Order of St. Hubert, Grand Cross Breast Star (unmarked)
Estimated market value:
Image courtesy of eMedals.com
Image courtesy of eMedals.com
Estimated market value:
A Bavarian House & Knightly Order of St. Hubert; Grand Cross c.1835 - In silver, silver gilt, centre applique in gold and enamels, unmarked, 87mm, of very fine quality manufacture, with leather backing on the back of the star, circa 1830-40. Two silver balls on tips of the star missing, otherwise nearly extremely fine and extremely rare.
The Order of St. Hubert was first established in 1444 by Duke Gerhard VII of Jülich-Berg to commemorate a battle won on November 3, the feast day of Saint Hubert. Originally, the order was open for both male and female recipients. The order commemorated the spiritual conversion of St. Hubert, the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, metalworkers, and opticians.
In 1476, William III, the son of Duke Gerhard, renewed the order and established regulations in both Latin and German.
The order was temporarily disused or suspended from approximately 1610 until September 29, 1708 when it was renewed by John William, Elector Palatine and Duke of Jülich-Cleve-Berg. Upon its renewal, a pension was assigned to the members which fluctuated depending on status. The governor received 1,000 Rechstaler, the next three highest ranking knights were to receive 600, the next three were to receive 500, and the youngest three knights received 350. It was required that each recipient donated a tenth of their pension to the poor. Princely knights were excluded from donations.
On March 30, 1800, Elector Max Joseph IV (King Max Joseph I of Bavaria 1806) confirmed it again. On May 18, 1808, the Order of St. Hubert was declared the most distinguished order in the Kingdom of Bavaria. A crown was added to the order around this time. The order was reserved for princely people, with the exception of 12 counts. Due to the age of the order and its high reputation, it is one of the most important German orders. The motto of the Order is “IN TRAV VAST” (in steady loyalty).
Upon its original institution, the hierarchy of membership was relatively flat. The regulations required a grand master, four masters, and a provost. The masters admitted new members and investigated any infractions by existing members. The provost was in charge of maintaining the arms of the brotherhood and wore a special medallion.
In May 1808, the King of Bavaria limited membership to twelve knights, consisting of counts or barons. It cost 200 gold ducats for princes and 100 silver ducats (approximately 120 Reichstaler) for those under the rank of prince to join. The king also established a dress costume for festival days, which consisted of a black collar with a sash with the insignia of the award, short breeches with poppy-coloured garters and bows, a plumed hat, short black cape, and a sword.
The Order of St. Hubert consists of a gold and white enamelled Maltese cross. The obverse centre bears a medallion representing the conversion of Saint Hubert: a stag with a cross between its antlers, with a dog, horse, and Saint Hubert on the right, and the motto “IN TRAV VAST” (in steady loyalty). The reverse bears the imperial orb and the Latin inscription “IN MEMORIAM RECUPERATAE DIGNITATIS A VITAE 1708” (In Remembrance of the Restoration of the Original Dignity 1708).
Upon establishment, the order consisted of a collar and a pendant jewel. The collar consisted of stylized horns, six for men and four for women, connected with a figure-eight. The pendant jewel depicted the conversion of Saint Hubert. The great cross was worn only on special occasions and a smaller cross had to be worn on regular days. Those who did not comply could be fined.
In 1708, the order collar consisted of forty-four gold links, half of which were a rectangular representation of the conversion of Saint Hubert. The other links consisted of the initial letters of the motto “IN TRAV VAST” (ITV) in stylized Gothic font, and each of those links alternated in red or green enamel with small gold rays. A gold and white enamelled Maltese cross hung from the centre of the chain. Each point of the arms bore a ball finial and gold rays protruded from the quadrants between the arms. The obverse centre of the cross bore a round medallion with golden representation of the conversion of Saint Hubert against a green enamel background. The reverse of this cross bore the same design as the obverse, but against a red enamel background.
The sash of the order is poppy red with narrow green stripes at the borders. Under the knot of the sash the green borders and end of the sash consisted of metallic gold thread. The sash was worn from the left shoulder to the right hip. The cross of the sash was a gold and white enamelled Maltese cross with golden flames throughout the arms. Each point of the cross bore a ball finial, and gold rays protruded from the quadrants between the arms. The 12 o’clock arm of the cross was topped with a gold representation of the Bavarian crown. The obverse centre consisted of a round medallion with the conversion of Saint Hubert on a green enamel background encompassed by a red enamel border with the motto “IN TRAV VAST” in Gothic letters. The reverse bears the image of the imperial orb on a red enamel background encompassed by a white enamel scroll with the inscription “IN MEMORIAM RECUPERATAE DIGNITATIS A VITAE 1708”.
The breast star was worn on the left breast. It consisted of a silver eight-pointed radiant star with a cross pattée with a central medallion bearing the motto “IN TRAV VAST” in Gothic letters.
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