German Empire, Imperial - Eisernes Kreuz II. Klasse 1914 by “KO” - Klein & Quenzer of Oberstein. Reinstituted August 5, 1914, by Emperor Wilhelm II, as the third endowment of the Iron Cross, the 2nd Class was awarded to personnel who performed a single act of bravery in combat. From March 16, 1915, the Iron Cross could also be awarded to members of the states allied with the Empire of Germany. 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 is constructed out of a nickel-silver base that has been silver washed. The obverse features; a pattée style cross that has a centrally placed embossed “W” (cypher of King Wilhelm I & II), below the royal crown of Prussia (top arm) and above “1914” (lower arm - reinstitution date of the Iron Cross), which is all on a black base and surrounded by a silvered ribbed/beaded row and a flat outlying border. The reverse shows, from top to bottom; the royal crown of Prussia, “FW” (cypher of King Friedrich Wilhelm III), a centrally placed three-piece oak leaf and acorn cluster and “1813” (lower arm - original creation date of the Iron Cross) to the bottom, which is all surrounded by that same border. To the top is a soldered-on loop, lug and ring marked “KO”, which holds 12 1/2 inches of imperial issue ribbon. The cross measures 1 11/16 inches wide and tall. A great example with a long ribbon!
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