Prussian Battle Flag - 1813 Battle of Leipzig - Napoleonic WarsPrussian Battle Flag - 1813 Battle of Leipzig - Napoleonic WarsPrussian Battle Flag - 1813 Battle of Leipzig - Napoleonic WarsPrussian Battle Flag - 1813 Battle of Leipzig - Napoleonic WarsPrussian Battle Flag - 1813 Battle of Leipzig - Napoleonic WarsPrussian Battle Flag - 1813 Battle of Leipzig - Napoleonic WarsPrussian Battle Flag - 1813 Battle of Leipzig - Napoleonic WarsPrussian Battle Flag - 1813 Battle of Leipzig - Napoleonic WarsPrussian Battle Flag - 1813 Battle of Leipzig - Napoleonic WarsPrussian Battle Flag - 1813 Battle of Leipzig - Napoleonic Wars

~ Prussian Battle Flag - 1813 Battle of Leipzig - Napoleonic Wars ~

This item is from a very significant time in history, it is a battleflag from the largest war that Europe had ever seen, right up till the first world war.
The 1813 Battle of Leipzig was between Napoleonic France and an allied coalition of Prussia, Russia, Austria and Sweden. This coalition’s victory ended Napoleon's presence in Germany and would ultimately lead to his first exile on Elba.

The Battle of Nations, as it became known, had a major impact in mobilizing a civic spirit in numerous volunteer activities. Many volunteer militias and civic associations were formed, and collaborated with churches and the press to support local and state militias, patriotic wartime mobilization, humanitarian relief and postwar commemorative ceremonies.

With that in mind it is very interesting to look at this flag.

Beneath a crown and king’s cypher are red eagles and black eagles. The King at the time of the battle was King Frederik William III, but, it is not his cipher found atop this standard, actually it is the cipher of his great great grandfather, King Frederick I, the first King of Prussia.

Because the diplomatic and cautious King Frederick William III was reluctantly forced to fight alongside Napoleon 7 years earlier in 1906, he was considered too lenient by his countrymen and certainly not a figure to rally the troops behind... no, the choice to use the first King’s cipher was a deliberate one, to urge a reclamation, to reinstate a positive patriotic identity and to bond all Prussians in a purging of the occupying French.

To further accentuate the unity of the countrymen, the flag of places black eagle of Prussia in joint support and defence of the red eagle of Brandenburg (Saxony’s neighbouring province and seat of the Kings of Prussia, the House of Hohenzollern).

This piece has literally been through the wars. Being over 200 years old, the fabric has aged and bleached and even in places shows singe marks from fire damage!

It has however, been professionally archived, mounted onto a coarse linen backing of complimentary hue and then handsomely displayed in a deep presentation frame. A window in the smart black mounting board reveals smart gothic blackletter calligraphy spelling “Leipzig 1813”.

The silver bullion thread of the cipher, the crown, and the decorative corner ornamentation is still in good order where the fire damage didn’t spread and is very attractive to behold.

So too are the embroidered eagles and the devices they clutch in their talons (the holy roman empire’s laurel and lightning bolt for the Prussian eagle, and the mace and sword for the warlike Brandenburg one).

The profile of the frame is a very fitting choice, both in proportion and depth, and the antiqued gold colouring. In all this is a very good-looking wall adornment and is ready to hang.

~ Dimensions ~

The piece has the pleasing dimensions of 4 ft in height (122 cm) by just over 3 ft wide (37 inches / 93 cm) and it has an impressive depth of 2 and a half inches (just over 6 cm).

It weighs 9.08 kilos.

~ Condition ~

As described above, the flag itself is battle-worn, but the archival work and its preservation have been achieved to a very high professional standard.

The frame is in great shape, the only thing to report really is a shallow but meandering 5 inch scratch on the surface of the glass (presumably from being in transit at some time). This does little to lessen the impact of the piece and, relatively speaking , would be cheap to fix if desired.

ML

ITEM ID
12215
ITEM TYPE
Antique

Sally Antiques

Prussian Battle Flag - 1813 Battle of Leipzig - Napoleonic Wars

£18,000 GBP
~ $24,396

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