Intriguing silver goblet with a great story (1913-1942)

Discussion in 'Metalware' started by Ex Libris, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Ex Libris

    Ex Libris Well-Known Member

    I was a bit in doubt or I should put this thread on the Militaria board or here. Because my question is mainly about the origin of this object, I decided to put it here.

    A few years ago a woman found a black oxidized metal bowl on the dump of a cemetery of the village Someren in the Netherlands. When she got home, she cleaned it and this came out:

    Annotation 2020-05-21 125653.jpg

    Because there was a swastika on the bowl, she didn;t want to have to do anything with it, so she donated the goblet to the Archaeological Society in Someren. They asked me to investigate the bowl and so my journey began....

    The bowl is made of silver (we have tested it) and has a diameter of about 20 cm (8 inches). It has no hallmarks.

    There are 2 texts on the goblet. The most readable is:

    Dem Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (Night Fighter Wing)
    Zum 26. Juni 1942 (From 26th June 1942)
    Der letzte Führer der Jagdstaffel Boelcke (the last leader of the Boelcke squadron ).

    Above and under the this text are 2 medals:

    The The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with oak leaves (World War II)
    The Pour le Merite or Blue Max (World War I)

    Annotation 2020-05-21 125653q.jpg

    There is another text in the goblet that was polished away:

    Zur Silberhochzeit (For a silver wedding)
    Gewidmed (donated)
    Von der Rennbahn Verwaltung (by the direction of the hippodrome)

    1888 23 Februar 1913

    Annotation 2020-05-21 125653w.jpg

    After a long research I found out that on June 26th a WW I ace pilot called Karl Bolle visited airfield Deelen (near Arnhem in the Netherlands) to celebrate the 2 year anniversary of the 1st night fighters squadron. Karl Bolle was in WW I the last leader of Jasta II (also called Jasta Boelcke) and got the Blue Max medal in august 1918.

    Karl Bolle and Wolfgang Falck (commander of Night Fighters Squadron 1) on June 26th 1942 at airfield Deelen. The goblet is not on the photo's unfortunately.

    This goblet was a souvenir to this anniversary. I assume it was brought by Bolle from Berlin in 1942. A few years after my research I found this goblet in a museum in Germany (Osnabruck). I am almost 100% sure Bolle did know this goblet, because it was given to Max Ritter von Muller, an earlier squadron leader of Jast Boelcke.

    WW I goblet for Max Ritter von Muller, given by the members of Jasta Boelcke on Oktober 29th 1917. This goblet has a lot of similarities with the goblet I researched. (Bayerisches Armeemuseum, Ingolstadt, Germany)

    I also tried to research the first engraving of the goblet. I even went to Berlin to see if there was still an archive on hippodrome Hoppegarten (that still exists). The archove was destroyed during WWII though. I hoped there was a link of the silver wedding and the family of Bolle, but that was not the case.

    I have made a short documentary about my research and put it on Youtube. I have narrated it in Dutch, but I have added English subtitles.

    There are quite some questions open for my research. Maybe you can help me with a few questions about the origins of this goblet.

    - Is goblet like this common in Berlin in the early 1900's?
    - Was this the original shape or was the goblet cut down in a later stage? I would expect the names of the silver wedding couple engraved on it.
    - Was it normal to have no silver hallmarks on a goblet like this?

    Thanks for your help. I hope you liked the story. For me it was a great honor to investigate such an important object, and it was great fun to do the research!
  2. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    It looks to me rather as if an original inscription was in sufficiently erased before adding a more recent one. Is the purity indicated?
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  3. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Amazing story, EL.
    German silver wasn't always marked. Sometimes it was marked with only the fineness, which can be a very small or even faint number, like 800. The number could be on the rim, if so, it is quite possible that you see three small circles instead of 800, because the top of the 8 didn't fit on the rim. So you would see: ooo.;)

    But... looking at the cup, I wonder if it is plated? Remember, this was at a time when people had to hand in silver to finance the war.
    This spot just above the beaded footrim looks like wear to the silver layer, revealing the metal underneath:


    These questions are better answered by the 'Silver' people, I am more of a jewellery person. Since this isn't the Silver Forum, I'll tag some people who may know.
    @DragonflyWink , @Bakersgma , @MrNate , could you please take a look?:)
    I could have left out a few, apologies if I have.
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  4. say_it_slowly

    say_it_slowly STAY SAFE The worst prison is a closed heart

    Great youtube presentation! Would it be possible to see a photo of the base as it may help someone answer some questions.

    Also, I am thinking that possibly someone left flowers in the bowl at a grave in the cemetery that was discarded with all the spent flowers. Have the names in the cemetery been researched for connections to the names on the bowl?
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  5. Ex Libris

    Ex Libris Well-Known Member

    I think the older engraving appeared again after the goblet was completely oxidized and cleaned again.
  6. Ex Libris

    Ex Libris Well-Known Member

    This is a reflection during the taking of the photographs. We tested the goblet and it is silver.
  7. i need help

    i need help Well-Known Member

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  8. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    It wouldn't have it had been removed completely. It is a bit strange.
    Oh, good. Did you check for tiny marks? They could be anywhere.
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  9. Ex Libris

    Ex Libris Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your compliment :).

    Here are 2 pictures of the inside and bottom of the goblet. This inside is very crudely made. Did it had a lid? The bottom plate is not silver by the way (tin? zinc?) foto-3-beker-Img0842_copyright (1).jpg

    Afbeelding 024.jpg
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  10. Ex Libris

    Ex Libris Well-Known Member

  11. i need help

    i need help Well-Known Member

    But they specifically name the same gentleman?
  12. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    An interesting story and nice research (you have a very nice voice, but no English sub-titles show up for me on the video), and perhaps it's a language issue - but why are you referring to it as goblet (a stemmed drinking vessel)? It's described as a bowl initially, and if it's 20 cm/8" in diameter, then it's definitely a bowl rather than a cup/tumbler/beaker (the other item called a goblet is a loving cup/trophy). What method was used to test the metal? And having a hard time figuring out why the base is another metal with such sloppy soldering (but if it bore silver marks, the base would have been a likely location), so the construction does make me think that the base was an alteration, and have to wonder why the prior engraving would be so clearly readable.

  13. Ex Libris

    Ex Libris Well-Known Member

  14. Ex Libris

    Ex Libris Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your reply, this is due to my poor English to be honest. I will call it bowl from now :).
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  15. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    You do very well - sadly, I have only one language...

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  16. say_it_slowly

    say_it_slowly STAY SAFE The worst prison is a closed heart

    Cheryl if you click on the CC it should give you the subtitles. Very well done! @DragonflyWink

  17. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    Doh!!! Thank you, S_I_S! Should have noticed that, but may have been a mental block - my hearing impaired Mom panicked if she didn't have closed captioning on her TV, but it was distracting to me. She lost the ability to read books, newspapers and calendars, but could still read the CC and every name-tag she saw, though her version wasn't always quite right - the brain is a funny thing...

  18. MrNate

    MrNate Well-Known Member

    I'm out of my league on researching this, but since we are throwing theories out, here's a strange one (far fetched, but imaginative):

    This bowl/cup was originally a wedding present well before WWII, and the German's looted it during the war. Perhaps it was originally a wine glass/goblet, and someone crudely cut off the stem and 1/3 of the bowl so they could convert it into a regular cup. Given the war shortages of precious metal, they substituted tin as the new bottom. The removal of the lower portion of the bowl and the stem would explain my no marks are present. Evidence to support my wild theory; the base of the cup appears very crude, certainly not a jeweler or silversmith doing that work (and specifically I mean sawing the flat bottom.
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  19. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    Haven't seen any pictures that give the scale of the piece, so please clarify - is it really 20 cm/8" in diameter, or is that the circumference? If it is the diameter, it wouldn't have been a drinking vessel...

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  20. say_it_slowly

    say_it_slowly STAY SAFE The worst prison is a closed heart

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