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Spain-Order of Military Merit-Silver Cross

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

A question about the silver cross in the Order of Military Merit.  Not much info on these on the web.  So far, I have found one reference that says the silver cross was added during the First Republic in 1873/74 time period for award to enlisted men.  Almost all of the silver crosses that I have seen are all silver without any enamel.  I have a silver cross, dated "1 JUL 98" for the battle of El Caney in Cuba during the Spanish American war.  It is the only silver cross that I have ever seen with the enamel crest in the centre.  Usually the crest is just silver.  Is this a high grade cross?  Say possibly for an NCO rather than a private?  Or is it a private purchase piece?  I've posted picture of my cross with the enamel centre and a cross that is all silver for comparison purposes.  I'd appreciate any reference information about these silver crosses that you can supply,









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You should probably post this in the Spain forum instead of in northern europe. :)

Btw, I have nerver seen this variant before. 

Is it possible that it nice had enamel that has been removed by someone?

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The best site covering Spanish ODM is Antonio Prieto Barrio's Condecarones. Here is the relevant page on the Order of Military Merit: https://www.coleccionesmilitares.com/medallas/texto/omm18751939.htm

He only shows completely enamelled or totally 'naked' crosses, none with just the centre enamelled.

However what both Barrio's work and that of Borna Borac (Barac, B. (2016) Reference Catalogue Orders, Medals and Decorations of the World: Part 1V Gold Book (P-Z). OBOL, Zagreb) suggest is that no cross, enamelled or not, had a plain reverse.

For a cross of the period 1878-1931, which yours appears to be (Bourbon shield on the obverse), the reverse should show an entwined MM monogram. For a red-enamelled cross, this would be on a white roundel. A silver cross of the same period would have the same monogram on its reverse, no enamels.

The ridges on the arms of your cross suggest that it may have 'escaped' from a jeweller before enamelling was complete; but its uniface construction indicates that it may have been a display copy rather than the real thing.

Interesting piece. Hope this helps...

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