This is a consignment item and an absolute first-time offering for Der Rittmeister Militaria. The term “Prinzengroße” means prince-sized, and refers to medals that run from two-thirds to three-quarters the size of an original decoration (most often an Iron Cross or Pilot Badge). They came about from the desires of 18th and 19th Century noble and aristocratic fathers to outfit their young sons in exact replicas of their own military uniforms, complete with matching headgear, weapons and medals. Since these uniforms had to be tailored down to fit the youths’ smaller proportions, the accouterments had to follow suit. Eventually, the smaller decorations came to be favored by some of the adults, particularly from the Napoleonic era forward. By the time WW I arrived, Prinzengroße Iron Crosses had become quite a popular affectation among certain officers of noble and royal lineage.
Today we are offering an incredibly rare Prinzengroße 1870 Iron Cross 2nd Class with its original presentation case. The Iron Cross measures 1 ½” x 1 ½.” Attached to the cross is the loop where the ribbon was placed when the medal was displayed on a tunic. While the Iron Cross itself is noteworthy, the presentation case is what makes it so rare. This is the FIRST time I have seen an Iron Cross 2nd Class’s case! I had seen the case for the 1st Class award occasionally, but NEVER before beheld one for the 2nd Class – until now. The leatherette case measures ¾” x 3″ x 3.” A gold trim design graces the exterior cover’s edges. Although its top has a blackish cast, the leatherette is a dark burgundy in color. Its interior reveals a burgundy silk-covered upper lid, while its bottom half is covered with dark burgundy velvet. The bottom half is fitted to hold the Iron Cross and its jump ring. Some scrapes and minor damage affect the upper half’s silk. The Iron Cross itself is in very fine condition. The paint on the obverse and reverse is excellent.
The entire presentation is superb. It would make a fine addition to any Iron Cross collection.