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Distinguishing early/late 57er hardware...

Article about: Following up Terry's question how to distinguish early from late, by simply looking at the hardware. Here is a comparison I made between several pin types from my collection. There are a few

  1. #1

    Default Maker features per 57er award and dating them

    Gents,
    Will try to make a nice 57er guide for the forum to use. Any help is most welcome!

    The term '57er'

    After WWII the swastika was banned, but veterans still wanted to wear their hard earned decorations in public. So according to the 'ordensgesetz' of 1957, the TR design of awards was put in a 'new form' without the swas.

    Early awards have the same craftmenship like the wartime ones and were meant for veterans only. Some are even more rare than their TR counterpart, therefore highly collectible. Late production pieces were/are meant for feeding the collectorsmarket.

    57er herstellers?

    Deschler, Deumer, Assmann, Souval and Steinhauer und Lück;

    - Deschler went out of business shortly after 1957, maybe 3 years of production (?) and production numbers are very limited

    - Deumer seized 57 production in the mid 1960's

    - It seems Assmann started manufacturing 57 awards very late on, 1970+, with limited production numbers

    - Souval went out of business in 2008 (?), but they started production of casted 57ers very late on.

    - St&L is the only one remaining and still making certain 57ers today!

    What is the easiest way to distingiush early from late when it comes to originals?

    --> Early: Very good quality and closed hinge block (no exceptions!).

    --> Late (after 1968): Open hinge block and longer catch base plate, hence called large 'C' catch.



    Interesting links:

    Pictorial of official 57er awards

    Regulations

    Deumer price list
    Last edited by rbminis; 12-09-2017 at 08:52 PM.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Distinguishing early/late 57er hardware...

    An excellent reference thread Nick, well put together, I have never got round to mastering paint shop pro !.......I am making this a "sticky".
    Prost ! Steve.
    "The German Army is the perfectly adapted, perfectly running Machine. The difference is that the Germans are organised with a view to War...with the cold, hard, practical and business-like purpose of winning victories."
    G.W. Steevens - The Daily Mail (1897)

  4. #3

    Default Re: Maker features per 57er award and dating them

    Thanks Steve, my first sticky! Will update this thread regularly.

    Regards
    Last edited by Nick Hessens; 07-01-2014 at 05:58 PM.

  5. #4

    Default Souval EKs

    As we all know Rudolf Souval never stopped production after the war ended. He saw profit could be made by making awards and selling them to the Allied forces as souvenirs. At one point he decided to make blank cored Iron Crosses for Austrian veterans, we know this because they are often present in veteran groupings or visible on photos of the veterans themselves. Technically they aren't 57ers, as production started several years before 1957. But they are of post war production and they have been spotted on bars in combination with 57er medals, therefore earning there place right here...

    The very early examples were glued together with animal glue, it wasn't until later both frame halves were soldered. The cores are nicely painted in matt black, both magnetic and unmagnetic cores are out there. Here are the first and second class in my collection, they are glued!

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    Below we can see the typical characteristics of the Souval frame, he used the same wartime die! However as time went by, for some reason, Rudolf started using St&L frames at the assembly line (still have to acquire such example).

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    The second class has the suspension ring only soldered on one side! The ribbon ring is sometimes marked with L/58, the LDO mark for Souval.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The next picture shows the EK1 hardware (please click to zoom). Again many combinations are possible, they can be found with a mix of Souval and St&L parts, all in all marked L/58 or not on the needle. Note the similarities between the Souval and the very early 57er EK1 made by St&L....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Nick Hessens; 01-02-2015 at 01:34 PM.

  6. #5

    Default Eisernes Kreuz

    The 57er Eisernes Kreuz by the various makers (missing variants will be added later):

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    Unlike S&L, Deumer used a hump for attaching the suspension ring. Take a look at the photo below to see what I mean.

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    Some S&L crosses are marked with mm '4', whether this was done post war or if they used wartime leftover ribbon rings is not known. Deumer always stamped their post war EKII's with mm '3'.

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    Date comparison obverse/reverse:

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    Here we have the 57er S&L EK1. The early EKs are constructed with magnetic cores, later during the 70s St&L switched to non magnetic. The more modern series are assembled with an EK2 frame half on the front, they can be easily spotted by the 'O' mark on one of the arms were the suspension ring should be attached.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hardware: note that the late EK1 has the open hinge block and catch with the typical large base plate.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Deumer EK1, obverse:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Reverse of the Deumer EK1 showing the hardware:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The rare Assmann EK1 is very much the same as a late St&L, it is therefore thought they were made by dies that originally came from Steinhauer:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Reverse of the Assmann, not the open hinge block again:

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    Alongside the 57er EKs, both S&L and Deumer made Imperial 1914 crosses too. They often have the same hardware as the early 1957 versions...

    Imperial Deumer EK2 made during 57 period, also marked with mm '3' on the ribbon ring:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Nick Hessens; 04-10-2015 at 10:07 PM. Reason: UPDATE

  7. #6

    Default

    Very useful info cheers Nick!....
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  8. #7

    Default

    Gents, later hinge assembly, post 1968, the so called "open hinge assembly" shown used on a Deutsche Kreuz in Gold................
    Prost ! Steve.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    "The German Army is the perfectly adapted, perfectly running Machine. The difference is that the Germans are organised with a view to War...with the cold, hard, practical and business-like purpose of winning victories."
    G.W. Steevens - The Daily Mail (1897)

  9. #8

    Default

    great information !!!!

    John
    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

  10. #9

    Default

    Whenever I see a flat catch on these awards alarm bells and red flags go off in my head, lol...
    cheers, Glenn

  11. #10

    Default EK Wiederholungsspange

    Next for discussion is the EK wiederholungsspange, awarded to WW1 vets who won either of the EK classes again in the second World War. The measurements of the 57er spange are shown here:

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    Early S&L EK2 spange with both prongs intact and a nice piece of original Imperial ribbon. The core is painted matt black and the quality is identical to my S&L EK1 spange shown beneath. My examples are unmarked, but they can be found with tiny 'O' marks as well.

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    Early S&L EK1 Spange, unmarked and with very nice polished highlights:

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    With my latest arrivals came this little bugger, another early EK1 spange. When compared to my S&L example, it doesn't match. There is a good chance that this one was made by a different maker, possibly Deumer indicative by its quality and pin type. Of course there is no way of knowing for sure...

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    And here is a quick comparison I made of both EK1 spanges, you can clearly see that the numerals and hardware do not match. The 'unknown spange' is slightly larger as well, an entirely different die was used to produce this one.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And here we have the corresponding EK2 spange from the same ‘unknown maker’, the obverse is identical to the EK1 spange. It has two soldered prongs, so it can be firmly attached to a ribbon. The quality is just outstanding, with beautiful polished highlights and a more grainy/glossy painted EK core.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The modern versions of the S&L spangen were produced by two dies. The old die and a new one, when the switch was made or for how long they were used alongside each other is not known.

    The following spange was stamped with the new die, the date (especially the ‘3’) is clearly different when compared with the early examples. Still nice quality for late production, but the mirror effect of the polishing is just not there.

    I must thank the seller of the clasp for letting me use his pictures.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    A photo of the invoice from ‘Steinhauer und Lück’, when he purchased it directly from them in 2008. His details are blanked out for obvious reasons…..

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    Last edited by Nick Hessens; 12-26-2014 at 11:49 PM. Reason: UPDATED

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