Order of Merit, Military Division, III Class Cross

SKU: 01.WLD.0101.205.01

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  • Order of Merit, Military Division, III Class Cross Obverse
  • Order of Merit, Military Division, III Class Cross Reverse


  • country
  • date of institution
    January 14, 1871
  • remarks
    The German name of the award is ‘Verdienstkreuz 3. Klasse mit Schwertern’.

Physical Description

A George’s cross with Maltese cross-style arms, constructed of silver gilt and enamel. The decoration features two crossed swords through the centre. The cross arms are enamelled in white with narrow golden edges. The obverse features the eight-sided coat of arms star of Waldeck in black enamel with narrow golden edges. It features a medallion in white enamel with a red enamelled cross moline with golden edges for Pyrmont. The medallion ring is golden and smooth. The reverse features a finely pebbled centre medallion with the inscription ‘FÜR VERDIENST’ (‘for merit’). On a loop for suspension, on a white ribbon with an inner yellow, centre red, and outer black side stripe on each side.


The Order of Merit was originally founded as a medal by Prince Georg Friedrich of Waldeck and Pyrmont in 1857, but in 1871, it was upgraded to an order by Prince Georg Viktor. The Order of Merit was conferred upon citizens of Waldeck who rendered exceptional service to the princely house and contributed to the welfare of the state.

The order was established in two classes, I Class and II Class. The II Class Medal was the Medal of Merit that had been established in 1857. The II Class was awarded in this form until 1891 when it was reintroduced in a cross design. Recipients of the medal were able to exchange their decoration for the newly designed cross version.

In 1878, the II Class Cross and Silver Merit Medal were added to the order. In 1896, the names of the order’s decorations were changed from “Verdienstorden” ('Order of Merit', ex: Verdienstorden 1. Klasse) to “Verdienstkreuz” ('Cross of Merit', ex: Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse). At the same time, the IV Class Cross was added to the order.

In 1899, the Silver Merit Cross and Golden Merit Medal were introduced. The Gold Merit Medal was produced in a similar design to the original 1857 Merit Medal.

In 1912, the Officer’s Cross was established as the order’s V Class.

As of 1915, swords could be added to all classes to denote military merit. As of 1918, an individual had to have previously received the Iron Cross in order to receive a decoration with swords.


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  • Price

    $1,100 USD

  • Composition

    Silver gilt/Enamelled

  • Inscription


  • Size


  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    72 were awarded.

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