Germany – Imperial – Reuss: Silver Medal of Merit with Swords.
Condition: Nearly extremely fine
The Princely Reuss Cross of Honour was instituted on 24 May 1869 by Prince Heinrich XIV of Reuss-Gera (Reuss Younger Line) and in 1885 and 1897 silver and gold merit medals were added for non-commissioned officers and other ranks. In 1909, swords were added for military awards and on 9 January 1915 a war ribbon, as in this example, was created. The Gold Medal was awarded to ‘Feld- und Vizefeldwebel mit mehr als 12 jähriger Dienstzeit, an Offizier-Stellvertreter und an Fähnriche ohne bestimmte Anciennität’ (Sergeants and Vice-Sergeants with more than twelve years service, second in command officers and officer cadets without the specified length of service). In 1902, when Prince Heinrich XXII of Reuss Greiz (Reuss Older Line) died, his heir, Prince Heinrich XXIV was considered incapable of discharging his duties and Prince Heinrich XXVII, son of the reigning prince of Reuss Gera, was made Regent and the award of the Cross and its associated medals was extended to Reuss Greiz. The combined population of the two principalities in 1914 was less than 250,000 and the medal is relatively rare.