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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. #1

    Default Hessen boucle with belt

    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
    Hessen boucle with belt
    Hessen boucle with belt
    Hessen boucle with belt
    Hessen boucle with belt
    Hessen boucle with belt
    Hessen boucle with belt
    Hessen boucle with belt

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  3. #2

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    Hello Sławek,

    I hope that you do not mind my mentioning this, however I could not help but notice that your Hessen buckle is still languishing on the Wehrmacht Awards Forum without any response, however Hope Springs Eternal of course. No matter and here are my thoughts, although Imperial buckles are really not my forte. If any Imperial German experts within the Forum see any errors or nonsense, then please and without hesitation shout out.

    In my opinion, an original Hessen Mannschaftkoppelschloß (Model 1895) and a good example at that, of what I have always considered to be quite a rare buckle.

    A minus point is that the buckle is heavily faked, although a plus point is that and from memory, the buckle was still worn in the 1920’s by a minor political organisation.

    In the 1860’s, Hessen-Darmstadt was referred to as Hessen und bei Rhein, although and somewhat confusingly, persistently still as Hessen-Darmstadt and on occasions, even the Grand Duchy of Hessen. This is mentioned due to the buckle emblem of a Crown, as some references suggest the erroneous nomenclature of Coronet. This is the stuff of a “Pub Quiz”. The clue is in the title of The Grand Duchy of Hessen, although Imperial era Crowns and Coronets by their designs, are for myself at least, at times a tad confusing. There is a buckle in circulation which by a casual glance appears to be Hessen, however the Crown is different and instead, displays an oddly narrow “band”, that is, the base section that sits on the wearer’s head.

    A Model 1895 buckle and which was replaced by the Model 1915 , the latter as the ubiquitous stamped steel, with a field grey painted finish.

    Not forgetting of course the Hessen buckle with a nickle silver box and which supported the feature of a removable emblem, otherwise held in place and without going into excruciating detail, with spring or bar devices. Whether as one author suggests, this system was adopted for the convenience of manufacturing or cleaning, I simply do not know.

    The buckle with the nickle silver box was I think introduced in the very last years of the nineteenth century or perhaps the very start of the twentieth century, specifically to be worn by Leibgarde-Inf.-Rgt. 115 Darmstadt. As earlier mentioned, Imperial buckles do not really fall within my primary interest, however I think that this distinct and rare buckle was worn by others to include Rgt. 115 and Leib.-Dragoon Rgt. 24. Perhaps someone with a better knowledge of the Imperial German Regiments could chip in here.

    As shown, a Hessen buckle that I consider to be a good example of the type and one that I like.

    As a parting and incidental comment, I must say Sławek that I do so like the quality of your digital images. In particular and in addition to the sharpness (yes, yes, I am painfully aware that Sharpness is a Bourgeois Concept), the Colour Temperature (K) appears to my eye and monitor, absolutely spot on. You EXIF Data is frustratingly minimal, as of course it jolly well should be!

    Regards and best wishes,

    David

  4. #3
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    Amazing timing as just this evening I was looking for the correct place to post a very old Hessian photo on the forum. I recently received a box of old family photos from a cousin that was relocating in the USA, he had no real interest in them etc. Last Friday evening in Texas during a heavy rainstorm I began looking thru the photos, still a work in progress. Then I found this one among other old family German pics. This is my Great-Great Grandfather - Johann Doerr. He was born in 1856, and I would conjecture this pic is around mid 1870's. I think what looks like a sword is actually a 1871 bayonet. The photo was taken in Koln. Did some searches online and I believe the uniform is certainly Hessian. He and his wife came to the USA in the mid 1880's. I have a lot of pics of his later years.

    As a buckle guy, I looked as this photo over and over. To me, it looks different than the buckle that started this thread, but it's hard to tell from my photo. Thanks to David for your information, great as always. Perhaps David and others that know the really old buckles can add more information. Thanks to Orion69 for starting this thread. I too like your belt and buckle!

  5. #4
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    Pic - no idea why this pic is not posting correctly. Tried several times.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Hessen boucle with belt  

  6. #5

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    Wonderful picture Jeff. Where in the US did they live? Texas?

  7. #6
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    Thanks Kenny. They settled in northern Missouri where I'm originally from too.

  8. #7

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    A super story that you have shared with us Jeff and thankyou for letting us have a squint at the studio portrait of your Great-Great Grandfather. Your suggested date for the photograph as the mid 1870’s is quite interesting, as this was within a somewhat eventful period for Hesse-Darmstadt.

    Hesse-Darmstadt during the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 fought against the Prussians, however even when defeated, they managed to retain their historic Ducal independence. This was apparently due to the Prussians being painfully aware of the sensitive physical location that Hesse-Darmstadt enjoyed. A large part of Hesse-Darmstadt was situated south of the River Main and fearfully or perhaps sensibly, Prussia had no short term intentions to expand their territory past this critical point. Parts of Hesse-Darmstadt (Oberhessen) which were located north of the River Main were incorporated into the Prussian influenced Norddeutscher Bund (North German Confederation) in 1867. In 1871 however and following the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War, the remaining parts of the Grand Duchy to include Starkenburg and Rheinhessen, became a whole functioning state within the German Empire.

    Again and on reflection of my ramblings, your suggested date for the photograph as the mid 1870’s, is extremely interesting.

    I simply do not have a clue about the uniform being worn on the studio photograph, other than perhaps a smattering of casual observations about the buckle, that is, when correlated with the suggested date that the photograph was taken. The buckle appears to be the so called 1847 model, which was replaced in 1895. This model of buckle is approximately 50mm in height and as a type per se, appear to almost adopt a square like appearance. I have run this image through my Post Processing software, however I cannot enhance the buckle detail to any level which may prove useful. There does however appear to be a large and almost top to bottom extending roundel attached to the 1847 model box. With the knowledge that Hesse buckles normally featured an isolated Crown emblem, I think and I must emphasise think, that the buckle worn by your Great-Great Grandfather could be a model 1847 Prussian.

    Simply thinking aloud here Jeff and I am sorry that I cannot provide more definitive information about your Great-Great Grandfather’s buckle. Hopefully, more knowledgeable Forum members will comment here.

    Regards and best wishes,

    David

  9. #8

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    Quote by weller View Post
    Pic - no idea why this pic is not posting correctly. Tried several times.
    Fixed the pic for all.

  10. #9
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    Quote by David North View Post
    A super story that you have shared with us Jeff and thankyou for letting us have a squint at the studio portrait of your Great-Great Grandfather. Your suggested date for the photograph as the mid 1870’s is quite interesting, as this was within a somewhat eventful period for Hesse-Darmstadt.

    Hesse-Darmstadt during the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 fought against the Prussians, however even when defeated, they managed to retain their historic Ducal independence. This was apparently due to the Prussians being painfully aware of the sensitive physical location that Hesse-Darmstadt enjoyed. A large part of Hesse-Darmstadt was situated south of the River Main and fearfully or perhaps sensibly, Prussia had no short term intentions to expand their territory past this critical point. Parts of Hesse-Darmstadt (Oberhessen) which were located north of the River Main were incorporated into the Prussian influenced Norddeutscher Bund (North German Confederation) in 1867. In 1871 however and following the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War, the remaining parts of the Grand Duchy to include Starkenburg and Rheinhessen, became a whole functioning state within the German Empire.

    Again and on reflection of my ramblings, your suggested date for the photograph as the mid 1870’s, is extremely interesting.

    I simply do not have a clue about the uniform being worn on the studio photograph, other than perhaps a smattering of casual observations about the buckle, that is, when correlated with the suggested date that the photograph was taken. The buckle appears to be the so called 1847 model, which was replaced in 1895. This model of buckle is approximately 50mm in height and as a type per se, appear to almost adopt a square like appearance. I have run this image through my Post Processing software, however I cannot enhance the buckle detail to any level which may prove useful. There does however appear to be a large and almost top to bottom extending roundel attached to the 1847 model box. With the knowledge that Hesse buckles normally featured an isolated Crown emblem, I think and I must emphasise think, that the buckle worn by your Great-Great Grandfather could be a model 1847 Prussian.

    Simply thinking aloud here Jeff and I am sorry that I cannot provide more definitive information about your Great-Great Grandfather’s buckle. Hopefully, more knowledgeable Forum members will comment here.

    Regards and best wishes,

    David
    David - thank you as always for your copious amount of information. I did not know the Hessians fought the Prussians in a war prior to the 1871 unification of the German Empire. I plan to learn more about this period of history.

    The 1847 Prussian buckle is not one I was familiar with until now. I have since looked at examples of the buckle and I think you are spot on. Really appreciate your time and expertise in identifying the buckle. And, glad you enjoyed the family photo I posted. I was very pleased when I recently found this photo.

    Regarding the buckle, seems this one is commonly faked but originals are around but somewhat difficult to find. Did a few forum searches and did find an example of an original. Interesting buckle with a four-point solder.

    Prussian buckle 1847

    Cheers - and thanks again.
    Jeff

  11. #10

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    Hello David,
    Thank you for your complete and comprehensive answer, in fact a complete historical lecture on the Hessian buckles.
    Buckles are not my domain, but it would be hard to let them go, because of the state of preservation.
    I am glad that you like my photographs.
    Most of them I take with a lens with a fixed focal length of 50 mm, on a bright cloudy day on a light or white background.
    Obligatory white balance.
    Unfortunately such days don't happen every day, so I use LED lighting, aperture min.5,6 and optimization in Photoshop and I'm done.
    Unfortunately optimization is necessary, because modern digital cameras produce excessive digital data.
    Thank you for your time.
    Regards and best wishes,
    Sławek

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