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German Belt Buckles, 1847-1918


Fritz

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Here, a selection of belt buckles of the main German states, M.1915, all in fieldgrey. Note the differences between the three various crowns.

Prussia / GOTT MIT UNS

Bavaria / IN TREUE FEST

Saxony / PROVIDENTIAE MEMOR

Württemberg / FÜRCHTLOS UND TREW  (treu)

Other German states had their own patterns, such as Hessen, Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
Saxony also had further variations for I.R. 107 and 108, and for Leib-Grenadier-Regt.100.
The new buckles were made by a variety of manufacturers using Siemens-Martin Stahlblech (a patent), which was zinc coated and then finished in field grey.

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Improved pictures, 27.6.2020: Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony. The reverse of Bavarian buckle has been overpainted by a previous collector. Saxon buckle has some old pitting above the crown, some original finish remaining.

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Further  2 examples of Saxon buckles M.1895, brass with nickel centre.

 

 

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  • 1 year later...

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Hessen: "Emergency pattern", 1914/15. Made of iron with separately applied crown, original goldbronze finish with signs of wear and scratches.
Saxony: Private purchase example of type worn only by Infantry-Regiment 107 "Prinz Johann Georg", white metal medallion with crown and interwoven JG monogram on tombak buckle with patent hook to rear. Regiment 108 also had it's own special design

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Prussia: M.1847 (50 mm) and M.1895. White metal medallion on brass buckle.

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Bavaria: M.95 buckle with white metal medallion on brass buckle, "In Treue fest", some slight pitting, prongs broken.
Bavaria: M.1915 Steel buckle, lost most of original grey finish, small crown, some slight pitting.
Bavaria: Further example with large crown, finish thin, as someone has probably cleaned with acid.

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A Prussian M.95 buckle, which I have owned for many years, was remarkably cheap for 10 DM in 1975, as there is a small dent to the crown. The leather tongue has an illegible makers mark with Mannheim, 1915. Traces of wear and use, the rear with grime and patina, original stitching partly adrift.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Here is another nice Bavarian one, there is a slight dent to the (small) crown. Purchased last week from an address in Bavaria.
The buckle arrived today, one view of the rear, and another of the front. My camera is not so good as some. The buckle in fact in the original picture looks somewhat better than the real article, the prongs bar at the rear has been repaired / re-fixed at one time, and the dent is a bit nastier than in the original picture, but a rare buckle to find nowadays.

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  • 8 months later...

Some additional examples. Hessen steel M15, Hessen nickel M95, Hessen brass M95, Bavarian steel (black paint only seen on some Bavarian buckles), Prussian brass M95 buckle with early baked-on feldgrau enamel,  Prussian steel M15 (wire spool) buckle, Reich's steel M15 buckle for naval and colonial troops. The program somewhat jumbled the order of the photos. 

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Very nice collection. Here is an early wartime Bavarian buckle. Iron with brass finish, with the remains of a fieldgrey overcoating. Unusual is that the buckle has a laurel wreath instead of the usual oakleaves on Bavarian buckles. Seldom seen or mentioned.

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  • 2 months later...

Mecklenburg-Schwerin M.1895:  Grenadier-Regiment 89 I. & III. Btl., Füsilier-Regiment 90, Jäger-Btl.14,
and Feldartillerie-Regiment 60.   Medallion with slight indentation, traces of wear and oxidation.  Extremely rare.

 

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  • 10 months later...

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IN TREUE FEST!   This M.1873 Bavarian buckle arrived yesterday. Uncleaned condition, much wear, the medallion with small dents, scratches and stains.  Wider (50mm)  than the later M.95 pattern, they were worn till at least 1916/17 by older or second-line troops. This example with the original leather tab with a very faint ink stamp 1904. Note hollow-back construction and three solder holes. The tab appears to be the narrower standard M.95 type, probably renewed when issue was prolongued. Leather tab has a wormhole. (woodworm also attacks leather)

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Very nice! I like the Hessen M15 steel buckle, don't have any of those yet. 

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x

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Improved photos of Württemberg fieldgrey buckle, which shows some wear, but still much of original finish and some minor corrosion. The reverse looks better than the front! It is marked JD 47 under the roller bar.

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Prussia and Württemberg M.95

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Prussia, fieldgrey, 2 piece, unissued, never had a leather tab

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Further improved pictures added throughout, incl. Hessen, etc.

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Großherzogtum Oldenburg, very early buckle, brass and nickel-silver, ca. 60mm wide. Later designated Infanterie-Regiment 91

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There must have been a small stockpile of the Prussian field grey buckles released several years ago. I remember buying a few with no leather tab, but were still in the brown wrapping paper. I still have 2 or 3 left. 

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This particular example I bought in an "Antiques Shop" (Civil War - Americana?) in Muswell Hill, London around 1968. This shop had connections to USA and elsewhere were also specialised in US and American Civil War items, but had mainly WW1 and WW2. I can't remember the names of the two, who ran the shop, but at least one of them was still active in militaria trade till recently. It was there I bought this buckle, they had several, also WW1 German steel helmets in similar condition, but in a limited number.

Recently, a number of new, unissued brass/silver belt buckles, no leather tabs attached, still original wrapped were found in a former barracks in Berlin. These are presently on offer on a well known militaria webshop.

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Transferred from a previous article, now deleted

Saxon Leib-Grenadier-Regiment 100, Dresden. Walking out dress belt (not for wear on the battlefield) private purchase, ca. 1914.
Patent leather belt lined in dark  blue uniform cloth, nickel plated catch, brown leather adjustable tongue. The buckle is nickel plated brass with a gilded overlay with the crown of Saxony and motto PROVIDENTIAE MEMOR. Some ageing to surface of patent leather and some moth damage to cloth lining.
For walking out dress, only the bayonet and knot would have been worn with this item.

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- More improved pictures added at beginning of topic -

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Original storage box for a Prussian Offiziersfeldbinde, lid interior with label of supplier and manufacturer, Königsberg i./Pr.  (rare, as Königsberg was wiped off the map in 1945 and the original site of the city is now in Russia, now "Kaliningrad" with Russian settlers, ruins and modern Plattenbau flats). From the estate of an officer, later Oberstleutnant of  2. Ermländisches Infanterie-Regiment No. 151 based in Sensburg and II. Bischofsburg (XX. A.K.)

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  • 1 month later...

A buckle I overlooked with the last photos. This was my first Bavarian buckle, which I got from the well known English dealer Adrian Forman in 1974. The face is slightly pitted and has been cleaned up. The roller bar has lost it's lower end point through corrosion, also the two prongs have broken off. The rear still shows some original finish, could have been found on the remains of a belt. I have the impression this was lying around or buried for a longer time, possibly a battlefield find. Many Bavarian buckles turn up in relatively poor condition.

 

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M.95 Koppelschloß für Fußtruppen. No visible makers mark.
Purchased for the Heimatmuseum Wandsbek (85 Euros)
I have always liked the hollow backed examples.

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