In the history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire there were 11 awards that were issued in jeweled versions. Seven of these awards were authorized by statute, three were awarded at the direction of the emperor even though there was no statutory provision for them and one was issued by the officer corps of the empire to honor the emperor. The six jeweled awards which were authorized by statute were: The Knights Order of the Golden Fleece, Military Maria Theresia Order, the Royal Hungarian St. Stephan Order, the Imperial Austrian Leopold Order, the Order of Franz Joseph and the Military Merit Cross. These jeweled awards were not a special class of the awards noted above but rather constitute a sign of the special esteem or regard the emperor had for the recipient and their service to the empire. These awards were paid for by the emperor out his personal funds and were conferred by him on the recipients. There were four additional awards that were occasionally issued in a jeweled version. These awards were issued in all cases with the exception of one by the emperor without regard for the statutory restrictions. Awards known in this category which were authorized by the emperor are the Officers Military Service Cross, 1898-1918, the Commemoration Badge of the Field-Marshal Archduke Albrcht, issued in 1899 and the Civil Merit Cross in Time of War, issued in 1917. The one jeweled award issued without the express approval of the emperor was the Army Homage Cross, issued in 1908.
What follows is the second of four blogs on the jeweled awards. This blog will describe the jeweled examples of the Hungarian Order of St. Stephan and the Austrian Imperial Order of Leopold. To see the discussion of the jeweled versions of the Order of the Golden Fleece and the Military Maria Theresia Order see the blog entitles Jeweled Austrian Awards, Part I.
Royal Hungarian Order of St. Stephan
The Royal Hungarian Order of St. Stephan was issued from 1764 until 1931. During the imperial era there were 32 jeweled Grand Crosses and 1 jeweled commander cross issued from 1764 to 1917.
There are also known jeweled examples of the knights cross. However the number issued and the recipients are not known to the author.
Known Recipient of the jeweled Grand Cross of the Royal Hungarian Order of St. Stephan
- Emperor Joseph II, 1764
- Feldmarschall Ernst Gideon Freiherr von Loudon, 1789
- Cardinal Glacomo Antonelli, 1855
- Count Friedrich de Berg, Russian Field Marshal, Viceroy of Poland, 1870\
- Baron Paul Gautsch von Frankenthurn, Austrian Prime Minister, 1911
- Graf Gustav Kalnoky von Korospatak, Imperial Minister, 1895
- Wenzel Prince Kaunitz Rietberg, Austrian Chancellor
- Prince Rudolf Liechtenstein, General of Cavalry , 1908
- Sultan Abdul Medjid, Turkey, 1856
- Marquis Moustier, French Ambassador, 1867
- Nasreddin, Shah of Persia, 1859
- Ivan Feodorovitsch Count Paskiewitsch von Erivan, Prince of Warsaw 1848
- Field Marshall Josef Wenzel Count Radetzky 1854
- Graf Laszlo Szogyeny-Marich von Szolgaegyhazm Minister to Berlin,1914
Austrian Imperial Leopold Order
The Austrian Imperial Leopold order was issued from 1809 to 1919. During that period 58 awards in diamonds were made as a personal sign of recognition by the emperor.
Among the known recipients of the grand cross in diamonds of the Order of Leopold were:
- Field Marshall Joseph Graf Radetzky
- Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg (Otto Von Bismarck), Minister President of Prussia
- Archduke Albrecht von Habsburg
- Leopold Graf Berchtold (Last recipient)
I hope you have enjoyed this discussion. I look forward to sharing with you in the future. Until next time I hope you enjoy the adventure of medal collecting and the research that goes with it as much as I do.