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Bavarian Military Merit Cross 3rd Class

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Need confirmation that this is a Bavarian Military Merit Cross third class. I realize the ribbon that was stuck in this box is not the ribbon that would have been awarded with this medal but don't know why it was in the box.

Here's what I've found about this medal (if I've researched the correct medal):

Bavarian Military Merit Cross (Militär-Verdienstkreuz) was that kingdom's main decoration for bravery and military merit for enlisted soldiers "to reward extraordinary merit by non-commissioned officers, soldiers, and lower-ranking officials." It was originally established on July 19, 1866 as the 5th Class of the Military Merit Order, which was the main decoration for bravery and military merit for officers and higher-ranking officials. Civilians acting in support of the army were also made eligible for the decoration.

When WWI broke out the Military Merit Cross became Bavaria's main decoration for bravery and merit by enlisted soldiers in that war, roughly equivalent to Prussia's Iron Cross (except unlike the Iron Cross, the classes of the Military Merit Cross were awarded based on rank). Approximately 290,000 of these medals given out were of the 3rd Class with Swords. The Military Merit Cross became obsolete with the fall of the German Empire and the Bavarian Kingdom in 1918, although the Bavarian government continued to process awards up to 1920.

 

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This is the Bavarian Military Merit Cross 3rd Class. Both case and cross look good. Here is what the correct ribbon looks like. If you require a ribbon just let me know.

Kind regards
Pierce

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Thanks for the positive ID, Pierce. I really might want a ribbon, but I have many other medals which I think have incorrect ribbons. Once I get them all listed, I'll talk to you again and maybe you'll have the others I need and I can get them all at once.

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Hi Hodge,

The Bavarian MVK is an addictive medal to collect as there are so many variants and if you are determined to get a case for each one it will most likely be a never ending quest!  The higher classes are more difficult to acquire since it was a rank based award and less of them were awarded as a result.  Be very cautious when purchasing 1st class crosses as there are now fakes on the market and even prominent dealers have been fooled.  Most of them are 3rd class crosses that were "upgraded" by gilding the bronze and adding enamel to the center orb.

Also beware that there were at least five jewelers that manufactured these crosses and sellers like to shuffle the medals and cases so you get a medal/case mismatch.

The five jewelers I know of are: Deschler, Hemmerle, Lauer, Leser, and Weiss

It seems every jeweler had multiple variants of their cross as the years went by during WW1 sometimes making it a headache to determine what you have.  To add to the confusion the jewelers would sometimes hallmark the cross or swords on one variant, but then neglect to do so on a later variant.  In addition, not all jewelers manufactured all three classes of cross.  Many of them only manufactured 3rd and 2nd class crosses.

To my eyes, your cross appears to be a Jacob Leser.  The lettering style printed on the case lid in your first picture and the case clasp in your fourth picture I have seen used on both Leser and Deschler cases.  To be 100% sure you've got a medal/case match you would have to slide the EK2 ribbon out from the case (just leave it out as it doesn't go with that medal anyway) and see what jeweler name is printed on the underlying fabric.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,
Ben

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