Pour le Mérite for Arts and Sciences, Cross by Hossauer (in gold, c.1850)


SKU: 01.PRU.0114.101.01.000

Estimated market value:

$25,000 USD

  • Cross (Gold) Obverse
  • Cross (Gold) Obverse
  • Cross (Gold) Reverse

Estimated market value:

$25,000 USD


  • Country
  • Makers
    Hossauer, Berlin
  • Composition
  • Inscription
  • Size
  • Version Remarks
    This example was sold by eMedals for $ 25,000 USD in 2015.

Physical Description and Item Details

Pour le M?rite for Science and Arts, in gold and enamels. Marked on reverse "HOSSAUER BERLIN". Superb quality badge, hand chased letters and floral motif, fine details to Imperial eagle. Circa 1850. Mounted on full length of original ribbon. Very tiny enamel flake above floral motif, otherwise extremely fine and rare. (Sold by expertise of authenticity, D. Niemann).


This Order was established by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV as an independent civilian branch of the Pour le Mérite in 1842.

The Order was originally restricted to male civilians for meritorious service and achievements in the arts and sciences, with particular focus on the Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Arts.

In 1918, following the end of the First World War, the state sponsorship of the Order ended. The military class of the order was abolished; however, the civil class remained, with members re-establishing the order as a separate organization, with new rules and a new nomination procedure.

The Order was awarded to new members in 1923, with recipients including, Albert Einstein (1923) and the first female recipient, Käthe Kollwitz (1929).

During the Third Reich, the award became a state honour, and notable Jewish recipients were deprived of their awards.

In 1952, the Order was re-established as an independent organization and continues to be awarded. Active membership in the Order is limited to 40 German citizens and 40 foreign citizens.

A total of 558 Civil Crosses were awarded. These took place between 1842-1917, when 343 were awarded and between 1952-1991, when 215 were awarded. The manufacturer was Wilm, located in Hamburg. Original crosses were made in gold. The '750' hallmark can often be found on decorations.


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