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Posted (edited)

Last year, I bought a Friedrich-August Cross 1st class from the Thies Auction (USA).  Before I bought it, I noticed that it looked a little smaller than the normal-size 1st class F-A Cross, so I only placed a bid of $35.  However, that was enough to win the cross.  (BTW, it was listed as an original period piece and not a reproduction.)

When I received the cross, I measured it and found it to be around 38 to 39mm wide which is the width for a 2nd class cross.  (I believe most (if not all) first class crosses have a width of 44 to 45mm.)  I might also add that my FA cross is non-magnetic, but I'm aware that many of these were made of blackened bronze or zinc.  (My cross appears to be made of zinc or white metal.)

 I think it might be a private-purchase piece from the 1920's or 1930's.    However, I thought I would ask for some opinions since I don't claim to be an expert on this particular award.

(FWIW, the white substance on the left arm (reverse side) of the cross was residue from a sticker that has since been removed.)

 

My Friedrich-August Cross 1st Class F.jpg

My Friedrich-August Cross 1st Class R.jpg

Edited by camelneck

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Posted (edited)

Based on the hardware on the back, this is likely at best a post-1945 replacement piece. It's definitely not 1920s, 30s or even 40s, but more likely at least 1950s or 60s. For example, Friedrich Sedlaczek company has these listed in their 1960 catalog.

Edited by bolewts58

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Looks like a 1957 version by Steinhauer & Lueck. These are sought after as they are not that common.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, VtwinVince said:

Looks like a 1957 version by Steinhauer & Lueck. These are sought after as they are not that common.

Correct. But, they can't rightly be called 57er as some collectors do, as that only refers to the redesigned and issued replacements of Third Reich awards. But, still as a result of the 1957 re-issue of TR awards, there was a renewed demand for replacement pieces from the Imperial period. Afterall, WWI German vets would have only been in their late 50s early 60s at that point. The Stahlhelmbund had been re-founded in 1951 and there were a lot of reunions of both WWI and WWII vets that started happening in the early 1960s. So, there was a market for replacement pieces for lost awards or maybe just for newer and shinier versions of the often worn-out awards the vets still had, so they would look their best at a reunion parade.

Therefore, as stated, the cross can be viewed as a post-1945 private-purchase replacement and therefore original, just not period.

Edited by bolewts58

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Thanks to both of you for the excellent information.   I really appreciate it.   

The more I think about that particular auction, it might just have been listed as "original" and "not an original period piece".  It was over a year ago and its hard to remember the exact words.  Thanks again.

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