Order of Civil and Military Merit of Adolph of Nassau, Knight with Crown (Military Division, 1858-1948)


SKU: 01.LUX.0102.209.01.000

Estimated market value:

$1800+ USD

  • Obverse with Ribbon
  • Obverse
  • Reverse

Estimated market value:

$1800+ USD


  • Country
  • Makers
    C. M. Weishaupt & Sons, Hanau; Wunsch-Stehres, Diekirch; Arthus-Bertrand, Paris
  • Composition
  • Inscription
    Obv: A VIRTUTE Rev: 1292 1858
  • Size

Physical Description and Item Details

Luxembourg. A Merit Order of Adolph of Nassau, Knight of the Crown, c.1914

(Ordre de Mérite civil et militaire d’Adolphe de Nassau). Instituted in 1858. Military Division. A bronze gilt Maltese cross with white enamels, ball finials, obverse centre bears the letter ""A"" in Gothic script crowned by an imperial crown, with blue enamel surround depicting laurels and motto ""Virtute"", reverse centre applique presents the dates ""1292"" (the year that Adolf of Nassau-Weilburgwas crowned as King of the Romans) and ""1858"" (order institution date by Adolphe, Duke of Nassau), measuring 40 mm (w) x 59.5 mm (h - inclusive of its crown suspension), chipping and crazing evident in the white enamels on the reverse centrepiece, old gold test on 6 o'clock arm, original ribbon, very fine.


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.

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 Knight with Crown took its present name in 1927. It features an obverse inscription that translates to "Virtue."

There are two versions of the Knight with Crown that vary in size. There is also an unusual version which has "1860" rather than "1858" in its reverse inscription. It is uncertain why this change was made, or if other examples of the Knight with Crown exist with this change, but Silver Merit Crosses are known to have undergone the same inscription change in 1909. There may be additional versions that differ in composition.


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