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A very nice example of a rare award here. Enamel is in great condition, with only some slight wear which is visible in photos. Original tri-fold ribbon (attributing this award to a soldier "away from the front") shows some fading on the obverse. Ring is marked for maker "W. Kunz - WEIN X."


The Imperial Decree of February 16, 1850 announced the creation of the new Cross of Merit to replace the Civil Medals of Honour. This was awarded primarily to civilian achievements. More specifically it was “to reward loyal and actively reliable devotion to Kaiser and Fatherland, long years of fruitful employment in public service or other achievements for the general good.

The Cross of Merit was originally awarded in four classes, as a ‘gold’ and a ‘silver’ cross each with or without a crown. Multiple awards could be conferred upon the same recipient, and lower levels could still be worn after a higher one was awarded. Women could also be awarded the Cross of Merit, prior to the outbreak of the war.

In September 1914, the Statutes were amended to include soldiers who were away from the front. However, these decorations would be worn on the red and white silk ribbon of the bravery medal. As of February 1916, ‘gold’ crosses were constructed of bronze due to the lack of material during the war.

Imperial Austria, Gold Merit Cross (Without crown)

SKU: GER0189

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