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Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Cross of Merit, miniature
[II172]
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Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Cross of Merit, miniature
Click to enlarge

Miniature gilt-edged white enamel cross moline with loop for ribbon suspension; the face with a central circular red enamel medallion bearing a gilt-edged white enamel Maltese cross; the reverse identical; diameter 15.36mm (0.6 inch); on probably replaced correct ribbon with a deep red enamel scalloped shield bearing a white enamel Greek cross. The Order, often popularly referred to as the ‘Knights of Malta’, was in existence certainly as long ago as the early years of the 12th Century and is still extant today. Originally based in Jerusalem, the Order moved to Tripoli following the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187 and to Rhodes by way of Cyprus after the fall of Acre in 1291. In 1522 Suleiman the Magnificent took Rhodes and the Order scattered. Charles V granted the Order the island of Malta and the Order settled here from 1530 to 1798 when Napoleon Bonaparte captured the island en route for Egypt. In 1834 the order established a new headquarters in Rome and took on its current humanitarian and ceremonial role with Grand Masters being appointed by the Pope. The Cross of Merit was founded in 1916 by Grand Master Thun von Hohenstein of the Grand Priory of Austria. In 1920, the award of the Cross was widened so that the Grand Master of the Order in Rome may award it to any individual, whether Catholic or not, who has rendered outstanding service to the Order. A good miniature.

 
Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Cross of Merit, miniature
Click to enlarge
Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Cross of Merit, miniature
Click to enlarge
Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Cross of Merit, miniature
Click to enlarge
Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Cross of Merit, miniature
Click to enlarge
   
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