The Fine Imperial German Naval Observer Grouping of Heinrich Blume
A Fine Imperial German Naval Observer Grouping of Heinrich Blume - A Imperial German Badge for Observers on Naval Planes; finely made in bronze gilt, marked H.SCHAPHER on pin, privately engraved (H. Blume II. S.F.A.), measuring 73mm x 46mm, weighs 44.3 grams, in gently worn condition; With matching stickpin Miniature Observer Naval Badge in gilded bronze, very fine; An Iron Cross First Class 1914 with silver frame, magnetic core, privately engraved (HEINRICH BLUME II. S.F.A. FLANDERN.), fine executed period engraving, marked G on pin, extremely fine, and housed in case of issue; Iron Cross Second Class with silver frame and Iron Core, in case of issue, extremely fine. Accompanied by Blume's original Iron Cross Second Class award document dated September 13 1917. Also accompanied by a extensive and outstanding photo album of Blumes. Photo Album contains 189 black and white photographs, belonging to Heinrich Blume, signed and dated "1918" on the inside front cover, with a signed sepia-toned photograph of Blume on the page facing the inside back cover. The photos were taken at various locations, in and around the North Sea area, including the islands of Helgoland, Nordenay, Borkum with its flight station and military base in Germany, along with Ostend, Zeebrugge, Nieuport and other places in Belgium. The album covers a wide range of topics, illustrating officers and seamen, one of which shows a group of seamen wearing gas masks, others with First Lieutenant Christensen wearing his Pour le Merite, Kaiser Wilhelm II visiting a Radio Control Boat at an Air Station and Field Marshal von Hindenburg visiting the Air Station, ten captured English soldiers at Zeebrugge, Belgium, ships, U-Boats, flying machines, hangers, mines, bombs, sea mines, machine guns, artillery, bridges, buildings, docks, along with the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul at Ostend, Belgium, an American Belgian relief ship and a map charting the North Sea. Many photos illustrate the destructiveness of the First World War: the wreckage of an aircraft with a notation that the Chief Petty Officer plunged into a lake to rescue the crew, damaged reconnaissance aircraft, a destroyer with a massive hole in the bow, various bombed out targets (urban areas, a church at Zeebrugge that took a direct hit, a railway bridge and many others). There is even a photo of two English blockade ships deliberately sunk in the canal at Zeebrugge, along with two photos of paintings of attacks by flying machines and airships. Also included are nineteen photos of deceased comrades with their death dates, a Flanders Honour Board with six twelve names, a Flanders Roll of Honour with ten names, various funeral scenes, a memorial service at a mass grave of the crew of a torpedo destroyer, the burial of fallen comrades at the military cemetery at Ostend, and a coffin with Lieutenant Schuler lying in state in a church in Zeebrugge, Belgium. The photos are glued in place on thick, gray cardboard pages, the album hardcover bound, measuring 235 mm x 320 mm x 50 mm, wear and tape repair evident on the cover but the photographs remain unaffected. Accompanying the album are six loose photographs, one of which illustrates a group of about two hundred veterans standing in front of the Laboe Naval Memorial in Laboe (near Kiel, 183 mm x 240 mm), along with his award document (confirming his award of the Iron Cross 2nd Class, dated November 25, 1919). An outstanding grouping to German Naval Observer, including one of the finest photo albums I have seen on the subject.