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BAVARIA. Military Merit Cross, III class with Swords, on combatant’s ribbon, in case of issue (BAYERN. Militär-Verdienstkreuz, III. Klasse mit Schwertern, am Kämpferband, im Etui) by Jacob Leser of Straubing
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BAVARIA.  Military Merit Cross, III class with Swords, on combatant’s ribbon, in case of issue (BAYERN. Militär-Verdienstkreuz, III. Klasse mit Schwertern, am Kämpferband, im Etui) by Jacob Leser of Straubing
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Coppered brass Maltese cross with crossed Roman swords above and scroll and loop suspension; the face with a circular central medallion bearing the crowned cipher of King Ludwig III within a circular border in the form of a buckled belt inscribed ‘MERENTI’ (Latin = Merit) above, with arabesques below; the reverse with a circular central medallion bearing the Bavarian crowned lion rampant within a circular border in the form of a buckled belt dated ‘1866’ above, with arabesques below; with original unmounted ribbon for wartime service for non-commissioned officers and enlisted men; in original fitted embossed case of issue by Hofkunstanstalt Jacob Leser of Straubing, scuffed at the top of the lid and the corners. The Cross had its origins as the V class of the Order of Military Merit, instituted by King Ludwig III on 19 July 1866 to reward extraordinary merit by non-commissioned officers, soldiers, and lower-ranking officials (“zur Belohnung Außergewöhnlicher Verdienste der Unteroffiziere, Soldaten und untere Militärbeamten”). In 1905 the statutes were revised, the Cross becoming Military Merit Cross with two classes, each with or without swords. In 1913 a further revision added a third, more senior class, the existing classes becoming the II and III classes, the class awarded being determined by the rank of the recipient. All three classes could be awarded with or without swords and with or without crown, swords denoting a wartime award and crown denoting a second award of the Cross or especial merit. There were also two ribbons, one for non-commissioned officers and enlisted men and another for junior non-combatant military officials. The Military Merit Cross was the Kingdom of Bavaria's principal decoration for bravery for non-commissioned officers and enlisted men throughout World War I. It was abolished at the end of 1918. A very good example.

 
BAVARIA.  Military Merit Cross, III class with Swords, on combatant’s ribbon, in case of issue (BAYERN. Militär-Verdienstkreuz, III. Klasse mit Schwertern, am Kämpferband, im Etui) by Jacob Leser of Straubing
Click to enlarge
BAVARIA.  Military Merit Cross, III class with Swords, on combatant’s ribbon, in case of issue (BAYERN. Militär-Verdienstkreuz, III. Klasse mit Schwertern, am Kämpferband, im Etui) by Jacob Leser of Straubing
Click to enlarge
BAVARIA.  Military Merit Cross, III class with Swords, on combatant’s ribbon, in case of issue (BAYERN. Militär-Verdienstkreuz, III. Klasse mit Schwertern, am Kämpferband, im Etui) by Jacob Leser of Straubing
Click to enlarge
BAVARIA.  Military Merit Cross, III class with Swords, on combatant’s ribbon, in case of issue (BAYERN. Militär-Verdienstkreuz, III. Klasse mit Schwertern, am Kämpferband, im Etui) by Jacob Leser of Straubing
Click to enlarge
   

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