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Militär-St.-Heinrichs-Orden grand cross around neck


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Here is Hermann Goring in 1933 wearing the Grand Cross of the Ernestine House Order at the neck, below his Pour le Mérite. It could just have been his personal choice on the night, but another example, nonetheless.

Kind regards,
Pierce

hg1933.jpg

Also, like Friedrich August, Goring is wearing more than one Grand Cross. He is also wearing the Italian Order of SS. Maurice and Lazarus with the Grand Cross hanging on the sash, as permitted.

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Hello,

I have seen this photo of the King before and I was struck by how large and almost awkward the Grand Cross looks around his neck.

The King of Saxony was also the Grand Master of the Military Order of St. Henry.  The Grand Master had and continues to have the power to modify the statues of this Order in any way he chooses.  Beside, I don't think anybody was going to walk up to the King and question him as to why he was wearing the cross around his neck.   

I recently read in another forum that Prince Friedrich Christian of Saxony modified the Statutes of the Order in the 1950's.  He allowed the holders of the Knights Cross of St. Henry to wear their crosses around their necks suspended from the ribbon of the St. Henry commander's cross!

 

Edited by FAR 32
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Hello,

I am not aware of a Sonderstufe of the St. Henry Order.  I checked the State Handbook as well as other sources and Friedrich August III is listed as having a Grand Cross of the Order of St. Henry and being its Grand Master. 

However, the Sonderstufe of the Saxon Albrecht-Order Grand Cross is a well known variant.  It was represented by a fire-gilded breast star to the Grand Cross. (The rays of the regular Grand Cross breast star were silver.) 

The Saxon King had an even more special Sonderstufe of the Albrecht-Order.  The breast star to his Grand Cross was not only fire-gilded, it also had a silver crown over the medallion. 

Are you sure you're not confusing the Grand Cross of the St. Henry Order with the Sonderstufe of the Grand Cross of the Albrecht-Order? 

Edited by FAR 32
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2 hours ago, VtwinVince said:

My books are in storage right now, but I'm sure I read about a St. Heinrich Sonderstufe somewhere.

If there is any documentation that a Sonderstufe of the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Henry existed, then it would be a stunning revelation, indeed. 

What would be most interesting to know is how this special class was represented on the King's badge(s).  Was it represented in some way on the breast star like the Sonderstufe of the Grand Cross of the Albrecht-Order, or was it represented simply by wearing the Grand Cross around the neck?

I just re-read the 12-page Statutes of the Order updated with changes that the King authorized in 1915 and there are only 4 crosses mentioned: Grand Cross, Commander's Cross 1st Class, Commander's Cross 2nd Class, Knights Cross.  I am unaware of any other updates to the Statutes during the war.

 

@jaba1914 Do you know where the King's Grand Cross is?  Is it still in the family's hands?

 

Edited by FAR 32
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This book " Die Orden des Königreiches Sachsen "speaks of the special Grandmaster's Cross.
Unfortunately, this cross has disappeared today.

It differs from other grand crosses by the balls on the cross arms.

 

Kind regards

haku

4400030.jpg

4400028.jpg

Edited by Haku
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17 minutes ago, Haku said:

This book " Die Orden des Königreiches Sachsen "speaks of the special Grandmaster's Cross.

 

 

Aha !!  The special Grand Master's Cross !!  Now I see it !!  It was not a special class... it was a special cross !!  I must be going blind in my old age not to have noticed it before.

The 8 tips of the cross' arms have small ball finialsThe standard St.Henry Grand Cross does NOT have ball finials.  I have posted a photo of a standard Grand Cross below.

Thank you for solving the mystery, Haku.

Order_of_Saint_Henry_grand_cross_badge_(Saxony_1916)_-_Tallinn_Museum_of_Orders.jpg

Edited by FAR 32
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Thank You all for your interesting posts!

I found this picture of the so called "Großmeisterkreuz" (grand masters cross) :

It is tagged: "Großmeisterkreuz des Militär-St. Heinrich-Ordens. Metall. Dresden: Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr in Dresden" (Grand masters cross of the Military Order of St. Henry. metal. Dresden: military historic museum of the Bundeswehr in Dresden)

2048418_item_LN3FUWKYAV3AXEN65JZ6ANZLRGBRFST7.thumb.jpeg.994ce70e09b550dd28f59720936b38cc.jpeg

Edited by Utgardloki
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4400028.thumb.jpg.1d78d10814cdb6339503d2d82cad9be6.jpg.cdc63d9466ab6c4f31be5bf6f0cdbd84.jpg

 

I am going to roughly translate this for the non german speakers:

The grand masters cross:

One - unfortunately today missing (would be interesting if someone could clarify this) - single-item is the grand masters cross, which separates itself from the other grand crosses through the ball shaped ends on the cross arms. This cross, that cause of the crown-form clearly is from the creating period, was given after the death of the former grand master to its successor.

We know different photographs of king Friedrich August III. with this from him around the neck worn cross.

In a writing of the war ministry to the orders chancellery fro the 14th October 1914 is in connection  with the provision of the grand cross for the king written:

"To the orders chancellery will be send out of the stocks of the order-collection the to H.M. the highly blessed king Albert awarded grand cross of Military Order of St. Henry. H.M. the king Friedrich August III. should occasionally (on) his travel into the field, from the highest-ranking general, be asked to wear the order." 

Exactly one week later, on the 21th October 1914, king Friedrich August III was asked in the field from the highest-ranking officer, at this time general von Kirchbach, in the name of the army, to lay on the grand cross of the Military Order of St. Henry. The king got through that the first grand cross bearer of the 1st world war.

We assume that, that this cross not necessarily is identical to the grand masters cross, that the king already held ex officio when taking over the reign.

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@Utgardloki  The excerpt from the book is extremely interesting.  No wonder I could not find any mention of a special class of the Grand Cross in the literature... it was actually the King's Grand Cross itself that had special, distinguishing features. 

As I mentioned above, a special note of gratitude should be extended to member Haku for providing the answer to this question and solving the mystery.    

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7 hours ago, Utgardloki said:

One - unfortunately today missing (would be interesting if someone could clarify this) - single-item is the grand masters cross

This is a black and white photo before 1945, not current.
To my knowledge, the cross is lost unknown as described in the book .

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On 30/09/2019 at 19:43, Utgardloki said:

In this photograph Friedrich August III. is wearing what seems to be a grand cross badge around his neck. Was this just some sort of fashion done by him or was this legitimated through the statutes? ...

This was indeed an interesting diskussion about the special cross the Saxon king is wearing on this portrait.

But I am quite sure, the answer for the initial question is another one.

For officers in some types of the uniform (e.g. field uniforms) it was not allowed or unusual, to wear a sash with it. Therefore for Generals from the rank of Generaloberst upward or royalty in military uniforms of that kind there was no possibility, to wear something around the neck. Undoubtedly because of this painful situation for this group of people it was officially allowed according to the Offiziersbekleidungsvorschrift, to wear grand crosses or 1st classes around the neck. Usualy the last awarded decoration was elected for wearing that way.

Here are some examples:

GdK Freiherr von Bissing: Crown Order 1st class with swords on the ring

GdI Ludendorff: Red Eagle Order 1st class with swords

GdI von Plettenberg: Crown Order 1st class

Generalarzt der Armee von Schjerning: Crown Order 1st class

 

Bissing, GdK Moritz Freiherr von.jpg

Ludendorff, GdI Erich.jpg

Plettenberg, GdI Karl von.jpg

Schjerning, Generalarzt Otto von.jpg

Edited by Komtur
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Thanks that perfectly answered my question!

That's a very interesting topic, I have till know never recognized this, although I know some of the photographs You brought up as examples. Seems like this also was possible with the old uniform regarding the Plettenberg picture (does anyone know when this was taken? During Gorlice Tarnow before he received the PlM? Or did they just reuse an old picture of him for these postcards?)

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9 minutes ago, Utgardloki said:

... Seems like this also was possible with the old uniform regarding the Plettenberg picture (does anyone know when this was taken? During Gorlice Tarnow before he received the PlM? Or did they just reuse an old picture of him for these postcards?)

With no WWI decoration at all, it must be a prewar picture of Plettenberg.

Edited by Komtur
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Hier mal schön zu sehen, das hessische GK Philippsorden  um den Hals Großherzog Ernst Ludwig und vom Prinz Wilhelm von Hessen.

Die Tragevorschriften vom Philippsorden wurde 1849 Abgeändert.

Diejenigen GK, welche zugleich GK Unseren Ludwigsorden sind, tragen das Ordenskreuz an einem schmäleren Band um den Hals, ohne Stern.  Bei Feierlichkeiten aber an dem großen Band unter dem Rock, und dazu den Stern unter dem Ludwigsorden.

 

Gruß  Paris

 

IMG_0399-001.JPG

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IMG_0401.JPG

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Sehr interessant, also ähnlich wie beim Schwarzen Adlerorden und dem Roten Adlerorden, gabs das noch bei anderen Kombinationen?

Very interesting, so similar to the Black Eagle, Red Eagle Order, does this also exist with other combinations (other German states or also at non German order systems)?

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