Product Description: The First Pattern Blood Order is an iconic and extremely desirable political award, extremely rare, and missing from many advanced collections. This is a really appealing example. It is made of 900 silver (90 percent pure silver) and has a very pleasing, even, old patina, with bright highlights contrasting nicely against the toned background. The medal shows wear, but retains great detail to both sides, particularly evident in the feathers of the eagle on the obverse. There are some bumps to the edges, including one hard knock, and a couple of scratches/scrapes to the reverse, but no major damage; the overall condition is excellent. This first pattern Blood Order medal is complete with its original ribbon, with a stitched buttonhole. The ribbon shows only minor age toning. Some of the bobbin thread stitching on the reverse of the ribbon buttonhole is missing, though this might have been like this when it was made. The lower reverse of the medal bears the name of the manufacturer (Josef Fuess in Munich), is stamped “900” for the silver content, and is numbered “1202.” Research on this number has shown that this award was issued to Andreas Herrschmann, whose NSDAP membership number was 519294. Born in Murnau am Staffelsee, Bavaria, in 1902, employed as a pastry chef, he participated in the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 and eventually joined the Nazi Party in 1931. His records remain in archives and photocopies of these will accompany the award. Overall, this first pattern Blood Order is an excellent, named example of what was one of the very most highly regarded awards during the Third Reich.
Historical Description: The “Blood Order” (Blutorden) was first awarded by Adolf Hitler on November 9, 1933, ten years after the failed “Beer Hall Putsch” in Munich, at which Hitler and around 2,000 of his allies and supporters had attempted to seize control of Munich. The official name of this award was “Ehrenzeichen des 9. November 1923” (Commemorative Medal of 9. November 1923). The medals were made of silver, with an eagle on the obverse, and on the reverse, the Feldherrnhalle building in Munich, where the Putsch had been stopped by Munich police officers. The Feldherrnhalle later became a Third Reich shrine and was where the officers of the SS swore their allegiance to Adolf Hitler. The first 1500 of these awards (the “first pattern”) were given to actual participants in the Putsch, who had been in the fighting that day, or had been in the march. Only about half of these men had actually been in the NSDAP in 1923, though many had been in the Freikorps. All of the Blood Order medals were individually numbered, with the exception of the awards given to Hitler and Goering. In May of 1938, new rules for awarding this metal were instituted. Men who had served time in prison for Nazi Party related activities, or who had been wounded in the service of the Party, before 1933, were now eligible for this medal. It was later also awarded to Austrians who had been involved in certain pro-Nazi activities in 1934 or earlier, and at Hitler’s discretion, could be awarded posthumously to certain individuals. All of the later, “second pattern” awards, that were not given to people who participated directly in the 1923 Putsch, had serial numbers over 1500. The total number of medals awarded was lower than 6,000 and may have been as low as 4,000. These medals are extremely rare today and are highly prized as one of the most prestigious and important political awards of Nazi Germany.
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