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Croix de Service pour Militaires 1850

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It strikes me to see how difficult it is to find good images of Luxemburg's decorations. The Croix de Service pour Militaires 1850 was, as far as I know to be found in a number of variants, depending the number of year's the military was in service.

Does anyone have images of this decoration and its variants?

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Hello Gentlemen, mainly there was the Service Cross for N.CO & Soldiers and the Service Cross for Officers.

The Service Cross for NCO & Soldiers exist in bronze for 10 Years (like the one illustrated below), in silver for 20 Years & in silver with a crown between suspension & cross for 30 years.

The Service Cross for NCO of the first type are 43 millimeters (1850-1882) ,but since 1882 the size was reduced to 30 / 32 millimeters (manufacturer variation exist in size).

On the obverse there is the Luxembourg Coat of Arms & on the reverse the W crowned for Grand Duke Wilhelm III (actually King Wilhelm III of Netherlands who was also Grand Duke of Luxembourg).

They are returnable, when you get the 20 Years Service Cross you must return the 10 Years Service.

The 1st Type Services Cross were manufactured by François Barth Wahl of Luxembourg and the cross illustrated here is marked "BARTH" on the arm at 6 O'Clock.

In 1859 Mr Barth Wahl manufactured for the first time N.C.O. Service Cross for 30 Years of Service.

In july 1865 Mr Barth Wahl got the authorisation from the Government to manufacture miniature of the Service Cross (but I have never seen any).

When he died in 1867 there was a tender by the Government of Luxembourg which Pierre Wunck of Luxembourg won,and he was the supplier of the Service Cross (at least the NCO Service Cross from 1871 till 1882). The author Raymond Weiler from which lots of information is taken guessed Pierre Wunck asked Arthus Bertrand to produce the NCO Service Cross, as there is picture of these in the production book of Arthus Bertrand from these years.

Emmanuel

Edited by heusy68

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And the reverse of the 10 Years Service Cross for NCO & Soldiers 1st Type.

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Here from right to left,respectively : 10 Years,20 Years & 30 Years Service Cross for NCO & Soldiers of the 2nd Type (post 1882).

The new type was first manufactured by Albert Wunsch 1882-1903,then after by his son François Wunsch until 1940.After the war the Type 2 have been manufactured by Fibru of Bruxelles.

Emmanuel

Edited by heusy68

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And now the 2 Type side by side to illustrate the diminution of the size from Type 1 to Type 2.

I have to add that 2nd Type are rare,but 1st Type are very rare for 10 Years Service to Extremely Rare for the 20 & 30 Years Service.

I know a 20 Years Service Cross of Type 1 in the collection of a fellow, but in 35 years of collecting he never saw a Type 1 30 Years of Service for NCO & Soldiers.

Emmanuel

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Here an Officers Service Cross for 25 Years 1st Type (on 2nd type the swords are much massive) and since 1967 the Service Cross for 25 Years for Officers has a rosette on ribbon.

The Officers Cross for 25 Years of Service have silver gilt arms and the Officers Cross for 15 Years of Service have silver arms.

On the obverse there is the Lion of Luxembourg (heraldic ecu of Luxembourg) and on the reverse the W crowned for Wilhelm III Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

Size : 43 x 61 millimeters

The hallmark of the cross illustrated here is in the rim : "F W" which is for François Wunsch of Diekirch.

The hallmark "A W" for Albert Wunsch was used before 1903 (death of Albert Wunsch), so the cross illustrated here is from the period 1903 (or 1904...) to 1940 (invasion of Luxembourg by nazi germany).

In december 1944 the craft-factory of Wunsch was hit by a phosphore grenade during the Ardennes Battle and entirely burned.François Wunsch died in 1951, but never re-start his activity.

Emmanuel

Edited by heusy68

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Here you can see side by side the 2 current Officers Service Cross, respectively the 15 Years Officers Service Cross (silver arms) & the 25 Years Officers Service Cross (with gilded arms & rosette on ribbon,the rosette was added only in 1967).

The size is 43 x 61 millimeters.

Both were made of silver by Fibru of Bruxelles and are hallmarked in the rim : "A 950"

Fibru is manufacturing the Service Cross since 1945 , but for long time the Jewelery Paul Speller in Luxembourg was responsable for the distribution.

Emmanuel

Edited by heusy68

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Here you can see side by side 2 Officers 25 Years Service Cross, at left type 1 and at right type 2.

You can see the blades of swords & oak leafs are completely different.

All Officers Services Crosses are very rare.

Emmanuel

Edited by heusy68

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Here I have to mention that in 1967 were added Serice Cross for Custom Agent (both rank,I mean : Officers Cross for 15 & 25 Years of Service & NCO Cross for 10,20 & 30 Years of Service).

In 1979 were added Service Cross for Prison Agent but only small size, NCO cross for 10,20 & 30 Years of Service.

In 1986 were added Service Cross for Water & Forest Agent ,again only small size NCO cross for 10,20 & 30 Years of Service.

Basically they are of same shape,except that there is no swords,and the reverse & obverse centers are different (reverse is double J crowned, J is for Grand Duke Jean 1964-2001) & obverse is for the symbol of the service for which the cross is awarded, the grenade for custom,a fortress for prison & a leaf for water & forest.

Ribbon are almost similar,but the width of the green stripe is wider : 7 millimeters instead of 5 millimeters on Army Service Cross.

Emmanuel

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