A Signed Imperial German Presentation Portrait of Crown Prince Friedrich III, 1879
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Overall: 27cm (10.75in) x 16.5cm (6.5in)
Provenance: Ottmar von Mohl (1846-1922), German Consular Service
A three quarter length portrait photograph of Crown Prince Friedrich of Prussia, signed and dated in ink ‘Friedrich von Presseun Kronprinz /1879’. Contained in its original gilt metal easel backed glazed presentation frame, the borders moulded with insignia of the Prussian Schwarzer Adlerorden, and offset with broken corners containing Friedrich’s ‘F' cyphers within an oak leaf wreaths at the top and eagles at the base, the whole surmounted by the crown of the Prussian Crown Prince.
Emperor Friedrich III of Germany (1831-1888) reigned for just three months between March and June 1888, the Year of the Three Emperors. Known informally as ‘Fritz’, he was the only son of Emperor Wilhelm I and was raised in his family's tradition of military service. Although celebrated for his leadership and successes during the Second Schleswig, Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian wars, he professed a hatred of warfare and was praised by friends and enemies alike for his humane conduct. Following the unification of Germany in 1871 his father, then King of Prussia, became the German Emperor. Frederick married Victoria, Princess Royal, eldest daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. The couple were well-matched; their shared liberal values were far from universally accepted.
This photograph was presented to Ottmar von Mohl (1846-1922) of the German Consular Service. The Von Mohl family had a long and tradition of public service and were also immersed in European intellectual life. Ottmar was the son of famous jurist Robert von Mohl. He studied law at the University of Tübingen, and earned a doctorate in law from the University of Heidelberg in 1868. In 1873, he was appointed Cabinet Secretary to Empress Augusta of Saxe-Weimar. His diplomatic career took him to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1879 and to Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1885. Between 1887 to 1889, he and his wife, Wanda von Mohl (née Countess von der Groeben), resided in Tokyo and advised the Japanese Imperial Household Ministry on the introduction of European Court ceremonials and protocols. From 1897 Mohl served as a German delegate to the Egyptian National Debt Commission in Cairo until the outbreak of the First World War.