Der Rittmeister Militaria, LLC, Imperial German Merchandise : Photos: Signed Photographs and Documents, etc. of Imperial German Military, Aviation, Royalty.  Updated on 18 November 2017.
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Signatures: Imperial German Royalty


Signatures of  Kaiser Wilhelm II


19-262 OFFICER’S PROMOTION PATENT TO HAUPTMANN der RESERVE SIGNED BY KAISER WILHELM II. This is a high-quality Feldartillerie officer’s promotion patent in beautiful condition. His name was Spielberg. The document is two sided and measures 8 ½" x 14 1/4." The second page bears Kaiser Wilhelm II’s bold black-ink signature, as well as a Hohenzollern Eagle-embossed seal. Spielberg was promoted from the rank of Oberleutnant der Reserve to that of Hauptmann der Reserve. This seems a bit unusual to me, a Hauptmann who was a reservist, primarily because I have not encountered one before. Chances are he had been in the Army for some time, and had been a reservist even longer! The document was signed by Wilhelm II at the Neues Palais (New Palace) on 18 June 1908. The document is in excellent condition, still fresh and crisp after more than one-hundred plus years. I am especially pleased by the signature of Kaiser Wilhelm II. It is quite large, 2 3/4" x 5 1/4." $350.00 











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31-85 THREE OFFICER PATENTS - SIGNED - KAISER WILHELM I - KAISER WILHELM II. This is a wonderful document group to a single officer, Freiherr von Münstermann. The group consists of his three promotion patents. What makes them so interesting (and dare I say, valuable) are the personal signatures of Kaiser Wilhelm I and Kaiser Wilhelm II. The documents are described below:

*Promotion Patent - Premier Lieutenant to Hauptmann. The document measures 14 1/2" x 9" when folded, and 5" x 9" when unfolded. In this fashion, three of the four sides are utilized. Von Münstermann was serving in 1. Westfäl. Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 7. With his promotion to hauptmann, von Münstermann became a Batterie Chef in the same regiment. The document was signed by Kaiser Wilhelm I on 14 December 1875. [Although we do not have earlier information on von Münstermann, it is almost certain he would have been a young leutnant during the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War].

*Promotion Patent - Hauptmann to Major. The document measures 14" x 8 1/2" when folded, and 4 3/4" x 8 1/2" when unfolded. In this fashion, three of the four sides are utilized. Von Münstermann was serving in Holsteinsches Feldartillerie Regiment Nr 24 as a hauptmann. With his promotion to major, von Münstermann was transferred to Feldartillerie-Regiment von Peucker (1. Schlesisches) Nr 6. The document was signed in Berlin on 22 March 1887. Twelve years as a hauptmann was a long time. It shows how slow advancement can be during peacetime. The document was signed in the final year of Kaiser Wilhelm I’s reign. Germany’s first Kaiser signed boldly and distinctively in black ink.

*Promotion Patent - Major to Oberst-lieutenant. The document measures 14 1/4" x 8 1/2" when folded, and 5" x 8 1/2" when unfolded. In this fashion, three of the four sides are utilized. Von Münstermann was to serve in 1. Pommersches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 2. The document was signed at Berlin’s Neu Palais on 18 June 1892. Kaiser Wilhelm II’s large and bold signature appears on the document.

It is a fine group of three promotion patents, with two signatures of Kaiser Wilhelm I and one signature of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The documents are in very good condition when one considers they range from one-hundred-thirty-five to one-hundred-eighteen-years in age. They provide the basis for an interesting research project. While it is doubtful that this officer would have still been serving in WW I, it is quite possible that he achieved general officer’s status before he retired. $850.00



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31-93 TWO PATENTS - ONE OF WHICH IS SIGNED BY KAISER WILHELM II FOR A DOCTOR SERVING IN THE KAISERLICHE MARINE. We are always pleased to offer you patents (two) for one officer, particularly a naval officer. They are for a medical doctor named Wilhelm Haltermann. The two documents are described below.

1). Dr. Haltermann was promoted to Marine-Ober-Assistenzarzt on 27 March 1909. The document was prepared at the Neues Palais. The document measures 8 ½" x 14" when closed, and 17" x 14" when opened. It is set up with four pages, although only two are used. Its second page features a large embossed Hohenzollern Eagle.

2). The second document is set up in a similar fashion. In this document we see that Dr. Haltermann was promoted to Marine-Stabsarzt in 1912. Again, the embossed Hohenzollern Eagle appears. This promotion, however, features Kaiser Wilhelm II’s large and bold signature. At this time we do not know what service if any that Dr. Haltermann had during and after WW I. Any additional information on him would be greatly appreciated from our audience.

It is a fine pair of documents. As they are to a navy doctor, we can be assured that they are scarce. $895.00



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31-97 OFFICER’S PROMOTION PATENT FROM MAJOR TO OBERSTLEUTNANT SIGNED BY KAISER WILHELM II. This document is for a promotion from a major to an oberstleutnant. His name was von Münstermann. He had been serving in Feldartillerie-Regiment von Peucker (1. Schlesisches) Nr 6 as a major. His promotion found him assigned to 1. Pommersches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 2. This proud regiment was one of two that wore the "Colberg 1807" bandeaux on its kugelhelme’s wappen. With the rank of oberstleutnant, von Münstermann may have commanded the regiment or he may have been the deputy commander to the regimental commander. He was long past commanding a Bataillon. Based on his age, it is likely that he retired before WW I began. It is also quite possible that he retired as a general. Von Munstermann was promoted and the document was signed at the Neues Palais on 15 June 1892. The document is boldly signed by Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Hohenzollern Seal is to the left of his signature. The document measures 14 1/4" x 8 ½." It has been folded in half one way, and in thirds the other. The document is in mint condition. $495.00




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Signatures of Kaiserin Hermine


19-217 TELEGRAM - SIGNED - KAISERIN HERMINE. This is a telegram that was signed by Kaiserin-in-exile Hermine (1887-1947). Hermine was Kaiser Wilhelm II’s (1859-1941) second wife. She was a Princess of Reuss. Her first husband died about the same time as did Kaiser Wilhelm II’s first wife, Augusta Viktoria, in 1921. They met in 1922 and were married that same year. She lived with him for the remainder of his life. The telegram, which measures 8" x 11," came from Haus (Huis) Doorn in January 1933. In it she thanks a well-wisher on behalf of her husband for kind birthday greetings. It is signed by Hermine in the same purplish grease pencil often used at the front during WW I by officers signing documents. The telegram is in very fine condition. $225.00



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19-242 KAISERIN HERMINE-SIGNED THANK YOU CARD CONCERNING KAISER WILHELM II’S DEATH. Kaiser Wilhelm was born in 1859, then died on 4 June 1941. He and the other German royals abdicated in November 1918. Shortly afterwards (still in 1918), Wilhelm II left Germany for the final time. He lived the balance of his life exiled at Haus Doorn, in the Netherlands. His beloved wife, Auguste Viktoria, passed away in 1921. She was returned for burial in Berlin. The year after her death, Wilhelm married the recently-widowed Hermine, former Princess of Reuss (1887-1947). Some of the former Kaiser’s children were unhappy with the marriage because she was the nearly the same age as she was. By all accounts, however, they were a happy couple. She survived Wilhelm by only six years.
The Kaiser was buried on Haus Doorn’s grounds in a special mausoleum. [Many of the Kaiser’s pet Daschunds also are buried on the lawn, between his mausoleum and the house]. Many high-ranking officials from the former Reich came to pay their respects. One of the best-known was Generalfeldmarschall August von Mackensen. He laid his overcoat over his Kaiser’s casket. [Mackensen had been Wilhelm II’s favorite. The Kaiser had done much to advance von Mackensen’s career over more senior men].
After Wilhelm II’s death Hermine sent note cards in response to the condolences she had received from certain people. These cards measured 3 3/8" x 5 1/8." They were bordered in black, very simply composed, and personally signed by Hermine. This particular card is dated June 1941, and was sent from Doorn. Hermine returned to Germany after Wilhelm died to live out the balance of her life. $375.00



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Signatures of Kaiser Wilhelm I


20-143 FRAMED COLLAGE OF KAISER WILHELM I OF PRUSSIA. This is a fascinating framed collage of artifacts relating to Kaiser Wilhelm I (1797-1888). To begin, the framed collage measures 26" x 29 1/2." The framing is very high-quality but modern-day, not period. The frame displays a beautiful gilded molding that sets off the items within the frame quite handsomely. At the frame’s bottom is a brass plaque that states "Kaiser Wilhelm I 1797-1888." Within the frame are three different windows that have been created to house three items. Each of the windows is double-matted to set off the contents even more attractively. To the far left is a front page newspaper dated 13 March 1888. The newspaper measures 20 1/4" x 15," and is from Bremen. It carries the story of the Kaiser’s death, along with key points of his life. On display at the top right is a high-quality, printed notice of a memorial service for the Kaiser by the "Deutschen Vereinen Londons (Germans United in/with London) on 24 March 1888. This measures 9 1/4" x 7." Finally, on the bottom right is Kaiser Wilhelm I’s formal portrait, measuring 7" x 4 3/4." It also displays his distinctive signature in black ink. This magnificent presentation deserves a special place in your home or office. [As this is a very large presentation, professional packing will be required to ensure safe delivery to its new owner. Shipping charges are dependent on the buyer’s location]. $1,195.00



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19-249 OFFICER’S NAVAL PROMOTION PATENT SIGNED BY KAISER WILHELM I. During Kaiser Wilhelm I’s reign, the German Navy was essentially an afterthought. Much of this mind-set came from the "Iron Chancellor," Otto von Bismarck. It was only when Kaiser Wilhelm II came to power that the Kaiserliche Marine emerged as an important arm of Germany’s military. Wilhelm II’s further interest in overseas colonies engendered a truly international German Navy rather than one limited to the North and the Baltic Seas.
Today we are offering a first for Der Rittmeister Militaria: a naval officer’s promotion patent signed by Kaiser Wilhelm I. The man being promoted was Christian Gustav Adolf Schwarzlose. The document’s format is identical to what then was used for Army officers, and that used later by Kaiser Friedrich III and Kaiser Wilhelm II. The document measures 15" x 9" before the document is unfolded to its full size of 15" x 18." It allows the document to have four equal sections for writing information, which was common with all written documents and letters. Three of the document’s four pages are used. The patent’s final page bears Wilhelm I’s signature. Beside it is the House of Hohenzollern’s large, embossed seal. Wilhelm I’s signature is quite large and impressive. On this page’s lower left, we see that the young officer has been promoted to Korvettenkapitän.
The document was signed in Berlin. Knowing that the document is more than one-hundred-thirty-years-old, it has a few issues. The document was folded into quarters. Foxing marks the document’s edges. A 3/4" tear appears on the side in the document’s middle, where it has been folded several times. Otherwise, its overall condition is quite good. This is a very rare document from a time when Germany was still a naval neophyte.



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31-96 OFFICER’S PROMOTION PATENT FROM HAUPTMANN TO MAJOR SIGNED BY KAISER WILHELM I. Promotion in peacetime has always been slow in any army. Imperial Germany’s Army was no different. This patent is for a man who was promoted from a hauptmann to a major. It took twelve years to happen. The officer involved was named von Münstermann. As a hauptmann, he had served in Holsteinisches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 24. The regiment was founded in 1872 and garrisoned at Güstrow and Neustrelitz. The regiment was interesting because it contained a single batterie that was populated by officers and men from Mecklenburg-Strelitz. [As an aside, I must point out the kugelhelme for this batterie are very rare. Several years ago I sold one of its mint officer’s helmets for more than $20,000. It was/is probably the finest kugelhelm in existence (in my experience)]. Von Münstermann was assigned to Feldartillerie-Regiment von Peucker (1. Schlesisches) Nr 6. This famed regiment was founded in 1808 and garrisoned in Eastern Prussia’s Breslau. The promotion document was signed by Kaiser Wilhelm I in Berlin on 22 March 1887. The Kaiser’s signature is large and bold. The House of Hohenzollern’s embossed seal appears below his name. The document measures 14" x 8 ½." The document is folded in half one way, and into thirds the other way. It is in mint condition. $395.00



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31-95 OFFICER’S PROMOTION PATENT - LIEUTENANT TO HAUPTMANN - SIGNED BY KAISER WILHELM I. This is a promotion patent in fine condition for a young man by the name of von Münstermann. He was promoted from Premier Lieutenant (Oberleutnant) to Hauptmann. In his new role he was a Batterie Chef (Commander) in 1. Westfälisches Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr 7. The regiment was founded in 1816. It was garrisoned at Wesel-Düsseldorf and assigned to the VII. ArmeeKorps. The document measures 14 ½" x 9." It was boldly signed in black ink by Kaiser Wilhelm I on 14 December 1875. Directly under Wilhelm I’s signature we see the House of Hohenzollern’s embossed royal seal. The document has been folded in half one way, and into thirds the other. The document is complete, but has some separation in one fold. This does not cause a problem in viewing any part of the document or the signature. It is a fine example of a document that is more than one-hundred-thirty-five years old. $350.00




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19-209 ENGINEERING OFFICER PROMOTION PATENT - KÖNIG WILHELM I SIGNATURE - 1870-1871 FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR. What makes this a special document is that it falls during the time of the Franco-Prussian War. The war began on 19 July 1870 and ended on 10 May 1871. While not as short as the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, it was every bit as decisive, since the French Army was no match for the German Army. [This did not relate to the French soldiers’ efforts on the front lines, but instead to those of the French government and Army. French soldiers were poorly trained and poorly equipped. Also, the French general staff and its generals in the field had no real concept of modern tactics. Thus, French soldiers were poorly led and equipped to face an army which was the world’s best at the time. This patent promotes a hauptmann to major in the Engineer (Ingenieur) Corps. Our man’s last name is Richter. Richter would go on to command Pionier-Bataillon Nr 6. The document was signed by Prussia’s König Wilhelm I. Wilhelm I became Kaiser on 18 January 1871 in an elaborate coronation at Versailles. Interestingly, this patent was signed by Wilhelm on 22 December 1870 at his Versailles’ Headquarters. Versailles played a continuing role in Franco-German history during the 20th Century’s first half. It was where the German surrender took place during November 1918 in a railway car. In 1940 Adolf Hitler sat in the same railway car to accept the French surrender. The document measures 14 1/8" x 8 3/4" when folded, and 14 1/8" x 17 1/4" when unfolded. $350.00



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19-115 RED EAGLE ORDER 2nd CLASS AWARD DOCUMENT SIGNED BY KING WILHELM I (LATER KAISER WILHELM I) OF  PRUSSIA. This is a very interesting award document (urkunde) for the Red Eagle Order 2nd Class. It is the earliest award document we have ever offered [with the exception of award documents for the 1813 Iron Cross 2nd Class signed by King Friedrich Wilhelm III, the grandfather of King (later Kaiser) Wilhelm I]. This document was signed by King Wilhelm I on 18 January 1863. The recipient was Dr. Albert Sigismund Jaspis, the Generalsuperintendant of Pommern in Stettin (1809-1885). The award was actually for the Red Eagle Order 2nd Class with Bow. The use of the bow was a unique addition to the Red Eagle Order, which marked the recipient for the award of a higher class at a later date. The format of the document is identical to that which was used until the end of the Empire in 1918. $450.00



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Signatures of Kaiser Friedrich III


19-129 KAISER FRIEDRICH III (1831-1888)- SIGNATURE - PRUSSIA. Friedrich III was Germany’s second Kaiser. He succeeded his father, Wilhelm I, who died in 1888. Sadly, Friedrich III, who was also Kaiser Wilhelm II’s father, sat on the throne for just three months. In Germany he is often referred to as the "100 Day Kaiser." During 1888, Germany had three Kaisers in little more than three months! Friedrich III was an able military commander who played an important role in Germany’s victory in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71. This appears to be a large envelope which has been unfolded. It measures 15 1/4" x 11." It is addressed to a Major Goltz. In the lower left corner Friedrich III’s bold and distinctive signature appears in black ink. $195.00 



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Signatures of König Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia


Signatures of König Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia


19-261 PRUSSIAN OFFICER’S PROMOTION PATENT WITH KÖNIG FRIEDRICH WILHELM IV’S SIGNATURE. This is a very interesting officer’s promotion patent. The document comes from the reign of König Friedrich Wilhelm IV (1795-1861). Friedrich Wilhelm IV was the eldest son of König Friedrich Wilhelm III (1770-1840), Prussia’s king during the tumultuous Napoleonic War Period shortly after the 19th Century’s turn. When Friedrich Wilhelm III died in 1840, Friedrich Wilhelm IV ascended the throne. His reign was difficult and involved revolution in 1848, which he initially repressed. He then changed his mind, embraced it and became its leader! Later, in 1857, Friedrich Wilhelm IV suffered a stroke that left him physically and mentally incapacitated. Due to his continued ill health, his younger brother Wilhelm I became Prussia’s regent in 1858. Friedrich Wilhelm died in 1861 and left no heir, so Wilhelm I assumed the throne and became King of Prussia, and later, Germany’s Kaiser.
King Friedrich Wilhelm IV personally signed this document. The promotion patent was awarded to Friedrich Albert Schönn zu Stettin. The document measures
9 ¼" x 14" when unopened, and 14" x 18" when opened, making it four-sided. All the information, however, appears on the first page. Its bottom boasts Friedrich Wilhelm IV’s bold and sprawling black-ink signature, as well as a Hohenzollern Eagle-embossed seal. The document was prepared and signed in 1855 at Charlottenburg’s royal castle. Another court official’s signature appears below Friedrich Wilhelm’s, but I cannot identify it.
Our document is some one-hundred-sixty years-old! Some foxing effects its right side and bottom, but the document’s body is clear and easily read. It is one of the oldest documents of its kind that we have ever offered.






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31-33 GENERALMAJOR PROMOTION PATENT SIGNED BY KING FRIEDRICH WILHELM IV OF PRUSSIA. This is promotion patent for an Oberst who was being promoted to Generalmajor. His name was Ludwig von Gersdorff. He was the commander of Infanterie-Brigade Nr 32 and á la Suite Infanterie-Regiment Nr 27. This document measures 14 1/4" x 8 3/4." It unfolds into three separate pages with various information. The document is dated 22 May 1858 and signed by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia. It has been folded, with some tearing and foxing at certain points. That said, the document is complete, and generally in good condition. It is very difficult to find promotion patents for generals. It is nothing short of astounding to find one that is nearly 150 years old! King Friedrich Wilhelm IV’s signature is on the final page. $595.00 



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19-122 LEUTNANT’S PROMOTION WHO SERVED IN THE 1. GARDE-REGIMENT zu FUß DOCUMENT SIGNED BY PRUSSIA’S KING FRIEDRICH WILHELM IV. This is an ORIGINAL letter signed by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV (1795-1861), the King of Prussia from 1840 to 1861. [He was removed from the throne in 1857, after what was probably cerebral arteriosclerosis (not "madness," as generations of historians have contended) disabled him. Until his death in 1861 his brother, Prince William, ruled as regent on his behalf]. The letter was written in Charlottenburg Castle at on 30 December 1847. It deals with a young Portopeefähnrich’s promotion to Second Lieutenant. The officer in question was Grafen zu Stolberg Wernigerode. The action was taken by Friedrich Wilhelm IV as the head of the Gardekorps. The young officer was attached to 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß. This regiment was the most elite infantry regiment in the Prussian army. It is a fine early promotion patent for a young nobleman who served in an elite regiment. Its format is different from that used by Kaisers Wilhelm I and II. $450.00



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19-260 HAUPTMANN’S PROMOTION PATENT SIGNED BY PRUSSIA’S KÖNIG FRIEDRICH WILHELM IV. In Prussia, promotion patents were presented to the officer on the occasion of his elevation.  This document was presented to an Artillerie Hauptmann by König Friedrich Wilhelm IV.  The promotion patent was a very elaborate document.  The example measures 14 ½” x 8 7/8" before it is unfolded.  As the information often covered several pages, when fully open the document measures 14 ½” x 16."   This provided four pages, measuring 14 ½” x 8 7/8," on which to write the pertinent information.  In our document’s time period, royal court scribes produced these beautiful papers along with urkunden (award documents for orders and decorations).  Our document commemorates the promotion of Hermann von  Amsberg.   He served in Feldartillerie-Regiment Prinzregent Luitpold von Bayern  Nr 4. He was promoted from Premier Lieutenant (later, the rank became known as oberleutnant) to Hauptmann on 22 June 1852.  The document was signed at Sanssouci, the Potsdam castle modeled on the French castle at Versailles. (The latter was built by Frederick the Great, a great admirer of French culture).  The document is boldly signed by König Friedrich Wilhelm IV (1796-1861).  Directly below his large signature we see the House of Hohenzollern’s embossed royal seal.
[Friedrich Wilhelm IV was the son of Friedrich Wilhelm III (1770–1840), Prussia’s King  throughout the Napoleonic Wars.  He also instituted the Iron Cross during his reign.  Friedrich Wilhelm IV was Wilhelm I’s older brother.  Friedrich Wilhelm suffered a stroke in 1857 that left him physically and mentally unable to continue his duties.  Wilhelm I assumed the duties of a Regent and replaced his ailing brother.  This continued until 1861 when Friedrich Wilhelm IV died, at which point Wilhelm I became King of Prussia.  From that time onward, under the guidance of Wilhelm I, Otto von Bismarck (the Iron Chancellor), and Helmuth von Moltke, Germany’s path to unification under Prussian control and its emergence as a true European power was inevitable].
This amazing document is quite a piece of history. It is in remarkable condition for being more than ONE-HUNDRED-SIXTY years-old!



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19-169 CLIPPED SIGNATURE - KÖNIG FRIEDRICH WILHELM IV OF PRUSSIA. König Friedrich Wilhelm IV (1795-1861) was the eldest son and successor to König Friedrich Wilhelm III (1770-1840), the King of Prussia during the Napoleonic Wars. When Friedrich Wilhelm III died in 1840, Friedrich Wilhelm IV assumed Prussia’s throne. He served from 1840 until 1857, when he was struck down by a stroke and was unable to continue as King. His younger brother, Wilhelm, assumed the role of Prinzregent, and held that position until his older brother died in 1861. Wilhelm I then became King of Prussia in 1861, and later Kaiser in 1871. Today we are offering a clipped signature of Friedrich Wilhelm IV. It is boldly signed and dated 1841. The signature and date appear on a piece of paper that measures 5” x 2 1/4.” $225.00



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Signatures of König Karl of Württemberg


Signatures of König Wilhelm II Of  Württemberg


Signatures of König Johann of Saxony


19-223 OFFICER’S PATENT SIGNED BY KÖNIG JOHANN - SAXONY. This is a very handsome, well preserved Saxon army officer’s promotion patent from König Johann of Saxony’s (1801-1873) reign. Johann’s reign extended from 1854 to 1873, and included some of the Saxon Army’s most important wars and events. Saxony participated in the 1864 Prussian-Danish War and, what is more important, fought against Prussia in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. The latter war essentially completed Germany’s unification under Prussia’s influence. The 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War further consolidated Prussia’s dominance when its König Wilhelm I was crowned and acknowledged as Germany’s first Kaiser at its conclusion. [Saxony was more fortunate than Austria’s other defeated 1866 war allies. She did not lose territory or become absorbed into Prussia as did such hapless states as Hannover]. The document, which measures 12 3/4" x 8 1/4," unfolds to measure 12 3/4" x 16 1/4." The promotion patent’s subject was named Martin von Dieskau. He was promoted from the rank of Leutnant to Oberleutnant. The second page boasts an embossed paper seal bearing the Kingdom of Saxony’s Coat-of-Arms. The document is dated 21 August 1864 and is signed by König Johann and Bernhard von Rabenhorst, Saxony’s War Minister from 1849 to 1866. (He was also a general in the Saxon Army. No doubt he left office after the 1866 War with Prussia). The document is in very good condition for being nearly one-hundred-fifty years-old. It has been folded in thirds both vertically and horizontally. A one-inch tear appears at the bottom of one fold. $395.00



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Signatures of King George III and King George IV of England
in their additional roles as Kings of Hannover.


[Those of you who are not well versed in English/German History at the turn of the 19th Century will find the following information very interesting. Most Westerners are aware that King George III of England (1738-1820) was in power when the American Revolution began in 1776. His reign also encompassed the French Revolution, Napoleon’s subsequent emergence as France’s Emperor, and the Napoleonic Wars that led to "Nappy’s" defeat. Some may not be aware, however, that in addition to being Great Britain’s King, George III was also the King of Hannover! [His grandfather, George I, was the Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg (essentially, Hannover), and assumed England’s throne in 1714 when Queen Anne died without any heirs]. When he ascended to the English throne in 1761, he also became the Prince Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg. He held this title until 1814, when he was formally acknowledged as Hannover’s King. Unlike George I and George II, George III was born in England and never even Hannover!
George III’s tumultuous rule lasted until his death in 1820 and was marked by bouts of mental illness. His son, the Prince of Wales, was made his Regent in 1810. The Prince of Wales, who took the title of King George IV, formally assumed England’s and Hannover’s thrones upon his father’s death in 1820. When George IV died, William IV (his brother) became King of both England and Hannover.
His death and his daughter Queen Victoria’s assumption of the English throne ended England’s direct rule of Hannover. (Hanoverian law prevented Victoria from assuming the Hanoverian throne). This explains how an English King came to sign a German Kingdom’s official documents. [Of course, Hannover was later annexed by Prussia after the latter’s victory in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War]. The three documents are for a young German officer who progressed through the Hanoverian Army’s ranks.


19-221 PROMOTION PATENT - HANOVERIAN OFFICER - SIGNED - KING GEORGE III. This is an interesting patent that was issued to "Otto Achatz Kirchoff." Kirchoff was a young officer from Hannover. The patent was signed by King George III of England and Hannover. Although George III was Hannover’s ruler, he never visited his domain on the continent. The document is in the typical German format and in the German language instead of English. From what I can make out, apparently Kirchoff was assigned to an English rather than a Hanoverian Cavalry Regiment. This was quite common. England had several regiments that were filled with Hanoverians in the officer’s, NCO’s, and enlisted men’s ranks. The document measures 8" x 12 ½." It is dated 1802 and was signed at St. James Palace. George III’s signature is bold and clear. A paper seal has been applied to its left. The document has been folded in half. The document’s back half, which has no writing and does not affect the front half’s written information, has a tear across it. It remains a very desirable document that was signed during the Napoleonic Wars. $750.00 REDUCED TO $650.00



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19-222 PROMOTION PATENT - HANOVERIAN OFFICER - SIGNED - KING GEORGE IV - ENGLAND. This is an interesting patent that was issued to "Otto Achatz Kirchoff." Kirchoff was a young officer from Hannover. The patent was signed by King George VI of England and Hannover. Although George VI was Hannover’s ruler, he never visited his domain on the continent. The document is in the typical German format and in the German language instead of English. From what I can make out, apparently Kirchoff was assigned to an English rather than a Hanoverian Cavalry Regiment. This was quite common. England had several regiments that were filled with Hanoverians in the officer’s, NCO’s, and enlisted men’s ranks. The document measures 9 ½" x 13 ½." It is dated 1823 and was signed at the Carleton House Inn. George IV’s signature is bold and clear. A paper seal has been applied to its left. The document has been folded three times. It is in excellent condition for being nearly two-hundred years-old. $650.00 REDUCED TO $550.00



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19-119 AUTOGRAPH - PRINZ ALBRECHT VON PREUßEN. This is a clipped autograph (a clipped signature from a document or letter) of Prinz Albrecht von Preußen (1809-1872). Albrecht was the younger brother of Kaiser Wilhelm I. He was a General der Kavallerie in the Prussian Army. The clipped signature is boldly signed by the Prinz, and displays his rank immediately below. $95.00



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Signatures of Prinz Louis Ferdinand of Prussia


19-160 CONDOLENCE THANK YOU CARD FROM PRINZ LOUIS FERDINAND OF PRUSSIA FOR HIS FATHER KRONPRINZ WILHELM OF PRUSSIA. This is a note from Prinz Louis Ferdinand of Prussia to a sympathizer who sent his condolences on the death of his father, Kronprinz (later Pretender to Germany’s throne) Wilhelm (1882-1951). Prinz Louis Ferdinand (1907-1994) was the second son of Kronprinz Wilhelm and Kronprinzessin Cecilie. He became the eldest surviving son when his brother, Prinz Wilhelm (1906-1940) was killed in France during WW II while serving in the army. Prinz Louis Ferdinand became the Pretender to Germany’s throne when his father died in 1951. This card, which measures 4 1/8" x 5 3/4," is creme-colored and bordered in black. A printed message appears extending appreciation for the kind wishes expressed to the family. The card, from Bremen-Borgfeld, is dated 1951 (July) in the lower left corner. The card is boldly signed in black ink by Louis Ferdinand. It comes with its original mailing envelope, and is addressed to "Rittmeister a. D. Adolf von Lauff." The envelope is bordered in black, and its inside is all black. The envelope was never mailed. Apparently, it was hand-delivered. $115.00



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Signatures of Prinz Karl Alexander of Thurn und Taxis


31-77 AWARD DOCUMENT - PRINZ KARL ALEXANDER - THURN UND TAXIS. This is an interesting award document (urkunde) for a decoration from the small Principality of Thurn und Taxis. The document was issued under the order of Prinz Karl Alexander (1770-1827). Karl Alexander was the Prince of this house from 1805 until his death in 1827. The document is hand printed on parchment. It measures 12" x 15 3/4." The document is actually half-sized. When open, it is double the width. The document is four sided, with writing on three of the four sides. I cannot fully understand the writing, as we are looking at handwriting that dates from 1805. It deals with a man by the name of a Ritter von Seyfried. It sports an intact black wax seal with Prinz Karl Alexander’s Coat-of-Arms. The document was prepared in the central city of Regensburg. Karl Alexander led his small state throughout the Napoleonic Wars. The document is in amazing condition for its age. I would be most interested to learn more about the contents of the document from its new owner. $225.00



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Signatures of Prinz Oskar of Prussia


19-164 AUTOGRAPHED POSTCARD - PRINZ OSKAR von PREUßEN. This postcard has been autographed by Prinz Oskar von Preußen. He was one of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s six sons. The postcard shows a stallion in profile. It has the Prinz’s signature, and is dated 1904. It is dedicated on the reverse to a Gräfin von Rantzau, who was a good friend of Oskar’s mother, Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria. The dedication has been obscured on the reverse, but the black ink signature of the young Prinz is very clear. $95.00



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Signatures of Prinz Eitel Friedrich of Prussia


19-165 AUTOGRAPHED POSTCARD - PRINZ EITEL FRIEDRICH von PREUßEN. This postcard offers good wishes for the New Year of 1908 from Prinz Eitel Friedrich von Preußen. He was another of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s six sons. The black ink signature is quite bold. $95.00



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Signatures of Prinz Heinrich of Prussia


19-92 AUTOGRAPHED LETTER FROM PRINZ HEINRICH - PRUSSIA. This is an original letter written by Prinz Heinrich of Prussia (1862-1929). Heinrich was the younger brother of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Heinrich served as the head of the Kaiserliche Marine in the rank of Großadmiral. He served in that capacity until he disagreed with Großadmiral Alfred von Tirpitz. Heinrich lost out on that power play when his older brother backed von Tirpitz. Interestingly, this hand written letter is on an 8 3/4" x 5 3/4" piece of paper that has been folded in half and bears the embossed seal of the Kronprinzessin Cecilie. She was his niece by marriage, a princess from Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and the wife of his nephew, Krone Prinz Wilhelm, the heir to the Hohenzollern throne and the man who never became Kaiser after the monarchy fell in 1918. This letter was written 22 April 1922 in black ink. A partial description of the letter in German is included. $175.00  .



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Signatures of Prinzessin Viktoria Luise of Prussia


19-147 XES AUTOGRAPHED PARTY INVITATION CELEBRATING QUEEN ELIZABETH II OF GREAT BRITAIN’S BIRTHDAY - AUTOGRAPHED BY PRINZESSIN/DUCHESS VIKTORIA LUISE (PRUSSIA AND BRAUNSCHWEIG) AND LUDWIG FREIHERR von HAMMERSTEIN-EQUORD. This is a consignment item. While I am unable to date this definitively, I estimate it hails from the 1960's or 1970's. It is an invitation to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain’s birthday celebration. The party was given by British Ambassador Steel. The invitation is addressed to Ludwig Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord. He came from a very old Prussian military family. I have no details about him, however, his father was Freiherr Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord (1878-1943). He was a high-ranking, highly decorated officer in WW I who served on the general staff. Ultimately, he was appointed Chief of Staff in 1930. Violently anti-Nazi, his influence was greatly reduced after their rise to power. This beautifully engraved invitation measures 5" x 6 1/4." What makes it so interesting is that it is autographed by Prinzessin/Duchess Viktoria Luise (1892-1980)on the reverse. She was Kaiser Wilhelm II’s only daughter, and married Duke (Herzog) Ernst August of Braunschweig in 1913. Along with her signature on the reverse, that of von Hammerstein-Equord can be seen. It is all in very fine condition. $250.00  



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Signatures of Prinz Friedrich Karl of Prussia


19-218 AUTOGRAPHED LETTER - PRINZ FRIEDRICH CARL von PREUßEN. This is a letter from Prinz Friedrich Carl of Prussia. The letter is directed to a Dr. Eggars and dated 11 January 1869. The young prince received an extensive military education and was taught by future Generalfeldmarschall Albrecht von Roon. He rose steadily in the Prussian Army and served with distinction in the consolidation wars of 1848, 1849, 1864, and 1866. He played a significant part in the winning of the Battle of Königgrätz in 1866. He held the Austrians at bay with his I. Armee until his cousin, Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, arrived on the battlefield. The Crown Prince’s forces attacked the Austrians’ flank, turning the tide to win the penultimate battle of the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. Prince Friedrich Carl played an equally important role in the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, defeating the French in several key battles. He was promoted to generalfeldmarschall as a result of these victories. The letter is written by a scribe and measures 11 3/16" x 8 7/8." The prince’s large, bold signature appears in black ink at the letter’s bottom. It also sports a 3 1/4" tear extending through the signature’s bottom (following a crease line). $165.00



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Misc. Signatures


19-225 AUTOGRAPHED POSTCARD - POP PIUS XI. This postcard is of Pope Pius XI (1857-1939). He became the pope in February 1922. His reign included the creation of Vatican City as an independent state in 1929. He was opposed to both Communism and Socialism. The postcard shows the pope seated. Its bottom is boldly signed by him in black ink. The postcard and signature are in excellent condition. $295.00





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Signatures of the Imperial German Air Service


Oswald Boelcke


19-270 XRP SANKE CARD - HAUPTMANN OSWALD BOELCKE - AUTOGRAPHED - NR 363. This is a consignment item. Oswald Boelcke was arguably one of the finest pilots and aces that the Imperial German Air Service produced in WW I. When the war began, Boelcke was assigned to a Telegraph-Battalion. Like so many other young men, he yearned for duty in the fledgling Air Service. Flying in the skies seemed like a much better situation than being buried in the trenches and the mud at the Front. So, Boelcke transferred and became a pilot in an observation squadron.
In the summer of 1915 the Fokker Eindecker, Germany’s first single-seater pursuit fighter plane, arrived at the Front. It was armed with a machine gun that fired through its propeller, a major advance. [Prior to that, some had tried placing armor on the propeller blades, but the propeller still was shot off. Also, bullets ricocheted off the blades, threatening to hit the pilot]. The squadron to which both Boelcke and Max Immelmann were assigned received Eindeckers. Soon the two were shooting down enemy airplanes. They quickly became Germany’s first aces and were awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite in January 1916. Boelcke’s organizational and leadership skills soon became just as evident as his piloting prowess, and he was assigned one of Germany’s first all-fighter-aircraft squadrons: Jasta Nr 2. Once the unit was formed, he was tasked with recruiting pilots for his jasta. Boelcke had an amazing eye for talent and tapped a young Leutnant who displayed merely-average flying ability, Manfred von Richthofen. Boelcke sensed that the young Baron possessed the hunting talent and aggressiveness vital to a fighter pilot.
After Boelcke’s closest rival, Immelmann, was killed in June 1916 (with a total of sixteen victories), Boelcke continued to raise his tally. By late October 1916, Boelcke had amassed an unbelievable FORTY confirmed victories. At this point, unfortunately, he was involved in a midair collision with one of his own pilots, Erwin Böhme, and suffered a fatal crash. Böhme himself eventually received a PLM, then commanded Jasta Nr 2, which had been renamed Jasta Boelcke. Erwin Böhme never forgave himself for the collision, and carried that guilt until he was shot down and killed.
This is Sanke Card Nr 363. It is Boelcke’s classic pose with his hand on his hip. He can be seen in full uniform from the knees up. His PLM is at his throat. In his buttonhole we see the ribbon for the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class and another ribbon, most likely for the Bavarian Military Merit Order 4th Class with Swords. On his left breast is his 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class and Prussian Army Pilot Badge. He is also wearing his officer’s Schirmmütze. "Hauptmann Boelcke" appears in the card’s upper left corner. Boelcke was promoted to Hauptmann on 22 May 1916, and held this rank until his death on 28 October 1916. As no cross shows to his name’s right, this card was produced during that time period and, obviously, was signed prior to his death. His signature shows quite clearly in black ink at his tunic’s hip. The card was never mailed and is in excellent condition,







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Manfred von Richthofen


19-267 XRP SANKE CARD - RITTMEISTER MANFRED VON RICHTHOFEN - AUTOGRAPHED - NR 533. This is a consignment item. If one WW I autograph is prized above all other signatures, regardless of rank or branch of service, it belongs to Rittmeister Freiherr Manfred von Richthofen (1892-1918). The legend of the "Red Baron" is attached to anything and everything that deals with him. He was born to a minor noble family that had a tradition of serving in the Prussian Army. His father was a major who had served in the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War. Young Manfred grew up as an avid hunter and horseman. He attended military schools and ultimately was assigned to an Ulanen-Regiment before WW I began. He found himself assigned to the Eastern Front, and quickly recognized that he would be serving as dismounted cavalry slogging beside other units in the trenches.
He wrote a pointed letter to the authorities, stating that his prospects did not appeal to him, then asked for reassignment to the Imperial German Air Service. His request was granted, but his initial flying skills were poor at best. He actually crashed a plane during pilot training! After graduation, he was assigned to an observation squadron. Later he was recruited by Oswald Boelcke in 1916 for inclusion in Jasta Nr 2, his new "hunting squadron." For the first time, single-seater aircraft had their own units rather than being a part of observation squadrons.
Von Richthofen showed great promise early on. By January 1917 he was awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite and given his own squadron, Jasta Nr 11. He proved himself to be an equally effective squadron commander as he was a pilot, and soon led the underachieving unit to a higher performance level. Some of Germany’s finest aces served under his command in both Jasta Nr 11 and later Jagdgeschwader Nr 1 - JG 1 (renamed Jagdgeschwader 1 Freiherr von Richthofen after his death, it consisted of Jastas Nr 4, Nr 6, Nr 10, and Nr 11). These aces included his brother Lothar von Richthofen, Werner Voß, Kurt Wolff, Karl-Emil Schäfer, Erich Löwenhardt, Karl Allmenröder, Arthur Laumann, Hans Kirschstein, and Oskar Freiherr von Boenigk, all of whom were PLM-winners.
JG Nr 1,
known as the "Flying Circus," was shuttled to various parts of the Western Front to face the Allied squadrons’ stiffest competition. JG Nr 1 was the first of the fighter wings established by the Imperial German Air Service and the Kaiserliche Marine for their jastas on the Western Front. Unifying the command under a strong leader, who was also a highly-decorated pilot, proved most helpful. The young pilots in the Geschwader could look up to and copy what had made their commander so successful.
After taking command of the newly-formed JG Nr 1, von Richthofen led it to success. In July 1917 he was shot down and suffered a severe head wound. He was never the same, suffering headaches and nausea while flying. He also was changed mentally, coming to realize that his days were numbered and that he would not survive the war. The end came for him on 21 April 1918. It is still debated whether he was shot down on his final flight by Canadian pilot Captain Roy Brown, or by Australian machine gunners on the ground. More of the evidence and analysis point to the view that it was ground fire that brought down the famed "Red Baron."
Our offering here is von Richthofen’s Sanke Card Nr 533. The card is titled "Rittmeister Manfred Frhr. Von Richthofen." He is seen in his ulanka (the tunic worn by the Ulanen (cavalry) Regiments). He wears his PLM at his throat, and the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class’s ribbon in his top buttonhole. His 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class appears on his left breast, with his Prussian Army Pilot Badge directly below it. His left hand rests on his hip, a pose commonly struck by his mentor, Hauptmann Oswald Boelcke. He is wearing his Schirmmütze and glances to his left in a three-quarter pose. His black ink signature extends nearly 3" across his ulanka bottom, from his right arm to his left hand. The width of the postcard is about 3 ⅜," which gives you a sense his signature’s extent. The signature is clearer if one looks at it from an angle rather than from directly overhead. The postcard was never mailed.
This is a unique opportunity to acquire the autograph of Germany’s most famous fighter pilot of WW I or WW II.







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Erwin Böhme


19-272 XRP SANKE CARD - LEUTNANT ERWIN BÖHME - AUTOGRAPHED - NR 502. This is a consignment item. Erwin Böhme (1879-1917) was one of the oldest pilots to serve in the Imperial German Air Service. He served in the Garde-Jäger-Regiment beginning in 1899. After his two years service, he led an interesting and varied life that included time in German East Africa. He returned to Germany and to his old regiment just prior to WW I’s start. He applied for a transfer to the Air Service and by December 1914, he had completed his pilot training. He served in an observation squadron with Oswald Boelcke’s brother, Wilhelm. He was serving in Kampfstaffel (Kasta) Nr 10 under Wilhelm Boelcke when he achieved his first victory in August 1916. He soon was introduced to Boelcke’s more famous brother, and invited to serve in the newly formed Jasta Nr 2, along with Manfred von Richthofen. By September 1916 he had shot down his first plane as part of Jasta Nr 2, and had achieved five confirmed wins and one probable by 22 October.
In late October 1916, however, the wheels of Böhme’s plane touched the top wing of Boelcke’s plane, ripping the fabric and causing it to crash. The great Oswald Boelcke was dead, with forty confirmed victories to his credit. Böhme (who had become quite close to Oswald) was heartbroken. This tragic error followed him for the remainder of his life. In fact, he had been found in his quarters with a pistol in his hand after the accident, and had to be convinced not to kill himself.
Böhme continued to fly and eventually was given command of Jagdstaffel 29. He was transferred back to the now-renamed Jasta Boelcke on 18 August 1917 as its Jastaführer. He continued to increase his impressive score and was awarded the PLM on 24 November 1917. He shot down his twenty-fourth plane on 29 November 1917. Tragically, he was shot down and killed on that same day at the age of thirty-eight. [Few pilots lived beyond twenty-five and many were barely in their early twenties]. In another of the war’s many grim ironies, he never received his PLM. It arrived AFTER he was shot down.
Sanke Card Nr 502
depicts Böhme sitting down. Of course, he is NOT wearing his PLM. [Interestingly, some Sanke Cards created from photographs of PLM-winners taken prior to their receipt of the award had the PLM airbrushed onto them]. Böhme is looking to his left. He wears a ribbon bar that includes his Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order, the highest decoration that he actually received while alive. He sports his 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class and his Prussian Army Pilot Badge on his left breast. His bold black ink signature, indicating his name and rank, is scrawled across his lap. The card is in mint condition and was never mailed.







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Max Immelmann



Ernst Udet


19-239 OVERSIZED AUTOGRAPHED WW I ACE AND WW II LUFTWAFFE GENERAL ERNST UDET POSTCARD. Ernst Udet (1886-1941) was Germany’s second-leading WW I ace. He was recognized by Manfred von Richthofen for his flying ability and recruited to join Jasta 11. Therein lay a problem that Udet had for the balance of his life. When flying he was a genius, and certainly one of Germany’s ablest pilots. Outside an airplane cockpit, however, his life was not as smooth or easy.
After WW I, in which he had sixty-two confirmed victories, he remained involved in aviation as a supreme stunt pilot and an aircraft manufacturer. He also drifted into numerous relationships and marriages, none of which were successful. He joined the Nazi Party in 1933 and became involved in the Luftwaffe’s creation under his old boss, Hermann Göring. (Göring was the third and final commander of JG 1. Manfred von Richthofen was the first). In his Luftwaffe role, he was closely involved in the development of new aircraft. He is best known for his involvement with the JU-87 Stuka. He had seen the capability of early 1930's U.S.-built Curtiss aircraft. (It was Udet’s idea to add the screaming, dive-attack siren to the JU-87 that made it notorious). Due to mounting political pressure, Udet killed himself in November 1941. The public was not informed of this, just as they were not told of Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel’s (forced) suicide. He was buried as a hero and revered by the German people.
Today we are offering an oversized postcard that measures 4 1/4" x 6." It is based on a 1918 artist’s charcoal sketch. It shows Udet from the neck up. His PLM is at his neck, and he is wearing a Schirmmütze. His very distinct signature (E. Udet) appears in pencil. 
On the reverse is a pencilled description (in English!) of how the signature was acquired. It mentions that it was acquired at a Berlin Diplomatic Club during a 1929 luncheon. Udet signatures are NOT easy to obtain. It is a very fine item. $1,695.00



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Eduard Ritter von Schleich


19-252 SIGNED EDUARD RITTER von SCHLEICH DOCUMENT DISCUSSING FUTURE KNIGHT’S CROSS OF THE MILITARY MAX JOSEPH ORDER (BAVARIA) WINNER HANS RITTER von ADAM’S FLYING SKILLS. This is a signed document by PLM-winner Eduard Ritter von Schleich about pilot Hans Ritter von Adam, who had twenty-one confirmed victories. Eduard Ritter von Schleich (1888-1947) was a well-known WW I German Ace. He had rejoined the infantry in August 1914 at WW I’s outbreak. He was wounded and requested a transfer to the Imperial German Air Service. He began his service flying two-seat observation planes. He was a tenacious and dutiful soldier. He was wounded on one mission, but rather than return to base, he had his observer tend to his wound, and then returned. Following the wounding, he was placed in command of Fliegerschule Nr 1 during September 1916, which he commanded until his return to flying service a year later. Between September and December 1917, von Schleich racked up an impressive score. By December 1917, he was awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite.
While he commanded Jasta 21, von Schleich’s good friend was killed in a dogfight. To honor him, von Schleich ordered his Albatros D. V painted all black, with an emblem of the rampant Bavarian Lion against a blue and white checkerboard field. This caused a real stir. He soon became known as "The Black Knight of Germany." Later, von Schleich replaced his Albatros with a Fokker D. VII, painted in similar livery. He finished the war with a total of thirty-five confirmed victories and JG 4's command.
Eduard Ritter von Schleich survived the war to go through many aviation and non-aviation-related jobs. In the mid 1930's, he joined the newly-established Luftwaffe. He was an early commander of highly-famed JG 26 and was elevated to General, where his career ended effectively in November 1944 due to his poor health. At the war’s end, he was questioned by American authorities for commanding units in both Norway and Denmark as a Generalleutnant. No charges were ever brought, as von Schleich had operated only as a correct and honorable military officer. He died in 1947 at the age of fifty-nine.
Today we are offering a very important document from the time that he commanded Fliegerschule Nr 1 while recovering from his wounds. This is an official evaluation of one of the school’s students, Hans Adam. Adam was von Schleich’s observer in May 1916, and the man who tended to von Schleich’s wound while flying on a mission. When von Schleich was posted to Fliegerschule Nr 1 as commander to recover from his wounds, Adam followed him. It was here that von Schleich wrote the report on Adam. After graduating from the school, Adam was posted to Jasta 34b. Following that, he transferred to Jasta 6 and became its commander when Eduard Ritter von Dostler, a PLM-winner, was killed. Having been awarded the Knights Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order from Prussia, he was in line to be awarded the PLM. Even though he had the necessary twenty victories in November 1917, the call from Berlin did not come nor did he receive that award. He was, however, awarded Bavaria’s Knight’s Cross of the Military Max Joseph Order, which included a knighthood. This was done after his death, and he was then known as Hans Ritter von Adam.
The document, which is one page, measures 13" x 8 1/4." It is dated 14 December 1916. It also notes that the document was from Fliegerschule Nr 1, located in Schleissheim. The document consists of three paragraphs and is handwritten in blue ink. It is signed by Oberleutnant Schleich (von Schleich was not knighted at this point). Mention is made of the school and his position. Two holes are punched on its left side, showing that the document was in a binder. The document is informative. It would make an important addition to an aviation collection, as it is signed by a PLM-winner and gives an insight into a future twenty-one victory ace, who was knighted by his native Bavaria.



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Autographed Photos - Signatures

Other Orden Pour le Mérite Winners


19-275 XRP SANKE CARD - LEUTNANT KARL BOLLE- AUTOGRAPHED - NR 685. This is a consignment item. Karl Bolle (1893-1955) came from a solid middle-class family. He was educated at Oxford and spoke excellent English, which proved helpful during the war. In 1913 he entered the army as a Küraßier-Regiment’s One-Year-Volunteer. His regiment served on both the Western and Eastern Fronts. In 1915 he applied for and was accepted into the Imperial German Air Service. While serving in Kampfstaffel Nr 23, he acted as Lothar von Richthofen’s observer/gunner. In April 1917, he was transferred to Jasta Nr 28 where he learned his craft from the likes of Karl-Emil Schäfer (Manfred von Richthofen’s student in Jasta Nr 11) and Max Ritter von Muller. In February 1918, he was transferred to Jasta Boelcke (formerly Jasta Nr 2 under early-ace Oswald Boelcke). [Jasta Boelcke was a part of JG Nr III, which was commanded by Bruno Loerzer]. In August 1918, Bolle received the coveted Orden Pour le Mérite. He finished the war as a Rittmeister (having originally belonged to a cavalry regiment) with forty-four confirmed victories. He later served as a special advisor to Hermann Göring when the Luftwaffe was created, although he never actually served in it.
Bolle appears in Sanke Card Nr 685 wearing an overcoat over his uniform. The latter’s top buttons are open to display his PLM. His signature and a dedication appear at the card’s bottom. This is a fine opportunity to acquire a signature of a top-known ace that does not surface very often.







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19-276 XRP SANKE CARD - LEUTNANT RIEPER - AUTOGRAPHED - NR 659. This is a consignment item. My research found little on Leutnant der Reserve Peter Rieper. He served in a Balloon unit (apparently Ballonzug19). He served as a Balloon Unit observer from October 1915 until he was severely wounded on 3 July 1918. He received the PLM on 7 October 1918. I can find no additional information. Rieper was the only officer from an Army balloon detachment to be awarded the PLM.
He is seen herein Sanke Card Nr 659. He is wearing a litewka (a type of tunic) that features a double row of buttons. His PLM is at his throat. In the litewka’s second buttonhole is his ribbon for the 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class and another decoration. He wears a wound badge and the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class on his left beast. He is also wearing his Schirmmütze. The card has not been mailed and reveals a short notation on its reverse.











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19-277 XRP PHOTOGRAPH - JÜRGEN VON GRONE - AUTOGRAPHED ORIGINAL. This is a consignment item. Jürgen von Grone (1887-1978) came from a prominent Prussian military family. His father had served in the Army, so it was no surprise that Jürgen followed him into the military. He was initially a cadet (Fähnrich) in a Prussian Artillerie Regiment. He served in this regiment at the war’s beginning and participated in the assault of Belgium. He was severely wounded. Like so many others who had been wounded, von Grone applied to serve in the Imperial German Air Service.
[I have always found this curious that men like von Grone who had been wounded transferred into the Air Service. The attitude almost seemed to be that although they were no longer fit to serve on the ground at the Front, flying in airplanes was no sweat! Men who wore glasses also could transfer into the Air Service. Today pilots undergo the STRICTEST physical examinations to qualify for flight training. WW I certainly was a different time with different standards].
Von Grone began his training in December 1915. He passed his training and was assigned to an observation squadron where he served as both a pilot and an observer. He became one of the most successful observers, and eventually was assigned to the 7. Armee. He made many dangerous flights and perfected new techniques that made observation aircraft more effective. He was ultimately awarded the PLM in October 1918. [Only one other observation squadron officer may also have received the PLM].
This is an original photograph of von Grone. He is standing in a three-quarter pose, and wears his visor cap, PLM, Prussian Army Observer Badge, and the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. In his tunic’s buttonhole he is wearing the ribbon for the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order. His signature and a dedication in blue ink appear toward the photograph’s bottom, which measures 3 ½" x 5."







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19-278 XRP PHOTOGRAPH - ERNST BRANDENBURG - AUTOGRAPHED ORIGINAL. This is a consignment item. Ernst Brandenburg (1883-1952) was the only bomber pilot and squadron commander who received the PLM during WW I. When WW I began, Brandenburg was Prussian Infanterie-Regiment Nr 149's regimental adjutant. In December 1914, he was transferred to the Imperial German Air Service. He received his pilot training and was assigned to a bomber squadron. He was severely wounded, then he was awarded the Knights Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order on 5 March 1917. He then became the commander of Bombengeschwader der Obersten Heeresleitung Nr 3 (Bogohl 3). On 13 June 1917 he led his Geschwader consisting of seventeen Gotha G IV Bombers on a raid over London. The Gotha was the largest German bomber and fielded a crew of three. The G IV boasted the most Gotha-variant planes built within any Bomber Geschwader. The raid was devastating in terms of loss of life, killing more than one hundred civilians. The raid was considered to be very successful by the German High Command, as well as the Kaiser. Brandenburg was awarded a PLM the following day. After the bestowal ceremony at the hands of Kaiser Wilhelm II, he crashed in an airplane and lost a leg. He finished the war as a Major. He was also the only bomber pilot/squadron commander to receive the PLM.
This original photograph, which measures 3 ½" x 5," shows Brandenburg from the chest up. His PLM is clearly seen. His signature and the year "1917" appear at the card’s bottom. Clearly, this photograph was taken after his 1917 PLM award. The photograph is in mint condition.







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19-279 XRP PHOTOGRAPH - PAUL BÄUMER - AUTOGRAPHED ORIGINAL. This is a consignment item. Paul Bäumer was one of WW I’s leading aces. He was a dental assistant by trade and received his transfer to the Imperial German Air Service in THAT role rather than as a pilot! His first service in a jasta was with Jasta Nr 5. He later transferred to the famous Jasta Boelcke. He flew with them until the war’s end and finished with forty-three confirmed victories. He was awarded the PLM in October 1918. Bäumer became a dentist after the war, then was killed in a 1927 air crash. Legend says that his name was used for the primary character in the hit novel All Quiet on the Western Front, which depicted life in WW I’s Imperial German trenches. The book’s author, Erich Maria Remarque, was one of Bäumer’s patients.
This is an original photograph of Bäumer that measures 3 ½" x 5 ¼." The pose shows him from the waist up. He is wearing the PLM at his throat. A ribbon bar, the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class, the Prussian Army Pilot Badge (and what appears to be a Silver Army Wound Badge) all are pinned on his left breast. His bold black ink signature is applied diagonally from his shoulder to his waist.









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19-280 XRP PHOTOGRAPH - ROBERT RITTER VON GREIM - AUTOGRAPHED ORIGINAL. This is a consignment item. Robert Ritter von Greim (1892-1945) was a leading Bavarian WW I ace. He first entered the Bavarian Army in 1912, and was assigned to an Artillerie Regiment. He began the war with that regiment, then, like so many other young men, joined the Imperial German Air Service. By April 1918 he was assigned to Jasta Nr 34b, a Bavarian unit. In June of 1918 he had risen to command the same Jasta. He received the Orden Pour le Mérite on 8 October 1918. He also was awarded the Bavarian Knight’s Cross of the Military Max Joseph Order (MMJO), the highest military decoration awarded by the Kingdom of Bavaria. This decoration was accompanied by an elevation to knighthood. From that point on he was referred to as Robert Ritter von Greim. Unlike Prussia’s elevation to knighthood, which was a hereditary award, Bavaria’s knighthood did NOT have that restriction. Von Greim’s final confirmed victory count was twenty-eight.
In 1923, he was a participant in Munich’s 1923 Putsch, which was led by Adolf Hitler, former General Eric Ludendorff (Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg’s deputy), and Hermann Göring. For his participation, he was later awarded Hitler’s Blood Order. As an early Nazi Party member and Göring confidant, von Greim was an early Luftwaffe member. He held numerous high Luftwaffe posts during WW II on both the Western and Eastern Fronts. He became a Generaloberst later in the war. When Göring surrendered to the Americans in April 1945, Hitler declared Göring to be a traitor and replaced him with von Greim, who became the Third Reich’s last Generalfeldmarschall. After Hitler’s death, von Greim surrendered in Salzburg, Austria during May 1945, and  committed suicide there later that month.
This is an original photo of von Greim that measures 3½" x 5 ½." It shows him from the waist up. He is wearing his PLM, the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class, and his Bavarian Army Pilot Badge. He also is wearing a medal bar that features the MMJO. As both the PLM and the MMJO were awarded in October 1918, it is most likely that the photograph was actually taken after WW I’s end. His black ink signature is scrawled diagonally across his left arm.







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19-281 XRP PHOTOGRAPH - WALTER BLUME - AUTOGRAPHED ORIGINAL. This is a consignment item. Walter Blume (1896-1964) began WW I in Jäger-Battalion Nr 5. After he completed pilot training, he was assigned to Jasta Nr 26. He later joined Jasta Nr 9 and served as its Jastaführer. He received the Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order on 18 July 1918. He was one of the last pilots to receive the PLM on 2 October 1918. The war ended a mere five weeks after his award. Blume’s final score was twenty-eight confirmed victories.
After the war’s end, Blume became an aviation engineer and assisted in the design of some of the Third Reich’s jet aircraft, including the design of a four-engine bomber. He was captured by the Russians and forced to assist them in the design of jet aircraft.
This original photograph measures 3½" x 5 ½." He is shown from the waist up. He is wearing his PLM, the Prussian Army Pilot Badge, and the 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. He has signed diagonally in black ink across his right arm at the card’s bottom. In addition to his autograph, he has included the fact that he was a "Leutnant der Reserve und Führer des Jagdstaffel 9." The photograph is in fine condition.









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13-803 AUTOGRAPHED BIOGRAPHY - OBERLEUTNANT zur SEE FRIEDRICH CHRISTIANSEN. This is an autographed biography of Oberleutnant zur See Friedrich Christiansen. Christiansen. Christiansen was a prewar naval pilot who received his certificate early in 1914. He was credited with a total of thirteen victories, including a British submarine! He was awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite on 11 December 1917. After the war, he was a pilot for Dornier and flew the Dornier Do. X across the Atlantic in 1930. In 1937, he was appointed Korpsführer of the NSFK (National Socialist Flying Corps). He later became a general in the Luftwaffe. He commanded Luftwaffe troops in Holland during WW II. He died in 1971, one of the last of WW I’s pilots to win the PLM. $250.00



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19-23 SIGNED ORIGINAL WW II PHOTOGRAPH AND TRANSMITTAL LETTER OF ALFRED KELLER. An interesting original photograph of Generaloberst Alfred Keller. It is signed by Keller and it is accompanied by a brief note from an aide who forwarded it to a well-wisher for Keller. Keller is wearing both his Pour le Mérite and Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. A nice WW II era pair. $295.00



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12-360 LARGE FORMAT WARTIME AUTOGRAPHED PHOTOGRAPH OF A POUR LE MÉRITE WINNER. This is a very pleasing large format photograph of Oberstleutnant Friedrich Ritter von Haack. Von Haack was a Bavarian who was assigned to the General Staff of the Bavarian I. Armeekorps. His award of the coveted Orden Pour le Mérite (PLM) came on 4 August 1918 for his planning while on the General Staff. He is wearing the PLM in the photo. His signature and personalization appear on the photo’s reverse. This photo was taken shortly after his award. The personalization was dated 30 August 1918, a mere twenty-six days after his award. Von Haack was also awarded the Knights Cross of the Bavarian Military Max Joseph in April 1918, which carried with it an automatic elevation to knighthood. This is a very fine photograph and personalization to a man who won the highest military awards that both Prussia and Bavaria could offer. $250.00



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16-03 AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO OF ALFRED KELLER. Reproduction Hoffmann Card from WW II. Keller commanded a Squadron of Bombers during WW I which was highly successful in bombing Allied targets (Paris). He was a Generaloberst in WW II in the Luftwaffe, and one of the few airmen who received both the Pour le Mérite (12/4/17) and the Knights Cross. Post WW II signature. $85.00



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19-24 SIGNED PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPH OF HERMANN KÖHL. Hermann Köhl was a pilot early in the war. He was later transferred to a bomber squadron where he was very successful in his efforts against the French. His award was made in May 1918. Interestingly, he was shot down and interred in a POW camp until 1919. He was involved in aviation in post WW I Germany. He was well-known as he made a East to West crossing of the Atlantic in 1918 (this was more difficult than the Lindbergh flight since when one flies from Europe to the U.S. the flying is slower due to fighting head winds). He died in 1938. The portrait photo shows him in a civilian suit and is clearly signed on the obverse. $295.00



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Signatures of the Kaiserliche Marine, Marine-Infanterie, See-Bataillon, etc.


19-250 HANDWRITTEN LETTER TO FRIEDRICH von INGENOHL FROM ADMIRAL ALFRED von TIRPITZ. This is a handwritten letter from Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz (1849-1930) to future admiral and commander of the Hochseeflotte (High Seas Fleet) from 1913-1915, Friedrich von Ingenohl (1857-1933). The letter has been written on a piece of paper that measures 9 5/8" by 7 3/4." It has been folded in half, which allows four different pages measuring 7 3/4" x 4" x 7/8" for writing. Two of these pages are used in the letter to von Ingenohl.
The letter is dated 2 July 1905 and was written in Nauheim. At the time, von Tirpitz held the post of Naval Secretary of State. The letter is written in ink. Glancing through the letter, I see that von Tirpitz is congratulating von Ingenohl on the occasion of his appointment to serve as Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Flügeladjutant. The following year, von Ingenohl was transferred to command the Kaiser’s royal yacht, S. M. Y. Hohenzollern. (This is an historically important document as it shows when von Ingenohl got on the fast track to Admiral). The letter’s opening is simply "Meine Lieber Ingenohl." It concludes with the clear and recognizable signature, v. Tirpitz. The letter is written in black ink. Someone with the time and inclination could fully translate the letter.
The letter is in excellent condition for being more than one-hundred-years-old. We will include a postcard of von Tirpitz, so that you can better enjoy the letter.



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19-231 AUTOGRAPHED POSTCARD - VIZEADMIRAL WILHELM von LANS. This is a very scarce autographed postcard of Vizeadmiral Wilhelm von Lans (1861-1947). Von Lans joined the Kaiserliche Marine in 1878 as a cadet. Over the next twenty years he filled a variety of posts both on vessels and in staff roles. In 1899 he was given command of the small kanonboot S. M. S. Iltis, which was based in China. This was a traumatic time in China. The Boxer Rebellion erupted in 1900. The rebellion was an effort to rid China of European and Japanese influences. On 17 June 1900, the S. M. S. Iltis participated in an assault on and the taking of several Chinese forts, known as the Battle of the Taku Forts. During the successful assault, the S. M. S. Iltis suffered extensive damage from Chinese cannons within the forts, as well as extensive casualties among the crew. Lans himself was among the wounded. When news reached Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II, a major proponent of German colonial acquisition, was thrilled. In his eyes, the action proved Germany’s benefit in having colonies as well as a modern and powerful navy. The Navy had always been the Kaiser’s favorite, so he lavished praise on the Iltis and her commander, who by this time had been sent to Japan to recover from his wounds. On 25 June the Kaiser awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite to Lans. It was the first PLM awarded to a German naval officer. He also awarded a Pour le Mérite to the ship! This had never been done before, and would never be repeated. A large PLM was prepared and mounted on a jack stand at the ship’s bowlines recovered from his wounds, and in 1904 was given command of the S. M. S. Kaiser Wilhelm II. It was one of Germany’s most modern battleships. The Kaiser often sailed aboard it when he visited or traveled with the fleet. Lans was promoted to Konteradmiral in 1906. From the period of 1912-1915, he commanded the 1st Battleship Squadron of the High Seas Fleet. In 1913 he was again promoted, this time to the rank of vizeadmiral. That same year he was ennobled, to be remembered for the balance of his life as Wilhelm von Lans. His final promotion to the rank of full admiral came in 1915. Only the rank of großadmiral (which he did not achieve) was a higher position. His career stalled out after disagreements with von Tirpitz, and he ended the war as the North Seas Station’s commander. He survived WW Lithe postcard shows Lans in what appears to be a Konteradmiral’s uniform. He is identified as Vizeadmiral von Lans "Chef des I. Geschwaders." He is wearing a Schirmmütze and his Pour le Mérite is clearly visible at his neck. Across the his tunic bottom is his large and bold signature in black ink. Both the postcard and signature are in very fine condition. $495.00



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19-210 PHOTOGRAPH & AUTOGRAPH OF NOTED GERMAN NAVAL ARTIST HANS BOHRDT. Both before and during WW I, Hans Bohrdt (1857-1945) was one of Germany’s best-known marine artists. He was born in Berlin. At the age of 15 he visited Hamburg and had his first taste of life involving the sea. He was self-taught. In the 1890's he caught Kaiser Wilhelm II’s attention, who soon became Bohrdt’s patron. Bohrdt even accompanied the Kaiser on some of the S. M. Y. Hohenzollern’s cruises. Bohrdt’s output was prolific during WW I, and along with Professor Willy Stöwer, he was among the best-known depicters of German naval warfare. Perhaps his best-known wartime painting depicts the Battle of the Falklands. The battle, which took place on 8 December 1914, saw the German East Asian Squadron destroyed by the English. Almost 1,900 sailors lost their lives, including the fleet commander, Vizeadmiral Graf Maximilian von Spee, and his two sons. This painting shows a single German sailor who has had his ship shot from under him. He stands on the wreckage of his ship and defiantly thrusts a kriegsflagge in the air. It is rumored that the sailor belonged to the crew of the Nürnberg, whose members preferred to go down with their ship, flags in hand, rather than surrender to the British. Bohrdt saw great success from 1890 through 1918. When his royal patron was exiled to the Netherlands, and military-themed artwork stirred up too many unpleasant memories, Bohrdt fell from popularity in Germany. Today we are offering a photo of Bohrdt in a marine-themed uniform complete with binoculars. He also appears to be wearing the Kaiserlicher Yacht Club’s visor cap. It is perfectly logical that the membership committee would have invited him to join the club due to his relationship with the club’s Commodore (Kaiser Wilhelm II). Below Bohrdt’s photo is a large clipped signature. These two items are presented in a green matte that measures 10 3/4" x 6 3/4." The photograph and signature are displayed from windows within the matte. The photograph measures 5 1/2" x 3 1/4." The signature, which is large and bold in black ink, measures 2 1/4" x 4 1/4." $225.00



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Signatures of Imperial German Army



19-226 FRAMED DOCUMENT & POSTCARD SIGNED BY GENERALFELDMARSCHALL AUGUST von MACKENSEN. This is a custom-framed piece consisting of a document signed by Generalfeldmarschall August von Mackensen (1849-1945) and a postcard depicting him. The document actually is a telegram sent by the Generalfeldmarschall (who achieved this lofty rank in June 1915) to Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen (1856-1936), the Austro-Hungarian Army’s Supreme Commander during WW I. [A Historical Footnote: the Archduke was supported in his office by a Count Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf (1852-1925), who served as the Austrian General Staff’s Chief. Soon after he became Austria’s Emperor, Kaiser Karl (1887-1922) replaced both men in 1917. Karl assumed both positions for the war’s balance. He was pleased neither with the men’s performances, nor with the way the war was conducted]. The telegram from von Mackensen to Archduke Friedrich is dated 28 November 1915. When von Mackensen sent the telegram, he commanded Heeresgruppe Mackensen (as of October 1915). This Armeegruppe consisted of Germany’s XI Armee, Austro-Hungary’s III. Armee, and Bulgaria’s I. Armee. The telegram is handwritten, and marked by von Mackensen’s distinctive signature. The document measures 7 3/4" x 10 7/8." The entire framed piece measures 13 3/4" x 23 3/4," while von Mackensen’s postcard measures 3 3/16" x 5 3/16." While the frame is modern-day (Melissa picked out herself and color coordinated the matting to go along with the frame. This was done at a high end framer in our city.), it is beautifully rendered in an elaborately gilt style reminiscent of the period. $695.00  REDUCED TO $595.00





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19-282 POSTCARD - AUTOGRAPHED - GENERALFELDMARSCHALL - PAUL von HINDENBURG. This postcard features Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934) and Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941). It was produced for the German Red Cross’s benefit. Wilhelm II’s wife, Auguste Viktoria, was the Red Cross’s patron, as is noted on its reverse, which refers to her as "Kaiserin" and "Königin." The card is dated July 1915. At this time, von Hindenburg was the commanding general of all the Eastern Front’s Central Powers’ forces. It was not until August 1916 that he became the Great German General Staff’s Chief.
An official message is displayed at the postcard’s bottom (as part of the original postcard), with von Hindenburg’s bold, black ink signature and a dedication above it. The postcard and the signature are in mint condition.










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19-265 GENERALFELDMARSCHALL PAUL von HINDENBURG’S CLIPPED SIGNATURE AND POSTCARD. Paul von Hindenburg was a noted Generalfeldmarschall who became the President of the Weimar Republic. When WW I began, he was retired, but was then brought back as a Generaloberst to command the 8. Armee. He was victorious at the Battle of Tannenberg in late August 1914. His smaller army was far out-manned by the Russians (150,000 to 230,000), but his forces were able to completely rout the Russians. [They suffered 150,000 casualties in the battle, including vast numbers of captured troops]. He was Germany’s first national hero during WW I. His star continued to rise as he went on to command all the German and Central Powers troops on the Eastern Front. He was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall, then ultimately headed the German General Staff in Berlin. Assisted by his deputy, Erich Ludendorff, he planned the German war effort for the rest of the war. He again retired at WW I’s end, but was recalled to his country’s service in the mid 1920's as President of the Weimar Republic, an office he filled until his 1933 death. He was replaced by then Chancellor Adolf Hitler.
Today we are offering a von Hindenburg signature that was clipped from a document or letter. It measures 3 ¼" x 4 ¼," and bears the famed General’s distinctive signature rendered in the purple grease pencil commonly used at combat commands (meaning it probably was clipped from a wartime document or letter). We are including a postcard of von Hindenburg, so that you may combine them into a framed montage, if you so choose.







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19-227 AUTOGRAPHED LETTER FROM GENERALFELDMARSCHALL KARL FRIEDRICH von STEINMETZ. Prussia’s Generalfeldmarschall Karl Friedrich von Steinmetz (1796-1877) began his military career in 1813, during the Napoleonic Wars. He was wounded during the war and received the 1813 Iron Cross 2nd Class. After fighting in 1848's First and Second Schleswig Wars, he achieved the rank of Generalmajor in 1854. Subsequently, he fought in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War and then the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War. During the latter war, as a Generaloberst, he commanded the I. Armee, one of three Prussian Armies in the field. He retired in April 1871, then was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall. The letter was handwritten in 1876 at Gorlitz, the year before he died. It measures 6 ½" x 8." It is attached to another piece of paper that serves as a matte. It is interesting to note that Füsilier-Regiment von Steinmetz (Westpreußisches) Nr 37 was named in his honor. It is a fine, complete letter from one of Germany’s most important Franco-Prussian War military commanders. $225.00 



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19-176 AUTOGRAPHED POSTCARD - GENERALOBERST von WOYRSCH. Remus von Woyrsch (1847-1920) was in retirement at the outbreak of WW I. Like many key officers (including Paul von Hindenburg), he was recalled to service. During WW I, he served on the Eastern Front and held the rank of Generaloberst. He commanded Armee-Gruppe Woyrsch. Later in the war his command was dissolved and he retired. At his retirement he was advanced one rank, as was the German Army’s practice, and became a Generalfeldmarschall. Today we are offering an autographed postcard of the general. He is in uniform wearing a PLM at his throat. If you look carefully, you will see a two-place medal bar with an 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class with Oak Leaves. Not only did he serve in the 1870/71 Franco-Prussian War, but he served as a young officer in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. During WW I he reported to Austrians early in the war, and had a large number of Austrians in his command later. When asked about his Austrian troops, he replied that they had learned little since 1866! His signature on the obverse is bold and signed in black ink. We can see his name and the rank of Generalfeldmarschall (his retirement rank) and the date 3 October 1918. This was then mailed the following day from Breslau. Both card and autograph are in excellent condition. $450.00



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19-185 AUTOGRAPHED LETTER - GENERALFELDMARSCHALL LEONHARD GRAF von BLUMENTHAL. Leonhard Graf von Blumenthal (1810-1900) was an able commander and staff officer. He received special recognition for his efforts. He was awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite with Oak Leaves during the Austro-Prussian War. He served closely with Kronprinz Friedrich Wilhelm during that war, as well as the Franco-Prussian War. He was appointed to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall in 1888 and served on the General Staff. Today, we are offering a two-page letter written by him in 1876. The letter will prove most interesting, if you care to translate it. $325.00



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19-186 AUTOGRAPHED LETTER - GENERAL der INFANTERIE FRIEDRICH WILHELM GRAF von BÜLOW DENNEWITZ. This is a signed letter from Friedrich Wilhelm Graf von Bülow Dennewitz (1755-1816). He was a very successful commander who led the Prussian IV. ArmeeKorps under Blücher at Waterloo. This ArmeeKorps faced the heaviest action and successfully carried out its mission during the momentous battle. The letter, which measures 5" x 7 1/2," was written on 13 September 1813. and was a Dienstanweistung (instructions or regulations). For being nearly two-hundred-years-old, the letter is in surprisingly good condition. $325.00



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19-285 POSTCARD - AUTOGRAPHED - GENERALOBERST ALEXANDER VON KLUCK. Alexander von Kluck (1846-1934) was a Generaloberst (Colonel General) during WW I’s early stages. [A Generaloberst was the equivalent of a four-star U.S. Army General]. He first entered the Prussian Army in 1865. He served during the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, as well as the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, during which he was wounded twice and awarded the 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class. He was knighted in 1909, becoming Alexander von Kluck, then continued to steadily progress through the Imperial German Army’s ranks. In 1914 he was promoted to Generaloberst from General der Infanterie.
Prior to the buildup for WW I, an Armeekorps was the Imperial Germany’s largest military organization (although Armees had been created for the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War). This was in accordance with the von Schlieffen Plan attributed to Generalfeldmarschall Graf Alfred von Schlieffen, the Chief of the General Staff from 1891 to 1906. Von Schlieffen had observed the 1905 Russo Japanese War and came up with a strategy to avoid a possible two-front war against France and Russia. Realizing that the Russian military was weak, von Schlieffen’s plan called for two German Armees to sweep through Belgium and knock France out of the war by quickly capturing Paris. This would take place before the British could muster a big enough army on the continent, and before Russia could effectively enter the war. It was not used when von Schlieffen was in power, but remained as a strategy if another war developed with France.
So, during the pre WW I buildup, Berlin’s General Staff created two Armees from the various Armeekorps. When the war began, the German I. Armee’s command was given to von Kluck. The II. German Armee was commanded by Generaloberst Karl von Bülow. Von Kluck was by far the more aggressive commander, while von Bülow was more conservative. Once the plan was enacted, poor communication, interference from Berlin, and lack of aggressiveness by von Bülow caused problems. Instead of the quick victory von Schlieffen had projected, (although von Kluck was within thirteen miles of Paris at one point), the campaign devolved to the first Battle of the Marne in September 1914. Eventually, this led to both sides staking out territory protected by trenches, and four years of trench warfare, no real movement of the lines, and millions of lives lost.
Von Kluck was considered not only an aggressive, but a fearless commander. While inspecting forward areas in March 1915, he received numerous wounds from shrapnel. Von Kluck received the Orden Pour le Mérite on 28 March 1915. He had a son killed that same year, then went into retirement, never receiving another command. After the war he wrote his memoirs, questioning the lack of cooperation between von Bülow and Berlin, which led to defeat instead of a clear-cut, early German victory.
Today we are offering you a postcard signed by von Kluck. The postcard is a pen and ink portrait of him. He is a stern, no nonsense looking man. He is everything that you would expect a Prussian General to look like. His very bold signature in black ink appears across his chest. The postcard has been matted onto a piece of pasteboard that measures 6 ½" x 4 ½." It could be popped right into a 5" x 7" frame for a fine display. The card and signature are excellent and show one of Germany’s earliest WW I military commanders.






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19-284 AUTOGRAPHED LETTER - GENERAL DER INFANTERIE DIETRICH GRAF VON HÜLSEN-HAESLER. This is an autographed letter signed by General der Infanterie Dietrich Graf von Hülsen-Haesler. He joined the Kaiser Alexander Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr 1 in 1870 as a young Leutnant. [I am not sure if he saw service in the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War]. It was the Prussian Army’s second-most-elite Infanterie Regiment after the 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß. Von Hülsen-Haesler rose through the ranks to become Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Adjutant in 1889. Following that, he commanded a Garde-Regiment. He was promoted to Generalmajor in 1899, and served as the Garde-Korps Chief of Staff. From 1901 until his 1908 death, he was a General der Infanterie and the Chef of the Militärkabinits. This department oversaw all matters concerning the Imperial German Army’s officers and worked directly with Kaiser Wilhelm II. [SIDE NOTE: von Hülsen-Haesler was a homosexual and died of a heart attack while wearing ballerina garb at one of the Kaiser’s hunting estates. The entire matter was obviously hushed up due to his close, almost twenty-year working relationship with the Kaiser].


Today we are offering you a handwritten letter from von Hülsen-Haesler that is dated 28 April 1894. The letter is written on a piece of paper measuring 8 ¾" x 11." It has been folded in half so that the letter appears on four pages. Below von Hülsen-Haesler’s signature we see a pencil notation identifying the letter’s author. The overall condition of the letter is very fine. Although I do not have a translation of the letter’s subject matter, it could make an interesting research project. $150.00 






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