Royal Order of Saint Ferdinand and of Merit, Collar
Image courtesy of Plate 86 of "The Book of Orders of Knighthood and Decorations of Honour of all Nations" edited by Sir Bernard Burke.
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The Grand Crosses were entitled to wear a gold Collar composed of alternating gold-colour links with the images of Fleur-de-Lys, the initial "F" with crossed flags, crowns with crossed flags, and mural-towers with crossed flags.
The Order was founded by Ferdinand IV, King of Naples, to commemorate the defeat of the French, and the return of Ferdinand IV to his Kingdom.
This Order was awarded to men who had proven their fealty by staying loyal to the King. It was also awarded in recognition of extraordinary services that demonstrated an individual’s loyalty to the King and the Royal family.
The Order was originally awarded in two grades, the Grand Cross with Grand Cross Breast Star, and the Commander. The grades of Knight, Gold Medal of Honour, and Silver Medal of Honour were added to the Order in 1810.
The Order was discontinued following the unification of Italy in 1860.
It is recorded that the Order was granted as a dynastic Order until 1912.
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