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The first thing I notice is that the bottom arm (at 6 o'clock) is cockeyed.  It looks likes it was bent toward the left.  The other 3 arms are fine.  The swords look like they were retro fitted.  (I'm not saying retro fitted swords are good or bad. Its just an observation.) The painted eagle is a lot nicer than many I've seen.  Sometimes these birds look like the artist wasn't even trying.  This one is quite attractive.  I'm not sure I'd call this cross an investment piece, though.  

Edited by Simius Rex
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These are better pictures.  The swords are not retro fitted.  They are the typical die-stamped, screw-in type swords made by J. Wagner & Sohn.  You should also see a little dab of solder applied to the swords where they meet the central barrel.  The solder holds them in place and keeps them from wobbling. Wagner started making these gold plated silver crosses with these screwed-in solid die-stamped swords around November 1916.  I see the Wagner signature W on the edge of the bottom arm.  Do you see a silver stamp of 938 anywhere?  938 should be stamped somewhere. Too bad about that bottom arm because it looks like it got bent to the left, but how that happened, I have no clue.  I wouldn't try to bend it back because you might crack the enamel.  Very nice painted eagle, though.  Wagner always did a fine job hand painting these red eagles.  Simi

Edited by Simius Rex
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I don´t believe, that a "938" silver mark ist to be found on that cross. In this case the "W" would be stamped too.

After October 1916 the returned golden decorations or parts of it were reworked and awarded again. As most returned orders were without swords and in war time most of the awarded with them, you find sometimes this combination of golden crosses with silvered swords. Because of the hollow construction of the golden decorations a stamped mark "W" was not usable, therefore you will find on them always a scratched "W".

Here such an example of a Crown Order 2nd class with silvered swords, the golden cross also marked only "W" scratched in the same way, as the Red Eagle shown above:

KO2X a.jpg

KO2X r.jpg

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Ok so a golden cross, with scratched W, but with silver swords. I guess it does make sense. 
A nice cross. Congratulations.

I have a Red Eagle 3rd Class with Crown and Swords made by Wagner with basically the same eagle and letter chasing

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The cross frame and the ring eyelet looked suspiciously "shiny golden" to me compared to the rest of the cross.  Komtur's explanation makes a lot of sense and explains the two different looking finishes.

I notice that Komtur's Crown Order 2nd class retained its original gold medallions when the silver swords were added.  The Red Eagle above unfortunately lost its original round gold medallion frames. They were replaced by gold plated silver ones.    

I'm still wondering what could be done about the bottom cross arm that's bent to the left?  Does anybody have any first hand knowledge about how it might be straightened out without damaging the enamel?  Simi

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  • 2 weeks later...

A nice and not too usual cross, and Komtur already explained why.

Only one in (full) gold could be more desirable...

;)

 

On 12/12/2019 at 23:31, Simius Rex said:

I'm still wondering what could be done about the bottom cross arm that's bent to the left?  Does anybody have any first hand knowledge about how it might be straightened out without damaging the enamel?  Simi

I have seen this quite some times before, especially with RAO and KO crosses in gold. Sounds odd, but I don't think this is a damage caused by wear, but rather a contemporary production flaw. When such a cross is assembled, from some thin gold sheet frames, it doesn't take much to get some asymmetry involved... 

:speechless:

  

On 12/12/2019 at 23:31, Simius Rex said:

The Red Eagle above unfortunately lost its original round gold medallion frames. They were replaced by gold plated silver ones.   

I wouldn't be too sure about that! For reasons I do not know, golden RAOs centers often have a rather strong gold patina. It might be their purity which might be lower than the cross body's, or they "suffered" from the way they were fixed to the cross... I really don't know why - but I wouldn't assume this centers to be gilt replacements.

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