Order of the Zähringer Lion, Grand Cross

SKU: 01.BAD.0103.102.01

Estimated market value:

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  • Grand Cross (in gold) Obverse with Ribbon
  • Grand Cross (in gold) Obverse
  • Grand Cross (in gold) Obverse
  • Grand Cross (in gold) Reverse
  • Grand Cross (in gold) Obverse
  • Grand Cross (in gold) Reverse
  • Grand Cross (in gold) Obverse Detail
  • Grand Cross (in gold) Reverse Detail

Attributes

  • country
    Germany
  • date of institution
    December 26, 1812
  • remarks
    There is a great deal of variation within the Types of the Order. Small variations in design exist because of different manufacturers. The following variables may be encountered: size; composition; manufacturer; medallion; inscription punctuation; surmounting crown or wreath; enameled wreath; suspension.

Physical Description


A straight armed cross paty constructed of gold or silver gilt and enamels. There are ornate arabesque designs in the quadrants between the arms. The arms of the cross are in green enamels. The obverse center bears a circular medallion with the image of hand-painted ruins of the Stammschloss Zähringen, encompassed by a gold border. The reverse bears a circular medallion with a lion rampant on a red enamel, background, encompassed by a gold border. With an elongated suspension, on a green sash ribbon with yellow stripes.

There are examples of the Grand Cross with oak leaf suspensions.

History


The Order of the Zähringer Lion was established by Grand Duke Charles on December 26, 1812. It is also suggested by historians that the order was founded by Grand Duke Karl in 1809 and was named in honor of his ancestors, the Dukes of Zähringen. The Order of the Zähringer Lion was awarded to recognize civil and military merit. The first order conferral ceremonies took place in 1815. Members of the grand ducal house were born members of the order. The order originally featured three classes: Grand Cross (and Grand Cross Breast Star), Commander and Knight. In 1815, surmounting golden oak leaves could be awarded with all classes to indicate additional merit and achievements. The oak leaves originally included an “L” cipher, but it was eventually discontinued in 1866. On June 17, 1840, the statues of the Order were officially instituted by Grand Duke Ludwig. At that point, the Commander class was divided into I Class Commander (and I Class Commander Breast Star and II Class Commander. In 1866, the Knight class was divided into I Class and II Class Knight. Swords were also instituted to indicate war merit. The first collar was awarded in 1868.

In 1879, the statutes were altered to permit a cross with swords to be worn beside a higher rank awarded later. Grand Duke Friedrich I also determined that officers and war officials of the Grand Ducal Army Corps, who were bearers of the Order of Military Merit of Charles Frederick and the Order of the Zähringer Lion had to carry the latter with swords. On the occasion of Grand Duke Friedrich I’s 25 year government jubilee in 1877, the order grew to six classes as the Knight of the Order of Berthold I was added. On April 29, 1889, a Merit Cross was added as an order grade to reward civilians for exceptional bravery and merit. The addition of the Knight of the Order of Berthold I was separated from the Order of the Zähringer Lion in its own order on September 9, 1896.

Recipients of the order could incorporate the insignia of the order into their coat of arms. If a person upgraded class or died the order had to be returned. The awards without swords were conferred for civil merit, while the awards with swords were conferred to recognize military merit.

The Grand Cross with Grand Cross Breast Star were, on occasion, awarded with diamonds, and there may be examples of the Grand Cross with coloured stones.

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Versions

  • Price

    $5,130 USD

  • Composition

    Gold/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    59.87 mm x 59.53 mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of gold. A total of 763 were awarded. Sold by eMedals [$5,130].

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  • Price

    $4,000 USD

  • Composition

    Silver gilt/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    59mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of silver gilt.

  • View Item
  • Price

    $12,700 USD

  • Composition

    Gold/Diamonds/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    60mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of gold and contains diamonds. There is a smaller variation of this version with diamonds and coloured gems...

  • View Item
  • Price

    $7,000 USD

  • Composition

    Gold/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of gold and bears an "L" cipher on the oak leaf suspension. This version was discontinued in 1866.

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  • Price

    $6,800 USD

  • Composition

    Gold/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    57.5x88mm; 30x29mm (oak leaves)

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version replaced the version with "L" cypher that was discontinued in 1866. A total of 32 were awarded.

  • View Item
  • Price

    $5,000 USD

  • Composition

    Silver gilt/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    57.5x88mm; 30x29mm (oak leaves)

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of silver gilt and replaced the version with "L" cypher that was discontinued in 1866.

  • View Item
  • Price

    $12,000+ USD

  • Composition

    Gold/Diamonds/Enamelled

  • Inscription

  • Size

    60x94mm; 31x30.5mm (oak leaves)

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of gold and diamonds. It replaced the version with "L" cypher that was discontinued in 1866.

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