War Merit Cross (manufactured privately)
Estimated market value:
This Cross was initially instituted by Victor Emmanuel III and it was primarily awarded to members of the military after a year or more of service in which they had engaged in combat against the enemy, and for being wounded during active combatant service.
It was also conferred upon military personnel who had performed an act of valour in combat that did not entitle them to the Medal of Military Valour, and for promotion resulting from war merit. When the Cross was awarded to recognize valour a sword decoration was added to the ribbon. The sword was added as a ribbon attribute on January 7, 1922.
The Cross may be stamped by the mark of the Royal Mint “Z,” have no engraver mark, or feature the engraver mark of a private manufacturer. The known marks of private manufacturers include “B” (Bologna), “F” (Florence), “M” (Milan), “R” (Rome), “J,” “S.J.” (Stefano Johnson, Milan), “F.M.L.” (Fratelli Lorioli, Milan), “H,” “A,” “P,” and “FZ.” The crosses with the marks of private manufacturers are very rare.
The ribbon may also be decorated with a bronze-coloured crown decoration to recognize wartime service, and a bronze-coloured star to indicate the second or third concession of the Cross; it could not be awarded more than three times to a single recipient.
The Cross was officially replaced by the Cross for Military Valour in 1941.
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