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Prussian made Oak Leafs for the Red Eagle Order and Pour le Mérite
 

Within the Prussian Award System a golden Oak Leaf existed, used for two very different reasons. The oak leaf was awarded with and to the Red Eagle Order in its 2nd, 1st and Grand Cross class as well as to the Order of the Pour le Mérite.

 

Within the Red Eagle Order it only indicated that the bearer was promoted to a higher grade within the order (e.g. from 3rd class to 2nd class with oak leaf). On the contrary for the Pour le Mérite; the oak leaf indicated that the bearer won an actual battle, something rather significant.

 

Despite the different relevance of the oak leaf the oak leaf itself was made identical for the Red Eagle and the Pour le Mérite.

 

Here a few examples of those oak leafs worn on the crosses of the Red Eagle Order or the Pour le Mérite from different times for the interested collector to compare. You may click on the image to super size it in a new window:

  

timeframe avers reverse
~1825
~1860
~1880
~1900
~1914
1916-18

Silver Gilt

  

The following oak leafs are from 1st class stars. The silver gilt one is identical to the oak leaf of a cross, the others were specially made for the stars.

 

time frame avers
~1850
~1860
1916-1918

Silver gilt

 

Oak leafs for 2nd class stars are made in reduced size to fit the smaller design of the stars.

 

timeframe avers

 1914-1916

 

To wear the Oak Leaf only boutonničres were available:

 

around 1870

 

You may send me via Email further oak leaf variations to keep the list growing. (*.jpg at 550x550 pixel)

 

© Andreas M. Schulze Ising V/2008


 
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