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P.F.

Romania, Honour Cross of the Order of Merit - QUERY

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Hi,

I write to ask for some information on the Romanian Honour Cross of the Order of Merit. I can find very little online.

1. Was this Order given during period 1930-1945?
2. Was it awarded to foreign military personnel (German)?
3. Could someone please post a photo of the Grand Cross during this period?

Many thanks
Pierce

Romanian Honour Cross of the Order of Merit 1st Class.jpg

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Illustration of First Class with Swords. The Ordinul Pentru Merit was founded by King Carol II in June 1931, the first bestowals taking place a month later. It was awarded in Military and Civil divisions, the Military Division being awarded with swords. The statutes formalised the Orders regulations in December 1938, the Swords were abolished in June 1941, the Order was seldom awarded during Mihai's reign. The award came in four classes, Grand Cross, Commander Officer and Knight. It ceased existence following the end of the Monarchy in 1947

lot322a.jpg

lot322b.jpg

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The statutes permitted awards to foreigners.

Paul

 

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Paul,

Thank you for your informative replies.

The image I posted- is that the Commander Cross?

Thanks
Pierce

3 hours ago, paul wood said:

The statutes permitted awards to foreigners.

Paul

 


Any record, photographic or otherwise, of high ranking Germans receiving this award?

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It is indeed the Commander's Cross

It is most likely that there were German Recipients as 570 bestowals were made in all classes to non Romanians 70 Grand Cross, 99 Grand Officer's, 243 Commander's, 106 Officer's and 52 Knights, it is most likely that the vast majority of these were bestowed prior to 1941, possibly some of our Third Reich aficionados may have evidence, either documentary or photographic.

Paul

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18 minutes ago, paul wood said:

It is indeed the Commander's Cross

It is most likely that there were German Recipients as 570 bestowals were made in all classes to non Romanians 70 Grand Cross, 99 Grand Officer's, 243 Commander's, 106 Officer's and 52 Knights, it is most likely that the vast majority of these were bestowed prior to 1941, possibly some of our Third Reich aficionados may have evidence, either documentary or photographic.

Paul

Paul,

Thank you again. Is there any photos of the Grand Cross? I cannot find any

Pierce

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The badge I have illustrated is the Grand Cross or First class.

Paul

 

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There are actually two distinctions that share both name and insignia elements. The first one (historically and in importance) is the Honour Sign and later Order for Merit, established in 1931. The second one is the Honour Cross for Merit established in 1933. They were initially established as dynastic awards, but were included in the national system of orders in the late 1930s and were both very scarce. The image initially posted by P.F. is the 1st class of the Honour Cross. The image posted by Paul is the first class of the order. To increase the confusion, bear in mind that the Order for Merit had as insignia a white cross surrounded by a golden thorn crown and that the same insignia was placed on the central medallion of the Honour Cross and the first class of the order.

The photos below (from source, but ultimately from Life magazine) show first Ernest Urdareanu, Minister of the Court during the reign of King Carol II, and Gheorghe Tatarescu, Prime Minister during the reign of King Carol II, both wearing the officer's badge of the Order for Merit.

ernest-urdareanu.jpg

tatarascu.jpg

The gallery of premiers on the government homepage shows an earlier photo of Tatarescu wearing the knight's cross of the Order for Merit.

big_tatrescu.jpg

Edited by Carol I

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23 hours ago, paul wood said:

It is most likely that there were German Recipients as 570 bestowals were made in all classes to non Romanians 70 Grand Cross, 99 Grand Officer's, 243 Commander's, 106 Officer's and 52 Knights, it is most likely that the vast majority of these were bestowed prior to 1941, possibly some of our Third Reich aficionados may have evidence, either documentary or photographic.

Interesting statistics. What is its origin?

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Antti Ruokonen.

My last post before going on holiday, look forward to seeing further posts Monday week

Paul

 

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5 hours ago, paul wood said:

My last post before going on holiday, look forward to seeing further posts Monday week

Have a nice holiday!

 

On 05/05/2016 at 18:50, P.F. said:

Is there any photos of the Grand Cross? I cannot find any

Here is one of King Carol II during the 1937 state visit to Poland (from a Polish archive).

PIC_1-D-1374-22.jpg

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On ‎06‎/‎05‎/‎2016 at 16:04, Carol I said:

There are actually two distinctions that share both name and insignia elements. The first one (historically and in importance) is the Honour Sign and later Order for Merit, established in 1931. The second one is the Honour Cross for Merit established in 1933. They were initially established as dynastic awards, but were included in the national system of orders in the late 1930s and were both very scarce. The image initially posted by P.F. is the 1st class of the Honour Cross. The image posted by Paul is the first class of the order. To increase the confusion, bear in mind that the Order for Merit had as insignia a white cross surrounded by a golden thorn crown and that the same insignia was placed on the central medallion of the Honour Cross and the first class of the order.

The photos below (from source, but ultimately from Life magazine) show first Ernest Urdareanu, Minister of the Court during the reign of King Carol II, and Gheorghe Tatarescu, Prime Minister during the reign of King Carol II, both wearing the officer's badge of the Order for Merit.

The gallery of premiers on the government homepage shows an earlier photo of Tatarescu wearing the knight's cross of the Order for Merit.

 

 

Carol I

Thank you for this detailed post. Noting the distinction between the Order and Honour Cross has really helped my understanding.

Kind regards
Pierce

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Carol I,

Just two more questions-

What were the Award Grades in the Honour Cross series?
Was the 1st Class the highest grade?

Thanks
Pierce

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31 minutes ago, P.F. said:

What were the Award Grades in the Honour Cross series?
Was the 1st Class the highest grade?

The Honour Cross only had two classes, with 1st class the higher grade and 2nd class the lower one.

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17 minutes ago, Carol I said:

The Honour Cross only had two classes, with 1st class the higher grade and 2nd class the lower one.

Perfect. Thanks again.:cheers:

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On 05/05/2016 at 18:50, P.F. said:

Thank you again. Is there any photos of the Grand Cross? I cannot find any

Another photo of King Carol II wearing the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit

Carol_II.jpg

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Looking at that picture I now know why many of his orders were extensively chipped.

Paul

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6 hours ago, paul wood said:

Looking at that picture I now know why many of his orders were extensively chipped.

Paul

He was indeed King of Bling too.

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Knight's cross and Grand Cross of the Order for Merit (in the collections of the Museum of the Legion of Honour)

OM_MLO.thumb.jpg.69ec5b53c831aa98b3a1afa781ee35ef.jpg

 

Honour Cross for Merit 2nd class and 1st class (in the collections of the Museum of the Legion of Honour)

HCM_MLO.thumb.jpg.fe1c60ebfd66a5c89f743b880edd52d7.jpg

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