Prussia and Mecklenburg-Strelitz Great War Trio. *** PRUSSIA. Iron Cross, II class (PREUSSEN. Eisernes Kreuz, II. Klasse), 1914 issue by Neun of Saxony. White metal cross pattée with magnetic core, with a blackened cross pattée within a hatched border imposed, with loop and ring for ribbon suspension, the ring with maker’s mark ‘N’ for Neun of Rösner, Saxony; the face with a central ‘W’ (for Wilhelm), a crown above, the date ‘1914’ below; the reverse with a central oak branch, the crowned cipher ‘FW’ (for Friedrich Wilhelm) above, the date ‘1813’ below; the medal is mounted with the reverse facing outwards. The Iron Cross was instituted on 10 March 1813 by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia during the War of Liberation against the Napoleonic French forces. It was reinstated in 1870-1871 for the Franco-Prussian War and again in 1914 for World War I. It is awarded for bravery. In spite of its iconic image and fame, it has always been made of modest materials and issued in relatively large numbers. It was designed by the neo-classical architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and reflects the cross of the Teutonic Knights in the late Middle Ages which was also the emblem of Frederick the Great. A very rare maker. *** MECKLENBURG-STRELITZ. Cross for Distinction in War, ‘Brave and Loyal’, II class, on combatant's ribbon (Kreuz für Auszeichnung im Kriege, ‘Tapfer und Treu’, II. Klasse, am Kämpferband), 1916-1924 issue. Silvered bronze cross pattée, the arms with a hatched border, with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with a circular central medallion bearing the crowned cipher of Grand Duke Adolph Friedrich VI on a stippled ground within a circular laurel wreath, the date ‘1914’ impressed on the lower arm; the reverse with a circular central medallion inscribed ‘TAPFER UND TREU’ (Brave and Loyal) on a stippled ground within a circular laurel wreath; on combatant’s ribbon. The Cross was instituted by Grand Duke Friedrich Wilhelm on 10 March 1871 and awarded for bravery, regardless of rank, during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. It was reintroduced by Grand Duke Adolph Friedrich VI soon after the outbreak of World War I with the date ‘1914 incised on the lower arm of the face. On 1 January 1915 a first class of the Cross was introduced, the present Cross becoming the second class. The Cross could be awarded on both combatant’s and non-combatant’s (‘red’) ribbons. Originally manufactured in silver, from 1916 it was made of silvered bronze. Unusually, retrospective awards of the Cross continued after the end of the war until 1924, by which time 8,131 Crosses had been awarded. The design of the Cross resembles that of the Prussian Iron Cross and may be considered the Meckelenburg-Strelitz equivalent of that decoration. *** GERMAN EMPIRE. Cross of Honour of the World War, Combatant (Ehrenkreuz des Weltkrieges, Frontkämpfer), 1914-1918, maker Erbe. Bronzed iron cross pattée with crossed swords between the arms, on laterally-pierced loop for ribbon suspension; the face with the dates ‘1914 1918’ encircled by a wreath of laurel leaves; the reverse plain, signed ‘Erbe’ in script; on replaced correct combatant’s ribbon. The Cross was instituted on 13 July 1934 by President Field Marshal Paul von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg and is often referred to as the ‘Hindenburg Cross’. There were three versions - for combatants, non-combatants and next of kin - the latter being awarded to the widows and parents of those who died during the conflict. Designed by Eugene Godet, this was the first and only commemorative medal issued by the Third Reich. *** The medals are age-toned and with some surface wear; on their original court mounting.