This is the Iron Cross 1st Class equivalent (Military Service Cross 1st Class) from the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. This example was awarded for action in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. Interestingly, variations exist of the Military Service Cross in 1st and/or 2nd Class from 1848, 1849, 1859, 1864, 1866, 1870, 1877, 1900, and with no date! As this was a much smaller state than Prussia, very few of these were awarded. The decoration is very slightly vaulted. This example is an interesting variation because it has no clasp on the reverse with which to hold the pin! None was ever added to the decoration, so this is not a matter of it having broken off. The finish of the decoration is a burnished bronze tone. This indicates a great deal of age and makes for a very handsome patina. It is a very difficult decoration to acquire, in excellent condition.