H022879 BAR TO THE IRON CROSS 1ST CLASS, 1939. (Spange 1939 zum EKI Klasse 1914)

BACKGROUND: On March 10TH 1813, Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III established the Iron Cross as a temporary award for bestowal during times of war. Originally the Iron Cross was introduced in three grades with a Grand Cross intended for award to Senior Commanders for successfully leading troops in combat and the First and Second classes for award to all ranks for bravery or merit in action. The Iron Cross’s were reinstituted by King Wilhelm I on July 19TH 1870 for award during the Franco-Prussian War and again on August 5TH 1914, by King Wilhelm II for award during WWI. On September 1ST 1939 Hitler once more reinstituted the Iron Cross series of awards in the First and Second Classes and established the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross and two new Spangen, (Bars), for the first and second class awards to be bestowed to recipients of the 1939 Iron Cross who had also been awarded a first or second 1914 Iron Cross during WWI. Originally the first pattern of this award had slightly scalloped tips to the ends of the date bar which was soon replaced with the second pattern award with diagonally angled ends. With the proper documentation, recipients of most Third Reich awards, including the Bar to the Iron Cross were permitted to privately purchase a jeweler’s copy of the award, at their own expense, if so desired. Of Note: The LDO, Leistungsgemeinschaft der Deutschen Ordenshersteller, (Administration of German Medal Manufacturers), began regulating the manufacture of German awards in March 1941 as a quality control agent for awards that were intended for retail sale and manufacturers were to use an assigned LDO, "L", code on their products destined for retail sales. Awards that were to be bestowed by the government were also issued an official numerical government contract code known as a, Lieferantnummer, (Contractors Number), that was issued by the Präsidialkanzlei des Führers, (Presidential Council of the Führers), for formally approved manufacturers. The manufacturing firms that were licenced by both the Präsidialkanzlei des Führers and the LDO and would have used the same dies to stamp both the official issue and retail sales types of awards making them virtually indistinguishable from one another except for the markings.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nicely detailed, die struck alloy construction, second pattern, frosted nickel/silver plated award is in the form of a national eagle with outstretched wings, clutching an oak-leaf wreath which encompasses a canted swastika above a horizontal, trapezoidal, date bar with diagonally angled ends, and embossed institution date, "1939". The award shows nice detailing including feathering to the eagles wings and a subtly textured background field to the swastika and the date bar. The plain reverse of the award has a solid soldered hinge, a round vertical pin, and a soldered catch all intact. The reverse of the award is well marked with the stamped manufacturers LDO code within a rectangular border, "L/11", indicating manufacture by Wilhelm Deumer Lüdenscheid. Of Note: This award along with fourteen others was taken directly off of a sales display board by the renown manufacturer Wilhelm Deumer of Lüdenscheid.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $495.00

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