Order of Albert the Bear, Grand Cross Breast Star

SKU: 01.ANH.0101.103.01

Estimated market value:

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

Attributes

  • country
    Germany
  • date of institution
    November 18, 1836
  • makers
    Caroline Bretting, Wilhelmine Kaulitz
  • remarks
    There are many variations in the constructions of this star. The Breast Star rays may be segmented, smooth, or pebbled. In addition, the colour of the enamel work varies depending on maker and period. Value depends on quality and period of manufacture, materials, maker and provenance.

Physical Description


An eight-pointed star constructed of silver, gold and enamels. There are also versions of the breast star are in embroidery. The metal star is also seen with diamonds. The obverse center bears a circular medallion with the enamelled image of a crowned bear ascending a wall, encompassed by a border with the inscription "FUERCHTE GOTT UND BEFOLGE SEINE BEFEHLE". Metal stars bear a pinback on the reverse for attachment.

History


The Order of Albert the Bear was founded by Prince Sigismund I of Anhalt-Dessau around 1382 and was named after Albert the Bear (1110-1170), the first Ascanian Margrave of Brandenburg and the Count of Anhalt and Ballenstadt. The order was forgotten after Prince Sigismund I’s death in 1405. On November 18, 1836, the order was renewed and madea joint House Order by Duke Henry of Anhalt-Köthen, Duke Leopold IV of Anhalt-Dessau, and Duke Carl of Anhalt-Bernburg. The Order of Albert the Bear was awarded by the Dukes to meriotus subjects as a token of honour and distinction.

The Order of Albert the Bear originally featured three main grades and two merit medals, which included: Grand Cross with Grand Cross Breast Star, Commander, Knight, Gold Medal of Merit, and Silver Medal of Merit. In 1848, the grade of Commander was expanded into I Class Commander with I Class Commander Breast Star and II Class Commander. In 1854, the grade of Knight was expanded into I Class Knight and II Class Knight. From 1863, the reigning DUke of Anhalt was the order’s Grand Master. Non-Christians were not eligible for the order until after 1863.

The Order was amended on July 18, 1864, to incorporate crossed swords as a possible addition for wartime merit. The crossed swords, which are added between the top of the medal and the suspension ring, indicate a Military Division award. The absence of crossed swords indicates a Civil Division award.

In 1901, a surmounting gold-coloured crown was added to the grades of Grand Cross, I Class Commander, II Class Commander, and I Class Knight. A surmounting silver crown was added to the grade of II Class Knight. According to the statues, it was possible for a Grand Cross to be awarded with the combination of a crown and swords, however, no such medal was officially produced.

The Breast Stars were uniformly awarded with all Grand Crosses and there are many excellent copies. The Grand Cross Breast Star with swords was created in the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm I.

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Versions

  • Price

    $2,700 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Gold/Enamelled

  • Inscription

    Obv: FUERCHTE GOTT UND BEFOLGE SEINE BEFEHLE

  • Size

    81mm

  • Maker

    Godet, Berlin; Rosenthal, Berlin

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of silver, gold and enamels.

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  • Price

    N/A

  • Composition

    Silver/Gold/Diamond/Enamelled

  • Inscription

    Obv: FUERCHTE GOTT UND BEFOLGE SEINE BEFEHLE

  • Size

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version contains diamonds.

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  • Price

    $2,000 USD

  • Composition

    Embroidered

  • Inscription

    Obv: FUERCHTE GOTT UND BEFOLGE SEINE BEFEHLE

  • Size

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    There are only four known embroidered Breast Stars in existence. It is unknown in which time period these Stars were officially awarded.

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