GERMANY – COMMEMORATIVE DESK PEICE – MADE FROM THE WOOD FROM THE GERMAN BATTLESHIP S.M.S. PRINZ REGENT LUITPOLD
This is a most interesting small commemorative wood barrel.
The S.M.S. Prinz Regent Luitpold was named for Luitpold (1821-1912) who was the regent and ruler of Bavaria from 1886-1912. He held his position beginning in 1886 when King Ludwig II (Mad Ludwig) was deposed when he was judged mentally incompetent and removed as King. Under mysterious circumstances Ludwig II drowned the day after his removal. Ludwig II’s younger brother Prinz Otto was also judged incompetent and while called King Otto, he never sat on the throne. Thus Luitpold became the Regent and ruled until his death in 1912. Following him Ludwig III (1845-1921) became the final King of Bavaria in 1913. Like all of the heads of the German houses he stepped down in November 1918.
The S.M.S. Prinz Regent Luitpold was one of the more modern battleships in the Kaiserliche Marine having been commissioned in August 1913. She was the fifth and final ship of the Kaiser Class of battleships. She served in most of the actions of the German Navy during WW I. This included the Battle of Jutland where she was assigned to the V. Division of III. Battleship Geschwader. While she participated in the final battle of the battleship era she scored no hits against English battleships nor was she damaged. She saw action against Riga in 1917. After the war as a result of the Treaty of Versailles she and all of the other more modern battleships were ordered to the British port of Scapa Flow. The German admiral commanding all of these ships ordered them to be scuttled rather than remain in British hands. This event took place on 21 June 1919.
Thus some enterprising soul (I can’t say if he was English or German.) took wood from the sunken ship and fashioned this small barrel. On the side of the barrel is a small brass plaque stating that the wood came from the sunken battleship and the date of the scuttling of her and the German fleet.
This is a fine remembrance and I have been using it on my desk (Which is getting VERY full and I would appreciate help in restoring order to the desk.) as a pencil cup. I am sure the new owner will find a fine way to put this to good use!