House Antecedent Order of Henry the Lion, Grand Cross (in silver gilt)
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A decoration constructed of silver gilt and enamels. The obverse center bears a Brunswick stead in silver, in front of a column. The top bears a crown over enamelled peacock feathers and the bottom bears another crown with a blue enamel border inscribed with "SEMPER IDEM". The reverse is plain with a vertical loop for attachment. Measuring 75.5mm x 107mm and weighing 142.25 grams.
The House Antecedent Order of Henry the Lion was established by Duke Ludwig Rudolf in 1731, following his accession to power. The statutes of the order were dated July 27, 1731. The order had only 24 living members, which consisted of 12 Gentlemen and 12 Ladies. It was recommended to engage in charitable acts towards widows and orphaned children and swearing and defamation was prohibited. Upon the death of the recipient, the award had to be returned. Duke Ludwig Rudolf died on March 1, 1735 and the order was transferred to the East Frisian Princely House of Circksena. Prince Carl Edzard became the grand master of the order and continued to award it. A handwritten list from the Duke from 1737 shows that 20 people bore the order, 9 of which were women. On May 26, 1744, Prince Carl Edzard died and the order was lost. It would not be until 1834 when the order would be reinstated as the Dukely Order Of Henry The Lion. For more information on the Dukely Order of Henry the Lion, please see the folder entitled with the same name.
The motto of the House Antecedent Order of Henry the Lion was "SEMPER IDEM," which translates to "Always the Same."
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