Royal Order of Saint Ferdinand and of Merit, Knight
Image courtesy of Pages 519 of "Handbuch der Ritter und Verdienstorden" by Maximilian Gritzner.
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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.
The obverse inscription roughly translates to "Fidelity and Merit."
Obv: FIDEI ET MERITO Rev: FERD. IV. INST: ANNO 1800
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