Product Description: This cased Fire Service Award 2nd Class is an extremely tough set to find. The cross is beautiful, with eye-catching original color to the high-quality enamel work. There are no cracks or chips. The metalwork still retains most of the original silver finish, and shows only slight age and wear. The reverse is flat, with a slight patina. The suspension ring is unmarked, and retains a length of correct ribbon, which shows normal age toning. This award is housed in an outstanding, near mint example of the rare case of issue, which appears to have never been issued. The exterior of the case is virtually pristine, and the pebble grain leatherette covering is completely intact. The pushbutton and hinge are clean and function flawlessly. Inside, the cross is displayed beautifully on a black velvet insert. The lid is lined in white silk, and the hinge cover is partially split, as is common with these cases. This cased Fire Service Award 2nd Class displays extremely well, and would be tough to upgrade. The condition rates as excellent.
Historical Description: The German Fire Service Honor Award (Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste im Feuerwehr – Löschwesen) was officially instituted by Reichsminister Wilhelm Frick on June 22, 1936. The award took the form of a cross and was issued in two grades. Originally, both grades had a silver finish. The first class award was a pin-on badge, and the second class was a medal worn on a ribbon, with the first class award being larger. An order by Hitler in January 1938 made changes to this. After this time, both grades of this award were the same size, and both were worn on a ribbon, with the first class award now distinguished by having a gold finish. The second class award recognized members of volunteer and professional fire departments who completed 25 years of service, while the first class was for those who had made distinguished achievements or showed outstanding courage in fighting fires. The awards were made with or without manufacturer markings. Issue of these awards ceased at the end of WWII.
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