Figure 1: Order of the Dragon., circa 1500 badge. Image from the author’s archive.

Introduction: In this blog I am going to discuss the Order of the Dragon (Orden des Drachen):  This is one of the oldest orders issued in the Austro- Hungarian Empire. This order which was founded by Sigismund of Luxembourg who was King of Hungary at the time, and who would become the Holy Roman Emperor has a rich and mystical history befitting one of the earliest orders of knighthood. It was intended to encourage the defense of the Hungarian monarchy against the Ottoman Empire and other foreign and domestic enemies, and to protect the Catholic Church from heretics and pagans. It was also intended to serve to bind the nobles of Hungary to Sigismund.

Date Issued:  December 12, 1408– circa 1799

Reason Issued:  The order was founded by Sigismund of Luxembourg who was King of Hungary at the time, and who would become the Holy Roman Emperor, to fight the Ottoman Empire, defend the Hungarian monarchy from foreign and domestic enemies, and the Catholic Church from heretics and pagans. It also served to bind the nobles of Hungary to his reign.

Classes or Types:  Two

· Dragon insignia with cross

· Dragon insignia without cross

Interesting Facts:

· When it was founded the official name of the order was the Societas Draconistarum (Dragon Society). It was also sometimes referred to as the Order of the Dragon overthrown

· The Order flourished during the first half of the 15th century, primarily in Germany and Italy. After Sigismund’s death in 1437, its importance declined in Western Europe. However, after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, it continued to play a role in Hungary, Croatia, Albania, Serbia and Romania.

· Membership in the order society was open to Hungarians and nobles form other lands

· The Insignia of the society symbolizes the victory of Christianity over its enemies. A dragon with a knotted tail, as represented by the insignia of the society, stands for the destruction of evil, because it was believed that – as with the Scorpion – the power of the dragon was in his tail.

· There are no contemporary insignia from the founding era known thus all known examples are from later periods in the orders history

Hallmarks: None Known

Figure 2: Type I dragon insignia. Image from the author’s archive.

Design: 

  • Badge: A dragon with a curved back, the tail of which is wrapped around its neck (see above).
  • Cross: A red enameled Greek cross with flaming ends (See below)

Figure 3: Dragon Order cross insignia. Image from the author’s archive.

Obverse:

· Badge: A detailed dragon in a curved form with its tail raped around its neck and a cross in the design of its back.  (See above)

· Cross: A red enameled Greek cross with flaming ends (See above)

Reverse: Unknown

Weight: Unknown

Size: Unknown

Type of Material: Metal and bullion thread

Variations:

· Type I insignia: A dragon badge as described in bullion materials (see above)

· Type II Insignia: As described but in metal and with a red enameled cross on the back of the dragon badge and an attached red enameled Greek cross (see below)

Figure 4: Dragon Order, Type II insignia. Image from the author’s archive.

  • Type III Insignia: A metal dragon badge without the cross design on the back and an attached cross without enamel. (See below)

Figure 5: Dragon Insignia, Type III. Image from the author’s archive.

· Type IV Insignia: The type I or II dragon badge accompanied by an unattached red enameled Greek cross  with flaming ends ( see figure 3).

Designer: Unknown

Manufacturer: Unknown

Number Issued: 

  • There were originally 24 knights of the order with badge and cross
  • There were an unknown number of members with the badge without the cross

Case:  Unknown

Ribbon: None

Attachments: None

Miniature: None known

Hope you enjoyed this blog. Until next time, I hope you find joy in our shared interest.

Rick

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.