Wartime Type “A” Steinhauer & Luck Knight’s Cross

Condition: Near Mint

Maker: Steinhauer & Luck

Variant: Type A


Product Description: This Steinhauer & Luck Knight’s Cross is a very appealing example of this iconic and extremely desirable award. The iron core of the cross retains most of the original, factory applied matte black paint, with wear to the “1939” date. Most of the paint is missing from the central swastika emblem. Sometimes, recipients intentionally removed this paint to make the swastika stand out more; it is not known if this is the case here. The frame of the cross has light, uncleaned patina throughout. The reverse of the frame’s upper arm is stamped with “800,” indicating the silver content of the frame (80 percent pure silver, a typical German alloy of that era).  This is an earlier Type “A” cross with the correct knee flaw which can be seen in the corner of the 9 o’clock and 12 o’clock inner arm corner.  Prominent flawing can also be seen on the 3 o’clock arm beading, also seen only on the type “A” crosses. The suspension loop is complete and intact, with typical light toning, and is also marked “800.” This attractive cross is complete with a complete, full length, red, white and black folded ribbon. The ribbon shows only extremely slight age toning, with no damage. This Steinhauer & Luck Knight’s Cross is housed in a short style, early post war style case. The exterior of the case shows slight wear. The color is strong, and nearly all of the original leatherette covering is intact, with some small losses around the hinge. The push button is functional. Inside, the cross and ribbon rest on a black velvet insert that displays the award nicely. The artificial silk lid lining shows light patina throughout, and some scattered stains. This tough-to-find set displays beautifully.




Historical Description: The German Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross.  Instituted on September 1st, 1939, the Knight’s 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 Knight’s 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 Knight’s 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 Knight’s Cross was awarded 7,364 times during the course of the war.  It is estimated that approximately 20,000 Knight’s Crosses were produced between September 1939 to May 1945.     

 The Knight’s 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 Knight’s Cross was strictly regulated.  Only the companies granted approval by the government were legally allowed to produce the Knight’s Cross. 

 Known Manufacturers: Juncker, Steinhauer & Luck, Klein & Quenzer, Otto Schickle, C.F. Zimmermann, Gebruder Godet, Unknown “3/4 Ring”.


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