Order of Berthold I, Grand Cross
Image courtesy of Beaussant-Lefevre
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A gold Maltese cross with ball finals and with white enamelled arms. A crown lays between each of its arms. The obverse bears a central red enamelled medallion depicting the royal cipher of Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig within a gold ring. The reverse with a similar central red enamelled medallion with a gold royal crown. Suspended from swivel gold arabesques with a gold hollow crown and a large gold loop for suspension.
The Order of Berthold I was established on April 29, 1877 by Grand Duke Frederick I to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of his accession, to be conferred as an additional class above the grand cross of the Order of the Zähringer Lion. On September 9, 1896, the day of Grand Duke Frederick’s seventieth birthday, the order became separate from the Order of the Zähringer Lion.
The order was then expanded into three classes: Grand Cross, Commander, and Knight. Originally, the Order of Berthold I had been established as an attempt to keep the people’s descent from the Dukes of Zähringen alive. However, with the separation in 1896, the order could be awarded to any individual regardless of status. The Order of Berthold I was awarded to individuals who served faithfully or as a special show of recognition and benevolence. Recipients of both the Order of Berthold I and the Order of the Zähringer Lion could wear both orders at the same time, but the last received order before the other.
In 1900, a Collar was added to the Order of Berthold I.
The awards were conferred within two divisions, the Civil Division and the Military Division. The Civil Division awards featured a surmounting crown, and the Military Division awards featured a surmounting crown and crossed swords. In the case of the Breast Star, the Civil Division Breast Stars do not feature a crown or swords, while the Military Division Breast Stars do feature crossed swords.
The royal monogram of Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden is featured on the obverse medallion.
The Grand Cross was awarded 172 times.
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