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What's in a name? Johanniter Ehrenritter

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Dear fellow collectors,


I recently won this painting at an auction. I received it last week, send it out to a restorer for a new frame (quite the hassle with an octagon-shaped painting) and now it's finished and hanging on the wall. A lovely portrait of a Johanniter Ehrenritter. Given the type of clothing and the manner of painting I would place this painting between 1860 and 1880. On the back of the frame is written 'Ballenstedt' with a blue pencil. Could this be a clue about the identity of the owner? Ballenstedt is a German last name but also the name of a town in Saxony-Anhalt. I am aware most members of the Prussian Order of St. John are not written down in lists but I wondered if anyone could take a look for the name Ballenstedt? He has no other decorations so anyone named Ballenstedt in the list with additional bling can be quickly discarded as the possible painted person.


I know it's a long shot and that we probably won't end up with a identification but I'm greatful for all the help I get.

Kind regards and thanks in advance, Laurentius



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2 hours ago, Deutschritter said:

Regierungsrat Maximilian „Max“ Theodor Schaetzell

Possible, but I don't think so. Schaetzell is shown to be a Rechtsritter since 1854, whilst my guy is an Ehrenritter. Did you find this information in the Sachsen-Anhalt Staatsbuch?


On a unrelated note, my guy looks a bit like Otto von Bismarck, who was also an Ehrenritter, although he did have a tendency to wear the little white cross on his jacket too.


Kind regards, Laurentius

In this piece about an ironforge in the Harz area describes Schaetzell as a 'Staatsminister', just as you said. Wouldn't  a staatsminister have more than 'just' a Johanniter-Orden? 


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Oh well, too bad. That what have been a nice match (it would have been the first known picture of von Schaetzell). I found this in the „Johanniter-Ordensblatt“.  Yes, a small resemblance. On some pictures during his Bundestag time, Bismarck would were only his Johanniterkreuz. Bismarck was Ehren- (1852) and later Rechtsritter (1858).



Edited by Deutschritter
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