Service Cross for Nurses for 35 Service Years
Image courtesy of Auction House Andreas Thies
Estimated market value:
A Rupert cross with an elongated 6 o'clock arm constructed of silver gilt. The obverse is textured with a smooth border. The centre bears the number "XXXV" in silver gilt. A wreath of laurel lays in the quadrants between the arms of the cross. With a loop for suspension. The reverse is plain and smooth and is engraved with the name of the recipient and the date. Measuring 39mm x 42mm and weighing 13 grams.
The Service Cross for Nurses was instituted in 1872 by Grand Duchess Luise. It was conferred upon female nurses who had rendered 10, 15, 20, or 25 years of uninterrupted service. In 1914, awards for 30, 35, and 40 years of service were introduced. The Grand Duchess personally awarded the cross to recipients. Care of the sick and wounded during times of war counted for double when calculating service years. If a recipient received a cross of a higher class, the lower class award had to be returned.
In 1914, higher levels became necessary as women gained more years in service. The 30, 35, and 40 year crosses were introduced that year. Publications about the awards were made sporadically and the last was in 1919. The Service Cross for Nurses remained in existence until 1937.
The cross is often suspended from a pinback Red Cross brooch, which may be suspended from a chain. The cross may have a smooth or pebbled surface. Both versions were awarded simultaneously. The crosses were engraved with the name of the recipient and the anniversary on the reverse.
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