Condition: Near Mint
Maker: L/56 – F&BL
Base Material: Zinc
Product Description: This L/56 2nd Class Spange is an exceptional example, that was never issued and has never been placed on a ribbon. These L/56 marked awards are rare to find. The obverse of this piece is absolutely beautiful, with virtually all of the original finish intact. The dull gray color of the zinc base metal is visible in a couple of tiny spots. The original, factory applied protective lacquer coating is still intact, along with all of the original detail. The reverse of this L/56 2nd Class Spange is flat and smooth, and retains all of the original finish. All four of the original prongs are intact and unrepaired, and remain just as they were when they left the factory. The back of the Spange is stamped with the LDO maker code “L/56” indicating manufacture by the firm of Funke & Brünninghaus, in Lüdenscheid (F&BL). This choice unissued Iron Cross Spange would be very difficult to upgrade. The condition rates as near mint.
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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