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In recent trips to the Show-of-Shows and other military shows, I have been struck by the number of fake pinback Wilhelm's Crosses can be seen. Since only about 150 were awarded, original pieces are rarely seen for sale. I looked many years before I found an example that I was comfortable with:

The fakes seem to be much thicker and flatter than the originals and are made from a lighter colored bronze. The crown on an original is made from two thin sheets of bronze which gives it a three dimensional look. The swords are made from much thinner bronze than the body of the cross.

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The reverse:

Note the seam between the crown assembly and the top of the cross. The fakes tend to be made in one piece. Also note the step at each sword attachment point showing the difference between the thin bronze swords and the body of the cross. Another feature to look for is the dimple at the top of the pin.

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"150" ...

Actually considerably fewer than that. :catjava: Congratulations! :cheers:

Daniel has been working on the Württemberg Rolls for years now and with my officer references, have been able to add birth and or death dates for 90% of the very few and remarkably varied recipients. The published Rolls will be as detailed as the ones we have already issued, and since Württemberg had better personnel data listings, even weirdly obscure Beamten are sometimes findable.

I have seen (and scanned on its visit to the Shrine of Epson) exactly ONE award document, though-- possibly the least impressive looking Urkunde I've ever encountered.

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Beau,

Thank you for photos of a genuine article and for your concise and thorough description of the features that identify this piece as authentic.

I had no idea what to look for and as a rule would not considered any of these badges for purchase. (a good thing too)

-Claudius

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I've been holding this for over a year from a long ago Traveling Museum visit, waiting for a dedicated thread like this to come up.

Here is an award Urkunde to Generalleutnant zD Eginhard Freiherr von Reischach (1841-19??).

Being an Exalted Personage sure didn't get any special format award document! This was in a HUGE family group of everything but the kitchen sink.

Thanks to the owner for sharing with us all!

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Does this look familiar? I bought this one from Tony.

That must be the same one. Nimmergut shows the type without the catch as awarded from 1915-17 and the type with the catch as 1917-18 and notes that both were made by the Koniglich Wurrtembergische Munzamt Stuttgart. He also shows two other examples by Meybauer and Godet (private purchase?).

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Given that there were only just over 100 awarded, and the average birth year of recipients (unscientific fingers and toes mathematics) was about 1855... don't know how many non-issue pieces could ever have been required. :whistle:

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When I started reading this thread, I immediately thought of Wild Card's great piece, which he had shown somewhere long ago, though I had no idea it was boxed/cased! I don't ever think I've seen a cased example... :speechless1:

(Tony must have been holding out on me, too, because I never new he owned one of these!) :blush:

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  • 10 years later...

Here's one offered recently. It appears to be a very nice original with separately mounted swords and crown with the nice K.M.S.T. catch to boot.

 

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I don`t know much about that crosses - but i think, it looks good.

I have a list with ~  100 awarded persons.

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Despite the Royal Mint supplied a total of 278 crosses, only 119 were awarded from 1916 to 1918. The roll is know to exist in HStA Stuttgart, but it's not published at Klein & Raff (Klein, Ulrich and Raff, Albert: Die Württembergischen Medaillen von 1864–1933 (einschließlich der Orden und Ehrenzeichen). Stuttgart 2010. p. 526/527). The produced number of 278, however, includes the special type with the "double crown", which presumably was awarded to 11 royals on the occasion of the king's 25 year reign jubilee.

Odd enough, there is another cross offered on German ebay right now, but it looks much less promising than the beautiful pieces shown here...

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