Royal House Order of Hohenzollern, Miniature Knight
Image courtesy of eMedals.com
Image courtesy of eMedals.com
Estimated market value:
Prussia, Kingdom. A House Order of Hohenzollern, Miniature Knight’s Cross with Crown & Swords, c.1915
(Königlicher Hausorden von Hohenzollern Kreuz der Ritter mit Schwertern). Instituted 18 January 1851 by King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. (1864-1918 issue). In silver gilt, consisting of a Cross Pattée with black and white enameled arms, with a green enameled laurel wreath joining the quadrants, obverse with a central white enameled disc bearing a black Hohenzollern imperial eagle, within a ring of blue enamel bearing a gilt inscription of “VOM FELS ZUM MEER” with green enameled laurel branches, with gilt swords piercing the centrepiece, the reverse with a central white enameled disc bearing a monogram of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, within a ring of blue enamels bearing a gilt institution date of “DEN 18. IANUAR 1851” with green enameled laurel branches, measuring 14.84 mm (w) x 25.18 mm (h) (inclusive of integral ring), weighing 3.2 grams, worn, otherwise near extremely fine.
On December 5, 1841, the Order was established by joint decree of Prince Konstantin of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Prince Karl Anton of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. The two principalities were collateral lines of the House of the Hohenzollern, and cousins to the ruling house of Prussia.
Following the annexation of these two principalities, the Order was adopted by the Prussian ruling house. Although the principalities were annexed, the princely lines continued to award the Order as a house order, entitled the Princely House Order of Hohenzollern.
In order to distinguish between the two Orders, the Prussian version was called the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern.
The Princely House Order of Hohenzollern and the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern co-existed and were awarded independently from each other.
The Royal House Order of Hohenzollern was primarily conferred in recognition of war merit, but if a civilian or low-ranking Official demonstrated exceptional merit they could be awarded an Eagle (Adler) grade. The Eagle grades were only awarded to civilians and were never awarded with crossed swords.
The Order originally featured three grades, Grand Commander, Commander, and Knight.
In 1861, several grades were added to the Order including, the Grand Commander Breast Star, the Commander Breast Star, and the IV Class/Member.
In 1864, crossed swords through the centre of the cross were added as an attribute that could be conferred with all regular Order grades for military and war merit.
All regular Order grades could also be awarded with surmounting Jubilee numbers including "50" and "60".
A miniature version of the St. John Cross could be added to the upper cross arms of Order awards, which were conferred for merit in the care of sick and wounded military personnel.
The Knight with crossed swords was only awarded to Officers.