IRON CROSS – 1870 – 2nd CLASS – SPANGE
The 1870 Iron Cross received two additions (rendered in two stages) after the initial awards of approximately 50,000 examples. A “Jubilee” was proclaimed by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1895, wherein its awardees were authorized to add oak leaves with a “25” to their Iron Crosses. This was known as the Jubiläumsspange. This was either added as a device to the jump ring area, or attached directly to the top of the ribbon.
A further honor was granted to the original 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class winners when WW I began. [Remember that 1914 was nearly forty-five years after the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War. Most of the surviving awardees had reached their sixties, so a certain number of the original 50,000 had died]. Another spange was created that was slipped onto the EK 2’s ribbon. It featured a 1914 Iron Cross against a pebbled background. The bulk of the awarded pieces came from the workshops of Wagner & Söhne, one of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s leading Court Jewelers.
Our offering today is a Jeweler’s/Wearer’s copy from another of the Kaiser’s House Jewelers, C.E. Juncker. It measures ¼” x 1 ¼.” The spange’s reverse reveals a depression where it was pushed in to secure it to the ribbon. The reverse also features their hallmark as listed below.
This spange is in very fine condition and can be added to an existing 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class with the “25-Year” Oak Leaves.