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Just In From Germany

Attention!

We notify our Newsletter subscribers when we update our online "Just In From Germany" Merchandise Page. In addition, you will receive early notification when we add new items to any clearance items. More importantly, we notify our list members when we have a sale. These sales are NEVER announced on our web site. They are for our Newsletter subscribers ONLY.

  • PRUSSIA - PICKELHAUBE - GENERAL À LA SUITE’S OR FLÜGELADJUTANT’S - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PRUSSIA – PICKELHAUBE – GENERAL À LA SUITE’S OR FLÜGELADJUTANT’S

    SKU: 04-770 XKJ

    $9,495.00

    PRUSSIA – PICKELHAUBE – GENERAL À LA SUITE’S OR FLÜGELADJUTANT’S .

    This is a very fine Prussian General à la Suite or Flügeladjutant’s pickelhaube. The role of the Imperial German Army General à la Suite was an interesting one. Officers of this type were typically royals or nobles who did NOT have a direct field command. Instead, they were appointed to the à la Suite group based on their birth rather than their military ability. In addition to being more of an honorary officer, they often served their sovereign as a Flügeladjutant. In the Prussian Army, a line or serving General Offizier wore a helmet that had all-gilt furniture, as well as a squared, front visor. The à la Suite General’s had all-silver furniture, with the exception of its gilt-toned officers’ stars.

    The helmet’s leather body is very good, overall. It reveals only a few minor age lines. The helmet’s centerpiece is its Grenadier-style wappen, featuring the ultra widespread wings of the Prussian Eagle. Its wings are so wide that they reach the kokarden’s midpoint. NO other wappen is this wide! A silver sunburst that is superimposed over the Garde Star (composed of black, gold, and white enamel) is centered on the Eagle’s chest. The Garde Star shines like a beacon against the silver background. Please note the Eagle’s simply stunning patina. Every facet of the detailing to the Eagle’s feathers, head, crown, etcetera is absolutely striking.
    As previously mentioned, the front visor is squared. The cruciform, especially due to its gold officers’ stars, really stands out. The fluted spike is quite tall (its owner had a real sense of style). The exterior’s final details are the Prussian State’s and Reich’s kokarden.

    The interior sports a well used, brown, leather sweatband. A rust-colored, ribbed, silk liner is attached to the sweatband. While the liner shows some light wear, it remains obvious that the helmet was definitely worn. ALL of the original hardware appears under the silk liner, with NO signs of double holes. It is a refreshing, all-original pickelhaube that is in very fine condition. This is a consignment item.

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  • PRUSSIA - PICKELHAUBE - GENERAL - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PRUSSIA – PICKELHAUBE – GENERAL

    SKU: 04-771 XJT

    $8,995.00

    PRUSSIA – PICKELHAUBE – GENERAL.

    This is a fine Prussian General’s Pickelhaube that provides an intriguing contrast to the Prussian General à la Suite helmet also offered in this update. The helmet has great eye appeal, with a leather body (skull) that is in good condition, overall. It has a squared front visor rather than a rounded one, as is correct for a General Officer. One area on the right rear section does display some leather-loss. It is actually more of a crack that reveals the material underneath the leather. Another one to one and a half-inch spot appears on the opposite side. Some settling of the crown has occurred at the point where the cruciform is attached, which is a frequent occurrence on helmets that sport large cruciforms.

    A number of other details make up for these minor flaws. All of the furniture is gilt-toned, including the wappen, chin scales, trim, cruciform, officers’ stars, and, of course, the fluted, quite tall spike. The Grenadier-style wappen features the extra wide wings that extend to the kokarden’s midpoints on either side. In mentioning the latter, please note that the correct State’s and Reich’s kokarden are in place.

    The interior reveals a brown leather sweatband that definitely has seen use, with signs of perspiration stains. The silk liner is smooth rather than ribbed in style. This smooth liner is not as common. I often find it on senior officers’ helmets such as our General, here. A rectangular rubber stamp appears on one half of the liner, with much of its information appearing to have been crossed out with black ink. It looks as though some of the info may have been about the manufacturer. It is also possible some information about its original owner has also been obliterated. The liner’s overall condition is near excellent, with just a hint of a spot where a hole has developed. All of the correct hardware is in place, with NO extra holes where the wappen has been attached to leather body. It is a fine example that is fairly priced. This is a consignment item.

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  • BAVARIA - PICKELHAUBE - GENERAL - ADJUTANT OR WAR MINISTRY - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    BAVARIA – PICKELHAUBE – GENERAL – ADJUTANT OR WAR MINISTRY

    SKU: 04-772 XJT

    $7,995.00

    BAVARIA – PICKELHAUBE – GENERAL – ADJUTANT OR WAR MINISTRY .

    In keeping with our offering of Generals’ pickelhauben, we present the pickelhaube of a Bavarian General who served either as an Adjutant or at the Bavarian War Ministry. While its basic shape and leather are good, patches of leather are missing between the cruciform’s four arms. Some settling of the crown has occurred at the point where the cruciform is attached, which is a frequent occurrence on helmets that sport large cruciforms. For some reason, we see this occur more on Bavarian helmets than we do on helmets from other states that display similar cruciforms. Its front visor is squared.

    The helmet’s furniture features a superb, frosted-gold wappen that displays the traditional, twin, rampant, Bavarian Lions. A stunning, unblemished, oval, red, gold, black, and blue enamel shield appears between them. This shield was first introduced to Bavarian General Officers’ helmets in May 1914, just a few months before WW I began in August. All of the helmet’s other metal details, including the chin scales, trim, cruciform, and officers’ stars, are gold-toned. Its very tall, elegant spike is fluted. The exterior’s final detail is a fine pair of State and Reich Officer’s kokarden.

    The spiked helmet’s interior shows a topnotch leather sweatband. The sweatband is a very dark brown, which is a bit unusual. The back visor displays a gilt button that indicates the helmet is a size “57,” which is on the top limit of average (55-57). [Anything below those dimensions was a Small. Anything above it was a large. That said, the largest pickelhaube that I have encountered was a size “60,” which belonged to a General.

    Clearly, Generals had more brains than anybody else and consequently their larger heads needed larger helmets]! A brown, ribbed, silk liner that shows very moderate wear and is in good condition is attached to the liner. ALL of the original hardware for the officers stars and the wappen is in place.

    The helmet DOES feature one oddity that we must share with you. If you look directly below the most forward officers’ star’s hardware, you will see an old, period patch. When one presses on the patch, one can feel a depression that contains a hole. Frankly, I found this very puzzling since the hole is in an odd place. It is nowhere near where the wappen holes appear. All I can theorize is that when the manufacturer was building the helmet he made a mistake in where he drilled the hole for the officer’s star. No other logical explanation exists. [Please remember this is a VERY old patch, and NOT a recent event].

    I feel very confident about this spiked helmet. Its consignor has allowed me to offer it at a very reasonable price for such a piece. It is a real looker that will display most attractively. This is a consignment item.

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  • WÜRTTEMBERG - SHOULDER BOARDS - ARTILLERIE GENERALOBERST - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    WÜRTTEMBERG – SHOULDER BOARDS – ARTILLERIE GENERALOBERST

    SKU: 23-524

    $2,495.00

    WÜRTTEMBERG – SHOULDER BOARDS – ARTILLERIE GENERALOBERST.

    One of my personal interests is shoulder boards/epaulettes, especially when they are for General Officers AND come from states other than Prussia. For your consideration, today I am presenting a very interesting and rare pair of Artillerie Generaloberst’s shoulder boards from the Kingdom of Württemberg. The rank of Generaloberst, one rank below a Generalfeldmarschall, was rarely attained within the Imperial German Army. Early in WWI, two Generalobersts commanded the I. and II. Armees that were massed on the Western Front after invading France through Belgium. Also early in WW I, Paul von Hindenburg was recalled from retirement and made a Generaloberst commanding the German VIII. Armee. His promotion to Generalfeldmarschall did not come until 1 November 1914.

    They feature alternating rows of silver and gold bullion in the Russian braid-style on the obverse. Their red and black chevrons (Württemberg’s state colors) indicate their origin. These same colors appear on the state kokarden for Württemberg’s pickelhauben and kugelhelme. The boards’ triangular formation of three brass pips indicates a Generaloberst. The boards also display the Artillerie’s flaming bomb (grenade). Their reverses display red felt backings. The shoulder boards overall condition is very fine. One can easily see how the shoulder boards are slightly rounded from being worn on a tunic.
    Naturally, whoever buys these shoulder boards will have an interest in their original owner’s identity. We asked a premiere researcher from the UK for his opinion. While he cannot be 100% certain, and notes some differences in how the pips are arranged, he has suggested that they may have belonged to Bavaria’s Prinz-Regent Luitpold (1821-1912). Luitpold was named Regent in 1886 when his nephew, König (Mad) Ludwig II (1845-1886) was removed from office due to mental instability. Although he was replaced by his younger brother, Otto (1848-1913), Otto ALSO was considered mentally unstable. Thus, Luitpold became Bavaria’s Regent. His regency continued until his death in 1912. His son, Ludwig (1845-1921), was then named Regent since King Otto was still locked away. King Otto died in 1913, at which time Prinz Regent Ludwig transitioned from Bavaria’s Regent to its König and ruled as Ludwig III from 1913 until all German royalty abdicated their thrones following WW 1’s end in 1918.

    We believe that these shoulder boards are for Bavaria’s 2. Württembergisches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 29, Prinzregent Luitpold von Bayern. This regiment was founded in 1736. It was garrisoned at Ludwigsburg and attached to Württemberg’s XIII. Armeekorps. I would like to stress that this is a best guess. The Artillerie had only one other Generaloberst and HE was Prussian. It is highly probable that this was an honorary rank for the man who served as the Regimental Chef for the regiment that was named after him.

    These shoulder boards would make an important addition to ANY collection.

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  • ARMY WOUND BADGE - BLACK - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    ARMY WOUND BADGE – BLACK

    SKU: 01-884

    $50.00

    ARMY WOUND BADGE – BLACK .

    This is a very fine example of the Black Army Wound Badge. First authorized in March 1918, wound badges were awarded in three classes based on the number or severity of one’s wound(s). Black was considered the lowest (3rd Class), silver was 2nd Class, and gold was 1st Class. This is an originally-issued piece that displays very fine paint. Its reverse displays a pin. The badge is stamped.

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  • ARMY WOUND BADGE - SILVER - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    ARMY WOUND BADGE – SILVER

    SKU: 01-885

    $95.00

    ARMY WOUND BADGE – SILVER .

    This is a very fine example of the Silver Army Wound Badge. First authorized in March 1918, wound badges were awarded in three classes based on the number or severity of one’s wound(s). Black was considered the lowest (3rd Class), silver was 2nd Class, and gold was 1st Class. This is an originally-issued piece that displays very fine paint. Its reverse displays a pin. The badge is stamped.

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  • HINDENBURG CROSS WITH SWORDS - COMBATANT’S - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    HINDENBURG CROSS WITH SWORDS – COMBATANT’S

    SKU: 05-1708

    $45.00

    HINDENBURG CROSS WITH SWORDS – COMBATANT’S.

    This is the Hindenburg Cross with Swords for Combatants. The decoration was first authorized after the death of German Präsident and former Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg. The award was given in three classes. The bronze-colored, front-line-combat soldiers’ decorations featured crossed swords. The bronze-toned non combatants decoration did NOT have swords. The final black decoration was intended for the next-of-kin of soldiers who died serving their country. The latter also did NOT sport swords, and was often referred to as the “Widows Cross.” This example is in excellent condition and comes with the correct ribbon.

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  • MECKLENBURG-SCHWERIN - 1914 MILITARY SERVICE CROSS 1st CLASS - PRIVATELY-PURCHASED - VAULTED - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    MECKLENBURG-SCHWERIN – 1914 MILITARY SERVICE CROSS 1st CLASS – PRIVATELY-PURCHASED – VAULTED

    SKU: 08-576

    $395.00

    MECKLENBURG-SCHWERIN – 1914 MILITARY SERVICE CROSS 1st CLASS – PRIVATELY-PURCHASED – VAULTED.

    This is the 1914 Military Service Cross 1st Class from the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The decoration is its equivalent to the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. It is the same size (1.75” x 1.75”) as an Iron Cross 1st Class and has a gilt finish. It is set up in similar fashion to the Iron Cross, featuring a crown at the top, “FF” for Mecklenburg-Schwerin’s Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV (1882-1945), and the year “1914.”

    The cross is vaulted, which means it was privately-purchased. Its reverse displays a swollen pin. No manufacturer’s hallmark is evident. It is in excellent condition.

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  • MECKLENBURG-SCHWERIN - 1914 MILITARY SERVICE CROSS 2nd CLASS - COMBATANT’S - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    MECKLENBURG-SCHWERIN – 1914 MILITARY SERVICE CROSS 2nd CLASS – COMBATANT’S

    SKU: 08-577

    $150.00

    MECKLENBURG-SCHWERIN – 1914 MILITARY SERVICE CROSS 2nd CLASS – COMBATANT’S.

    This is the 1914 Military Service Cross 2nd Class from the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The decoration is the equivalent to the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class. It is the same size (1.75” x 1.75”) as an Iron Cross 1st Class and has a gilt finish. It is set up in similar fashion to the Iron Cross, featuring a crown at the top, “FF” for Mecklenburg-Schwerin’s Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV (1882-1945), and the year “1914.”

    An original blue, yellow, and red ribbon is included. It is in excellent condition

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  • IRON CROSS - 1914 - 1st CLASS - WAGNER & SÖHNE HALLMARK - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    IRON CROSS – 1914 – 1st CLASS – WAGNER & SÖHNE HALLMARK

    SKU: 09-1039

    $495.00

    IRON CROSS – 1914 – 1st CLASS – WAGNER & SÖHNE HALLMARK.

    This is a privately-purchased 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. It is similar to the awarded Iron Crosses 1st Class that came from KO. The difference in its quality, however, is amazing. The obverse’s paint rates at 100%. The cross is magnetic. The frame displays fine beading and a wonderful patina. As we look at the reverse, we see a swollen pin. “WS,” which stands for Wagner & Söhne, appears to the catch’s right. The latter firm, located in Berlin, was one of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s court jewelers. Wagner & Söhne produced some of the finest orders and decorations in Imperial Germany. This is clearly an Iron Cross purchased by an officer after he received his issued award.

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  • HESSE-DARMSTADT - METAL DISTRICT ADMINISTRATOR’S SIGN - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    HESSE-DARMSTADT – METAL DISTRICT ADMINISTRATOR’S SIGN

    SKU: 10-892

    $695.00

    This is a first time offering from Der Rittmeister Militaria. It is a large porcelain sign from a government office in Hesse-Darmstadt. [Hesse-Darmstadt was one of Imperial Germany’s two larger Grand Duchies. Along with Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt contributed the largest military contingents after Prussia, Bavaria, Württemberg, and Saxony]. The impressive, slightly-vaulted sign measures 20” x 23.5.” Its center features a 12” x 8.75” bright-blue shield adorned with a red-and-white-striped, rampant, Hesse-Darmstadt Lion. The shield is topped by a golden, stylized Fleurs-de-Lis-peaked crown, and the entire image is displayed against a white background. The term “Der Landrat,” which loosely translates as “The District Administrator” (technically, a sub-prefect), appears at the sign’s bottom. Each of the sign’s four corners features a hole through which the sign was attached to the administration’s office building. The shield is in the center. The sign is quite handsome and in very fine condition, overall.

    [This very large, bulky item will require additional shipping costs. For this reason we ask that you PLEASE CONTACT US DIRECTLY and do NOT use our automated shopping basket! It will NOT calculate the correct shipping charges! We will be happy to assist you].

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  • CIGAR CASE - PATRIOTIC CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS 1916 IN BERLIN-WILMERSDORF. - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    CIGAR CASE – PATRIOTIC CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS 1916 IN BERLIN-WILMERSDORF.

    SKU: 10-893

    $125.00

    CIGAR CASE – PATRIOTIC CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS 1916 IN BERLIN-WILMERSDORF.

    This is an interesting tobacco case that would have allowed its owner to carry a number of small cigars. The case is a two-piece, dark-brown leatherette construction. Metal strips on either end might possibly have been intended for use in striking matches. The cypher (a shield) for Berlin-Wilmersdorf, a section within Berlin’s city limits, is embossed on its outer cover. An inscription reads “Ihren im Felde stehenden Mitbürgern zum Weihnachtfeste 1916 Die Stadtgemeinde Berlin-Wilmersdorf” loosely translates as “Your Fellow Citizens of Berlin-Wilmersdorf are Standing with You in the Field on this Christmas 1916.”
    This lovely patriotic item celebrated Christmas and showed how the German citizens on the home front supported their serving soldiers during WW I. The case could still be used today to hold small-diameter, short cigars.

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  • FIELD PACK - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    FIELD PACK

    SKU: 10-894

    $195.00

    FIELD PACK.

    This is an interesting soldier’s field pack that measures 14.5” x 15.5” and is made of green canvas. The front of the pack flips up for easy access. Two buckles and straps in the front secure the flap and the bag’s contents within the pack. A roomy area to store all manner of gear is available within the pack’s interior, and features two sets of buckles and straps. A handle at the pack’s top allowed the soldier to carry it by hand. The pack’s backside features actual straps by which the soldier could secure the whole on his back. The section opposite these straps is made of leather instead of the canvas used on the pack’s front.
    The pack is in very good condition, overall. Its previous owners have taken excellent care of it.

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  • IRON CROSS - PATRIOTIC FRAME - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    IRON CROSS – PATRIOTIC FRAME

    SKU: 12-836

    $125.00

    IRON CROSS – PATRIOTIC FRAME.

    Here is yet another example of Imperial Germany’s patriotic items from WW I. This is a horizontally-oriented frame that measures 5.75” x 6.” Its display area measures 5.25” x 3.25,” and is suited for a horizontal rather than a vertical postcard or photograph. The black wooden frame is very simple in design. A horizontal wooden strip, appears below the display area and features an image of a 1914 Iron Cross in its center.

    The frame’s reverse displays two swing-out clasps that allow the postcard or photograph to be inserted. The reverse also serves as an easel that would allow the frame to rest on a flat surface. It is a lovely, rather sentimental frame that shows great potential for displaying YOUR favorite postcard or photograph.

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  •  IRON CROSS - PATRIOTIC METAL FRAME - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

     IRON CROSS – PATRIOTIC METAL FRAME

    SKU: 12-837

    $150.00

    IRON CROSS – PATRIOTIC METAL FRAME.

    This is a fine metal frame that has been made in the shape of an Iron Cross. It measures 6.5” x 6,” and features an oak and laurel leaf wreath that encircles the frame’s center oval opening underneath the cross’s four, cutout arms. The wreath’s top cutout displays a crown, while the bottom cutout features the ribbon that ties the wreath together. The frame was intended to be hung from the wall, and displays a loop on its top by which it could be hung over a nail. The frame’s oval center displays a CdV that is slid into place behind a glass protector. The CdV exhibits an NCO who wears a shooting badge and has a signalman’s patch on his right sleeve. His schirmmütze rests on a stand beside him. You could replace this CdV with another, or any other photo of your choice.

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  • CARICATURE - KING VICTOR EMANUEL III - ITALY. - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    CARICATURE – KING VICTOR EMANUEL III – ITALY.

    SKU: 12-838

    $95.00

    CARICATURE – KING VICTOR EMANUEL III – ITALY.

    This is a large caricature of King Victor Emanuel III of Italy (1869-1947). He served as the King of Italy from 1900 to 1946. He was the King during WW I, when Italy was one of the Western Allies fighting against Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria. Victor Emanuel III was very slight in stature and stood only five feet tall.

    The caricature is matted. The overall size of the matted product is 18” x 12.” The actual image within the matte measures 12” x 9.” At the caricature’s top a German inscription reads “Our contemporaries.” Beneath it is another German inscription that says “The archetype of faithfulness.” In between them is an oversized image of Victor Emmanuel III. His size is shown in contrast to his sword and scabbard, which both are larger than he is. His rather puffed up appearance depicts him in his military uniform, along with his medals and kepi. The matte is made of light, white cardboard. Its condition is very fine, overall.

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  • COMMEMORATIVE NAVAL OFFICER’S MEMO PAD HOLDER - MANUFACTURER’S & .800 SILVER HALLMARKS - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    COMMEMORATIVE NAVAL OFFICER’S MEMO PAD HOLDER – MANUFACTURER’S & .800 SILVER HALLMARKS

    SKU: 13-1052

    $595.00

    COMMEMORATIVE NAVAL OFFICER’S MEMO PAD HOLDER – MANUFACTURER’S & .800 SILVER HALLMARKS.

    Today we are offering a very high-quality, silver, naval officer’s desk accessory. It is a ten-year commemorative of his 1903-1913 service. It was also used as a memo pad holder on his desk either aboard ship or on shore. The holder measures 3.25” x 5.25.” It features an enamel Kriegsflagge affixed to the top’s surface in the upper left corner. The latter device shows evidence of wear. The dates “1903-1913″ appear in the top’s center. Since it is dated 1913, it is quite possible that this officer served during WW I. The silver top’s bottom edge is scalloped. This top displays a wonderful patina that has not been cleaned in years or, perhaps, decades.

    Once opened, we see a bottom that is covered in wood and mounted in the center of the silver frame. The frame’s top edge does not reveal the same patina as its outer side, and is more indicative of what the frame looks like when new. It makes an arresting contrast. The jewelry store that produced this product has its name, H.M. Eyen & Co., engraved in the lower right section of the top edge. The silver hallmark, .800 silver along with the crown and moon specified by Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1885, appears to the name’s right. The memo pad holder’s reverse is covered in brown leather.

    It should not be difficult to find paper to insert into this holder. You may then enjoy having this device on your desk, just as its original owner did more than one-hundred-years-ago.

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  • LARGE BRASS NAVAL FRAME & S.M.S. CHARLOTTE ENLISTED SAILOR’S CDV - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    LARGE BRASS NAVAL FRAME & S.M.S. CHARLOTTE ENLISTED SAILOR’S CDV

    SKU: 13-1053

    $295.00

    LARGE BRASS NAVAL FRAME & S.M.S. CHARLOTTE ENLISTED SAILOR’S CDV.

    This is a simply marvelous, massive, brass photo frame that was appropriate for the German Navy. The frame is 13” inches long and 8 ½” wide at its widest point. It also weighs a hefty 2 pounds, 12 ½ ounces. It is designed as a Hohenzollern Eagle superimposed over a large, fouled, ship’s anchor. The ring just above the anchor’s cross is topped by a Hohenzollern Crown with its royal stole flowing down over the crossbar. A small frame that measures 2 ⅜” x 3 ¾” extends from the base of the Eagle’s neck down to its legs. The frame’s center has an oval cutout designed to present a German sailor’s CdV. The area currently displays the CdV of a German sailor who served aboard the S.M.S. Charlotte. It was a German Kreuzerfregatte (Cruiser-Frigate) that was launched on 5 September 1885, then retired from service in November 1914. [She was a motorized sailing vessel].

    The frame’s reverse features the small brass compartment for housing the CdV. You may easily change the CdV to one of your choosing, but since it came to us with its current inhabitant, we are leaving him in place. The reverse also sports a large, brass easel that allows the frame to be set on a flat surface. It is a VERY impressive frame that will display handsomely wherever you choose to place it.

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  • PAPER STAMP FOR CRUISER SQUADRONS’ COMMANDING OFFICER - KAISERLICHE MARINE - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PAPER STAMP FOR CRUISER SQUADRONS’ COMMANDING OFFICER – KAISERLICHE MARINE

    SKU: 13-1054

    $75.00

    PAPER STAMP FOR CRUISER SQUADRONS’ COMMANDING OFFICER – KAISERLICHE MARINE.

    The Imperial German Navy employed a combination of rubber and paper stamps that were applied to all sorts of documents, letters, envelopes, etc. This is one of the paper versions. It measures 1.5” in diameter, and sports a combination of blue and white colors. Its center displays a Hohenzollern Eagle superimposed over an anchor, with the words “Kaiserl. Marine Kommando des Kreuzergeschwaders” surrounding it around the edge. The Kaiserliche Marine had a heavy concentration of heavy and light cruisers that constituted an important section of the High Seas Fleet. For example, cruisers made up the biggest part of the East Asian Squadron (commanded by Maximilian Graf von Spee). [None of the latter survived the actions in the Indian Ocean or at the Battle of Falkland Islands). Also, at the Battle of Jutland (Skageraak), Franz von Hipper and his Cruiser Squadron saved the German fleet from disaster by covering the battleships’ withdrawal from action. Von Hipper’s combination of heavy and light cruisers were very mobile and effective and his actions gained him a Pour le Mérite and a Military Max Joseph Order and a Knighthood as a result of the battle.

    The stamp is in excellent condition.

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  • PATRIOTIC DEMITASSE (CUP) - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PATRIOTIC DEMITASSE (CUP)

    SKU: 18-499

    $95.00

    PATRIOTIC DEMITASSE (CUP).

    This patriotic demitasse measures 1.75” in height. It measures 1.75” in diameter. The cup’s front displays a green oak leaf wreath. Thewreath’s center features a 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class complete with ribbon. The overall condition is quite pleasing.

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  • ZEPPELIN - CAP BADGE - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    ZEPPELIN – CAP BADGE

    SKU: 21-257

    $195.00

    ZEPPELIN – CAP BADGE.

    This is an interesting cap badge that I have never seen before. It measures 1.5” x 1.75.” It is silver-toned and oval-shaped. The outer portion features an oak leaf wreath. Inside it is a vertical anchor, and a horizontal zeppelin emblazoned with the name “Zeppelin” across it. The wreath displays two prongs whereby the badge was attached to a cap. The badge is stamped in a similar manner to an Army or Navy Wound Badge.

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  • BAVARIA - EPAULETTES - STABSARZT - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    BAVARIA – EPAULETTES – STABSARZT

    SKU: 23-525X

    $225.00

    BAVARIA – EPAULETTES – STABSARZT.

    This is a wonderful pair of Stabsarzt’s (a medical officer equivalent to a Hauptmann) epaulettes. The epaulettes display a carmine-red, felt background. On that background we see twin brass pips for the Stabsarzt’s rank. Between the pips is the caduceus confirming his status as a doctor. The caduceus is surrounded by a gold-toned crescent. The epaulettes’ tongues each feature a hole to secure them to the tunic. A pair of blue stripes indicating Bavaria is interwoven within the gold bullion. The same red felt color appears on their reverses. These epaulettes are in superb condition.

    THIS IS A CONSIGNMENT ITEM.

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  • PRUSSIA - SHOULDER BOARD - OBERLEUTNANT - M-1888 GRENADIER-REGIMENT NR 12 - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PRUSSIA – SHOULDER BOARD – OBERLEUTNANT – M-1888 GRENADIER-REGIMENT NR 12

    SKU: 23-526

    $125.00

    PRUSSIA – SHOULDER BOARD – OBERLEUTNANT – M-1888 GRENADIER-REGIMENT NR 12.

    Today we are offering a single M-1888 Grenadier-Regiment Prinz Karl von Preußen (2. Brandenburgisches) Nr 12 Oberleutnant’s shoulder board. This regiment was raised in 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars. It was garrisoned at Frankfurt a. O. and assigned to the Prussian III. Armeekorps. The shoulder board measures 4” x 1.5.” It bears the regimental designation “12,” and an Oberleutnant’s single pip. One can also see the surface’s color difference where a button once held the shoulder board down. This area did not age at the same rate as the rest of it.

    The board’s reverse displays the traditional, red-felt backing. We also note that the shoulder board is of the sewn-in variety rather than a slip on. It is fine representation of an elite Prussian and German infantry regiment that saw significant action in numerous wars. The shoulder board is in very fine condition.

    PLEASE NOTE: this very shoulder board is featured on Page 68 of the brilliant reference book by Michael Kelso, Under Arms for the Kaiser: Shoulder Insignia of the Imperial German Army Regiments 1871-1918. The book is simply amazing and touches on an area of the hobby that has NOT been adequately addressed. It is an important reference that should be considered, even if your primary interest is NOT shoulder boards and epaulettes.

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  • PHOTOGRAPH PIN - PATRIOTIC SOLDIER - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PHOTOGRAPH PIN – PATRIOTIC SOLDIER

    SKU: 32-185

    $95.00

    This is one of the ever-popular patriotic photo pins from before and during WW I. The pin measures 1.25” in diameter. It is gold-toned with an intricate, lattice-work design. Four small pearls mark the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions. The photograph shows a soldier in a feldgrau uniform wearing his pickelhaube. I cannot be certain, but I believe he is from Bavaria or Württemberg. A sturdy pin and catch are on the reverse. It is in very fine condition.

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  • POSTCARD - KAISER WILHELM AND GENERALFELDMARSCHALL AUGUST VON MACKENSEN. - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    POSTCARD – KAISER WILHELM AND GENERALFELDMARSCHALL AUGUST VON MACKENSEN.

    SKU: 38-2827

    $20.00

    POSTCARD – KAISER WILHELM AND GENERALFELDMARSCHALL AUGUST VON MACKENSEN.

    This postcard shows Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) and Generalfeldmarschall August von Mackensen (1849-1945) in Galicia. The career of August von Mackensen was nothing short of amazing. He joined the army and was posted to Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 2. It was with this regiment that he was awarded the 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class as a young Leutnant. He later served as an adjutant to Generalfeldmarschall Alfred von Schlieffen and then to Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Kaiser knighted him in 1899 and he served as a Brigade and Division commander. Prior to WW I, he became commander of the XVII. Armeekorps. With the outbreak of the war, he was assigned to the army commanded by Generaloberst Paul von Hindenburg on the Eastern Front. They made an unbeatable team and routed the Russians in numerous battles. In November 1914, he was given command of the German IX. Armee and was also awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite. Ultimately, he was given command of Heeresgruppe Mackensen, which consisted of Germany’s IX. and XI. Armees, as well as the Austro-Hungarian IV. Armee. This was followed by his June 1915 promotion to Generalfeldmarschall and the award of the Orden Pour le Mérite’s Oak Leaves.

    Ultimately, he was given command of all German forces in the East when von Hindenburg was promoted to Chief of the General Staff. Von Mackensen was also in command of Austro-Hungarian, Bulgarian, and even Turkish forces in the East. When Russia signed an armistice in 1917 and pulled out of the war, von Mackensen remained as the East’s military governor. Also in 1917, he became one of the five men who was awarded the 1914 Grand Cross of the Iron Cross. [The others included Kaiser Wilhelm II, Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg, Generalfeldmarschall Prinz Leopold of Bavaria, and General der Infanterie Erich Ludendorff].

    This postcard shows the Kaiser and von Mackensen standing in front of a building with several other generals. The Kaiser has a great coat draped over his shoulders. Below that, one can see his medal-bedecked uniform. Von Mackensen is wearing a feldgrau uniform, NOT the Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1’s attila. On his tunic is the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. Looped through the buttonhole is an Iron Cross 2nd Class. [We cannot tell whether it is a 1914 or an 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class]. He is wearing his Pour le Mérite at his throat. In the background we do see an officer in the 1. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Nr 1’s uniform and busby. He is wearing an adjutant’s sash, and probably is von Mackensen’s adjutant. The postcard has never been mailed.

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  • PHOTOGRAPH - ORIGINAL - ASKARI ABTEILUNG NR 117 - AFRICA - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PHOTOGRAPH – ORIGINAL – ASKARI ABTEILUNG NR 117 – AFRICA

    SKU: 40-684

    $50.00

    PHOTOGRAPH – ORIGINAL – ASKARI ABTEILUNG NR 117 – AFRICA

    This is an original photograph that measures 5.5” x 3.75.” “Askari Abteilung Nr 117” is penciled in on the postcard’s reverse. Askaris were African troops who served under white German officers and NCO’s as members of the Schutztruppen (protection forces). Prior to WW I, they were a cross between police and military. Once the war began, they made up a major part of Africa’s Imperial German Army. They were very good soldiers, in fact. They particularly served with distinction under Generalmajor Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck’s WW I command in German East Africa. Along with the Kleiner Kreuzer S.M.S. Königsberg’s sailors who fought with them, the Askaris and their German commanders led more than 100,000 British troops on a chase all over East Africa. [PLEASE NOTE: von Llettow Vorbeck and his men did not surrender to the British until AFTER WW I ended].

    I am very fond of one story about these troops. In the 1960’s the West German government felt that the Askaris had not been properly compensated for their service and sent a group to Tanzania to pay the old gentlemen. The question was, how could they differentiate the REAL soldiers from others who might be looking for pay that they did not deserve? The idea was brought forward that brooms should be presented to the men, then they would be given, in German, the same commands that they had received more than 40 years before. The “real” Askaris were able to execute these commands without hesitation, and were paid their long overdue just compensation!
    Our photo presents a mounted German officer/NCO attended by a detachment of approximately twelve Askaris.

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  • PRUSSIA - BUSBY - OFFICER - 1. LEIB-HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 1 - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PRUSSIA – BUSBY – OFFICER – 1. LEIB-HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 1

    SKU: 33-353 XRH

    $14,995.00

    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 2 ½” x 2 ¾.” [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.

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  • PRUSSIA - BUSBY - OFFICER - HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 7

    PRUSSIA – BUSBY – OFFICER – HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 7

    SKU: 33-355 XJT

    $7,995.00

    PRUSSIA – BUSBY – OFFICER – HUSAREN-REGIMENT NR 7.

    It is an ultra-high-quality Husaren-Regiment König Wilhelm I. (1. Rheinisches) Nr 7 officer’s busby. The regiment was founded in1815 and garrisoned in Bonn (the former West German capital). It was attached to the VIII. Armeekorps.

    The busby’s body is covered with rich, very soft opossum fur. The fur is very full, with no bald spots. The gilt-toned wappen features König/Kaiser Wilhelm I’s royal cypher, the intertwined initials “RW” with a Roman numeral I between the W’s legs, and the motto banner “MIT GOTT FÜR KOENIG UND VATERLAND.” [This is Figure 18.0 in Jim Turinetti’s Guide to Collecting the Headgear of the 1914 German Army, as well as his Buyer’s Guide]. The brass chin scales are set up over the wappen. Above that is a Prussian officer’s silver bullion Feldzeichen, which also sports a black velvet center. Its other features include a red kolpak, Prussian officer’s cap lines, and a Reich officer’s kokarde that is mounted on the busby’s right side.

    The busby’s interior features a white, leather sweatband that has seen moderate-to-light use. A white silk liner that displays a hole in its center is attached to the sweatband (it was designed to have NO center). Busbies featured a wide variety of silk liners, of which this was one variation. [PLEASE NOTE: even though no royal cypher appears on the silk liner, the presence of a white sweatband AND a white silk liner means that this busby probably was owned by a member of the nobility or royalty].

    High quality officer’s busbies such as this are not commonly available. It was worn by only 0.1% of the Imperial German Army’s officers on the eve of WWI. It would make for a fine addition to your collection.

    This is a consignment item.

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  • PRUSSIA - KUGELHELM - ENLISTED MAN - FELD-ARTILLERIE-REGIMENT 26 OR FELD-ARTILLERIE-REGIMENT NR 35 - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PRUSSIA – KUGELHELM – ENLISTED MAN – FELD-ARTILLERIE-REGIMENT 26 OR FELD-ARTILLERIE-REGIMENT NR 35

    SKU: 33-356 XJT

    $3,995.00

    PRUSSIA – KUGELHELM – ENLISTED MAN – FELD-ARTILLERIE-REGIMENT 26 OR FELD-ARTILLERIE-REGIMENT NR 35.

    It is an enlisted man’s (EM) Feld-Artillerie-Regiment (FAR) Nr 26 or Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nr 35 Kugelhelm from Prussia. FAR Nr 26 was founded in 1872 and garrisoned at Verden. It was assigned to the X. Armeekorps. FAR 36 was created in 1890 and garrisoned at Deutsch-Eylau in West Prussia. It was assigned to the XX. Armeekorps.

    This is an extremely rare helmet from the early 1900s. I have only seen three in all of my years of collecting (two officers’ helmets and one enlisted man’s (EM) helmet – this one). [The wappen is identified as Figure 1.7 in Jim Turinetti’s Guide to Collecting the Headgear of the 1914 German Army, as well as his Buyer’s Guide. Figure l.7 is a variation of Figure 1.0]. The wappen features Prussia’s basic line-eagle with the initials FR for Friedrich Rex (König Friedrich der Große) with an outstanding bandeau on the eagle’s thigh/hip area inscribed with “COLBERG 1807,” in recognition of the defiant stance Feld-Artillerie-Regiment Nrs 26’s and 35’s ancestral units took against French forces in 1807. [Colberg/Kolberg: former German seaport in Pommern (Western Pomerania), Prussia, Germany, now, Kolobrzeg, Poland]. The honor banner was authorized for wear in 1899. As you can see, since the bandeau was only in existence for nineteen years, not many EM or NCO’s helmets were created. This plate and helmet configuration was worn by only 0.1 % of the Imperial German Army in 1914. The Eagle is found in only one size and was worn with a Reich’s kokarde on the helmet’s right side and a Prussian State kokarde on the left.

    The overall condition of the helmet body is good. NO extra holes are evident, although some slight denting appears on the helmet’s right rear. The surface has not been broken, and its black finish displays a deep luster. The helmet is in the Dienst (Duty) configuration with the leather chin strap that was worn in the field. These two regiments did NOT take a hair bush for parade, so the kugel (ball top) is not removable. The interior of the helmet is typical for this era’s EM helmets, featuring an attractive, supple, leather liner and the fingers (petals) for adjusting the fit.

    The kugelhelm was worn by FAR 26’s Batterie Nr 2. It might also have been worn by FAR35 Batteries Nr 1, 2, and 5. Three letters and the number 10 appear on the rear visor. Since FAR 26 was in Armeekorps (AK) X and FAR 35 was in AK XVII in 1905, and then AK XX in 1914, it is very possible that this helmet is from FAR 26, Batterie 2. The three letters might indicate some clothing-related organization for the AK X. Thus, it probably comes from the LESS-represented regiment. Being for a single FAR 26 Batterie makes it a rare bird indeed!

    This is a truly rare helmet that would be the crown of any serious helmet collection. 

    This is a consignment item.

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  • IRON CROSS - 1914 - 1st CLASS - DOUBLE-PINBACK - WAGNER & SÖHNE - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    IRON CROSS – 1914 – 1st CLASS – DOUBLE-PINBACK – WAGNER & SÖHNE

    SKU: 09-1032

    $1,095.00

    IRON CROSS – 1914 – 1st CLASS – DOUBLE-PINBACK – WAGNER & SÖHNE.

    This is a very impressive 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. The cross’s obverse displays fine detail to the crown, “1914,” and the “W.” The beading around the frame is most pleasing. The paint is first-rate with just a touch of age in one area, yet still rates at 98%. The patina to the frame is also noteworthy.

    The reverse reveals the Iron Cross’s prestige. A pair of pins extends down from the hinge to the dual clasps. I have not seen a double-pinback Iron Cross in more than fifteen years. I do not believe that I have ever seen more than two or three examples of a double-pinback. A special pair of sewn-in loops had to be added to a tunic in order to accommodate the double pins. The Cross’s final detail is a Wagner & Söhne hallmark in its center. This well-known Berlin firm was one of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s royal house jewelers, who produced some of Imperial Germany’s finest orders and decorations.

    This Iron Cross is in pristine condition, and of the highest quality. It was privately-purchased Iron Cross and is definitely officer’s quality, probably at a high-level, possibly even of noble or royal birth. The original owner was a man of style and taste who insisted on the VERY best.

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  • IRON CROSS - 1870 - 2nd CLASS - PRINZENGROßE WITH TWENTY-FIVE-YEAR JUBILEE OAK LEAVES - 1914 SPANGE - WAGNER & SÖHNE - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    IRON CROSS – 1870 – 2nd CLASS – PRINZENGROßE WITH TWENTY-FIVE-YEAR JUBILEE OAK LEAVES – 1914 SPANGE – WAGNER & SÖHNE

    SKU: 09-1033

    $1,795.00

    IRON CROSS – 1870 – 2nd CLASS – PRINZENGROßE WITH TWENTY-FIVE-YEAR JUBILEE OAK LEAVES – 1914 SPANGE – WAGNER & SÖHNE.

    This is a very exciting, ultra-high-quality, privately-purchased 1870 Prinzengroße Iron Cross 2nd Class with the Twenty-Five-Year Jubilee Oak Leaves and 1914 Spange. The Prinzengroße Iron Cross originated more than a hundred years prior to WW I as a smaller variation of noblemen/royalty’s decorations that could be worn by their young sons. The term Prinzengroße means “prince-sized.” The youngsters wore uniforms that emulated their fathers,’ as well as headdresses and swords to accommodate their stature. By the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, it became more of an affectation among officers who preferred the smaller Iron Crosses 1st Class and 2nd Class over full-sized examples.

    Our 1870 Prinzengroße EK 2nd Class measures 1.25” x 1.25,” and is mounted on a correct, original ribbon displaying the Twenty-Five-Year Jubilee Oak Leaves, as well as a 1914 Spange. The leaves were awarded beginning in 1895 to commemorate the original award’s 25th Anniversary. The special 1914 Spange was awarded to those Franco-Prussian War veterans who were still alive at WW I’s outbreak. [PLEASE NOTE: In most cases, the men receiving the 1914 Spange were in their early-to-mid 60’s so, obviously, many of the original awardees had died].

    Our Iron Cross displays very fine paint on both its obverse and reverse. The Twenty-Five-Year Jubilee Oak Leaves consists of three oak leaves with a “25″ on the center leaf. The 1914 Spange features an enamel 1914 Iron Cross in a pebbled, rectangular bar’s center. The bar’s reverse displays Prussian royal court jeweler Wagner & Söhne’s hallmark, as well as an .800 silver hallmark.

    This presentation is in exceptional condition, overall. Complete sets of all three pieces are VERY difficult-to-find in their full-sized versions, let alone in their rarer Prinzengroße versions.

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  • IRON CROSS - 1914 - 1st CLASS - PILLOW-BACK DESIGN - WARENHAUS FÜR ARMEE UND MARINE HALLMARK - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    IRON CROSS – 1914 – 1st CLASS – PILLOW-BACK DESIGN – WARENHAUS FÜR ARMEE UND MARINE HALLMARK

    SKU: 09-1034

    $850.00

    IRON CROSS – 1914 – 1st CLASS – PILLOW-BACK DESIGN – WARENHAUS FÜR ARMEE UND MARINE HALLMARK.

    This is one of my favorite Iron Cross designs. It is flat rather than vaulted. Its obverse features generally good paint. Some paint wear is visible on the crown, “W,” and “1914’s” high points, which always see paint loss first. I rate its paint at 95%. The frame’s beading and patina are both quite pleasing.

    The cross’s reverse reveals the “pillow-back” design. Four small “pillows” are placed around the decoration’s edges to form a smaller cross-shaped center. This center point features the Warenhaus für Armee und Marine’s hallmark. [The latter was founded during 1887/1888 in Berlin. A military effects store similar to Berlin’s C.E. Juncker, it essentially served as a department store for army and navy officers in need of uniforms, headdresses, decorations, and so on].

    The Iron Cross’s reverse displays a mirrored surface, which increases its appeal. It is also nonmagnetic, meaning it was more likely sold to a naval officer. It was quite common for nonmagnetic Iron Crosses to be sold to naval officers, so that the salt water would not rust them as it would those made of true iron.
    It is a most unusual Iron Cross variation that we are most pleased to share with you.

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  • IRON CROSS - 1914 - 1st CLASS - PRINZENGROßE - WARENHAUS FÜR ARMEE UND MARINE HALLMARK - .800 SILVER HALLMARK - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    IRON CROSS – 1914 – 1st CLASS – PRINZENGROßE – WARENHAUS FÜR ARMEE UND MARINE HALLMARK – .800 SILVER HALLMARK

    SKU: 09-1035

    $1,095.00

    IRON CROSS – 1914 – 1st CLASS – PRINZENGROßE – WARENHAUS FÜR ARMEE UND MARINE HALLMARK – .800 SILVER HALLMARK.

    This is a handsome 1914 Prinzengroße Iron Cross 1st Class. The Prinzengroße Iron Cross originated more than a hundred years prior to WW I as a smaller variation of noblemen/royalty’s decorations that could be worn by their young sons. The term Prinzengroße means “prince-sized.” The youngsters wore uniforms that emulated their fathers,’ as well as headdresses and swords to accommodate their stature. By the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, it became more of an affectation among officers who preferred the smaller Iron Crosses 1st Class and 2nd Class over full-sized examples.

    By WW I’s advent, it had become even more unusual for an officer to wear the smaller-sized Iron Cross. This example definitely was privately-purchased AFTER its officer/owner was awarded the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. He had opted to purchase this cross from Warenhaus für Armee und Marine, a military effects store. It had been founded during 1887/1888 in Berlin. Similar to Berlin’s C.E. Juncker, it essentially served as a department store for army and navy officers in need of uniforms, headdresses, decorations, and so on. [As this cross is magnetic, the officer probably hailed from the Army rather than the Navy].

    The cross measures 1.25” x 1.25,” and features some small patches of paint loss. I rate its paint at about 90%. The quality of the beading is first-rate. Its reverse features the Warenhaus für Armee und Marine hallmark, as well as an .800 silver content hallmark. This is a real find, although a bit short of a Godet or Wagner & Söhne Prinzengroße example.

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  • IRON CROSS - 1914 - 2nd CLASS - PRINZENGROßE - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    IRON CROSS – 1914 – 2nd CLASS – PRINZENGROßE

    SKU: 09-1036

    $695.00

    IRON CROSS – 1914 – 2nd CLASS – PRINZENGROßE.

    This is a very fine 1914 Prinzengroße Iron Cross 2nd Class. The Prinzengroße Iron Cross originated more than a hundred years prior to WW I as a smaller variation of noblemen/royalty’s decorations that could be worn by their young sons. The term Prinzengroße means “prince-sized.” The youngsters wore uniforms that emulated their fathers,’ as well as headdresses and swords to accommodate their stature. By the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, it became more of an affectation among officers who preferred the smaller Iron Crosses 1st Class and 2nd Class over full-sized examples.

    By WW I’s advent, it had become even more unusual for an officer to wear the smaller-sized Iron Cross. This example definitely was privately-purchased AFTER its officer/owner was awarded the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class. He ordered it from a military effects store.

    The Iron Cross measures 1.25” x 1.25.” The paint on its obverse and reverse rates at 100%. A horizontal ribbon with a vertical band is attached. The ribbon’s reverse features a safety pin in place that enabled the officer to pin it to his tunic just as he had done with his issued 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class. The latter detail leads me to believe that it was an early-war Iron Cross.
    It is a splendid Iron Cross with lots of character.

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  • IRON CROSS - 1914 - 2nd CLASS - NON COMBATANT’S - ON TRI-FOLD RIBBON - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    IRON CROSS – 1914 – 2nd CLASS – NON COMBATANT’S – ON TRI-FOLD RIBBON

    SKU: 09-1037

    $250.00

    IRON CROSS – 1914 – 2nd CLASS – NON COMBATANT’S – ON TRI-FOLD RIBBON.

    This is a rather interesting 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class that is mounted on a non combatant’s tri-fold ribbon, as was correct for Saxony or Austria. The cross itself is in mint condition. The paint on the obverse and reverse is EXCELLENT. The ribbon shows honest age and is clearly period-original.

    Non combatants’ 1914 Iron Crosses are fairly rare, and one appearing on a tri-fold ribbon is even more unusual, especially in such fine condition.

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  • SAXONY - PICKELHAUBE - OFFIZIER’S - KÖNIGL. SÄCHS. 1. LEIB-GRENADIER-REGIMENT NR 100 - WITH PARADE BUSH - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    SAXONY – PICKELHAUBE – OFFIZIER’S – KÖNIGL. SÄCHS. 1. LEIB-GRENADIER-REGIMENT NR 100 – WITH PARADE BUSH

    SKU: 04-677

    $5,495.00

    SAXONY – PICKELHAUBE – OFFIZIER’S – KÖNIGL. SÄCHS. 1. LEIB-GRENADIER-REGIMENT NR 100 – WITH PARADE BUSH

    The Imperial German Army had several elite Infanterie Regiments that were considered the crème de la crème infantry contingents that they fielded. Other elite regiments that also boasted unique pickelhauben are listed below.

    Prussia – 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß.
    Braunschweig – Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92.
    Baden – 1. Badisches Leib-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 109.
    Hesse-Darmstadt – Leibgarde-Infanterie-Regiment (1. Großherzogl. Hessisches ) Nr 115.
    Württemberg – Grenadier-Regiment Königin Olga (1. Württembergisches) Nr 119.
    Bavaria – Infanterie-Leib-Regiment.

    The subject of our offering today is a fine Offizier’s Königl. Sächs 1. Leib-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 100 Pickelhaube from the Kingdom of Saxony. While perhaps not as showy as some of the other pickelhauben that display enamel highlights, this pickelhaube is very different in an understated and elegant way. The high-quality spiked helmet’s leather body is in very fine condition. Its leather is quite handsome and supple. The wappen consists of a silver sunburst with Saxony’s golden Coat-of-Arms in its center. It is the opposite of Saxon Line-Regiments’ golden sunburst against a silver Coat-of-Arms. Also, ALL of its furniture is silver, where a Line-Regiments is gold, including the correct flat chin scales for Infanterie Pickelhauben, the spike base, the officers’ stars, trim, and so on.

    The helmet comes with a straight, silver trichter to which a full and beautiful parade bush has been mounted. The bush is VERY full. We curry-combed it a bit so that it just flows over all the helmet’s four sides. The final details to the helmet’s exterior are the Saxon-pattern State’s and Reich’s kokarden. [In my opinion, these kokarden (which are also used by Hesse-Darmstadt, Württemberg, and Baden) are more elegant than the Prussian pattern].

    The helmet’s interior sports a lightly-used brown leather sweatband. The latter also boasts unusual white cross stitching at its upper end. Attached to that sweatband is a rust-colored, ribbed-silk liner. A couple of small “wear” spots appear on the silk liner. All of the correct hardware is present, with NO double holes where the wappen is mounted. This is an honest and original helmet that is in first-rate condition.

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  • BADEN - PICKELHAUBE - FÄHNRICH’S  - DRAGONER-REGIMENT - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    BADEN – PICKELHAUBE – FÄHNRICH’S – DRAGONER-REGIMENT

    SKU: 04-765

    $2,495.00

    BADEN – PICKELHAUBE – FÄHNRICH’S  – DRAGONER-REGIMENT

    In the Imperial German Army, the rank of Fähnrich was equivalent to that of an Offizier’s candidate. [The rank differed from a One-Year-Volunteer (OYV) in more than its enlistment duration. A Fähnrich was on a fast track to FULL Offizier’s status in either the regular army or as a reserve officer. Many OYV’s ultimately became officers after they ended their active duty service and entered the reserves. During their formal one year’s service, OYV’s typically remained privates or privates first- class. In some instances they might enter the junior level as an NCO]. The Grand Duchy of Baden maintained three Dragoner-Regiments, Dragoner-Regiment Nrs 20, 21, and 22. Dragoner-Regiment Nr 20 was the oldest, formed as a Leib-Dragoner-Regiment in 1803. The other two regiments were raised in the mid-19th Century.

    The helmet’s leather body is in good condition. It has a couple of scrapes and dings, but nothing to seriously affect its overall condition. The wappen sports a fine frosted silver surface and an open/voided Offizier’s Crown. The cruciform, spike, and helmet trim is silver-toned. The helmet has NO Offizier’s stars (the helmet’s only feature that is NOT Offizier’s level. The pearl ring where the spike is attached is also an Offizier’s style. The chinstraps are brass. The exterior’s final features are the State’s and Reich’s kokarden. Again, they are Offizier’s level. [I am always drawn to the non Prussian kokarden pattern. The style that we see on the Baden kokarde was also used by Württemberg, Saxony, and Hesse-Darmstadt. I find this style of kokarde quite elegant].

    The interior features a well used but complete leather sweatband. The creme-colored silk liner displays a plain design rather than the more commonly seen ribbed one. The liner has seen substantial use and shows some minor shredding/running. ALL of the original hardware appears under the silk liner, with NO double holes.

    This is a completely original and untouched pickelhaube. Were this a full-Offizier’s spiked helmet in comparable condition, it would easily cost more than $2,000. It is an excellent value. We do not often have Baden helmets to share with you.

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  • GERMAN REICH -PICKELHAUBE - NCO’S - BEAMTE - ELAß LOTHRINGEN (ALSACE LORAINE) - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    GERMAN REICH -PICKELHAUBE – NCO’S – BEAMTE – ELAß LOTHRINGEN (ALSACE LORAINE)

    SKU: 04-757 XJT

    $3,995.00

    GERMAN REICH -PICKELHAUBE – NCO’S – BEAMTE – ELAß LOTHRINGEN (ALSACE LORAINE).

    This is a consignment item. It is a very unusual pickelhaube for a Beamte (Civilian Administration Official) from the province of Elass (Elaß) Lothringen (Alsace Loraine). The area was traded back and forth between France and Germany for MANY years. Its population spoke both French and German. The first exchange was in 1871 at the Franco-Prussian War’s end. It was returned to France when WW I ended. Nazi Germany seized it again at the beginning of WW II, until its final return to France after the ward ended in 1945.

    The thing that one must remember at the outset is that the helmet represented the Deutsches Reich, NOT the Kingdom of Prussia where Elass Lothringen was located. This is the key to several of the differences between it and a military spiked helmet. [PLEASE NOTE: Pickelhauben were not exclusively limited to the Imperial German Army. They were also worn by many different government representatives, such as train officials, mining officials, department heads, and etc. The term “Beamte” was used for both military AND civilian administration officials].

    This helmet was privately-purchased for an NCO. He was a civil official serving in the province of Elass Lothringen/Alsace Lorraine. Again, he was serving the Deutsches Reich, NOT the state of Prussia wherein Elass Lothringen/Alsace Lorraine was located. We know this due to several key helmet parts as outlined below.
    1. The wappen features a Deutsches Reich Eagle instead of Prussia’s.
    2. The spike (which is NOT detachable) is fluted and onion-shaped, unlike a traditional military spike.
    3. The use of a single Deutsches Reich’s kokarde on the helmet’s RIGHT side, even though this helmet dates AFTER 1897 when dual State and Reich’s kokarden were implemented.

    It is important to note the Deutsches Reich connection since headdresses for the Imperial German Army’s overseas units employed similar wappens as well as a single kokarde. The logic for this being a Deutsches Reich pickelhaube follows the reasoning listed next. After Germany acquired Alsace Loraine in 1871, it was considered a colony. Therefore, its headdress was patterned after the type employed in a colony rather than that of any Imperial German State. Citizens of Alsace Lorraine were treated differently from the rest of the regular German population. [Indeed, THEY were often confused as to whether they were German or French]. In effect, then, the province’s officials reported directly to their “home office” in Berlin.

    As the helmet was privately-purchased, the leather body’s superior quality is quite evident. All of the helmet’s furniture is brass. Its wappen is very impressive. It sports an NCO’s Deutsches Reich’s kokarde. The exterior’s only NON-officers-level features are the four lugs on the spike’s base instead of officers’ stars, which is how this helmet meets an NCO’s requirements.

    The interior reveals a standard enlisted men/NCO’s liner. It does NOT feature silk, as would an Offizier’s style liner. The liner is made of fifteen leather tongues that feature a sizing thong for adjusting it to fit the wearer’s head. All of the original hardware is present. Most important, no double holes appear where the wappen attaches to the helmet’s leather body.

    The helmet’s overall condition is excellent. It provides an impressive presentation. We have never before offered a similar pickelhaube. It will make a fine addition to any collection.

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  • ANHALT - PICKELHAUBE - OFFICER  - INFANTERIE-REGIMENT NR 93 - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    ANHALT – PICKELHAUBE – OFFICER  – INFANTERIE-REGIMENT NR 93

    SKU: 04-766 XKGJT

    $6,995.00

    ANHALT – PICKELHAUBE – OFFICER  – INFANTERIE-REGIMENT NR 93

    It has been some time since we have had the pleasure of offering a pickelhaube from the very small Duchy of Anhalt, Saxony’s neighbor. In 1900, the population of Anhalt was 271,963. Its capital was located in Dessau. Its final reigning Duke was Friedrich II, who ruled from 1904-1918. Anhaltisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr 93 was founded in 1807 during the Napoleonic Wars. Bataillone Nrs 1 and 3 were garrisoned in Dessau, while Bataillon Nr 2 was based at Zerbst. The regiment was assigned to the IV. Armeekorps.

    The pickelhaube’s leather body is quite pleasing. Though not perfect, the bulk of the helmet’s (minor) imperfections appear on its right side (from the wearer’s perspective). These are minor ripples rather than gouges in the leather. Its wappen is especially handsome. At first glance, it looks like a standard Prussian wappen. A closer inspection reveals the word “Fürst” (indicating the Duke) rather than “König” for Prussia’s ruler. Its gold eagle displays a lovely, gilt-fired finish. A silver sunburst containing a crowned shield with an “A” in its center is superimposed over the eagle. All of the helmet’s other exterior furniture is gold-toned, including the chin scales, trim, base, officers’ stars and its VERY tall spike. Its final exterior details are the correct officers’ State’s and Reich’s kokarden.

    The interior reveals a lightly-used, brown, leather sweatband, which is attached to a ribbed, rust-colored silk liner that is in fine condition. One hundred percent of the original hardware is visible under the silk liner. NO extra holes appear where the wappen is connected to the helmet’s leather body. It is one of the largest spiked helmets that we have encountered in quite awhile. Penciled on its interior is its size, “58 ½.” [We seldom see helmets larger than a “55”]!
    This very-fine, original helmet would make a fine addition to your collection.

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  • DINNER PLATE - KAISER WILHELM II’s PERSONAL DINNER SERVICE ABOARD NAVAL VESSELS - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    DINNER PLATE – KAISER WILHELM II’s PERSONAL DINNER SERVICE ABOARD NAVAL VESSELS

    SKU: 20-348

    $1,495.00

    DINNER PLATE – KAISER WILHELM II’s PERSONAL DINNER SERVICE ABOARD NAVAL VESSELS.

    This is an interesting, very rare, dinner plate that Kaiser Wilhelm II used when he sailed with the German fleet. The plate is interesting because it is NOT named for the Kaiser’s flagships, the battleship S.M.S. Kaiser Wilhelm II or, later, the S.M.S. Deutschland. He also had table service for his royal yacht, the S.M.Y. Hohenzollern and his racing sloop, the S.M.Y. Iduna. Kaiser Wilhelm II was very intrigued by his navy and his role within it. Plans for the Imperial German Navy’s expansion were constantly brewing at the Navy Ministry between the Kaiser and his alter-ego, Admiral von Tirpitz.

    As the German Empire’s Kaiser, Wilhelm was expected to live well, but he went FAR beyond that. Wilhelm lived in virtually the same style on his royal yacht, the S. M. Y. Hohenzollern, as he did at any of his palaces on land, INCLUDING the specially-designed dishware. The S. M. Y. Hohenzollern carried special plates, saucers, etc., exclusively for use on that vessel. So, a fifth set of tableware was created for his visits to other ships in the fleet so that he would have the same level of luxury aboard the other ships that he chanced to visit. For example, cruisers were dispatched to attend him on his regular visits to Norway’s fjords. Thus, if he entertained officers aboard their ship instead of the S.M.Y. Hohenzollern, he had the “correct” tableware to fete them.

    The plate measures 10″ in diameter. Its edge is trimmed with four small gold bands, as well as one larger, and one medium-sized gold band. One additional gold band appears on the plate’s extreme edge. The magnificent plate is in near-mint condition. At its top, we see Kaiser Wilhelm’s crossed Großadmiral’s flags. The plate’s center features a multicolored Golden Kette of the Order of the Black Eagle. [The Order of the Black Eagle was a non military decoration family in which each male member of the House of Hohenzollern was invested. At the King of Prussia’s (later, the Kaiser’s) discretion, lower levels of the order could be awarded to worthy recipients]. The centerpiece is VERY striking, to say the least.

    The plate’s reverse displays the KPM logo (the porcelain manufacturing firm that served all Prussian Kings and Kaisers from Frederick the Great to Wilhelm II) and various other marks.

    This is one of our rarest examples of the Kaiser’s tableware.

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  • FRACK BAR - FIVE-PLACE - WITH MATCHING TIE-CHAIN DEVICE - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    FRACK BAR – FIVE-PLACE – WITH MATCHING TIE-CHAIN DEVICE

    SKU: 02-446

    $1,095.00

    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.

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  • SAXE-WEIMAR - WILHELM-ERNST KRIEGSKREUZ - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    SAXE-WEIMAR – WILHELM-ERNST KRIEGSKREUZ

    SKU: 08-574

    $2,295.00

    SAXE-WEIMAR – WILHELM-ERNST KRIEGSKREUZ.

    The Order of Heinrich the Lion from Braunschweig and the White Falcon family from the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach are two of my favorite families of orders and decorations. In both cases, it is the superb enamel work and attention to detail that attracts me. That said, I must admit that my favorite is the White Falcon (Weißen Falken). Of course, this is my personal taste. I enjoy the enamel work on ALL Imperial German decorations, but the White Falcon really speaks to me. The White Falcon Wilhelm-Ernst Kriegskreuz with its gold, crosshatched adornment is the decoration’s centerpiece. It just glows.
    Our offering today is an old friend of mine. I have had the privilege of offering ONE example of the Wilhelm-Ernst Kriegskreuz in the past. They are extremely scarce. [Only THREE-HUNDRED-SIXTY-SIX awards of this decoration were made during WW I. They were awarded by Grand Duke Wilhelm-Ernst’s decree beginning in June 1915]. The example that we offer today was awarded during 1917-1918. This award was considered an “Offizier’s Steckkruez.” It was awarded to officers and, in some cases, NCO’s of 5 Thüringischen Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 94 the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach’s single Infanterie Regiment. It was also awarded to native sons of the Grand Duchy who served in other regiments. It was mandatory that the recipient also had been awarded the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class.

    The decoration essentially is a slightly oversized Maltese Cross. The cross’s arms are white enamel. The cross measures 45.0mm x 45.00mm. Its interior features a wreath of green enamel laurel leaf. A pair of crossed swords measuring 51.0mm x 1.0mm extends through the cross’s interior. The white enamel White Falcon (measuring 18.0mm x 25.0mm) is superimposed over a gold enamel center within a golden ring. A series of cross etchings that represent feathers appears on the falcon’s wings and chest.

    The decoration’s reverse features a blue enamel background within a gold-toned ring. Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst’s crowned royal cypher is etched over the blue background. It boasts a coke-bottle-effect-swollen pin. The year “1915” is engraved just above the catch. All of these decorations were produced by Royal House Jeweler (Hofjuwelier) Th. Müller.

    The obverse’s enamel has no faults that I can detect. The reverse’s blue enamel displays some very light chipping over the crown. In fact, the “chipping” is almost like the enamel has thinned with age. That is my observation, while you can make your own determination. I am glad that the fault is on the reverse and is partially obscured when the pin is swung down into place. When displayed with the obverse, this fault will not be apparent. Again you, as the collector, must decide the level of damage. With only 366 of these decorations awarded, they just do NOT enter the market that often. I jumped at the opportunity to acquire it!

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  • LIMITED EDITION PRINT - NUMBER 82/850 - THE LAST WORD - THE FINAL FLIGHT OF RITTMEISTER MANFRED VON RICHTHOFEN - BY JAMES DIETZ - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    LIMITED EDITION PRINT – NUMBER 82/850 – THE LAST WORD – THE FINAL FLIGHT OF RITTMEISTER MANFRED VON RICHTHOFEN – BY JAMES DIETZ

    SKU: 14-454

    $350.00

    LIMITED EDITION PRINT – NUMBER 82/850 – THE LAST WORD – THE FINAL FLIGHT OF RITTMEISTER MANFRED VON RICHTHOFEN – BY JAMES DIETZ.

    Today we are offering you a very scarce, limited edition print from the premiere WW I aviation artist, James Dietz, titled “The Last Flight.” It depicts the final flight of Freiherr Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen (1892-1918). Many paintings and prints of the Red Baron’s last air battle have been done in which he is preparing to shoot down inexperienced British pilot Wilfred (Wop) May. Most of these paintings depict von Richthofen on May’s tail, with the more experienced Roy Brown on the Red Baron’s tail. This work is far different, in that it takes place on the ground rather than in the air. It depicts the last few moments before von Richthofen climbs into his Fokker Triplane for the last time, in which his life ended but his legend increased.

    The Baron’s red Fokker Dr 1 Triplane sits ready for his final ascent on his fateful mission. Von Richthofen stands near the plane with the Jasta 11 pilots he will be leading on 21 April 1918’s morning flight. The Baron’s faithful dog, Moritz, is near his master. The scene is calm and peaceful. Once the Red Baron is aboard his aircraft he will never return to his airfield and rejoin his pilots. He will have flown on into history.

    When it comes to WW I aviation paintings and prints, no one today is finer than Dietz. He is considered the Dean of WW I aviation art. “The Last Word” was published in 1996 by Aerodrome Press, and consisted of 850 limited edition prints. Each is individually signed and numbered by Dietz. Ours is number 102/850.

    This example has been a part of my personal collection for years. Out of all of the limited edition prints depicting Manfred von Richthofen, it is my favorite. Included with the actual print is the certificate of authenticity from the publisher, attesting that this is indeed 102/850 in this most-famous series.
    The print is ready to be framed to your personal tastes.

    The print measures 21 ¼”x 35 ½.”

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  • THE BLUE MAX MOVIE STILL - FOKKER TRIPLANE PHOTOGRAPH - AUTOGRAPHED AND PERSONALIZED TO “DER RITTMEISTER" - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    THE BLUE MAX MOVIE STILL – FOKKER TRIPLANE PHOTOGRAPH – AUTOGRAPHED AND PERSONALIZED TO “DER RITTMEISTER”

    SKU: 14-457

    $250.00

    THE BLUE MAX MOVIE STILL – FOKKER TRIPLANE PHOTOGRAPH – AUTOGRAPHED AND PERSONALIZED TO “DER RITTMEISTER” (KEN GREENFIELD).

    This photograph has hung behind my desk for years. It features the Fokker Triplane flown by the star of The Blue Max, George Peppard. He portrayed its antihero, the ruthless Bruno Stachel. The photograph shows Peppard leaping from his airplane after completing the mission that would win him the PLM. The photograph has been professionally framed and is double-matted.  The photograph is recognized for being from 20th Century Fox and identified as The Blue Max at the bottom. Also at the left bottom is an inscription to me “To Ken Greenfield Donnerwetter (I’m outta here!) On the right it reads “Best Wishes Always Jack Hunter.” The frame’s reverse sports a further inscription “To my Friend Ken Greenfield Merry Christmas 1996. All the best Sincerely Terry”

    As I thin out my personal collection, it is time to share this with another collector who will be as inspired as I was by both The Blue Max and Jack Hunter.

    The framed presentation measures 15” x 12.”

    The photograph measures 9.5” x 7.”

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  • ZEPPELIN - BOOK BAG OR BRIEF CASE - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    ZEPPELIN – BOOK BAG OR BRIEF CASE

    SKU: 21-340 XJB

    $250.00

    ZEPPELIN – BOOK BAG OR BRIEF CASE.

    I have never seen an item like it. I would describe it as a youngster’s school bag or possibly a brief case.  The bag’s front flips up to allow access to its interior, and sports an embroidered scene. The scene shows a zeppelin flying over a town. It is quite clever. My guess is that a young woman made this her project. She painstakingly stitched the scene on the bag’s front cover. The scene exhibits some wear to it, as do its back portions where it was attached to the bag.
    It contains a good amount of space inside, in which one might fit a small laptop or notebook computer. Two leather straps on the front allow the contents to be secured. Another strap is on the back. Unfortunately, all of its hardware is not present to make it operable as a strap.
    A lot of time and love were put into this bag’s construction.

    Bag measures 13” x 10 X 3.”

    This is a consignment item.

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  • BOOK - MIT DEM ZEPPELIN NACH AMERIKA BY LUDWIG DETTMANN - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    BOOK – MIT DEM ZEPPELIN NACH AMERIKA BY LUDWIG DETTMANN

    SKU: 21-341 XJB

    $275.00

    BOOK – MIT DEM ZEPPELIN NACH AMERIKA BY LUDWIG DETTMANN.

    It is a very rare German language book that is illustrated by the noted German landscape and aviation artist, Ludwig Dettmann (1865-1944). Dettmann received training at one of Berlin’s finest art schools before the turn of the 20th Century. He had the opportunity to fly with the Graf Zeppelin (LZ 127) on its maiden flight from Germany to the United States in October 1928. He had a firsthand opportunity to view the crew and passengers of the Graf Zeppelin as it made its historic Atlantic crossing.

    Aside from the text, it contains more than 50 images that range from pen and ink to black and white to full-color. Each image has been reproduced from its original painting and sketch and photographically affixed to the blank page. These images are of varying sizes and depict the story of that Atlantic crossing. Several show Dr. Hugo Eckener and his aircrew as they guided the Graf Zeppelin on her journey.
    Eckener was the one-time assistant to the Zeppelin Company’s founder, Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838-1917). Following the Graf’s death, Eckener assumed control of the company. After WW I, he managed to build a zeppelin that was coded as LZ 126. This was, in fact, the future U.S.S. Los Angeles, which was turned over to the U.S. Navy as part of Germany’s war reparations to the Allies. Eckener was an engineering genius at building airships, as well as a showman who flew aboard both the Graf Zeppelin and her sister ship, the doomed Hindenburg, to demonstrate their ability to first fly across the Atlantic, and later voyage around the world. Zeppelins soon had ongoing flights to the U.S. and South America. In addition to its passenger service, the Zeppelin Company provided Cargo and Air Mail service. In fact, the zeppelins maintained small post offices onboard, and a crewman would cancel mail to show that it had flown aboard the zeppelin. [We would remind you that our Zeppelin Page displays envelopes that flew aboard the Graf Zeppelin and the Hindenburg. Special postage stamps were even produced by the U.S. Post Office for use on zeppelin mail. NOTE: Sending mail by zeppelin was VERY expensive].
    This book relates an important part of history and is in very good condition, overall.

    The book features more than 140 pages and measures 9″ x 11 ½.”

    This is a consignment item.

     

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  • PAINTING - S.M.S. EMDEN - ENHANCED SILK THREAD - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PAINTING – S.M.S. EMDEN – ENHANCED SILK THREAD

    SKU: 22-114

    $495.00

    PAINTING – S.M.S. EMDEN – ENHANCED SILK THREAD

    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. She saw most of her service in the East Asian Squadron (Ostasiengeschwader), which was headquartered in Tsingtao, China. Beginning in 1913, her commander was Korvettenkapitän Karl von Müller (1879-1923). With the outbreak of the war on 2 August 1914, the Emden was the first German ship to capture an Allied ship on 3 August 1914. At that time, the German East Asian Squadron, under the command of Vizeadmiral Graf Maximilian von Spee, had begun the long voyage back to Germany. Unfortunately for them, the bulk of the fleet was sunk during the Battle of the Falkland Islands in December 1914. The S.M.S. Emden, however, was detached from the Ostasiengeschwader to raid the Indian Ocean’s shipping lanes. She captured and/or sank nearly two dozen ships, including a Russian Cruiser and a French Destroyer. The S.M.S. Emden’s end came in November 1914, when she was outgunned and sunk by the RANS’ (Royal Australian Naval Service) H.M.S. Sydney. Von Müller was captured and sent to England. Due to poor health, he was released and returned to Germany as a hero. He was then awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite.

    Today we are sharing with you a unique painting that probably came from China. During its colonial period, Imperial Germany had a substantial number of army and naval units based in China, from which their ships were dispatched all over Asia. This large number of soldiers and sailors created a demand for items commemorating their Asian service that they could take home and display once they returned to the Fatherland. These were akin to the veteran’s steins, pipes, canteens, and so on, that celebrated military service both in Germany and in the other colonies. Naturally, Chinese merchants were eager to satisfy this demand for a wide variety of patriotic commemoratives.

    The painting that we are offering today was among the most beautiful and interesting of such items. I spoke with an expert on the veteran’s paintings that originated in China, who told me that a real cottage industry sprang up to produce these paintings. Different local artists contributed their skills to the overall presentation. First, the painting was produced on high-quality parchment. Paint was applied on the obverse to form the basic background of sky and clouds. The paint was also a superior variety that produced a luminescent image. Next, certain portions of it were stitched with silk thread. This process is seen in particular on the German warship (depicted in profile). The detail to the ship is most impressive. The silk stitching appears throughout its guns, funnels, lifeboats, rigging and flags. Then the ocean beneath the ship is also composed of silk stitches. Finally, the name S.M.S. Emden appears in the painting’s right lower corner.
    It came to us from Germany in its original frame but, unfortunately, it arrived in very poor shape and fell apart. In fact, if we tried to ship it to its new owner with the painting in place, the painting would have suffered further damage. As it is, some sections to its left side show either a hole or the paint has worn away to reveal the parchment. To prevent further damage we will ship the painting rolled and carefully packed in a sturdy shipping tube.
    This is a wonderful artifact of a famous German warship that had a distinguished career both before and during WW I.

    The painting measures 28” x 20.5.”

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  • BRAUNSCHWEIG - PICKELHAUBE - OFFICER - INFANTERIE-REGIMENT NR 92: BATAILLONE NR I AND II - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    BRAUNSCHWEIG – PICKELHAUBE – OFFICER – INFANTERIE-REGIMENT NR 92: BATAILLONE NR I AND II

    SKU: 04-758 XJB

    $11,995.00

    This is a consignment item. Today we are offering a definite rarity, an Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92 Officer’s Pickelhaube. I know you are more used to seeing Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92 helmets displaying the Totenkopf (Death’s Head), but another version was used earlier by the regiment’s Bataillon Nrs I and II. After 1912, the entire regiment switched to the wappen sporting the Totenkopf. The earlier examples are seen far less often. Although many collectors prefer the Totenkopf wappen, this beautiful helmet deserves equal consideration, primarily because the wappen’s center features enamel on it.
    [PLEASE NOTE: the presence of enamel on wappens is rather unusual (IF you discount Prussia’s Garde-Regiments). Only SIX Imperial German Army regiments incorporated some form of enamel into their wappens. They were 1). Braunschweig’s Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92, 2). Baden’s Leib-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 109, 3). Hesse-Darmstadt’s Leibgarde-Infanterie-Regiment Nr 115, 4). Prussia’s Dragoner-Regiment Nr 2, 5). Württemberg’s Dragoner-Regiment Nr 26, and 6). Prussia/Hannover’s Ulanen-Regiment Nr 13. The latter’s tschapka featured a Prussian Garde Star along with various Hanoverian bandeaux above a Prussian Eagle, thus resembling a Prussian Garde-Regiment wappen with attached bandeaux].
    Braunschweig’s Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92 had a long and proud history. It was raised in 1809 and fought extensively in Spain under the command of Field Marshal Wellington during the Napoleonic Wars, suffering substantial casualties. It was garrisoned in Braunschweig’s capital city and assigned to the X. Armeekorps along with other Hanoverian regiments. [The Duchy of Braunschweig was a vassal state of the Kingdom of Hannover. Both were absorbed into Prussia following the Austro-Prussian War, in which they had backed Austria’s losing side. Prussian Prince Albert administered Braunschweig until his death in 1906. Ultimately, Ernst-August (1887-1953) assumed the throne as Duke. He married Kaiser Wilhelm II’s only daughter, Viktoria Luise (1892-1980). This resulted in greater freedoms being granted to Braunschweig].
    The end result is that this is a rare spiked helmet. It sports a very fine leather body that is relatively problem-free, exhibiting only the barest hint of a blemish or two. Its brass wappen is similar to a Prussian Infanterie wappen. As it is for an officer, it features an open (voided) crown. A silver sunburst in the wappen’s center contains an eight-pointed, blue, enamel cross emblazoned with a brass, running horse’s profile. Crowns appear at the cross’s 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock points. The reserve officer’s cross appears directly below the running horse emblem. [PLEASE NOTE: an elite regiment like this one contained far fewer reserve than regular army officers]. All of the helmet’s other furniture is brass-colored, including the (correct) flat chin scales, the base, the pearl ring, the trim, the officers’ stars, and the tall, very elegant spike. The helmet’s final exterior details include the correct officer’s State and Reich’s kokarden. The rosettes that attach its chin scales use the later style M-91 side posts. [Personally, I think it was a matter of the original owner’s sense of style, and an adjustment that he made during the period. As their pickelhauben were privately-purchased, officers had a great deal of flexibility with their headdress].
    The helmet’s interior reveals a fine leather sweatband that is complete, although obviously used. A couple of wear spots show on the sweatband’s leather. A fine, ribbed, silk liner is attached to the sweatband. It is an unusual dark-green in color and in excellent condition. Furthermore, ALL of the original hardware is in place, with NO double holes where the wappen is attached. It is a complete AND original pickelhaube in top condition. This spiked helmet would serve as an important part of your collection, especially if you have an Infanterie-Regiment Nr 92 helmet with the Totenkopf wappen.

    At Der Rittmeister Militaria, we strive to bring you the best in spiked helmets, or pickelhauben (plural for pickelhaube), one of Imperial German Militaria’s most interesting areas for collecting. While ORIGINALITY and AUTHENTICITY are of prime importance, please do not forget Der Rittmeister’s commitment to CONDITION and QUALITY. In this regard, we take special pride in offering you spiked helmets whose condition is at least well above average, if not excellent. I examine hundreds of pickelhauben to find the very few that fulfill all four criteria mentioned above. Upon receiving their new treasure, collectors who have purchased one of our pickelhauben often exclaim that their helmet looks even better than the photos we had displayed on our website. [We do use a high-quality digital camera to photograph our items and upgrade cameras every two years, but enough with the Der Rittmeister Militaria commercial]! Just remember, dear friends, Der Rittmeister’s Four Critical Criteria for collecting pickelhauben: ORIGINALITY, AUTHENTICITY, CONDITION, and QUALITY.
    The pickelhaube was designed in 1842 by Prussia’s König Frederick William IV for use in the Prussian Infanterie. [The Prussian king might have copied similar helmets adopted by Russia’s military during the same time period. It is not clear whether this was a case of imitation, parallel invention, or if both were based on Napoleonic cuirassiers’ helmets]. The helmet style was soon adopted by Germany’s other states and kingdoms during the mid-19th Century, with Bavaria being the final principality to implement it in 1886. [The Bavarians always seemed to go their own way! Interestingly, Bavaria was also the last to authorize kugelhelme for their Artillerie Regiments in 1913]. In addition to Russia, spiked helmets were adopted by many Latin American countries. They were even worn by the USA’s armed forces from the 1880’s until around 1910.
    We also remind all pickelhaube enthusiasts about our good friend Jim Turinetti’s excellent reference books on the subject, available as spiral-bound paperbacks or on CD. You cannot go wrong with them. I can safely state that Jim is the USA’s foremost authority on pickelhauben. Please support him. Dollar for dollar, these books are the best on the market, and reward you with an immeasurable return in value! [Remember, Jim receives any and ALL the profits from his works, Der Rittmeister Militaria just promotes them to help educate the collecting community].

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  • Sale! BERLIN - PICKELHAUBE - OFFICER  - REICHSKOLONIAL (SCHUTZTRUPPEN) - AND DRESS BROCADE BELT & BUCKLE ENSEMBLE IN STORAGE CARTON - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    BERLIN – PICKELHAUBE – OFFICER – REICHSKOLONIAL (SCHUTZTRUPPEN) – AND DRESS BROCADE BELT & BUCKLE ENSEMBLE IN STORAGE CARTON

    SKU: 04-759 XAS

    $13,495.00 $11,495.00

    This is a consignment item. It is an ensemble consisting of an officer’s pickelhaube with a matching dress brocade belt and buckle that is housed in its original storage carton. 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.

    A Schutztruppen officer’s dress brocade belt and buckle are part of this ensemble. Both are in excellent condition, which primarily comes from being housed in their original cardboard storage carton. The circular carton’s exterior is covered with black leatherette, similar to what one sees on a medal presentation case’s exterior. The surface is pebbled. The 8 ½” in diameter case consists of two pieces, a lid and the box.
    The lid’s interior sports a sticker and rubber stamp for a firm in Hannover and Cöln named F. Bennigstorf. It was the royal purveyor to Prinz Albrecht of Prussia, who served as the Duchy of Braunschweig’s administrator. The bottom of the carton is lined with its original tissue paper.
    The brocade belt sports a circular, silver-toned buckle. A high-relief circular wreath decorates the buckle’s outer edge, encircling an even higher-relief Hohenzollern Crown in its center. A thin red line marks the brocade belt’s center, flanked on either side by alternating lines of silver and gray bullion. Two or three small patches of the belt exhibit greater age and wear. The keeper is present, so the belt is fully functional. The belt’s interior is backed with what appears to be feldgrau cotton twill. This is a key to the belt’s age, indicating that it is later than the turn-of-the-century.

    The ensemble comes from a very advanced collection. Both the helmet and brocade belt are 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.

    At Der Rittmeister Militaria, we strive to bring you the best in spiked helmets, or pickelhauben (plural for pickelhaube), one of Imperial German Militaria’s most interesting areas for collecting. While ORIGINALITY and AUTHENTICITY are of prime importance, please do not forget Der Rittmeister’s commitment to CONDITION and QUALITY. In this regard, we take special pride in offering you spiked helmets whose condition is at least well above average, if not excellent. I examine hundreds of pickelhauben to find the very few that fulfill all four criteria mentioned above. Upon receiving their new treasure, collectors who have purchased one of our pickelhauben often exclaim that their helmet looks even better than the photos we had displayed on our website. [We do use a high-quality digital camera to photograph our items and upgrade cameras every two years, but enough with the Der Rittmeister Militaria commercial]! Just remember, dear friends, Der Rittmeister’s Four Critical Criteria for collecting pickelhauben: ORIGINALITY, AUTHENTICITY, CONDITION, and QUALITY.
    The pickelhaube was designed in 1842 by Prussia’s König Frederick William IV for use in the Prussian Infanterie. [The Prussian king might have copied similar helmets adopted by Russia’s military during the same time period. It is not clear whether this was a case of imitation, parallel invention, or if both were based on Napoleonic cuirassiers’ helmets]. The helmet style was soon adopted by Germany’s other states and kingdoms during the mid-19th Century, with Bavaria being the final principality to implement it in 1886. [The Bavarians always seemed to go their own way! Interestingly, Bavaria was also the last to authorize kugelhelme for their Artillerie Regiments in 1913]. In addition to Russia, spiked helmets were adopted by many Latin American countries. They were even worn by the USA’s armed forces from the 1880’s until around 1910.
    We also remind all pickelhaube enthusiasts about our good friend Jim Turinetti’s excellent reference books on the subject, available as spiral-bound paperbacks or on CD. You cannot go wrong with them. I can safely state that Jim is the USA’s foremost authority on pickelhauben. Please support him. Dollar for dollar, these books are the best on the market, and reward you with an immeasurable return in value! [Remember, Jim receives any and ALL the profits from his works, Der Rittmeister Militaria just promotes them to help educate the collecting community].

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  • PRUSSIA - POUR LE MÉRITE - JEWELER/WEARER’S COPY - ROTHE & NEFFE - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PRUSSIA – POUR LE MÉRITE – JEWELER/WEARER’S COPY – ROTHE & NEFFE

    SKU: 05-1706

    $6,495.00

    This very fine example of an Orden Pour le Mérite (PLM) Jeweler/Wearer’s copy that dates from the post WW I (1919-1939) period. A wearer’s copy was purchased by a recipient for daily wear and to preserve his period-issued cross. [The latter usually had been personally presented by Kaiser Wilhelm II, as it was Germany’s highest honor and his privilege to bestow]. During WWI, a total of 687 PLM’s were awarded to various officers in the German military and to important men from the Central Powers. The award of a PLM was made to both senior and junior officers. If given to a junior officer, it was for supreme bravery or accomplishments in battle. Senior officers usually received the award for “command” achievements. For example, the Imperial German Air Service offered its first PLM for shooting down eight airplanes. Within a year of the first award, it increased the score to sixteen (the level at which Manfred von Richthofen received his PLM). As the war progressed, the tally was increased to twenty, then thirty, kills late in the war. The Kaiserliche Marine also received their share of PLM awards. Several U-Boot commanders, as well as surface vessel commanders, were awarded PLM’s.
    The decoration we are offering today is a pre-1917 “pie slice” suspension-device variation. Its enamel is a medium-blue, while the gold lettering and crown are hand-chased and stippled. The enamel is quite pleasing, overall, with a couple of barely perceptible flakes to its front. If anything, these small flaws give us a comfort level attesting that the decoration was actually worn. Its manufacturer is Austrian court jeweler Rothe & Neffe. All decorations produced by this firm are of equal quality to (and perhaps even better than) many of their Berlin counterparts. The cross is unmarked, as many were, although the ribbon suspension ring is stamped “800.”
    Rothe & Neffe PLMs are renowned for their very detailed, hand-worked eagles, with intricately cutout talons and tail feathers. This cross is no exception! Another sign of this example’s extra workmanship is that the all four eagles’ beaks were hand-finished open. Most of the gilt has been worn off the cross over the years, leaving a very pleasing patina overall. We cannot overemphasize the meticulous detailing and hand chasing that has gone into the eagles, as well as the crown’s stippling and the wording on the arms. The well worn, original ribbon bears two silver bands for a first award. It is period issue (NOT a modern replacement) that measures about 18 inches in length.
    While Rothe & Neffe’s pieces have been widely copied for their distinctive look and attractive design, a simple comparison shows that this is NOT a modern copy (most of which are spuriously hallmarked with other makers’ names), but a high-quality example with Weimar Period finishes and patina.
    When we showed this cross to the author of the “bible” on PLMs, he confirmed that it most probably was one of the desirable between-the-wars crosses. We have priced it very reasonably. It represents a substantial savings over a period-awarded piece, which can now run well in excess of $20,000. Cheaper copies are out on the market, but they do NOT stand up to close scrutiny or exhibit such satisfying details.

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  • SAXONY - KNIGHT’S CROSS - MILITARY ST. HEINRICH ORDER - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    SAXONY – KNIGHT’S CROSS – MILITARY ST. HEINRICH ORDER

    SKU: 05-1707

    $1,995.00

    This decoration is the Ritterkreuz grade of the Kingdom of Saxony’s highest military order for bravery. [PLEASE NOTE: Within the Heinrich Order family, this “small” award was the highest that a Saxon soldier could receive.] While the Orden Pour le Mérite was the highest award given in the Reich (originally Prussia’s highest award, first-issued by Frederick the Great in the 18th Century), each German Kingdom, Grand Duchy, and Duchy had its own top decoration, which was most often reserved for that state’s native sons. Such was the case with the Kingdom of Saxony, so it was common for an officer who received one award to also receive the other. This award was reserved for officers ONLY. [Several states offered a different award to NCO’s or enlisted men].
    The order’s cross measures 1 ½” x 2 ¼” from its bottom to the massive articulated crown’s top. The order has an extremely-detailed and interesting obverse and reverse. The obverse features a beautifully hand-painted representation of St. Heinrich at the very center. This small center area displays SIX different colors of enamel. Surrounding that is a blue and gold Latin motto. White enamel trim on a gold metal background extends out to the cross’s arms. The previously-mentioned large, articulated gold crown sits atop the cross. A jump ring at the crown’s top allows the attachment of the decoration’s ribbon.
    The decoration’s reverse features Saxony’s well-known Coat-of-Arms: a black and gold enamel background featuring a diagonal green branch in its center (in the same position as St. Heinrich on the obverse). It is surrounded by a blue and gold enamel circle that features Saxony’s motto in gold against the blue enamel. The cross’s arms are connected and decorated in a manner identical to the obverse. That said, it is important to emphasize that the enamel work displays NO cracks or chips—this cross is 100% intact and unrestored. Many Heinrichs’ Ordens DO exhibit enamel problems due to the extensive enamel work comprising their design, and the fact that most were usually sandwiched between other orders on an Ordensspange. It is quite common for them to have received restoration work over the years. While acceptable, such work always affects an award’s value. This cross’s workmanship is PERFECT.
    Our order is a silver-gilt example, dating from the mid-to-late-war period. It is NOT hallmarked, which was quite common. A small portion of period ribbon accompanies it.
    Perhaps the most famous man to be awarded this decoration was Max Immelmann. He was, along with Oswald Boelcke, one of the first two Imperial German Air Service pilots to be awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite. He also is the person for whom the Pour le Mérite was nicknamed. [“Blue Max” sounds better than the “Blue Oswald,” doesn’t it? Manfred von Richthofen did not receive his PLM award until the following year, and the “Blue Manfred” just doesn’t have the same ring]!
    The decoration is in excellent condition with no enamel damage. It is a beautiful piece.

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  • Sale! PRUSSIA - TUNIC - MAJOR’S - REGIMENT der GARDES du CORPS - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PRUSSIA – TUNIC – MAJOR’S – REGIMENT der GARDES du CORPS

    SKU: 15-706 XAS

    $3,495.00 $2,695.00

    PRUSSIA – TUNIC – MAJOR’S – REGIMENT der GARDES du CORPS.

    This is a consignment item. The Regiment der Gardes du Corps (GdC) was the most elite of all of the Prussian cavalry regiments. It was garrisoned in Potsdam which is today considered a suburb of Berlin. Back in the day by horse or carriage it was a good half day’s ride. Most of the very elite Garde Regiments were based in Potsdam rather than Berlin. Like all Garde Regiments, it was a part of the Garde Korps and was assigned to the 1. Garde Division. It should also be noted that it was founded in 1740 during the reign of the Great Prussian King, Frederick the Great.

    The GdC was a Küraßier Regiment. This type of regiment was considered heavy cavalry as they wore a küraß (breastplate). The latter protected the wearer from sword and (to a lesser extent) lance slashes. However, they offered little protection against the rifle and pistol shots that rapidly became more common AFTER the regiment’s foundation. In addition, the men of the regiment wore a metal helmet that also offered greater protection against sword slashes. The GdC’s helmet also offered an extended rear visor (called a “lobster tail”) that afforded the neck extra protection.
    After 1815’s conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars, it was realized that the role of heavy cavalry was changing and lighter, nimbler cavalry units were in order. After 1815, no further Küraßier Regiments were formed. Indeed, with the exception of one Prussian Husaren Regiment that was raised in 1866, no expansions of the cavalry occurred after 1815. [Dragoner, Ulanen, and Jäger zu Pferde Regiments were formed instead]. After the 1870 1871 Franco Prussian War’s conclusion, the powers-that-be realized that the days of cavalry charges were nearing an end. WW I’s early days saw the Kavallerie perform some limited scouting, but as trench warfare set in, their horses were either sent home or used by artillery transport units. Most military supplies were moved by wagon rather than trucks once they arrived by train from Germany.
    Before and during WW I, the GdC was the most visible among the troops surrounding Kaiser Wilhelm II during parades at home and in the field. This was primarily due to the gold toned helmets topped by massive Hohenzollern Eagles that they wore during parades. It was common to see the Kaiser reviewing his troops while a GdC member (adorned with his eagle topped helmet) stood behind him brandishing the Kaiser Standarte (Standard/Banner).
    The tunics worn by the GdC (known as Kollers) were just as impressive as their parade helmets. Since the GdC was a Küraßier Regiment, these tunics sported totally different collars that were shared only by Jäger zu Pferde Regiments. [PLEASE NOTE: Jäger zu Pferde Regiments also wore the same helmet style. The reason for this remains unknown to me, since all of these regiments were created in the early 20th Century. I imagine it was a matter of style and appearance].

    The white tunic is constructed from the highest quality wool available. Its rounded silver bullion collar (with some red highlights) extends further down the center of both tunic halves. One of the tunic’s most interesting features is that it displays NO exposed buttons or buttonholes. Instead, the tunic is secured with a system of hooks and eyes alternating down its interior’s two halves. When these are secured, a very clean and smooth appearance is presented. The tunic’s cuffs display a combination of the silver bullion tape AND two silver bullion litzen, again with red highlights. A large silver button adorns the silver bullion litzen.
    The Major’s shoulder boards are of the slip on variety and display a series of silver bullion “ropes” adorned with the black chevrons that confirm them as Prussian. They sport dual layers of trim directly below the obverse. The layer closest to the obverse is red, with another white layer extending out a bit directly beneath it. A small silver toned button secures each shoulder board to the tunic’s shoulders. Since this officer was a Major, we know him to be a senior regiment member, either a Bataillon Kommandeur (one of three), or serving on the Regimental Kommandeur’s staff as his deputy. [In such a prestigious regiment, this chap was a big deal]!
    His status as a senior officer is further confirmed by the tunic’s sewn in award loops. A massive set of five different horizontal loops appears on its upper left breast. The latter extend from the bullion tape near the tunic’s center almost to the red trim near the armpit and measure a whopping 6 ½” in width. Clearly, this officer had been awarded a significant number of decorations. Based on the loops’ size, I would not be surprised if he had nearly ten ribbons on his bar! The tunic also boasts a total of three significant, vertically sewn in loop sets. Two sets of loops are about 3 ½” in apart on a horizontal plane. Below and centered between those first two pairs is another that measures 1 ¼” in length. Again, since the officer was a Major with a substantial number of awards on his ribbon bar, it is quite probable that at least two of the loop sets are for breast stars. I estimate that the tunic dates from 1895 to around 1910. If so, one of the pairs could have been for an 1870 Iron Cross 1st Class. [Again, this is a leap on my part. If he was NOT awarded the 1870 EK 1, then possibly all the loop sets were for breast stars. If any of you good readers see other possibilities, I would appreciate hearing from you]!
    The tunic’s reverse sports red piping that extends from its shoulders down to its skirt. A vent on the skirt’s reverse provides an opening for more comfortable seating when riding a horse. Each skirt flap displays three large, silver toned buttons. The tunic’s exterior exhibits several areas with moth nips and moth blooms, which are scattered on about the obverse, reverse, arms, and so on.

    The tunic’s interior presents a fine, white, silk liner. It is complete, although it shows some minor separation at the top near its wool collar. A number, “557 2,” has been penned onto the collar. I am going to make an assumption that this is either a museum’s or a private collection’s catalog number.
    Here is an opportunity to obtain a high quality, rare tunic from what is arguably Germany’s most elite regiment. You can be sure that the original owner of the tunic was of either royal or noble birth. One did NOT get to be a Major of any Imperial German Regiment without being from Germany’s elite, particularly a regiment that had so much exposure to Kaiser Wilhelm II! If you have a GdC helmet or visor cap, this would help create an unbelievable display on a mannequin.


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  • Sale! TUNIC - PRUSSIA - IDENTIFIED - GENERALLEUTNANT VON WISSENDORF

    TUNIC – PRUSSIA – IDENTIFIED – GENERALLEUTNANT VON WISSENDORF

    SKU: 15-697 XAS

    $5,995.00 $4,995.00

    This is a consignment item from the collection of a very experienced, longtime collector who has an appreciation for unusual, seldom-seen items that are in excellent condition. Today we are offering, on his behalf, a parade tunic that belonged to a Prussian Generalleutnant named von Wissendorf. The tunic’s consignor informs us that he was assigned to the Prussian VII. Armeekorps, which was based in Münster.

    The pre WWI dunkel-blau (dark-blue) tunic dates from approximately 1887 and is made of the finest wool that was available at the time. It obviously came from a skilled tailor’s workshop, since it is quite a masterpiece. A total of twelve unadorned gold-toned buttons runs down the tunic’s center. Its collar design is quite striking, and displays the tremendous gold bullion used in the pattern by the period’s General officers (BEFORE bullion kragenspiegel (collar patches) came into use post-1909 – this design dates from 1856 up to 1909). [I personally think the earlier form was a much more elegant way to display a General officer’s rank]. The gold bullion’s design features oak leaves interspersed with gilt-toned, bullet-shaped acorns against a red background. The acorns’ gilt coating has worn away over the years, so that they now appear to be silver-toned.

    The tunic exhibits an amazing combination shoulder board/aiguillette on its right shoulder. It is fashioned from rich, gold bullion and features a single Generalleutnant’s silver pip. [The silver pip usually indicated that its owner was an à la Suite officer (an honorary rank), since gold pips were for use by Generals who were tactical commanders rather than à la Suites]. The aiguillette’s color also confirms its wearer was a line-officer, NOT an à la Suite. The aiguillette consists of two one-inch wide, gold bullion braids attached to four one-quarter-inch wide gold-toned bullion ropes. All of these sections are intricately looped together and attached to two more short, one-quarter-inch, gold-toned bullion ropes whose ends are covered by elaborate, sliding, cylindrical, tapered, metal, three-inch-long extensions. Each extension is topped by a Prussian Hohenzollern Crown, which fits into, but is not attached, to the rest of the elegant, tapered cylinder. It is all extremely attractive.

    The tunic’s other shoulder sports a far different type of decoration. It is a five-inch-long intertwined coil of approximately one-quarter-inch, originally silver-toned, metal disks that have tarnished to a dark, gold-toned color. The tunic’s regulations refer to it as “made of two rolled silver wire bullion cords twisted together.” [Quite frankly, the device reminds me of something that one might have find on a Christmas tree]! It is attached to the inner point of the shoulder by a gold-toned brass button.

    The tunic’s cuffs display the same design featured on its collar. They are quite large, measuring 3.5″ wide. The heavy gold bullion oak leaves are repeated, as are their “acorns.” Each cuff also sports two large gold-toned buttons. The tunic’s reverse once again repeats the same bullion oak leaf design on each of the vent’s two halves, along with three large gold-toned buttons. The tunic’s front displays NO loops for sewn-in medal bars, breast stars, or the like. The exterior’s overall condition is very fine, with very little mothing (just the hint of a small moth nip or two). No tears or other major issues are present beyond the expected signs of age.
    The tunic’s interior features a very heavy, padded, red silk lining. Some small scattered areas of mothing are present, as well as some of the shredding commonly seen on aging silk. When one considers that it is MORE than one-hundred-twenty years-old, the damage is quite limited. A small pocket appears on the interior’s left side. No indication is given of the original owner’s name, nor of the tailor who designed it.
    This tunic is an amazing piece of history that speaks to the elegance of its time. It would make an excellent addition to any uniform collection.

     


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  • Sale! HUSAREN REGIMENT OFFICER’S BELT WITH ORIGINAL STORAGE CARTON - PRUSSIA - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    HUSAREN REGIMENT OFFICER’S BELT WITH ORIGINAL STORAGE CARTON – PRUSSIA

    SKU: 15-670 XAS

    $1,795.00 $895.00

    This is a consignment item. Today we are offering a wonderful Prussian Husaren Regiment Officer’s parade belt. It is a very hard-to-find accessory worn by Prussian Husaren officers on dress occasions. The belt features stone-mint brown leather attachments at either end for securing the belt. The belt itself consists of many thin braided silver and black-chevroned bullion strings that are threaded through three sets of braided silver bullion tubes. [The tubes, which number five per set, are securely threaded together]. An aiguillette-like section is attached by its braided rosette between two of tube sections. The “aiguillette” itself consists of two thicker silver bullion cords that encircle the looped-together strings near one of the leather fasteners. The aiguillette’s OTHER end features two portépée-like devices made of bullion and coiled silver-toned tinsel, which hang down from the rosette opposite to the aiguillette’s cords. A white silk lining is attached to the belt’s reverse behind the tube sets and the aiguillette’s rosette. It is intact, but shows some minor soiling. The belt measures 30 ½” when fully lengthened.
    The belt has been housed in its original storage carton over all these years. The carton measures 8″ in diameter. Both carton halves are in excellent condition. Its original one-hundred-year-old tissue paper lines the carton’s bottom. This explains the belt’s superb condition!
    It is a mint-condition Husaren officer’s belt. You could search for years and find none better. Even in a lesser condition, it is an accouterment that seldom turns up. [As an extra incentive, we will add a handsome discount on any Prussian Officer’s Attila in our inventory if you purchase the pair together].


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  • Sale! PRUSSIA - DRESS KOLLAR AND SASH - OFFICER'S - KÜRAßIER-REGIMENT Nr 4 - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PRUSSIA – DRESS KOLLAR AND SASH – OFFICER’S – KÜRAßIER-REGIMENT Nr 4

    SKU: 15-675 XAS

    $2,495.00 $1,695.00

    This is a consignment item. It is an officer’s Küraßier-Regiment von Driesen (Westfälisches) Nr 4 dress tunic (koller), which was worn at formal affairs and parades. The regiment was founded in 1717 and garrisoned at Münster, where it was attached to the VII. Armeekorps.
    Küraßier and Jäger zu Pferde’s dress tunics were unlike those of all the other troops, even those from other Kavallerie Regiments (the Ulanen’s ulankas and the Husaren’s attilas). The difference lies in the Küraßier and Jäger zu Pferde’s collar design and the way its decorative trim is arranged. The trim (in regimental colors) is used on the koller’s front, collar and cuffs, and is referred to as borte (border). When you look at the photos that accompany this selection, you will note that the collar and its trim are rounded from the collar’s upper section to the midpoint where it flows down into the borte decorating the koller’s front. You will also notice that the koller has NO visible buttons on its front. Instead, the borte conceals a hook and eye system beneath it so that the tunic front presents a smooth appearance once everything is secured. It is an extremely elegant design.
    The koller is made of fine white wool. The each tunic half’s front sports the previously-mentioned, regimentally-correct, red and silver bullion borte running from collar-to-bottom down its center edge. Furthermore, the same borte adorns each cuff, along with two silver-toned buttons on each sleeve.
    The koller comes with two correct, very fine epaulettes. Each epaulette sports a silver and black bullion passant across its tongue where it attaches to the half-moon. [A passant is the small shoulder strap that runs parallel to the tunic’s shoulder seam to attach an epaulette to the uniform]. The latter may indicate that the wearer retired from the regiment as a Leutnant der Reserve. The metal fittings (moons) are silver-toned, while the epaulettes’ centers display the same unadorned white wool as the tunic. The epaulettes’ backing is red. The epaulettes are in excellent condition. Thin red piping traces a design on the koller’s reverse that descends from the shoulder seams down the back to the waistline, then onto the vent area to accent the six plain silver buttons on display. The same red piping accents each sleeve back from the shoulder seam to the cuff’s borte.
    The tunic’s interior displays a rather unusual padded design covered with silk. This silk has suffered some shredding, especially in the top center. A bit more shredding is visible in the vent area. Some black numbers and letters are visible on the interior tunic sleeve and just below the shredding in the top center. [I believe these are postwar costume house marks. Many Great War tunics made their way into costume houses for the theater and burgeoning film industries in Europe and the USA. I once had a tunic that was marked for a Los Angeles, California costume house, including a six-digit telephone number! (U.S. telephone numbers did not convert to the current seven digits until after WW II)].
    A silver-toned brocade dress sash (in very fine condition) is included with the koller. The tunic’s overall condition is quite pleasing. Even though white material often does not age well, this tunic has NOT suffered extensive soiling. It is an excellent representation of its kind.


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  • Sale! PRUSSIA - KÜRAß -OFFICER’S REGIMENT LINE-KÜRAßIER - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

    PRUSSIA – KÜRAß -OFFICER’S REGIMENT LINE-KÜRAßIER

    SKU: 15-674 XAS

    $6,495.00 $5,495.00

    This is a consignment item. It is a high quality officer’s küraß for a Prussian Line-Küraßier-Regiment. Küraßiers were considered the German Army’s heavy cavalry. They harkened back to when cavalrymen dashed madly across battlefields to fight enemy cavalry and infantry units. The Küraßiers heyday reigned from the 18th Century through the early 19th Century’s Napoleonic Wars. Their usefulness gradually diminished as firearms and artillery became more sophisticated and the 19th Century evolved into the 20th. The same was true of Germany’s other Kavallerie units, which included Ulanen, Dragoner, Husaren, and Chevauleger Regiments. While their tactical usefulness diminished, their ceremonial value greatly increased with the German Empire’s 1871 formation. The Küraßier Regiments took pride of place during this time, particularly Prussia’s Regiment der Gardes du Corps (GdC) and Saxony’s Garde-Reiter-Regiment, both of which displayed elaborate uniforms and headdress.
    Five Prussian Army Line-Küraßier-Regiments wore küraßes like the example we are offering today. It features a simple silver-toned finish along with certain gold-toned fittings such as bolts, circular adornments, and the nipple posts to which its securing belts are attached. The securing belts are particularly important, and are attached to the shoulder tops of the küraß’s back section. [The belts themselves greatly resemble an officer’s pickelhaube chinstraps with their individual, overlapping metal scales]. A high-relief ornamental lion’s head within a shield appears just behind the actual attachment device. Once they are secured by the attachment device, the belts are then laid over the wearer’s shoulders to be secured to the corresponding posts on the küraß’s front section. The belts sport very ornate attachment plates with “keyholes” that are secured around the front section’s nipple post attachments. Laurel leaves adorn the attachment plates in very elegant patterns.
    The interiors of the küraß’s two sections are lined with padded white cotton for extra protection and comfort. The cotton also helped absorb perspiration. [One can well imagine that wearing a wool koller under a küraß would make its wearer VERY warm in summertime, in addition to the metal pickelhaube with its long lobstertail protecting his neck! At least a Line-Küraßier-Regiment officer did not have to wear the GdC’s heavy eagle on top of his helmet, which would have added more weight to the equation].
    All in all, it is a fine example of an officer’s küraß. The küraß’s front sports two areas of tarnish/patina from decades of NOT being cleaned (as an officer’s aid would have done). These appear near the gold-toned nipple post attachments. Another small defect turns up about three inches above the left nipple post (from the wearer’s standpoint). It looks like the küraß was struck by something heavy enough to damage a bit of the silver-toned surface. The actual damage is diagonal and about one inch in length. The küraß’s rear half does not display any damage, but does sport a substantial patina from age. We are very pleased to share this handsome piece with you today. [Here is one final bit of information to share with you. The consignor is a longtime, very experienced collector. His collection still houses other küraßes, including a black spring-parade GdC küraß. He tells us the Line-Küraßier-Regiment küraß is absolutely the largest one that he has ever encountered. Due to its weight and value, extra shipping costs will be necessary].


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Just In From Germany - Imperial German Military Antiques Sale

We are proud to feature works and art by Jack D. Hunter Author of The Blue Max

Our good friend Jack D. Hunter passed away on 13 April 2009, at the age of eighty-seven (he would have been eighty-eight in June). I miss him. He remains an extremely important influence on my life, as well as for many WWI collectors and readers.