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Hessen boucle with belt

Article about: I would love to hear some opinions on this Hessen buckle with belt. I definitely believe it's authentic, but I just wanted to make sure! Regards Sławek

  1. #11
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    A super buckle and this is just to add a couple of points to David’s comprehensive contributions.

    The formal designation was Großherzogtum Hessen und bei Rhein (Grand Duchy of Hessen and by (the) Rhine) until the monarchy was abolished, or just (Großherzogtum) Hessen-Darmstadt for short, Darmstadt being the state capital. The distinctive brass buckle with the crown was introduced in 1849 as part of the then highly innovative “Virchow’sche Gürtelgepäck” (belt equipment) system of personal equipment introduced in Prussia in 1847. Starting around 1849, all German states successively adopted a version of this type of equipment, usually incorporating a box buckle. According to the regimental history of 1899, IR 115 received the nickle-silver buckle in 1897 as a special mark of distinction. There was one other Hessen unit who had a nickle-silver, as opposed to brass, buckle, namely the Garde-Unteroffiziers-Kompanie, employed on ceremonial duties and recruited from long-serving NCOs. I haven’t found the precise date of introduction, but it is mentioned by Adalbert Mila, Geschichte der Bekleidung und Ausrüstung (1878), p. 88 f., this being my earliest source. The unit received silver-coloured helmet plates in 1872 and silver-coloured buttons and white belts in 1873. It would appear fair to assume it was given the nickle-silver buckle around that time as well.

    There is unfortunately nothing to suggest Hessen-Darmstadt in the period photo shown by weller, but everything to suggest Prussia or perhaps one of the smaller contingents which were uniformed like the Prussians with only minor distinctive features. As has been noted, the man clearly wears a buckle with a round disk, ruling out Hessen.

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  3. #12

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    In my opinion, a wonderful and naturally evolving thread which has now been perfectly framed by the spectacular start and finish. Reminiscent perhaps of the halcyon days of the buckle Fora all those many years ago and thankyou to all that contributed.

    Regards and best wishes,

    David

  4. #13
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    This is mineHessen boucle with beltHessen boucle with belt
    What year is this?

  5. #14
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    That would depend on dimensions and material. Is it for a 5 cm or 4.5 cm wide belt? Brass or iron/steel?

  6. #15
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    Bringing this very interesting thread back, and always great to see posts from David and Kurt D. Seemingly, the buckle my family member wears is a Prussian 1847. So, I am now looking for a correct buckle. Plan to add the buckle and some additional photos in a group collection. I knew where to look for this buckle, and see examples on this well known site. Two, three and four point solder examples etc. Buckle is know to have fakes as they can sell online since the swaz is not there.

    The buckle that I think is correct. Do also review the other examples on this site. Looking to learn - vielen dank.

    The Collector's Guild

  7. #16

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    On simply a personal note Jeff, I applaud the idea of your securing an 1847 model Preußen buckle, in order that it may form part of a small homage to your Great Great Grandfather, Johann Dörr.

    This specific buckle in my opinion is not at all rare and they always seem to be readily available, as are the fakes.

    I have a very high regard for the dealer whose link you have provided, notwithstanding the fact that they still hold on consignment, hundreds of my buckles! Nothing Imperial though I should add.

    The buckle from the link is in my opinion an original example and I think that it is the best of The Collectors Guild “Preußen 1847” bunch. It is though and with all due respect, a little tired and distressed. This of course is only to be expected for a buckle of this age and the condition I suppose should be regarded as reasonable.

    In view of the importance of this buckle to your family and yourself, why not wait for what could be described as a better example? They are out there and in particular, those which display a dent free roundel which in turn has fine detail, set on a toned brass box. Again, this suggested grade of the Preußen model 1847 buckle occasionally appears for sale.

    The answer to you question though is that and in my opinion, the buckle from the link that you provided is an original example. I also think that it is the best of The Collectors Guild “Preußen 1847” buckles that they currently have for sale.

    This buckle is of course faked and the fakes have unfortunately evolved from when they first appeared.

    Attached are four images (extracted from the War Relics Forum) of the fake as when it first appeared. Unfortunately since then, there are examples where the roundel and the box have been artificially distressed and aged. In addition, this type of cast roundel has now been attached to other types of both fake and original brass boxes.

    From the images provided, this fake is quite easy to recognise.

    The fake brass box is unnaturally rigid and angular when compared to the soft lines of period boxes. In particular for the fakes, the ears to the box are simply the wrong shape and they should be more rounded, slightly smaller and extending inwards a fraction.

    The fake roundel is slightly oversize in diameter and only just sits uncomfortably on the brass box. In addition, the detail to the fake roundel is bordering on nonsense when compared to an original. The fake roundels are cast in some type of composite metal and then plated, whereby the original roundels were die stamped nickle silver. In comparison, the “silver” colour of the fake and original roundels are quite different.

    The three solder points to the reverse of the fake buckle seem to be serving no purpose whatsoever.

    The fifth image here is a fake roundel to original roundel comparison.

    Just a few pointers on the fake as shown, although I am sure that there are other and now more sophisticated fakes in circulation.

    Regards and best wishes,

    David

  8. #17
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    David - thank you for your eloquent and very detailed response. Also, the information on the fake buckles. Good to know that this Preußen 1847 is not that rare and good examples are to be found. I will study the real -vs- fakes and acquire the correct buckle when I find it. The thrill of the chase

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