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    Hello guys, I seek the advice from the experts here in relation to the following Pour le Merite. It is definitely not a Wagner/Friedlander, or Godet, or even pre WW1. It looks like a S&L, but this one is silver gilt (800 mark on lower arm), and of better quality than most of the S&L PLMs frequently seen. This one is very well done and looks very nice. It measures 54mm by 53mm. I do not have the weight at this moment. I will post more photos.  The question is, could this piece be pre 1945 or post 1945? Or, what is it then?





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    There is a lot of disagreement about this type. In my opinion the type was made by S&L during and after WWII. One can spot the differences between the wartime examples and the postwar examples by the quality of manufacture. Without holding that piece, it's hard to judge, but to me it looks like a good candidate for what I'd consider a WWII-era example.

    I should stress that I am in a minority in believing that these were made also during the war. Most believe they are all postwar. I believe that the vast majority are post-1945, but that some do exist from before 1945.

    Because of the controversy (or disagreement), there is not much price difference between putative wartime examples and definite postwar examples. Prices depend instead on objective observations of quality alone and range from about $500 (mediocre quality, definite 1960s or 1970s) to over $1500 (marked 800, excellent quality, what some collectors like me might consider WWII-era).

    Also, the eagle legs on yours appear to be cut out. I don't know if anyone knows whether this was something S&L did, or something collectors do to make them appear more like Wagners.

    Anyway, it's a nice piece and for the right price I'd buy it.

    The ribbon looks like a genuine WWI-era type but of course without better photos it's not possible to say. If it is, and if it's long, it's at least as valuable as the cross.

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    Thank you for your replies.I can see that there is still a disagreement about this type. I wish more people comment about this. I am still confused a bit as to how old this piece could be. Some other details.







    Edited by GMU
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    28 minutes ago, GMU said:

    Thank you for your replies.I can see that there is still a disagreement about this type. I wish more people comment about this. I am still confused a bit as to how old this piece could be. Some other details.

    I understand that you would like a consensus but none exists. It's a lovely, well-made S&L-type piece from the period (let's say) 1939-1960. Even the value is not much affected by the debate about period of manufacture.

    The ribbon is still looking good and could be worth as much as the PLM.

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    Yep, a nice ribbon. All of the S&L made versions I've seen lack ribbons, or have ones that are post-WWII. There are a few silver S&L made pieces out there, and IMO, if there were any made by the firm during the Third Reich era, these are the most likely candidates.

    I know of someone who contacted S&L enquiring about any records in the firm's files. S&L responded saying they had no information on them and couldn't confirm anything one way or the other.

    This one has angling on the lower arms of the cross that looks like it may have been shaped (by hand?) to give the appearance of wear. If you have access to a decent microscope, look to see if there are striations to run parallel to the arms, rather than sideways. When worn a cross would swing side to side, and any wear patterns would be horizontal, not vertical. Side by side swinging would dome the enamel and also leave a slight slope away from the center of the arms towards the outer edges.

    I have a S&L in it's original case, with oaks and a ribbon lacking a center-stripe. S&L didn't make a special ribbon for the oaks. If anyone is really interested I can supply photos. I'd consider selling it if anyone is interested and sends a PM to enquire.

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    Hi Les, it has been a long time! Thank you all for your comments. It is a nice piece though, and I will keep it until more information is known. I will look under a microscope as you say Les. I know exactly what you mean. The cross on the right has such marks of movement.



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