Offered is an original WW1 German Iron Cross 2nd Class for
42 mm wide white metal cross pattée with magnetic core, with a blackened cross pattée within a silver washed hatched border imposed, with loop and ring for ribbon suspension, the ring being ‘SW’ maker marked for Sy-Wagner of Berlin; the face with a central ‘W’ (for Wilhelm), a crown above, the date ‘1914’ below; the reverse with a central oak branch, the crowned cipher ‘FW’ (for Friedrich Wilhelm) above, the date ‘1813’ below; on original ribbon, previpusly ribbon bar sewn non combattants silken ribbon. These non combat awards were rarely made and were awarded to doctors, nurses and other non combattant members who had performed acts of gallantry not in the face of the enemy.
The Iron Cross was instituted on 10 March 1813 by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia during the War of Liberation against the Napoleonic French forces. It was reinstated in 1870-1871 for the Franco-Prussian War and again in 1914 for World War I. It is awarded for bravery. In spite of its iconic image and fame, it has always been made of modest materials and issued in relatively large numbers. It was designed by the neo-classical architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and reflects the cross of the Teutonic Knights in the late Middle Ages which was also the emblem of Frederick the Great.