This is a consignment item. In 1895 Kaiser Wilhelm II authorized the award of Twenty-Five-Year Oak Leaves for the 1870 Iron Cross. This was for veterans who were awarded the 1870 EK during the Franco-Prussian War and the subsequent years, as awards caught up with all those deemed worthy. Furthermore, they remained in the reich’s service. This 1870 Iron Cross is in very fine condition, both on its obverse and reverse. I believe it was not an issued piece, but instead was sold as a full rig with the Twenty-Five-Year Oak Leaves attached. Its paint is even and just beginning to “crinkle,” as we so often see on 19th Century Iron Crosses. The “25” year device sports a fine, frosted-silver finish.
What makes this Iron Cross special is all about the ribbon. The ribbon boasts a wide, white, central panel flanked by two thinner black bands, which means it is for Non Combatants. The ribbon’s other distinctive feature is that it is a tri-fold. Although Austrians folded their ribbons in this manner, they did NOT participate in the Franco-Prussian War. Thus, the ribbon most probably was for a soldier from Saxony. The ribbon makes the Iron Cross quite distinctive, as well as quite scarce. Both ribbon and cross are in top condition.