This is a consignment item. It is an utterly spectacular pair of Generalfeldmarschall’s shoulder boards that were once owned by Kaiser Wilhelm II as the Regimental Chef of 3. Garde-Ulanen-Regiment. The 3. Garde-Ulanen-Regiment was the third (obviously), and final Garde-Ulanen-Regiment. It was created in 1860 during Kaiser Wilhelm I’s reign (Kaiser Wilhelm II’s grandfather). It was garrisoned in Potsdam with all the other elite Garde-Regiments, including the Regiment der Garde du Corps and the 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß. [Potsdam was also the site of Sanssouci, the Hohenzollern Summer Palace built by Frederick the Great (Frederick II). It was also where the last Hohenzollern palace was built for Kronprinz Wilhelm and his bride, Kronprinzessin Cecilia, and christened “Cecilienhof” in her honor. The palace was used for the 1945 Potsdam Conference of U.S. President Harry Truman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and USSR Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin. Today the Cecilienhof is, in addition to being a German historical treasure, a conference center/hotel with an excellent restaurant. I have stayed within its confines, wherein history exudes from every nook and cranny].
The shoulder boards are massive, measuring 5” x 2 ¾.” They each display two gold bullion braids sandwiching a center silver bullion braid as the primary background. The silver bullion braid sports black chevrons that identify these as Prussian shoulder boards. A magnificent set of crossed silver Generalfeldmarschall (GFM) batons are installed on the gold/silver bullion ropes. [Full-sized batons were issued to the man who achieved the rank, with the owner’s name noted on each one]. Each miniature baton measures 2 ¼.” If you look closely, you can see Prussian Crowns and Hohenzollern Eagles.
The sumptuous detailing just keeps on coming! Laid over the batons is Kaiser Wilhelm II’s royal cypher, with a beautiful Prussian Crown directly above it. The fire gilding is little changed from when these shoulder boards were manufactured more than one-hundred-years ago, which renders these two items particularly striking. They rivet your eyes to the shoulder boards’ centers like miniature beacons. Two different colors underlay the gold and silver bullion ropes. The first, on which the bullion is mounted, is yellow. In turn, the yellow is mounted on a slightly-larger red underlay. The color combination connects them to the 3. Garde-Ulanen-Regiment, as yellow is its central coloring scheme (unlike the 1. Garde-Ulanen-Regiment and 2. Garde-Ulanen-Regiment). Their reverses reveal the strap attachments that allow each shoulder board to slip quite quickly onto the ulanka (tunic). I have seen countless Kaiser Wilhelm II shoulder boards. This pair’s condition is MINT, perhaps the best that I have ever offered. If you are looking for a pair of shoulder boards that can become the crown jewels of your collection, you need look no further.