Original Imperial German WWI Prussian Iron Cross Cast Iron Paperweight with 1813, 1870, and 1914 Dates

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. 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).

Being such an iconic part of German military life, it was very common for the award to serve as the basis for various display pieces and works of art. The Tatzenkreuz (cross pattée) shape hearkened back to the days of the Teutonic knights, who used the design in their heraldry. What we have here is a lovely Iron Cross paperweight, measuring 4 3/16" by 4 3/16", looking to be made from cast iron half an inch thick. It combines the markings and symbols used used on the EK 1870 with the EK 1914 in a most interesting way.

The top arm of the cross has the Crowned FW monogram for Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III over a sprig of oak leaves with acorns, and under this is the W monogram of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The left arm of the cross bears the original year of introduction, 1813, while the right arm has the first reissue for the Franco-Prussian war, 1870. The bottom of the cross has the 1914 date for the WWI reintroduction. The W and 1914 are higher in the casting and unpainted, suggesting that they may have been additions to an already made design.

Condition is very good, with a lovely patina, showing wear and staining commensurate with age. The rear of the cross looks to have some type of engraving or inscription, however we have not been able to make out what it says at all.

This would be the perfect thing to go on the desk of a die hard fan of "The Great War". Ready to display!

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