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Painting of a Bavarian civil servant


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Dear fellow collectors,

I was fortunate enough to buy a new painting for my collection at the latest HH auction on the tenth of december. I was wondering if there was a possibility for identification. If not for the person painted, than atleast for his rank. His shoulderboards are covered by something I can only describe as a fur or black coat (painted much in the same manner as the famous portrait of Gerhard von Scharnhorst). Both his cuffs and his litzen are a somewhat faded red (I plan to have it cleaned after the holidays by a specialist, which might reveal a darker shade) with silver thread. Both the two silver buttons on his cuffs and the four buttons on his chest all have a right-facing lion on them. It looks like this lion might perhaps be holding a sword, although I'm not sure of that. He is wearing three decorations: Königlicher Ludwigs-Orden, goldener Militär Verdienstmedaille and the Militärdenkzeichen für 1813,1814,1815. It was painted atleast after 1827, when the Ludwigs-Orden was instated. Please see the images attached, due to my bad camera I have also enclosed the picture used by the auctionhouse. All help would be greatly appreciated. If necessary I will try to take more pictures.

Kind regards and thanks in advance, Laurentius

c641a9f3-d0aa-4704-9149-ac780156cd04 (1).jpg

IMG-20201224-WA0029.jpg

IMG-20201224-WA0028.jpg

IMG-20201224-WA0027.jpg

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A very nice painting Laurentius.

It is nice to see that it was finally purchased by someone who appreciates it.

Unfortunately, I do not think that it would be possible to identify the recipient as the award combination shown in the painting, although scarce, was not unique.  Perhaps the auction house might know.  They may have obtained it from the family, but the family didn't want the name published.  It might be worth asking them.

Best regards,

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On 28/12/2020 at 16:33, Schießplatzmeister said:

Unfortunately, I do not think that it would be possible to identify the recipient as the award combination shown in the painting, although scarce, was not unique.  Perhaps the auction house might know.  They may have obtained it from the family, but the family didn't want the name published.  It might be worth asking them.

Thank you for the help, I'll be sure to contact the auctioneer.

On 28/12/2020 at 16:33, Schießplatzmeister said:

It is nice to see that it was finally purchased by someone who appreciates it.

I believe this was the third time it went up for auction. There was plenty of interest, also from my side, however the starting bid had been too high the first two tries to make it a good deal. It now hangs safely in my room next to other paintings of it's kind.

 

Would there be anyone who can shed some light on the uniform (rank for example, or precise timeperiod)

Kind regards, and thanks in advance, Laurentius

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29 minutes ago, ArHo said:

An impressive picture! I do not want to bother you but I would love to see the medals as closeup! Cheers!

No Problem at all ArHo, here you goIMG-20210103-WA0034.thumb.jpg.99bff52729c2f04b35ce0f5078c26cd9.jpgIMG-20210103-WA0031.thumb.jpg.04d745bdc5ad47a6cf11402a625df36f.jpg

It was a bit hard, given the reflecting tendencies of oilpaintings but I managed to take some good pictures, the fine details in the medals come out. As you can see the small lions on the silver buttons are also visible.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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Thank you Laurentius - it is always a joy to see paintings that have been made with this love of detail down to the buttons! I congratulate you on this beautiful piece of art and history👍

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19 hours ago, spolei said:

Hello, possibly  the second award is the golden Militär-Sanitäts-Ehrenzeichen not the bravery-medal.

Thank you Spolei, would this make a potential identification possible? If the difference between the Militär-Sanitäts-Ehrenzeichen and the Goldener Militärverdienstmedaille is the same as it is in WW1 that would mean that the Militär-Sanitäts-Ehrenzeichen is more scarce.

19 hours ago, spolei said:

His rank is a officers rank and the braverymedal was a non-officer award.

Would you happen to know which rank?

Kind regards and thanks in advance, Laurentius

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The gold military medical medal is very rare. I am only aware of 26 awards of the gold medal for the period from 1812 to 1849. I don't know whether the uniform belongs to a military doctor, but he doesn't wear shoulder boards either.

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Hi chaps,

I would go along with a very senior military medical official in the late twenties/early thirties. At this period, medical officials did not wear epaulettes. This chap may well be our man from 1831 and the collar braid corresponds with the rank.

Eichheimer.thumb.jpg.1ddb8a089e5a9ebb6a989c1a3acdf3ce.jpg

Regards

Glenn

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I found this picture dated 1833 of Friedrich Eichheimer. The likeness is not immediately apparent. In 1832 only two serving medical officials are listed with a Militär-Sanitäts-Ehrenzeichen in Gold. The other is a Divison Stabsarzt Dr. Carl Ahles. He is shown with the same orders by 1836.

Regards

Glenn

1769338326_EichheimerF.jpg.ce982f99668a51d4563b38a121b54fd6.jpg

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11 hours ago, Glenn J said:

The other is a Divison Stabsarzt Dr. Carl Ahles. He is shown with the same orders by 1836.

If we were to ignore Friedrich Eichheimer on account of the picture we have of him (his medals are folded in the same manner as the medals on my painting) would Dr. Carl Ahles be the only other possible recipient left? 1836 or some years after that seem to correspond with my judgement of the age of the painting and the frame.

Kind regards and thanks in advance, Laurentius

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Hi Laurentius,

Dr. Ahles does not appear to have reached the equivalent of general officer rank. It is possible that the engraving was a much later rendition of Dr. Eichheimer. He was still serving in 1842 with exactly the same decorations as shown in your portrait. He served as the General-Stabsarzt of the Bavarian Army from 1826 to 1847. I can't find anyone else with those exact decorations at this rank. He was only awarded a Military Merit order 3rd Class  on 1 January 1843

Regards

Glenn

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If we try to figure out who the person pictured is - given he indeed wears the goldene Militär-Sanitäts-Ehrenzeichen (which I find likely) - we may take into account that Stabsarzt Dr. Carl Philipp Ahles died in 1846 aged 74 years. So he was born ca. 1772. This means that, given that the Ludwigs-Orden was instated in 1827, he has to have been already 55 years of age when he was painted. I have to say that the man pictures does not look like a 55 years old man to me (but of course he may haven been pimped by the painter or simply be wearing a wig...). So I would opt for Eichheimer, his curliness may have been cut away by the scissors... Just my 2 cents :-)

https://books.google.de/books?id=Nb9AAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA176&dq=Stabsarzt+Dr.+Carl+Ahles&hl=de&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjf5NC1qYruAhWE3KQKHe3CCSoQ6AEwAXoECAUQAg#v=onepage&q=Stabsarzt%20Dr.%20Carl%20Ahles&f=false

Also, there is a list of those awarded with the goldene and silberne Militär-Sanitäts-Ehrenzeichen here:

https://www.deutsche-gesellschaft-fuer-ordenskunde.de/DGOWP/links/verleihungslisten/bayern/

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Thanks Glenn and Arho for all your help and information.

I fear that we sadly won't be figure out definetively who the person in the painting is, although I am very happy that we managed to boil it down to two people. Artistic license, wigs, it all makes a proper identification harder. Where not dealing with cold hard facts as we would see with a ribbon- or medalbar, which would make it much easier. Once again, many thanks for your help.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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