The “Blue Max”

Blue Max
“The Red Baron”, Manfred von Richthofen. Image by C. J. von Dühren.

The Imperial German World War I Pour le Merite,  also known as the “Blue Max”, is a Military Decoration that signified induction into the “Pour le Mérite”,  an order of merit established in 1740 by King Frederick II of Prussia and was conferred as a military honour until the end of the Prussian monarchy in November 1918. One of its most famous inductees into the order was “The Red Baron”, Manfred von Richthofen, shown wearing his Blue Max in this photograph.

Between 1995 and 2001, we were running EMEA and a large sales team in Germany. This afforded the opportunity for many trips there, during which we took the opportunity to look for one for our own collection. We are unable to recall exactly when and where we found this one, but it was a German Military antique dealer, possibly in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

This Blue Max has been in a display case in a smoke free and pet free environment since that time along with a small jewelry pouch. It is beautifully detailed and in excellent condition, however it is difficult to photograph! Here are our best attempts…