"I gave gold for iron"
In 1813, Princess Marianne of Prussia called on all women to surrender their gold jewelry to finance the wars of liberation against Napoleon. In return they received an iron ring with the inscription "I gave gold for iron". Iron jewelry became a symbol of women's patriotism.
The appeal was repeated during the First World War. The donors received an iron medal "I gave gold as a defense, I took iron as an honor".
Men who took part in these actions surrendered their gold and silver pocket watches instead of jewelry. Since the clockworks were made of the harder but worthless brass, they either got the clockwork back or made do with the most beautiful part of the plate, the clock cock.
Some had watch cases made of iron. The cocks were processed in a variety of ways. They were used to make jewelry, watch keys or pictures (see next page).