Order of the Union, Type I, Grand Cross Breast Star


SKU: 01.NLD.0106.302.01.001

Estimated market value:

$1425 USD

  • Grand Cross Breast Star Obverse
  • Grand Cross Breast Star Reverse

Estimated market value:

$1425 USD


  • Country
  • Makers
    Bacqueville, Paris
  • Composition
    Silver Bullion Wire, Aluminum Bullion, Sequins, Enamel

Physical Description and Item Details

This particular star has all the manufacturing characteristics of Bacqueville production, made in 1865. It was created as a display peice.


The Order of the Union was established by Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, King of Holland, in 1806. It underwent a number of name and design changes in its short 5-year lifespan. For the sake of clarity and continuity, all variants are treated here as types within a single order.

The first Order (Type I), the Grand Order of the Union, was founded on December 12, 1806, along with a sister order, the Order of Merit (Type II). The Grand Order of the Union was supposed to be composed of 30 Grand Crosses, while the Order of Merit was supposed to be composed of 50 Commanders and 300 Knights. These Orders were reunited as the Royal Order of Holland (Type III) only a short time later on February 13, 1807.

The Royal Order of Holland was composed of 30 Grand Crosses, 50 Commanders, and 450 Knights. The King’s brother, Emperor Napoleon I of France, did not approve of the Order, and it was altered again in February 1808. The new order was called the Order of the Union (Type IV). It was composed of 30 Grand Crosses, 50 Commanders, and 450 Knights (expanded to 500 Knights later in the same year). This Order introduced Collars and Breast Stars, but it was also short-lived. It was finally superseded by Napoleon’s Order of the Reunion in 1811.

The Grand Cross features an obverse inscription that translates to "Louis I, King of Holland," and a reverse inscription that translates to "Do what you ought, and come what will." There may be additional versions that differ in size.

See also the Order of the Reunion (FRA132) in the Orders of the First Empire (1800-1813) in France.


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Louis Napoleon Bonaparte


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