Original Imperial German WWI Era Medal Bar with EKII and Hindenburg Cross - 3 Awards

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is a very nice genuine medal bar, owned by a German soldier who fought during WWI, and also possibly served post war under the Weimar republic. They may have also served in WWII, but there are no medals from that era. Some of the ribbon colors have faded a bit, but overall the set is quite eye catching.

The set of 3 medals offered in good condition is mounted on a metal backing board with pin and lined in gray wool felt. It consists of the following medals:

- Imperial German WWI Iron Cross 1914 2nd Class Medal
- German WWI Honor Cross of the World War 1914/1918 (Hindenburg Cross) Medal with Swords (for combat)
- Ernst Ludwig Großherzog von Hessen Medal For Bravery

Below is an explanation of each medal in detail:

German WWI Prussian Iron Cross 2nd Class with Ribbon:
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 for successful field commanders. During WW1 the lower decoration was freely awarded with 5½ million second class types issued. Originally, the Iron Cross was an award of the Kingdom of Prussia, however given Prussia's pre-eminent place in the German Empire formed in 1871, it became an award for all of Germany.

The basic design of the WW1 crosses is a central Tatzenkreuz (cross pattée) 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 examine 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.

Hindenburg Cross with Crossed Swords (for combat):
The Honor Cross of the World War 1914/1918 (German: Das Ehrenkreuz des Weltkriegs 1914/1918), commonly, but incorrectly, known as the Hindenburg Cross was established by Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, President of the German Republic, by an order dated 13 July 1934, to commemorate the distinguished deeds of the German people during the First World War. This was Germany's first official service medal for soldiers of Imperial Germany who had taken part in the war, and where they had since died it was also awarded to their surviving next-of-kin. Shortly after its issuance, the government of NSDAP Germany declared the award as the only official service decoration of the First World War and further forbid the continued wearing of German Free Corps awards on any military or paramilitary uniform of a state or NSDAP Party organization.

This example is marked on the back with 09.

Ernst Ludwig Großherzog von Hessen Medal: The Ernst Ludwig Großherzog von Hessen (Grand Duke of Hesse) medal is a desirable example issued for bravery in war. This award was issued by the Grand Duchy of Hesse, and was originally instituted in 1843 as the General Honor Decoration (Allgemeines Ehrenzeichen). This award was used to recognize various merits and achievements, depending on the inscription on the reverse. This one is inscribed “Für Tapferkeit” – For Bravery. This is an absolutely gorgeous medal. A slightly matte finish on the devices contrasts with near mirror finish in the flat fields, giving this medal the appearance of a proof silver coin. The portrait on the obverse and wreath on the reverse boast wonderful detail, and the toning to the silver is very attractive, with some golden shades around the edge fading to pastel blue in the center on both sides. The suspension ring is intact with a solid ribbon.

A lovely example of a ribbon bar ready for further research and display.

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