CIGARETTE CASE – PRINZ ADALBERT von PREUßEN
Prinz Adalbert was the only one of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s six sons who served in the Kaiserliche Marine. All the other boys served the Army in one capacity or another. (The Kaiser’s eldest son, Kronprinz Wilhelm, served as an Armee field commander). This large (far larger than most I have seen) cigarette case is silver-toned. It measures 3 1/4″ x 5 1/4.” The case’s dimple-patterned exterior rather resembles silver snake-skin. Its interior, which measures 6″ x 5 1/4″ when fully opened, is covered with a gold wash finish. Engraved in the interior’s left half is Prinz Adalbert’s reproduced signature, along with a personalized dedication to the “Kommandeur I/M. B./R 4.” The dedication concludes “In dankbarer Kameradshaft Treuerden 1916” (In grateful, dearest comradeship, 1916). (One speculates that Prinz Adalbert gave cigarette cases like it to several men who served with him in this unit).
The elastic strap that held the cigarettes in place is long gone. The case’s side catch is hallmarked underneath for .800 silver and its manufacturer, and sports a moon, and a Hohenzollern Crown per Kaiser Wilhelm I’s 1885 royal decree. It is a high-quality cigarette case, given by a member of the royal family. Kaiser Wilhelm II was far more liberal in giving gifts than any of his sons. Gifts from any of the Hohenzollern Princes are quite scarce. I have had the privilege of offering royal gifts from the Kaiser and the Kronprinz, but this is the first time I have had anything from any of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s other sons. The simple reason is that there were not near as many gifts from the sons. Especially from the sons other than the Kronprinz.