Original Imperial German WWI Era Medal Bar with EKII, Saxon, and Austro-Hungarian Medals- 5 Awards
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 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 5 medals offered in good condition is mounted on a metal backing board with pin and lined in red wool felt and consists of the following medals:
- Imperial German WWI Iron Cross 1914 2nd Class Medal
- Kingdom of Saxony Friedrich August Medal with Combat Ribbon
- German WWI Honor Cross of the World War 1914/1918 (Hindenburg Cross) Medal
- Austro-Hungarian WWI Pro Deo et Patria Military Medal 1914 1918 for Combatants
- Austrian War Commemorative Medal for Combatants
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 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 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.
Kingdom of Saxony Friedrich August Medal
The Friedrich August Medal was awarded by King Friedrich August III, and instituted by Saxony on April 23, 1905. It was awarded "for the recognition of merit in teams from the sergeant down and to civilians of equal rank in war and peace." The bronze medal was awarded to all ranks up to private and silver from non-commissioned officers .
The award is made of bronze or bronzed iron or a silver round medal with a diameter of approx. 28 mm. The front face of the medal shows the intertwined letters FAR (Friedrich August Rex) under the Saxon crown . The cipher is surrounded by a laurel wreath that is open at the top and bound together at the bottom. The reverse simply is marked Friedrich August Medaille, with decorations around it.
This medal is held by a blue and yellow ribbon indicates it was issued during wartime, 1914-1918.
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 L. / NBG. for Christian Lauer of Nürnberg.
Austro- Hungarian WWI Pro Deo et Patria Military Medal 1914-1918
Hungary (Austro-hungarian Empire): Hungarian WWI Commemorative Combatant's military medal PRO DEO ET PATRIA (for God and Country). Award for the participation in the Great War. The medal was instituted in 1929. It is mounted on the correct red white and green ribbon, though the green has faded almost completely to yellow. It has the crossed swords on the ribbon, indicating it was awarded to a Combatant in the war.
Austrian War Commemorative Medal
The War Commemorative Medal (German: Kriegserinnerungsmedaille) was a commemorative medal established in 1933 by the First Republic of Austria. The medal was awarded to Austria's participants in World War I. The medallion of the medal is round, 33 mm (1.3 in) wide, and made of Tombac. The front face of the medal depicts a right facing eagle surmounting the escutcheon with fess depicting the simplified arms of Austria. Below the eagle is the inscription FÜR ÖSTERREICH (For Austria). The reverse of the medal bears the inscription 1914-1918 surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves around the edge.
The medal is suspended from the correct white with two central red stripes and thin red stripes at the edges as well. Combatants could wear crossed gilt swords on the ribbon, such as on this example.
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