G09403.2 WWI Iron Cross First Class

G09403.2 WWI Iron Cross First Class

The award of the Iron Cross first class had to be preceded by the award of the Iron Cross second class. The Iron Cross first class was mostly awarded to officers in WWI, however, it could be awarded to enlisted men or NCO’s, one of which was Adolf Hitler.

The front of the cross shows the date of institution (1914) at the bottom, the imperial crown at the top and “W” for Wilhelm in the center. The rear of the cross normally has a pin and catch, and is either unmarked or has a maker mark, but reverse details vary.

The basic cross is made of an iron core painted black within a two piece frame of silvered metal, usually brass.  The front of the frame is cut out to show the iron core, but the back of the first class frame is solid. It measures about 1 3/4” square.

This beautiful example is nicely vaulted and has a coke bottle shaped pin with a catch in the shape of a “C”. The black paint is about 85%, with a few rust spots. The frame shows some patina.

This is part of a small grouping I bought at a local militaria / gun show. (I really like Iron Crosses, but I can’t keep all of them!)

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