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Zur Erinnerung an Meine Dienstzeit (In remembrance of my service time) 1906 to 1908. Reserve. 10 Komp. k.b. 8 J. Rgt., Grossherzog Friedrich von Baden. [Imperial German Army]
Zur Erinnerung an Meine Dienstzeit (In remembrance of my service time) 1906 to 1908. Reserve. 10 Komp. k.b. 8 J. Rgt., Grossherzog Friedrich von Baden. [Imperial German Army]
Zur Erinnerung an Meine Dienstzeit (In remembrance of my service time) 1906 to 1908. Reserve. 10 Komp. k.b. 8 J. Rgt., Grossherzog Friedrich von Baden. [Imperial German Army]

Zur Erinnerung an Meine Dienstzeit (In remembrance of my service time) 1906 to 1908. Reserve. 10 Komp. k.b. 8 J. Rgt., Grossherzog Friedrich von Baden. [Imperial German Army]


This is a rich and complex composite photograph from 1908, captioned with the words “Zur Erinnerung an Meine Dienstzeit,” which translates to “In remembrance of my service time.” It was created for the 10th Company, 8th Württemberg Infantry Regiment, Grand Duke Frederick of Baden’s Regiment—possibly light infantry as in “Jäger infanterieregiment.” This regiment was based in Strasbourg in Alsace-Lorraine and served within the Imperial German Army.

The surnames of these men are: Baibel, Baierl, Bauer, Berger (Jos.), Burger (Joh.), Bumb, Büchel, Dirr, Dirschedl, Echtler, Feibler, Forster, Fuchs, Gaibl, Ganslmeier, Gundel, Habender, Hagl, Haub, Haüselmeier, Herzog, Hiemer, Huber, Jacob, Janker, Keim, Kirchbauer, Klemm, Knott, Kopp, Kraus, Kreckl, Kübel, Laubhardt, Laubenbacher, Lautner, Lippert, Maier (Joh.), Maier (Seb.), Merkel, Miehling, Moosburger, Petermann, Pfeilschifter, Pflug, Prior, Rachl, Rauschecker, Ries, Rommel, Schmid, Schmidt, Schnabel, Scholz, Schraudolf, Schweiber, Stegmeier, Sutter, Ulm, Weber, Weindl, Wenniger, Wohlfarth, Zieringer, Zeilinger, Zirngibl.

The photograph presents a multitude of uniformed soldiers in a staged setting designed to resemble a military encampment or a gathering. The arrangement of soldiers is not casual but highly structured, with officers shown with swords and details prominently positioned in the foreground. Many of the men are shown hoisting enormous beer steins with rather serious expressions.

The photograph also features regimental flags and other military regalia, which were symbols of pride and unity for the unit. The arrangement of soldiers in rows, with some seated and others standing, is typical of military portraiture of the time, intended to display the order and discipline of the troops.

The backdrop of the photograph features a bucolic scene, a blend of a real outdoor setting and painted backdrops. This kind of photography allowed for the superimposition of studio-taken images onto a different background, giving the impression that all individuals were present at a single location. Such methods were used to create cohesive unit photographs when it was not possible to gather everyone at once.

The inclusion of phrases like “Mit Gott für König und Vaterland” (With God for King and Fatherland) reinforces the patriotic sentiment of the era and the soldiers’ commitment to their country and monarch. Other phrases, such as “Die Well ist grofs, Die Welt ist schön; Wer weifs ob wir uns wiedersehn!” (“The world is big, the world is beautiful; Who knows if we will see each other again!”) reinforce the romanticism of military service.

From a photographic history perspective, the image represents the advancements in photo montage techniques at the turn of the 20th century. The image quality, clarity, and composition indicates that the photographers, Gebruder Notton, used a large-format camera, which was capable of capturing detailed group portraits.

A rather remarkable photograph encapsulating the military ethos of the German Empire during a period of intense nationalism and militarism leading up to the First World War.


Description: Zur Erinnerung an Meine Dienstzeit (In remembrance of my service time) 1906 to 1908. Reserve. 10 Komp. k.b. 8 J. Rgt., Grossherzog Friedrich von Baden. [Imperial German Army]

Metz [Alsace-Lorraine, German Empire]: Gebrüder Notton, Römerstr. 10, [1908]. Composite, silver process photograph. Mount: 18¾ x 23½ inches. Image: 14¼ x 17¾ inches. Light rubbing to edges of mount with minor wear at bottom right; margins foxed; small mark at bottom extending faintly into image; very good.

[3733807]

Price: $750.00

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