In this blog I am going to discuss the Bohemian Nobles Cross for the years 1813-1814. This cross was created as a reward for the Bohemian nobles who formed a life guard to protect Emperor Franz I while he was in the field during the war with the French empire. It is an award with a wonderful story to tell.
Date Issued: October 27, 1814
Reason Issued: Funded by Emperor Franz I as a reward for those Bohemian nobles who formed his personal guard from the winter of 1813 until he entered Paris in 1814. This was during the war against the French.
Classes or Types: One
· Once Austria had joined the anti-Napoleonic coalition in the summer of 1813, it was decided that the emperor, who was staying at that time in Prague would personally accompany the armies, and in particular the Bohemian army, in the campaign against the enemy. This occurred in December of the year 1813. At this time the Bohemian aristocracy decided to establish a special guard unit composed of 100 Bohemian nobles who, do to age or background, did not hold commands in the army to accompany and guard the emperor for the duration of the campaign. Thus the Bohemian Aristocratic Guard, also known as the Bohemian Noble Guard was formed in the winter of 1813.
· The members of the Bohemian Noble guard wore their own uniform, which was in the form of a white coat, with red paspeliert, and white trousers with red Lampasas. The red collar and the cuffs have gold borders; additional accoutrements were a black bandolier, a black and dark green bicorn hat with black Egret feathers.
· The creation of the cross was recommended by Rudolf Count Wrbna Commander of the Imperial Guard and by Lieutenant General Peter Baron von Duka
· Emperor Franz I created the order in 1814 in Paris
· Only three of these crosses are known to still exist
· The noble guard was disbanded in 1814
· Recipients of this award also received the 1813 war cross
· This was the first Bohemian Decoration
· This cross was the precursor to the Czechoslovakian Order of the White Lion
Design: An eight pointed garnet red enameled gold Malta type cross with a large 13 mm vaulted round center medallion and a flat half circle eye attached to the top arm of the cross. Through it passes a 14 mm long and 2.5 mm wide highly arched suspension ring with a channel in the center.
Obverse: A red enameled Malta cross with gold edges. On the cross is a 13 mm red enameled center medallion with gold edges. On the medallion is a white two tailed Bohemian lion facing to the viewers left and outlined in gold.
Reverse: A red enameled Malta cross with gold edges. On the cross is a 13mm white enameled gold-framed center medallion with a gold inscription in seven lines: NOB./BOHEMIS/ BELLO GALL. /FIDIS CORPORIS/ CUSTODIBUS/ FRANC. AUG. / MDCCCXIV, which translates to: The Bohemian Nobles, the Faithful Bodyguard Protecting the Emperor Franz 1814.
Weight: 10.5–11 grams
Size: The cross is 30.25 mm long including suspension eye and 28 mm wide with a 13 mm in diameter center medallion
Materials: Gold and enamel
- Type I Bohemian Nobles Cross: As described above
- Type II Bohemian Nobles Cross: As described above except the reveres inscription is spelled out in full: NOBILIBUS BOHEMIS BELLO GALLICO FIDIS CORPORIS CUSTODIBUS FRANCISCUS MDCCCXIV
- Type III Bohemian Nobles Cross: As described above except the reveres inscription is as follows, NOB. BOHEM/BELLO GALL. /FIDIS CORPER./CUSTODIBUS/FRANC. AUG. /MDCCCXIV
Designer: Johann Harnisch
Manufacturer: Johann Haas
Number Issued: 38 crosses were awarded.
Ribbon: The ribbon is 39 mm wide and is divided into 13 mm thirds with the outer thirds being white and the center third being vermilion. The color of the ribbon of the decoration corresponds to the Bohemian national colors
· From 1814 to 1848 the ribbon was strait and was worn in the button hole. After 1848 it was converted to the standard tri-fold ribbon and was worn on the left side of the chest.
Miniature: Miniatures of this cross are known to exist.
- They are 19 mm in diameter with a center medallion of 12 mm and a weight of 3.5 grams. The reverse inscription is N.B.B.G.F.A.
- A version of the miniature with an alternative inscription is which is inscribed on the reverse NO.B./ B.G.F.C.C./ F.A./ and in a semicircle at the bottom of the cross MDCCCXIV
Karl Prince Auersperg, Major
Wilhelm Prince Auersperg
Joseph Stephan Julien Freiherr Von Badenthal
Friedrich Count Clam-Gallas, Major
Franz Count Daun, Rittmeister
Joseph Ditmar Count Nostitz-Rieneck
Jan Vaclav I Prince Dobrzensky von Dobrzensk
Vinzenz Gratzl Freiherr Von Granzenstein, Oberleutnant
Tobias III, Freiherr Gratzl Von Granzenstein
Karl Freiherr Von Greiffenklau zu Volraths, Rittmeister
Johann Maximilian Freiherr Hildprandt Von Ottenhausen
Klemens Freiherr Von Lincker, Adjutant of the Noble Guard
Franz Count Kolowrat-Krakowsky, Major
Karl Alexander Freiherr MacEnis Von Atter und Iveagh
Leopold Anton Count Meraviglia-Crivelli, Rittmeister
Johann Nepomuk Freiherr Dacziczky Von Hesslova, Guard-Quartermaster
Johann Nepomuk Freiherr Nigroni Von Risinbach
Joseph Ditmar Count Nostitz-Rieneck, Major
Johann Count Pachta, Unterleutnant
Kammerer Franz Count Potting und Persing
Franz Karl Freiherr Von Puteani
Karl Raban Ritter Von Spiegel
Karl Count Rey-Wrachowetz, Rittmeister
Joseph Richard Ritter Grubi Hruby Von Schwannenstein
Johann Count Salm-Reifferscheid, Oberstleutnant
Franz Count Taafe, Lord Viscount Taafe-Corren, Baron of Ballymote, Rittmeister
Rudolf Johann Count Wrbna Von Freudenthal
Anton Count Waldstein
Ernst Count Waldstein, Major
Georg Count Waldstein, Oberst
Kristian Vinzenz Count Waldstein
Johann Wenzel Kager Count Stampach
Weriand Prince Windischgratz
Joachim Count Woratschiczky, Unterleutnant
Emanuel Count Wratislaw, Generalmajor
Johann Count Wratislaw, Oberleutnant
Probst Count Wratislaw, Oberleutnant
Kammerer Eugen Count Wrbna Von Freudenthal
Hope you enjoyed this blog. Until next time I hope you find joy in our shared interest