Order of the Golden Eagle, Collar
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A collar, constructed of gold and enamel. It consists of nine chain links each of two varieties, as well as ten golden eagles, all connected by small eyelets. The reverse of all links is golden and smooth. The first variety of links is in the shape of a dark green enamelled medallion with the golden crowned monogram ‘FR’. The second variety of links is in the shape of a dark green enamelled medallion with three golden intertwined hunting horns with red/white/blue enamelled mouthpieces. The centrepiece is in the shape of two golden eagles holding a ring, from which the cross is suspended.
The Order of the Golden Eagle was originally established in 1702 by Duke Eberhard IV of Württemberg as the Order of the Hunt or the Order of St. Hubert. The order was reorganised on March 6, 1807 by Friedrich I and renamed the "Order of the Golden Eagle".
This order was conferred upon royalty, members of the nobility, and senior civil servants who held a rank that was equivalent to at least a Field Marshal Lieutenant. Originally, Knights of the order were required to have noble ancestry that dated back at least 16 generations, but this requirement was removed in November 1812. The decoration was conferred upon royalty, such as sovereign princes, as a means to pay tribute to and demonstrate the friendship between the two parties. Members of the nobility and others received the decoration as a reward for virtue and merit. The order was intended to serve as a public symbol of goodwill and its motto was "Virtutis Amicitiae Que Foedus", which translates to "Virtue and Covenant of Friendship".
The number of Knights admitted to the order was limited to 50, not including members of the king’s family and the members of the reigning prince's family. The children of the king were entitled to receive the order after they were baptised; the king’s first son received the decoration after his first full year of life; the king’s other sons and the uncle of the crown prince received the decoration at the age of 7. The remaining princes of the royal family received the order when they turned 14.
Every recipient of the order was required to conduct himself with dignity and honour, in order to further the reputation of the order. In addition, members of the order were to live in peace with one another, and they were also required to care for and be charitable to the poor.
As master of the order, the king alone decided who was conducted into the order.
On September 23, 1818 the Order of the Golden Eagle was combined with the Order of Civil Merit to create the Order of the Württemberg Crown.
The Collar was composed of 14 gold eagles connected by 14 gold links.
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124 were awarded. There are no publicly accessible specimens at this time.
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