H069089 CASED WAR MERIT CROSS 1ST CLASS, 1939 WITH SWORDS. (Kriegsverdienstkreuz I mit Schwertern und Etui)
BACKGROUND: The War Merit Cross was instituted by Adolf Hitler on October 18TH 1939, in two classes with both classes issued, with and without swords, for award to military personnel and civilians, including females and foreigners, for exemplary service and/or bravery in Germany’s war effort, in a non-combatant role. The addition of swords to the award signified bravery while awards without swords were bestowed for service. Of Note: The War Merit cross series of awards was expanded on August 19TH 1940, to include a Knight’s Cross of the War Merit Cross for award to personnel who had provided a substantial contribution to the war effort and the War Merit Medal for award to German nationals and foreign civilians who provided exceptional service to the war effort. Recipients of a War Merit Cross were permitted, with the proper documentation, to privately purchase a jeweler’s copy of the award, at their own expense, if so desired. Personnel who could afford it could opt to buy a jeweler’s copy for everyday wear with the actual award being put away for safe keeping. 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: Die struck, zinc construction bravery award with a silver wash is in the form of a Maltese style cross with a circular centerpiece with an embossed, canted, swastika encircled by an oak-leave wreath to the obverse. The swords, indicating bravery, emanated upwards between the arms of the cross. The background field of the obverse centerpiece is smooth while the arms of the cross have a pebbled background field with raised, smooth, outer edges. The plain, reverse has a soldered, solid style hinge on an oval base plate, a broad, tapered, vertical "Coke " bottle pin and a heavy soldered catch also on an oval base plate all intact. The reverse of the cross is well marked with the manufacturer’s LDO code, "L/57", indicating manufacture by Boerger & Co. of Berlin. The award comes housed in a roughly, 7cm square, 2cm thick, pressed cardboard and wood construction case with a black, simulated grained leather covering. The top lid of the case has an impressed, silvered outline of the War Merit Cross with swords. The interior of the top lid is lined in white satin while the interior bottom of the case has a vertical cut-out to secure the hinge, pin and catch assembly of the badge. One of the harder makers to find.
GRADE ****1/4 PRICE $359.00
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