Order of the Golden Militia, Type III, Collar

SKU: 01.VAT.0102.301.01

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  • makers
    Tanfani and Bertarelli, Rome
  • remarks
    The company Tanfani and Bertarelli from Rome is the Vatican’s official manufacturer of Orders and decorations from 1905 onward. There are also some examples of earlier Knighthood awards, which date prior to 1905, that feature the marks “A. Tanfani” or “Tanfani.” The company name was changed after 1967 to Ditta Augusto Casazza, and they continue to be the modern supplier of the Supreme Order of Christ, the Order of the Golden Militia, the Order of Pius IX, the Order of St. Gregory the Great, and the Order of St. Sylvester.


This Order is the oldest honour awarded by the Holy See. While the concrete institution date is unknown, it is believed to have been established in the early 16th century.

The Order was originally bestowed upon any individual whose actions or achievements brought honour to the Catholic Church, or spread its message of faith. It was often awarded to artists and architects whose work exalted Catholicism, and it conferred hereditary Knighthood upon the recipient and his family.

Due to the excessive conferral of Knighthoods by Papal representatives and Italian nobles from 1558-1759, the Order lost its honourable reputation. Thus in 1841, Pope Gregory XVI amended the Order Statutes, revoking the right of anyone except the Pope to grant the Order, splitting the Order into two grades, placing strict limits on the number of allowable recipients for each grade, and annulling all awards not bestowed by the Pope. He also made the cross wearable on a red and black ribbon, and added the portrait of Saint Sylvester to the obverse medallion. After 1841, the Order was unofficially called the Order of St. Sylvester and the Golden Militia, but the official name remained the Order of the Golden Militia.

It was reinstated as a single grade Order by Pope Pius X in 1905. This modern Order is only awarded in recognition of merit, by the Pope, to a maximum of 100 worldwide recipients. When he renewed the Order, Pope Pius X removed the Collar grade, but it was reinstated in 1932. This modern iteration may also be awarded to non-Catholic heads of state, does not confer nobility upon its recipients, is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and could officially be called the Order of the Golden Militia or of the Golden Spur.

Recipients are bestowed with a prefix after being emitted into the Order, with Knight for men and Dame for women.

See Order of St. Sylvester VAT104 in the Orders of the Vatican for more information.

The Type III awards feature a stylized "M" on the obverse medallion to represent the Virgin Mary.

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  • Price

    $18500+ USD

  • Composition


  • Inscription

    Badge Appendant: M

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  • Maker

    Tanfani and Bertarelli, Rome

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