Order de la Générosité, Cross (1688-1740)
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The Order de la Générosité was founded by Elector Friedrich I of Prussia, yet no regulations were ever officially established. It was founded to award loyal subjects for outstanding service.
In addition to the Order of the Black Eagle, this was the most important award, and it could be awarded in Brandenburg-Prussia as well.
The order was a military and civil order, which could be conferred upon an unlimited number of knights.
The order lost its prestige early on, as it was awarded too often, and often to individuals of doubtful reputation.
On June 6, 1740, the Order was renamed Pour le Mérite by King Friedrich II.
Originally, the Cross had a gem in the centre, but in 1685, it was changed to the inscription “F” (Friedrich) and “Générosité" across the blue enamelled arms. The Cross features eagles in each quadrant. Between 1686 and 1740, there were also decorations with a surmounting crown.
There are no known existing crosses from 1667 to 1688. In 1685, a total of 110 awards were conferred.
The award was exclusively made by royal court goldsmith Samuel Collivaux between 1669 and 1736.
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