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Karl Lietsch Schloss Neuland 25 April 1889 von I. I. E. E. dem Grafen und der Gräfin zu Lippe-Biesterfeld

Liebe Sammler,

Diesen Stück konnte ich für meine Sammlung in den USA erwerben. Beim nachforschen habe ich interessanterweise einen online Beitrag in den USA gefunden wo dieses Stück vor 10 Jahren schon besprochen wurde. Anbei der Text auf English.

Der Degen wurde nach dem 2. WELTKRIEG in die USA gebracht und von Großvater zu Sohn zu Enkel vererbt welcher ihn dann verkauft hat.

Ich bin für alle Anregungen offen. Sollte jemand etwas zu den Initialen wissen, bitte mit mitteilen

Einteilung in 2 Bereiche
1) The Man Who Ordered a Sword
2) The Owner of the Sword


1) The Man Who Ordered a Sword

If you’ve never heard of the Lippe Succession Crisis, you aren’t alone: it’s a relatively unimportant affair that people would openly scoff at if it were to take place today. Even in the late 19th century, Lippe was, quite frankly, a rural backwater and little more than a private hunting ground for the Prince of Lippe, who also held the title of Count of Lippe-Detmold. However, the Lippe Succession Crisis soon became a cause célèbre due to the personal intervention of Wilhelm II.
In 1895, Prince Waldemar of Lippe died with no issue. His sole heir was his brother, Prince Alexander, who had been declared mentally ill in 1870. In theory, the crown was supposed to descend to Alexander’s closest living male relative but the Lippe Diet demurred from this course of action and proclaimed Prince Adolf zu Schaumburg-Lippe as regent instead.
There is no one reason as to why the Lippe Diet broke the chain of succession. Both primary and secondary sources offer a slew of reasons, but virtually every source agrees that Berlin influenced the outcome of their decision. Adolf was the third son of the Prince of Schaumberg-Lippe and, as such, had a distant but valid claim to Lippe’s throne. He was also married to Princess Victoria of Prussia, the sister of Wilhelm II. As the senior heir, Biesterfeld was furious. He brought his case to court, leading the Lippe Diet to request arbitration in Berlin. In 1897, an impartial panel composed of the King of Saxony and six other jurors met to discuss the issue.
The King’s panel recognized that the Count zur Lippe-Biesterfeld was the closest living male agnate. Prince Adolf’s lawyers argued that Biesterfeld descended from an unequal marriage, thereby invalidating his entire line’s claim to succession. Moreover, Adolf argued that a marriage with a woman of the lower nobility was illegal for a member of an altgräflich family. The King of Saxony ruled against both claims, the details of which you can read more about here. Ernest zur Lippe-Biesterfeld was formally declared Regent of Lippe and next in the line of succession after the impending death of the insane Prince Alexander of Lippe. In 1897, the case became public knowledge after Wilhelm II refused Biesterfeld the privilege of being called “erlaucht” or “His Illustrious Highness.” The other crowned heads of Germany were outraged by Wilhelm II’s machinations. The matter of succession would continue in and out of court until 1905, when the Imperial Chancellor ruled in favor of Biesterfeld. You can read more about this here.
The presenter of your sword was therefore this man: Count Ernest zur Lippe-Biesterfeld and his wife, Countess Karoline zur Lippe-Biesterfeld (nee von Wartensleben). The “F.F.E.F” inscription is probably a plural form of “Their Most Excellent and Illustrious Highnesses,” although I can’t be sure. In 1889, the Count Ernest zur Lippe-Biesterfeld was living at Schloss Neudorf with his large, extended family. Like many German royal families, the Lippes collectively owned considerably more land than the portion under their direct sovereign control. Schloss Neudorf was Biesterfeld’s seat and his father, Julius, probably acquired it around approximately 1850 from Edward von Pourtalès. von Pourtalès had badly managed Schloss Neudorf, but both father and son were apparently successful in converting the decaying gentleman’s seat into something more lucrative. In 1897, Biesterfeld signed his declaration of intent to claim the regency at his home at Schloss Neudorf and the house was of some importance to him.

2) The Owner of the Sword

Karl Lietsch, the owner of the sword, is a relatively enigmatic figure. The earliest source I can find for Lietsch describes him as living in Westphalia and married to Eleonore von Pressentin. At the time, he was a reserve officer in the army and claimed descent from the Großbürgers, a class of patrician (but non-noble) stock in the republican trading cities. His occupation was listed as “court assessor,” although it’s unclear whether or not he ever worked for Biesterfeld’s by the time this article was published.
According to the source above, Lietsch's wife was one Eleonore von Pressentin. The von Pressentins were an obscure Prussian family that belonged to the untitled low-nobility. Neither distinguished or undistinguished, the von Pressentins were merely one of Prussia's numerous junker families that inhabited Germany's countryside. At some point in the 1880s, she was the governess of Lippe-Biesterfeld's daughter Adelheid, who was later married to Prince Frederich, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen.
von Pressentin's entry gives us the most information about Karl Leitsch. He was a Lieutenant in the German Army reserves, and he was most likely a Großbürger whose family hailed from Rostock, a Hanseaten city. In Rostock, the Leitschs were the Rentmeisters, or tax assessors, of the town and must have accrued some prominence by virtue of their position. By 1890, Leitsch was working as a Comptroller to the Household of some royal house but, unfortunately, the article says nothing about his employers.
In 1925, we have him listed as living at Burgstraße 7, Burgsteinfurt in Westphalia. His occupation is listed as “kammerdirektor” or Lord Chamberlain. Finally, a more modern article sheds some light on his career, this time from the Westphalia Heritage Association. By 1899, Lietsch was working as the Lord Chamberlain for Prince Victor Adolf of Bentheim and Steinfurt, a mediatized princely family of considerable means. In the 1930s, Prince Victor Adolf had Leitsch's name inscribed on a prominent boulder in memoriam to his work. Leitsch was a faithful employee, and was widely admired for his ability to manage the estate in a variety of difficult conditions. He retired in 1931. After this, I can’t find anything more concrete about Lietsch.
What I’m about to say is entirely speculative: I believe Lietsch was probably an official of some standing in the royal household of either the Count zur Lippe-Biesterfeld or the Prince zu Bentheim und Steinfurt when he was given this sword. At some point, he was engaged or married to Eleonore von Pressentin, the governess of the Biesterfeld’s children. He worked as the Comptroller of the Household until 1899, when he was definitively in the employ of the Prince zu Bentheim und Steinfurt as the Lord Chamberlain. This sword may have been a wedding gift from the Biesterfeld’s to the Lietschs; a dowry if you will on the occasion of their wedding. Both Lietsch and von Pressentin were of reasonably good stock – not royal, but certainly not peasants either. This wedding gift would make sense given the context of the time.
The exact reasons behind the gift are probably lost to the sands of time. Given my current resources, it’s impossible to determine anything more beyond the identity of the presenter and the owner. The sword is therefore a secret in between Karl Lietsch and the Count zur Lippe-Biesterfeld. Perhaps it should remain so.
Edit: Sources:
*Almanach De Gotha: Annuaire Généalogique, Diplomatique Et Statistique. Gotha: Justus Perthes, 1936. Print.
*Johnson, Thomas M., and Thomas T. Wittmann. Collecting the Edged Weapons of Imperial Germany. Columbia: T.M. Johnson, 1988. Print.
*Velde, François. "House Laws of Lippe." House Laws of Schaumburg-Lippe. Heraldica, 02 Dec. 2005. Web. 09 Mar. 2013.

Mitglied in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Ordenskunde e. V.

Suche alles zum Herzogtum Anhalt - Albrecht der Bär - sowie zum Infanterie Regiment 93

03.11.22, 15:34:33



Die Widmung:

Karl Lietsch Schloss Neuland 25 April 1889 von I. I. E. E. dem Grafen und der Gräfin zu Lippe-Biesterfeld

An dieser Stelle habe ich die Widmung selber noch nie gesehen, was sagt Ihr?


S.E. (Seine Erlaucht) oder I.E. (Ihre Erlaucht) oder I.I.E.E. (Ihre Erlauchten)

Mitglied in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Ordenskunde e. V.

Suche alles zum Herzogtum Anhalt - Albrecht der Bär - sowie zum Infanterie Regiment 93

03.11.22, 15:38:20



Zitat von HerzogtumAnhalt:
Karl Lietsch Schloss Neuland 25 April 1889 von I. I. E. E. dem Grafen und der Gräfin zu Lippe-Biesterfeld
Es steht eindeutig auf dem Klingenrücken, deshalb bin ich einigermaßen verwirrt. Denn in der Regel sollte der Schenker vorn stehen und dann der, oder in diesem Fall die, Beschenkten. Gegenmeinungen zwingend erwünscht!

Die Lösung sollte in der Klärung der Initialen auf der Knaufmutter liegen. Da lese ich deutlich ein quer eingefügtes L*), Mittig möglicherweise ein K**) und rechts unten im Bild eventuell ein "abgehacktes" B***), bei dem es sich auch um ein R handeln kann.


*) Lietsch oder Lippe?
**) Karl?
***) Biesterfeld?

PS: Würden sich Schenker in solcher Angelegenheit tatsächlich selbst als Erlauchte betiteln?

04.11.22, 05:06:39



Ich bin da beim Zietenhusar - Ort und Text der Widmung finde ich "ungewöhnlich" - und bieten sicher noch Raum für weitere Nachforschungen.

Suche "alles" mit Bezug zur Jägertruppe in Preußen, Sachsen, Mecklenburg etc. (Nur keine Bayern !)
04.11.22, 12:59:23
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