This is a large Cabinet Photograph of Kaiser Friedrich III (1831-1888), Kaiser Wilhelm I’s son. Upon his father’s death in 1888, he became Germany’s second Kaiser. Sadly, his reign was short. He died ninety-nine days after his rise to the throne. [How interesting history might have been had he lived longer! He and his wife, Kaiserin Victoria (Queen Victoria of England’s eldest daughter) were both progressives who had many ideas that would have charted a different course for the German Empire than what occurred under their son, Wilhelm II]. Friedrich III was a seasoned army commander who led major portions of the Prussian Army during the 1864 Danish-Prussian War, 1866 Austro-Prussian War, and the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War. Joined with Generalfeldmarschall von Moltke (the architect of the Prussian Army as a fighting machine) as commander of the German General Staff, the two successfully charted a winning strategy through three sharp and furious wars.
In actuality, a Cabinet Photograph is a larger version of the CdV, an extremely popular type of Victorian-era photograph. The example measures 4 ¼” x 6 ½.” It was produced by the Hermann Selle photographic studio in Potsdam, a Hofphotograph (House Photographer) to the House of Hohenzollern. He was located in Potsdam at York Strasse Nr 4. As a House purveyor he was allowed to show the House of Hohenzollern Coat-of-Arms on his photographs.
In the photo, Friedrich stands erect wearing an überrock. His tunic sports the 1870 Iron Cross 1st Class on its left breast. Around his neck is the Grand Cross of the 1870 Iron Cross. In his right hand he holds his sword. His left hands rests on his Generalfeldmarschall’s baton that is lying on a table near a pickelhaube. This photograph is in excellent condition.