GERMANY – IRON CROSS – 1914 – 1st CLASS – THREE PIECE SCREWBACK FOR KÜRAß
This is one of the more interesting and unusual WW I Iron Crosses that I have offered to you. It is a screwback Iron Cross, and a VERY unusual variation. I bought it many years ago (as you might have determined from the early item number that we assigned to it). It is the one-hundred-fifty-second Iron Cross that we acquired after we separated the Iron Crosses from our general Orders & Decorations Merchandise Page. We are now nearing our one- thousandth Iron Cross. After years of sitting in a drawer, it is getting dusted off and made available to you.
As mentioned, it is a screwback 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class. The cross is a high-vault variety. The obverse’s paint rates at 99%, which is near-perfect. The frame is spectacular, and the beading is even and quite striking. The frame’s patina is heavy and even. As we examine the cross’s reverse, we see that it is hallmarked for .800 silver. No manufacturer’s hallmark is present. The backing plate appears to be made of zinc and measures 1 3/4″ in diameter. A total of twelve small holes circle the plate. In the center, two holes appear where posts from the Iron Cross’s reverse extend. No markings at all appear on the backing plate. While two posts extend from the Iron Cross, only one nut is present. So, while the backing plate can be secured to the Iron Cross, one of the posts sits loose. It is not a huge fault, but a fault it remains. As to this Iron Cross’s purpose or use, two different possibilities have been suggested by the advanced collectors with whom I have shared its images. One theory is that it is of a type once used to secure an Iron Cross to an officer’s küraß (breast plate) in a Küraßier-Regiment. Another theory is that is a type of screwback Iron Cross favored by aviators from the Imperial German Air Service. Since I do not have a more definitive “story” to share with you, I offer the above two possible theories for this Iron Cross’s use. Regardless of its use or purpose, this is a very high class Iron Cross, in excellent condition.