Order of Albert the Bear, Silver Medal of Merit with Swords

SKU: 01.ANH.0101.208.01

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Attributes

  • country
    Germany
  • date of institution
    November 18, 1836

Physical Description


A circular medal constructed of silver. The obverse bears the image of a crowned bear ascending a wall with a door, encompassed by a border with the inscription "FUERCHTE GOTT UND BEFOLGE SEINE BEFEHLE". The reverse bears the split coat of arms of the house of Anhalt-Köthen, Anhalt-Dessau, and Anhalt-Bernburg, encompassed by a border inscribed with "ALBRECHT DER BAER REG: 1123 BIS 1170". Topped with two crossed swords (in silver or silver gilt). On a loop for suspension, with a red and green striped ribbon.

There are examples of the Silver Medal of Merit with Swords with a surmounting crown.

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.

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Versions

  • Price

    $280 USD

  • Composition

    Silver

  • Inscription

    Obv: FUERCHTE GOTT UND BEFOLGE SEINE BEFEHLE Rev: ALBRECHT DER BAER REG: 1123 BIS 1170

  • Size

    32mm; 38mm (swords)

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of silver.

  • View Item
  • Price

    $2,100 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Bronze gilt

  • Inscription

    Obv: FUERCHTE GOTT UND BEFOLGE SEINE BEFEHLE Rev: ALBRECHT DER BAER REG: 1123 BIS 1170

  • Size

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of silver, bears silver gilt swords and a surmounting crown. The surmounting crown was added as an attribut...

  • View Item

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