PRUSSIA – SCHIRMÜTZE / VISOR CAP – OFFICER – MEMBER OF A ROYAL HOUSE – REGIMENT DES GARDE DU CORPS
Regiment des Garde du Corps was the most fabled regiment in the German army and the officers who served in it were all members of the German nobility or royalty. Founded in 1746 under King Frederick the Great of Prussia and garrisoned in Potsdam, where Frederick the Great built Sans Souci a homage to the French castle at Versailles. He was very much a Francophil and the language at court was French rather than German which he found barbaric. Even the highest Prussian order had a French name: the Orden Pour le Mérite.
All of the truly elite Prussian Garde regiments were garrisoned in Postdam rather than Berlin. Potsdam was fortunate to not suffer bomb damage and Sans Souci and Cecilienhof which was the last German caste built for Crown Prince Wilhelm and the Crown Princess Cecilie. This caste was the site of the Potsdam Conference of 1945 where the fate of Germany, Europe, and Japan were decided by Harry Truman, and Winston Churchill, and Josef Stalin. This beautiful caste is open today as a hotel and we have had the pleasure of staying there while visiting Potsdam. I have a fond place for Potsdam in my heart as it is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in Germany.
Pre WW I officer visor cap for the Regiment des Garde du Corps:
The cap features a fine black visor.
The body of the cap is a white wool made of doe skin wool. This is a very tight weave wool which is far different from the wool that we normally se in visor caps.
Above the visor we see a wide red trim band.
At the top of the cap there is a narrow red trim band.
As the cap is white, it is susceptible to dirt.
The interior of the cap is special compared to other examples.
To begin the cap has a light brown sweatband.
As we look at the liner we see that it is a very fine white silk. White silk liners like this are the first sign of it being to a member of a royal family. This is further confirmed by a crowned “M”. But this dear readers is not the crown of a Freiherr or even a Graf. Rather it is crown for a member of a royal house. This effectively brings ownership and unless he had additional caps, this is a one of a kind cap. Looking through the 1914-1918 I see only one man who fits. He is Ferdinand Maximilian who was also an Erbprinz. His final rank was that of Rittmeister a.D. which was a retirement rank. Generally officers were upped one rank upon retirement Now this not to say he is our man. If he left the army prior to 1914 that officer would not appear on the list
This is a consignment item which comes to us from the collection of a very experienced collector.