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Kurt Donch

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Everything posted by Kurt Donch

  1. It's called Tombak, an alloy with a higher copper content than brass. Quite popular for private purchase army buckles, especially Prussian and Württemberg. In my experience not often seen on Bavarian buckles.
  2. Hi Fritz Buckle on the right obviously being worn upside down. Don't think the one on the left is a Rolldorn example. The belt hook is visible, whereas with the Rolldorn buckles, there is no hook.
  3. Hi Chris The buckle on the left hand side is definitely a Bavarian army buckle as well. The motto In Treue Fest is visible, and this style of buckle was particular to the army. Bavarian police had a buckle with the crown within a thin striped ring. My thought is the buckle on the left was of the 1887 pattern (fits on a 5cm wide belt), whereas the buckle on the right is the 1895 pattern (fits on a 4.5 cm belt). The 1887 pattern buckle has a cut out at the fold-over sides to accommodate the large belt hook, and this seems to be visible here. The 1895 pattern buckles did not have this. That may appear at odds with the photograph's date, but possibly the influx of volunteers following the start of the war couldn't be completely equipped with up to date stuff and older pattern equipment still held in depots was issued. Just a spontaneous thought. Kind regards Kurt
  4. My apologies in advance for what must seem a daft question, but I don't collect medals and know absolutely nothing about them. Would someone tell me what the cross on the green and violet ribbon just behind the Iron Cross is? I have a belt buckle with the same monogram that I have been trying to identify for years. Thank you very much for your help. Kind regards Kurt
  5. Hi, You'll find the marks are those of the manufacturer of the original DT buckle, not of the company that converted it to the WH pattern. Most seem to have been converted from Berg & Nolte DT buckles, so the HASAG buckle originally shown is quite special. The roundel of that one is absolutely identical to the roundels on B&N buckles. Best regards, Kurt
  6. Hello Robert, Thank you for posting these stunning photos. Actually, and there is confirmation from period sources for this, there was never any official FAD buckles. All the varied FAD-type design buckles out there were designed and sold by the manufacturers on their own initiative. One of the guys in your photographs is wearing the most common of these. Your photos clearly show, moreover, that FAD members would wear any old buckle they already had from another organisation they belonged to. Best regards, Kurt
  7. Hi Komtur, The picture I had in mind must be in John R. Angolia's "For F?hrer and Fatherland" - military awards of the third reich, 1st edition ca. 1980. I don't have the book with me, but I remember a rather good protrait of Seldte printed in the book because the author treated the stars on the F?hrerschulterriemen as an award. Surely someone on this forum still has a copy of this book and can maybe post a scan? Best regards, Kurt
  8. Gentlemen, Allow me to add some thoughts on the interesting subject of decorations awarded by former ruling families, chivalric associations and the like. Post-abdication awards seem to have been tolerated by the Weimar state and the Reichswehr. They also seem to have been tolerated in the early years of the TR, there obviously were a number of leading Nazis hungry for some big, flashy gongs. Legally, these were not of course "official" awards anymore, and the legal status of the orders etc. handed out was -and is - nothing more or less than a wearable token presented by a private citizen or a civil-law association. That they were highly prized by the recipients does not alter the legal situation. As has been pointed out in this thread, even today a number of formerly ruling houses, as well as some pretenders, and any number of "chivalric" organisations hand out orders that in part correspond to orders already extant at the time, but in part are completely new creations. Many of these "chivalric" assoctians are nothing more than money scams pandering to their members' vanity. For paying a - sometimes quite substantial amount - of money, you get the "right" to attend social gatherings and strut around dressed up in white or black tie and sporting chains, sashes, stars and crosses. Some old chivalric/caritative associations are officially recognized, e.g. in Germany the Johanniterorden, and their badges may be worn even with Bundeswehr uniforms. For the others, and the former dynastic orders, not being official or officially recognized awards, in Germany you can wear as many as you like with civilian clothing, as long as the badges etc. by their design may not be mistaken for any decoration awarded by the Federal Republic or the L?nder. BTW, another post-WWI awardee of the HOH Komthur was Franz Seldte, leader of the Stahlhelm and Reich minister in the Hitler government. Best regards, Kurt
  9. While I have no name, I would suggest the scars on his left cheek are "Schmisse" (student duelling scars) and not wounds. If so, this would make him a Reserve officer and not a career military. Best regards, Kurt
  10. Here's a close-up of my man: Sorry for the poor quality, but 70kb is rather restrictive. Hope you can make out the details. Kurt
  11. Hello all, Hope this is the correct forum for my question. I'd very much like to know the identity of the officer on the right of the picture. The picture itself is well known and shows the Kaiser in conversation with the Chiefs of the General Staff of Italy and Austria at the 1913 Kaiserman?ver in Silesia. Off to the right of the group is Moltke, then Chief of the German general staff. But who is the guy to Moltke's right? By his age and proximity to the really big wigs, might he be some sort of (perhaps foreign) royalty? Perhaps I should declare my interest in the man: He is wearing a special version of the Feldbinde buckle with ornate gates that were not regulation. The Kaiser hinself had a special Feldbinde with this kind of buckle, but with three stripes instead of the regulation two (just visible in the photo). The mystery gent has the regulation two stripes, though. Pietsch states that the King of England wore a three-stripe sash with his Prussian uniform on the occasion of Princess Victoria-Luise's marriage in 1913. So, if my man can be identified, this might provide some explanation for the non-regulation Feldbinde/buckle, as there is certainly nothing in regulations. Many thanks for your help in advance. Best regards, Kurt
  12. Gentlemen, On the original question of the ribbon colour, there is a PKO2X on the blue statute ribbon awarded to a Royal Marine colonel for Pekin 1900 (legations defence) in the RM museum in Portsmouth. This would tally with what was said earlier that PKOX to foreigners were regularly on the statute ribbon. Kind regards, Kurt
  13. Hi, I'm totally at a loss of what this buckle could be. Construction sure looks German, but the emblem? Nothing I can relate it to. The book and sword may point to an academic context. One thing is certain, however, it cannot be inter-war fraternal. Fraternities had (and have) many things that are reminiscent of a uniform, but no belt buckles. Kind regards, Kurt
  14. Joel, Beautiful buckle! According to A.C.O. of 27 Feb 1899, this buckle in "white metal" was to be worn by enlisted and NCO ranks below Feldwebel of the Berlin fire brigade. I have two buckles of this type. No idea if other organisations wore this type as well, but we can definitely count the army out. As to the markings, possibly a manufacturer's mark (viz the somewhat stylised central emblem). BTW, I also have a silver-plated Bavarian buckle, does anybody have an idea on that one? Best regards, Kurt
  15. Hi Chip, Would you post some pics of that one? Bloody rare with tab and acceptance stamps. Couple of years ago, I lost a bid on one of these with the belt - also with acceptance stamps - to a French collector on German ebay. To me, these are very special, so I'd love to see yours! Many thanks in advance! Kind regards, Kurt
  16. Robert, Thank you very much for the additional info. Like Chip said, the silver finish, which looks somehow "subdued" and not silvery-bright like one'd expect on a Feldbinde, would have made all the difference. A very desirable buckle that went to a lucky bidder. I didn't bother bidding on ebay as I took the finish to be a light field grey, perhaps even lightened even further because of some slight over-exposure of the photo. Well, just my luck! Best regards, Kurt
  17. Sorry, from your post I thought you were the buyer, not the seller! Still, from what you remember of the buckle, was it silver or field-grey? Best regards, Kurt
  18. Robert, Very nice set! Saw it too. Photos weren't that clear, but I took it to be steel with a very light field grey paint coat. Could you post better close-up pics of the buckle ob- and reverse? Many thanks, Kurt
  19. What a great group of documents. Also of note, he was a "Offizier-Stellvertreter" when he was awarded the ECII in 1916, but had become a reserve 2nd lieutenant by the time of his other war-time award, even getting an earlier formal date of promotion (the 'promotion' document shown). Meaning, he rose to officer status (albeit "der Reserve") from the ranks. If the Bavarians did it anything like the Prussians, this can't have happened too often. After all, the 'semi'-ranks of Offz.-Stellv. and Feldw.-Lt. were aimed precisely at giving selected NCOs officer responsibilities without actually making them part of the caste. His civilian occupation as "Kaufmann" would fit: This term could of course theoretically denote the chairman of a large industrial group, but more probably describes a shop-keeper, i.e. someone of lower middle-class background, well-respected in his community but not quite officer class according to the standards of the day. Kind regards, Kurt
  20. Hi, As per the 1901 "Bekleidung und Ausr?stung der Preussischen Feuerwehren" this buckle is for the Berlin fire brigade. Very nice! Regards, Kurt
  21. Hi all, Nothing further on the W?rttemberg officer Alexander v. Brandenstein's military career I can add, but the following on how the double-barreled name came into being: After having bought back the castle of Brandenstein (in Hesse near Schl?chtern, not too far away from Frankfurt) in 1905, he married the legendary Graf Zeppelin's daughter in 1909 and was then elevated to "Graf" by the King of W?rttemberg, taking the title of Graf von Brandenstein-Zeppelin. This should explain the name change in the ranklist. This is just taken from a website on Brandenstein castle, but should be accurate. Regards, Kurt
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