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When Everything Comes Together

In my collector’s mind the moments when everything comes together can be sublime. Below is a medal I recently snagged on the internet. The listing was for an Austrian military medal but the pictured medal clearly had an Imperial German eagle. The brooch, crossed rifles and base part of the medal were listed as unmarked gold. While this vender may not know the difference between an Austrian and German eagle, I have been watching his sales long enough to know that when he says an item is gold it is. The ornate brooch has space for engraving. On the ribbon are crossed target shooting (not military) rifles. The medal is an ornately cut out and engraved design with two outwardly facing angels. In the center is mounted a black-white-red enameled shield. On this shield is mounted the cut out eagle from a German 50 pfennig coin KM-6 which was minted from 1875-77. The reverse of the medal is engraved “7te Comp. D.K.B. Sept. 21 ‘91” which translates as the 7th Company Deutscher Krieger Bund Sept. 21, 1891” and Deutscher Krieger Bund means German War Veterans Association. In 1891 this would have been mostly Franco-Prussian War Veterans and possibly Germans who were American Civil War veterans. Many of these groups also had competitive rifle teams which would explain the crossed target rifles. Over the years I have collected not only the medals but also information on the various group names and their locations. The trick here is to find a DKB with more than six companies and as far as I can find there was only one which was in the New York Metropolitan area. That was one of my sublime moments.