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eMedals-Prussia, Kingdom. A Family Order of Wilhelm II Portrait in Gold, Diamonds and Pearls, c. 1910

Item: G45174

Prussia, Kingdom. A Family Order of Wilhelm II Portrait in Gold, Diamonds and Pearls, c. 1910

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$27,000

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Prussia, Kingdom. A Family Order of Wilhelm II Portrait in Gold, Diamonds and Pearls, c. 1910

A beautiful and rare decoration composed of Gold, oval in shape, the center medallion features a very fine portrait of German Emperor Wilhelm II in formal attire, the medallion is surrounded by a delicate cord of twisted Gold, and twenty-five small pearls in Gold settings, laid on a deep blue enamelled field, in the center of the field is an exceptionally crafted Black Eagle Collar consisting of twenty eight alternating eagle and cypher links with miniature collar badge at 6 o’clock presenting a blue Maltese cross with eagles between each quadrant, the badge is surmounted by a Gold crown with three large central diamonds in the windows between arches, intricate cross hatching representing the interior cap with a small monde and cross marrying the arches at 12 o’clock, the entire badge sans the crown is surrounded by a pebbled Gold ring with a spur pattern underlay, the reverse depicts exquisite etching featuring an ornate “W” with surmounting crown, encircled by four elegant arches creating a clover pattern, and a highly detailed flower below, the reverse of the crown bears the removable screw hook suspension, measuring 44.04mm (w) x 71.74mm (h) x 11.36mm (d), weighing 44.1 grams, the collar badge is slightly loose, as is the medallion of the collar badge, a few minute scratches on reverse, otherwise the enamels are completely intact, shows minimal wear, in better than extremely fine condition.

 

Footnote: This specific badge belonged to Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia. Another example of this badge can be found on page 226-227 of “Honneur & Gloire: Les tresors de la collection Spada” from the National Museum of the Legion of Honor and Orders of Chivalry. According to this text, pearls were used for special distinction, and the presence of the Black Eagle Order suggests the badge was created for a specific occasion. This badge shows many similarities to the one presented in “Honneur & Gloire” which was likely created for the marriage of Grand Duchess Kira with Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia in 1938.

This badge in diamonds was possibly the highest decoration of Ancient Prussia. It was considered the most important individual grace that the monarch could award. The central portrait is of German Emperor Wilhelm II, son of German Emperor Frederick III and Princess Victoria, Queen of Prussia. Under Frederick II, five decorations were awarded to Prussian generals already awarded the Black Eagle Order. Since 1810, the same military honours were conferred upon those with the portrait in diamonds and the holders of the Black Eagle order, who held a rank of distinction. These badges are very rare, only a few are known to exist.

Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia was the only daughter of German Emperor Wilhelm II and Augusta-Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg. She was born in September of 1892 in Prussia and would go on to hold the titles Princess of Prussia, Duchess of Brunswick and Princess of Hanover. Victoria married Prince Ernest-Auguste of Hanover in 1913, grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark. This marriage was the conclusion to a long conflict between the houses of Hanover and Hohenzollern, relating to the dynastic rights over the territory. The two have five children Ernest-Auguste IV of Hanover, George-Guillaume of Hanover, Frederica of Hannover, Christian de Hanover and Guelf-Henri of Hanover. She died in 1980 at the age of 88.

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