House Order of the Honour Cross, Type I, I Class Cross
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A Maltese cross, constructed of gold and enamels. On top of the 12 o’clock arm, attached via two curved pieces, sits a mobile golden crown. The cross is enamelled in white with golden borders, and each cross arm tip features a golden ball finial. The centre features an eight-sided golden star with a superimposed medallion in white enamel with a red enamelled rose with golden centre and leaves. The medallion ring is enamelled in blue with a narrow golden border and features the inscription ‘FÜR TREUE UND VERDIENST’ (‘for loyalty and merit’), with a small six-sided golden star at the bottom. The reverse is similar, except that the medallion is enamelled in red and features the crowned golden monogram ‘LA’. On a loop for suspension, on a red ribbon with broad yellow borders.
The House Order of the Honour Cross was instituted by Prince Leopold III of Lippe and Adolf-Georg of Schaumburg-Lippe, and was conferred in recognition of distinguished civil and military merit.
The order originally consisted of the following grades: I Class, II Class, III Class, Golden Merit Cross, and Silver Merit Cross. The order also featured a Grand Cross with Grand Cross Breast Star, but it was reserved for the princes of Lippe-Detmold and Lippe-Schaumburg.
The order was freely conferred by both founders and could be awarded to foreigners.
In 1887, the statutes were amended and the IV Class Medal was added to the order. At this point, swords for war merit and oak leaves for outstanding achievement were introduced as possible additions.
The awards of Type I feature small golden ball finials on the ends of the cross arms. The awards of Type II do not feature these.
The I Class Cross features a surmounting crown.
The I Class Cross and Grand Cross are similar in size.
Obv: FÜR TREUE UND VERDIENST Rev: LA
137 were awarded.
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