Order of Ludwig, Grand Cross
Image courtesy of „Handbuch der Ritter- und Verdienstorden aller Kulturstaaten der Welt", Maximillian Gritzner
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The Order was founded by Grand Duke Ludwig I on August 25, 1807, as an Order without a name or Statues. It was not until December 14, 1837, that Statues were adopted and the Order was given a formal title. The Order was divided into five classes including Grand Cross, I Class Commander, II Class Commander, I Class Knight and II Class Knight.
The Order was primarily conferred upon individuals in recognition of civil merit, but following the outbreak of the First World War, it also became an award for military merit. Awards conferred for military merit featured crossed swords.
In 1853, the Order was expanded and Gold and Silver Medal were added as grades.
The Order grades were conferred with diamonds to recognize exceptional merit.
The Order became obsolete in 1918, following the abdication of the last Grand Duke of Hesse.
The Grand Cross with Grand Cross Breast Star was only awarded to hereditary Princes or to individuals who held the rank of Excellency.
Copper gilt/Diamonds/Coloured Gemstones
Obv: L FÜR VERDIENSTE Rev: GOTT EHRE VATERLAND
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