Original German / Prussian pre WW1 General Honour Decoration II. Class (Allgemeines Ehrenzeichen, II. Klasse), IN PERFECT CONDITION, ON GENUINE RIBBON, A FINE EXAMPLE WITH ATTRACTIVE SILVER PATINA
HISTORY OF THE AWARD:
The Prussian General Honour Decoration II. Class (Allgemeines Ehrenzeichen, II. Klasse) was a decoration of Prussia between 1847 and 1918. Large silver medal with ring for ribbon suspension; the face inscribed ‘VERDIENST UM DEN STAAT’ (Merit to the State) within a laurel wreath; the reverse with the crowned cipher of King Friedrich Wilhelm III; diameter 39.31mm (1.55 inches).The decoration can trace its origin back to awards established in 1793 by King Frederick William III of Prussia. The various levels of the decoration recognised peacetime merit to Prussia. These awards were often to commemorate long and particularly meritorious service or for special contributions from people who would not be considered for appointment to an order due to their rank. In general, recipients were lower and mid-level officials and officers. The General Honour Decoration originally consisted of a First Class medal in gold, and a Second Class medal in silver. After 1814, the gold medal was discontinued being replaced by a silver cross for the First Class. In January 1830, the cross was made into the Fourth Class of the Order of the Red Eagle, leaving only the silver medal for award. In 1890, a gold medal was reestablished as a higher level class. In 1900, the gold medal was replaced by the Cross of Honour of the General Honour Decoration, which was awarded along with the Second Class Medal, and a Third Class Medal in bronze established in 1912, until the fall Prussia in 1918.