PRUSSIA – BUSBY – OFFICER – 1. LEIB-HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 1
It is a topnotch officer’s busby from Prussia’s legendary 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1, one of the Imperial German Army’s most fabled Kavallerie Regiments. It was founded in 1741, garrisoned at Danzig-Langfuhr, and attached to the XVII. Armeekorps. The regiment, along with its sister regiment 2. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Königin Victoria von Preußen Nr 2, was one of only two Prussian Army Regiments to display the Totenkopf on their wappens and other headdresses. [Two other NON-Prussian Army Regiments displayed a different Totenkopf-style: the Duchy of Braunschweig’s Husaren-Regiment Nr 17 and Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92. These four were the only Imperial German regiments to display the Totenkopf on their dress headdresses, schirmmützen and mützen].
Our busby’s body is covered with sumptuous opossum fur that is in very fine condition. No fur loss is evident. The magnificent silver/German Silver wappen immediately draws one’s attention and measures 4” x 4.” [This is Figure 20.0 in Jim Turinetti’s Guide to Collecting the Headgear of the 1914 German Army, as well as his Buyer’s Guide]. The wappen’s silver boasts a scrumptious patina. Its Totenkopf’s eyes and nose are backed with black velvet, giving it a sinister appearance. A bandeau (also in silver) sits above the wappen and reads “Mitt Gott fur König und Vaterland,” which is different from the Line-Husaren Regiments’ bandeaux. It sports a constant arch, rather than the dip in its center featured on those worn by the Line-Husaren Regiments. Its chin scales are gold-toned, have retained their correct, leather backing, and are 100% correct for a Husaren busby. This also confirms it is an ALL-ORIGINAL busby (more confirmation follows). The chin scales are pinned-up in the classic Hussar manner (i.e., dropped behind the Feldzeichen, to be connected as needed). As is correct, only one kokarde is present (on the right from the wearer’s perspective). We can tell it is a post-1897 busby, as the single officer’s kokarde is for the Reich and the Feldzeichen (field badge) is for Prussia (prior to 1897, only the Feldzeichen would have been present).
The Feldzeichen sits directly above the wappen at the busby’s front. We can definitely identify it as an officer’s-quality piece from the silver bullion wrapped around it. The badge’s center is made of black velvet.
The busby’s red kolpak also clearly identifies the headdress as a 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1 piece. [If it sported a white kolpak, it would be correct for the 2. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Königin Victoria von Preußen Nr 2]. The kolpak displays a few very small moth nips and moth tracks. They are in no way detractive to its overall presentation.
The busby’s interior reveals a fine, dark-brown, leather sweatband that is in excellent condition. A complete and quite attractive gray silk liner is attached to the sweatband. A busby’s liner differs greatly from that used on a spiked helmet. While the liner IS attached to the sweatband, it is NOT divided into two halves like a pickelhaube’s liner. Instead, it is fashioned from ONE piece of gathered silk.
This is a sensational busby from one of Germany’s most fabled regiments. Kaiser Wilhelm II, Kronprinz Wilhelm, and Generalfeldmarschall August von Mackensen all frequently sported this same busby when they proudly wore its regiment’s uniforms. [Von Mackensen had served in the regiment as a young officer during the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, during which he was awarded the 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class]. This busby was worn by only 0.2% of the Imperial German Army’s officers on the eve of WWI. It will make an amazing centerpiece for ANY collection.
This is a consignment item.