H051681 CASED IRON CROSS 1ST CLASS, 1939 "Non Magnetic". (Eisernes Kreuz I Klasse mit Etui)

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 Crosses 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. The first class medal was for award to personnel who performed three to five acts of bravery in combat, and had already been awarded the Iron Cross second class.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 1939 pattern, die struck, three piece, brass/tombac (non magnetic) and nickel/silver plated alloy construction Pattée style cross with a single piece iron core and a two piece alloy frame. The obverse of the award features an embossed, central, canted, swastika with the re-institution date, "1939", to the bottom arm. The swastika stands out in nice, high relief while the date is somewhat lower. The plain reverse has a solid, soldered, block type hinge, a broad, tapering vertical pin and a catch all intact. Catch appears to be period repaired/replaced. The award has no visible manufacturer’s markings. The cross comes housed in a wood and pressed cardboard construction issue case with a simulated, black leather covering. The top of the case has an impressed, silvered outline of an Iron Cross to the center. The fold back top lid has a magnetic, staggered, internal bar hinge to the reverse and a magnetic, spring loaded, closure button to the obverse. Both the hinge and the closure button still function. The interior of the top lid is lined in white satin while the interior bottom of the case has an off-white flock lining with a vertical cut-out to secure the hinge, pin and catch assembly of the badge. The case is in overall very good condition with one minor separation to the lower right front corner.

GRADE *** 3/4                             PRICE $298.00

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