Prior to and during World War II, Germany contracted privately owned “Court Jewelers” for the manufacturing of awards, decorations and orders (as opposed to most countries that used government used mints). At the onset of war, these firms operated under a lenient system which permitted them to make several variations of awards, such as the “Convex” Iron Cross, and even allowed other jewelers which were not under government contract to reproduce awards for private purchase by recipients. Faced with the chaos of having its decorations liberally distributed, the Government intervened, and in 1941 outlawed the private purchase of awards from non-licensed dealers. From that point on, all recipients that wished to purchase duplicate copies had to do so through a government authorized firm. The laws also placed specific guidelines by which all decorations were to be constructed, and the production of non-standard awards was severely curved. Therefore, a majority of the variations that are encountered in awards today come from those manufactured early on in the war. From 1941 onward, regularization was the norm, or at least the goal, in the world of Third Reich decorations.

The LDO, (Leistungs Gemeinschaft der Deutscher Ordenshersteller, Administration of German orders Manufacturers), was a self-governing organization formed in 1941 which regulated the manufacturing of all German awards. This organization and its members, through decrees which came directly from the Fuhrer’s office, tightly supervised the dimensions, materials and construction methods used to create the medals that would decorate Germany’s soldiers. It was also an information source, and construction methods were discussed and shared among firms. All members of this organization were issued a number, an “LDO number” or Prasidialkanzlei (Arabic) number , which was supposed to be stamped on all awards produced by these firms. In reality this particular regulation was not tightly enforced, and a great number of awards were produced with no mark all. It has been stated that the numbers that identified the firms changed on a regular basis, when, in reality, this was not the case. Some firms do have two numbers, one which is prefixed by an “L” and a Prasidialkanzlei one, but these did not change during the war. One explanation put forth for this is that the “L” prefixed to a number was used for privately purchased pieces, where the Prasidialkanzlei number was used for award pieces.

The presence or absence of a manufacturer’s mark does in no way determine the originality of a piece, as these have been copied extensively. They do help, however, in cases where the manufacturer mark is blurry, or where the same number has been copied so much that a collector is weary of it, as is the case with the L/16 in the Spange to the Iron Cross 2nd Class 1914.

Below is a list of the Prasidialkanzlei and LDO numbers with the firms that they represent. Depending on the particular award, this number is found on the ribbon loop, pin, or stamped on the back. This list will be updated as new information comes to light, and as always, if you find an omission or mistake please send me an e-mail.

Prasidialkanzlei Numbers

1 Deschler &Sohn Munchen
2 C.E. Junker Berlin
3 Wilheim Deumer Ludenscheld
4 Steinhauer & Luck Ludenscheld
5 Hermann Wernstein Jena-Lobstedt
6 Fritz Zimmermann Stuttgart
7 Paul Meyhauer Berlin
8 Ferdinand Hoffstadter Bonn a. Rhein
9 Liefergsmeinschaft Scmuckhandwerker Pforzheim
10 Foerster & Barth Pforzheim
11 Grossmann & Co. Wien
12 Frank & Reif Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen
13 Gustav Brehmer Markneukirchen/Sa
14 L. Chr. Lauer Nurnberg-W
15 Friedrich Orth Wien
16 Alols Rettenmaler Scwablsch-Gmund
17 (Unknown)
18 Karl Wurster K.G. Markneukirchen/Sa
19 E. Ferd Weidmann Frankfurt/Main
20 C.F. Zimmermann Pforzheim
21 Gebr. Godet & Co. Berlin
22 Boerger & Co. Berlin
23 Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Heereshedarf darf In der Graveur-u. Ziseleurinnung
24 Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Hanauer Plaket-ten-hersteller
25 Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Graveur-Gold-und Silberschemiede-Innungen
26 B. H. Mayer's Kunst-prageanstalt Pforzheim
27 Anton Schenkl's Nachf. Wien
28 Eugen Schmidthaussier Pforzheim
29 Hauptmunzamt Berlin
30 Hauptmunzamt Wien
31 Hans Gnad Wien
32 W. Hobachter Wien
33 Friedrich Linden Ludenscheld
34 Willy Annetsberger Munchen
35 F.W. Assmann & Sohn Ludenscheld
36 Bury & Leonhard Hanau a. M
37 Ad. Baumeister Ludenscheld
38 (Unknown)
39 Rudolf Berge Gablonz a.d.N.
40 Berg & Nolte Ludenscheld
41 Geb. Bender Oberstein/Nahe
42 Biedermann & Co. Oberkassel b/Bonn
43 Julius Bauer Sohne Zella Mehlisi/Thur.
44 Jakob Bengel Idar/Oberdonau
45 Franz Jungwirth Wien
46 Hans Doppler Wels/Oberdonau
47 Erhard & Sohne A.G. Schwabisch Gmund
48 Richard Feix Gablonz a.d.N.
49 Josef Feix Sohne Gablonz a.d.N.
50 Karl Gschiermeister Wien
51 Eduard Goriach & Sohne Gablonz/N.
52 Gottlieb & Wagner Ldar/Oberstein
53 Glaser & Sohne Dresden
54 (Unknown)
55 J.E. Hammer & Sohne Geringswalde
56 Robert Hauschild Pforzheim
57 Karl Hensler Pforzheim
58 Artur Jakel & Co. Gablonz/N.
59 Louis Keller Oberstein
60 Katz & Deyhle Pforzheim
61 Rudolf A. Karneth & Sohne Gablonz a.N.
62 Kerbach & Oesterhelt Dresden
63 Franz Klast & Sohne Gablonz a.N.
64 Gottl. Fr. Keck & Sohn Pforzheim
65 Klein & Quenzer A.G. Idar/Oberstein
66 Freidrich Keller Oberstein
67 H. Krelsel Gablonz a.N.
68 Alfred Knobloch Gablonz a.N.
69 Alols Klammer Innsbruck
70 Lind & Meyrer Oberstein a.d.N.
71 Rudolf Leukert Oberstein a.d.N.
72 Franz Lipp Pforzheim
73 Frank Manert Gablonz a.N.
74 Carl Maurer Sohn Oberstein/Nahe
75 (Unknown)
76 Ernst L. Muller Pforzheim
77 Bayer. Hauptmunzamt Munchen
78 Gustav Miksch Gablonz/N.
79 (Unknown)
80 G.H. Osang Dresden
81 Overhoff & Cle Ludenscheid
82 Augustin Prager Gablonz a.N.
83 Emll Peukert Gablonz a.N.
84 Carl Poellath Schrobenhausen
85 Julius Pletsch Gablonz/N.
86 Paulmann & Crone Ludenscheid
87 Roman Palme Gablonz a.N.
88 Werner Redo Saarlautern
89 Rudolf Richter Schlag 244 b. Gablonz
90 Aug. F. Richter K.G. Hamburg
91 Josef Rossler & Co. Gablonz a.d.N.
92 Josef Rucker & Sohn Gablonz a.d.N.
93 Richard Simm & Sohne Gablonz a.d.N.
94 (Unknown)
95 Adolf Scholze Grunwald a.d.N.
96 (Unknown)
97 (Unknown)
98 Rudolf Souval Wien
99 Schwertner & Cle. Eggenberg
100 Rudolf Wachtler & Lange Mittweida
101 Rudolf Tam Gablonz a.d.N.
102 Philipp Turks Ww. Wien
103 Aug. G. Tam Gablonz a.d.N.
104 Hein. Ulbricht's Ww. Kaufing b/Schwanenstadt
105 Heinrich Vogt Pforzheim
106 Bruder Schneider A.G. Wien
107 Carl Wild Hamburg
108 Arno Wallpach Salzburg
109 Walter & Hentein Gablonz a.d.N.
110 Otto Zappe Gablonz a.d.N.
111 Ziemer & Sohne Oberstein
112 Argentor Werke Rust & Hetzel Wien
113 Hermann Aurich Dresden
114 Ludwig Bertsch Karlsruhe
115 (Unknown)
116 Frunke & Brunninghaus Ludenscheld
117 Hugo Lang Wiesenthal a.N.
118 August Menzs & Sohn Wien
119 (Unknown)
120 Franz Petzl Wien
121 (Unknown)
122 JJ. Stahl Strassburg
123 Beck, Hassinger & Co. Strassburg
124 Rudolf Schanes Wien
125 Eugen Gauss Pforzheim
126 Eduard Hahn Oberstein/Nahe
127 Moritz Hausch A.G. Pforzheim
128 S. Jablonski G.m.b.H. Posen
129 Fritz Kohm Pforzheim
130 Wilh. Schroder & Co. Ludenscheld
131 Heinrich Wander Gablonz
132 Franz Reischauer Oberstein
133 (Unknown)
134 Otto Klein & Co. Hanau
135 Julius Moser sen Oberstein
136 J.Wagner & Sohn Berlin
137 J.H. Werner Berlin
138 Julius Maurer Oberstein
139 Hymmen & Co. Ludenscheid
140 Schauerte & Hohfeld Ludenscheid
141 Sohni, Heubach & Co Oberstein
142  A.D. Schwerdt Stuttgart

LDO Numbers; Fully Licensed Firms

LDO # Firm Firm Location
L/10 Deschler & Sohn, Munchen 9 Wirthstrasse 9
L/11 Wilhelm Deumer Ludenscheid, Postfach 161
L/12 C.E. Junker, Berlin SW 68, Alte Jakobstr. 13
L/13 Paul Meybauer Berlin SW 68, Alte Jakobstr. 13
L/14 Friedrich Orth Wien VI/56 Schmalzhofgasse 18
L/15 Otto Schickle Pforzheim
L/16 Steinhauer & Luck Ludenscheid
L/17 Hermann Wernstein, Jena Lobstedt
L/18 D.H. Mayer's, Hofkunstprageanstalt Pforzheim
L/19 Ferkinand Hoffstatter Bonn/Rhein Postfach 161
L/21 Foerster & Barth Pforzheim Tunnelstr. 71
L/22 Rudolf Souval, Wein VII/62 Strasse Der Julikampfer 23
L/23 Julius Maurer Oberstein/Nahe
L/24 Fritzzimmermann, Stuttgart-W. Silberburgstr. 58a
L/25 A.E. Kochert Wein 1 Neuer Markt 15
L/52 C.F. Zimmermann Pforzheim Dr. Fritz-Todt-Str. 55
L/53 Hymmen & Co. Ludenscheid
L/55 Wachtler & Lange Rudolf Mittwaida/Sa.
L/57 Boerger & Co., Berlin SO 16 Adalbertstr. 42

LDO Numbers; Partially Licensed Firms

LDO # Firm Firm Location
L/26 Klein & Quenzer Oberstein/Nahe
L/50 Gebr. Godet & Co. Berlin W8 Jagerstr. 19
L/51 E. Ferd. Wiedmann Frankfurt-M. S-10 Schifferstr. 52-54
L/53 Hymmen & Co. Ludenscheid Karlstr.
L/54 Schauerte & Hohfeld Ludenscheid
L/56 Funcke & Bruninghaus
L/58 Glaser & Sohn Dresden-A. Borngasse 5
L/59 Alois Rettenmaier Schwabisch-Gmund Parlerstr. 27
L/60 Gustav Brehmer Markneukirchen/SA (GB)
L/61 Friedrich Linden Ludenscheild (FLL)
L/62 Werner Redo Saarlautern
L/63 G.H. Osang Dresden, A-1 Neue Gasse 30
L/64 F.A. Assmann & Sohne Ludenscheid (A)
L/65 Dr. Franke & Co. Ludenscheid
L/66 A.D. Schwerdt Stuttgart-S, Splittlerstr. 36

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