Order of Saint Louis, Embroidered Grand Cross Breast Star


SKU: 01.FRA.0105.102.01.000

Estimated market value:

$6000 USD

  • Embroidered Grand Cross Breast Star
  • Embroidered Grand Cross Breast Star Reverse

Estimated market value:

$6000 USD


  • Country
  • Makers
    Dieu, Paris
  • Composition
    Gold/Gold Paillettes/Gold Wire/Silk
  • Inscription
    Obv: LUDOV MAGINST 1693
  • Size
  • Version Remarks
    This example was sold by Beaussant-Lefevre in 2018 for €5,600.

Physical Description and Item Details

Order of Saint-Louis, Restoration, grand cross plate in vermeil thread embroidery, branches embroidered with sequins edged with vermeil blades, bevelled with fleur-de-lis in stamped vermeil, the center, in vermeil in two parts, presents Saint Louis with the face of three quarters crowned on the right, in armor and royal cloak, holding in his right hand a laurel wreath, in the left, raised, the crown of thorns, the nails of the Passion and a veil, it is surrounded by the baroque floral motif on the plates of the Old Regime, the paper-covered reverse is adorned with the engraved label of the Maison Dieu, supplier of SAS
Mgr. the Duke of Orleans (strong patina, small wear on the tips, and light sinking of the lilies).
97 x 97 mm
France, around 1814-1830.


The Order was founded by Louis XIV on April 5, 1693. It surpassed the Order of Saint Lazarus and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in precedence when it was created.

It was conferred upon Catholic Officers of the Royal Army for meritorious and distinguished military service. It was the first order of merit in France which permitted an Officer who was not of noble birth to be named a Knight. Napoleon’s Legion of Honour was inspired by this Order.

It was renamed the “Military Decoration” in 1791 and was preserved for a short time during the Revolution, but was later discontinued on October 15, 1792. It was re-established by Louis XVIII in 1814 and discontinued permanently in 1830. During the July Monarchy members of the Order were permitted to wear their decorations, but only with the Fleur-de-Lys removed from between the arms of the Cross.

There were three grades of the Order of Saint Louis: Knight, Commander, Grand Cross. Under the statutes of the Order there were limits on the number of Commander and Grand Crosses and an unlimited number of Knights.

Estimates place the number of decorations awarded between 1693-1792 between 34000-35000. From 1792-1814 an estimated 2500 decorations were awarded and from 1815-1830 and estimated 20800 were awarded.

Until the middle of the 18th century the Breast Stars were entirely embroidered. Beginning in the middle of the 18th century the Fleur-de-Lys and medallions were metallic. Later, during the Restoration period, Breast Stars were made entirely of silver. There is a great deal of variation across versions of the Embroidered Breast Star.

The Order of Saint Louis is listed in the Ancien Regime, the First Restoration, and the Second Restoration.


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