Original Austro-Hungarian Empire War Cross for Civil Merits (Kriegskreuz für Zivilverdienste) III. Class / WW1 - IN VERY NICE CONDITION, INTACT ENAMEL, PERFECTLY WORKING PIN DEVICE, A VERY GOOD MAKER MARKED EXAMPLE
HISTORY OF THE AWARD:
The War Cross for Civil Merits (German: Kriegskreuz für Zivilverdienste) was a civil award of Austria-Hungary. Established on 16 August 1915 by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, it recognized civilian war service during World War I. The cross could also be awarded to military officers for their contributions to the war but were not directly involved in combat operations. The War Cross for Civil Merits is in the shape of a Cross pattée, 55 mm high and 55 mm across. A laurel wreath surrounds the center medallion, passing under the horizontal arms of the cross, and in front of the vertical arms. The first and second Class crosses are gilded, the third class is silver, and the fourth class is bronze. The first through third classes had white enamel on the arms of the cross. The center medallion, also enameled white, bears the Emperor's monogram FJI (Franz Joseph Imperator), surrounding the letters is the inscription "Merito Civili tempore belli MCMXV" (Civil merit in time of war 1915). The cross was worn as a breast cross directly on the coat or uniform. This decoration was issued in four classes: War Cross for Civil Merit, first class War Cross for Civil Merit, second class War Cross for Civil Merit, third class War Cross for Civil Merit, forth class Interesting Facts: The class of the award issued was dependent on the significance of the service rendered to the empire and the social rank of the recipient. Crosses could be awarded to women This is the last award authorized by Emperor Franz Joseph. Colonel General Karl Georg Reichsgraf von Huyn was the only officer to receive this award while on active duty The cross was one of eight awards that were issued in jeweled versions: The others were Order of the Golden Fleece, The Military Order of Maria Theresia, The Order of St. Stephan, the Order of Leopold, The Austrian Imperial Order of the Iron Crown, (although the statutes of this order authorize the wearing of jeweled insignia with the permission of the emperor there are no known authorized examples of this insignia), the Military Merit Cross and the Elisabeth Order. In each case they were issued to indicate the special regard of the emperor. Hallmarks: Crosses are usually hallmarked on the back. They are marked on the pin, wreath and back of the cross. The following marks have been found on these crosses. The Vienna 1890-1921 assay office stamp, found on the first and third class crosses The April 1, 1872 – May 1, 1922, 900 fine silver hallmark, on the first, second and third class crosses. The Vienna Werkstaetten mark, found on the first, second and third class crosses. The capital letter B (Buchruch) is found on the third class crosses. The Vienna 1866-1890 assay office stamp, found on the second class crosses The 1872-1890 tax release stamp, found on the second and third class crosses The mark of Rozet & Fishmeister, found on second class crosses SGA, the mark of George Adam Scheid, Budapest Base metal asterisk on the pin of the War Cross for Civil Merit, forth class The F. Rothe Mark The mark of Alexander E. Kochert (on the two jeweled versions of the cross) Design: A pin back Greek clawed cross the arms of which widen towards the ends and the tips of which are double curved so that the cross ends have three points. The cross is embellished with a wreath that passes over the vertical arms and under the horizontal arms of the cross.