Original German WWII Reissue Prussian Iron Cross First Class 1914 with Screwback - Wilhelm Deumer Style EKI
Original Items: Only One Available. This an excellent example of a WWII reissue Imperial German Iron Cross First Class 1914, with a Magnetic core, slightly vaulted design, and screw back attachment. It does not have any maker marking, however the style of the frame and screw back almost certainly attribute this example to Wilhelm Deumer of Lüdenscheid. This company manufactured Iron Crosses throughout the second world war era, and their style is distinctive.
These "reissues" were made to satisfy a demand for the awards from recipients who had, for whatever reason, lost their original awards, or had them damaged. During the NSDAP period, previous military service was definitely a source of pride, and everyone wanted to show the awards they had won. Screw back Iron Crosses from WWI are unheard of, but they were made during the build up to WWII.
The medal is in very good condition, and the silver plate is retained almost completely, still quite bright with little sign of tarnish. The black paint on the background is retained well, with just a bit of checking and crazing. The paint on the raised areas is retained well, though the crown is missing a bit.
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. Second class crosses would have a ring at the top where a ring was attached, and had more markings on the back. The first class award, however, was meant to attach directly to the front of the uniform.
Please note 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 Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz, abbreviated EK) was a military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia, and later in the German Empire (1871–1918) and NSDAP Germany (1933–1945). It was established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia in March 1813 backdated to the birthday of his late wife Queen Louise on 10 March 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars (EK 1813). Louise was the first person to receive this decoration (posthumous). The recommissioned Iron Cross was also awarded during the Franco-Prussian War (EK 1870), World War I (EK 1914), and World War II (EK 1939, re-introduced with a swas added in the center).
The Iron Cross was normally a military decoration only, though there were instances of it being awarded to civilians for performing military functions. Two examples of this were civilian test pilots Hanna Reitsch who was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class and 1st Class and Melitta Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg, who was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class, for their actions as pilots during World War II.
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