Knightly Order of Saint Michael, Collar


SKU: 01.BAV.0102.101.01.000

Estimated market value:

$100,000 USD

  • Knightly Order of Saint Michael, Collar Obverse

Estimated market value:

$100,000 USD


  • Country
  • Composition
  • Size
  • Version Remarks
    The value depends on the quality and period of manufacture, materials, workmanship, and provenance.
  • Image Licensing
    The image of the Knightly Order of St. Michael, Collar is a scanned image from the book "Die Ritter- und Verdienst-Orden, Ehrenzeichen und Medaillen aller Souveräne und Staaten" edited by L. J. Trost. The book was published in 1910.

Physical Description and Item Details

The collar of the Knightly Order of St. Michael consists of three different types of links. The first link is the flag of Bavaria in white and blue enamel with four arms of arrows, with flames protruding from the 12 and 6 o'clock arms. The second link bears upper body armour with a blue enamel initial letter of one of the four virtues (PIETAS, FIDELITAS, FORTITUDO, PERSERVERANTIA) with four flagstaffs and a lion head at the top. The third link bears the personification of one of the four virtues (PIETAS, FIDELITAS, FORTITUDO, PERSERVERANTIA) on a blue enamel background, encompassed by a border with flowers, foliage, and acanthus detailing. The third link type is displayed four times on the collar.


Elector Joseph Clemens, Archbishop of Cologne and Duke of Bavaria, built a chapel in the Hofmark Berg am Laim near Munich in honour of the Archangel Michael and founded a brotherhood, which was open to everyone. In 1732, the brotherhood had 100,000 members in 53 different locations.
The Knightly Order of St. Michael was instituted on September 29, 1693 by Clemens and could only be conferred upon the Catholic nobility. The order was created to represent the defence and protection of divine honour and the promotion of all that contributes to the glory of God.
Originally, the order consisted of a Grand Master, Grand Cross, and Knight. It was customary to wear a breast star with the cross of the order.

In 1808, King Max Joseph approved the continuation of the order in the Kingdom of Bavaria, and the Commander Cross was added to the order. The Grand Master was selected from the princes of Bavaria. In 1813, the order received the official name of Knightly House Order of St. Michael. From 1693 to 1837, 289 Grand Crosses and 119 Knights Crosses were awarded. The Knightly Order of St. Michael consisted of a Collar, Grand Cross, Grand Cross Breast Star, Knight’s Cross, and Honour Knight’s Cross.

On January 18, 1837, King Ludwig I changed the order name to the Order of Merit of St. Michael. The appearance of the order was also changed and it was determined that the old version of the order should no longer be awarded. Knights who had been previously awarded the old version of the order were permitted to still wear them.
The order could be awarded to all individuals regardless of faith or class. The award was conferred in recognition of loyalty, patriotism, and meritorious service in various fields.

On June 24, 1855, Maximilian II extended the order to include the grade of Grand Commander and divided the Knight’s Cross into I and II Class.The order underwent a further reorganisation in 1887, and by 1910 it consisted of a Grand Cross and corresponding Breast Star, Commander Cross, I Class Cross and I Class Breast Star, II Class Cross and II Class Breast Star, I Class Knight's Cross, II Class Knight’s Cross, III Class Cross, IV Class Cross, Honour Cross, Merit Cross, Silver Medal, and Bronze Medal.

The inscription, “PIETAS FIDELITAS FORTITUDO PERSEVERANTIA”, translates to "Piety, Fidelity, Fortitude, Perseverance”.

The Order was awarded until the abolition of the monarchy on November 7, 1918.


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