This is a very hard-to-find 1913 König’s Shooting Prize from the Kingdom of Bavaria. Even after the German Empire’s establishment with Kaiser Wilhelm I at its head, Bavaria retained a greater degree of independence than did the other German states. For example, Bavarian troops were retained in purely Bavarian-commanded Armeekorps (a total of three). Even though the kingdoms of Württemberg and Saxony had their own Armeekorps (two for Saxony), they still operated under Prussia’s General Staff. This meant that all German regiments (except the Bavarians) competed with each other for the annual Kaiser’s Shooting Prize, awarded for the best shooting from Infanterie, Artillerie, Kaiserliche Marine, and Jäger Regiments.
Bavaria, however, awarded its OWN shooting prize for the Infanterie. These awards are so scarce that I had never seen or offered one before. It is quite similar to the Kaiser’s Prize in that it appears on an oval-shaped, dark-blue, sleeve patch measuring 4 1/8″ x 3.” Attached to the blue patch is a gilt device that sports a wreath of oak leaves crossed by a pair of rifles. Between the crossed rifles at the wreath’s bottom is the year, 1913. At the wreath’s top is a Wittelsbach rather than a Hohenzollern Crown. The frosted gilt device is in amazing condition.
The blue patch also is in good condition, although a small bit of fabric is missing at the eleven o’clock point. It almost looks like a small (very small) bite has been taken from it. A piece of tin on the reverse serves as backing for the gilt device on the obverse. The gilt piece is attached in four places to the tin backing. No manufacturer’s hallmark shows on the reverse.
This is a marvelous piece to add to your badge collection. It could even be sewn to a prewar, dark-blue Bavarian enlisted man’s tunic.