This is the Bavarian equivalent of the Iron Cross 2nd Class, the Military Merit Cross 3rd Class with Swords. The decoration was originated following the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. Intended for enlisted men and NCO’s, it was instituted during König (Mad) Ludwig II’s reign. The decoration has a fine gilt finish and measures 2″ x ½.” Attached to its top are a pair of crossed swords, indicating that the decoration was awarded during wartime. Its obverse displays Ludwig’s royal cypher. On the reverse is a rampant Bavarian Lion and the date 1866. Attached to the jump ring is a very small and old piece of blue, black, and white ribbon. The decoration is housed in its original presentation case. It is a light blue and measures 3 ½” x 2 ½” x ½.” The decoration’s name is embossed in silver on the case. Inside is a blue silk liner. A white band of ribbon is attached to house the ribbon. On the ribbon we see in black “Deschler & Sohn München.” The fitted bottom of the case is a handsome purple velvet.