Order of St. Hubert, Cordon Cross
Image courtesy of Andreas Thies
Image courtesy of Andreas Thies
Estimated market value:
A gold and white enameled Maltese cross with ball finials at the points of the cross and gold flames throughout the arms. The obverse center bears a medallion depicting the conversion of Saint Hubertus. The reverse bears the imperial orb on a red enamel background, encompassed by a white enamel scroll with the inscription IN MEMORIAM RECUPERATAE DIGNITATIS A VITAE 1708.
The Order of St. Hubert was first established in 1444 by Duke Gerhard VII of Jülich-Berg to commemorate a battle won on November 3, the feast day of Saint Hubert. Originally, the order was open for both male and female recipients. The order commemorated the spiritual conversion of St. Hubert (the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, metalworkers, and opticians). In 1476, William III, the son of Duke Gerhard, renewed the order and established regulations in both Latin and German. The order was temporarily disused or suspended from approximately 1610 until September 29, 1708 when it was renewed by John William, Elector Palatine and Duke of Jülich-Cleve-Berg. Upon its renewal, a pension was assigned to the members which fluctuate depending on status. The governor received 1000 Rechstaler, the next three highest ranking knights were to receive 600, the next three were to receive 500, and the youngest three knights received 350. It was required that each recipient donated a tenth of their pension to the poor. Princely knights were excluded from donations. On March 30, 1800, Elector Max Joseph IV (King Max Joseph I of Bavaria 1806) confirmed it again. On May 18, 1808, the Order of St. Hubert was declared the most distinguished order in the Kingdom of Bavaria. A crown was added to the order around this time. The order was reserved for princely people, with the exception of 12 counts. Due to the age of the order and its high reputation, it is one of the most important German orders. The motto of the Order is “IN TRAV VAST” (In Faithful Feast).
Upon its original institution, the hierarchy of membership was relatively flat. The regulations required a grand master, four masters, and a provost. The masters admitted new members and investigated any infractions by existing members. The provost was in charge of maintaining the arms of the brotherhood and wore a special medallion.
In May 1808, the King of Bavaria limited membership to twelve knights, consisting of counts or barons. It cost 200 gold ducats for princes and 100 silver ducats (approximately 120 Reichstaler) for those under the rank of prince to join. The king also established a dress costume for festival days, which consisted of a black collar with a sash with the insignia of the award, short breeches with poppy-coloured garters and bows, a plumed hat, short black cape and a sword.
The Order of St. Hubert consists of a gold and white enamelled Maltese cross. The obverse center bears a medallion representing the conversation of Saint Hubert: a stag with a cross between its antlers, with a dog, horse and Saint Hubert on the right and the motto “IN TRAV VAST” (In Faithful Feast). The reverse bears the imperial orb and the Latin inscription “IN MEMORIAM RECUPERATAE DIGNITATIS A VITAE 1708” (In Remembrance of the Restoration of the Original Dignity 1708). Upon establishment, the order consisted of a collar and a pendant jewel. The collar consisted of stylized horns, six for men and four for women, connected with a figure-eight. The pendant jewel depicted the conversion of Saint Hubert. The great cross was worn only on special occasions and a smaller cross had to be worn every other day and those who did not comply could be fined.
In 1708, the order collar consisted of forty-four gold links, half of which were a rectangular representation of the conversion of Saint Hubert. The other links consisted of the initial letters of the motto “IN TREV FEST” (ITV) in stylized Gothic font and each of those links alternated in red or green enamel with small gold rays. A gold and white enamelled Maltese cross hung from the center of the chain. Each point of the arms bore a ball finial and gold rays protruded from the quadrants between the arms. The obverse center of the cross bore a round medallion with golden representation of the conversion of Saint Hubert against a green enamel background. The reverse of this cross bore the same design as the obverse, but against a red enamel background.
The sash of the order is poppy red with narrow green stripes at the borders. Under the knot of the sash the green borders and end of the sash consisted of metallic gold thread. The sash was worn from the left shoulder to the right hip. The cross of the sash was a gold and white enamelled Maltese cross with golden flames throughout the arms. Each point of the cross bore a ball finial and gold rays protruded from the quadrants between the arms. The 12 o’clock arm of the cross was topped with a gold representation of the Bavarian crown. The obverse center consisted of a round medallion with the conversion of Saint Hubert on a green enamel background encompassed by a red enamel border with the motto “IN TREV FEST” in Gothic letters. The reverse bears the image of the imperial orb on a red enamel background encompassed by a white enamel scroll with the inscription “IN MEMORIAM RECUPERATAE DIGNITATIS A VITAE 1708” (In Remembrance of the Restoration of the Original Dignity 1708).
The breast star was worn on the left breast. It consisted of a silver eight-pointed radiant star with a cross pattee with a central medallion bearing the motto “IN TREV FEST” in Gothic letters.
Obv: IN TRAV VAST Rev: IN MEMORIAM RECUPERATE DIGNITATIS AVITAE 1708
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