This is a consignment item. It is the Bavarian Military Service Cross 1st Class with Crown and Swords. It was first awarded in 1866, after the Austro-Prussian War. In that war, Bavaria fought beside Austria against Prussia. The war was sharp and brief. It ended with the Austrian-led forces’ defeat. The decoration was initiated during König (Mad) Ludwig II’s reign. It was awarded in three grades. During wartime, it was awarded with a Crown and/or Swords. We have offered all of the 3rd and 2nd Class variations in the past. The 3rd Class decoration was brass-toned, with a solid center. The 2nd Class was silver-toned, and the first class to be awarded with an enamel center. The 1st Class was gold-toned, and also boasted an enamel center.
Today’s example is in above-average condition, with a quality gilt finish. The enamel is not quite as fine as we prefer, but is still acceptable. The crossed swords appear atop the medal beneath a large, articulated Bavarian Crown representing the House of Wittelsbach (Bavaria’s royal house). A ribbon is attached to the decoration.