Maker: C.F. Zimmermann; “20”
Product Description: This German Cross in Gold is a stunner. The obverse features nearly all of the original finish. The central swastika retains all of its original glossy black enamel, with only very minor scratches and marks from wear and handling over time, and no chips or losses. The frosting to the central disk remains nearly pristine, with some typical minor age patination. The gilding of the wreath is also excellent. On the sunburst outside the wreath, wear to high points has exposed areas of the brassy Tombak base metal, creating visually pleasing highlights. The reverse of this gorgeous German Cross in Gold is absolutely textbook, and complete, with no signs of repair. The typical manufacturer marking of “20” indicating manufacture by the firm of C. F. Zimmermann is in its expected location, stamped under the pin. The badge is held together with four textbook hollow rivets, which show no sign of ever having been messed with. The pin, hinge and catch are completely functional, and all of the reverse components retain the majority of the original silver finish, with only very minor wear to the outer edges to suggest that this impressive award was once worn on a soldier’s uniform. This German Cross in Gold is in above excellent condition overall, and has tremendous visual appeal overall. It is a choice example.
Historical Description: The German Cross in Gold was instituted on September 28th, 1941. The German High Command saw it necessary to create an award which would bridge the gap between the Iron Cross First Class and the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross. Once instituted, the German Cross became Germany’s second highest military decoration, second only to the Knights Cross and its subsequent grades. The German Cross was similar to the Knights Cross in regards that the award was not based off of any previous awards in German history. It was a unique creation which also ended with the war. There were approximately 26,000 recipients of the German Cross in Gold. This number, however, does not reflect the total amount of German Crosses produced.
The German Cross was actually not a cross at all, it took on the form of an eight-point star resembling some of the former breast awards of the Imperial era. The award came in two forms, a metal version and a cloth version. The metal version being the most complex of the two, it consisted of five separate pieces being fitted and held together using four to twelve rivets depending on who the manufacturer was. The cloth version follows the exact same design as the metal produced version except the entire cross is cloth with the exception of the laurel wreath still being metal.
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