Searching for military photographs you sometimes come across something that does not fit in the collection and that you buy nevertheless. These two pictures came to me that way years ago. They were part of a larger group of pictures all with Wilhelm II and other famous German people of that period, late 19th and early 20th century. I bought the group in Utrecht, close to Doorn where Wilhelm II spend has days after WW1 in exile. So my hypothesis is these are somehow linked to that fact. There was no further info when I bought the photos so it is impossible to prove it but they might have been from someone is his entourage. A lot of former German military and noble families followed him here. Some to stay forever and some for only some years.
Both pictures were made by court photographers and are original high quality prints. This one of William S. Berger in Potsdam. The picture of Von Moltke is by Loescher & Petsch in Berlin. Both also are embossed by the photographer on the print themselves!
The print of Wilhelm II has originally been framed but that frame was gone when I bought the group. Interestingly it is written in Dutch on the reverse that it should be framed in small plain oak.
These are the only copies of these photo’s I could find online. Many pictures were also sold to the public or even made into postcards for an even larger audience. But these seem to be rare if not unique prints.
What I did find that of both pictures a drawing based on the pictures does exist. The one of Von Moltke was used for a book of the famous Germans of the century (a book printed in 1899). The one of William II could not trace its origins but it is clearly based on this photo but without the building behind Wilhelm II.
As can be seen in the embossed mark the picture was printed in 1887 a year before he fully retired but already at the very end of his career. More can be read here.
If you have a copy of one of these photos or other relevant information do let me know.