St. Sava miniature picture

The order of the White Eagle

The order of the White Eagle was instituted on 22nd february 1882 by King Milan I. But it was only the law of 23. january 1883 that constitutionally confirmed.the order. This order commemorates the reestablishment of the kingdom and was meant to reward meritous services rendered to the king, the royal house, to the state or to the nation.

The order was organised in five classes very much like the french orders of that period.

The five classe are:

I class Grand Cross
II class Grand Officer
III class Commander
IV class Officer
V class Knight

The badge of the order consists of an double-headed eagle with spread wings turned downwards, talons spread and turned downwards. The lowest, fifth class is made of silver, all other classes are made of gold or gilted silver. All classes have with white and red enamel parts. The first and second class bear a breast star accompanying the badges. The first class star being bigger in size and carrying a class III badge, the second class star accordingly carrying a class IV badge aplicated.

In the first period all delivered insignia have been made by C.F. Rothe and his nephews. Later other manufacturers from Vienna joined Rothe in producing the white eagle order for the Obrenovic dynasty. These producers have been G.A. Scheid, K. Fischmeister and one unknown manufactury signing their pieces of work with a roman II. It is thought that this mark belongs to Wilhelm Kunze but until today it was not possible to prove this. In literature I also encountered a few items with the AF makers stamp on them. As history turned Serbia and Austria-Hungary into enemies of the first WW the economic trading completely stopped. So other manufacturers took over the production from the austrian jewelers. The producers of this second period are Arthus Bertrand from Paris and Huguenin from Le Locle, later they have been joined by Sorlini from Varazdin.

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