Order of the Lion of Bavaria, Collar
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A chain constructed of silver gilt and enamel, with two varying links. The first link bears the image of a lion rampant on a circular black enamel background, surrounded by a decorative frame with ornamented corner pieces, presenting roughly in the shape of a square. The second link bears the royal monogram of Carl Theodore (CT) on a circular white enamel background. The sides of the link are gold flames.
The Order of the Lion of Bavaria was instituted on January 1, 1768 by Charles IV Theodore, Elector Palatine for the occasion of his 25th anniversary in government. It was originally called the Order of the Palatine Lion, after the Palatinate-Sulzbach branch of the Wittelsbach House, but after the Palatinate branch inherited the Duchy of Bavaria in 1778 the name was changed to the Order of the Lion of Bavaria. The Order was awarded for both civil and military merit. Many who sought to be knights of the Order of the Lion of Bavaria were also knights of the Order of St. Hubert. Recipients of the order were also required to have served the elector house for 25 years. The number of knights of the Order of the Lion of Bavaria was limited to 25, which included the head of the order and the chancellor. In 1808, Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria declared the order extinct and the order was no longer awarded. The Order of Military Merit established in 1866 was influenced by the design of the Order of the Lion of Bavaria.
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