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A Kriegsverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse mit Schwertern im Etui by L15 - Friedrich Orth of Wien. To read more about the L15 crosses see pages 145-149 of Maerz & Stimson’s “The War Merit Cross 1. Class and Higher Grades”. The 1st Class War Merit Cross with Swords was awarded to military personnel for meritorious service above and beyond the call of duty (which needed not occur while facing the enemy). The award is constructed out of a die struck zinc 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 that has two crossed broad swords coming out of its corners. The full back reverse is maker marked on the nickel-silver coke bottle pin: “L15”. It also has a soldered on oval plate block hinge and soldered on oval plate C-shaped catch. It measures 1 15/16 inches wide and tall. The award comes housed in an 1st Class Iron Cross case. I thought about selling it separately but they’ve been together forever. Look at the impression on the top lid. Neat! The case is constructed out of a wood and pressed cardboard base that is covered in a simulated black grained leatherette. The top features a silver foil outline of a 1st Class Iron Cross. The interior lid is lined in a fibrous felt that has an underlying pad. It may be a replacement. The bottom interior of the case is constructed out of a cardboard base that is covered in a tan fibrous felt material that outlines a pin, hinge and catch assembly. To the very front is a round gilded steel push button and the back features a steel gilded piano hinge. Both continue to work very well. It is in great condition. The case measures 2 11/16 inches wide and deep and 7/8 of an inch thick. A neat set!
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