Product Description: This is a very appealing Iron Cross First Class Spange, with a striking design. This relatively scarce Spange variant is attributed to the firm of Eugen Schimdthausler. It’s a high quality and presumably early piece, made of a brass alloy (Tombak). The obverse of this piece is absolutely beautiful, with bold details. All of the original finish is intact, and there is a very nice, even patina, with attractive dark toning in the recesses. The reverse of this EK1 First Class Spange is flat and smooth. The hardware setup is intact and unrepaired, and features a block hinge and flat wire catch, and a broad, tapering attachment pin that remains functional. Interestingly, the underside of the pin is marked “20,” the PKZ number of Fritz Zimmermann in Stuttgart. The “20” stamp is the same typeface used by Zimmermann, and it is in the same place Zimmermann marked their products, under the pin. There is speculation that Zimmermann could be linked to this design but that can not be verified at this time. This tough-to-find award displays exceptionally well. The overall condition rates as excellent.
Historical Description: When Adolf Hitler reinstituted the historical Iron Cross decoration on September 1, 1939, he also instituted a special new award, the “Wiederholungsspange,” to recognize people who had earned the 1914 Iron Cross during WWI and whose actions in this new war merited being awarded the Iron Cross again. There were two different patterns of this Spange, for the First and Second Classes of the Iron Cross. Both of them took the form of a German national eagle and swastika emblem, with outstretched wings, over a bar with the date “1939.” The First-Class award had a pin attachment or screw back, to enable it to be worn on the uniform pocket over the 1914 Iron Cross. Some combo-type awards are also known, with the Spange fastened to the top arm of the 1914 cross. The Second Class Spange had two or four prongs on the reverse and was affixed to a length of 1914 pattern Iron Cross ribbon. Most of the Spange awards were made of a brass alloy (Buntmetall) with a silver finish, while late war examples were produced from zinc. As with most German combat awards, there were many variations of the Spange produced, including miniature awards for the ribbon bar.
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