This is a consignment item. Today we are offering a wonderful group of leutnant’s epaulettes and shoulder boards from one of two regiments in the Bavarian Army. The first unit is 3. Infanterie-Regiment Prinz Karl von Bayern. This regiment was the second-oldest Infanterie regiment in the Bavarian Army. It was founded in 1698. It was garrisoned at Augsburg and attached to the Bavarian I. Armeekorps. As you will note below, each shoulder board and epaulette displays a gilt “3” on it. Before 1898, the regiment displayed the numbers on the epaulettes and shoulder boards. AFTER 1898 (and until the Bavarian Kingdom’s end in 1918) the shoulder boards and epaulettes featured Prinz Karl’s royal cypher. The other possibility for these was 3. Feldartillerie-Regiment Prinz Leopold. This regiment was founded in 1848. It was garrisoned at Grafenwöhr, and assigned to the III. Bavarian Armeekorps.
[I felt it was essential to share this information with you. If the shoulder boards and epaulettes are pre 1898, then they are correct for 3. Infanterie-Regiment Prinz Karl von Bayern. The consignor received these items from the late, noted author Neal O’ Connor. Mr. O’Connor was one of the nicest people that I met in this hobby. He was a leader of the “League of WW I Aviation Historians.” His work did a lot to advance the study of WW I aviation in particular, and WW I in general. He also was the author of one of the most amazing series on WW I aviation ever printed. The series consisted of SEVEN books that dealt with the men and the kingdoms and states from which they came. He wrote extensively about the aviators from each given state. He then listed those kingdoms/states’ different orders and decorations. Due to his international connections, Neal could access material that most of us can only dream about. He passed away several years ago and donated his entire collection to a new museum that had opened in Berlin. I urge you to find his books where you can and read them. You will be astounded by what they contain. The materials that we describe below were a gift from Neal to his good friend, also a mover and shaker in the “League.” The man who entrusted the items to us is extremely modest, and asked that we not say a great deal about him. When Neal gave our consignor these wonderful items, HE specifically said they were from 3. Infanterie-Regiment Prinz Karl von Bayern, so we thought a brief explanation was in order].
The epaulettes feature a gilt-toned crescent with a large, gilt “3” on a red felt background. We also see a gilt button. The tongue attachment is embroidered in gold and blue. The epaulettes’ reverse are also covered in red and have a black clip with which to attach them to the tunic. It would be a very quick and easy operation to perform. The epaulettes’ condition is excellent, right at mint, in fact.
The shoulder boards are a bit longer than those normally seen. They measure 1 3/8″ x 5 1/4.” You can also see the blue chevrons on the shoulder boards, along with the gilt “3” again. On the reverse we see a strap that makes these slip-on rather than sewn-in shoulder boards. This is a bit unusual for such a junior rank. More often than not we see the boards sewn-in to the tunic at this rank.
The shoulder boards and epaulettes are housed in the traditional storage carton. It has helped the contents remain in the mint condition that they enjoy today. I seriously doubt if they were worn that much. For more than one-hundred-years, these items have had the best of care.