Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Gordon Williamson

1914 Clasp to 1870 EK

Recommended Posts

I saw it allright and now I'm pissed at myself because I wasn't fast enough. That doesn't mean that I would have had the money to buy it offcourse.. :speechless:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good morning Gentlemen!

Thanks for the kind words. A special thanks to Marshall for his help with the posting of this and other photos to come. I'm a newer member here. I see some old friends from other forums here so I feel right at home.

The photos are my intellectual property and copyrighted as such on the back of the original images. I have no objections to their use for study purposes with proper credit. I have given Marshall the okay to post as necessary to further our collective knowledge and enjoyment. After all we are here to learn and I'm glad to help out.

The 1870 GC that is posted by Marshall and the close up posted by Daniel ( no problem here either) is of the same cross that I'm in the process of acquiring for my collection. It belongs to a very good friend of mine whose collecting focus has shifted away from medals and decorations. A companion 1870 GC, also Wagner made, was just marked 14 Loth. That one has since been sold. I believe I sent Marshall pictures of that one also if a comparison is needed.

My opinion about this Wagner GC is that it may have been made as early as the 1895 Jubilee period but more likely during the 1914-18 War. Obviously for display purposes as all the awarded GCs are accounted for. Accurately dating a piece like this is problematic at best without corraborating info.

As the pictures show, the quality is such that this is not the usual reproduction for collectors. The finely detailed iron core is properly fixed between two silver frames. The ribbon loop is oval. I don't have the dimensions and the weight at hand but I can get that for anyone interested. All in all about as good as can be had for a GC example.

Interesting thread!

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing I find very interesting is that the mark on the GC seems to be a mis-strike... but quality control was not feeling very pro-active that day? Is there any possibility that the mark was applied at some time other than when the cross was made?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tony-

many thanks for your unselfish offering.

what is the width of the ribbon?

measurements would also be appreciated if

you are so inclined.

again, this is a gem.

BTW, does the MM help this piece or hurt it?

it is on the reverse, so to me is less of an issue,

but i have to agree with rick that this would

presumably be a piece one would want no mistakes on.

thanks,

joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys!

I'm glad to be here and to be able to participate.

I had the choice between the MMed GC and one with the 14 Loth. I chose the MMed one shown for several reasons. The MM is one and the condition of the core finish had better eye appeal to me. The MMed one clearly identifies Wagner as the maker and IMO an intellectually more valuable example.

What I really like about these examples is the canted FW / and the date numerals / on the core reverse in true GC fashion. On most other GC copies these features are just vertical without the cant.

With these Grand Crosses being display pieces I don't think that the double bounce of the hammer on the marking die was an issue. Probably a lite tap for positioning followed by a second one to impress the TM. Albeit a little out of register after the initial tap. Interesting detail but a minor one IMO as the original award pieces were not MMed.

Also keep in mind we are looking at a magnified view and it is more apparent here than looking at the piece in hand. Double punched TMs are not unknown. I have an L/21 marked TR era U-boat badge that shows a similar out of register double punched mark on the pin.

As for the mark being applied at a later date? Good question. I didn't see any evidence on either GC that the mark was applied post assembly. I will check again more closely with that in mind on the one I have just to make sure. I will do this when I retrieve it from the safe to measure and weigh it.

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Tony.

So, for us, your cross either the curse or the cure.

Thanks Brian,

Once again!

To quote my friend Marshall from some previous correspondence. "I've thrown the cat in among the pigeons!" :cat::speechless1:

All the best,

Tony

Edited by Tony J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Brian von Etzel

Tony, seeing your cross and the quality and knowing 'in hand' the quality of these tiny clasps, I am more convinced they were indeed produced by Wagner.

Why so many for so few?

That is the question probably best answered by a simple speculation, they presumed more vets would be a part of the war effort behind the lines and given these for their later in life service.

My great-grandfather was a young man when he served in the 1866 war and still a Lt. when the 1870 war began. He was one of a few in his regiment to earn the 1870 EKII. But these guys were OLD when 1914 began. Perhaps Wagner just overdid the production and sold them off after the war as souvenirs...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brian,

You have some thoughtful points to consider.

I often wondered if this was just a case of separate markings used by the official maker to differenciate decorations for supply to the government and those for commercial sale as duplicates. We know this type of system was used some years later during the TR era. A pertinant question to explore could be 'Why wouldn't this possibility exist during the Imperial era?

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Brian von Etzel

I thought it DID exist during the Imperial period. No question. Simply Juncker on their flight badges didn't incorporate all the markings. I was only referring to the quantity. But, with respect to quantity, you can't add up ALL the ones we have and exceed the 1100 or so awarded and duplicates on medal bars. I've counted four different EKII 1870's on my great-grandfather's photos. He was a Lt. Gen. but no less vain than a retired Hauptmann.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops!!!!

A slight correction to my posts #77 and 81.

I incorrectly mentioned the second 1870 Wagner GC was marked 14 Loth. THIS IS NOT CORRECT.

Looking over the pictures I have of it I noticed it is marked 13 Loth. 13 LOTH is the correct mark.

My error. It's said that the memory goes first as we age, sorry about that! :speechless:

Tony

Edited by Tony J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brian,

We know that the official awards numbered 659 in November 1915 and the number grew to 859 awards by October 11, 1917. These figures are quoted on page 150 of my copy of 'Das Eiserne Kreuz 1813-1939' published by Deutsches Ordensmuseum Ludenscheid.

If these figures are believable for that time frame, there was still a year and a month left till the end of the war in November 1918. How many more WHS could have been awarded in that last year? I don't think very many. Even if we accelerate the progression of later awards a bit during the final year of the war, I doubt the total official awards would excede 1000. This is just speculation on my part here.

The other question that may be impossible to answer is, 'How many duplicate awards were made?'. 2X, 3X, 4X the amount of official awards? I don't know.

More to ponder.

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing is certain: I've kept the Z?hringer L?wen orden under close survailence during the year and I've seen only 2 1st cl. RKs with X for sale this whole time out of a total of 725 awarded (of them 514 during ww1). As for the 1st cl. w/o X I've seen 6 for sale out of a 5445 awarded (between 1866-1918). How many Spanges have you guys seen? I don't how many exactly, but I know it's quite a few. IMHO too much for such a rare award for all of them to be real.

As for the question of how many of them were produced, it's totally reasonable to assume that more were made than ever awarded. But still.. There still has been many pieces for sale lately. Can you give us a any figures Biro?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like the usual 'salted" artificial/chemical patina applied to cheesy base metal..... dull grey? I'm thinking like NOT 800 silver, NOT 938 silber.... more like 00000000000.0000000000001 silver!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Brian von Etzel

I honestly am not convinced the number cited makes sense given the scores of vet worn photos I've seen. I simply don't believe it was a mere thousand, but I also don't believe in all the fakes. There is a convincing fake but not the same and may indeed be a cheesy metal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How does this article compare with the data we've gathered here?

My German is nil - so I'm going off a quick synopsis/translation that Tim Tezer did of this article a while ago -

It certainly compounds the misery of all those who own WHS with 'beads' around the edges.. e.g. - Max Aurich, Geissler, and every WHS owner participating in this forum.

And just when were looking for 'quality' in an original, the 'original' pictured in the Sauerwald article may have squarer edges than the repro, but it dosen't exhibit HALF the build quality.

The 'moon crown 800' mark is a whole 'nother ballgame.

Clear as mud, huh?

I give up.

Edited by Biro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to say this, but I will not seek any of these pieces unless they have provenence like a family link, documentation, or a the ghost of some dead veteran visits me at night. :speechless1:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Brian von Etzel

Just one of those things, this one has no painted on details. I wouldn't buy anything you're not comfortable with, but I am personally entirely comfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I learned a long time ago not to start slitting my wrists or throwing my items away just because someone writes an opinion that they are a fake. We learn more every year.

Don

Edited by dond

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally hope that the beaded ones turn out tb OK. But like Marc-I don't think I am going to

rush out and put down some big money on one. (been there, done that. MY WHS was one of the

first pieces I added to my collection.)

SOMEDAY a medal bar will turn up from a vet's family and all our questions will be answered.

Untill then, mine will be displayed proudly in my display case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×