Order of Franz Joseph, Type I, Knight Cross (by Vinc. Mayer Sohne)


SKU: 01.AUT.0110.106.01.000

Estimated market value:

$500 USD

  • Type I, Knight Cross Obverse
  • Type I, Knight Cross Obverse
  • Type I, Knight Cross Reverse
  • Type I, Knight Cross Mark

Estimated market value:

$500 USD


  • Country
    Austria (Imperial)
  • Composition
  • Inscription
    Obv: VIRIBUS UNITIS FJ Rev: 1849
  • Size
  • Version Remarks
    18 Kt Gold

Physical Description and Item Details

(Franz Joseph Orden Ritterkreuz). A cross with a double headed crowned eagle in solid Gold, with a central white-enameled medallion inscribed “FJ” in Gold, along with chains and “Viribus Unitis” (“United Strength”) inscribed in silver gilt, the reverse of the cross with a a central white enameled medallion dated “1849,” maker marked on the ring for “V. Mayer’s Söhne” with an Austrian "Gemsenkopf" hallmark for 18Kt. Gold purity, and Viennese manufacture, measuring 30.94 mm (w) x 56.99 mm (h - inclusive of Imperial Crown), on loop for suspension from period original tri-fold ribbon, and in near mint condition.


This Order was founded by Emperor Franz Joseph I to celebrate and commemorate the first anniversary of his accession to the throne of Imperial Austria.

The Order was conferred upon foreign citizens and Austrians to recognize special merit within diplomatic, civil, and military service.

It originally featured the grades of Grand Cross with Grand Cross Breast Star, Commander, and Knight.

The Order statutes were amended several times, and attributes added to the Order include the War Decoration, lower class War Decoration, and crossed swords.

The War Decoration was awarded in recognition of merit in battle. It takes the form of two green enamelled tassels below the surmounting Crown of St. Stephan. When the War Decoration was added to a Breast Star it is a large gold-coloured laurel wreath behind the Breast Star rays.

The crossed swords were added to awards for distinguished military service. They are generally added below the surmounting Crown of St. Stephan, and on top of the War Decoration attribute if both attributes are present on a single award. The III Class awards have the crossed swords on the ribbon.

The lower class War Decoration attribute was only awarded to the Type II Order grades, and it was awarded for a lower grade of service in battle. The lower class War Decoration takes the form of a green enamelled laurel wreath that closely surrounds the central obverse medallion.

The Type I awards were conferred on a red ribbon.


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