Product Description: This Iron Cross First Class L/15 Spange is a very rare variant of this desirable award. This is an early produced, second pattern piece. It is made of Tombak. The obverse is gorgeous, with a pleasant, even patina, and some great pastel colors to the toning. It shows only a hint of wear, and boasts fine, crisp details. The reverse of this First Class L/15 Spange is flat and smooth. It’s maker marked on the center with incised lettering within a box, that reads “L/15,” the LDO maker code for the firm of Otto Schickle. The hardware is intact and functional, and features a block hinge, a tapered pin, and a sheet metal catch. There are no repairs, and the reverse shows an even, uncleaned patina. These awards by this maker are extremely hard to find. This is a choice example, in excellent condition.
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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