Order of the Rue Crown, Collar
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A collar, constructed of silver gilt and enamel. It consists of 37 letters and seven separating links, each of which is framed on the top and bottom by an inner white enamelled straight line and an outer green enamelled line with two or three rues. The letters are golden. They are smooth on the reverse. The separating links are enamelled in white. The letters combine to form the words ‘PROVIDENTIAE MEMOR FRIDERIC AUG INST MDCCCVII’ (‘mindful of providence, instituted by Friedrich August 1807’). The collar features a carabiner loop to hang the order’s cross from.
The Order of the Rue Crown was established by the first King of Saxony, Friedrich August I, under the direction of Napoleon, who was responsible for raising Saxony to a kingdom.
The order was established as the civil counterpart to the Military Order of St. Henry. It may also be known as the Order of the Crown of Saxony. It takes its name from the green floral crown of rue (crancelin) presented in the coat of arms of Saxony. The first award ceremony took place in July 1807, when King Friedrich August I and Emperor Napoleon exchanged medals in Dresden palace.
Originally, the order had a limited membership of 24 knights, but exceptions were made to include members of royalty and prestigious individuals. Royal princes were automatically admitted to the order at birth. Women were not admitted to the order.
The order was only issued in one grade, Knight. A costume was also planned for the knights, consisting of a grass-green velvet coat, skirt, waistcoat and trousers in French form of smooth drao d’or, black, lined with white atlas and embroidered with gold diamond leaves all around. A hat with a white feather, white silk stockings and a gold or gold-plated sword were also worn.
Two Knight Crosses were awarded with diamonds, one to Portuguese Prime Minister Dom Nuno José de Moura Barreto, Duke of Loulé, and one to Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. A third Knight with diamonds belongs to the crown treasure.
From its establishment in 1807 until the fall of the German Empire in 1928, the cross was only awarded 332 times. After 1918, isolated awards are known but not documented.
The Collar was added to the order in 1870, and was awarded to the reigning king. The collar consists of 37 links, presenting a double border of dark green enamelled diamond leaves with white enamel stripes on the interior. In large gold letters the inscription reads “PROVIDENTIAE MEMOR FRIDERICUS AU GUSTUS INSTITUIT. AO. MDCCCVII”. This translates to “take note of providence”. It is only worn on exceptional occasions.
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