This is a consignment item. It is a covered silver chalice or ceremonial drinking cup housed in a very ornate presentation case, once owned by Großherzog (Grand Duke) Friedrich II (1857-1928), the Grand Duchy of Baden’s final ruler. He ruled from his father Friedrich’s death in 1907 until the German Empire’s 1918 demise. The cup was produced in Berlin by one of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s house jewelers, H. J. Wilm. Its overall height is 7 1/4.” The diameter at the rim is 2 1/4,” while its diameter at the bottom is 2 7/8.” [While we use the term “chalice,” we do not feel its use was necessarily religious].
The vessel sports a fitted top, whose handle is graphically depicted as rising flames. It lifts off to reveal a polished, gilt-toned inner bowl. The lid’s underside is also gold-toned. The bowl is quite small (from the standpoint of a liquid-holding vessel). It would hold no more than 3-4 ounces of liquid. The bowl’s exterior displays the central emblem from 1. Badisches Leib-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 109 officer’s wappen. [This was the Grand Duchy’s most elite infantry regiment. It was founded in 1803 and garrisoned at the capital city of Karlsruhe. The regiment was assigned to the XIV. Armeekorps. It fought extensively in the Napoleonic Wars. It ranked with other kingdoms’ elite regiments, such as Prussia’s 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß, Saxony’s 1 Sächs. Leib-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 100, Hesse-Darmstadt’s Leibgarde-Infanterie-Regiment (1. Grossherzog. Hessisches) Nr 115, and Württemberg’s Grenadier-Regiment (1. Württembergisches) Königin Olga]. The emblem consists of a sunburst with a red, enamel cross in its center. (In my opinion, this regiment’s wappen is one of Imperial Germany’s most beautiful).
The chalice’s opposite side features Baden’s crowned Coat-of-Arms. The Coat-of-Arms’ trim and its crown are rose gold. A three-dimensional griffin’s head serves as the chalice’s stem. The mythical creature symbolized Baden, just as a black eagle did Prussia and rampant lions did Bavaria. It was displayed on Infanterie and Dragoner pickelhauben, as well as on Artillerie kugelhelme. The griffin is beautifully executed, with its beak, ears, and feathers richly detailed. Baden’s royal crown sits atop the griffin’s head, cradling the bowl’s base. (I missed this crown the first time that I looked at the chalice). Its details are truly magnificent. The griffin stem rests upon a simple, sculpted metal base. The base’s bottom displays six square pointed metal designs that resemble pointed studs. The hallmark for Berlin’s H. J. Wilm firm appears between two of the “studs,” along with a .800 silver hallmark, as well as the half moon and the Hohenzollern Crown specified by Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1885 when he Germany’s silver and gold standards. This magnificent chalice comes housed in a deluxe presentation/storage case. It measures 8 1/4″ x 4″ x 3 ½.” The finely constructed case is made of leatherette. It sports an unusual swing away catch to lock it. Inside the case we see a royal purple silk upper half. In the silk liner’s center, embossed in gold, is the inscription written below. “H. J. Wilm Königl. Hof Juwelier Berlin” A crown appears above the H. J. Wilm and a small design just below the attribution’s last line. The case’s bottom is lined in matching purple velvet. The base is fitted to accommodate the chalice and its top.
This is an amazing personality piece for Grand Duke Friedrich of Baden. The quality is superb. It would most certainly become the centerpiece of any collection.