PRUSSIA – IRON CROSS – 1813 – 2ND CLASS – PRINZENGROßE
The Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class was first authorized by King Friedrich Wilhelm III in 1813 during the Napoleonic wars. It was unique as it was awarded to all ranks of soldiers in both classes.
The 1813 Iron Cross continued to be awarded into the 1830’s as soldiers who were identified worthy received their awards as supplies from 1813-1815 were limited due to production problems. This length of award times was also true of the 1870 and 1914 Iron Crosses although the extended award dates did not last as long as 1813.
Today we offer a privately purchased 1813 Iron Cross 2nd Class in the highly desirable and difficult to find Prinzengroße size. The literal translation for Prinzengroße is “Prince sized.” During the period it was not uncommon for the sons of aristocrats to wear uniforms, headdress, and swords similar to what their Fathers wore. As these uniforms were smaller, they needed smaller decorations to keep things to scale, thus Prinzengroße size. But then officers and aristocrats who wanted something different from their award decorations, might choose to wear a Prinzengroße sized award.
By the time that the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 and WW I came to pass the wearing of Prinzengroße Iron Crosses became more of an affectation for officers. This also spread to the Imperial German Air Service and the Kaiserliche Marine where Prinzengroße fight badges were used.
I would estimate that this example came from the period of 1820-1830. It measures 1.25” x 1.25”. The iron core is magnetic. The paint to the obverse is complete. But in each of the four panels we see ageing to the paint. This is absolutely quite common in 1813 Iron Crosses from 1813 to the 1830’s. In fact for me it is a matter of comfort. The paint to the reverse is also complete and shows the natural toning of nearly 190 years.
A short length of old ribbon completes to the presentation. This is a marvelous example of the 1813 Iron Cross 2nd Class Prinzengroße.
This is a consignment item.