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A 1st Class Order of the German Eagle - Neck Cross (1939-43 Verdienstkreuz des Ordens vom Deutschen Adler - 1. Stufe) in Issue Case by Gebr. Godet & Co. of Berlin. The Order of Merit of the German Eagle, was instituted May 1, 1937, and was awarded by Hitler to foreign nationals who had made a meritorious contribution to the German Reich on the recommendation of the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs. It is constructed out of a multi-piece die struck 900 silver content base that has been gold fire gilded and contains white enamel work all behind a protective lacquer coating. The obverse features a Maltese style white cross that has four national eagles between each arm of the cross. The reverse is the same as the obverse. To the top is a fan, a “900” (silver content designation) and “21” marked integral ring and a lined suspension loop. The award measures 50mm wide. Through the loop is a red, white and black rayon ribbon that has been stitched to size and has two smaller stitched on red rayon ribbon tie pieces. The award comes housed in its appropriate issue case. The case is constructed out of a wood and pressed cardboard base that is covered in a smooth red simulated leather. To the very top is a gold National eagle and an exterior thin line border. To the front is a tombak/steel closure clasp. To the back are two piano hinges that are covered in the simulated leather. The interior-bottom of the case is constructed out of a pressed cardboard base that is covered in a thick black fibrous felt material. It has a round recessed portion for the award and a rectangular one for the ribbon. The interior top is constructed out of a pearl silk material with, in gold: “Verdienstkreuz I. Stufe des Ordens vom Deutchen Adler” behind an underlying pad. The exterior has the odd scuff. The case measures 5 1/2 inches wide by 7 1/8 inches deep and 1 ¼ inch thick. A beautiful award.
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