Germany 1918 - 1945
German Eagle Order Merit Cross 3rd Grade with Swords
Here a beautiful cased set of the 3rd grade of the German Eagle Order with Swords. The cross is made from gilded silver and enamel. The case is covered in red leatherette and golden accents and German Eagle. Inside the case lid the full golden designation for the class for the type 1939 to 1943. The ring is marked 900 for it’s silver content and with a boxed “L/50” for the maker Godet in Berlin. The L/50 mark indicates that this cross was a private purchase and probably a replacement for a lost piece. These are much more rare then the originally awarded, marked “21” crosses. The cross is mounted on it’s original ribbon and comes with a small barrette with sword attachment as well as some extra miniature ribbon with one sword clasp.
A rare and complete set.
Adolf Hitler created the German Eagle Order on May 1, 1937, based on a personal request of Foreign Minister Dr. Meissner1). The creation of the order finally enabled the German Reich to honor foreigners. The order would be awarded through the Fuehrer through proposal of the foreign minister. ("Reichsgesetzblatt" 1937)
The order consisted initially of 5 grades, Grand Cross, Merit Cross with Star, Merit Cross 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grade as well as a Merit Medal.
A unique Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle in Gold with Diamonds (Grosskreuz des Deutschen Adlerordens in Gold und Brillanten) was awarded to Benito Mussolini on 25 September 1937.
The Order was reorganized into nine classes on December 27, 1943, by adding the Grand Cross in Gold, the 1st class, and splitting the merit medal into a silver and bronze one. The classes of the actual order themselves got aligned within the new sequential structure from 1st to 5th, with the 5th being the old 3rd class.