This is a marvelous three place medal bar for a soldier who saw service in the German colonies. From left to right we see:…
This is a marvelous three place medal bar for a soldier who saw service in the German colonies. From left to right we see:…
This seems to be our week to offer you unusual headdress! We are most pleased to be able to offer an officer schirmmütze which would have been correct for use in Deutsche Südwest Afrika (German Southwest Africa) or Deutsche Ost Afrika (German East Africa)….
This is a pair of shoulder straps for an Enlisted Man/NCO who served in the Schutztruppen or the Colonial service.
They are in very good service and show honest age and have clearly been removed from a tunic…..
This may well be one of the rarest General Officer’s pickelhauben that we have ever offered. It is a highly-prized Colonial General/Beamte (Official) Pickelhaube. In the Imperial German Army those officers who held Beamte status often displayed a small eagle on their wappens to distinguish them from the line-military officers who held tactical or field responsibilities……
It is a very high-quality IOD 1892/1913 officer’s Degen for the Colonial Schutztruppen. The overall sword’s length (in the scabbard) is 39.” The black scabbard is in extraordinarily beautiful condition. On its own, the sword measures 37.5,” and features Kaiser Wilhelm II’s cyphers and the Reichsadler……
COLONIAL – SWORD – OFFICER – WITH SWORD HANGER AND PORTÉPÉE – FIRST PATTERN WITH CROWN.
Today we are offering an Imperial German Colonial Officer’s sword. It is of the “First Pattern,” which was used from 1889 through 1913. It is distinguished by a Hohenzollern Crown on the pommel. The overall sword’s length (in the scabbard) is 40.” The sword’s length (without the scabbard) measures 37.” The sword’s grip is double-wire-wrapped in sharkskin. Kaiser Wilhelm II’s cypher also appears on the grip. A sword hanger and a correct portépée (the latter being quite scarce) are attached to the sword. The sword’s scabbard is made of nickel. The sword blade is marked “Eisenhauer” and features either a manufacturer’s hallmark with which I am not familiar, or it could be someone’s initials.
Colonial swords are never easy to come by. This is a particularly fine example. It is a consignment item.
SOUTHWEST AFRICA – TUNIC – COLONIAL/HEIMETAT (HOME SERVICE) – OFFICER – FELDGRAU.
This is one of the most amazing colonial feldgrau tunics that we have ever offered, as well as being of the highest-quality and rarity. It is for an Oberleutnant who served in German Southwest Africa (Deutsche Südwest Afrika – DSW). The Colonial Feldgrau Tunic was correct for wear when the soldier returned from his service in DSW to Germany and was now considered correct for the Heimetat (Home Service). Officers of the Heimetat wore tunics like this, although they wore different pickelhauben. [We recently sold a Heimetat pickelhaube that, interestingly, was the LAST pickelhaube to be authorized for that service. It also was quite rare. We also sold a correct Heimetat officer’s brocade and belt. That brocade belt was 100% correct for this tunic].
The DSW colony was lost quite early in WW I, so many of its former officers who returned to Germany would have worn this tunic, not to mention officers who had returned to Germany PRIOR to the war’s outbreak. [PLEASE NOTE: This tunic is ALSO an M-1915 Friedensrock (Peace Coat)]!
The Colonial/Heimetat Feldgrau Tunic’s material is an ultra-high-quality, twill wool that feels quite smooth to the touch. A total of eight crowned silver buttons runs down the tunic’s center. The tunic’s handsome, blue collar is attached to a massive pair of silver bullion litzen, each of which measures 2” x 6.” The same blue runs down the tunic’s center and colors the cuffs. Each cuff sports a handsome, silver-bullion litzen and a silver-crowned button. Each shoulder board is of the sewn-in variety that displays an Oberleutnant’s single, gold pip. A small, silver-crowned button further secures each shoulder board. The correct, blue underlay covers the shoulder strap’s bottom. A small button also sits underneath the left shoulder strap, which would have had an aiguillette attached to it. The tunic’s left breast displays three sewn-in loops, measuring a total of 2.5” in length, for the accommodation of a three-to-five-place ribbon bar.
The Colonial/Heimetat Feldgrau Tunic’s reverse features six more silver-crowned buttons (three per side) attached to either side of the rear vent. The familiar blue trim also appears. The tunic’s interior reveals a complete, handsome, gray, silk liner that is in excellent condition.
I want to add one final word about ALL of the silver buttons on this Colonial/Heimetat Feldgrau Tunic. EVERY single one is made of frosted silver, and each is an absolute work of art.
The condition of this AMAZING Colonial/Heimetat Feldgrau Tunic is as close to perfect as you will ever see. It is the first of its type that I have seen. To my way of thinking, one would be absolutely unable to upgrade it!
This postage stamp came from Deutsch-Südwestafrika (German Southwest Africa)…..
This is a fascinating painting of the S.M.S. Emden. The S.M.S. Emden was a Kleiner (Light) Cruiser that officially joined the Kaiserliche Marine in 1909…..
This is a consignment item. It is a pre WW I belt buckle for an enlisted man who served with the Imperial Germany’s colonial troops (Schutztruppen), See-Bataillone, or Marine-Infanterie. The buckle is brass with a nickel center. The differences between a Prussian Army buckle and this example are subtle and center on the Hohenzollern Crown. [In the photos that accompany our description, we will show an Army buckle for comparison]. These buckles are very scarce. In our twenty-year history, we have only offered two other examples. This is a must for you Colonial or See-Bataillone collectors.
This is a canceled postage stamp from German East Africa (Deutsche Ostafrika), the largest of Germany’s colonies outside of China…..
This is a canceled postage stamp from German East Africa (Deutsche Ostafrika), the largest of Germany’s colonies outside of China…..
This is a canceled postage stamp from German East Africa (Deutsche Ostafrika), the largest of Germany’s colonies outside of China. …..
This is a canceled postage stamp from German East Africa (Deutsche Ostafrika), the largest of Germany’s colonies outside of China……
This is a cancelled postage stamp from German East Africa ( Deutsche Ostafrika)……
This is a cancelled postage stamp from German East Africa ( Deutsche Ostafrika)……
This book covers the awarding of the 1914 Iron Cross and the German Wound Badge in Southwest Africa during World War One. ….
This is a cigarette card album that was produced in 1936. It deals with Imperial Germany’s colonies……
This is an unused postage stamp from colonial German Cameroon……
This is a lovely set of six used postage stamps from colonial German Southwest Africa. The German colony Deutsch-Südwestafrika (DSWA) was administered by Germany from 1884 into 1915. With WW I’s onset, the territory was taken over by British (South African) forces. The stamps, which are cancelled, depict Kaiser Wilhelm II’s royal yacht, the S.M.Y. Hohenzollern, in vivid colors. The set consists of three cancelled ten-pfennig (green) stamps and three cancelled five pfennig (red) stamps.
This is an unused 4 POSTAGE STAMP SET from Colonial German New Guinea…..
These are the most interesting and delicate spoons we have ever encountered. …..
This ornate document is for the award of the very popular Colonial Lion Badge in silver. ….
This is a very engaging watch fob from the German colony of Südwest-Afrika……
This is the Colonial Denkmünze (Service) Medal from 1912. It was awarded to those who had served overseas in Germany’s colonies. The obverse features a profile view of Kaiser Wilhelm II, along with his royal cypher. The medal’s reverse is bronze-toned and measures 1 1/4″ in diameter. It boasts a Hohenzollern Crown and the legend “Den Tapferen Streitern Für Deutchlands Ehre” (The Brave Battle for Germany’s Honor). The medal is in very fine condition. It comes complete with the correct red, black, and white ribbon.
I was quite pleased to acquire this small medal bar. Generally, finding a two-place medal bar is not a great cause for excitement…..
This is a high-quality cigarette case that once belonged to a German See-Battalion soldier based in China…..
Beginning in the late 19th Century, Germany began building up its presence in China…..
This is a wonderful Japanese-produced album of the type greatly prized by German sailors, soldiers, etc., who passed through Japan while serving in China. …..
This is a wonderful Japanese-produced album of the type greatly prized by German sailors, soldiers, etc., who passed through Japan while serving in China. Albums such as these also might have been purchased by German sailors in the merchant marine…..
This is one of the ever-popular albums acquired by German sailors and colonial soldiers while they traveled in Japan and China during Germany’s colonial occupation of China…….
This is without a doubt THE most magnificent photo album we have ever offered…..
Some of the most amazing veteran items came from those men who saw either Army or Navy service in East Asia. Elegantly handcrafted photo albums and marvelous hand carved photo frames like today’s offering were common…..
This is a wappen for an Enlisted Man/NCO who served in the Schutztruppen of the colonial service. These men served in most of Germany’s possessions….
SOUTHWEST AFRICA – GERMANY – TUNIC – ENLISTED MAN/NCO – POST WW I
This is an excellent tunic once worn by a German Enlisted Man/NCO who served in the Colony of German Southwest Africa. This was the lesser known colony as compared to German East Africa which was larger and more productive……..
PRUSSIA – POSTCARD – ADMIRAL EDUARD VON KNORR – NAVY.
Eduard von Knorr was a 19th Century Kaiserliche Marine Admiral who helped establish Germany’s colonial empire. He went from fighting against pirates off Morocco’s coast when he first went to sea in 1856, to receiving the 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class for a battle with a French ship near Havana, Cuba, during the Franco-Prussian War. He became a Konteradmiral in 1883, was promoted to Vizeadmiral in 1889, became an Admiral in 1895, then was knighted in 1896. Along the way, he played various roles in Germany’s African and Pacific colonies.
The postcard depicts him seated with a Red Eagle Order 2nd Class at his throat, and an 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class in his buttonhole. The postcard is in excellent condition and has never been mailed.
Today we are offering a shoulder board that is very rare on several levels. First, it is an M-1915 shoulder board intended for a feldgrau tunic. Second, it is for a Generalmajor a.D., which signified he was a General Officer in retirement. [The Imperial German Army commonly promoted an officer up one grade upon his retirement, which allowed him to receive a greater pension AND the prestige of a higher rank]. Third, and perhaps most important, it is for a General in the Schutztruppen. The Schutztruppen were primarily found in Imperial Germany’s colonial holdings, German East and Southwest Africa, and China, as well as the SeeBataillon. So for all of these reasons, this piece is a very rare bird.
The oversized shoulder board measures 2 ½” x 4 ¾.” The shoulder board features the typical Russian rope bullion: two ropes of gold bullion separated by one subdued silver bullion rope. The silver bullion rope features large black chevrons that confirm its status as a Prussian shoulder board. Some smaller chevrons appear on the gold bullion.
The shoulder board’s reverse has a red felt underlay, as well as a tab that allows the shoulder board to slip onto a tunic. This is a very exciting and rare shoulder board, the first we have ever seen.
Today we are sharing with you a very rare shoulder board for a Generalmajor who served in the Schutztruppen. The Schutztruppen were primarily found in Imperial Germany’s colonial holdings, German East and Southwest Africa, and China, as well as the SeeBataillon.
The shoulder board measures 2 ¼” x 4 ½.” It features the typical Russian rope bullion: two ropes of gold bullion separated by one rope of silver bullion that sports a thin blue trim of blue on its edges. Large black chevrons appear on the silver bullion, confirming its status as a Prussian shoulder board. The shoulder board’s center displays a gold-toned shield featuring a crowned Hohenzollern Eagle in its center that measures ” x 1.”
The shoulder board’s reverse has a red felt underlay, as well as a tab that allows the shoulder board to slip onto a tunic. This is a very exciting and rare shoulder board that is in mint condition. It is the first of its type that we have seen.
GERMAN SOUTHWEST AFRICA – TUNIC AND TROUSERS – NCO – PRIVATELY-PURCHASED UNIFORM
This wonderful, privately-purchased tunic and trousers once belonged to an NCO who served in Deutsche Südwest Afrika (German Southwest Africa). [PLEASE NOTE: It is VERY difficult to offer the tunic and the trousers from any WW I regiment or unit, perhaps because soldiers were allowed to wear their trousers when they returned home. Also, many of their tunics were either stored away or sold to costume houses for use in movies and plays. A number of these tunics eventually reached the USA, where they were used in movies from the 1920’s-1940’s. The German uniforms and gear used in “Sgt. York” make my mouth water]!
The tunic is made of fine, cotton twill that is in marvelous condition. It features six silver buttons running down its center, all of which are decorated with the Hohenzollern Crowns used on Imperial Germany’s colonial uniforms. Each of its four pockets displays a similar silver button to secure it. The shoulder straps display the same button design in a smaller size. Dark-blue piping appears on the tunic’s collar and cuffs.
The aforementioned buttons exhibit a special detail. Each one is attached to the tunic by a special, removable, hoop arrangement. Picture, if you will, a screwback 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. The latter was mounted to its tunic via a small hole that allowed the Cross’s backing plate to be inserted through it, then screwed on. The removable mounting hoop enables these buttons to be attached through similar holes cut into the tunic, thus eliminating the need to sew them on. I have NEVER seen anything like this before, although I have seen certain Bavarian General Officer’s tunics employ such systems for their shoulder boards’ buttons.
As noted above, the shoulder straps are sewn-in on one end, while the other end is secured by a small, silver, Hohenzollern-Crowned button. A series of black chevrons appears on the shoulder straps’ white background. The tunic’s left breast pocket features a magnetic 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class secured within a set of sewn-in loops. The paint on the Cross’s obverse is in excellent condition, rating right at 100%. The final detail to the tunic’s obverse is a large set of four horizontal, sewn-in loops above its left breast pocket. These were for a large, extensive ribbon bar that could display six-to-eight decorations. This combination of a 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class with such a large ribbon bar is all a bit unusual to discover on German NCO’s colonial tunic.
The trousers are also made of cotton twill. The stripes displayed on the side of each trouser leg are a slightly lighter blue than the tunic. Six bone buttons appear on the trousers’ waist, a sizing device graces the rear, and a very deep pocket is present on either side. Each trouser leg’s bottom features a slit to accommodate a boot. Ties are attached to the pant legs to secure them underneath the wearer’s socks.
The tunic’s condition is excellent, overall. Some wear is present along the collar, but that is its only issue. I only wish I had a suitable schirmmütze to go with the group!
GROßADMIRAL’S SHIP’S FLAG WITH STORAGE BAG.
This is a consignment item. The Kaiserliche Marine (and its improvement) was a project close to the hearts of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Imperial German Navy’s Secretary of State, Alfred von Tirpitz. As Queen Victoria of England’s eldest grandson (Wilhelm’s mother was Victoria’s eldest daughter), Wilhelm spent a good part of his childhood visiting England and hobnobbing with his many royal British relations. His regard for his grandmother’s naval forces eventually became a passion for Germany to equal and SURPASS his British cousin’s Royal Navy. Under Wilhelm II and von Tirpitz a massive build-up took place that saw the Kaiserliche Marine’s scope greatly advance. No matter how many ships Germany built, however, England continually raised the ante by producing more ships with much-improved designs. Germany had spent much of the 18th and 19th Centuries struggling to unite its many small states and kingdoms, and fending off incursions from the likes of Napoleon, which left it little time to pursue foreign colonial expansion. By the time Germany finally consolidated into an empire, only a few small areas were available for colonization. Also, Chancellor von Bismarck had disdained colonial expansion, and had seen little need for a larger navy, which was one of the many reasons that von Bismarck found himself retired shortly after Wilhelm II ascended the Imperial throne!
Once he came into power, Wilhelm II wasted no time in expanding his beloved navy. Until 1901, the Kaiserliche Marine’s highest rank had been that of an Admiral, which was equivalent to a General der Infanterie. [The German Navy’s only three “Flag Ranks” were Konteradmiral, Vizeadmiral, and Admiral]. This meant the Navy had no rank equivalent to the Army’s Generaloberst or Generalfeldmarschall. Wilhelm changed the situation in 1901 by establishing the rank of Großadmiral and, unsurprisingly, naming himself the rank’s first recipient. From that time until the German Empire’s demise, a total of six men achieved the rank, (listed below).
1901 – Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859–1941)
1901 – King Oskar II of Sweden (1829–1907)
28 June 1905 – Hans von Koester (1844–1928)
4 September 1909 – HRH Prinz Heinrich of Prussia (1862–1929)
27 January 1911 – Alfred von Tirpitz (1849–1930)*
*[Promoted on an Honorary Basis w/o Patent, and thus not authorized to wear a Großadmiral’s crossed batons.
Instead, his shoulder boards and/or epaulettes displayed four pips].
31 May 1918 – Henning von Holtzendorff (1853–1919)
Our offering today is an ultra rare Großadmiral’s flag. [PLEASE NOTE: in the Kaiserliche Marine, an Admiral of any rank was considered a “Flag” officer. Thus he was permitted to fly “his” flag from any ship that he was stationed aboard or visiting. This was especially true when a Großadmiral visited a ship]. The flag is amazingly beautiful to look at. My imagination immediately whisks me to when it flew from a battleship hosting one of the Großadmirale (a rather infrequent occasion). The massive flag measures 87″ x 89″ (220cm x 225cm) and is made with two different types and weights of cotton. The flag’s bulk consists of very gauzy, lightweight cotton, which was necessary for such a large flag. When held up to the light, it appears almost opaque. The areas featuring the German cross sport a far heavier cotton to protect the overall design and promote an inherent sense of strength.
The flag’s center features the pair of crossed batons emblematic of a Großadmiral’s office and rank. [To view similar crossed batons, you can look at those on Kaiser Wilhelm II’s single shoulder board (click here to see) or those on Großadmiral Hans von Koester epaulettes (click here to see) Both are currently for sale]. A Großadmiral’s batons, whether on his shoulder boards/epaulettes or on the actual baton he carried, were totally different from those for a Generalfeldmarschall (and far more beautiful, in my opinion). At any rate, the flag’s batons are very large and beautifully detailed. They give the flag some vivid pops of color, including metallic gold, blue, and red. The metallic paint was applied by hand. The flag’s artwork is amazing. The time and effort that went into creating this breathtaking flag had to have been considerable.
Many different sections of the flag do display stains. I do not know what caused them, but they appear across the flag. The flag shows MINIMAL mothing. NO markings whatsoever are present on the flag’s bunting. Two attachments for the lanyards necessary for when the flag was flown are present. Its storage bag is made from lightweight canvas and measures 11 ½” x 42.” The bag is dingy with age and has several holes and rust stains at its base. The base is held together by a metal clip in its center.
The flag is in surprisingly good condition, considering its age, size and the materials from which it was constructed. The consignor tells us that the auction house from which he purchased the flag stated that it had belonged to Großadmiral von Holtzendorff. No provenance other than this information is available, however. It remains an amazing historical artifact.
FRACK BAR – FIVE-PLACE – WITH MATCHING TIE-CHAIN DEVICE.
While some consider this a medal bar, it actually is a Frack Bar. The major difference between the two is that a Frack Bar’s decorations are usually at an angle (some more pronounced than others). Today’s example is only at a slight angle. The other big difference is that a WW I medal bar usually features the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class on the extreme left (facing the viewer). A Frack Bar places it on the extreme right. Oftentimes Frack Bars were used by naval officers and those in the Colonial Service. That said, today we are offering a marvelous five-place Frack Bar with a matching tie-chain (the latter for the veteran’s use when wearing a coat and tie in a civilian setting). I must say that it is QUITE unusual to find a matching pair like this. It is far more common to find either one or the other.
Its medals are listed from left to right below.
1). Medaille zur Erinnerung an den 1. Oktober 1938. This medal was given following the Sudetenland’s occupation. Approximately 1.1 million were awarded from 1938 to 1940. The obverse shows two muscular men running with what appear to be flags. An eagle and swastika appear under them. The conquest of the Sudetenland was an early action by the Third Reich, assuming territory settled by Germans in Czechoslovakia. The reverse of the medal says “Ein Volk Ein Reich Ein Führer” with the date 1. October 1938. The medal is mounted on a red and black ribbon.
2). Hindenburg Cross with Swords for Combatants. This decoration was authorized after the death of Germany’s President and former Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg. It came in three classes: for Combatants, for Non Combatants, and for Next-of-Kin. The medal is mounted on a red, black, and white ribbon.
3). The Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach’s Knight’s Cross 2nd Class of the Order of the White Falcon with Swords. This is one of my favorite decorations. It features a gorgeous white and gold eagle superimposed over a green Maltese Cross with a pair of swords extending diagonally through the falcon’s body. The cross is attached to a large articulated crown. The entire decoration is suspended from a handsome red ribbon.
4). 1939 War Merit Cross 2nd Class. This is a Third Reich era decoration. It is a Maltese Cross. It is gold-toned, with a swastika in the center. The reverse features the date “1939″ in the center. The decoration is accompanied by a red, black, and white ribbon.
5). 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class for Combatants. The decoration is suspended from a black and white ribbon.
The Frack Bar’s reverse is covered in green felt. The measurements of the bar are 6” x 2.5.” The pin to secure the bar is present. While not an actual part of the Frack Bar, a Silver Army Wound Badge is included, as is a SIX-place tie-bar. It has each of the five decorations noted above, plus a WW I Silver Army Wound Badge. The group came to us WITH the wound badge, so it is only fitting that it is included here.
This wonderful Frack Bar is in excellent condition. Its centerpiece is the Knight’s Cross 2nd Class with Swords of the Order of the White Falcon. It is in excellent condition with no faults to the enamel. This is a really exciting set that represents a military career that spanned two wars.
It is an officer’s pickelhaube. It is for a Schutztruppen officer, one who had already served in the colonies and had been reassigned to Berlin’s Reichskolonialamt.
Here is where its story gets very interesting. The uniform regulations for this helmet were introduced on 25 January 1916. What makes this particular helmet so special is that by 1916 pickelhauben had been replaced by stahlhelme at the front. Thus, pickelhauben were relegated to ceremonial functions back home in Germany or, if used in the front’s rear areas, they were usually concealed beneath canvas covers. This date is also important because it was the LAST spiked helmet to be authorized by the War Ministry! [By this time, all of Germany’s overseas colonies had been pretty much captured by the Allies. Generalmajor Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck was still engaging the British Army all over East Africa, but Germany’s colonial heyday was kaput].
The officer who originally owned this helmet initially had served in either German East Africa, German Southwest Africa, or Cameroon, which is confirmed by the helmet’s silver furniture. He was based in the Reichskolonialamt Building at No. 62 Wilhelmstrasse in Berlin. [The building eventually was demolished in 1938]. For all intents and purposes, the Reichskolonialamt was the “Home Office” for Germany’s colonial administration. [We are including a photograph of the building among the photographs accompanying our description].
The helmet’s leather body is in excellent condition. It is virtually unblemished and smooth as a baby’s bottom. It is little different from the day it was purchased from the military effects shop. The helmet’s front visor is squared and its furniture is silver, with the exception of the gold officers’ stars. Its chin scales are convex. Its beautifully-frosted wappen really stands out. Its Hohenzollern Eagle is ultra-wide like a Garde-Regiment’s wappen, but its overall appearance is markedly different. The eagle’s wingtips extend all the way back to the Reich’s kokarde. A Hohenzollern Crown sits above the Eagle with its royal stole flowing out from either side of the crown’s bottom. The Eagle’s chest sports a shield in its center that displays another Hohenzollern Eagle. All of the pickelhaube’s furniture and wappen sport an absolutely sumptuous patina that is striking, to say the least. It has clearly been decades since this helmet was cleaned (if ever). The spike is extremely tall, almost the same height as those seen on Saxon officers’ spiked helmets. As this is a Reichskolonial helmet, it does NOT sport a State kokarde, only the Reich’s kokarde.
The helmet’s interior contains a very lightly-used brown leather sweatband that is attached to a beautiful, dark-green, ribbed-silk liner. It is in gorgeous condition, with absolutely no signs of wear. ALL of the original hardware is in place underneath the silk liner. Of course, NO double holes appear where the wappen is attached to the leather helmet’s body.
The pickelhaube comes from a very advanced collection. The helmet is ultra-rare. This collector has previously provided us wonderful rare items that are in top condition. He really knows his “stuff.” He states that he knows of only one other helmet like this pattern in existence. Now that, dear readers, is rare in anyone’s book! Having the LAST authorized pickelhaube is amazing in and of itself. To have it be colonial AND come with the correct dress belt and buckle is VERY exciting. [Upon his return to Germany, this officer would have worn the Heimat (Homeland) uniform.
This is a consignment item.
This is a consignment item. It is a wappen that was suitable for an enlisted man/NCO’s See-Bataillone Tschako. The See-Bataillone was the Imperial German version of the U.S. Marines. Its members’ basic duty was twofold. First, they protected their country’s embassies located in foreign countries, and second, they served as security squads aboard German battleships. The See-Bataillone consisted of three battalions prior to Imperial Germany’s pre-WW I Buildup of military units. See-Bataillon Nr I was located in Kiel. See-Bataillon Nr II was headquartered in Wilhelmshaven, and See-Bataillon Nr III was assigned to China. In addition to its two basic functions of embassy and shipboard security, these units also assisted with military functions in Africa and East Asia. During the months preceding and immediately following WW I’s advent, See-Bataillon Nr III soon ceased to exist as the Japanese captured the Chinese territory held by Germany. The rest of the See-Bataillone expanded greatly and was melded with what became known as the Marine-Infanterie. They fought extensively in Flanders (Belgium) and expanded to multi-division strength. [The See-Bataillone is one of my favorite collecting areas; both the colonial and naval aspects are fascinating. Take a look. You will find its history quite interesting]!
The tschako was the See-Bataillone’s “dress” headgear rather than, say, a pickelhaube. For daily wear officers and enlisted men/NCO’s wore schirmmützen and mützen, respectively. Its wappen is made of high-quality prewar brass and dates from 1900 to 1910. It measures 2 ¾” x 3 ¾.” An exquisitely-detailed Hohenzollern Eagle with outspread wings is its central motif. It is topped by a Hohenzollern Crown that emits a flowing imperial stole. A shield featuring another Hohenzollern Eagle is centered within the main Eagle’s chest. It is VERY impressive! The primary Eagle clutches an anchor in his claws that indicates its naval status in the See-Bataillone. The wappen’s reverse reveals two clips that allowed it to be slipped onto the Tschako.
This first-rate wappen is in excellent condition, overall.
AWARD DOCUMENT GROUP FOR GERMAN SOUTHWEST AFRICA SCHUTZTRUPPEN MEMBER.
This is a consignment item. The document group covers a German Southwest Africa (DSW) Schutztruppen member named Hugo Kleemann. His documents are chronologically listed below.
1). Document for the Award of the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class. The document measures 6 ¾” x 10.” At this point Kleemann was an Unteroffizier. It is dated 15 May 1919, after he had been returned to Germany. The document’s left section depicts a standing enlisted man/NCO holding the German national flag (NOT the kriegsflagge) beneath a 1914 Iron Cross. The man is wearing the Schutztruppen’s well-known hut (hat) with its half-turned-up brim. The document is stamped in blue ink with the Schutztruppen unit’s identification “Kommando der Schutztruppen im Reichskolonialministerium” (Imperial Colonial Office Protection Forces Command) accompanying a scrawled official’s signature. The document clearly states that on this date Kleemann had received his Iron Cross 2nd Class.
2). Ausweiß (Identity Transcript). The document’s obverse is dated 16 May 1919. It was issued in Friedrichshafen on the same date, and measures 8″ x 10 ¼.” It bears the unit stamp for the “Reichs-Kolonial amt Kommando der Schutztruppen” (an abbreviated form of Imperial Colonial Office Protection Forces Command). It also features a hastily scrawled Major’s signature. The document’s reverse states that Kleemann was honorably separated from the Schutztruppen effective 30 January 1919.
3). Fifteen-Years Loyal Service Award Document. It is a first class award that bears the Schutztruppen’s unit stamp. It was signed by the same officer who signed Kleemann’s 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class Award Document. The Service award’s date is 31 October 1919. It measures 6 ¼” x 7.”
4). Kolonialabzeichen Urkunde (Colonial Badge Award Document). The award’s date was 22 March 1922. The document measures 7 ¼” x 8 ½.” Two of the sides display African motifs such as a native shield, spears and swords. A lion’s head decorates the document’s top. The phrase “Afrika, Kiautschou, and Südsee” is displayed at the document’s bottom enclosed within a wreath. The document was signed with the purple grease pencil often used by officers in the field.
5). Hindenburg Cross for Combatants Award Document. This was awarded through the Hamburg police department (we later discover that Kleemann was a Hamburg policeman). The basic form date given for the preprinted document is 13 July 1934. It was signed and issued on 19 December 1934 by a police official. It measures 5 ¾” x 8 ¼.”
6). Police Department Long-Service Award Document. This is a very fancy velum document attesting to twenty-five years of long service to the police department. The document is signed in Berlin with a deeply embossed eagle and swastika. It is dated 26 September 1938, and is signed at the bottom with a reproduction signature for “Der Führer and Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler.” The document measures 8 ¼” x 11 ½,” and is four pages long, only one of which was used. It is a very impressive document that was presented in the name of the German people.
This most interesting document group celebrates a man’s service during and after WW I. You may wish to purchase both the group and the book on Iron Cross awards in German Southwest Africa, which would make a fine companion for the documents.
SHOULDER BOARDS -NAVAL SEE-BATAILLON LEUTNANT’S.
This is a consignment item. The See-Bataillon was Imperial Germany’s version of the USA’s Marine Corps. Its members filled a number of roles: serving aboard large naval vessels, providing security at German embassies in foreign countries, etc. (e.g., the entire See-Bataillon Nr III was based in China to oversee Germany’s colonial interests). These shoulder boards are of the sewn-in variety and measure 1″ x 4.” Each displays a large Hohenzollern Crown on its obverse. Half-black/half-red-and-white chevrons are interwoven into the boards’ silver bullion, indicating the See-Bataillon’s status as a national entity (rather than coming from a particular state or kingdom). The reverse sports a white fabric backing.
The shoulder boards are in excellent condition.
This is a very scarce autographed postcard of Vizeadmiral Wilhelm von Lans (1861-1947). Both the postcard and signature are in very fine condition……
Kaiser Wilhelm II had a number of different patterns of tableware for use not only at his various palaces, but aboard his yacht, the S. M. Y. Hohenzollern, and even when traveling with the fleet aboard the S. M. S. Deutschland. I have seen many of them, but today’s offering is new to me. Germany’s colonial expansion to China engendered a great interest in that ancient country’s art and culture. Our plate comes from the so-called “Damaskus Service” and shows an oriental influence. The plate displays fifteen magenta panels that imitate the wavy Damascus pattern found on ultra-high quality sword and dagger blades. [It is not known why this service, decorated in the Chinese manner, is called the “Damaskus Service.” Some experts suggest that the Emperor was given a plate as a present while traveling to the Orient (he visited Damascus in 1898). This may have formed the basis of the Berlin service’s decorative style]. The plate measures 9 3/4″ in diameter. The plate is edged in gold, with a further intricate gold design between it and the magenta panels. The plate’s center boasts exquisitely-etched gold arabesques and flowers, one of which looks like a lotus. On the reverse we see the royal Wilhelm Rex (King) cypher, the KPM manufacturer’s hallmark, and the date 1903, when the plate was manufactured and placed into service. This is a fine example of a very intricate and rare Kaiser Wilhelm II table setting.
The S.M.S. Iltis was one of the Kaiserliche Marine’s most famous ships. She was also one of the smallest – but she and her crew had big hearts, especially on 17 June 1900, as you will see. The Iltis was a kanonenboot that was designed to patrol Germany’s and her Colonial empire’s waters and inland possessions. She was commissioned in 1898 and sent to China. She arrived during the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901). [It was a revolt against the foreign powers who by then were China’s de facto rulers. Most of the European powers were present, as well as Japan. The Boxers revolted against the unjust rule, accompanied by forces backed (on an informal basis) by the Chinese Empress. On 17 June 1900, a battle took place at the Taku Forts between Allied naval units and Chinese forces. The S.M.S. Iltis suffered substantial damage during the battle, although the Allies were victorious. Several of her crew were killed, while others were wounded, including her commander Korvettenkapitän Wilhelm Lans.
Kaiser Wilhelm was ecstatic, not only with his colonial forces (which he had pushed for over von Bismarck’s objections), but with his beloved Navy. Therefore, on 24 June 1900 he awarded the PLM to Lans. Even more unprecedented, he awarded a PLM to the S.M.S. Iltis! From that point forward, the ship proudly wore an oversized PLM on the jack stand at the ship’s bow. The Iltis then continued to patrol the waters of China until 1914, when WW I led Germany’s East Asian Squadron (Ostasien Geschwader) to return home.
Our colorized postcard shows the S.M.S. Iltis at the height of the Battle of the Taku Forts. The Iltis is in the foreground, her twin battle ensigns flying proudly in the breeze. Smoke from her cannons partially covers the ship. The forts can be seen behind her, as well as another Allied ship. Several splashes are visible in the water around her. Below the ship is the legend “S.M.S. Iltis vor Taku am 17 Juni 1900.” The scene comes from a painting by a noted German naval artist (I believe it is Claus Bergen). The postcard was not mailed, but does bear a rubber stamp from a Berlin postcard shop.