Happy New Year 2016 to all Imperial collectors!
I would like to show you an extremely interesting EK2 1870 with 25 oakleaves. Core is well known A type in very crisp condition, as on awarded pieces. Oakleaves are accepted design attributed to Godet. Mounted on ribbon with ends stitched together.
What makes this cross interesting, is the frame. Yellowish patina (silver with higher amount of alloy), platform for jumpring and overall shape was never seen by me before. First I thought it was AWS, but itīs not matching absolutely. Some beads are crunching, but not all (apart from it, AWS had its own 1870 core design). In hand it looks closer to Steinhauer and Luck jubilee frame design, but again - although there are some similarities, it is not perfect match (and SL had its own 1870 core design as well).
As you can see on pics, frame halves are perfectly closed together, so there is no doubt about this piece being original.
I have learned from experienced colleagues that 1870 EKs were available for purchase by many jewelers. Some sold other makers' EKs, and some made their own. This one is probably one of those smaller jewelers products. There is no other explanation for the combination of A type core in very early shape and later, jubilee era frame. This core was probably waiting long time in some small jeweler shop to be assembled with a frame.