House Order of the Honour Cross, Type II, IV Class Cross with Rays with Swords
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A Maltese cross, constructed of silver, silver gilt, and enamels, with two crossed swords through the centre. Between the tips of the 12 o’clock arm is a five-leafed silver agraffe. The cross is in silver with pebbled arms and a smooth border. 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 ‘L’. 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 1871, it was determined that officers who served in the 1870/1871 campaigns against France were to receive awards featuring crossed swords. It was also decided that if an individual had received a lower class award with swords and then a higher grade without swords, they were allowed to wear the higher grade with swords on the suspension ring.
In 1887, the statutes were amended and the IV Class Medal was added to the order. At this point, oak leaves for outstanding achievement were introduced as a possible addition.
In 1890, the Schaumburg-Lippe House established its own order, and the House Order of the Honour Cross was no longer conferred as a joint award. The statutes of the order remained the same, but the reverse monogram was changed from “LA” to “L”.
In 1911, it was determined that the Grand Cross could be conferred upon foreign sovereigns and princes of ruling houses.
In 1913, the III Class Honour Cross with oak leaves was replaced with the Officers’ Honour Cross. In addition, the IV Class Honour Cross was divided into two types: IV Class Honour Cross with Rays and IV Class Honour Cross without Rays.
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.
Type II features the monogram "L".
Obv: FÜR TREUE UND VERDIENST Rev: L
79 were awarded, plus an additional two for recipients who had already received the version without swords.
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