Today we are featuring one of the most interesting and important promotion patents that we have ever offered. Promotion patents were an important part of Imperial Germany. When a man entered the lowest officers’ ranks, he was given a patent entitling him to his office’s rank. When such a man finally reached a hauptmann’s or rittmeister’s rank, the patent was signed by the King/Kaiser.
As promotion patents’ formats are the same, regardless of rank. They simply become more interesting and valuable IF they include a signature of, say, Kaiser Wilhelm I or Kaiser Wilhelm II. The patent we are offering today is for a major being promoted to oberstlieutenant. His name is Franz Miketta. During the promotion process, Miketta was assigned to 2. Leib-Husaren-Regiment Königin Victoria von Preußen Nr 2. It was one of two Prussian Husaren-Regiments that held Leib (Life) status. [It also was one of two Prussian regiments to display totenköpfe on their headdresses. These two Prussian regiments counted as two of the four German regiments that wore totenköpfe. The other two, of course, were from Braunschweig]. The document measures 8 1/4″ x 14″ when unfolded, and 14″ x 17″ when folded. Three of the four pages have information printed and handwritten on them.
The third page reveals that the promotion was effective 22 March 1897. We also see that the document was signed by Kaiser Wilhelm II in Berlin. Kaiser Wilhelm II’s signature was always large and oversized. This particular signature was signed with black ink that now appears to be more brown than black. This is nothing more than a function of age, as we are dealing with a document that is more than one-hundred-years old. It is also worth noting that the Kaiser’s signature has been partially stamped with the House of Hohenzollern’s seal. The document has been folded into thirds. It would make a wonderful document for you cavalry collectors.