Maker: Otto Schickle
Product Description: This LDO Knights Cross Case is an ultra rare correct case for an Otto Schickle cross. Relatively few of these cases exist, and they are extremely hard to find on the market. The exterior of this extremely desirable case is covered in a textbook black leatherette material. The leatherette retains virtually all of the original surface, with only extremely slight edge wear and some very minor marks on the lid. The top of the case is embossed in silver with the “LDO” logo of the “Leistungsgemeinschaft der Deutschen Ordenshersteller,” the organization responsible for regulating the manufacture of German awards between 1941 and 1945. The metal hinge and black painted “mushroom” style push button are intact and functional. Inside, this LDO Knights Cross Case features a lovely black velvet lined insert with recessed sections to hold the cross and neck ribbon. The white silk that lines the lid and covers the hinge on the interior is intact, with slight discoloration from age. Overall, this case is entirely sound, and shows only mild, expected patina and age. The condition is excellent. This case would be perfect for pairing with a Schickle Ritterkreuz, and it would be a challenge to find another.
Historical Description: The German Knights Cross of the Iron Cross. Instituted on September 1st, 1939, the Knights Cross has come to be known as one of the most recognized awards of World War Two. Awarded for acts of extreme bravery during combat, or successful leadership resulting in extraordinary success, the Knights Cross and its subsequent grades was among Germany’s highest military decorations. The Knights Cross was worn around the neck, suspended by a black, red, and white ribbon. Every member of Germany’s armed forces were eligible to be awarded the Knights Cross, provided the requirements of awarding had been met. The awarding process, determining whether or not a soldier was worthy of the award, began as a recommendation at the company level. This recommendation was then reviewed and either approved or denied. Upon approval, it would continue up the chain of command and end with Adolf Hitler, himself, making the final judgment. The Knights Cross was awarded 7,364 times during the course of the war. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 Knights Crosses were produced between September 1939 to May 1945.
The Knights Cross was constructed of three separate pieces, a core and two outer frames. The core, made of iron, zinc, or brass, was placed between the two outer silver frames and delicately hand soldered together. The Cross was then suspended by a large loop through the frames top eyelet. A ribbon of black, white, and red was then threaded through the suspension loop. The production of the Knights Cross was strictly regulated. Only the companies granted approval by the government were legally allowed to produce the Knights Cross.
Known Manufacturers: Juncker, Steinhauer & Luck, Klein & Quenzer, Otto Schickle, C.F. Zimmermann, Gebruder Godet, Unknown “3/4 Ring”.
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