Sold out



Sold out
  • Description




(Franz Joseph Orden, Komturkreuz). Instituted on December 2nd, 1849 by Franz Joseph I. Type 1. (Issued 1849-1914). An excellent quality 18K Gold cross with red-enameled arms, with the imperial double-headed eagle, partially enameled in black, shown in the angles of the cross, the two heads of the eagle bear in their beaks a loop of chain with the emperor’s motto “VIRIBUS UNITIS” (“WITH UNITED FORCES”) applied at the lower edge, the white-enamelled central medallion shows the letters “FJ” for Franz Joseph, surmounted by the Austrian imperial crown, reverse presents a white-enamelled central medallion bearing the date “1849,” maker mark “VM” for Vincent Mayer’s Söhne of Vienna, gold hallmark of a goat’s head between the number “3” and letter “A” denoting Vienna between 1872 and 1922, measuring 37.12 mm (w) x 69.42 mm (h - inclusive of crown), weighing 22.2 grams, date on reverse central medallion is loose and missing enamels, on flat suspension loop, hallmarked with “A” initials, from a period original red neck ribbon, and in overall extremely fine condition. 

On December 2, 1849, Emperor Franz Joseph founded the fifth dynastic order, one year after his accession to the throne. It was created as an order of merit, to be awarded to any citizen of the Austrian Empire and it was therefore more achievable for the middle-class individuals who would not be awarded the order of St. Stephen, Leopold or the Iron Crown.

Unlike the early conceived Orders, the Order of Franz Joseph did not offer any social advancements or chains for Grand Cross recipients. It was awarded in three classes, Grand Cross, Komtur (Commander) and Knight, in unlimited numbers. Due to the expected class of recipients being mainly individuals that did not wear uniforms or court dress, the order was permitted to be worn in a reduced form on a gold chain, in the buttonhole of a dress coat.

The insignia designs were approved by the Emperor on February 16, 1850. A golden cross with red enamelled arms with an imperial double-headed eagle in the arms of the cross was chosen. The motto VIRIBUS UNITIS, meaning “with united forces” was included on a loop of a chain held by the eagle’s beaks. The white central medallion shows the letters FJ (Franz Joseph) on the obverse and 1849 on the reverse. The whole cross was surmounted by a convex imperial crown.

Unlike the other Austrian Orders, the Order of Franz Joseph did not include special war decorations. However, a Commanders Star was implemented in 1869. This was to take into account that foreigners were often awarded the next higher award than if they were Austrian. When the Emperor went to the Orient for the opening of the Suez Canal, it was assumed that many awards would be presented. Instead of awarding the Grand Cross, the Commander with or without the star could be conferred. Another change was made following the wars of 1859 and 1866. Austria lost territory to the Italians which resulted in the destabilization of the Order of Iron Crown. Due to this, Italians were no longer to be awarded the Order of the Iron Crown and substitute classes were introduced. To replace the Knight III Class, the “Officer’s Cross” of the Order of Franz Joseph was created to serve as a parallel award.

In 1908, small decorations were introduced for Grand Cross recipients to wear on the new uniforms. In 1914, a resolution stated that to distinguish wartime awards, the ribbon was to be exchanged with the Military Merit Cross ribbon. This was instituted for all classes by the end of the year. As the war raged on longer than expected, a war decoration was added in 1916. The Star of the Grand Cross and the Star of the Commander Cross were presented with an alloyed green golden laurel wreath behind the arms. The Officer’s Cross saw changes in the pendilia which became longer and enamelled in green. The Commander’s Cross and the Knight’s Cross were unchanged.

The ‘war decoration of lower grade’ comprises a laurel wreath on the cross of the order overlaid on the obverse of the Star (both Grand Cross and Commander). In August 1916, the statutes were altered to confirm the distinction between the Commander with Star and the Commander without Star, meaning the Order now had five official classes. Just before 1917, Swords were added to the insignia for individuals who had completed services in the face of the enemy. Lower grade swords were manufactured of oxidized silver. Shortly after, the Grand Cross ribbon was adjusted to that of the Military Cross of Merit ribbon. In January 1918, miniatures for the Commander, Commander with Star and Officers were implemented on the triangular ribbon of the Knight.

The Order was formally dissolved on April 3, 1919, like the other Austrian Orders. It was the most frequently bestowed order, likely because it did not offer social privileges or financial gain to its recipients.

The Commander Cross was the same design and size as the Grand Cross but was worn on a neck ribbon. It was awarded with the Military Merit Cross ribbon as a war decoration. Swords were attached to the pendilia under the imperial crown. The miniature chain for the commander’s cross (for formal dress wear) was 8mm wide and similar to the Grand Cross (links consisting of the imperial crown, the double-headed eagle, and the initials F.J.), however the eagles were not crowned. The miniature Commanders Cross consists of the insignia of the cross attached to the triangular ribbon on the Knights Cross.

This item will ship exactly as photographed in overall Extremely Fine Condition. It also comes with:  

FREE $15,000.00 Certified Insurance Appraisal, &
Certificate of Authenticity!
This piece can be viewed at our Brand New gallery APR57 at 200 W 57th Street, New York, NY 10019. We ship anywhere around the world! This item is also available for local pickup at our gallery.

Appraisal Value: $15,000.00
Our Price: $4,395.00

Specifications of Item




Austrian-Hungarian Imperial War Medal


Bronz, Gold, Enamel

Date of Creation:


Approx. Dimensions:

62 X 30 mm, 6 millimeters thick

Approx. Weight


Distinguishing marks:

In common with the other Austro-Hungarian awards of the period, the Franz Joseph Order was further distinguished with the addition of the War decoration and Swords which could be awarded for military merit.

Overall condition:

 Very Good Condition

Appraised Value:

Comes with FREE $15,000.00 Certified Insurance Appraisal Certificate!



 The above item comes with a free certified insurance appraisal valued at $15,000.00

Send us a Message or Call
regarding any questions you may have regarding the
item you're interested in.                                     

Shipping Details

. Shipping all around the world.

. International Shipping

. Items will be shipped by UPS/Fedex/USPS on the same or next business day of receiving full payment.

. Tracking number will be provided based on the shipping.

. Since we are wholesalers, all items are subject unsold.

Payment Information

. We accept payment by multiple methods including cash, bank wire, check (subject to clearing), credit card, etc.

. We always try to ship immediately on the same or next business day upon receiving full payment and information is verified. 


Why Buy From Us?

1. In our 30 years of business, we have been featured in and adviser to the Wall Street Journal, Time-Out New York, CNBC, and multiple radio stations in NYC and around the world!

2. We have over 30,000 watches in stock - The largest collection in the world! This includes both Brand New and Limited Edition watches from the last 20 years, as well as Rare, Vintage, Collectible watches that are up to 100 years old!

3. Our Brand New 4,000 square foot Gallery is located on the prestigious 57th St in New York City directly across from the world famous Carnegie Hall, The Russian Tea Room, The Art Students League, and the Brand New $1 Billion Nordstrom Flagship stores.

4. We accept payment by multiple methods including cash, bank wire, check (subject to clearing), credit card, etc.

5. We also offer layaways and accept trade ins and exchanges.

6. Unless otherwise specified, each of our items comes with:
-   a FREE lifetime guarantee certificate and a FREE certified insurance appraisal for the typical replacement value.  
-   Most of our watches are in Brand New, or in Brand New Condition and typically come with their original box.
-   Because all of our watches are guaranteed to be working perfectly at the time of sale, we offer a FREE 2-year international guarantee on all mechanical parts and labor.

New York City

About Us

        Over 100 years of combined experience. We are an appraiser for the Wall Street Journal and many major insurance companies. We have been recommended by Time Out New York as well as a number of radio and TV stations here in New York City. We have over 25,000 watches including both new display and collector's models as well as vintage pieces. We handle all fine artwork, stamps, coins, jewelry, etc. We buy, sell and appraise essentially anything of value.

        Our Brand 4,000 square foot Gallery occupies the entire Ground Level at 200 West 57th Street in New York City, directly across from the world famous Carnegie Hall, The Russian Tea Room, The Art Students League, and the Brand New $1 Billion Nordstrom Flagship stores. We are open everyday besides Saturday, and welcome anyone to stop by to view or try our massive collection in person.

Return Policy For Online Orders

. We guarantee every listing to be described and photographed accurately. 

. Any Item that is not as described can be returned for a full refund, store credit, or replacement. All returns must be returned back to us within 7 days of receipt. You must call prior to returning the item to receive a return shipping number. 

  This return policy applies to ONLINE ORDERS ONLY and does not apply to purchases made in-store. 

 NEW YORK, NY 10019