House Order of Fidelity, Gold Collar
Image courtesy of Glasshouse, Wikipedia
Estimated market value:
The Collar of the House Order of Fidelity is constructed of silver gilt and enamel. The collar consists of thirty chain links of three varieties. The first link consists of an ornamental acanthus design. The second link consists of two intertwined “C” for Margrave Charles Wilhelm III. The third link is of a royal ducal crown of Baden. The links are held with circular loops. The collar has a gem studded suspension in the center where the grand cross is hung. The cross is a Maltese cross with ball finials at the points constructed of gold, enamels, and brilliants. The quadrants between the arms bear the crossed "C" monogram of Margrave Charles Wilhelm III. The cross arms are in red enamel. The obverse centre bears a circular medallion constructed of enamels, with the crossed "C" monogram with the inscription "FIDELITAS" above and three green mountains below. It is encompassed by a border of brilliants. The reverse centre bears a circular medallion with a red fess, the coat of arms of Baden. With a crown suspension on a loop.
The House Order of Fidelity was donated by Margrave Charles Wilhelm III at the laying of the foundation stone of Karlsruhe Palace in 1715, before the establishment of Baden as a Grand Duchy. The order was conferred upon members of foreign royal families, foreign heads of state, and Ducal Princes and Princesses to recognize merit and engender loyalty.
Originally, it featured only one class. The number of members was not limited to a specific number, but the Margrave reserved appointments. Just five years after the establishment of the House Order of Fidelity, in 1720, a star was added to the order. In 1775, the statutes of the order were altered and only nine knights were appointed until 1802. In 1803, the order was separated into two classes - Grand Cross and Commander. A third class was formally donated in 1808, but was never issued. Again, in 1809, the order was made a single class order. In 1815, the first order in diamonds was awarded to Prince Klemens von Metternich.
In 1840, the 125th year of the foundation of the order, Grand Duke Leopold von Baden confirmed the statutes in that reigning princes of the grand ducal house were born knights of the order. However, the awarding of the order took place after the age of fourteen. Knights of the order were allowed to add the medal to their coat of arms. After the death of the recipient, the order had to be returned. Exceptions were made for crosses with diamonds as they were awarded as a personal gift from the Grand Duke. In 1871, the Duke donated a reduced cross for princesses of the grand ducal house.
With the abdication of the throne on November 22nd, 1918 the order was discontinued.
The Gold Collar featured a Grand Cross with diamonds, and the production price was 2,706 marks.
Sign in to comment and reply.