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A Signed Imperial Presentation Portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1902
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A Signed Imperial Presentation Portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1902

Measurements: Overall: 31.5cm x 21cm



A half length portrait of the Kaiser in British Field Marshal’s uniform by court photographers T.H. Voigt of Bad Homburg, signed in the Kaiser’s hand in the lower mount ‘William / F.R. / Lowther 19/XI /1902.’ Contained in its original silver easel backed frame, engraved in facsimile of the Kaiser’s hand  ‘Lowther Nov. 17th 1902’. Hallmarked 1902.

A manuscript inscription on the reverse of the present portrait indicates it was given to Lady Margaret Ormsby-Gore who with her husband, George Ormsby-Gore, M.P. for Oswestry (and later 3rd Baron Harlech), were guests of the 5th Earl of Londsdale at Lowther Castle during the Kaiser’s visit in November 1902.  The Kaiser’s visit was widely reported in the press and was accompanied by considerable ceremonial. The Adelaide Advertiser in faraway Australia reported:

‘The German Emperor has conferred on the Earl of Lonsdale a knighthood of the first class of the Order of the Prussian Crown. It was through Lord Lonsdale’s instrumentality that a better feeling between Germany and England was brought about after the Jameson raid  (December 1895 to January 1896) a botched attack on Paul Kruger’s Transvaal Republic, South Africa, carried out by British  colonial statesman Leander Starr Jameson and his Company of mercenaries and Bechuanaland policemen. It was intended to trigger an uprising by the primarily British expatriate workers. The raid was ineffective and no uprising took place.’  

The free-spending 5th Earl of Lonsdale, aka the Yellow Earl for his penchant for the colour, entertained the Kaiser twice at Lowther. On this second occasion the German Imperial standard was flown over the castle; telegraphists were drafted in so that the Kaiser could carry on imperial business. and a day’s shooting was arranged in the park during which the Kaiser dressed in Lowther tweed and attended by three jaegers, sported his trademark Alpine hat.