Gilt-edged red enamel narrow-armed cross pattée with loop and ring for ribbon suspension; the face with a circular central gilt medallion imposed bearing a black eagle, wings outstretched; the reverse plain with stippled ground; diameter 54.54mm (2.15 inches); on original ribbon mounted for wear with gilt Employment Jubilee bar inscribed ‘50’ on a stippled ground with stylised laurel leaves to either side; with buttonhole badge with a miniature version of the ribbon bar with bow ribbon on gilt buttonhole carrier.
The Order is the highest honour that the Federal Republic of Germany bestows and was instituted by President Theodor Heuss on 7 September 1951, second anniversary of the founding of the Federal Republic, ‘with the desire to create a visible expression of recognition and thanks for meritorious men and women of the German people and from abroad for service in the fields of politics, socio-economics and intellectual work and for service in rebuilding the fatherland, and, as an award intended for all, for contributions to enhancing Germany’s reputation abroad’. (‘In dem Wunsche, verdienten Männern und Frauen des deutschen Volkes und des Auslandes Anerkennung und Dank sichtbar zum Ausdruck zu bringen, stifte ich am 2. Jahrestag der Bundesrepublik Deutschland den ,Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Er wird verliehen für Leistungen, die im Bereich der politischen, der wirtschaftlich-sozialen und der geistigen Arbeit dem Wiederaufbau des Vaterlandes dienten, und soll eine Auszeichnung all derer bedeuten, deren Wirken zum friedlichen Aufstieg der Bundesrepublik Deutschland beiträgt’).
From 7 September 1952, the Cross was awarded annually to workers completing 50 years service with the same employer.
From 7 September 1957 to 7 September 1966 the Cross was awarded with the bar seen in this example.
The award for long employment service was discontinued in the change of the regulations of the Order of 20 December 1966 by which time approximately twenty-nine thousand awards had been made.
The Cross with Employment Jubilee bar was made by Steinhauer & Lück of Lüdenscheid and later also by C.E. Juncker of Berlin.
The award is not often found.
A very good example.