This is a very interesting naval officer’s promotion patent. The recipient’s name was Oskar Röcher. He was promoted to Kapitänleutnant on 12 November 1904. Prior to WW I, Kaiser Wilhelm II personally signed promotion patents only when the rank reached that of Hauptmann or Kapitänleutnant. The document measures 14 1/4″ x 8 ½” when unopened, and 14 1/4″ x 17″ when opened. The second page bears Kaiser Wilhelm II’s bold signature in black ink, and an embossed seal with the Hohenzollern Eagle.
A patent like this is very difficult-to-find, as the Kaiserliche Marine was far smaller than the German Army (thus involving far fewer officers). Further research on Röcher shows that he received the very rare Colonial Medal with Clasp for service in Venezuela during 1902/1903. He served on several ships during World War I, including the S. M. S. Großer Kurfürst, the S. M. S. München, and the S. M. S. Freya. He retired in 1919 as a Kapitän zur See a.D.