Product Description: This Cased 1st Class Eagle Order is a gorgeous example of a very rare and extremely desirable Third Reich award. The smooth, white enamel on both sides is virtually flawless, with smooth, lustrous surfaces. The original silver finish on the award shows no wear, and has very attractive, even, dark toning from age, with some nice pastel blue shades. The suspension ring on this handsome medal is marked “900”, indicating the award is made from 90 percent pure silver. It’s also marked “21,” the PKA Lieferant code for the jeweler Gebr. Godet in Berlin, a premier maker of top quality awards. The cross is complete with its original wide ribbon loop and original ribbon. The ribbon is complete, with intact narrow tape ties, and shows light age toning. The original case of issue is covered with fine red leather, which retains bright original color. There is slight wear to the case, mostly to the underside, with some scattered scuffs and marks elsewhere. The gold embossed German eagle and swastika emblem on the lid remains intact. The hinges on the case are functional, but the clasp for the closure is missing. Inside, the silk interior of the case lid is marked with the designation of the award, “Orden vom Deutschen Adler Verdienstkreuz I. Stufe.” The black velvet colored insert on which the cross rests is perfect. This is a great example of the rare Cased 1st Class Eagle Order, in excellent condition overall.
Historical Description: The Order of the German Eagle was established in May 1937. It was intended to supply a diplomatic order for award to foreign nationals. The Award consisted of five classes and a silver medal of merit. A unique class of the Grand Cross the German Eagle Order in Gold with Diamonds was presented to Benito Mussolini. In 1939, a few modifications were made to the design. Swords could be added to each award for military merit, the award was then approved for German nationals, and a special award of the Grand Cross in Gold was instituted. In 1943, the Order was reorganized into seven classes with both a silver and a bronze medal of merit. Three known manufacturers produced the awards, and two manufacturers produced the merit medals. Each manufacturer can be identified by the differentiating eagles mounted between the arms of the cross. Deschler & Sohn produced awards marked “900” and “Silber”. Earlier awards made by “Gebruder Godet & Co.” marked theirs with just “900”, and in 1943 changed to the “900” & “21” marks. C.F. Zimmerman produced awards marked “900” or are unmarked. Merit medals are marked either “835 Pr. Munze Berlin” or “835 Pr. Munze Wien”.
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