This award was founded by King Maximilian II on June 10, 1849 as a commemorative medal for “the soldiers, non-commissioned Officers, Officers, Staff Officers, Generals, and military officials of the Army Divisions in the Palatinate (Pfalz) in the Year 1849 for their loyalty to their duty which they had proven during the time of the uprising there”, per the statutes of March 17, 1850.
The Officers and loyal soldiers of the 4th Squadron of the Baden 2nd Dragoon Regiment, which had made up part of the garrison of Landau during the period of rebellion, also received this medal. The Gendarmes stationed in the Palatinate who remained true to their service oath and duty at the time of the rebellious movements that took place there, then those of the Customs Border Guards who remained dutiful at the time of the uprising in the Palatinate also received this medal. Award of this medal was not extended to civilians.
On March 19, 1850 supplemental regulations were adopted regarding this award:
(Kriegs-Ministerial-Rescript vom 19. März 1850 Nr. 3641.)
Das Denkzeichen für die treugebliebenen Individuen des Heeres in der Pfalz im Jahre 1849 zur Zeit des dortigen Aufstandes betr.
von Gottes Gnaden König von Bayern etc. etc.
Wir finden Uns bewogen, aus Anlass mehrseitiger Anfragen als Ergänzung zu Unserer allergnädigsten Entschliessung vom 10. Juni von Jahre über die Verleihung einer Gedächtniss-Medaille an die Soldaten, Unterofficiere, Officiere, Stabs-Officiere, Generale und Militär-Beamten der Heeres-Abtheilungen in der Pfalz im Jahr 1849 für ihre während der Zeit des dortigen Aufstandes bewährte Pflichttreue Folgendes allerhöchst zu verordnen:
I. Dieses Denkzeichen darf von den hiezu berechtigten Besitzern nur in der von Uns vorgeschriebenen Form, ohne mindeste Abänderung derselben, und das Band nie ohne dasselbe getragen werden.
II. Der Anspruch auf dieses Denkzeichen geht für die Besitzer desselben verloren
- in allen Desertionsfällen ohne Unterschied, ob der Deserteur freiwillig zurückkehrt oder aufgegriffen wird,
- für alle wegen Verbrechen oder wegen der im § 4 des Heer-Ergänzungs-Gesetzes vom 15. August 1828 bezeichneten gemeinen Vergehen Verurtheilte,
- für diejenigen, welche dieses Denkzeichen veräussern.
III. Denjenigne Besitzern dieses Denkzeichens, welche nachzuweisen vermögen, das sie solches unverschuldet verloren haben, oder dass es ihnen entwendet worden, wird selbes wieder vom Kriegsärar ersetzt.
IV. Nach dem Ableben eines Besitzers verbleibt sein Denkzeichen als ehrendes Andenken seinen Verwandten.
V. Die Berechtigung zur Tragung des Denkzeichens ist bei Unterofficieren und Soldaten jedesmal im Abschiede zu bemerken; die übrigen Besitzer erhalten über diese Berechtigung eine Urkunde.
Sämmtliche Truppen-Abtheilungen sind zur genausten Befolgung dieser Unserer näheren allerhöchsten Bestimmungen anzuweisen.
München, den 17. März 1850.
An das Kriegsministerium
A rough translation into English:
Document Supplement II.
(War Ministerial Rescript of March 19, 1850 No. 3641.)
The commemorative medal for the loyal individuals of the Army in the Palatinate in 1849 at the time of the uprising there.
by God’s grace King of Bavaria etc. etc.
We find ourselves prompted, on the occasion of multi-page inquiries as a supplement to our Most Gracious Resolution of June 10th of the year of the award of the commemorative medal to the soldiers, non-commissioned Officers, Officers, Staff Officers, Generals and military officials of the army divisions in the Palatinate in 1849 for their loyalty to duty, which had proven their worth during the uprising there:
I. This commemorative medal may only be worn by the owners entitled to do so in the form prescribed by Us, without any modification of the same, and the ribbon can never be worn without the same.
II. The right to this commemorative medal is lost for owners of the same
- In all desertion cases, regardless of whether the deserter returns voluntarily or is picked up,
- For all crimes or because of the § (Section) 4 of the Army Supplementary Law of the 15th of August 1828 designated common offenses condemned,
- For those who sell this commemorative medal.
III. The owners of this commemorative medal, who can prove, that they have lost such through no fault of their own, or that it has been stolen from them, will have the same again replaced by the War Treasury.
IV. After the death of an owner, his commemorative medal remains as an honorable memento for his relatives.
V. The right to wear the commemorative medal is to be noted every time in the separation/discharge document (Abschiede) of non-commissioned Officers and soldiers; the other owners receive a certificate of this authorization.
All divisions of the troops are to be instructed to strictly obey these, Our more exacting, highest regulations.
Munich, the 17th of March, 1850.
To the War Department
On the obverse of the medal is the right-turned head of the founder surrounded by the inscription: “MAXIMILIAN II KOENIG V. BAYERN”. Under the neck section in “diamond font” is the name of the die-cutter: “C. VOIGT”. Carl Friedrich Voigt was born in 1800 in Berlin and worked as a die-cutter. He was in München after 1829.
On the reverse of the medal in a framing in the form of a star-redoubt, which is to remind of the defense of the Fortress Landau against the rebels, in three lines: “IN / TREUE FEST / 1849”.
The medal is 31 mm in diameter and was made of bronze. The ponceau-red (red poppy colored) ribbon for the medal is 37 mm wide, with two bright-green edge stripes each 2 mm wide. The medal was worn on the left chest of the recipient. I have not been able to locate source information regarding the total number of awards of this medal that were made.
The medal shown below was die struck. There are multiple impressions on the medal obverse and reverse from circular and radial die cracks. The die cracks are severe enough to indicate that the die probably did not last much longer after this medal was struck. It is likely that the die eventually shattered and had a catastrophic failure.
Some of the medals that I have viewed appear to have been cast from bronze and not die-struck. These medals appear to possibly be from around the time period that the die-struck medals were awarded. An example of such a medal is shown below. The eyelet for the ribbon ring appears to have been integral to the casting and was not joined later. Porosity and other minor imperfections, probably from a casting process, can be seen on the surface of the example shown. The edge of the medal also shows signs of porosity.
Were these cast medals copies made at a later date as replacements for recipients, or examples for museums, or for collectors? Or, were these medals cast and distributed at some point during the initial awarding process instead of die-struck medals being distributed? One possibility, is that these cast medals were made officially later in the production process and then awarded. It is possible that at some point during the production process, the dies fractured, thus halting the production stamping process. And, if another set of dies was not available, then further medals could only be made by making castings from a mold made from an original die-struck planchet. Thus, it is possible that both die-struck and cast medals could be encountered, both of which may have been period-made and possibly awarded to recipients. This is only one possible theory. It is also possible that such cast pieces were counterfeits made to deceive collectors for monetary gain. However, medals such as the piece shown below appear to possibly have been made mid-19th Century and possibly worn by a recipient.
Cataloguing known die-struck and old cast pieces, and their characteristics, would prove to be an interesting study, but is beyond the scope of this article. I would be interested in seeing photos of pieces with advanced die crack impressions and photos of old cast pieces. Please feel free to submit any photos of such pieces that are in your collections.
Thank you for your interest in this article. Comments are welcome.
Hessenthal, Waldemar Hesse Edlen von und Schreiber, Georg. Die tragbaren Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Reiches. Verlag Uniformen-Markt Otto Dietrich. Berlin, 1940.
Heyden, Hermann von. Ehren-Zeichen (Kriegs-Denkzeichen, Verdienst- und Dienstalters-Zeichen) der erloschenen und blühen- den Staaten Deutschlands und Österreich-Ungarns. Kommissions-Verlag von Brückner & Renner, Herzogl. Hofbuchhandlung. Meiningen, 1897.
Knussert, Gustav. Orden Ehren- und-Verdienst-Zeichen Denk- und Dienstalters-Zeichen in Bayern. G. Franz’sche Buchdruckerei (J. Bolster). München, 1877.
Schreiber, Georg. Die Bayerischen Orden und Ehrenzeichen. Prestel-Verlag. München, 1964.
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