Order of Civil and Military Merit of Adolph of Nassau, Grand Cross Breast Star (Civil Division)

SKU: 01.LUX.0102.102.01

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  • Order of Civil and Military Merit of Adolph of Nassau, Grand Cross Breast Star (Civil Division) Illustration


  • country
  • date of institution
    May 8, 1858
  • makers
    C. M. Weishaupt & Sons, Hanau; Wunsch-Stehres, Diekirch; Arthus-Bertrand, Paris
  • remarks
    A rare award. The Grand Cross Breast Star (Military Division) is even more rare. Examples with gold rather than silver gilt medallions are believed to be rare early manufactures.


The Order of Civil and Military Merit of Adolph of Nassau was established by Adolph Duke of Nassau by Ducal Decree on May 8, 1858. It is named in honour of his namesake, Adolph Count of Nassau, who ruled as King of Germany from 1292-1298. The Order was not awarded from 1866-1890 during the period when the Duchy of Luxembourg was annexed by Prussia, but it was revived by its founder when he was named Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 1890.

It is conferred upon heads of state and civilians for meritorious service rendered to the state and the Grand Ducal House. It is conferred upon Luxembourgian citizens in recognition of outstanding achievements in the arts and sciences and upon foreigners as a sign of good will. It was also conferred upon foreign soldiers and civilians for merit in the First and Second World War. Luxembourgian princes and princesses are named Grand Crosses at birth but do not wear the insignia until they are 18 years old.

From 1858-1866, the Order was called the Ducal Military and Civil Merit Order of Adolph of Nassau, and from 1890-1927, it was called the Order of Military and Civil Merit of Adolph of Nassau.

The Order has also been the subject of a number of statute changes since its inception and was at one point awarded in 17 grades. It has been expanded since it was originally conferred in four grades and is presently conferred in 13 grades with two divisions.

In 1949, a gilt palm wreath clasp was created that was awarded to members of the Court, members and servants of the Grand Ducal House, Officers, soldiers, gendarmes, and policemen in recognition of violence suffered in the German occupation during the Second World War.

The Order was manufactured by C.M Weishaupt & Sons from 1858 until the beginning of World War I when production was moved to Luxembourg and taken over by Wunsch-Stehres. Wunsch-Sterhes continued production until 1939, but Arthus-Bertrand has produced all awards since 1946.

All decorations are required to be returned following the death of a member or following their promotion to a higher grade.

The Grand Cross Breast Star features an obverse inscription that translates to “Virtue.” There may be additional versions that differ in composition.


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  • Price

    $1000 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Silver gilt/Enamelled

  • Inscription

    Obv: A VIRTUTE

  • Size


  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    A rare award.

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