IRON CROSS – 1914 – 1st CLASS – PILLOW-BACK DESIGN – WARENHAUS FÜR ARMEE UND MARINE HALLMARK.
This is one of my favorite Iron Cross designs. It is flat rather than vaulted. Its obverse features generally good paint. Some paint wear is visible on the crown, “W,” and “1914’s” high points, which always see paint loss first. I rate its paint at 95%. The frame’s beading and patina are both quite pleasing.
The cross’s reverse reveals the “pillow-back” design. Four small “pillows” are placed around the decoration’s edges to form a smaller cross-shaped center. This center point features the Warenhaus für Armee und Marine’s hallmark. [The latter was founded during 1887/1888 in Berlin. A military effects store similar to Berlin’s C.E. Juncker, it essentially served as a department store for army and navy officers in need of uniforms, headdresses, decorations, and so on].
The Iron Cross’s reverse displays a mirrored surface, which increases its appeal. It is also nonmagnetic, meaning it was more likely sold to a naval officer. It was quite common for nonmagnetic Iron Crosses to be sold to naval officers, so that the salt water would not rust them as it would those made of true iron.
It is a most unusual Iron Cross variation that we are most pleased to share with you.