Order of the Golden Lion, Decoration

SKU: 01.HSD.0101.103.01

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  •  Order of the Golden Lion, Decoration (in silver gilt)
  •  Order of the Golden Lion, Decoration (in bronze gilt)
  •  Order of the Golden Lion, Decoration (in bronze gilt)
  •  Order of the Golden Lion, Decoration (in bronze gilt)
  •  Order of the Golden Lion, Decoration (in bronze gilt)
  •  Order of the Golden Lion, Decoration (in bronze gilt)

Attributes

  • country
    Germany
  • date of institution
    August 14, 1770
  • remarks
    The Decoration was issued from 1876 to 1918 and is smaller than the Collar Badge and features the name WILHELMUS I on the reverse.

Physical Description


An ovular medal constructed of gold, or silver gilt, or bronze gilt. There is also a version that features diamonds. The center bears a cut out crowned lion rampant, encompassed by a border with the inscription "VIRTUTE ET FIDELITATE". The reverse border bears the inscription "WILHELMUS I HASSIAE ELECTOR 1803". On a loop for suspension, with a burgundy ribbon sash.

History


The House Order of the Golden Lion was instituted on August 14, 1770 by Landgraf Friedrich II of Hesse Kassel. The order was dedicated to Saint Elisabeth of Hungary, an ancestor of the founder. The order was conferred upon individuals who demonstrated exceptional civil or military merit. Following the death of the last prince-elector of Hessen-Kassel, the order was taken over by Grand Duke Ludwig II of Hessen-Darmstadt. On June 6, 1876, the order was given new statues and was introduced as a Grand Ducal Order. The order consisted of three grades: Collar, Collar Badge and Breast Star. Knights could only become members of the House of Hesse once they were of legal age. The Order of the Golden Lion was ranked after the Grand Crosses of the Ludwig Order and the Order of Philip the Magnanimous. People who possessed the Grand Cross of all three orders would wear the Ludwig Order on the sash, the Order of Philip the Magnanimous around their neck and the Order of the Golden Lion in the buttonhole. The Breast Stars of the three orders would be worn together, with the star of the Order of the Golden Lion under the others. The chancellery maintained the business associated with the order and upon the recipient's death the order had to be returned to the chancellery.

In 1882, the statutes of the Order of the Golden Lion were revised. The Order of the Golden Lion became equal to the Ludwig Order and recipients of both orders then wore the Order of the Golden Lion around their necks. The revised statutes also permitted knights of the order to wear the decoration on a gold chain rather than a ribbon. The Order of the Golden Lion could be conferred upon women and would be worn on a bow on the left shoulder. Again in 1896, the statutes were revisited. According to Statute 7, the order could be awarded with diamonds in special cases.

The order became obsolete in 1918, following the abdication of the last Grand Duke of Hessen-Darmstadt. The files regarding the Order of the Golden Lion were destroyed in a fire during World War II.

The Collar Badge features the name FRIEDERICUS II on the reverse. The Order Decoration features the name WILHELMUS I on the reverse.

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Versions

  • Price

    $4,500 USD

  • Composition

    Gold

  • Inscription

    Obv: VIRTUTE ET FIDELITATE Rev: WILHELMUS I HASSIAE ELECTOR 1803

  • Size

    42x55mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of gold.

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  • Price

    N/A

  • Composition

    Gold/Diamonds

  • Inscription

    Obv: VIRTUTE ET FIDELITATE Rev: WILHELMUS I HASSIAE ELECTOR 1803

  • Size

    42x55mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version contains diamonds.

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  • Price

    $2,600 USD

  • Composition

    Silver gilt

  • Inscription

    Obv: VIRTUTE ET FIDELITATE Rev: WILHELMUS I HASSIAE ELECTOR 1803

  • Size

    42x55mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of silver gilt.

  • View Item
  • Price

    $2,000 USD

  • Composition

    Bronze gilt

  • Inscription

    Obv: VIRTUTE ET FIDELITATE Rev: WILHELMUS I HASSIAE ELECTOR 1803

  • Size

    42x55mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of bronze gilt.

  • View Item

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