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One of Lippe's rarest orders
 

As already mentioned in other reports, the sword decorations are always the rare ones among German Imperial orders. Especially the smaller German countries were quite scroogy giving out those awards for bravery.

 

The "Fürstlich Lippische Ehrenkreuz" Lippe Honor Cross was founded October 25, 1869 for both lines of the house of Lippe in three grades. Those pieces show the cipher "LA" for Leopold Adolph. Swords for war merit were added to the order in 1871

 

The knight cross grade was named 2nd class from 1869 to 1887, then 3rd class 1887-1890. Awarded with swords through the middle from April 20, 1871 to Jun 8,1871 only 5 time by Lippe. Unitl december 1872 another 5 by Lippe and 6 by Schaumburg found their way to some brave men¹.

 

 

Due to the separation of the house of Lippe in 1890 the order experienced a change and existed from then on in 2 different designs. Actually, only the reverse was changed to where it featured the initials of the two princes as:

  • Schauburg Lippe:    "AG" Adolph Georg 

  • Lippe Detmold:          "L"  Leopold

During World War I only 25 decorations of the 3rd class with swords were awarded. The earlier pieces were made from real gold and had silver gilt swords attached (unitl 1914). The piece pictured here is an example of the later period (1916 - 18) made completely of gilt Silver:

 

averse

reverse

 

Even the 4th class 1st grade with swords has to be counted to those examples of rare WWI decorations with only 82 examples ever awarded from Mai 30,1905 to November 11, 1918: the 2nd grade of the same class was even more rare with only 47 pieces ever given out to those brace soldiers ¹.

 

 

¹Reiner Schwark: "Orden und Ehrenzeichen des Fürstentums Lippe Detmold 1778-1933", Schriften des Lippischen Landesmuseeums, Band VI.

© A. Schulze Ising, X/01


 
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