Military Order of Christ, Type I, Grand Cross Breast Star

SKU: 01.PRT.0102.102.01

Estimated market value:

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  • Grand Cross Breast Star (Gold) Obverse
  • Grand Cross Breast Star (Gold) Obverse
  • Grand Cross Breast Star (Gold) Reverse
  • Grand Cross Breast Star (Gold by Frederico Da Costa) Obverse
  • Grand Cross Breast Star (Gold by Frederico Da Costa) Reverse
  • Grand Cross Breast Star (Gold by Frederico Da Costa) Reverse Detail

Attributes

  • country
    Portugal
  • date of institution
    1319
  • makers
    Frederico Da Costa, Lisbon; Hemmerle, Munich
  • remarks
    The information presented here pertains to the Military Order of Christ following its secularisation, as there is little evidence to determine the form and attributes of the early religious order. For more information see also the Order of Christ in the Orders of Brazil and the Supreme Order of Christ in the Orders of the Vatican.

History


The Military Order of Christ (Ordem de Cristo) has a long and convoluted history closely related to Portugal and the Catholic Church. Its origins lie on the dissolution of the Templar Order by Pope Clement V in 1312, therefore the Portuguese crown was encouraged to create a new order -the Order of Our Lord Jesus Christ- to protect the properties and domains of the Knight's Templar in Portugal; the Order is considered direct heir of the Templars in Portugal.

The Order of Our Lord Jesus Christ was established by King Denis in 1319 as a religious Order under the Cistercian rule to serve the Portuguese crown and expel the Moors from the peninsula. It participated actively of the crusades, the inquisition and the first overseas travels. In fact, it was part of the Christopher Columbus's fleet that arrived in America in 1492.

In 1420, Prince Henry the Navigator assumed the Order's administration, linking it with a new overseas history that located it around the world following the discoveries in Africa, Indies and America.

It continued to flourish as a religious Order until the late 18th century. In 1516, the Order's Master Ship was granted to the Portuguese Crown perpetually.

The Order was secularized by Queen Mary I in 1789. At the time of its secularization, the Order was composed of three grades: Grand Cross, Commander, and Knight.

In 1807, King João I of Portugal and his court arrived to Brazil right after the Napoleonic invasion of Portugal. As Grand Master, King João I created knights among the new Brazilian royal society and the Portuguese living in Rio de Janeiro. Since then, it was created a new branch of the Order of Christ in Brazil, the latter had its own statutes and grades, in spite of the insignia was very similar to the Portuguese one. The Order of Christ was awarded in Portugal as well as in Brazil during the 19th century.

The Order was disbanded in 1910 following the establishment of the First Portuguese Republic, but it was re-established in 1918. The Grand Officer and Officer were added during the First Portuguese Republic.

The Order is currently conferred upon Portuguese civilians and military personnel, as well as foreigners, in recognition of exceptional service rendered to the Republic, or in the government, parliament, diplomatic corps, or civil service. The President of the Republic is the Grand Master of the Order.

Since 1917, It has consisted of five grades: Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer, and Knight.

In Medal Book, the Military Order of Christ is classified into two types according to design changes outlined in official statutes. Type I decorations were awarded from 1789-1910, and Type II decorations have been awarded since 1918.

There was a limit of 6 Grand Crosses from 1789-1834.

The Type I Grand Cross Breast Star has 22 or 24 rays. The centre medallion is surmounted by a Sacred Heart. Versions with 8 rays are unofficial and were likely manufactured outside of Portugal.

Type I decorations are highly variable and may differ in design, manufacturer, size, or composition.

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Versions

  • Price

    $500+ USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Gold/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    62-71x82mm

  • Maker

    Frederico Da Costa, Lisbon; Hemmerle, Munich

  • Version Remarks

  • View Item
  • Price

    $750 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Silver gilt/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    84x95mm

  • Maker

    J. A. Da Costa, Lisbon; Lemaitre, Paris; Wolfers, Brussels

  • Version Remarks

  • View Item
  • Price

    $750-1150 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Gold/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    70-75x79-90mm

  • Maker

    Lemaitre, Paris

  • Version Remarks

  • View Item
  • Price

    $600-1000 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Gold/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    77-80mm

  • Maker

    Halley, Paris; Mignolet, Paris

  • Version Remarks

  • View Item
  • Price

    $2200 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Silver gilt/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    106mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    mid 19th century

  • View Item
  • Price

    $15500 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Gold/Diamonds/Garnets

  • Inscription

  • Size

  • Maker

    Halley, Paris

  • Version Remarks

    This version has approximately 396 rose-cut diamonds (approximately 7.5 carats).

  • View Item
  • Price

    $7500 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Silver gilt/Gold/Brilliants/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    61x71mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    The reverse is gilt. The brilliants are synthetic.

  • View Item
  • Price

    $1400 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Gold/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    70mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    early 19th century

  • View Item
  • Price

    $1700 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Gold/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    70.5mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    early 19th century

  • View Item
  • Price

    $1100 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Silver gilt/Sequins/Bullion/Embroidered

  • Inscription

  • Size

    99.5mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    c.1800

  • View Item
  • Price

    $1400 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Silver gilt/Sequins/Cloth/Bullion/Embreidered

  • Inscription

  • Size

    71mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    c.1800

  • View Item
  • Price

    $1400 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Gold/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    48mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

  • View Item
  • Price

    $1400 USD

  • Composition

    Silver gilt/Gold/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    45mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    pre-1834

  • View Item

Miniatures

  • Price

    $230 USD

  • Size

    19x21.5mm

  • Remarks

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