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A Rare EK1 with a latch lock of the pin by AWS

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Hi Guys,

I want to show you something interesting

It is 1914 EK1 with a special latch lock of the pin made by AWS and marked 925 for silver content

This Ek was a part of group of rewards which belonged to Blue Max ( Pour le Merite) Winner U-Boat Commander Hans Adam (1883-1948)

For some reasons the person who owned the whole group, including the Blue Max, decided to sell this rare EK1

I was lucky to get a hold of it


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nicely adapted cross. the american dealer 'der rittmeister' had an umarked version with the same added locking system for sale about 10 years ago. i naively inquired about it on another forum, and it was promptly sold before i had a chance to obtain it. oh well...that's the way it goes sometimes!

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wean I see a 1914 cross with some unknown and unusual constructions on the back ,

I first look fore the paint ,,,as afterwards altered and soldered parts usually heating the iron core

so much it will damage the paint . ( resulting in blistering and eventual in paint or blackening ' loss )

second,,,,,,,,,,,,,, the soldering around the frame must be inspected carefully .

the other thing is the quality off the unknown construction ...

in this case its slanting a bit ,

hmmm ,,so by these pictures I can not be certain what the actual story off this cross is .

period altering ,,, period production prototype ,,or even a home experiment off some sort ...

sadly ,,,its hard to say .

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Hi Hagahr,

Thank you for your comments I will take them into consideration while I keep examining the EK in more details.

The Cross looks fine ..no signs for resoldering or any late alterations The soldering is perfect and in most of the sides hardly seen as with any good quality EK1 and EK 2 I know that AWS is mostly known for their EK1 with "waffled' backplates (Ralatively rare Variation) This Ek is somting different from their ;known' design, That is why i decided to list it on the Forum.

Regarding the latch and the paint I assume since the EK was owned by U-bout High ranking Officer - Hans Adam it might be custamised for him ( in the same fasion as for the top flyinng Aces in WW1- picture provided) not to get lost in action The paint could have been worn from the salty water conditions

I collect Rare variations of 1914 EK1 and I also examine in details any new EK I get hold for late alterations.

Recently I came across of 1939 "Schinkel" EK1 which had a frame and back silver plate of WW1 EK 1 fitted to 1939 Iron core -the problem was that this EK had very bad resoldering, damaged black paint and cracked frame ,,,all sugesting of intentional"upgrading" of the value of the EK



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Hi Chris,

Thank you for your comment.

Yes, It is hardly to believe that anyone will split it up.

I assume that the person who bought the Group was after the Pour Le Merite Order

He did not have other option Then he decided to split it up to get some of his money back. Auction price for the Group was 28 000 EURO plus commission of 20%+ ..and it was few years ago.

If i was him i would keep the Group intact

It is an example how people interfere with history - Some Collectors "create" groups for a profit, some split them up to reduce the "damage" on their budget. That is why The British VC is getting more and more expensive on the market ..it is difficult to "create" history with ths decoration since it is the most well documented one. Once you get a hold of VC eighter a single piece or in a group you know that you have a part of real history in your hands



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I have no issues with the core frame, core, or paint on this cross.

In fact the loss of paint matches very close to many AWS crosses that I have

seen with this style core (includeing one of my own)

I have not seen this style of pin before. AWS usually used a round wire pin, however

they did use a flat pin on some crosses but not one that looked like this one.

As far as the lock goes, My personal belief is that it was jeweller added.

Either way, it's a nice variation.

Here is one of mine showing the same paint loss to the core-----

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Hi GregM

Thank you for your comments.

Yes, I agree with you that the pin is different from the ones the most common seen on EK1 by AWS.(picture provided)

The material on the latch looks the same as the one on the hook. As I mentioned and as you suggest the latch could have been added by jeweller or by the maker himself by the Owner request. The reason for better and more secure attacment to the uniform. The pin system including the latch deos not show any signs for replacement The soldering is quite neat.

In the Group owned by Hans Adam there were two EK1 -this AWS and one more standard, however in better condition.

I assume that AWS EK1 was used on dayly basis..hence more paint loss and the latch lock.



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  • 3 weeks later...


There is a very interisting thing has hapened recently.

I got a mail from a member who bought the Pour le Merite grouping from a well known dealer

The problem is that the dealer knowingly or unknowingly has sold the grouping with a new EK1 (which relplaced the EK1 by AWS)

This member looks quite upset He sugested, indirectly, that I have to return the EK1 to restore the "history", which was changed supposedly by the dealer.

I would like your opinion



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there is only one way fore the " well known dealer "

hand out the original ek,,, (that was original ) in this grouping,,,,

and let you keep the one you have

as compensation fore the trouble he'd get you in by his actions .

regards kay

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i have no idea who the well known dealer is,

but what incredibly bad taste to split up a convolut

such as this.....


Its not unknown.... I sold a group to a collector in Italy, 6 months later Nieman sold it... somewhere along the line the only photo of the guy had been removed, 20 "combat photos added" the EK1 exchanged, the CCBT clasp added (doc was there), Schirmmütze added, sword added......

Not sure if it was the collector, a guy in between or the dealer......

I would give the PLM owner a chance to buy it back at market value, or get one in the same condition and pay the postage to exchange them. That and the money for a case of good beer.

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Hi Kay,

I did not get it.

The facts are : I have the EK1 by AWS in my hands The Member who contacted me has the The whole grouping, however with the replaced EK1(which is in better condition but not a rare Variation as the AWS one)

We suspect that the "well known dealer" did split the EK1 by AWS from the grouping and sold it separetly.

Did you sugest that I have to return The EK by AWS to restore the originality of the grouping or to keep it

As a collector I am a little bit devided inside One part of myself says "keep The EK by AWS" the other one says "restore the grouping".

At the moment the part that says "keep The EK by AWS" is stronger than the other one.

I will probably never be able to get hold of similar Variation.

I feel sorry for the member who spent fortune to find out that he does not have the grouping in its original condition as sold by Hermann Historica(Auction 59 Lot 107)

The problem is that I do not know whether this grouping had been mixed and matched even before The Auction.

Only the late Hans Adam could have known the answer

I did not mention the name of the Dealer because the member who bought the grouping is still waiting for reply by him

In due course I might let you know who he is.



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yes your right I did misunderstood the situation a bit ..

but I still think (in case off the dealer is being responsible fore the replacements )

,,the dealer is responsible fore the damage off his actions .

and responsible to take on all costs to set it right ...

at best the grouping wood be brought together again ,,,,,and all should be compensated in case off loss in money.

I understand your difficult situation ,,,,about the variation and wanting to hold on to it .( beside me being very suspicious towards it )

there are so many variations out there ,,,,,and this one,, is by far not the nicest one .

maybe you can get a good deal out off it ,and be rewarded with a even better variation in the end .

but if you want to keep it ,,that is ok as well ....

you pay'd fore it , in an honest sale ,,,so its yours .

what you gone do dos not matter ?,,

its in gods hands ,,lets see where it is getting you ..

I have a feeling its going to be okay

regards kay

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Hey, Graf, it is the question of his offer, not of your decision. He must make you reasonable o.f.f.e.r.

But all he offered you for now is very cheap idea about restoring history. History is out there, raped not first time, she will withstand it.

As you said, there is no certainty that this grouping had not been mixed and matched even before the Auction. And IMO there is no certainty that - after your restoration attempt- it won´t be split once in the future.

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