Order of Berthold I, Commander with Swords

SKU: 01.BAD.0104.203.01

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Attributes

  • country
    Germany
  • date of institution
    September 9, 1896

Physical Description


A Maltese cross constructed of gold or silver gilt with ball finals and royal crowns and two crossed swords between the arms of the cross. The obverse consisting of white enamelled arms, with a gold outline along the edge of each arm. The obverse bears a central red enamelled medallion depicting the royal cipher of Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig within a gold ring. The reverse with a similar central red enamelled medallion with a gold royal crown. With arabesques, a crown, a loop and broad ring for suspension.

The crown is attached to the cross by an arabesque. There are significant variations of the design of the arabesque, as well as the medallion.

History


The Order of Berthold I was established on April 29, 1877 by Grand Duke Frederick I to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of his accession to be conferred as an additional class above the grand cross of the Order of the Zähringer Lion. On September 9, 1896, the day of Grand Duke Frederick’s seventieth birthday, the order became separate from the Order of the Zähringer Lion. The order was then expanded into three classes: Grand Cross, Commander and Knight. Originally the Order of Berthold I had been established as an attempt to keep the people’s descent from the Dukes of Zähringen alive. However, with the separation in 1896, the order could be awarded to any individual regardless of status. The Order of Berthold I was awarded to individuals who or faithful service or as a special show of recognition and benevolence. Recipients of both the Order of Berthold I and the Order of the Zähringer Lion could wear both orders at the same time, but the last received order before the other. In 1900, a Collar was added to the Order of Berthold I. The order could also be conferred with swords, indicating military merit. The awards were conferred within two divisions, the Civil Division and the Military Division. The Civil Division awards featured a surmounting crown, and the Military Division awards featured a surmounting crown and crossed swords. In the case of the Breast Star, the Civil Division Breast Stars do not feature a crown or swords, while the Military Division Breast Stars do feature crossed swords.

The I Class Commander and II Class Commander are identical, the only difference between the two grades is that the I Class Commander is awarded with an associated I Class Commander Breast Star.

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Versions

  • Price

    $9,000 USD

  • Composition

    Gold/Enamelled

  • Inscription

    Obv: FWL

  • Size

    59x91mm; 26x25mm (crown); 60.5x3mm (swords)

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of gold. A total of 12 were awarded, all during WWI. One of these was for a II Class Commander.

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  • Price

    $7,650 USD

  • Composition

    Silver gilt/Enamelled

  • Inscription

    Obv: FWL

  • Size

    59x91mm; 26x25mm (crown); 60.5x3mm (swords)

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of silver gilt.

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