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Hi Richard,

Currently the relationship between AWeS (Albert Werner und Söhne AKA AWS) and Juncker is a bit opaque. I'll tell you what we know for sure, and what I suspect.

We know, with certainty, that the very earliest Juncker EKs in WWII (with both 1939 and 1914 cores) were made with the same frames that AWS used for the entire span of their EK manufacturing (roughly 1880-1930). We know also that Juncker used two of AWS's various pin systems, and two of three AWS 1914 cores. It's also known that some Juncker screwbacks exist with re-purposed AWS hardware. The AWS logo has been professionally but not entirely removed from the nut, and an L/12 mark added to the backplate. These are probably the most conclusive evidence of some kind of link between the two makers.

From these facts, I and others have speculated that when AWS went out of the orders-manufacturing business (to concentrate instead on small plaques) some time in the early 1930s, they sold off their remaining stock and dies to C.E. Juncker, and perhaps others.

Whether Juncker made 1914 EKs before the outbreak of war in 1939 is currently unknown but I have some distinct ideas about it. In any event, no pre-WWII 1914 EK has yet surfaced that has been convincingly attributed to Juncker.

As for your specific cross, I'd rather not speculate. In fact it has the AWS core, and a very typical AWS pin, but the mark and the frame are not known AWS types, and the core is not currently a type known to have been used by Juncker at all. There are a few possible explanations for this. While AWS used only one frame for every single EK they ever made (as far as I know), others did also use their frame. Juncker is one such maker, of course, but there were probably others. I think your cross could have been made by one of these "other" makers who bought AWS parts, either before or after AWS themselves went out of the orders business.

To make a long story short, if I had your cross in my collection, I would label it an unknown maker.

Hope this helps.

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Trevor's knowledge is exceptional and is a great indicator of why there is such silence on something like this. It's truly amazing how the hobby's knowledge has evolved - we used to have marked vs., unmarked, then we were able to determine makers, and now we have discovered so many examples of mixtures of parts - one maker's frame with another core, for example.

You really have a nice cross, Richard. I could only stare at it and imagine its history if it were in my collection - who made it, when, where and was it acquired by an awardee or made by a firm but never left its "inventory".? If it was a warded, what did that guy do?

We all have our specialties - some of us can answer these questions and some cannot. Thanks for posting!

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Trevor, thanks for sharing what you know of the Juncker/AWS connection. I didn't think there were other factors such as others using their part and or tooling.

Brian, It is a nice cross but the soldering is a bit sloppy around the hinge as noted in the photographs. I would imagine this one was never awarded nor worn in combat. It looks like a post 1918 creation.

With iron crosses of various types it is amazing how some of the most desired are actually not that well made like the Juncker RK and some are a bit ugly like the core of the KMST EK1.

 

Rich

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I would imagine this one was never awarded nor worn in combat. It looks like a post 1918 creation.

Agreed. It's a question of whether it was acquired by an awardee (purchased by him or for him) or a piece that was never sold. I would certainly guess it was made with the intention of private purchase.

And agreed about quality and desirability. What holds value in this hobby, and what doesn't, can often be baffling.

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In my opinion Eric Stahlhut's cross is the identical type to Richard's.

By the way, are these cores magnetic? I will guess that they both are.

AWS used this core (as I mentioned) but only in a non-magnetic version for their budget neusilber EKs, and never in an EK2 (that I've seen). Where I've seen this core before in a magnetic version, it's been in combination with non-AWS frames (such as the two now shown in this thread).

I highly doubt any vaulted EK1s were ever awarded, but of course this is speculation, like so much of what we discuss in this hobby. I do know that no vaulted EK1s were supposed to be awarded, but who knows what actually happened when stocks ran low?

Here for reference is my illustration of AWS core types: 1, 2, and 3 (from L to R). This one is no. 2. It is easily identifiable by the bifurcated serifs on the bottom of the date numbers.

AWS core1-2-3 COMP.jpg

 

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