1860 - St Olav Orders

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1847 - 1882 (Carl Fredrik Carlman - Oscar II, 18K gold)

1847-73: 3 classes, Grand Cross, Commander (with Star) and Knight. The name of the order was "Den norske Sanct Olafs Orden" (The Norwgian Order of Sanct Olaf) until 1906.

1855-60's: Some of the Knight and Commander types were bestowed with Brilliants. The brilliants were arranged in a circle around the Lion in the centre of the Cross instead of the normal rings in blue and white enamel.

1873: Commander Class divided into two classes on July 19th, 1873, the day after the Coronation of King Oscar II in Trondheim. Commander 1st Class (with Star) and Commander 2nd. Class (without Star). The new Commander 2nd. Class was only awarded to foreigners until 1891, when the first one was awarded to a Norwegian recipient.


1860 Grand Cross Badge

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This 1860 Grand Cross Badge was awarded with a 1882 Collar. Several possibilities do exist why these were awarded together. The Badge could have been one already manufactured of the previous series, it could have been returned once and then re-issued with the Collar or it cold have been put together at a later stage. Most likely the Collar is of an early type and the badge was left over from a previous production series.


1860 Grand Cross Military badge

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The 1860 GC set is very rare. Not many St Olav were awarded between 1847 and 1860. The GC is made at the main jeweler in Stockholm. No hallmarks are found on this item.

The important feature with this military Grand Cross badge is that the Swords point downwards as they used to be on the Swedish orders. This was later changed on St Olav so later versions has the swords pointing upward. Further one should accept that dating of these older St Olavs is an ongoing process. Other features particular to this GC badge are: All the dots on the crown has white enamel. Also seen on Swedish orders of this time around 1850. Very powerful O's between the badge arms. In front of the hinge to the large crown there is some sort of leaf in gold pointing upwards in front of the hinge. On the top of the hinge there is a small hole with a fastening coming through on the back side, as can be seen at the bottom of the leaf.Looking at the back of the badge one can actually see the standard hinge is broken and the leaf has been attached to strengthen the hinge. The Lion is very strong and powerful looking.


1872 Grand Cross Star

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The Grand Cross Star is also difficult to date from this period. A number of different version do exist as they are made by many different jewellers in Stockholm during these years. When more documentation and more examples are found in the future, more certain dating should be possible. Around 1873 the Swedish orders changed layout and the St Olav followed in 1882. However this is from the period prior to the change in Sweden. It reminds more like the Danish Dannebrog or Elephant Order during this period. The O's between the enamel arms are of similar powerful type as seen in the badge. Another interesting features is the screwcap at the back. This makes it easier to fix to the uniform. From the back one can also easily see that the holes drilled through are made manually and they are not following exact lines. This improved later when the star in 1882 was introduced.


1872 Commander Star

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A few interesting features with this star. 1 - The crowns above the O's are closed.
2 - The O's are half normal thickness. Only front is made.
3 - The remaining thickness is made up of the silver backplate as can be seen on the image. Some damage to the back that may be from the manufacturing. Looks like a crude version.
4 - The lion is of the very early strong lion type.

It is most likely not from 1860 but a variation from 1872-1881. Different versions of the center lion has been used for this period and doesn't neccessarily tie the star to 1860 as for the Knight. The most important factor determining that the star must date from 1872-1881 is confirmed by the fact that:

1) Commander Stars of the Swedish Orders of the North Star and the Sword, both were issued in 1872 for the first time with the same fretted cross arm design. Prior to that the fish shell pattern was used. This implies that the St. Olaf commanders from 1847 and 1860 have the same fish shell arms as the Swedish ones. A picture of the 1847 is found on www.saintolav.com confirming that this is the case for 1847.

2) The Order of Sanct Olaf was also manufactured by the same Swedish Court Jeweler Carlman in Stockholm. The cross arms of the Commander Star of Sanct Olaf are 100% identical in shape and size to the Commander Star of the Order of the Sword, further confirming the Swedish design influence.

3) All 1882 and later are hallmarked by Tostrup (almost all), so it is older than 1881 and most likely Swedish made.

A similar Commander star is shown in the book of Arvid Bergman 'Nordiska ordnar och dekorationer' (Malmų, 1949) page 218. The center lion is not quite the same, but the rest looks identical. This is shown on the image to the right.


1860 Miniature

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Courtesy of Lars Bogstad


1860 Miniature

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Courtesy of Lars Bogstad


1872 Commander/GC Badge

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1872 Commander Star

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1872 Knight Military

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1872 Knight

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1872 Knight

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Differences between the 1860 and 1882 Grand Cross Badges



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