Artist "J T A" - portrait of Crown Prince Willhelm of Germany
This miniature portrait is quite large for a miniature on ivory, being 98mm x 144mm.
Unfortunately, at present the artist is identified only as "J T A 1914" or perhaps "T A 1914". It is hoped a kind visitor may be able to identify the artist.
However, the sitter can be identified by his uniform and comparison with other similar images.
For example the photograph is circa 1912, and is of Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany and Prussia (1882 - 1951) as a Lieutenant in the Prussian Guard Regiment. He was the son of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the leader of Germany during World War I and a great-grandson of Queen Victoria.
The similarity of uniform is apparent, although the miniature shows the Crown Prince as a higher rank and must have been painted around the outbreak of World War I. It is quite possible the miniature was painted to mark his naming as Commander of the 5th Army in August 1914, shortly after the outbreak of World War I. Thus his rise from Lieutenant in just two years was rapid!
He led the 5th Army until November 1916, a two-year period which included the battle of attrition known as the Verdun Offensive. From April 1916 onward he tried in vain to convince the supreme command that the Verdun offensive no longer made any sense, but the campaign continued until September 2nd of that year.
During World War I he was belittled as the "Clown Prince" by the British soldiers; that nickname was adopted by the American forces in 1917.
A most unusual feature of the miniature can be seen in the close up of his hand, where the Crown Prince is holding a cigarette. In current day terms, this is a most odd combination of casual and formal in a portrait, but must have been acceptable in 1914.
One of the decorations he is wearing is the Order of the Black Eagle, the highest order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Prussia
Frederick William Victor Augustus Ernest (German: Friedrich Wilhelm Victor August Ernst) (6 May 1882 – 20 July 1951) of the House of Hohenzollern was the last Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire. He was colloquially known as William or Wilhelm.
After the outbreak of the German Revolution in 1918, both Emperor William II and the Crown Prince signed the document of abdication. The Crown Prince went into exile to the isle of Wieringen, in the Netherlands.
In 1923, he returned to Germany after giving assurances that he would no longer engage in politics. The former Crown Prince held some political ambitions, and was reportedly interested in the idea of running for Reichspräsident as the right-wing candidate opposed to Paul von Hindenburg in 1932, until his father forbade the idea.
The Crown Prince supported Hitler for some time, hoping and announcing in public that this man would do for Germany what Mussolini had done for Italy - making an end to all Bolshevist/Marxist influence. He had connections with some organizations, more than loosely connected with the National Socialist Party (Nazi Party) and allowed himself to be used by the Nazi government in various symbolic actions.. After the murder of his friend, the former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher in the Night of the Long Knives (1934), he retreated from all political activities. Most of his efforts from 1919 until 1934 had been directed to make a return of the Hohenzollerns to the throne viable option again, and he had assumed that Hitler would give this idea his support.
William lived as a private citizen on his family's estates throughout World War II. Upon his father's death in 1941, William succeeded him as head of the House of Hohenzollern, the former German imperial dynasty. In 1951, the former Crown Prince died of a heart attack in Hechingen, in the ancestral lands of his family in Swabia, as the family's estates in Brandenburg had been occupied by the Soviet Union.
William married Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (20 September 1886 - 6 May 1954) in Berlin on 6 June 1905. Cecilie was the daughter of Grand Duke Frederick Francis III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1851-1897) and his wife, Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia (1860-1922). However during the early stages of this marriage the crown prince had a brief affair with the American opera singer Geraldine Farrar.
Their eldest son, Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, was killed fighting for the German Army in France in 1940.
The Crown Prince and his wife are buried at Hohenzollern Castle. 1356
Coincidentally, in 1910, the Crown Prince is recorded as having played tennis with the British brother of a new addition to this collection, see Unknown - portrait of Fanny Goschen
Posted by Don Shelton at 11:48 PM