Original German WWI Iron Cross 2nd Class and War Merit Cross Brunswick 2nd Class Mounted on Uniform Square
Original Items: Only One Set Available. These are two Prussian WWI medals still mounted on original fabric that was cut out of the original uniform. The set consist of the following:
Iron Cross 2nd Class-
Established by Frederick William in 1813 for gallantry in action, the decoration was revived several times for later conflicts. The bulk of the issues are divided into 1st and 2nd class versions, but a rare and superior 'Grand Cross' was also awarded. During WW1 the lower decoration was freely awarded with 5½ million second class types issued.
The basic design of the WW1 crosses is a central cross patee struck from iron and mounted in a silver frame which has a raised crenulated decorative border. The obverse of the cross bears the date 1914 under a crowned 'W' monogram. Reverse bears an oak leaf cluster with the date of the decoration’s institution, 1813 underneath - the crowned initials of Frederick William are in the top arm above the oak leaf cluster. Suspension for second-class types is by means of a ring, and frequently this ring bears a maker's stamp.
Please not the edge seam for authentication, which is not present on reproductions. Iron crosses were commonly constructed from an iron core sandwiched in a surrounding two part silver frame, normally the seam of these two silver parts is visible around the edge of the cross as is seen on this fine example.
The War Merit Cross-
The War Merit Cross (Kriegsverdienstkreuz) also known as the Ernst-Augustkreuz, was a military decoration of the Duchy of Brunswick. The Cross was established 23 October 1914 by Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick. The cross was awarded to all ranks for distinction in war. On 20 March 1918, a first class of the Cross was created in pinback form, with the existing Cross becoming the second class. This brought the Cross in line with awards of other German States like Prussia with the Iron Cross. The cross was awarded on a blue ribbon with yellow stripes for combatants and on a yellow ribbon with blue stripes for non-combatants.
The Brunswick War Merit Cross is a bronze cross pattée. At the center of the Cross on the obverse are the letters EA for Duke Ernest Augustus. On the horizontal arms of the cross are sprays of oak leaves. The top arm of the cross bears the Brunswick crown, with the date 1914 on the lower arm of the cross. On the reverse is the inscription in three lines Für, Verdienst im, Kriege (For Merit in War) on the top, horizontal and lower arms of the cross, respectively.
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