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Here we have a beautiful early cased 1st Class War Merit Cross without Swords by Karl Gschiermeister. It was awarded for meritorious service behind the lines. It is constructed out of a die struck nickel-silver base that has been silver washed. The obverse depicts a centrally placed mobile swastika that is surrounded by an oak leaf wreath, which is tied together at the top and bottom, and is above a pebbled Maltese style cross. The full back reverse shows a nickel-silver soldered on block hinge, soldered on flat wire catch and coke bottle pin. The pin is maker marked: “50” (Karl Gschiermeister, Wein). The silver wash looks beautiful and it retains crisp detail! It weighs 15.63g and measures approximately 1 15/16 inches wide and tall. The award comes housed in a beautiful case. The case is constructed out of a wood and pressed cardboard base that is covered in a simulated, grained, black leather. The very top features an impressed silvered 1st class war merit cross without swords. The interior top lid is lined in pearl satin and has an underlying pad. The bottom interior of the case is made out of pressed cardboard that is covered in a black felt material and outlines the pin, hinge and catch assembly. To the front of the case is a steel round spring loaded closure button and the back shows an oxidized steel barrel hinge. Both continue to work well! The case shows minor scuffs to the leather yet remains in superb condition! It measures approximately 2 3/4 inches wide and long by 7/8 of an inch thick. A beautiful assembly!
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