The 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War was the final piece in the puzzle completing Germany’s unification, culminating in Prussian König Wilhelm I’s coronation as Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm I. This very important event capped three men’s campaign to make Prussia the Reich’s ruling kingdom.
Today we are offering with you a framed presentation of those three important figures in small color paintings. The overall dimensions of the simple wooden frame are 11 3/8″ x 18 7/8.” In the middle is Kaiser Wilhelm I. He is standing outside, wearing a küraßier officer’s überrock. One can see a generalfeldmarschall’s crossed batons and an Iron Cross ribbon in the tunic’s buttonhole.
To Wilhelm I’s left is the process’s military genius, Generalfeldmarschall Helmuth von Moltke. He served as Wilhelm I’s Chief of the General Staff during the various German states’ consolidation. Von Moltke is seated at his desk in uniform as he works through the army’s weighty matters. He oversaw the Prussian Army during the Second Schleswig War of 1864, also known as the Prussian-Danish War. He helmed the Prussian Army in the next conflict, the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. It led to Prussia absorbing the states of Hannover, Braunschweig, Nassau, etc., and pretty much set up Germany’s various kingdoms and states as they would remain in the Empire. Von Moltke’s final war as Chief of the General Staff was during 1870-1871, when Germany’s combined and modernized army rolled over the French forces, captured Versailles, and arrived at Paris’ gates by the war’s end. Von Moltke left Germany with the largest, most-modern army in Europe.
The presentation’s final figure (on Kaiser Wilhelm I’s right) is Fürst von Bismarck. Von Bismarck is seated at his desk, busily plotting concocting alliances for Germany’s future benefit. The “Iron Chancellor” served both Prussia and Germany as their chief political minister. He was the Reich’s political mastermind. A consummate politician, he deftly maneuvered Germany onto a steady course until his departure early in Kaiser Wilhelm II’s reign.
Each small portrait is individually framed in gold trim. The portraits measure 3 3/4″ x 3/8.” At the wooden frame’s top we see a gilt-toned (probably brass) Kaiser Crown with oak leaves beneath it. A simple period hook on its reverse allows the presentation to be hung on your wall.