Figure 1: Officer’s Military Service Decoration, Third Class, 1890-1918, obverse. Image from author’s archive.

Introduction:

With this blog I will complete the discussion of the Austrian and Austro-Hungarian officer service crosses. The officer service cross III class as described in this blog had gone through an interesting evolution. It had started its existence in 1849 as the Officer Service Cross, first class then evolved into the Officer Service Cross, third class in 1890. However in all of its incarnations it was issued for 25 years’ service. In this Part II blog I will complete the discussion regarding this cross under its new title with emphasis on aspects of this award unique to the 1890-1918 timeframe.

Designer: Unknown

Manufacturer:

  • Hauptmunzamt Wien (Imperial Mint, Vienna)
  • Josef Zimbler
  • Vinc Mayer and Sons’
  • Carl Freidrich Rothe

Number Issued: Officers Service Cross Third Class 1890-1918 = 13,500

Case:

Figure 2: Case Type I: A red cloth covered case with the Habsburg coat of arms in gold on the lid. The interior is black plush and fitted while the inner part of the lid is white silk and has the maker’s logo in gilt. Cases of this type were known to be made by Josef Zimbler and Vinc Mayer and Sons. Image from the Author’s archive.

Figure 2: Officer Service Cross, Third Class, case 1890-1918, interior. Image from the author’s archive.

Figure 4: Officer’s Military Service Decoration, Third Class case, Type II. Image from the authors archive

  • Case Type I: A red cloth covered case with the Habsburg coat of arms in gold on the lid. The interior is black plush and fitted while the inner part of the lid is white silk and often has the maker’s logo in gilt. Cases of this type were known to be made by Josef Zimbler and Vinc Mayer and Sons
  • Case Type II: A red cloth case with the Habsburg coat of arms in gold on the lid. The interior is black plush and fitted while the inner part of the lid is white silk and often has the maker’s logo in gilt.

 

Figure 5: Officer’s Military Service Decoration, Third Class, 1890-1918 case type IV, exterior. Image from the author’s archive.

Figure 6: Officer’s Military Service Decoration, Third Class, 1890-1918 case type IV, interior. Image from the author’s archive.

 

  • Case Type III: Decorative cases for engraved awards have been noted. They have been in the regiment’s colors with fancy engraving and other ornamentation.
  • Case Type IV: A red leather case with the inscription VON DEM KAMERADEN on lid and a dark blue plush interior. This is a privately produced presentation case.
  • Fitted cases for multiple decorations have also been seen in which one of the decorations is a service cross.

Figure 7: Officer’s Military Service Decoration, Third Class, 1890-1918, ribbon. Image from the author’s archive.

Ribbon: A 38 mm wide, golden yellow with 10 mm wide black side strips at a 3 mm distance from the edges.

  • A small rectangular ribbon for this decoration sometimes issued with small attachments to indicate the specific award was introduced in October 27,1917.

Attachments: None

Figure 8: Officer’s Military Service Decoration, Third Class, 1890-1918, Miniature Image from author’s archive.

Miniature:  Miniatures of this decoration exist.

The example illustrated above is 18 x 16 mm and 2.4 grams

 

Hope you enjoyed this blog. Until next time when I will commence my description of the Non-Commissioned Officers and Troops Military Service Decorations.  I hope you find joy in our shared interest

Rick

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