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Orders

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Order of the Roman Eagle: This civil and military order was awarded to foreigners for meritorious services to Italy, in five classes and two medals. It was instituted on 14 March 1942. Exact numbers of awards are unknown. Majority was made to Germans, some to Japanese, Albanians, and French.

Pictured is Commander’s Class with Swords.

More information on grades:

* Grand Cross, wearing the sash badge of 50mm in diameter and an 8 point breast star of 80mm. Following in the manner of the German Eagle Order, the Grand Cross class was expanded to Gold Grand Cross (badge & star in gilt) and Silver Grand Cross (badge & star in silver). This expansion occurred August 24th, 1942.
* Grand Officer, wearing gilt neck badge of 50mm and 4 pointed silver breast star of 65mm.
* Commander, wearing gilt neck badge of 50mm.
* Officer, wearing gilt breast badge of 35mm on ribbon with rosette.
* Knight, wearing gilt breast badge of 35mm on ribbon.
* Medal of Merit in 2 grades (silver & bronze, 32mm), established August 24th, 1942.

2 types:

* 1942-1944 Fascist type.
* 1944-1945 RSI (Social Italian Republic) type. Eagle of Savoy changed to the eagle of the RSI.

Ribbons:

* Yellow stripes on amaranth ribbon.
* On August 24th, 1942 changed to gold stripes on purple ribbon.

Known makers:

* S.Johnson, Milano.
* D. Cravanzola, Roma.
* A. Alberti & Co., Roma (thought to have produced a few higher classes).

Notes of interest:

* Rare order in any class, especially the RSI versions.
* Quality of 1st type was very good, quality of 2nd type was good to fair. Copies of fair quality are encountered.
* Higher class originals are always of 7 part construction (eagle, blue disk, gilt ring, cross, gilt ring, blue disk, fascias).
* Lower class originals are always of 5 part construction (eagle, blue disk/ring, cross, blue disk/ring, fascias).
* Except stars, badges were rarely hallmarked (occasionally a silver hallmark of 800 on the suspension).
* The eagle’s beaks on the Roman dagger handles are always pointing up.

Colonial Order of the Star of Italy: Created in 1914 as an award for native subjects and, exceptionally, it was conferred upon Italians residing in the colonies. It was divided into five classes.  Pictured is Commander Class.

Italian Unity: The first medal was created in 1883 for those who had fought for the country’s unification from 1848 to 1870 and another medal was issued in 1922 with the dates 1848-1918 and later yet another one with the dates 1848-1922.  Six versions exist of the 1922 instituted 1848-1918 medal.

  • “Mario Nelli – C Rivalta” 1848-1918
  • “S. Johnson” 1848-1918
  • “Unmarked” 1848-1918
  • “Mario Nelli – C. Rivalta” 1848-1918 Ass. Naz. Madri E Vedove Dei Caduti
  • “Mario Nelli – C. Rivalta” 1848-1918 Ass. Naz. Madri E Vedove Dei Caduti in Guerra
  • “Unmarked” 1848-1918 Ass. Naz. Famiglie Caduti in Guerra

Order of Skanderbeg: After the occupation of Albania in 1939, the King of Italy also became King of Albania and therefore Grand Master of the Albanian Orders.
The Order of Skanderbeg was awarded to Albanians and Italians residing in that country. It was divided into five classes identified on the service ribbon by small helmets of Skanderbeg in gold or silver.
Note the fasces, the circle of Savoy knots with the inscription “FERT”. Also marked on back with Silver 925 and Torino stamp

Resource material on Italian Medals & Decorations is scarce, unlike its more famous Axis partner, Germany. This is our attempt to create the definitive on-line guide on the topic.

We need your help! If you have medals or variations to contribute to our virtual collection, please contact us.
JoeM, Member, Comando Supremo

All information courtesy of these two great sites:

Hendrik Meersschaert for contributing material and information.
Antiques and Militaria
Italian Regalia 1922-1945

Also see: Ribbons of Orders, Decorations, and Medals; Guido Rosignolil; Arco Publishing 1977 ISBN 0-668-04104-8

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