This single shoulder board, that was once the property of Baden’s Großherzog Friedrich II (1857-1928), is very rare and desirable shoulder board for this well-known member of German royalty.
Großherzog Friedrich II was Baden’s final ruler who, like all of the Imperial German heads of state, was swept from his throne with WW I’s end. Along with Hesse-Darmstadt, Baden had the largest military after the four Imperial German Kingdoms (Prussia, Bavaria, Württemberg, and Saxony). Friedrich II was the Regimental Chef (Patron) of more than one regiment, as he was of Bavaria’s 8. Infanterie-Regiment Großherzog Friedrich II. von Baden in this instance. The regiment was founded in 1753 and garrisoned at Metz, where it was attached to the Bavarian II. Armeekorps. Although he was the regiment’s royal patron, his royal cypher did NOT appear on its shoulder boards (the regimental number did so, instead).
The shoulder board measures 1 ” x 4 ¼.” It features two Russian-style gold bullion ropes, with a single band of silver bullion in between them. The silver bullion features the blue chevrons that identify the boards as Bavarian. An “8” appears in the shoulder board’s center. Two silver-toned pips appear above and below the numeral, for a total of four. [Silver-toned pips indicated an à la Suite officer, confirming the unique rank that was strictly reserved for members of royalty. Gold pips were used for field officers]. The board’s reverse reveals a strap that allowed it to be slipped onto a tunic. Some mothing appears on the strap’s side. Its underlay is made of red felt.