Product Description: We are pleased to be able to offer this outstanding, cased Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross. This is a particularly desirable set, made by Godet. The beautiful oak leaves are the 2nd pattern type, made of die stamped “900” silver. The surface has taken on very appealing dark age toning, with an all-original, uncleaned look. The polished highlights remain smooth and glossy. This is a textbook original award, with the correct die flaw on the edge of the leaves, as well as high relief, with crisp details. The reverse of this lovely award is maker marked with Godet’s PKZ number “21” as well as the silver content, “800.” The attachment loop for the neck ribbon is intact and perfect, with no repairs. The award is housed in a wonderful case, which is correct for this piece. The exterior of the case retains virtually all of the original surface, with no color fading and only minimal wear. The pushbutton and hinge function flawlessly. The interior of the case features a high quality black velvet lining, with insets for the Oak Leaves as well as for the correct original full length ribbon, which is present. The ribbon has a couple of tiny stains and minimal age toning, with bright original color. The silk lid lining and hinge cover in the case are intact, with light age patina and a few areas of dark staining. These Cased Oak Leaves are a choice example of a very rare and desirable set, which has gotten very hard to find on the market in recent years. The condition rates as near mint.
Historical Description: The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was instituted on September 1, 1939, and was awarded for skilled leadership, distinguished conduct, or individual acts of bravery in combat. At that time, it was the highest award for bravery that a German soldier could earn. On June 3, 1940, the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross were introduced to further recognize extremely distinguished achievements by soldiers who had already been awarded the Knight’s Cross. The Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves award was in the form of a finely struck cluster of oak leaves, made of silver, and affixed to a suspension loop from which the Knight’s Cross would be suspended when worn. On September 28, 1941, two further grades of the Knight’s Cross were introduced. The Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords was nearly identical to the Oak Leaves but featured two crossed swords beneath the leaf cluster. The new highest grade, the Oak Leaves with Swords and Diamonds, was intricately made, and recipients were given one set with rhinestones and a second set with real diamonds. On December 29, 1944, with the war coming to an end, a highest and final grade was introduced, the Knight’s Cross with Gold Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Originally intended for the 12 most distinguished service members in the German military, made of real gold and diamonds, only one set was awarded before the end of the war.
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