Product Description: We are pleased to be able to offer this exquisite and rarely seen Imperial Fighter Pilot Honor Goblet. This outstanding example is an earlier and, more desirable, “800” silver version made by the renowned silversmith firm of “Bruchmann & Söhne.” The hallmarks for the silversmith firm can be seen stamped on the lower rim of the goblet, along with the silver content marking (80 percent pure silver). This is a textbook goblet, with every detail one expects to see, including the nearly invisible seam on the reverse of the cup. Each of the four silver ball “feet” at the bottom of the goblet are made of two halves professionally soldered together, leaving only a faint seam. The correct “Chef des Feldflugwesens” seal is neatly stamped on the bottom of the goblet. This Imperial Fighter Pilot Honor Goblet is a visually appealing, decorative object, with a main motif featuring two eagles in aerial combat, with one eagle overtaking the other. The surface of the silver features a very attractive natural patina throughout, with some lovely rainbow toning in places. There are some scattered, very small nicks and pinhead-sized dents from rolling around in a small footlocker. These could be removed by a professional silversmith, but we will leave that up to the buyer. These early goblets are extremely rare to find on the market, as there were very few air aces who were awarded the honor goblet during the First World War. This one is choice, and in excellent plus condition.
Historical Description: Pilots of the German Luftwaffe who had successes in aerial combat were awarded with a special non-portable award. This was a practice that began in WWI, with the institution of the “Ehrenbecher für den Sieger im Luftkampfe” (Honor Goblet for the Victor in Air Combat). This was a silver cup, initially presented to a pilot for his first aerial victory, although it is believed that as the war progressed, more victories were needed to earn this award. By the end of the war, only the certificates for the goblet were being issued. The total number of these goblets awarded during WWI is thought to be around 2,411. The practice of awarding goblets to pilots for aerial victories resumed in February 1940, when Hermann Göring introduced the “Ehrenpokal für besondere Leistung im Luftkrieg” (Honor Goblet for Outstanding Achievement in Air War). Over the course of the war, about 58,000 German pilots were entitled to the award, but only around 13,000-15,000 goblets were actually awarded. In WWII, the goblets were awarded to pilots and air crew who had already earned the Iron Cross 1st Class, but whose achievements had not yet earned them the German Cross or Knight’s Cross. This goblet was made in two versions, with the first pieces being made of fine silver; around March 1942 this was changed to “Neusilber” (German silver). These awards were prized by the men to whom they were awarded, and they are eagerly sought by collectors today.
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