Collecting Imperial German Army Equipment
In recent years there has been an increase in interest in the First World War across all collecting areas. As the internet and online auctions bring out more and more good quality items – either from old collections or from family members selling off long-held souvenirs – the market has never been so buoyant. Some items that had previously never seen the outside of a personal collection are starting to move around collecting circles now.
Inevitably, combat items that are over 100 years old will show wear and tear commensurate with the life they have lived. For some, this adds charm and inevitably brings up the question “if only this could talk’… If you visit a collector and talk about their collection, you will probably find the conversation turns towards items which have been involved in a particular action, associated with a famous personality or a particular phase of a war.
There are not many more emotive subjects than the First World War and especially items which could have been used during trench warfare. Below are a number which may have been carried by members of the Imperial German Army during that time.
A rare WWI German M16 / M17 / M18 helmet brow plate
This WW1 Imperial German M16, M17 & M18 helmet brow frontal plate is a stunning example of a rarely found trench warfare piece. It was even featured in Oliver Lock’s book Stahlschutzhelme 1915-1918 (pages 126/127).
It retains a large amount of its original paint finish on both the inside and outside surfaces. There is a clear manufacturer’s mark of “RV” – most probably representing Rochling’Schen Eisen Und Stahlwerke – Volklgen.
There is an expected degree of rust bleed through the paint – but the finish remains clean. It is available from Regimentals and priced at £1,950.
A pair of WW1 German Army field glasses in a leather case
Next we have this good, complete pair of Imperial German Army field glasses, with their original case. The binoculars have their original neck strap and retain all their original period field grey paint. They come in their original brown leather pouch with riveted fittings and instructions inside the lid. The case also has the belt loops and all the fittings still remaining.
Even though this style of binoculars was widely issued to officers and also machine gun crews, it is difficult to find a pair that is this complete. Often the case and/or the straps are missing. It was manufactured by C. P. Goerz in Berlin.
Available from Military Antiques priced at £285.
A 1915 German Army Fur Pack
This is a good example of a 1888-model German Army pony fur backpack. It is 1915 dated and regimentally marked on the shoulder strap. This type of pack was used a lot throughout the First World War by German soldiers. While a number of different models exist, this is one of the earlier ones.
A large percentage of the original fur remains on the front and back and it is possible that it has had a wartime replacement to one of the shoulder straps, as they differ fractionally. One of the straps has a Berlin maker’s mark and date of 1915 as well as being regimentally stamped BAG 3 G.R.
Available from CS Militaria £195.00.
WW1 German Army Drum Hanger
This very decorative imperial German Army eagle drum hanger was manufactured in brass. It has an original soft and pliable leather strap. The swivel works very well and the eagle is highly detailed.
This hanger is available from Sabre Militaria AUS $170.00.
Imperial German Guard Regimental Bugle
This bugle is quite battered and field used. It is all brass with nickel fittings and it was for a Guard unit of the Imperial German army.
There is a large Prussian Eagle Guards insignia within an oval plaque in the trumpet area. The maker’s details are clear and it is dated 1915. Although the mouthpiece is missing, it comes complete with an original red cord wrapping.
It is available from Regimentals for £325.
Why not check out this article: WW2 Japanese Items
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