BAVARIA – MILITARY SERVICE MEDAL – MAX JOSEPH – GOLDEN
The Max Joseph Golden Military Service Medal (MJGMSM) was the highest award for heroism given to enlisted men/NCO’s in the Bavarian Army. It was similar to Prussia’s Golden Military Merit Cross, which was often referred to as the “Enlisted Man’s Blue Max.” Like its Prussian counterpart, the MJGMSM was awarded in two grades. The Golden was the higher of the two classes. The other was the Silver level. This example is a privately-purchased piece, NOT the awarded piece. An issued piece can easily fetch $5,000. +! This is a very rare decoration. They were awarded sparingly. Depending on which expert you read, between 1,300 and 1,400 of the MJGMSM were awarded between 1870 and 1920. It is a rare bird any way that you look at it.
The decoration measures 1 1/4″ in diameter. A profile of König Maximilian Joseph is seen on the obverse. The reverse shows a rampant lion holding a shield with the Bavarian Coat-of-Arms and a sword. The lion is crowned. A correct blue, white, and black ribbon, which measures 2 1/4,” is attached. It is a fine example. This is most likely a post WW I private purchase example to replace a lost decoration or to serve as an additional “Wearer’s Copy” similar to the Blue Max where additional copies were acquired to supplement the original award piece.