Iron cross pattée with stippled arms, with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with a circular central medallion bearing a faceted six-pointed star with rays between the arms, the lateral arms of the main cross bearing the dates ‘1885’ and ‘1886’; the reverse with a circular central medallion bearing a trophy of arms of crossed standards, crossed rifles with bayonets fixed and crossed cannon; on replaced correct ribbon.
The Cross was instituted on 19 February (3 March) 1886 to be awarded to active participants in the war with Bulgaria and to civilians who had rendered assistance to the military during the conflict. It was designed by Albert Benedict and struck in Belgrade.
Serbia, encouraged by Austria-Hungary, declared war on Bulgaria and invaded on 14 November 1885, seeking to take advantage of the weakness of the Bulgarian armed forces following the withdrawal by Russia of most of its officers and advisors from Bulgaria.
After initial advances, Serb forces were thrown back in humiliating defeat and only the diplomatic intervention and threat of force from Vienna kept Bulgarian troops from Serbian soil.
A cease-fire was declared on 28 November after just two weeks of fighting and a peace treaty, involving no territorial changes, was signed in Bucharest on 19 February 1886.
This early cross is rare.