Original Allied WWI Trench Art Lighter Satirizing German Prince Wilhelm named to French-Enlisted U.S. Pilot
Original Item: One of a Kind. Born on May 6th, 1881, Crown Prince WILHELM was the eldest son of KAISER WILHELM II, and in the militaristic environment of WWI Germany, was expected to fight in the war and perform well. He was just 32 years old when given the command of the FIFTH ARMY in 1914. In 1915 he was also given command of the CROWN PRINCE's KORP, but due to his extreme inexperience he was ousted from power in late 1915. However, he was allowed to remain the titular head of the KORP. An embarrassment to his father he was highly vilified by the Allies resulting in Art work such as we offer here.
This very fine WW1 cigarette lighter is a profile of the Crown Prince, exaggerating his nose and lack of chin. On tipping his Visor Cap to the rear reveals the works and where the flint, striker and fuel cap are located. The flint is removable, so that it can be adjusted, and it is a bit loose in the lighter currently. On the upper surface of his cap there is engraved the name of an Allied WWI Pilot, most likely an American as it states:-
Lt. E. C. Parsons
LAFAYETTE - ESCADRILLE
The La Fayette Escadrille (French: Escadrille de La Fayette) was a U.S. unit constituted in 1916 under French command, made up of volunteers who came forward to fight for France during World War I in Europe before the United States entered the war in 1917. The escadrille of the Aéronautique Militaire was composed largely of American volunteer pilots flying fighters. It was named in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American Revolutionary War.
Internet research tells us EDWIN CHARLES PARSONS was born in 1892 and joined the French Air Effort in early 1917 where he was credited with ONE KILL. After WW1 he joined the F.B.I. for a couple of years then started his own Detective Agency. In 1934 he joined the U.S. NAVAL RESERVE and ended up a REAR ADMIRAL at the end of WW2. He wrote a book I FLEW WITH THE THE LAFEYETTE ESCADRILLE in retirement and died in 1968.
A great story and ready to research and display.
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