That scarce commemorative breast badge was instituted on December 24, 1891 by Wilhelm II, the last monarch of Württemberg, as a token of remembrance of his late maternal uncle, King Karl (Karl Friedrich Alexander von Württemberg, 06.03.1823-06.10.1891), who ruled the kingdom since July 12, 1864 until his death.
Design of that rare badge reminded of a Commemorative Badge for Royal Princes and Adjutants General of His Imperial Majesty and King Wilhelm I (Gedenkzeichen für die königlichen Prinzen und Generaladjutanten S.M. Kaiser und König Wilhelm I), instituted three years before. Altogether 28 pieces were presented on December 03, 1888, and Wilhelm II, seven princes as well as twenty generals were made holders of the decoration.
Hollow badge had a shape of a letter “K” topped with royal crown and superimposed on a 5 mm wide oval ring with raised border. The latter represented long stylized belt with multiple dents and single-pronged buckle shown at the lower left portion of the badge. Loose end of the belt was twined twice around lower part of the oval ring ending with a decorative element. Upper part of the belt bore date the King demised: “6.Octb.” on the left and “1891.” on the right. Elegant royal monogram was attached to the ring with four rivets.
Roller hinge with a vertical pin and catching hook were soldered to the reverse of the badge. Maker’s mark “Foehr” in capital letters and three hallmarks – “900”, crescent moon and crown were stamped in two lines at the right of the hook. Mark “900” indicated that the badge was manufactured of silver with a purity of 90%. The usage of individual city hallmarks for silver was abolished in 1886 and replaced with the unified mark (Reichsmark) showing crescent moon and crown. Those symbols were made compulsory in 1888.
According to official information published by the Berlin bulletin “Unteroffizier-Zeitung” on January 08, 1892, two types of the badge were issued: with gilt cipher and royal crown for officers and high-ranking officials, and completely silver for other recipients. Some reliable sources indicate that the former known as “Adjutantenabzeichen” was presented to adjutants of the late King Karl, while the latter to inner circles including officials and court dignitaries attached to the demised monarch.
However, reputable expert Jörg Nimmergut refuted above-mentioned information in his reference book and alleged that officially issued badges were of single type only – silver oval band with gilt cipher and crown.
Erinnerungszeichen an des verewigten Königs Karl Majestät was manufactured by the court jeweler Eduard Foehr (12.02.1835-17.10.1904) from Stuttgart. The most productive period of that renowned silversmith fell on 1880-1900, and he was famous for elegant tea sets, tankards (beer mugs) and flagons made of silver. Style of his works ranged from Baroque shapes of the seventeenth century style to the new artistic movements (Art Nouveau) of the early modern period. After Wilhelm II ascended the throne of Württemberg on October 06, 1891 Eduard Foehr was appointed Court Jeweller of the new king.
The badge measured 57,5x34,8 mm and weighed 27,12 g. The royal crown measured 20,0x24,0 mm.
According to the price of the manufacturer, the so-called Adjutantenabzeichen cost 48 Marks, while pure silver badge cost 24 Marks.
Decoration was awarded in a vertical rectangular black leather presentation case fitted with a spring mechanism. Interior of the lid was lined with blue silk bearing gold stamp foiled image of Württemberg coat of arms and two inscriptions in capital letters: “Eduard Foehr” above and “Kön. Hofjuwelier Stuttgart” in two lines below. The badge itself was laid in a raised forward-tilted cushion made of blue velvet.
Erinnerungszeichen an des verewigten Königs Karl Majestät was worn on the left side of the breast below other awards and decorations.
Totally 29 “Adjutantenabzeichen” and 16 silver badges were presented.