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Bavarian Military Merit Order

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Posted 1 year ago

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fokkerpilot
(1 item)

I've had these two pieces since 1969. I was at a flea market in Waurika, Oklahoma, when I saw them in a case full of costume jewelry. The lady who had them for sale was an American NCO's wife who had recently returned from assignment in Germany. While I didn't know exactly what they were, I didn't think they were jewelry. I bought them and tried and failed to identify them. Then they were packed away for thirty-some-odd years. In the mean time, the internet was born, and identification was simplified. Together, they are the Bayerische Militarverdienstorder 1.Klasse mit Schwerten (Bavarian Military Merit Order, 1st Class, with Swords). The swords denote wartime award. They were awarded to general officers. The cross was worn at the neck, and the star was worn on the breast of the uniform. They were awarded from 1866 until the end of World War I. This set is constructed of solid gold and silver with white and translucent blue enamel.

Comments

  1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 1 year ago
    YEAH INTERNET, GO-GO-GO! Sorry, I got carried away.
  2. Militarist Militarist, 1 year ago
    My favorite of all the German orders along with the Crosses of Military Merit which is the companion enlisted ranks version.
  3. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 1 year ago
    This is a new one to me & it is beautiful. Solid gold & silver! That deserves a separate lighted shadowbox.
  4. fokkerpilot fokkerpilot, 1 year ago
    Yes, blunderbuss2, I was surprised as well. I initially could tell that the breast star was silver by the "900" hallmark, but I thought that the "gold" on both pieces was really gold colored, or at best, gold-plated. When I recently started to get serious about identification, all the sources I found said the advanced awards were gold. In fact, many awards came with the stipulation that they be returned to the state (due to their gold content) upon the death of the recipient. I had a jeweler inspect the pieces, and he confirmed their make up.
  5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 1 year ago
    Lucky you!
  6. DrFluffy DrFluffy, 1 year ago
    I LOVE THESE... And amazing story.
  7. Militarist Militarist, 1 year ago
    By the way the Breast Star was made by Jacob Leser of Straubing who specialized in the Bavarian Orders and even wrote a book on the subject in 1887. He moved to Munich after WWI and the firm may still be in existence.
  8. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 1 year ago
    Every time I look at this, I have to put a towel over my keyboard so I don't drool on it. Please put me in your Will!
  9. fokkerpilot fokkerpilot, 1 year ago
    To Militarist: Correct on Leser as maker of the star. I have not identified the maker of the neck cross (although I'd bet it is also Leser). The only mark on the cross is a very small stamping (visible at the top of the second photo above) that looks like "UOI" or something like that. I tried to post a closeup, but I'm only allowed 4 photos. Do you have any idea what this mark means or stands for? Also, Google tells me there is still a jeweler by the name of Leser in Straubing.
  10. Militarist Militarist, 1 year ago
    Sorry but I have no idea as to those initials.
  11. ssvd, 11 months ago
    Could you give us the measurements?
    Great pieces, by the way!
  12. fokkerpilot fokkerpilot, 11 months ago
    Cross: 77x67 mm
    Star: 76x76 mm

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