Anhalt - House Order of Albert the Bear Knight's Cross 2nd Class
The Knight 2nd Class decoration is finally crafted from silver and shows all features and crisp details of an original decoration. It is in absolute mint condition and comes with original ribbon.
1854 - 1918 -
The Dukes of the three Anhalt states, Heinrich of Anhalt Koethen, Leopold Friedrich of Dessau and Alexander Carl of Bernburg, founded the House Order of Albert the Bear February 1837. The Foundation document was backdated to the Birthday of the orders patron, November 18, 1836.
The order had initially 3 classes, the Grand Cross, Commander Cross and Knight Cross as well as an affiliated golden and silver medal. The decorations of the order were of the same plain golden design but of different sizes in order to distinguish the different grades. The decoration was in the shape of an oval badge with the Anhalt bear climbing on a crested wall surrounded by a wreath statement on its avers: “Fuerchte (or “Fürchte”) Gott und folge seine Befehle” (Fear God and follow his orders), split at the crest of the badge by the Anhalt crest. The reverse shows: “Albrecht der Baer Reg: 1123 bis 1170”. The grand cross star is a eight pointed one showing the round version of the avers of the decoration in its center. The wreath is done here in green, the bear itself in black and the crested wall in red enamel. The later added star to the grand commander decoration shares that medallion yet is of very different design. The silver rays of the star are inverted and show golden Anhalt crowns in between them at 3, 5, 7 and 9 o’clock. The collar chain of the order's grandmaster was added in June 1839 and awarded the first time in 1841. The chain consists of a sequence of segments, being a) a medallion segment showing a green wreath around a white enamel base showing the golden cypher of the duke surmounted by a red enameled crown, b) an oval segment with golden wreath surrounding a red enameled eagle to the left half and a green enamel crown of rue over a black enameled and golden striped background, c) a medallion segment showing a green wreath around a white enamel base showing the golden cypher of the duke surmounted by a red enameled crown and d) a enameled version of the orders badge itself (bear and crested wall).
On March 18, 1848, the commander class was split into commander and the superseding grand commander with star.
The knight cross class was split on February 8, 1854, into the knight first and knight second class, being a plain silver badge.
Swords for war merit were added to all classes including the medals on July 18, 1864.
The Merit Order for Arts and Science was founded on July 30, 1873 and affiliated to the House Order on September 19, 1875.
June 22, 1888, marked the first award of a grand cross decoration with diamonds, without an adjustment of the order's statues, followed by the same unrecorded act of awarding a decoration for ladies and princesses on May 22, 1896.
On April 29, 1901, the crown was added by statute to all grades excluding the medals. The crown matched the base metal of the decorations, hence was either silver or gold. The Crown could be awarded with the decoration or as a special award to the decoration. On August 19, 1904, the medals were included in the above practice.
The affiliated Merit Order for Arts and Science was redesigned on January 01, 1912, and expanded to 3 classes on August 19, 1912.
End of 1918 an officer cross was placed in between the commander and knight cross 1st class was discussed but not issued anymore.
The orders archives, including the roles of the order, located in the Chateaux in Zerbst were unfortunately destroyed on April 16, 1945. Estimates of the number of decorations awarded were recreated by other means, however.
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