Order of the Zähringer Lion, Grand Cross Breast Star

SKU: 01.BAD.0103.103.01

Estimated market value:

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  • Grand Cross Breast Star (in silver and gold) Obverse
  • Grand Cross Breast Star (in silver and gold) Reverse
  • Grand Cross Breast Star (in silver and gold) Obverse
  • Grand Cross Breast Star (in silver and gold) Reverse
  • Grand Cross Breast Star (in silver and gold) Reverse Detail
  • Grand Cross Breast Star (in silver and gold) Reverse Detail

Attributes

  • country
    Germany
  • date of institution
    December 26, 1812
  • makers
    P. Willet, J. Zuber, Halley in Paris, L.Bertsch, L. Raupp
  • 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


An eight-rayed star constructed of silver, gold or silver gilt and enamels. The obverse depicting a central red enamelled medallion with a gold rampant lion, surrounded by a white ring of enamels inscribed “FÜR EHRE UND WAHRHEIT” (For honour and truth) in gold letters, with two enamelled laurel leaves at the bottom. The reverse is plain with a vertical pinback.
The Breast Star can also feature diamonds.

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

    $3,100 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Gold/Enamelled

  • Inscription

    Obv: FÜR EHRE UND WAHRHEIT

  • Size

    86.60 mm x 86.28 mm

  • Maker

    Halley, Paris; J. Zuber; L. Bertsch, Karlsruhe; L. Raupp, Karlsruhe ; P. Willet, Karlsruhe

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of silver and gold. Initially, the Breast Stars were embroidered. Between 1830 and 1850, metal versions w...

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  • Price

    $2,250 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Silver gilt/Enamelled

  • Inscription

    Obv: FÜR EHRE UND WAHRHEIT

  • Size

    78-87mm

  • Maker

    Halley, Paris; J. Zuber; L. Bertsch, Karlsruhe; L. Raupp, Karlsruhe ; P. Willet, Karlsruhe

  • Version Remarks

    This version is constructed of silver and silver gilt.

  • View Item
  • Price

    $14,500 USD

  • Composition

    Silver/Gold/Diamonds/Enamelled

  • Inscription

    Obv: FÜR EHRE UND WAHRHEIT

  • Size

    85.8mm x 86.4mm

  • Maker

  • Version Remarks

    This version contains diamonds. This award was only granted 7 times. The recipients were: Reinhard Frhr. v. Berstett (1815), Graf von Kel...

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