Medal for Female Merit, Type I, in Gold
Image courtesy of M. Gritzner, "Handbuch der Ritter- und Verdienstorden aller Kulturstaaten der Welt"
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A smooth circular medal with a raised border, constructed of silver gilt. The obverse features the left-facing portrait Duchess Alexandrine wearing a tiara, with the circular inscription ‘ALEXANDRINE HERZOGIN V. SACHS.-COBURG-GOTHA’. Below the neck is the stamp cutter’s signature ‘HELFRICHT F.’. The reverse features a wreath of laurel, tied at the bottom by a ribbon, with the inscription ‘FÜR WEIBLICHES VERDIENST’ (‘for female merit’) in the centre. On a loop for suspension, on a green ribbon with a broad white centre.
The Medal for Female Merit was instituted by Duke Ernst II of Saxony-Coburg and Gotha on behalf of his wife, Duchess Alexandrine, on January 29, 1869. The medal was instituted on the occasion of the duke’s 25th anniversary of reign. It was awarded to women who had provided particularly meritorious services in the care for the poor, the sick, or other charitable actions.
The duchess, with the permission of the duke, chose the recipients. Upon her death on January 20, 1904, her successor became the duchess of the next duke.
The medal was awarded on January 29 each year. It was awarded with an accompanying document provided by the state ministry.
The medal had to be returned upon the death of the recipient.
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