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  1. This was the highest Prussian military award (for other ranks), sometimes known as the "Pour le Mérite for Unteroffiziere and Mannschaften". Awarded only to non-officer grades. Established in February 1864 for military valour and ceased at the end of World War I. The decoration was orginally all gold, but by mid 1916 gold was replaced by silver with a gold finish. Most originals found have a silver appearance with only slight traces of gold. Not to be confused with the Militär Ehrenzeichen I. Klasse, which was identical, but in silver. Recipients received a special pension at the end of thei
  2. Manfred von Richthofen, Decorations Shown are the decorations of Rittmeister Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, the greatest ace of WW1. It is unknown who now possesses these decorations. For many years these were in possession of the family, and were some of the few treasured mementos kept by his mother, Kunigunde Baroness von Richthofen. The home of the Richthofens in Schweidnitz (Upper Silesia) was kept as a museum until the last days of World War 2. Before the Red Army invaded Silesia (Schlesien), the Richthofen family had to flee to the West and only a few cherished possessions were brou
  3. Königreich Bayern, 1806-1918 Militär-Verdienstorden, 4. Klasse mit Schwertern. Silver, Gold and enamels. Slight damage to enamel on one cross arm to reverse. juweller's mark, Weiss & Cie. (Hofjuwelier) and 800 silver mark on swords, on original worn ribbon. MIlitärverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse mit Schwertern Militärverdienstkreuz 2. Klasse mit der Krone und Schwertern, rear of sword with D for Deschler, München Militärverdienstkreuz 3. Klasse, on wide modern replacement ribbon Mit Schwertern und der Krone Mit Schwertern
  4. The three Hanseatic Cities of Hamburg, Bremen and Lübeck instituted a decoration for war services in 1915. These decorations were manufactured by the Firm Fahnen Fleck in Hamburg 11 (founded 1882), which is still going strong.* Each cross was of identical design in red enamels, silvered at the reverse, apart from the central medallion on the averse, which bore the emblem of that state. They also had different ribbons. The rear medallion bears the central date, and around it the text Für Kriegsverdienst. The Bremen decoration in this photo is mounted on an Austrian style fold ribbon,
  5. Felddienstauszeichnung (Campaign Medal), 1840-1866, made of cannon bronze. The obverse bears the crowned L Monogram of Ludwig III. of Hessen-Darmstadt within a wreath of laurel to the left and oakleaves to the right and over the inscription: GESTIFTET AM 14. IUNI 1840 (obsolete style of Latin inscription), the date of its inauguration. Reverse with inscription "Für Treuen Dienst im Kriege" within a wreath of oak leaves. Awarded for service in one of the campaigns, either 1848/49, 1864 or 1866 for the last time. Allgemeines Ehrenzeichen für Tapferkeit, (General Service Medal for Valour) Si
  6. Württemberg, Kingdom Kriegsdenkmünze, 1866. Inaugurated by Wilhelm I. in 1840, last awarded for 1866 by König Karl. Bronze, on newer ribbon. Crowned K within a laurel wreath, reverse with crossed swords , within a canopy the inscription Für treuen Dienst in einem Feldzug Silberne Verdienst-Medaille 1892-1918, Silber medal with portrait of Wilhelm II. of Württemberg. The reverse with the inscription Für Tapferkeit und Treue within a laurel wreath, on original ribbon Wilhelmskreuz 1915 Für öffentliche Wohlfahrt - for public welfare. Bronze cross with a crowned W and date 1915, the reve
  7. Großherzogtum Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach Allgemeines Ehrenzeichen für Kriegsverdienste mit Schwerterspange, 1914 Solid silver medal of the Allgemeines Ehrenzeichen with date 1914 and swords clasp. To the front is the portait in heavy relief of the Grand Duke. Inscription: Wilhelm Ernst Grossherzog von Sachsen. The reverse bears the inscription "DEM VERDIENST" over 1914 with a wreath of oakleaves. Reverse is fitted with a simple pin for wear, mounted on correct ribbon in the colours of the state. Dienstauszeichnung 3. Klasse, 1913-18, silvered bronze alloy medal, the reverse identical
  8. Gedächtnismedaille für 1849 Medal for the year 1849, on short length of original ribbon, in the colours of the House Order, yellow with two edge stripes in silver thread. Awarded to soldiers of foreign armies and to those troops from Baden remaining loyal, who put down the revolt in Baden in the year 1831. Many of the Baden regiments mutinied und held the fortress of Rastatt, foreign troops from Prussia, Bavaria and some other states were called in to quell the mutiny. Following this, nearly all of the Baden regiments, with just a few exceptions were disbanded, and later re-formed. The medal
  9. Königreich Preußen, 1701-1918 Befreiungskriege, 1813-1814 and 1815, campaign medals Bronze from captured French canon, 2nd series cast in Berlin, edge stamped: AUS EROBERTEM GESCHUTZ (first series with round cross ends was cast in Paris) Medal for 1813 on newer replacement ribbon. Medal for 1813-1814 on later 19th century ribbon. Medal for 1814 on original period ribbon. Medal for 1815 (Waterloo, "La Belle Alliance", Quatre Bras, Ligny, etc.) On copy ribbon Early to Mid 19th Century Neufchâtel Medal for the suppression
  10. Herzogtum Braunschweig-Lüneburg Herzoglich Braunschweigischer Haus Orden Heinrichs des Löwen 1834 Ritterkreuz 2. Klasse. Silver/enamels/Goldmalerei, older example ca. 1870, on original period ribbon No maker's mark. Most examples were by Siebrecht or Jürgens. Kriegsverdienstkreuz 2. Klasse 1914. Oxidised bronze, on shortened length of original ribbon. With Monogram EA for Ernst August, Herzog von Braunschweig. (old spelling: Brunswiek)
  11. Here is a selection of decorations of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and one of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The decoration on the far right is the Kriegsverdienstkreuz 1914 2nd class of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and bears the mongram of Grand Duke Adolf-Friedrich VI of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. This was from 1914-16 in silver, thereafter, silver plated copper or white metal, as in this example. The other decorations are of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, the Kriegsverdienstkreuz 1914, 1st and 2nd class, with the mongram of Friedrich-Franz of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. They are of bronze finely gilded. The clasp is the Lan
  12. Order instituted in December 1841 by Fürst Constantin. The 3rd class in April 1844. Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen is the Schwäbisch-Catholische Linie of the House of Hohenzollern. Hausorden von Hohenzollern Ehrenkreuz III. Klasse, silver and enamels, presumably by Schneider in Wien The original ribbon mounted Austrian style Etui with maker's mark, Schneider, Wien, silk lining with age damage. Etui of wood, brown leather, purple velvet and silk, lid with gold embossed H.E.K. III.Cl.
  13. Militär St. Heinrich Orden Königlicher Militär St. Heinrichs Orden, Ritterkreuz. Inst., 7. October 1736 by Kurfürst Friedrich August III. The oldest military decoration of the German states. Awarded only to officers. Motto: Virtuti in Bello. Removed from a medal bar. Unmarked, presumably by Scharffenberg, Dresden. Awarded altogether 3.450 times. Slight damage to enamel. Silberne Medaille des Militär St. Heinrich Ordens. Awarded only to NCOs and other ranks, who were not entitled to an "Orden". It was also awarded in Gold. On replacement ribbon. Under neck portrait is si
  14. Awarded 1850 by the provisional government to former soldiers of the Schleswig-Holstein Army for the uprising in 1848/49 against Danish rule. It was cast from the iron from the wreck of the Danish warship "Christian VIII.", destroyed in shallow waters off Eckernförde. The uprising failed, although actively supported by Austria, Prussia and the German states. Blackened cast iron with some slight age corrosion with a length of older unworn ribbon. A simple decoration with a historic significance, offered today at around 160-200 Euros. Schleswig-Holstein after 186
  15. Großherzogtum Oldenburg Medal for the War of 1866. Oldenburg was one of the few states on the side of the Prussians. Inscription: Nicolas Friedrich Peter, Großherzog von Oldenburg, the reverse with 1866 within a laurel wreath, on an original replacement ribbon manufactured before 1945. With a few edge knocks. Kriegsverdienstkreuz or Friedrich August Kreuz, 1st and 2nd class, latter on original narrow ribbon with set bar: VOR DEM FEINDE "in the face of the enemy" 1st class version, pinback, in blackened iron, 2nd class in blackened zinc.
  16. Fürstentum Schaumburg-Lippe Decoration for distinguished war service, 2nd class, 1914, finely gilded bronze on shortened original ribbon, plain reverse. Fürstentum Lippe-Detmold Decoration for war service, 2nd class, 1914, bronze with fine guilding on original ribbon
  17. Herzogtum Nassau-Oranien, 1806-1866 Medal for the war of 1866 against Prussia, this was the very last decoration of the state of Nassau, the Duchy was annexed by Prussia after the war of 1866. Light bronze, monogram A for Adolf, Herzog von Nassau, with a modern replacement ribbon. Decoration has now become scarce in recent years.
  18. Königreich Hannover This was the very last decoration awarded by the Kingdom of Hannover, which was dissolved in 1866 Known as the Langensalza Medaille, was awarded to all, who took part in the battle of that name on 27. June 1866. The battle of Langensalza was a victory for the Hannoverian troops, but the general situation thereafter forced the Hannoverian army under Georg V. v. Hannover to capitulate. The Kingdom was annexed by Prussia and became simply Provinz Hannover of the Prussian state. Georg V., who had always been blind, was obliged to leave for exile. The Hannoverian A
  19. This is a fine set of mounted medals which I got in the late 1970s. It is possibly from a policeman in the former German Pacific Colony of Ponape, or from the forces sent to relieve during the uprising in 1910. The medal bar includes the 1914 Iron Cross on a ribbon for combattants along with the Cross of Honour awarded in 1934. The next medal is the Kolonial Denkmünze with the gilt bar PONAPE 1910/11, set on correct ribbon. It is folllowed by the Faithfull Service Cross for 25 years. The wearer was probably a civiil servant after WW1. The medals are nicely mounted on a dark green cloth ba
  20. A Prussian Iron Cross 1st class that I got many years ago in London in early 1968. Paid about 2 pounds for it then. It is a convex example with a wide straight pin on a wide hinge, the reverse had orignally a highly polished, plated finish. Alloy with a high silver content and with a magnetic iron core. The cross shows a lot of wear and the frame has opened slightly in some places. This was probably a private purchase example, differing slightly from standard awarded examples. No makers marks. A black wound badge, official issue, original black finish over magnetic iron, with
  21. The wound badge was instutued in March 1918 for wounds sustained. The Gold award for 5-6 wounds, Silver for 3-4 and Black for 1-2 wounds. Due to wartime shortages, these were of stamped zinc or iron, with a hollow back, and usually a rounded iron pin. There are also the "cutout" variations, often worn by officers. After the war, issues continued till around 1936. Later examples were sometimes made in better quality metal. Some examples of the wound badge in sterling or silver alloy are known. Depicted are examples of the standard isssue of March 1918, Gold and Black are in pressed iro
  22. Decorations of the state of Anhalt, Herzogtum Anhalt-Dessau (Gesamtstaat) Kriegsverdienstkreuz 2. Klasse 1914, on ribbon for combattants. Darkened bronze cross, the central medallion bearing the Chiffre F for Herzog Friedrich von Anhalt-Dessau, the medallion within a wreath of oak leaves. To the upper arm of the cross is the Crown of the Duke of Anhalt, the lower arm of the cross bears the date 1914. The medallion to the reverse bears the inscription Für Verdienst im Kriege, no wreath to the reverse. On original, slightly faded short ribbon. Medaille für Treue in der Arbeit. Faithful
  23. The Prussian Red Cross decoration was awarded in 3 classes and instituted by Kaiser Wilhelm II. on 1. October 1898. The first class was a partly enamelled pinback cross, the second was in silver with enamel and the third was in bronze without enamels. The decoration is also known to be awarded with bars for earlier campaigns. Bars were not awarded after 1914. Photos depict three variations of the Third Class medal, an early gilded bronze example, a zinc example as from 1916 and a steel example on a lady's bow. The suspension rings on the iron and zinc examples are of spring steel,
  24. Schlesisches Bewährungsabzeichen, 1919-1923 (semi official) 2nd class on ribbon for 3 months service in the struggle for Schlesien (Silesia) against Polish supremacy attempts 1st class, pinback for 6 months service. These were awarded on initiative of the Generalkommando VI. Armee-Korps in Oberglogau, but had to be paid for by the recipient at at a price of around 3,50 M. Blackened iron, partly silver finish. These were not officially recognised in the Weimar period, which had no official state decorations. These were then officially recognised in a new law during the office of Reichspräsi
  25. Bavaria: Militär-Verdienst-Kreuz 3. Klasse with Swords, Zinc, as from 1917/18. Established originally in 1866 by King Ludwig II. for the Austro Prussian War, the decoration was divided into several classes with and without swords, and also into a Militär-Verdienst-Orden, which was awarded to officers only This example is a late war production in Zinc with Iron Swords, and shortened original ribbon, as introduced around mid 1917, due to metal shortages, and also more befitting to wartime fieldgrey tones. Zinc is showing some slight oxidation in places, which should be remo
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