PRUSSIA – PERSONAL TUNIC COLLAR AND CUFF ATTACHMENTS – KAISER WILHELM II – GARDE-GRENADIER-REGIMENT NR 5
Kaiser Wilhelm II had an amazing wardrobe of uniforms and headdresses. It is my understanding that he had more than two hundred uniforms at his disposal. He also had a valet who was charged with keeping his wardrobe in order. I have seen tunics that had his cypher and a number embroidered into a tunic’s collar area, the latter which enabled the valet to identify it properly. Many accouterments often had to be assembled for the given tunic, and the appropriate orders and decorations had to be attached in a specific manner.
Today we are offering the collar and cuff attachments for Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 5 tunic. This regiment was formed in 1897. It, along with the 5. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß, was one of the last two Garde Infanterie Regiments formed. They were also among the last Garde-Regiments to be formed. Only Garde-MG.-Abteilung Nr 1 (1901), Garde-MG.-Abteilung Nr 2 (1902), 3. Garde-Feldartillerie (1899), 4. Garde-Feldartillerie (1899), Eisenbahn-Regiment Nr 4 (1913), Telegraphen-Bataillon Nr 1 (1899), Luftschiffer-Bataillon Nr 2 (1911), Flieger-Bataillon Nr 1 (1913), Flieger-Bataillon Nr 2 (1913), Flieger-Bataillon Nr 3 (1913), Flieger-Bataillon Nr 4 (1913), and Kraftfahr-Bataillon (1911) were formed after 1897. Also of interest is that Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 5. and 5. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß were garrisoned at Spandau, a Berlin suburb.
[This gives us a background on Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 5. PLEASE NOTE: Their pickelhauben wappens are gilt-toned, while the 5. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß sport silver wappens.
Our Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 5 items are for two separate uniform areas. The first is a detachable tunic collar, which enabled his valet to simplify the process by employing ONE tunic that could be altered appropriately for multiple regiments The more elaborate or famous tunics would have been used just for those regiments. This particular collar is quite distinctive and was correct ONLY for Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 5. The collar measures 17” x 2.5,” and sports a red felt background. A very elaborate gold-bullion design is embroidered upon the red felt, signifying that it is appropriate for a General Officer with further embellishments. The collar’s reverse reveals many wonderful details. First is a combination of gray felt with gray silk. One side of the collar features a set of three hooks that mated up with their requisite “eye” attachments on the tunic. Even more exciting, a tab on the opposite side from the hooks lifts up to reveal a ribbon of the same design as used for the Orden Pour le Mérite with Oak Leaves. The ribbon is rather narrow. [It is the width used on Prinzengroße-sized rather than full-sized decorations. I am unable to determine the ribbon’s length because as the material is sewn down]. This collar would have been attached to an M-1915 Friedensrock (Peace Coat), which was a more elaborate feldgrau tunic, especially in the collar area. The Friedensrock was used in anticipation of peacetime.
The cuff attachments are a pair of decorations for that area. Their background consists of dark-blue wool. Each side sports a design of three gold-bullion insignias that display tarnish/patina, a welcome sign of “honest age” in a one-hundred-plus-year-old item. A tarnished brass button also accompanies the designs on each side. The dimensions of the pair are 5” x 5.” It is interesting is that the two sides have not been separated, which would have allowed them to be mounted to a sleeve. This they were never used, as does their MINT condition.
The two photos accompanying our description come from the items’ owner, and depict Kaiser Wilhelm II in uniform. They are for comparison ONLY, as neither shows a Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 5 tunic. What they DO show is Kaiser Wilhelm II wearing the Orden Pour le Mérite with Oak Leaves, although they do not show the ribbon.
This is a marvelous presentation. Remember, items that are attributed to Kaiser Wilhelm II are very rare and difficult-to-find. It is a consignment item.