Royal Guelphic Order, Grand Cross

CATEGORY: Version

SKU: 01.HAN.0102.102.01.000

Estimated market value:

$7,200 USD

  • Obverse
  • Reverse

Estimated market value:

$7,200 USD

Attributes

  • Country
    Germany
  • Composition
    Gold/Enamelled
  • Inscription
    Obv: NEC ASPERA TERRENT Rev: MDCCCXV
  • Size
    58.5x92mm; 25x27.5mm (crown)
  • Version Remarks
    This version is constructed of gold and enamels.

Physical Description and Item Details


A Maltese cross constructed of gold and enamels. The arms of the cross are textured with smooth borders and ball finials at the points of the arms. The quadrants between the arms contain a lion passant. The obverse center bears a circular medallion with the image of a white horse on a red enamel background, encompassed by a blue enamel border with the inscription "NEC ASPERA TERRENT" within a green enamel oak leaf wreath. The reverse center bears a circular medallion with the crowned cipher of King George IV within a border with the institution date in Roman numerals "MDCCCXV", encompassed by a green enamel oak leaf wreath. Between the points of the 12 o'clock arm there is an ornate detailing. Topped with a crown and on a loop for suspension. On a light blue sash ribbon. Weighing 57.4 grams.

History


The Royal Guelphic Order was instituted by King George IV (at the time the Prince Regent of Great Britain) on August 12, 1815, which was not only his father George III’s birthday, but was also the 101st anniversary of first Hanoverian monarch, George I, ascending the English throne. The order was named after the House of Guelph, of which the Hanoverians were a branch. The Royal Guelphic Order was awarded to those who displayed acts of bravery, prudent behavior in front of the enemy, military merit and distinguished service to the Kingdom of Hannover or the United Kingdom. Military personnel could also receive the civilian decoration, although it was only discussed and never applied in practice. The Grand Master of the order was always the King of Hanover, and the number of members in the order was unlimited.

From 1815 to 1841, the award was issued in three classes: Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander and Knight. From 1841 onward, the award was issued in five classes: Knight Grand Cross, I Class Commander, II Class Commander, Knight and Cross of Merit. The grades of this Order were conferred in two divisions, the Military Division and the Civil Division. The Military Division awards feature crossed swords, while the Civil Division awards do not have swords. After the death of a recipient, the order had to be returned to the chancellery. The names and coat of arms of recipients were put up in the castle church in Hannover. An annual festival was held every year on the foundation date of the order.

The order stopped being issued by the British Crown following the death of King William IV in 1837, at which time the union between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Hanover ended. The order continues to be awarded today and the head of the Hanoverian House, Prince Ernst August is the current chancellor.

The Grand Cross is conferred upon high-ranking military Officers, who distinguish themselves by their skill and judgment in the field. It is rarely conferred upon ranks below that of Lieutenant-General, except for exceptional cases, such as an Ambassador demonstrating exceptional diplomatic skill.

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