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Assistance in Identifying a Photo

Originally published under Ask Mr. History. Published Online: November 07, 2013 
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Dear Mr. History,

We found this painting in the attic of a relative. It is painted on a beveled board, with some kind of clear tape over brown paper that was holding in the frame. It is unsigned.

Do you have an idea of who this officer might be, or can you tell us his rank and / or branch of service?

Thank you,

—DW

? ? ?

DW,

I've never seen it before and can't place the artist, but it seems to be a portrait of Helmuth von Moltke the elder, Prussian Army chief of staff and mastermind of its victories over Austria in 1866 and over France in 1870–1871. Compare the image you sent with the one one the cover of this book about von Moltke:

Note hairline, ears, and uniform.
Note hairline, ears, and uniform.
Submitted image. Click to enlarge.
Submitted image. Click to enlarge.

Sincerely,

 

Jon Guttman
Research Director
Weider History Group
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