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The commander breast star with golden rays of the Order of Philip the Magnanimous - Hessian-Darmstadt
 
When the Order of Philip the Magnanimous was founded May 1, 1840, it was not only done to honor count Philipp I. the magnanimous for his diplomatic hand to reinforce Hessians status for the future, but to add to the order hierarchy in Hessian to be able to address a wider range of loyal citizens. The other orders, the Order of the Golden Lion or the Ludwig's Order, were almost exclusively for the elite.

Issues in those classic 4 grades (Grand Cross, Commander and knight) the order went through one major design change in 1849 but experienced many additions/changes of the different classes of the order. 

The Philip order was given out in a large amount even though the Hessians were always a nation of scrooges. Yet it had some grades and classes that were extremely rare. One of those is the commander breast star with golden rays. This happened in 1911 only 7 years before all imperial German orders got extinct due to the lost World War.

This was certainly a cosmetical move, since Grand duke Ernst Ludwig was heavily involved in patronizing the arts in Hessian.

The "Granduke's Hessian Orders-List 1914" shows only the following recipients of this rare star:

Date Name Title

Civilians - Hessians

25-Nov-1912 Römfeld, Gustav Geheimrat, vorstand des Großh. Kabinetts

Civilians - non-Hessians

23-Mar-1912 Bumm, Franz, Dr. Präsident des Kais. Gesundheitsamts usw., Wirkl. Geh. Oberregierungsrat in Berlin
25-Nov-1912 Kelch, Egon, Dr.  Präsident der Reichsschulkommission, Wirkl. Geh. Oberregierungsrat in Berlin
29-Jan-1913 Koeckritz, Victor v. Großh. Mecklenb. Oberhofmeister
29-Jan-1913 Hirschfeld, Bernhard v. Großh. Mecklenb. Kammerherr
29-Jan-1913 Maltzan, Bernhard v. Frhr. Zu Wartenberg und Penzlin, Großh. Mecklenb. Vizeoberstallmeister
29-Jan-1913 Blücher, Hemuth v. Großh. Mecklenb. Ministerialdirektor
28-Apr-1913 Heydt, August Frhr. Geh. Kommerzienrat in Elberfeld
24-May-1913 Seherr=Thoß, Günther Frhr. v. Regierungspräsident, wirkl. Geh. Rat in Liegnitz
2-Aug-1913 Hummel, Hugo Wirkl. Geh. Oberfinanzsrat in Berlin
16-Aug-1913 Behr=Pinnow, Karl v., Dr. Kabinettsrat a.D.

Military Personnel

14-Feb-1912 Gontard, Hans von Kgl. Preuß. Generalmajor, Flügeladjutant à l. s. Sr. Maj. Des Kaisers und Königs
25-Nov-1912 Randow, victor von Generalmajor, Kommandant von Darmstadt
29-Jan-1913 Kraewel, Richard von Kgl. Preuß. Generalmajor
9-Apr-1913 Noeldecken, Ferdinand Kgl. Preuß. Generalmajor
16-Jun-1913 Chelius, Oskar von Kgl. Preuß. Generalmajor à l. s. und diensttuender General Sr. Maj. Des Kaisers und Königs
30-Jul-1913 Franke, Johannes Kgl. Preuß. Generalmajor

All in all we only know about those 17 awards listed in this last published list, but with some statistics one could assume that only 60 commander stars with golden rays may have ever been awarded.

Here the proper case of issue for the orders set:

© A. Schulze Ising, III/06

 
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