WWII German Eagle Order First Class with Case - Pre 1943

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Original World War Two Pre 1943 German Eagle Order First Class or “Deutscher Adlerorden Verdienstkreuz 1.” in German.

Dated around 1941, this German Eagle Order First Class features a Maltese neck cross made of fire gold-plated silver and is finely enameled in white on both sides. The ring is stamped “900" on the reverse and comes complete with its original full-length neck ribbon and ties. The matching award case carries the impression "Verdienstkreuz I. Stufe des Ordens vom Deutschen Adler". The Order and its Case are both in very fine condition, the case only showing slight signs of wear with a few smudges on the cover.

The German Eagle Order was created in May 1937 to honor Foreign Nationals, with five classes and a silver medal of merit. Benito Mussolini was awarded a unique Grand Cross class in Gold with Diamonds. In 1939, the design was updated to allow for swords to be added for military merit, an approval for German nationals, and a special Grand Cross class in Gold.

The Order underwent reorganization again in 1943, resulting in seven classes adding silver and bronze merit medal classes. Award production was carried out by three manufacturers, while two other manufacturers made the merit medals. The distinct eagles mounted between the arms of the white Maltese Cross are used to identify each manufacturer.

The awards marked "900" and "Silber" were produced by Deschler & Sohn, while earlier versions made by Gebruder Godet & Co only bore a "900" mark, in 1943 Godet changed their hallmark adding a "21" after the “900”. Awards made by C.F. Zimmerman either display a "900" or are unmarked. Merit medals display markings of "835 Pr. Munze Berlin" or "835 Pr. Munze Wien".

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Collections: Archive Tags: Medals, Third Reich, WWII