Original German WWII War Merit Cross KvK 1st Class with Swords by Steinhauer & Lück in Case

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Available. This is a very nice cased example of a War Merit Cross KvK 1st Class in Silver with swords, manufactured by Steinhauer & Lück of Lüdenscheid, a city with a major garment accessories industry. This early war example in zinc alloy has a lovely patina, though it has lost almost all of the original silver wash, which is common. There are sharp details to contours and pebbles to internal cross arms.

Pin back and maker stamped as issued with Präsidialkanzlei des Führers Lieferant (Presidential Chancellery Supplier) number 4 on the top of the pin, which represents Steinhauer & Lück of Lüdenscheid. It has a steel pin on the back, with cast hinge and pin catch.

This KVK comes in an original correct case, showing a silver facsimile of the cross with swords on case lid. It is however from a different manufacturer, in this case Deschler & Sohn / München. The case has a nice interior, with a velvet bottom with inlet, and a nice satin top. The hinge and latch still work wonderfully, with no issues. There is some wear to the exterior of the case, but it still presents very nicely.

A really nice cased example of this award, ready to display!

The War Merit Cross (Kriegsverdienstkreuz) was a decoration of NSDAP Germany during the Second World War, which could be awarded to military personnel and civilians alike. By the end of the war it was issued in four degrees, and had a related civil decoration. It was created by Adolf AH in October 1939 as a successor to the non-combatant Iron Cross which was used in earlier wars. The award was graded the same as the Iron Cross: War Merit Cross Second Class, War Merit Cross First Class, and Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross. The award had two variants: with swords given to soldiers for exceptional service "not in direct connection with combat", and without swords for meritorious service to civilians in "furtherance of the war effort". As with the Iron Cross, Recipients had to have the lower grade of the award before getting the next level.

The ribbon of the War Merit Cross was in red-white-black-white-red; that was, the red and black colors being reversed from the ribbon of the World War II version of the Iron Cross. The ribbon for the War Merit Medal was similar, but with a narrow red vertical red strip in the center of the black field. Soldiers who earned the War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords wore a small crossed-swords device on the ribbon. The War Merit Cross 1st Class was a pin-backed medal worn on the pocket of the tunic (like the Iron Cross 1st Class). The ribbon of the War Merit Cross 2nd Class could be worn like the ribbon of the Iron Cross 2nd Class (through the second buttonhole). Nonetheless combat soldiers tended to hold the War Merit Cross in low regard, referring to its wearers as being in 'Iron Cross Training'. The Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross was a neck decoration and worn the same way as the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross.

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