Original WWI Imperial Austrian Gold Merit Cross by F. Braun in Original Case - Pre-1914
Original Item: Only One available. This is a very nice WWI issue Austrian Merit Cross class in gold. We have also seen this described as a "Merit Cross 4th Class," so there is some confusion regarding terminology. These were issued on red "civic" ribbons up until 1914, after which a white and red "laddered" military ribbon was used. The award is maker marked on the hanger ring with F. BRAUN / IN WIEN, and comes complete with its civil issue red triangular hanging ribbon, as well as the original presentation case.
The award itself is marked with a large FJ in the center, for Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, who reigned 2 December 1848 – 21 November 1916, one of the longest reigns of any European Monarch. around this is are the words VIRIBUS UNITUS, which are Latin for "With United Forces", and is a motto of the Austrian Imperial house of Habsburg-Lorraine. The reverse of the award is marked with 1849, the date of institution of the award. The design of the award is also very similar to the Imperial Austrian Order of Franz Joseph medals, though far less ornate.
The original black faux leather covered case is in very good condition, marked with two faded gold letters on the top, probably the initials of the recipient. The rear is marked with 1909, which we assume may be the date of manufacture. It features a brass hinge, which works well, and the front has a functional latch. The interior is lined with velvet on the bottom, with an inset for the award, and the top is white satin, with retailer V. MAYER'S SÖHNE marked along with their address information.
This award and box are in really great shape, as shown, with no issues that we can see. If you were lacking an example of this award for your collection, this is your chance! Most attractive and ready to display!
When Emperor Franz Joseph assumed the throne in Austria one of his earliest actions was to establish the merit crosses to be awarded to those who demonstrated proven devotion to the fatherland, many years of valuable service, or other significant services in support of the public welfare. This decoration replaced the Civil Merit Medal which had been introduced in 1848. This decoration was highly regarded and personally approved and presented by the emperor up until World War I.
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