SAXONY – SHOULDER BOARDS – GENERALFELDMARSCHALL’S -KING FRIEDRICH AUGUST III – INFANTERIE-REGIMENT NR 101.
König Friedrich August III (1865-1932) was the final King of Saxony, one of the four Imperial German Kingdoms. Saxony’s royal house was the House of Wettin. In 1877 Friedrich August, then twelve, was enlisted as a Leutnant in the Saxon Army. He advanced through the various levels of rank and military responsibility, becoming appointed Generalmajor (1894), then Generalleutnant (1898), then General der Infanterie (1902). Between 1902 and 1904, Friedrich August assumed command of the Saxon XII. Armeekorps. He became Saxony’s King that same year (1904), then managed to achieve the rank of Generaloberst while he was King.
Ultimately, he was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall on 9 September 1912. Today we are offering a pair of exceedingly-rare Infanterie-Regiment Nr 101 shoulder boards that were King Friedrich August III’s personal property. [Kaiser Wilhelm II was the unit’s Regimental Chef. Regimental Chef was an honorary position, with the Chef serving as the regiment’s honorary Oberst. The regiment also had a true Oberst who led the regiment on a daily basis]. As the head of the Saxon state, King Friedrich August III also wore the regiment’s uniform on special occasions.
Königlich Sächsisches 2. Grenadier-Regiment Nr 101, Kaiser Wilhelm, König von Preußen (as it was officially known)was one of the Saxon Army’s elite regiments. Garrisoned in the capital city of Dresden, it was founded in 1670. The regiment was assigned to the Saxon XII. Armeekorps. [Please Note: it was named for Kaiser Wilhelm I, Kaiser Wilhelm II’s grandfather]. The shoulder boards measure 2 ½” x 4.” Each shoulder board features alternating rows of gold and silver bullion ropes. The silver bullion displays green chevrons indicative of a Saxon Regiment. The obverse is decorated with three metal devices, as well as a plain gold button that allowed the shoulder board to be slipped onto a tunic. A brass crown appears at the top, just below the button. It is followed by Kaiser Wilhelm I’s brass royal cypher. Directly below the cypher is a gorgeous pair of crossed silver Generalfeldmarschall’s batons. The last are highly-detailed and very special, indicating the rank Friedrich August III achieved in 1912.
The shoulder board’s reverse displays a white felt backing, a further indication of his royal status. It also confirms it as the correct shoulder board for Königlich Sächsisches 2. Grenadier-Regiment Nr 101, Kaiser Wilhelm, König von Preußen. Also present are the slip-on attachments that enabled the boards to be removed and reinstalled onto the tunic in a matter of moments.
Shoulder boards for royalty have seen a sharp spike in prices during the last few years. Shoulder boards for any of the royals who were also Generalfeldmarschalls is surely a plus. It is common to see Wilhelm II shoulder boards to fetch $15,000.00. It should also be noted that Friedrich August III shoulder boards are seen in far fewer numbers than those of Wilhelm II. Having said that, the shoulder boards represent a fine value.
These gorgeous shoulder boards were previously owned by and featured in Michael A. Kelso’s recently released reference book Under Arms for the Kaiser: Shoulder Insignia of the German Army’s Regiments 1871 1918 on page 522. Having a piece of militaria that has been featured in a reference book (particularly one as fine as this) is a real plus, and seriously increases their value. We strongly recommend that you acquire this book while you can. The first edition is nearly sold out. As is the case with any reference book, a second edition is NOT guaranteed. Mike, who is a longtime friend, put his heart and soul into this book to help his fellow collectors. PLEASE support him and our other recommended authors: Jim Turinetti with his superb books on Imperial German headdresses, and Jeff Judge, who recently produced the first book of a three volume set about the Kaiserliche Marine. These men have poured a lot of sweat and tears into their works, all of which are worthy of inclusion in your library.