A beautiful private purchased Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse by Alois Rettenmaier! The 1st Class Iron Cross was awarded to those who had received the 2nd class Iron cross and preformed 3-5 acts of bravery in the face of the enemy, or actions that were clearly above and beyond the call of duty. It is a multi-piece, die struck construction that has been soldered together. The single piece core is constructed out of an iron metal base that has been black enamel painted. The frame and back plate are constructed out of a nickel-silver base that has been silver washed. A final protectant lacquer was applied over the entire award. The obverse features; a pattée style cross that has a centrally placed embossed mobile swastika and “1939” to the lower arm, which is all on a black base and surrounded by a silvered ribbed/beaded row and a flat outlying border. The full back reverse features the correct screwplate and central nut assembly. All of the components remain in well working condition. The reverse is maker marked “L56” (Alois Rettenmaier, GmbH & Co. KG). So what’s with the sideways “S” on the bottom of the back plate? Well, no, it’s not a flaw or damage this is a secondary mark as is commonly found on these piece by this maker. Why it’s there is open to speculation, some say it’s a benchmark for the individual who assembles the cross, others say it’s an inspection mark. Regardless it’s a unique feature of these crosses and only adds to the interest! It measures 1 ¾ inches tall and wide. It has nicely aged with time. The cross has age and honest wear while retaining 99% of paint. See page 373 of “The Iron Cross 1. Class” by Maerz & Stimson. A super piece! The award has beautiful patina with age. The paint remains 97%+ intact. It measures approximately 1 ¾ inches wide and tall. A wonderful piece!
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