Original German mounted medal group: Prussian Wilhelm II. Centenary Medal 1897, Prussian Landwehr Long Service Medal II. Class & Honour Cross With Swords (combatant version) - WW1, VERY NICE CONDITION, GENUINE RIBBONS, WORKING PIN DEVICE (POSSIBLY A LATER ADDITION)
HISTORY OF THE AWARDS:
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 Reserve and Territorial Army Service Award, II class (Landwehr-Dienstauszeichnung II. Klasse), 1913-1920 - Small circular copper medal with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with the royal crown centrally, circumscribed ‘Treue Dienste Reserve Landwehr’ (Faithful Service Reserve and Territorial Army); the reverse inscribed ‘Landwehr Dienstaus-zeichnung II. Klasse’ (Reserve and Territorial Army Service Award, II class); diameter 15.58 mm (0.6 inch); some surface marks and age oxidisation. The Award was created on 16 January 1842 in buckle (Bandschnalle) form to be awarded for long and faithful service in the Reserve and Territorial Army. It was superseded by the medal on 4 July 1913 and suppressed on 1 February 1920.
Cross of Honour, also known as the Honour Cross or, popularly, the Hindenburg Cross, was a commemorative medal inaugurated on July 13, 1934 by Reichspräsident Paul von Hindenburg for those soldiers of Imperial Germany who fought in World War I. It came in three versions: Honour Cross for Combatants (Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer) - for soldiers who fought on the front, Honour Cross for War Participants (Ehrenkreuz für Kriegsteilnehmer) - for non-combatant soldiers, Honour Cross for Next-of-Kin (Ehrenkreuz für Hinterbliebene) - for the next-of-kin of fallen soldiers. After the annexation (Anschluss) of Austria in 1938, Austrian veterans of World War I were also eligible for the Cross of Honour. A total of 6,250,000 Crosses were awarded to combatants, 1,200,000 were awarded to non-combatants and 720,000 medals were awarded to next-of-kin. The medal was designed by Eugene Godet, its shape is similar to the Iron Cross (although smaller in size), in the center of the obverse are the dates of the First World War (1914-1918) surrounded with a wreath of oak leaves, the reverse of the medal in plain. A variation with an anchor in the center, and referred to as the Naval Cross, was issued to veterans of the Imperial German Navy. The Honour Cross for War Participants differed from the Honour Cross for Combatants by not having the crossed swords. The Honour Cross for Next-of-Kin also lacked swords, was lacquered in black, and had a different ribbon. The medal is suspended from a ribbon with a thin black lines of its sides, a red line in the center and next to it a black and white lines on each side, on the next-of-kin medal the ribbon colors are reverse.