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1914 IMPERIAL GERMAN IRON CROSS HONOR GOBLET – A BEAUTIFUL PRESENTATION GRADE CUT LEAD CRYSTAL – IN EXCELLENT CONDITION:  This elaborate lead crystal goblet was created to commemorate the presentation of Germany’s highest series of military awards for bravery or exceptional service.  Prominently dated 1914, and bearing the “W” in the center of the Maltese Cross which acknowledged the then current reign of Kaiser Wilhelm, these features combine to confirm that this goblet was created to recognize the award of the Iron Cross during the first year of World War One.   

This goblet is a stunning piece, its size and the quality of the decoration is commensurate with the importance of the high honor it commemorated.  It is entirely possible, even likely, that at the time of its presentation it was cased.  That such an inherently fragile piece (such as any cut crystal piece is prone to be) survived the wide spread destruction of German population centers of the Second World War certainly defied the odds.  This piece was collected in the late 1960’s – early 1970’s period by R. Stephen Dorsey during one of his assignments with the US Army in what was then West Germany.   While Steve’s primary interest was in antique US militaria, he had a life long interest in the history of the Germany army, and no doubt he was very excited when he acquired this piece.  I know it was one of his treasured possessions, prominently displayed in a cabinet in his dining room.  Unfortunately, no history or identification survived with the goblet prior to its purchase by Dorsey.  Stephen did write a letter or provenance which will accompany the sale of this goblet. 

The decoration was well executed - an excellent example of the German cut lead crystal art.  The large Maltese Cross dominates the front side of the goblet and includes the Emperor’s crown at the top, Kaiser Wilhelm’s “W” in the center, and the date of the presentation, “1914” at the bottom.  The cross is framed on each side by an acanthus branch, an embellishment dating back to the Roman Empire which was reserved for decorating a piece presented to, or by, royalty.  All of the cuts were artfully applied and are obviously the work of a master cutter.   

Measuring 11” in overall height, with the vessel portion measuring 5 ½” tall and 4 ¼” in diameter at the top edge, this goblet is much larger than a standard wine glass which would used in a place setting on a dining or banquet table.  In addition to the design cut into the vessel as described above, the corners of the multi sided stem have serrated cuts to ensure a firm grip and the base has a sunburst pattern radiating from the stem out towards the edge.  The condition of this piece is excellent with no damage such as chips or cracks – again, that it survived in this condition boggles the imagination.   

This is a spectacular relic of the Great War, and quite possibly a unique World War One German Iron Cross presentation piece.   (0476)   $550  



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