our website]. Lothar shot down forty enemy planes during the war, and commanded Jasta 11 on many occasions. He was a PLM winner and, unlike his brother, survived the war. Tragically, he died in a 1922 Hamburg air crash. [PLEASE NOTE: the accompanying photos feature one of Lothar’s Sanke Cards in which he is holding a Lionshead sword that we feel is similar to the sword on offer. We do see some small differences between them, and thus do NOT think they are one and the same].
This is a consignment item.
One of the Imperial German Army’s most elite Dragoner-Regiments was Dragoner-Regiment König (2. Württ.) Nr 26, to which this pickelhaube’s officer-owner once belonged. The regiment was formed in 1805 and garrisoned at Stuttgart (in the section then known as Cannstatt). It was attached to the XIII. Armeekorps. While it was considered to be the second of Württemberg’s Dragoner-Regiments, it actually was the “King’s Own,” making it more elite. [This is noted by a special emblem on the wappen’s center, which we will describe further down]……
This is a marvelous pair of shoulder boards for a Major from Dragoner-Regiment König (2. Württembergisches) Nr 26. This regiment was the Württemberg military’s most elite regiment. To this end, the regiment boasted a special enamel Garde-Starlike device on its pickelhauben much like the Order of the Württemberg Crown, one of the kingdom’s highest decorations. It was the “King’s Own” Regiment….
PRUSSIA – DAMASCUS COURT DEGEN – ATTRIBUTED TO PRINZ HEINRICH
Honestly, this magnificent sword is the most important edged weapon I have ever shared with you. We have offered Royals’ swords in the past, but NEVER at such a high level. It is actually a Court Degen, one that was used at high court occasions, not for the more typical military parades. Its owner was none other than our old friend, Prinz Heinrich of Prussia (1862-1929), Kaiser Wilhelm II’s younger brother. Heinrich was, first and foremost, a Navy Man. He was one of only six men to be elevated to the position of Großadmiral in 1909. He was also the only man to receive the rank of Großadmiral with Patent. [Von Tirpitz was a Großadmiral WITHOUT patent, meaning he was not allowed to use a Großadmiral’s crossed batons on his shoulder boards and epaulettes, but four pips instead. The latter were equivalent to a Generaloberst in the rank of Generalfeldmarschall in the Army, which was more often a ceremonial rank that given to Royals who had NO true command responsibilities, but instead served as Regimental Chefs].
During WW I, Prinz Heinrich commanded the German Baltic fleet against the Russians. In addition to Heinrich’s naval responsibilities, the Prinz was the Regimental Chef of four regiments, as well as the 1. Garde Regiment zu Fuß’s Generaloberst in the Rank of Generalfeldmarschall.
Two of Heinrich’s swords from the five different commands mentioned above were very plain-looking swords. [I have had the privilege of acquiring and passing them along to new homes]. The keys to their royal attribution were the royal cyphers exhibited on their pommels. Their blades were NOT engraved, and not what one usually expected from a royal. [From all that I have read, Heinrich was a modest and thoughtful man. It appears he was more careful than his brother Wilhelm II when it came to spending the Reich’s money. To call Wilhelm II a lavish spender is a gross understatement]!
As a ceremonial Court Degen, THIS sword is far more elaborate than the others I have had. To begin, it sports a “D” guard grip, with an intricately designed pommel and pommel top. The pommel’s cap features Prinz Heinrich’s royal cypher, as did his other swords. The grip is covered with black sharkskin and single-wire-wrapped in gilt. The grip also displays the Garde Star that is seen on Garde-Regiments’ headdresses. The Degen also presents a clamshell guard that folds up in order to preserve the sword’s already slender, compact nature. It is made of very fine, smooth, supple leather rather than metal (naval swords also feature leather scabbards), which is in fantastic condition with NO major problems. A brass hanger is attached to the scabbard’s reverse so that it may be attached to a belt. The scabbard’s tip does display some scuffing, as well as a brass plate.
When removed from its scabbard, the blade is revealed to be forged of luxurious “Damascus” steel. [According to Wikipedia, “Damascus steel was the forged steel comprising the blades of swords smithed in the Near East from ingots of wootz (crucible) steel imported from India and Sri Lanka. These swords are characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water. Such blades were reputed to be tough, resistant to shattering, and capable of being honed to a sharp, resilient edge]. These elaborate sword blades are very highly prized. In addition to the Damascus pattern that extends over the blade’s length, at its top is a fantastic gold engraving that centers around a widespread eagle sans Hohenzollern Crown. The gold extends up to the point where the blade begins.
The sword measures 38″ end to end. The blade measures 33″ inches. The handle measures 5.5″ x 3″
This Degen can serve as any collection’s centerpiece. As far as I am concerned, it is Der Rittmeister’s top item of the year.
SWORD – PRUSSIA – INFANTERIE OFFIZIER’S M-1889 DEGEN – ATTRIBUTED TO PRINZ HEINRICH.
Our offering today is a sword that does NOT display any regimental information. However, we have clear evidence that attributes it to Prinz Heinrich of Prussia (1862-1929), Kaiser Wilhelm II’s younger brother, which we will present below. As you may remember, Heinrich was Kaiser Friedrich III’s second son, and one of Imperial Germany’s more popular royals. Primarily a Navy man, he rose in rank to eventually become one of only six men to achieve the rank of Großadmiral. [Here’s an interesting historical tidbit: Prinz Heinrich commanded the royal yacht S.M.Y. Hohenzollern in 1888]. He eventually rose to command all German Navy units based out of Kiel. During WW I, he operated chiefly in the Baltic. His primary opponent was Russia, which had second-rate equipment at best. [Heinrich’s naval vessels were not much better].
While Prinz Heinrich was a Großadmiral in the Kaiserliche Marine, he also served as a Generaloberst in the rank of Generalfeldmarschall in the Imperial German Army. Like all Prussian House of Hohenzollern princes, he had been mustered into the 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß at a very young age. He eventually became the Regimental Chef of regiments from Saxony, Bavaria, and Hesse-Darmstadt, as well as the Füsilier-Regiment Prinz Heinrich von Preußen (1. Brandenburgisches) Nr 35. Prinz Heinrich received the latter appointment in 1896. [This regiment was raised in 1815, garrisoned at Brandenburg a.H., and assigned to the Prussian III. Armeekorps].
In the case of all of the regiments for which Heinrich served as Regimental Chef (or Colonel-in-Command), he held the rank of Generaloberst in the rank of Generalfeldmarschall. The latter rank was an honorary title intended for use by royals who did NOT have direct field commands. Each of these regiments actually was commanded on a daily basis by a military career Oberst or Oberstleutnant. Regimental Chefs appeared with “their” regiments for parades and special events, wearing uniforms and headdresses that were identical to those worn by the regiment’s rank and file members. Some of the regiments that Prinz Heinrich represented were Artillerie Regiments, in which case he donned a kugelhelm. When he was accompanying his Infanterie Regiments, he sported a pickelhaube.
Although this sword lacks the regimental markings that would assist in its identification, it does give us clues. Commonly referred to as an “IOD 89,” the sword is officially entitled as a “Preußisches Infanterie Offizier Degen M-1889.” It measures 40” in length from the hilt’s top to the bottom of its scabbard. When drawn from the scabbard, it measures 38” in length, while the blade is 32.” The bright nickle scabbard has two rings with which to mount it onto a sword belt. [Two-ring scabbards were used prior to 1906. After 1906, they were reduced to sporting a single ring].The scabbard features a couple of minor dings and some scratching, which is quite good for a more than 100-year-old sword.
The sword’s hilt is made of finely fire-gilded brass that displays a magnificent finish in lovely condition. The ebony-colored, single-brass-wire-wrapped grip (I am reasonably certain) is made of tight, straight sharkskin. The grip also displays Kaiser Wilhelm II’s brass royal cypher. The oval-shaped pommel brandishes the sword’s most-exciting feature and a major clue, Prinz Heinrich of Prussia’s royal cypher, a crowned “H.” When removed from its scabbard, the blade reveals a plain, unadorned finish in exceptional condition. NO special engraving is present, just handsome, double blood-gutters. Its white felt buffer is discolored with age, yet still protects the blade from rubbing against the hilt. Near the blade’s top we see its manufacturer’s name, “Weyersberg & Stamm – Solingen.” This small firm did a lot of contract work for Austria’s and Bavaria’s Militaries, as well as special orders for Prussian officers, another clue.
Now it is time to pull all the research and other details together. Years ago, I was privileged to acquire a complete 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß group for Prinz Heinrich. This group included his mitre, his tunic with epaulettes, and a sword, which was nearly identical to the sword we are offering today. Its blade was also quite plain and sported Prinz Heinrich’s crowned cypher on its pommel. That first sword and the rest of its group are now in the hands of a very advanced collector. The end result is that Heinrich was associated with only one other Prussian regiment, his “own” Füsilier-Regiment Prinz Heinrich von Preußen (1. Brandenburgisches) Nr 35! All of the other regiments for which he was the Regimental Chef were NOT Prussian, meaning IT is the most likely regiment from which it came.
Royalty items are always sought-after. It is seldom that we can offer you an edged weapon from a German royal. It is rarer yet to offer an edged weapon from Prinz Heinrich! He was arguably the third best-known member of the House of Hohenzollern after Wilhelm II and his son Kronprinz Wilhelm.
This has been one of the most interesting and challenging descriptions that I have written in a long time. I hope that you have enjoyed the description as much as I have in writing it. I further hope to find a good home for this fine sword! This is a consignment item.
DAGGER – NAVY – OFFICER REICHSMARINE – WITH INITIAL STAMP.
During and following the Imperial German Period, military officers commonly maintained stamps on their desks that allowed them to imprint their initials and/or cypher on wax seals. Such stamps were generally ornamental in nature. Our offering today is both unique and elegant in that it is modeled on a naval dagger’s pommel, grip, and cross guard. [PLEASE NOTE: it is smaller than an actual dagger in order to take up less desk space].
Its owner clearly was a naval officer(I cannot begin to estimate his rank) who had served in the Kaiserliche Marine either before and/or during WW I, then served in the ReichsMarine after 1919. A ReichsMarine dagger was noted for its black grip rather than the Kaiserliche Marine’s ivory one (signifying mourning for the latter’s passing). Officers could choose to mount either a Kaiserliche Marine’s Kaiser Crown or the ReichsMarine’s “Flaming Ball” as the pommel.
Our offering today features a black, single-wire-wrapped grip. A Kaiser Crown is mounted atop the pommel. [It unscrews just like a full-sized dagger]. NO cross appears at the top, which had been the practice during the Kaiserliche Marine era. Instead, an “X” takes its place.
The stamp’s total height is 4 ½.” It features a brass cross guard that measures ¾” from tip to tip. A circular brass piece that measures 2 ½” in diameter appears at the base. Its initials are “H.F.” [If your initials match this, contact me and I will give you a VERY special price]!
Pieces like this are important decorations on MY desk, which is where this will reside until a new owner acquires it.
Our offering today is an Erste Garde Regiment zu Fuß (EGRzuFUß) Battalion Nr 1 Russian-style enlisted men’s Mitre. Its metal front shield is made of brass plated sheet metal and bears a relief Order of the Black Eagle beneath a large crown. A bandeau inscribed with the words “SEMPER TALIS” sits above the crown. The metal shield is backed with dark-blue cloth for Bataillone I & II. The Mitre’s cloth body is red with three white strips extending from its top to the headband. The white cloth border/headband around the Mitre’s base features three flaming, brass grenades for Bataillone I & II. One is positioned on either side to fasten the correct arched, brass, chin scales to the Mitre, while the third one appears at the Mitre’s rear. [PLEASE NOTE: the Infanterie’s scaled metal pickelhauben chin straps were flat, NOT arched]. The top device, known as the Puschel, is a leather knob covered with white wool that sports a black center. No kokarden are worn on the Mitre……
This is a beautiful and very rare Mitre from Kaiser Alexander Guard Grenadier Regiment 1 Bataillon Nr III (Füsilier). The 1.Guard Grenadier Regiment, also known as the Kaiser Alexander Guard Grenadier Regiment 1 (KAGGR1), was founded in 1814 and garrisoned in Berlin. [It must have been one of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s favorite regiments for it to be awarded the Erste Garde Regiment zu Fuß’s (EGRzuFUß) old Mitres when they received their new ones in 1894]! Its front shield is made of brass-plated sheet metal, and bears a relief Order of the Black Eagle underneath a large crown. The metal shield is backed with red cloth for Bataillon Nr III……
This Mitre was originally issued to a soldier in the Erste Garde Regiment zu Fuß (EGRzuFUß) Bataillon Nr I, and then was passed along to a soldier in the Kaiser Alexander Garde Grenadier Regiment Nr 1 Bataillon Nr I (KAGGR1) when the EGRzuFUß received their new Mitres in 1894. The SEMPER TALIS bandeaux were removed, and the KAGGR1 wore their Grenadiermützen with two holes in their front plates until they were replaced due normal wear and tear……
This beautiful museum copy of an important and VERY rare Mitre, an Erste Garde Regiment zu Fuß (EGRzuFUß) Battalion Nr 1 Russian-style enlisted men’s Mitre, was made some time after the WW I. The craftsmanship in creating it is comparable to that of the original Mitres, and is very difficult to identify as a copy, even to an expert (such is the mark of EXCELLENT workmanship)! An original of this Mitre would cost THOUSANDS of dollars more……
This is an Enlisted Musician’s Erste Garde Regiment zu Fuß Bataillon Nr I or II Mitre. It boasts the “Semper Talis” bandeau on its ornate silver front plate. The cloth back is red with ornate white strips for trim. Its red Puschel indicates that it was worn by a musician. Elite regiments, as well as many line regiments, had their own bands that led the regiment during parades. The Mitre’s interior features a soft leather liner similar to those found in pickelhauben. The number 54 appears on one of the liner’s petals, with a name appearing on another petal, as well as a very faint maker’s name stamped on a third petal. Its condition is excellent, with NO moth holes or dirt smudges on the red fabric. This is a beautiful Mitre that was only worn by two Bataillone of one Regiment, or 0.2% of the Imperial German Army……
For gala events, the Preußische Garde Unteroffizier Kompagnie’s NCO’s wore Grenadiermützen like those worn by the Erste Garde Regiment zu Fuß’s (EGRzuFUß) Bataillone Nrs I & II. Just like the EGRzuFUß, this Preußische Garde Unteroffizier Kompagnie’s Mitre displays a front shield made of silver-plated sheet-metal that bears a high-relief Order of the Black Eagle beneath a large crown. The metal shield is backed with black cloth, while the Mitre’s cloth body is red with three white strips running from its top down to its headband. The white cloth border/headband around the Mitre’s base features three flaming silver grenades. One is positioned on either side to fasten the correct, arched, brass, chin scales to the Mitre, while the third one appears at the Mitre’s rear. The top device, or Puschel, is a leather knob covered with white colored wool that sports a black center like that worn on the pre-1894 EGRzuFUß’ Mitres. No kokarden are worn on the Mitre. The Mitre’s interior is similar to a pickelhaube’s interior, featuring a leather headband with leather petals. Each petal contains a hole through which a leather string was threaded and tied in order to adjust the fit for each wearer……
Around the turn of the 20th Century, charitable fund-raising in Imperial Germany touched on its citizens’ patriotic fervor by employing a military theme. A popular offering was inexpensive copies of Mitres that had been worn by famous regiments. This is a copy of the Mitre worn by the Königliches Regiment in the early 1700s. Its body is all cloth with a metal, eight-pointed star with the Order of the Black Eagle on the front’s center. A metal crown sits above the star. Metal flames appear on either side, with a flaming bomb on the rear. The front and headband are made of red cloth, while the rear is made of blue cloth. The front is backed by blue cloth and three cloth strips run down the body’s back. It does NOT have a Puschel. Dirt smudges and a few moth holes are present, but the overall condition is fair-plus. The interior is all cloth, possibly burlap. The letters “IIA148/649″ and “XXVI161″ also appear. This is a beautiful and rare copy of an early Mitre……
This is a very impressive 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. The cross’s obverse displays fine detail to the crown, “1914,” and the “W.” The beading around the frame is most pleasing. The paint is first-rate with just a touch of age in one area, yet still rates at 98%. The patina to the frame is also noteworthy….
FRACK BAR – FIVE-PLACE – WITH MATCHING TIE-CHAIN DEVICE.
While some consider this a medal bar, it actually is a Frack Bar. The major difference between the two is that a Frack Bar’s decorations are usually at an angle (some more pronounced than others). Today’s example is only at a slight angle. The other big difference is that a WW I medal bar usually features the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class on the extreme left (facing the viewer). A Frack Bar places it on the extreme right. Oftentimes Frack Bars were used by naval officers and those in the Colonial Service. That said, today we are offering a marvelous five-place Frack Bar with a matching tie-chain (the latter for the veteran’s use when wearing a coat and tie in a civilian setting). I must say that it is QUITE unusual to find a matching pair like this. It is far more common to find either one or the other.
Its medals are listed from left to right below.
1). Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938. This medal was given following the Sudetenland’s occupation. Approximately 1.1 million were awarded from 1938 to 1940. The obverse shows two muscular men running with what appear to be flags. An eagle and swastika appear under them. The conquest of the Sudetenland was an early action by the Third Reich, assuming territory settled by Germans in Czechoslovakia. The reverse of the medal says “Ein Volk Ein Reich Ein Führer” with the date 1. October 1938. The medal is mounted on a red and black ribbon.
2). Hindenburg Cross with Swords for Combatants. This decoration was authorized after the death of Germany’s President and former Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg. It came in three classes: for Combatants, for Non Combatants, and for Next-of-Kin. The medal is mounted on a red, black, and white ribbon.
3). The Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach’s Knight’s Cross 2nd Class of the Order of the White Falcon with Swords. This is one of my favorite decorations. It features a gorgeous white and gold eagle superimposed over a green Maltese Cross with a pair of swords extending diagonally through the falcon’s body. The cross is attached to a large articulated crown. The entire decoration is suspended from a handsome red ribbon.
4). 1939 War Merit Cross 2nd Class. This is a Third Reich era decoration. It is a Maltese Cross. It is gold-toned, with a swastika in the center. The reverse features the date “1939″ in the center. The decoration is accompanied by a red, black, and white ribbon.
5). 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class for Combatants. The decoration is suspended from a black and white ribbon.
The Frack Bar’s reverse is covered in green felt. The measurements of the bar are 6” x 2.5.” The pin to secure the bar is present. While not an actual part of the Frack Bar, a Silver Army Wound Badge is included, as is a SIX-place tie-bar. It has each of the five decorations noted above, plus a WW I Silver Army Wound Badge. The group came to us WITH the wound badge, so it is only fitting that it is included here.
This wonderful Frack Bar is in excellent condition. Its centerpiece is the Knight’s Cross 2nd Class with Swords of the Order of the White Falcon. It is in excellent condition with no faults to the enamel. This is a really exciting set that represents a military career that spanned two wars.
The Order of Heinrich the Lion from Braunschweig and the White Falcon family from the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach are two of my favorite families of orders and decorations. In both cases, it is the superb enamel work and attention to detail that attracts me. That said, I must admit that my favorite is the White Falcon (Weißen Falken)…
This is a most interesting Veterans’ Association Badge from the Duchy of Braunschweig. The Duchy was best known for fielding Husaren-Regiment Nr 17 and Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92. These two regiments represented two of the four Imperial German regiments that displayed the dreaded Totenkopf (Death’s Head) on their headdress. This symbol, meant to strike fear into the hearts of Braunschweig’s enemies, was worn on the respective regiments’ pickelhauben, busbies (pelzmützen), mützen, and schirmmützen.
The badge, which measures 1 3/4” x 2 1/2” is bordered with a wreath. The wreath features a horse’s profile, which was emblematic of the Kingdom of Hannover, as well as the Duchy of Braunschweig. The horse’s image is surrounded by the words “Braunschweiger Landwehr Verband” (Braunschweig Land Defense Association). The top of the oval-shaped badge features an open crown, while its bottom displays a cross. [It is NOT an Iron Cross, and features some rather unintelligible writing. The words “für” (obscured) then “Reich” appear on its horizontal arm. This leads us to suspect that it may be a pre WW I badge]. Two small pieces of blue and yellow ribbon edged on either side by thin red, white, and black stripes are attached behind the cross, symbolizing Braunschweig’s state colors nestled within those representing the German Empire. The badge’s reverse features a sturdy pin for attaching it to a garment.
Simply gorgeous example of the Austria’s Bronzene Militär Verdienst Medaille mit Schwerten (Bronze Military Service Medal with Swords)……
This is a simply delicious 1. Garde Regiment zu Fuß officer’s spiked helmet. The regiment was the most elite among Prussia’s and Germany’s Infanterie Regiments. It was garrisoned in Potsdam with its Kavallerie Regiment counterpart, the Regiment der Garde du Corps. The regiment was loaded with denizens of Imperial Germany’s highest royal and noble families. Every Hohenzollern Prinz was invested in it, including all of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s sons, just as the Kaiser himself had been as a young man. The Kaiser also served as its Regimental Chef……
PRUSSIA – PARADE TUNIC – GENERAL DER INFANTERIE – ALFRED GRAF VON WALDERSEE’S WITH DRESS SASH.
Alfred Graf von Waldersee (1832 1904) was a leading Prussian Army General who ultimately became the Chief of Imperial Germany’s Great General Staff.
He was born in 1832 to an aristocratic family who had strong military ties in Potsdam. He entered the Army in 1850 as an Artillerie Leutnant. He served as Prinz Friedrich Karl of Prussia’s Aide-de-Camp in the 1866 Austro Prussian War. He was present with the Prinz and his Prussian Army at the penultimate Battle of Königgratz. His advancement was steady. By the time of the 1870 1871 Franco Prussian War, he was General Grand Duke Friedrich Francis II (1823 1883) of Mecklenburg Schwerin’s key Aide. The credit for this Army’s success was given to von Waldersee, an Oberstleutnant by this time. For his role in the war, he was awarded the 1870 Iron Crosses 1st and 2nd Class.
His star continued to rise. In 1882 he was chosen as Generalfeldmarschall Helmuth von Moltke’s (1800 1891) chief assistant. The latter was Chief of the Great General Staff from 1857 1888. Von Waldersee’s rank was Generalquartermeister. Von Moltke’s retirement led to von Waldersee assuming his role as Chief of the Great German General Staff from 1888 to 1891.
Von Waldersee had problems, however, with young Kaiser Wilhelm II. He was relieved of his assignment and clearly demoted after his forces beat the Kaiser’s in the annual 1890 Kaisermanövers. He was assigned to command an Armeekorps. In 1898, he became the Inspector General of the III. Armee. It appears that this was his final position while active in the Army, which was certainly a step down from his former position. It is also interesting that von Waldersee was never given the rank of Generalfeldmarschall as the Chief of the Great German General Staff.
A framed photograph of von Waldersee, which describes him as a Generaloberst of Kavallerie, is a part of this group(although to my knowledge he was never IN the Kavallerie, but an Artillerie officer, and I can find no mention that he actually held this rank). In fact, he was apparently a General der Infanterie until May 1900, when he was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall.
The circumstances behind this were unusual. In 1900, the Boxer Rebellion began in China. It was an outpouring of anger against European nations, the USA and Japan. Each nation had “concessions” in China, which were colonies. Some might call them virtual kingdoms. Within this backdrop the Boxers fought for Chinese rights and booting out of the Allied European, American, and Japanese powers. As a force was assembled to battle the Boxers, Kaiser Wilhelm II very much wanted a German to its commander. He talked to his cousin, Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II and, due to a miscommunication between the two, Wilhelm II presumed that it was agreed. This did not sit well with the other Allied Powers, so some hurried negations were undertaken before it was agreed that von Waldersee would command the joint forces. By the time the newly-minted Generalfeldmarschall von Waldersee reached China, the bulk of the fighting had ended, although he helped punish the remaining Boxers. He returned to Germany and died in 1904.
[Frankly, I do not understand why Wilhelm II sent a semi-retired sixty eight-year-old man to represent Germany and the Allied powers, especially after he removed him as the Chief of the Great General Staff and demoted him to an Armeekorps Kommandeur. That von Waldersee had bested him in the army maneuvers makes it particularly petty. Von Waldersee had generally continued von Moltke’s policies, so best that I can make of it is that the two men just did not connect.
Nevertheless, von Waldersee was an able staff officer who won his spurs during two different wars and in the peace that followed the Franco Prussian War’s end. Not many men filled the role of the Chief of the Great General Staff. Following von Waldersee was Alfred Graf von Schlieffen (author of the von Schlieffen Plan, which advocated a swift sweep through Belgium to capture Paris). Two more men followed von Schlieffen into WW I’s early years. From 1916 through the war’s end, the final Chief of the Great General Staff was none other than Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg.
The tunic is made of very high-quality, dark-blue (dunkel-blau) wool. One must remember that von Waldersee came from an old aristocratic family and was quite well-off. Also, a man who attained the rank of General was expected to look sharp and would only buy the best. The tunic features crimson trim running down either side of the center. A total of twelve brass buttons also runs down the tunic’s front. The tunic’s collar is constructed of two different styles of elaborate gold bullion highlighted by a line of crimson piping. Its crimson cuffs are decorated with two gold litzen. Each of the litzen is decorated with a large brass button.
As this is a dress tunic, a fantastic pair of epaulettes is mounted on either shoulder. Each epaulette’s center displays Kaiser Wilhelm I’s brass, crowned royal cypher. A brass rank pip appears on either side of the cypher, confirming its General der Infanterie status. These brass devices are mounted on a silver background. A silver-toned crescent moon serves as a border. Its closely-attached ringlets are typical for a General Officer’s epaulettes.
The tunic’s left breast is, simply stated, a MASS of sewn-in loops! First is a set of horizontal loops for a VERY large medal bar. The set includes six loops and measures 6” from end-to-end. Moving downward, we see a further set of horizontal loops for a second medal bar. This set contains two loops and measures 3 ¼” from end-to-end. Now, it gets VERY interesting: it boasts EIGHT different sets of vertical loops!! Surely his 1870 Iron Cross 1st Class would have appeared here. The other seven sets would have been for an assortment of medals (possibly from other German states), breast stars, and an Adjutant-to-the-Kaiser Badge as seen in the included photograph. Also included with the tunic is a Prussian Officer’s Parade Sash, as is proper for a dress tunic.
The tunic’s reverse reveals a vented slit at the bottom trimmed in red and embellished with six brass buttons. Its interior displays a rich, red, heavy cotton-twill lining. Several rectangular black bands appear toward the top, and are evidently masking something underneath, possibly von Waldersee’s name. A black number “8″ appears just beneath the blacked-out area, which could have been a museum marking at some point. It clearly is a museum or high-level-collection tunic.
As previously mentioned, a framed photograph of von Waldersee, measuring 9 ” x 11 ,” is included for your enjoyment. Von Waldersee is seen wearing a General’s pickelhaube. The photograph measures 3 ¾” x 5.” Although the photograph is black and white, we can still see a few of his tunic’s interesting details. It differs from our tunic in that it has eight buttons rather than our example’s twelve. It is also a bit shorter than our tunic. Our example is NOT an überrock as it does not extend to the knee. Its cuffs, however, are similar to our example, as is its collar. While he is identified as a Generaloberst, we cannot see his epaulettes to determine his rank. Clearly, the tunics are different, but von Waldersee would have had different tunics at different times.
Our tunic dates from the period of 1882 into 1888. Kaiser Wilhelm I’s cypher (in my opinion) dates it from the period when von Waldersee served as von Moltke’s chief aide. He also would have been considered as an Adjutant to the Kaiser himself due to his high level within the Army. This is one of the highest-level tunics that we have ever offered that did NOT belong to a member of royalty. This man was an able staff member and staff leader in his own right. The tunic is in very fine condition for being more than one-hundred-thirty-plus years-old.
Braunschweig, referred to as Brunswick by the English, was a small Duchy that served as an important trade center throughout much of Germany’s earlier history. Braunschweig’s Herzog Friedrich Wilhelm (1771-1815), whose father was a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall, participated in the 1806 Battle of Jena, which was a major defeat of Prussia by Napoleon Bonaparte. Friedrich Wilhelm’s father was killed in the battle, and Braunschweig was taken over by France. Friedrich Wilhelm then fled to England in order to begin raising troops. After he had raised about 2,200 men, Friedrich Wilhelm returned to fight against Napoleon in 1809 with England’s Duke of Wellington……
This is Sanke Card Nr 565 depicting Leutnant Leopold Anslinger (1891-1978). Anslinger was a double ace, scoring ten victories before the war’s end. It is an interesting pose as he is standing outdoors. While his Prussian Army Pilot Badge and 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class are quite evident, he is also wearing the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order, and the Austrian Order of the Crown 3rd Class with Swords pinned to his tunic. It makes for a wonderful uniform study. The postcard was not mailed.
(MEDALS NOT INCLUDED) This is a superb M-1915 feldgrau officer’s tunic from Infanterie-Regiment Alt-Württemberg (3. Württ.) Nr 121. The regiment was founded in 1716 and garrisoned at Ludwigsburg. It was attached to the Württemberg XIII. Armeekorps.
The feldbluse tunic is easily distinguished from other tunic styles by a frontal flap that covers its buttons, leaving no buttons visible down the tunic’s center. A total of six simple gray buttons is in its center. Once they have been buttoned, an inner flap is laid down, followed by the exterior flap, and “Ausgezeichnet!” the tunic appears to have no center buttons! This creates a very tidy layout that was favored by some officers, however, it was not as popular as the M-1910, M-1915, etc. tunic-styles.
The tunic’s exterior features two pockets that are secured by two small subdued, crowned buttons. The same small buttons secure its shoulder boards. Each shoulder board displays a “121” that identifies the regiment, along with a Hauptmann’s twin pips. The exterior’s final two buttons appear on the reverse in the vent area. They are larger than the other four buttons, the size that normally is visible running down the tunic’s center.
The shoulder boards are the sewn-in variety, which was quite common among Leutnant’s, Oberleutnant’s, and Hauptmann’s ranks. One side is sewn into the tunic and the other is attached by a button. Each shoulder board has a white underlay. The shoulder boards are of the M-1915 feldgrau variety. The chevrons atop the shoulder boards are both black and red, which is indicative of Württemberg. The tunic’s collar is also feldgrau, which is quite interesting.
One other very important area on the tunic’s left chest elevates this tunic to the realm of the VERY, VERY special. The top left breast area sports large set of horizontally sewn-in loops for a massive ribbon bar. Based on these dimensions I believe that a MINIMUM eight-to-ten decorations appeared on the actual ribbon bar. Just below this area, the tunic gets even better!
Typically, most tunics sport two or three sets of loops for its owner’s decorations. This tunic displays SEVEN sets of loops. Some contain two loops, while others have three. The loop sets that I have artificially designated as “one” and “three” are of the size that could sustain a larger decoration, possibly a breast star. Loop sets “two” and “four” are probably designed for an Iron Cross 1st Class and possibly a wound badge. Loops “five,” “six,” and “seven” are also large and could carry larger pinback decorations or breast stars.
It is my opinion that at LEAST two breast stars were worn on five of the loop sets, while the balance would have accommodated a larger decoration. I have some other “guesstimations.” For a man to have this many orders and decorations, we are quite possibly looking at a member of royalty. Considering its relatively low rank versus the high number of awards, I think we could be looking at a young Prinz or Graf. This theory is enhanced by the second tunic, which follows below.
The tunic’s interior is finished in fine gray silk. It has a total of four interior pockets: three on the left and one on the right. The tunic’s condition is excellent both inside and out. I can detect NO moth damage. The tunic has been well preserved for the last nearly one-hundred-years. It is a superb tunic for any collection, especially if coupled with its mate.
This week we are offering one of the most significant uniform groups we have ever had. It is from Braunschweigisches Husaren-Regiment Nr 17, which was founded in 1809. The regiment was garrisoned in the capital city of Braunschweig, and assigned to the X. Armeekorps. Braunschweigisches Husaren-Regiment Nr 17 possessed a fabled history. Among the battles and campaigns in which it participated were, the Peninsula Campaign (Spain and Portugal) with Wellington, Waterloo (again with Wellington), and Mars La Tour, during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71. This regiment, along with Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92, and a single artillery Bataillon, constituted the Duchy of Braunschweig’s entire military. Braunschweig once was part of the Kingdom of Hannover. Hannover and Braunschweig were absorbed into Prussia after they found themselves on the losing side of the 1866 war between Prussia and Austria. This status continued until 1912, when Duke (Herzog) Ernst August of Braunschweig married Kaiser Wilhelm II’s only daughter. Braunschweig was then afforded greater independence, but very much remained a Prussian vassal state.
Our offering today is that very Duke’s feldgrau tunic (attila) and trousers for Braunschweigisches Husaren-Regiment Nr 17. This is an important and exciting group on a number of levels. First, attilas are highly-prized by collectors, especially when found in feldgrau. Second, to find one in a general officer’s rank that once belonged to a German HEAD-OF-STATE (the Kaiser’s son-in-law, no-less) is extra-special. The tunic is made of ultra-high-grade gabardine wool in the highly-desirable feldgrau. Its tresses are silver with black chevrons interwoven throughout. The rosette and barrel buttons are cloth rather than prewar metal. Two slash pockets decorate the tunic’s front. The collar is trimmed in the same fabric as the tresses. The tunic’s shoulders feature a Prussian Generalmajor’s shoulder boards with crowned buttons. Many sewn-in loops for orders, decorations and ribbon bars dot the tunic’s front left chest area. The one for the ribbon bar is 6″ long from end to end. Approximately TEN different sets of loops appear to accommodate all of the other awards worn by Ernst August. In fact, an Ernst August War Service Cross 1st Class is attached to one of the sets! Three moth nips appear on the tunic’s obverse. (We will detail them in our accompanying photos). Two small nips also show on each of the tunic’s sleeves.
The tunic’s reverse repeats the same tresses motif, as well as the cloth rosette buttons. It is in exquisite condition. Inside, the tunic boasts a sumptuous silk liner that excels what other officers commissioned from a tailor (the perks of royalty)! Two pockets show up inside the tunic. Its collar is quite unusual. A white collar liner is affixed to the tunic’s collar by three snaps. “L/M F. A.. III 4708” is stenciled in black on the white attached inner collar. About three to four inches immediately below that, “R IV” is embroidered in red thread. This is no doubt a clothing numbering system to assist a valet with knowing which tunic to pull for his master on a given day. We see such a system with Kaiser Wilhelm II’s tunics (especially helpful for his valet, since he had more than 200 from which he could draw!) [These occasionally appear on the market].
Although the tunic is quite interesting, I find the trousers that go with it very appealing. They are the classic riding breeches favored by Hussars. They are quite wide at the hip and thigh area, then narrow down substantially on the leg and ankle. They sport a button-front (no zippers in German uniforms at this time!), with five buttons at the front and two in the rear. They also have a buckle adjustment at the rear. Three buttons at each ankle complete the blousing effect. Finally, a single, narrow, red stripe down the outside of each pant leg confirms the general officer’s status. This is a lovely, historic group. If a visor cap or busby were added to the display (even if they were not the Duke’s) it would make the uniform group even more striking.
Kaiser Wilhelm lived a life of luxury while he was Germany’s Emperor. He entertained lavishly and had many tableware patterns at his various palaces, hunting lodges, etc. Perhaps the rarest (since it had the fewest place settings) were the pieces that came from the Kaiser’s yacht, the S. M. Y. (Seiner Majestät Yacht) Hohenzollern. Today we are offering a dessert or salad plate from the royal yacht.
The S. M. Y. Hohenzollern was launched in 1892. From 1892 to 1914, she served as the Kaiser’s personal yacht. He enjoyed spending summers in Norway, and she sailed to Great Britain, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Mediterranean. [In fact, he loved his ship so much he spent four years out of that 24-year span aboard it]! The ship was 390 feet in length, and bristled with fifteen cannons and machine guns. She often was accompanied by one or more German warships. The S. M. Y. Hohenzollern had a crew of 295. Naturally, the Hohenzollern’s crew far outnumbered other similar-sized ships due to the large number of cabin stewards, servants, cooks, etc. required to “properly” attend to the Kaiser and his guests. Many of the officers who served aboard the S. M. Y. Hohenzollern, including the Kaiser’s son Adalbert, went on to have distinguished Kaiserliche Marine careers. Several became Admiräle or other top naval commanders after catching Wilhelm’s eye onboard the Hohenzollern and joining the fast track to more important commands.
Our offering today is a dessert or salad plate from the royal yacht’s table service. The plate, which measures 8 ½” in diameter, features two golden trim bands around its outer edges. Two very important sets of marks appear on the plate. At the very top is the Kaiser’s Standard (flag), which is NOT a naval-themed flag, but the Kaiser’s personal flag that announced his presence. [When the Kaiser reviewed army regiments in the field, a Regiment der Gardes du Corps NCO was in close attendance, brandishing the Kaiser’s Standard. If the Kaiser was in his limousine, the same Standard flew from the vehicle’s front. We offer one of the latter limousine flags in our inventory. When Wilhelm II abdicated his throne, he bestowed one of the limousine standards (and three other flags) upon a chauffeur. We offer one of the latter limousine flags in our inventory. When Wilhelm II abdicated his throne, he bestowed one of the limousine standards (and three other flags) upon a chauffeur. The flag group may be found by clicking here].
The letters “S. M. Y.” are written in gold directly below the Kaiser’s Standard depiction. A bandeau appears below the letters, with the word “Hohenzollern” written across it. Below that, a crowned Kette (Collar) of the Order of the Black Eagle appears in the plate’s center. [Every prince of the House of Hohenzollern was invested with this order. Certain other favored individuals also received the same Order, or other levels within it. The Order of the Black Eagle was purely a royal/noble order. It was NOT a military award]. The Kette’s center features the Kaiser’s royal cypher. The Kette and the Kaiser’s Standard stand out on the plate, giving it an amazing design that is quite different from the Kaiser’s tableware aboard his other fleet flagships (also available in our inventory).
The plate’s reverse displays the KPM hallmark. KPM was the sole firm providing all of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s tableware (as well as that for other House of Hohenzollern members). Beginning with Frederick the Great, every King, Königin, Kaiser, Kaiserin, Prince and Princess ordered their personal tableware from KPM. This distinguished firm (which survived WW I AND WW II) proudly served Prussia and Germany’s royalty and nobility. In addition to the correct KPM hallmark, we see that the plate was placed into service during 1899. KPM assigned placed-in-service dates to all of Wilhelm II’s items.
The plate’s overall condition is good with one exception. Viewing the Black Eagle centerpiece as one would a clock, at the 2 o’clock point you will note a small chip. The chip is NOT recent. It is a pity that it happened, but S. M. Y. Hohenzollern tableware is so rare that I purchased it anyway. I have had no more than two or three plates from the royal yacht ever offered to me. It remains an excellent piece for any collection. We have cut our pricing to the bone in order to compensate for the fault.
This is a postcard of Admiral Hugo von Pohl (1855-1916). Pohl achieved the rank of full-admiral. He commanded the High Seas Fleet in 1915. He relinquished this command in 1916 to Reinhard Scheer. Pohl was a proponent of unrestricted submarine warfare. He died soon after he stepped down. He is seen here in uniform, wearing a Red Eagle Order 1st Class with Crown and Swords. The postcard was not mailed.
This postcard shows Kaiser Wilhelm’s fourth son, Prinz August Wilhelm (1887-1949) and his wife Prinzessin Alexandra Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein (1887-1957). He is in the 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß’s uniform. Please note his breast star. He is also wearing a medal bar sporting a Red Eagle Order 3rd Class with Crown.
This is a consignment item. The U-Boot Badge was instituted on 1 February 1918. Like the Imperial German Air Service’s assorted flight badges, it was a qualification badge. Aviators and sailors needed to fulfill certain qualifications in order to receive one of these badges. Whereas the Imperial German Air Service had four basic types of flight qualification badges, the Kaiserliche Marine (excluding its Air arm) had only one U-Boot Abzeichen. Just prior to WW II (starting in 1935), the Kriegsmarine had added a number of badges for its various sizes and types of surface ships, in addition to the U-Boot Badge. To earn the qualification badge, every sailor (officer, NCO, or enlisted man) had to serve aboard a U-Boot and participate in three war patrols.
The badge is oval-shaped and measures 2″ x 2.” An oval wreath of leaves contains within it a U-Boot complete with its conning tower and bridge. A periscope is also evident. A detailed Hohenzollern Crown appears at the badge’s top. The badge displays a marvelous patina that has not been cleaned for decades, turning it a burnished gilt.
The badge’s reverse features a gorgeous swollen (coke bottle type) pin. This particular style of pin (also seen on custom 1914 Iron Crosses 1st Class) is a mark of excellent quality and attention to detail. Another unusual detail of the pin is that is vertical, not horizontal as on most badges. We can also see on the pin where it has been slightly pressed in. It is a sure sign that the badge was actually worn on a tunic. More often than not, loops of thread were sewn into the tunic and the pin was then passed through them. Even a sturdy pin like this would have had difficulty in piercing a tunic’s heavy wool.
Finally, the number “2” appears on the pin. I have never seen this marking before, so cannot tell you its meaning. It is a lovely example, especially if you are looking for a vertical pin rather than a horizontal one.
This is an identified, depot-issued enlisted sailor’s dress tunic (nicknamed a “monkey jacket”). It is made of dark-blue wool. Eighteen gold-toned buttons run down its center in a double row. Two more same-sized buttons appear on its lapels. Six smaller gilt buttons decorated each cuff. A dress tunic was never actually buttoned up. Instead, two buttons connected by a chain were attached through opposing buttonholes in order to preserve a neat appearance. All of the tunic’s buttons, whether large or small, display a fouled anchor beneath the Hohenzollern Crown.
The interior confirms that it was depot-issued through two separate depot marks, one of which is dated 18 December 1908. The sailor assigned to the tunic’s name, “Schmid,” is sewn between the two depot marks. The tunic’s condition, both inside and out, is excellent.
This is an amazing find for us at Der Rittmeister Militaria. Today we are offering a very special, full Admiral’s überrock. Finding tunics for General Officers is a hard task, although we are proud that our current inventory boasts tunics or complete General’s uniforms for Prussia, Württemberg, Saxony, and Braunschweig. Finding tunics for Kaiserliche Marine Admiräle is indeed a daunting task. Even tunics for junior officers are NOT easy to find. [We were blessed in the past to offer none other than Großadmiral Prinz Heinrich of Prussia’s überrock].
The Kaiserliche Marine possessed only four Admiräle levels. Unlike the Imperial German Army, which featured five Generals’ levels, the Navy did not sport a Generaloberst’s equivalent (the Army’s Generaloberst being its highest rank). The Navy Admiräle ranks included the four positions listed below, in lowest-to-highest order.
For the most part, Admiral was the Kaiserliche Marine’s highest operational/tactical rank. Of the six men who achieved the Großadmiral’s rank, only ONE actually commanded fleet operations: Prinz Heinrich, Kaiser Wilhelm II’s younger brother. He commanded activities in the Baltic during WW I, and did not achieve his rank until 1909. The rest of the six included two who commanded the overall Kaiserliche Marine (Alfred von Tirpitz  and Henning von Holtzendorff ), and whose official titles were “State Secretaries of the Imperial Navy Office.” Another, Hans von Koester, received the rank in 1905, primarily as a thank-you when he was approaching retirement. The final two recipients were royals (Kaiser Wilhelm II and King Oskar II of Sweden), both of whom received the rank in 1901, the year in which it was originated.
So, a man who achieved an Admiral’s rank was a very high level naval officer who commanded great responsibility within the Kaiserliche Marine. Today, we are offering just such a man’s überrock. [The classic naval überrock was a frock coat that extended down its wearer’s legs, rather than stopping near the waist as did most tunics]. Our überrock is made from fine-quality, dark-blue, buttery-smooth wool. It sports a double row of gleaming gilt buttons (five-per-side) that run down the uniform’s center. The buttons display fouled anchors with Hohenzollern Crowns above them. The überrock’s left breast features a row of sewn-in loops for displaying a ribbon bar. The loops’ total width is 2.”
The shoulder boards are of the slip-on variety. Each features a small gilt Navy button, and the two silver pips typical of an Admiral’s shoulder boards. [It is one area where the Imperial German Navy’s shoulder boards differed from those belonging to the Army. For the Army, silver pips generally indicated an à la Suite officer, whereas gold pips signaled a staff or field-assigned officer. Navy shoulder boards were the exact opposite]. These shoulder boards feature “Russian rope” bullion, whose design displays alternating silver and gold rows. The silver bullion rope is imbedded with black chevrons. The shoulder boards have the dark-blue underlay characteristic of all Navy shoulder boards (a key point when confirming Navy status).
Each überrock sleeve displays a small gold bullion Hohenzollern Crown that measures 1 ” x 1 ½.” Each sleeve also reveals a wide gold bullion tape band that measures 2,” as well as two narrow gold bullion tape bands that each measure ” in width. It is here that we discover an anomaly. Two bands indicate a Vizeadmiral, while three stand for a full Admiral. I examined the shoulder boards closely, checking their size, fit, and etc. It is clear to me that they have been attached for a long time, and are NOT recent additions. [It is my view (and that of other knowledgeable collectors and experts) that the überrock’s owner never took the tunic to a tailor to have the other bullion band added after his promotion. As it is likely that a man of his rank owned several uniforms, it is quite possible our offering was an earlier tunic that he did not upgrade. He simply inserted the correct shoulder boards once he was promoted from Vizeadmiral to Admiral. Then he later purchased other tunics with the correct sleeve markings and shoulder boards].
The überrock’s reverse exhibits six more (three per side) large gilt buttons in its vent area. Its interior displays a magnificent, superior quality black silk lining. The inside lining possesses three large pockets. Two are slash examples, while the third is the more conventional vertical example. The entire liner is in excellent condition.
The überrock is in stunning condition, overall. We are pleased to share it with you today.
This pair of epaulets belonged to Prinz Alfons when he served as a major in 1. Schweres-Reiter-Regiment Prinz Karl von Bayern. They are clearly for this regiment. We can tell by the epaulets’ silver moons. While the epaulets are similar to those of its sister regiment, 2. Schweres Reiter-Regiment Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand von Österreich-Este (founded in 1815 and garrisoned at Landshut), its moons are gilt. The material on the obverse is red. The rank of major is confirmed by the dangling silver trim (ringlets) hanging from its edges, (which was used for the three ranks of major, oberstleutnant, and oberst). Blue thread in the bullion trim also confirms them as Bavarian. These are some of the small details necessary for identifying shoulder boards/epaulets’ regiments, especially when cyphers or regimental designations are not present. The epaulets’ backing is a matching red.
Overall, they are in very fine condition………..
This week we are offering one of the most amazing and beautiful royalty gifts we have ever been able to offer. It is a one-of-a-kind gift of incredibly superior quality. The presentation’s basis is a pair of oberst’s epaulettes from Füsilier-Regiment Königin (Schleswig-Holsteinisches) Nr 86. The regiment was founded in1866. Bataillon Nr’s 1 and 2 were garrisoned at Flensburg, while Bataillon Nr 3 was based at Sonderburg. The regiment was attached to the IX. ArmeeKorps. In 1890 the regiment was renamed to Füsilier-Regiment Königin (Schleswig-Holsteinsches) Nr 86 from what it had been formerly known as at the time of its inception. Also, it received a very royal Regimental Chef as its patron. The royal personage was none other than Auguste Viktoria, Kaiserin of Germany and Königin of Prussia. (She was a princess from Schleswig-Holstein when she married Kronprinz Wilhelm (later Kaiser Wilhelm II) in 1881).
The reorganized regiment’s first commander was Oberst Berger. In a special ceremony at Potsdam’s Neuen Palais, the Kaiserin presented Oberst Berger with his epaulettes as the “new” regiment’s commander. The ceremony took place on 22 October 1890. It is one thing to say that the Kaiserin presented him with the epaulettes. As the Kaiserin’s royal gift, it was more a matter of the presentation’s intricate embellishment. The epaulettes were presented to Oberst Berger in a massive, handsome, black, velvet-covered box. The box measures 15 3/4″ x 10″ x 5 1/2.” With the epaulettes in place, it weighs a hefty 8 lbs. Its top lid features the Kaiserin’s crowned royal cypher. The cypher itself measures 2″ x 1 3/4,” while the crown above it measures 1 1/4″ x 1 1/2.” Below them is a brass plaque that measures 6 1/4″ x 1 1/2.” Four small corner screws secure it to the case’s top. The plaque’s engraved message reads:
“Von Ihren Majestät der Kaiserin und Königin Auguste Victoria
dem Oberst Berger, Kommandeur des Füsilier-Regiments Königin,
am 22. Oktober 1890 im Neuen Palais bei Potsdam
This translates as “From your Majesty the Kaiserin and Queen Auguste Viktoria to Colonel Berger, Commander of the Queen’s Füsilier Regiments on 22 October 1890 in the New Palace at Potsdam/Most favorably conferred.”
As we lift the box’s lid, we see a massive pair of oberst’s epaulettes. The epaulettes’ top is either white wool or felt. Mounted to each one are an oberst’s twin pips with the Kaiserin’s large, crowned, royal cypher between them. Each epaulette is held in place by a pedestal, which allows their tasteful display. The epaulettes “moons” are gold, as are the ringlets that hang down from it. These epaulettes are MINT. I seriously doubt that they ever were worn. In my opinion, the epaulettes were such a special gift that Oberst Berger did not want the originals damaged, and probably ordered another pair for his dress uniform.
As fantastic as are the epaulettes, the box which houses them is even more entrancing. Once the upper lid is in the “open” position, another set of hinges allows the front flap to be folded down for the epaulettes’ easy removal. The box’s whole interior is lined with first-quality, light-blue silk. Information about the manufacturer appears in the upper lid’s right corner. The four lines of information are:
Sr. Majestät d Kaisers u. Königs
Berlin, Friedrichstr. 95”
M. Neumann was the Imperial Family’s Godet & Sohn for uniform-related items. Although I have described the epaulettes’ and presentation case’s superiority, I must emphasize it once more. Naturally, as a royal purveyor the Neumann firm took extreme care in turning out the best possible gift when the Empress requested it. Yes, I have offered royalty’s shoulder boards and epaulettes before, but never a gift set like this. I would not be surprised if more than one-hundred-nineteen years ago, Oberst Berger displayed these beauties on his desk or an office table to showcase this token of the Kaiserin’s favor.
A little research by our resident Rangliste expert, Paul Chepurko, reveals that our man was Otto Adolf Berger. He was promoted to Generalmajor a year after his appointment to head Füsilier-Regiment Königin (Schleswig-Holsteinsches) Nr 86. This took place in 1891. His final command was 58. Infanterie-Brigade. Following this he retired with the rank of Generalleutnant a. D. in 1895 He died in 1910. [Paul supplies the wonderful CD’s and books on our Rangliste Merchandise Page (click here to see). In less than five minutes he gave me information on the balance of Berger’s career, including all of the decorations that he ever received]! It is a beautiful presentation, truly one-of-a-kind. We have some other research material that will come with this set to assist you in your enjoyment of this historic royal gift.
This postcard shows the Crown Prince and Crown Princess. He is dressed in the 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1’s feldgrau attila. The photograph is between 1916 and 1918 as he has the PLM at his throat. He also wears a breast star of the Order of the Black Eagle and a fairly large ribbon bar. The postcard was not mailed.
This postcard depicts a very young Crown Prince and Princess. It certainly is an early shot of them as a couple. He is wearing the 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß’s uniform, complete with a medal bar and an Order of the Black Eagle Breast Star. The postcard has not been mailed.
This is an interesting photograph, which dates from the 1920’s. It shows a group of twenty-eight officers on what I believe is a Cruiser. The first row shows the ship’s senior officers, many of whom are wearing the 1914 Iron Cross 1st or 2nd Class. I also see an Iron Cross 1st Class equivalent from Oldenburg and Mecklenburg-Schwerin on a tunic or two. The ship’s commander is readily visible in the middle of the front row. He is wearing the uniform of a Kapitän zur See, complete with an old-fashioned, winged-collar shirt. As a matter of fact, as I look more closely at the EK 2 ribbon in his buttonhole, I believe I see the crown and crossed swords of the Knights Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order! The photo, which measures 5” x 7 1/4,” is housed in a period brown wooden frame measuring 6 1/2” x 9.” This is a real research project for the right collector.
This is a very high-quality, silver-toned, patriotic frame in the shape of an Iron Cross. The frame measures 5 3/4″ x 6 1/4.” Among the Iron Cross’s arms are laurel leaves on one side, with oak leaves and acorns on the other. An oval-shaped inset in the center measures 2″ x 2 3/4.” It allows a photograph to be displayed within the oval. A crown appears directly over the oval space’s top.
The reverse sports two means of displaying the frame. First a small easel appears, which when set in place, allows the frame to be displayed on a flat surface. An eyelet at its top means it could be hung from the wall using a nail or picture hanger. A vertical attachment is also present whereby you can insert a photograph for display. The easel device is mounted to its reverse.
The subject shown here comes from a Kaiser Wilhelm I postcard. He is seen in his full dress uniform and wears the Orden pour le Mérite at his neck, Hohenzollern House Order Kollar, and a large medal bar that includes the 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class. Two breast stars are on his left breast.
While this is how the frame came to us, of course you may insert most any postcard (some trimming will be necessary), other original photograph, or CdV. The frame is in very fine condition.