C. F. ZIMMERMANN, PFORZHEIM,
A GOOD, BOXED IRON CROSS FIRST CLASS BRAVERY AWARD,
circa World War II, of standard form with silvered frame and flat backing plate, iron centre with a raised swastika and the date '1939' to the lower arm, taper pin-back with makers mark '20' on pin, the whole in fine condition TOGETHER WITH a black leatherette box with a silver 'iron cross' device embossed on the lid, white flock and silk lined interior, the inside of lid bearing the retailers name 'PAUL MEYBAUER, BERLIN'
Provenance: The Iron Cross has an illustrious history dating right back to 1813 when it was first instigated by the then King of Prussia. It was subsequently re-born a number of times, each with minor design changes at times of conflict. Adolf Hitler introduced this version on 1st September 1939, changing the oak-leaves center for the swastika and adding the new date 1939 to the lower arm. On classes of the award designed to be suspended from a neck-ribbon, the original date of instigation '1813' was kept on the back.
To be awarded the Iron Cross First Class the recipient must first have been awarded the Second Class version through an act of bravery in the face of the enemy. Then they must have distinguished themselves three or more times than required for the Second Class award. Between 300,000 and 750,000 awards were made.