Order of Civil Merit, Type I, I Class Breast Star
Image courtesy of Morton & Eden Ltd
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This Order was established by Prince Ferdinand I, and it was conferred at the discretion of the Monarch in recognition of exceptional achievements in Bulgarian civil life and society.
The Order originally consisted of 6 grades, and the Grand Cross with Grand Cross Breast Star was added to the Order in 1933 by Boris III.
The awards feature an obverse inscription that translates to "For Civil Merit", and a reverse inscription that translates to "2 August 1891".
Type I awards feature a surmounting Princely Crown. Type II awards feature a surmounting Imperial Crown.
From 1944-1946 (Type III) the Order was awarded by the Regency government. The awards issued during this period feature a lion wearing a crown on the obverse and the colours of the Bulgarian national on the reverse medallion.
In 1946 (Type IV) the Order design was altered by the new Republic government. The awards issued from 1946-1947 feature a surmounting wreath suspension, a crown-less lion on the obverse medallion, and the Bulgarian flag on the reverse medallion.
The Order awards issued during the Regency and Republican periods were manufactured in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Due to the variety of manufacturers and Monarchs who issued the Order, the awards feature numerous modifications in size, composition, and design.
In Type I the I Class, II Class, III Class, and IV Class awards feature a surmounting rounded Princely crown. The V Class and VI Class may, or may not, feature a surmounting rounded Princely crown.
The I Class Breast Star was awarded to foreign and Bulgarian high ranking ministers, scientists, clergy, diplomats, and Generals in the Reserve.
Silvered Bronze/Bronze gilt/Enamelled
Obv: 3А ГРАЖДАНСКА 3АСЛУГА
G.A. Scheid, Vienna; Y. Schweitner, Vienna; Rhote & Neffe, Vienna
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