Friday, March 23, 2012

Frederick III Coronation Pipe (1888)

Frederick III, born in 1831, was the only son of William I, King of Prussia, who was crowned German Emperor on January 18th, 1871 in the Hall of Mirrors in the Versailles Palace, after the capitulation of Napoléon III in Sedan, while the rebellious Paris was still under siege by the Prussian army.

Frederick III, 1858

In 1858, Frederick married Princess Victoria, the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

Princess Victoria, 1858

The marriage took place on the 25 January 1858 in the Chapel of St. James's Palace in London.

On William's death at the age of 90 on 9 March 1888, the throne passed to Frederick, who had by then been Crown Prince for 27 years.

Frederick III in 1875

This very finely carved meerschaum pipe belongs to the collection of the Science Museum London where it is described as representing the figures of Frederick III (1831-1888) and his wife Victoria (1840-1901).  It is likely that the pipe was made to celebrate his coronation in 1888.

The pipe measures 345 mm in length.

6" high, 13" long, Collection of the Science Museum London

The coat of arms carved on the front of the bowl is the Order of the Garter in England, an honour Frederick received at the time of his marriage.

The shield bears an inscription in French "Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense" (Evil to him who evil thinks) and the banner reads "Dieu et Mon Droit" ( God and My Right). The shield is supported by the English Lion to the left and the Scottish Licorne to the right.

It seems appropriate at this point to introduce two exceptional pipe finely decorated with a carving of the Order of the Garter,

First Half of XIXth century

Late XIXth century. Courtesy The Antique Pipe Co.

Unfortunately Emperor Frederick III died the day after his daughter Princess Sophie's birthday less than four months after his coronation...

German Emperor Friedrich III of Germany - The End Of A Brave Life, published around 1888 in Puck (magazine), USA

The premature death of a progressive and anglophile leader who, as the Crown Prince, often opposed the conservative Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, has been considered by many historians as a turning point in German history.

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