Prinzregent Luitpold of Bavaria served as Bavaria’s defacto King from 1886, when Ludwig II was deposed (Ludwig mysteriously died the following day in a lake accident), until his death in 1912. He proved to be an able ruler. The Bavarian people were very fond of him. Today we are offering an interesting medallion/pendant that was given as a gift to court favorites. It is an oval-shaped, silver and gold example. It measures 2” x 1,” using the crown as its top point. The Prinzregent is seen in profile view.
The medallion is enclosed within a wreath of leaves, with the Wittelsbach Crown at its top. Both the wreath and crown are GOLD. Four small rubies appear at the 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock positions. In addition, the crown circlet features two small emeralds and a pearl. This, in fact, forms a complete frame, which we will see as we examine the reverse. Another elongated pearl hangs down at the frame’s bottom on the obverse. Looking at the back of the crown, we see that it serves as a holder to mount the medallion on a chain or any other item of the wearer’s choice.
The medallion’s reverse is encased in the GOLD frame. Inscribed on the reverse in Latin is information about Prinzregent Luitpold. It lists his birth information (12 March 1821) and his death date (12 December 1912). These medallions were issued to favored people after his death by members of the Wittelsbach family, including König Ludwig III, who succeeded Luitpold in 1913. It is obviously a much higher level of gift. It would have been given to a lady of much greater importance than one who received the silver example. These medallions were created by Professor W. von Hildebrand (1847-1921), who crafted many items of this nature for the Wittelsbachs. It is a beautiful memento of Prinzregent Luitpold, who was held in the deepest esteem by his subjects.