Friedrich Order, Golden Merit Medal (in gold, stamped "K.SCHWENZER" 1892-1918)
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The Friedrich Order was established by King Wilhelm I on January 1, 1830, to commemorate his father King Friedrich I for his great service to the royal House and to the state of Württemberg. The Order was awarded in recognition of meritorious military and civil service rendered to the royal house.
From 1830 to 1856, the Order featured a single Cross grade with an associated Breast Star. In 1856, the Order was amended to include the grades of Grand Cross with Grand Cross Breast Star, I Class Commander with I Class Commander Breast Star, II Class Commander, and Knight.
Type I Order recipients were granted personal Knighthood. They were required to incorporate the decoration they received into their title, as well as into their Coat-of-Arms. Type II Order recipients were not granted personal Knighthood.
As of September 19, 1870, surmounting crossed swords could be added to all grades to recognise a recipient for military merit in wartime. At the same time, the Knight grade was divided into the two separate grades of I Class Knight and II Class Knight. Previous recipients of the Knight Grade were upgraded to I Class Knight. Some sources falsely claim that the Knight grade was divided in 1866.
As of 1890, swords could also be added to the breast star.
In 1892, King Wilhelm II added the grade of Golden Merit Medal to the Order.
As of March 6, 1899, surmounting crowns could be added to the grand cross and the grand cross breast star to recognise a recipient for exceptional and special merit.
As of 1917, the grand gross could be worn as a neck decoration.
Known manufacturers of the Order grades included: F. Steinam, Stuttgart; Eduard Foehr, Stuttgart; Württemberg Royal Mint, Stuttgart; and Jewelers Berg & Cie.
The Order became obsolete in 1918.
The Gold Medal's stamp was designed by Karl Schwenzer from Stuttgart.
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