Military Merit Cross, Type II, Civil Division, I Class Cross

CATEGORY: Version

SKU: 02.AUT.0102.101.01.000

Estimated market value:

$16160 USD

  • Military Merit Cross, Type II, Civil Division, I Class Cross

Estimated market value:

$16160 USD

Attributes

  • Country
    Austria (Imperial)
  • Composition
    Silver/Gold/Enamelled
  • Inscription
    Obv: VER DIENST
  • Size
    61mm
  • Image Licensing
    This image/illustration is attributed to “Das Ordensbuch Der Gewesenen Osterreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie Orden, Kreuze, Ehrenzeichen, Medaillen, Denkmunzen, Dienstzeichen, Matrikelzeichen, Amtsabzeichen Etz.” by Hauptmann Heinrich F. Michetschlager, first edition published in 1919 in Vienna. This image has been cropped. This resource is in the public domain in all countries where the copyright is the author’s term of life plus 70 years.

History


This decoration was founded by Emperor Franz Joseph I. It was awarded to Officers in the Austrian Army who displayed extraordinary courage and merit in wartime, or who rendered outstanding service in peacetime.

On January 12, 1860 an Imperial decree added a War Decoration to the cross. The War Decoration is a gilt laurel wreath between the cross arms. It was added to the cross of recipients that had courageously faced the enemy during wartime.

Consequently, from 1860 onward the peacetime awards do not feature a laurel wreath, and the wartime awards do have a laurel wreath.

There were several changes made to the cross during Type II (1914-1918).

On September 23, 1914 the Order was amended by an Imperial decree that divided the cross into three separate grades, I Class, II Class, and III Class. Furthermore, on December 13, 1916 crossed swords were added to all crosses awarded for wartime merit, alongside the War Decoration.

The Type II I Class Cross has varying levels of the War Decoration, including the regular War Decoration, the II Class War Decoration, and the III Class War Decoration.

The regular War Decoration is a large enamelled laurel wreath between the cross arms, it continued to be awarded to Officers for wartime merit.

The II Class War Decoration is a small enamelled laurel wreath that tightly surrounds the obverse medallion. The II Class War Decoration was added to the I Class Cross when the recipient had previously been awarded the I Class Cross (with War Decoration). If the recipient had previously been awarded the II Class Cross (with War Decoration and swords), gold-coloured crossed swords and the II Class War Decoration were added to the I Class Cross.

The III Class War Decoration is a small laurel wreath without enamel that surrounds the centre medallion. The III Class War Decoration was added to the I Class Cross when the recipient had previously been awarded the III Class Cross (with War Decoration). If the recipient had previously been awarded the III Class Cross (with War Decoration and swords), silver-coloured crossed swords and the III Class War Decoration were added to the I Class Cross.

The I Class Cross was only awarded to high ranking military personnel, such as Generals.

The Small awards, also known as Kleine Dekorationen or Small Orders, were worn as less formal versions of the crosses. The Small awards adopted the form of the III Class Cross (with War Decoration) and feature miniature devices on the ribbon.

The Small I Class Cross has a miniature I Class Cross on the ribbon.

The Small I Class Cross (with War Decoration) has a miniature I Class Cross with a large laurel wreath on the ribbon.

The Small I Class Cross (with War Decoration and gold swords) has a miniature I Class Cross with a large laurel wreath and crossed gold swords on the ribbon.

The Small I Class Cross (with War Decoration and silver swords) has a miniature I Class Cross with a large laurel wreath and crossed silver swords on the ribbon.

The Small I Class Cross (with II Class War Decoration) has a miniature I Class Cross with a smaller laurel wreath with enamel on the ribbon.

The Small I Class Cross (with II Class War Decoration and gold swords) has a miniature I Class Cross with a smaller laurel wreath with enamel and crossed gold swords on the ribbon.

The Small I Class Cross (with II Class War Decoration and silver swords) has a miniature I Class Cross with a smaller laurel wreath with enamel and crossed silver swords on the ribbon.

The Small I Class Cross (with III Class War Decoration) has a miniature I Class Cross with a smaller laurel wreath with no enamel on the ribbon.

The Small I Class Cross (with III Class War Decoration and swords) has a miniature I Class Cross with a smaller laurel wreath with no enamel and crossed swords on the ribbon.

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