St Olav Orders 1872-1882

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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.


1872 Commander/GC Badge

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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.


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