GERMANY – IRON CROSS – 1870 – 2nd CLASS – PRINZENGROßE WITH TWENTY-FIVE-YEAR JUBILEE OAK LEAVES – 1914 SPANGE – WAGNER & SÖHNE
This is a very exciting, ultra-high-quality, privately-purchased 1870 Prinzengroße Iron Cross 2nd Class with the Twenty-Five-Year Jubilee Oak Leaves and 1914 Spange. The Prinzengroße Iron Cross originated more than a hundred years prior to WW I as a smaller variation of noblemen/royalty’s decorations that could be worn by their young sons. The term Prinzengroße means “prince-sized.” The youngsters wore uniforms that emulated their fathers,’ as well as headdresses and swords to accommodate their stature. By the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War, it became more of an affectation among officers who preferred the smaller Iron Crosses 1st Class and 2nd Class over full-sized examples.
Our 1870 Prinzengroße EK 2nd Class measures 1.25” x 1.25,” and is mounted on a correct, original ribbon displaying the Twenty-Five-Year Jubilee Oak Leaves, as well as a 1914 Spange. The leaves were awarded beginning in 1895 to commemorate the original award’s 25th Anniversary. The special 1914 Spange was awarded to those Franco-Prussian War veterans who were still alive at WW I’s outbreak. [PLEASE NOTE: In most cases, the men receiving the 1914 Spange were in their early-to-mid 60’s so, obviously, many of the original awardees had died].
Our Iron Cross displays very fine paint on both its obverse and reverse. The Twenty-Five-Year Jubilee Oak Leaves consists of three oak leaves with a “25″ on the center leaf. The 1914 Spange features an enamel 1914 Iron Cross in a pebbled, rectangular bar’s center. The bar’s reverse displays Prussian royal court jeweler Wagner & Söhne’s hallmark, as well as an .800 silver hallmark.
This presentation is in exceptional condition, overall. Complete sets of all three pieces are VERY difficult-to-find in their full-sized versions, let alone in their rarer Prinzengroße versions.