Product Description: This is a fantastic, large and very impressive seven place medal bar for a man who served Germany in both World Wars. The overall condition is excellent, with only minor age patina. There is no major damage to note, and all of the awards are mounted on the correct corresponding ribbon. This attractive seven place medal bar starts with a 1914 pattern Iron Cross Second Class. It’s a really great example with an extremely appealing patina on the frame. The core retains nearly all of the original stain finish enamel paint, on both the front and reverse. Next in the lineup is a Hindenburg cross for combatants, the first authorized award introduced in the Third Reich. This one has nearly all of its original bronze lacquer finish, and is maker marked on the reverse. After that, comes a great example of the 1939 War Merit Cross 2nd Class with Swords. This is an early, Tombak cross, with great original finish, and what looks to be a maker mark on the ring. Next up is a 25-year Civil Service long service award. There is some very minor damage to the enamel on the swastika, but the medal retains its full original frosting with bright burnishing to the highlights. The final three medals are commemorative awards pertaining to WWI service: a Kyffäuserbund commemorative medal from the WWI veterans organization, a Hungarian “Pro Deo et Patria” medal, and a Bulgarian 1915-18 commemorative medal. Each of these are great examples, showing minimal wear; the Bulgarian medal retains full original luster, while the Kyffhäuser and Hungarian medals have an attractive, old patina. The long, brass pin on the reverse is intact and functional; the red felt backing has a couple of tiny moth nips. This seven place medal bar was worn by a man who was decorated for bravery in WWI as a combatant, and later had a career in civil service, including service during WWII. This piece is very interesting, very attractive, and makes an impressive display.
Historical Description: The German Military had a long tradition of issuing awards for achievements ranging from long service and participation in specific campaigns, to battlefield valor. Some types of awards were to be pinned on the uniform, others were medals that were suspended from ribbons. On the field uniform, only the ribbons for these medals were to be worn. But for dress uniforms used for parade and walking-out purposes, soldiers wore all of their medals in the form of medal bars that would be pinned to the uniform, on the soldier’s chest. Each medal bar was individually custom made by a tailor or a manufacturer of insignia. They were not issue items, they had to be purchased. These ranged from single mounted awards, to long racks of medals indicating a distinguished career of many years, sometimes with medals from both World Wars or even earlier awards of Imperial Germany. German medal bars were also worn on dress uniforms of civil, political, and paramilitary organizations.
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