Order of the Eagle of Este, Military Division, Knight
Image courtesy of Robert Prummel, Wikipedia
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The Order of the Eagle of Este was established by Francis V of Austria-Este, Duke of Modena and Reggio, in 1855. It was conferred upon civilians and military personnel in recognition of meritorious service and loyalty to the Duke. It could also be awarded to foreign recipients.
The Order consisted of Grand Cross, Commander, and Knight classes. Each one was limited for both military and civil divisions with the same number of members. In total for both divisions the Grand Cross was limited to 20 members, the Commander was limited to 40, and the Knight was limited to 120. The Order allowed the admission of extra-numerary members if they paid certain taxes.
When the Order was awarded for civil merit the awards featured an oak wreath suspension; when the Order was awarded for military merit the awards featured a trophy of arms suspension; and when the Order was awarded to extra-numerary, mainly foreigners, the awards featured a gold crown suspension.
After the original recipient died, his heirs were required to return the Order awards to the Chancellery of the Order.
The Order ceased to be awarded in 1861 when Modena was declared part of the Kingdom of Italy; however, since then it is granted as a dynastic order by the Royal House of Austria-Este.
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