Order of Military Merit, Civil Division, I Class Cross Breast Star

CATEGORY: Version

SKU: 01.BAV.0107.104.01.000

Estimated market value:

$5,000+ USD

  • Order of Military Merit, Civil Division, I Class Cross Breast Star
  • Order of Military Merit, Civil Division, I Class Cross Breast Star
  • Order of Military Merit, Civil Division, I Class Cross Breast Star

Estimated market value:

$5,000+ USD

Attributes

  • Country
    Germany
  • Makers
    Jacob Leser, Straubing
  • Composition
    Silver/Gold/Enamelled
  • Inscription
    Obv: MERENTI
  • Size
    76mm
  • Version Remarks
    This specific version was produced by Jacob Leser, Straubing.

Physical Description and Item Details


An eight-pointed star constructed of silver, gold and enamels. The obverse bears a blue enamelled Maltese cross with gold flames in the quadrants between the arms, The obverse center bears a black enamelled medallion with the crowned cipher of King Ludwig III (L) and is encompassed by a broad white enamelled ring in the form of a buckled belt, inscribed with "MERENTI" (MERIT), in gold lettering. The reverse bears a vertical pinback.

History


The Order of Military Merit was established on July 19, 1866 by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It was Bavaria’s main decoration for acts of bravery and military merit; however, it was ranked below the Military Order of Max Joseph. Military personnel, civilians acting in support of the military, and members of foreign armies were eligible for the Order of Military Merit. If an individual’s act of bravery or merit was exceptional, they qualified for the Military Order of Max Joseph. The award was initially awarded in five classes: Grand Cross, Grand Commander, Commander, I Class Knight and II Class Knight and an affiliated Merit Cross. Award ribbons varied based on division and class. In 1891, swords were donated to all classes for acts of bravery or merit in war. The order could be conferred with or without swords; awards with swords were generally issued during periods of war or combat.

In 1900, the Officer’s class was added to the order. In 1905, the classes were renamed Grand Cross (and Grand Cross Breast Star), I Class Cross (and I Class Breast Star), II Class Cross (and II Class Breast Star), Officer Cross, III Class Cross, IV Class Cross, I Class Knight’s Cross, II Class Knight’s Cross, I Class Military Merit Cross, II Class Military Merit Cross and III Class Military Merit Cross. The Grand Cross and I Class Cross were awarded with a Breast Star; the II Class Cross could be awarded with or without a Breast Star. The III Class Cross and IV Class Cross could be awarded with or without a crown. This distinction was generally based on rank. There was also a Military Merit Cross, which was awarded to Non-Commissioned Officers and enlisted men. Producers of the order include Eduard Quellhorst, Munchen; Hausinger, Munich; Hemmerle, Munich; Jacob Reader, Straubing; Deschler & Sohn, Munich; L. Christian Lauer, Nuremberg and Weiss & Cie, Munich.

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