Original pre WW1 German parade mounted medal group: Prussian General Honour Decoration in Bronze ‘1912’, Prussian Centenary Medal & Prussian Military Long Service Medal for 9 Years' Service, INTERESTING GROUP, GENUINE RIBBONS, THE MEDALS HAVE SEEN BETTER DAYS, ALL THREE ARE SOMEHOW CORRODED / WORN, THERE IS A RANK PIP ADDITION ON THE PRUSSIAN GENERAL HONOUR DECORATION'S RIBBON, AN INTERESTING GROUP INDEED
HISTORY OF THE AWARDS:
Prussian General Honour Decoration in bronze ‘1912’ (Allgemeines Ehrenzeichen in Bronze ‘1912’) - Large bronze medal with loop 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 Wilhelm II and dated ‘1912’ below; diameter 39.29mm (1.55 inches). The Decoration was founded by King Friedrich Wilhelm III on 18 January 1810 to reward meritorious service to the State in peacetime (‘zur Belohnung für Verdienste in Friedenszeiten’). On 27 January 1912, King Wilhelm II added a bronze class and it was awarded until suppressed in 1918. The medal is not often found.
Prussian 1897 Centenary Medal (Zentenarmedaille) was officially titled the Medaille zur Erinnerung an des Hochseligen Kaisers und Königs Wilhelm I., des Großen, Majestät to honor the 100th Birthday of Kaiser Wilhelm I. It was established by Kaiser Wilhelm II (Kaiser Wilhelm I's grandson) through a Royal Order effective 22 March 1897 and was given to all active duty Imperial German military personnel and veterans of the wars of 1848, 1864, 1866, and 1870-1871. The recipients promptly dubbed it the Apfelorden (The Order of the Apple, due to it's size and color). Modern German collectors often call it the Zitronorden (The Order of the Lemon, again due to it's size and color and partly because they forget the name Apfelorden). It is interesting to note that any 1870-1871 Kriegdenkmünze (KDM or Franco-Prussian War Medal) with official clasp(s) should be with this medal as well since the clasp issue was after the Centenary. The Centenary Medal is 4.0cm wide and made with bronze French cannons captured in the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War. The medal was designed by Professor Walter Schott and was made by the firm of L. Ostermann, Berlin (a well known manufacturer of medals). The obverse shows a raised relief profile portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm I with the inscription WILHELM DEM GROSSE DEUTSCHER KAISER KOENIG VON PREUSSEN (Wilhelm the Great, German Emperor and King of Prussia). The reverse has the raised relief inscription ZUM ANDENKEN AN DEN HUNDERSTEN GEBURTSTAG DES GROSSEN KAISERS WILHELM I. 1797-22MAERZ-1897 (In Rememberance of the Hundredth Birthday of the Great Emperor Wilhelm I. 1797-22 March-1897). A design of a laurel leaf spray, oak leave branches, crown, scepter, orb, Bible, and sword arcs from the 3:30 to 11:00 position. The original silk ribbon is plain yellow (representing gold) which varies in width from 3cm +/- .5cm (depending on the maker).
Prussian 9-Year Military Long Service Medal (9 Jahre Dienstauszeichnung) was instituted in 1913 to replace the Militär Dienstauszeichnung Schnalle 3. Klasse. It was awarded to military active duty NCO's and enlisted personnel for 9 years active service and required the recommendation of their Commanding Officer. Awards of this medal continued until the 3rd Reich introduced a series of new medals. These medals are often found on WWI German medal groups and identifies the wearer as a Prussian. Originally, only one long service award could be worn, so this medal could not be worn with any other (as well as any of the Landwehr long service awards). It's important to remember that the Prussian Landwehr had a similar award which is very often confused with this one. During the 3rd Reich era, the rules were changed which allowed for the wearing of 2 long service awards. The 9-Year Long Service Medal was made of a metal similar to a silver cupro-nickle with a ring loop soldered on for the suspension ring (which is often of a dissimilar metal) through which a blue silk woven ribbon (UV-negative) is worn. The diameter varied over the years from about 32 mm to 35 mm and was relatively thick at slightly over 2 mm. The obverse had the Prussian crown centered with Treue Dienst (Faithful Service) arching the upper portion and bei der Fahne (with the colors) arcing in the lower portion. The reverse carried only a IX, which represented 9 years. No attachments were authorized but you sometimes encounter one with a 3rd Reich eagle device - which is absolutely incorrect. The presence or absence of a miniature 3rd Reich eagle device on a ribbon bar helps in identifying which medal is represented since the ribbons were often exactly the same.