This is an interesting multicolored metal wall plaque depicting the Heavy Cruiser Kaiserin Augusta’s goodwill visit to New York City. The Augusta was accompanied by the three-masted windjammer Seeadler to participate in a belated celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s first voyage across the Atlantic.
The plaque measures 8″ x 12″ and features four corner holes by which it can be attached to a flat surface. The plaque itself is slightly vaulted in its center. Several ships, a buoy and the ocean waves are rendered in high-relief. The picture is actually a reproduction of an 1895 chromolithograph by Carl Saltzmann (1847–1923) of the event. [Saltzmann was a Berlin-born marine and landscape painter who completed several paintings of Kaiser Wilhelm II and his brother, Prinz Heinrich, on board their ships]. It depicts the white Kaiserin Augusta steaming out of New York Harbor. The kriegsflagge is visible at her stern. Another kriegsflagge and the Kaiserstandarte appear in the plaque’s upper right corner. A number of vessels, including a paddlewheel steamer, appear on her starboard side, including what looks like the Seeadler’s silhouette further in the background. The Statue of Liberty resplendently brandishes her torch to the Augusta’s stern, also on the ship’s starboard side. A large buoy bobs in the water at the ship’s port side. The caption “Kaiserin Augusta verläßt Neuyork” (Kaiserin Augusta leaves New York) appears at the plaque’s top.
I want to stress that this is a modern-day reproduction of the period painting, not a period piece. I picked it up on a recent trip to Germany. It is colorful and well made, and beautifully presents a marine painting from the Imperial German era.