Order of Military Merit, Type II, Grand Cross (in gold, 1818-1857)

CATEGORY: Version

SKU: 01.WUT.0107.101.01.000

  • Grand Cross (in gold, 1818-1857)

Estimated market value:

N/A

Attributes

  • Country
    Germany
  • Composition
    Gold/Enamelled
  • Inscription
    Obv: FURCHTLOS UND TREW Rev: W
  • Size
    52x52mm
  • Version Remarks
    The crown that surmounts the Grand Cross (1818-1857) is 23x34mm. It is estimated that the Grand Cross (1818-1857) was awarded 5 times. The award weighs 62 grams.
  • Image Licensing
    The image of the Order of Military Merit, Type II, Grand Cross (in gold, 1818-1857) is a scanned image from the Book "Historische Sammlung aller Ritterorden der verschiedenen Nationen" edited by A.M. Perrot. The book was published in 1821. It is in the public domain in countries where the copyright is the author's life plus 70 years.

History


This Order was originally established as the Militär-Carls-Orden by Karl Eugen, Duke of Württemberg on February 11, 1759. On November 11, 1806, the decoration was reorganised and renamed the Order of Military Merit by King Friedrich I. It was one of Imperial Germany’s oldest military decorations.

The decoration was conferred upon Officers from Würrtemberg and its allied states, who demonstrated bravery in combat or performed deeds of outstanding merit.

The Order's grades and attributes were changed multiple times throughout its history. The monogram on the obverse of the award denotes the King who was in power when the decoration was awarded.

The Order originally consisted of three grades, Grand Cross, Commander’s Cross, and Knight’s Cross. In 1809, the grade of I Class Commander’s Cross was added. Recipients of the Commander’s also received a gilded dagger or sabre with an image of the Commander Cross on the grip. The grade was discontinued in 1819.

In 1818, the Order statutes were renewed and the cross was redesigned. In addition, the colour of the ribbon was changed from yellow and black to blue. The blue ribbon was used until 1914 when it was replaced with the original yellow and black ribbon. At this time, it was determined that civilian recipients of the Order were to be made members of the aristocracy. However, these recipients were stripped of their nobility in 1913.

In 1858, the embroidered Grand Cross Breast Star was replaced with a metal design.

In 1870, a crown was added to the top of the Knight’s Cross. The grades of Grand Cross and Commander’s Cross already had crowns, and in 1914, the crowns were removed from all three grades.

In 1917, it was determined that recipients could wear an enamelled wreath on the Order ribbon in place of the decoration.

An estimated 95 Grand Crosses, 214 Commander Crosses, and 3128 Knight’s Crosses were conferred. The majority of the awards were issued during the First World War.

Following the defeat of Germany in the First World War, the Order became obsolete.

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