Order of the Iron Crown, Commander
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The Order of the Iron Crown was instituted by Napoleon Bonaparte on June 5, 1805, shortly after he was crowned King of Italy.
The Order was awarded for services that benefited the Crown of Italy. This included military service, as well as services in administration and the arts.
At the time of its creation, the Order had 20 Dignitaries, 50 Commanders, and 500 Knights. On December 19, 1807 an additional 15 Dignitaries, 50 Commanders and 300 Knights were added to the Order.
The Kingdom of Italy was lost by France in 1813, and the Order was taken over by King François of Austria in 1814.
The decoration has an inscription that runs along the base of the crown. The inscriptions may vary between "DIO ME L'HA DATA GUAI A CHI LA TOCCHERA," "DIO ME L'HA DATA GUAI A CHI LA TOCCA," and "DIO ME LA DIEDE GUAI A CHI LA TOCCA." All translate to "God gives it to me, beware whoever touches it."
The Order of the Iron Crown is translated from the French "Ordre de la Couronne de Fer".
The Dignitary decoration was first worn on a yellow sash with green trim that was embroidered with three iron crowns. Later, Napoleon authorized the decoration to be worn around the neck with an Embroidered Breast Star instead of the sash. Despite this authorization, most decorations continued to be worn on a simple sash.
The following variables may be encountered on the Dignitary: inscriptions that may be abbreviated in a number of different ways; size; crowns with or without ball finials; the size of the ball finials; laurel crowns without or without enamel.
See also Order of the Iron Crown in the Orders of Austria for more information.
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