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Fritz

German Belt Buckles, 1847-1918

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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.

 

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

 

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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 photos and text added, 27.September 2016

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Further examples:
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.

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

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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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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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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Same three holes on the back and same catch as the black Bavarian buckle that I showed above. Interesting.

 

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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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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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Hessian buckles are quite rare. The most difficult to find are the wartime grey metal pieces. This particular one is an early wartime example with a gold lacquer coating, before the transition, but due to metal shortages, the crown is extra fitted, not the best solution for frontline service, for which the one-piece stampings were more suitable, possibly for second-line troops, same as the felt helmets. This is the only example of it's kind I have seen so far. This came from a collector in Bonn in the late 1970s.

Exceptions were the white metal buckles, worn by the Leibgarde-Infanterie-Regiment 115 and the Feldartillerie-Regimenter 25 and 60.

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Some improved pictures added, more at a later date.

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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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