Own your own authentic Pour Le Merite (get it on eBay)

Posted by David on January 15, 2009 10:32 PM

Pour le Merite on eBayIf you've got a couple thousand lying around during these dismal times, good for you!  You can now bid on a supposedly authentic 1916 Pour Le Merite on eBay.  Then you can prance around your living room with this bling hanging from your neck, pretending as if you're the Red Baron!  Err..  did I say that out loud?

Here's the item description:

100% ORIGINAL ITEM: I'm selling for my Dutch friend an WW1 Original 1916 Pour Le Merite medal, made by WAGNER in Baroque finish. We can see very clearly the impressing of the "W" on the bottom or lower left legg and the silver mark of 938 in the right bottom legg.  The ribbon is only a short 14cm long piece (the needle traces of the 2 smaller ribbons to put around the neck are still visible). There are some traces of wear and use on the backside (please see details on the pictures). This PLM has a silver base with gold finish. Came originally from a old German family of nobelty, who sold this PLM to my Dutch friend during the 1970's. There where no papers (or Urkunde) delivered. The presentation box with a gilted imprint of the PLM is a (I presume) aftermarket product, but she has the original places of the ribbon, ring and PLM impressed in dark blue velvet clothed box.
Pour Le Merite

Unfortunately there's no information on which specific family this came from.  Assuming it really was produced in 1916, then maybe we can make the assumption it was awarded the same year?  Although very unlikely, maybe it was a fighter pilot?  According to pourlemerite.org, there were 86 recipients of the medal in 1916, and only 13 of them were fighter pilots.  Immelmann and Boelcke were the first pilots to receive the medal in mid-January.

Here is the full list of pilot recipients for 1916:
  • Leutnant Oswald Boelcke awarded on -- 12 Jan. 1916. (40 victories)
  • Leutnant Max Immelmann awarded on -- 12 Jan. 1916. (15 victories)
  • Capt. Hans Joahim Buddecke awarded on -- 14 April 1916. (13 victories)
  • Leutnant Kurt Wintgens awarded on -- 1 July 1916. (18 victories)
  • Leutnant Max Ritter von Mulzer awarded on -- 8 July 1916. (10 victories)
  • Leutnant Otto Parschau awarded on -- 10 July 1916. (8 victories)
  • Leutnant Walter Höhndorf awarded on -- 20 July 1916. (12 victories)
  • Oberlt. Ernst Freiherr von Althaus awarded on -- 21 July 1916. (9 victories)
  • Leutnant Wilhelm Frankl awarded on -- 12 Aug. 1916. (19 victories)
  • Oberlt. Rudolf Berthold awarded on -- 12 Oct. 1916. (44 victories)
  • Leutnant Gustav Leffers awarded on -- 5 Nov. 1916. (9 victories)
  • Leutnant Albert Dossenbach awarded on -- 11 Nov. 1916. (15 victories)
  • Oberlt. Hans Berr awarded on -- 4 Dec. 1916. (10 victories)
It's probably not from a pilot, but it's fun to think it was!

As of right now, the auction has one bid and is up to $1,750.00, but the reserve price still hasn't been met.. ouch.  Note the extra keywords they added in the title: SANKE.  Although this is definitely not a Sanke card!

But here's a Sanke card AND a Pour Le Merite  :)

Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron