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Essencial questions about Spanish Awards 1: The...

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Essencial questions about Spanish Awards 1: The Order of Military Merit - Periods

Essencial questions about Spanish Awards 1: The Order of Military Merit - Periods

      The Order of Military Merit was established by Queen Isabel II in 1864 with the aim to reward meritorious service and actions therefore merits of war (red enamel) and in service in time of peace (white enamel), from 2003 badges were established blue (merit under international missions) and yellow (death or serious injury in peacetime service).

      The purpose of this article is to help the collector determine just by looking at some details to differentiate the time it was produced the award in question, we must focus primarily on three key elements: the crown and the centers of the front and back.

The crown:

We distinguish three types of crowns that were in use as the political regime of the historical moment in which the award was manufactured.

Crown Royal: 1864-1868, 1868-1871, 1871-1873, 1876-1931, 1978-present

Royal Crown of spanish order of military merit

No Crown: 1873-1874

Crown Mural: 1931-1938

Mural Crown of spanish order of military merit


Imperial Crown: 1936-1978

Imperial crown of spanish order of military merit

The front center:

Coat quartered castles and lions, the Granada pointed and center shield with three fleurs de lys. 1864-1868 and 1876-1931
Isabel II and Alfonso XII and Alfonso XIII front center of spanish order of military merit


Coat quartered castles and lions, the Granada pointed and center shield with the cross of Savoy. 1871-1873

Same as above, with the cross of Savoy enameled in white on red background in the central escutcheon.

Coat quartered castles and lions, the Granada pointed. 1868-1871, 1873-1874 and 1931-1938.
Provisional government and second republic  front center of spanish order of military merit


Coat quartered castles and lions, central shield with Granada. 1936-2003.
Franco and first era of king Juan Carlos I front center of spanish order of military merit


Shield quartered with the arms of Castile, Leon, Aragon and Navarra, Granada pointed and shield with three fleurs de lys. 2003-present
second era of king Juan Carlos I front center of spanish order of military merit


The back center:

Center from 1864 to 1868 with the number Y2
Isabel II era back center of spanish order of military merit


Center with the initials "MM" 1868-present.

regular back center of spanish order of military merit

Center with the text "mérito militar" 1868-1871 (variant)

 

Examples and Observations:

1-We must now turn our attention to the various possible combinations, for example, a Cross of Isabel II era (1864 to 1868) and another of Alfonso XII or Alfonso XIII (1876-1931) will be the same on the front (same crown and same center) but they differ in the center of the reserve (Y2) versus (MM) as can be seen in the following images:

 

cross of military merit isabel ii eracross of military merit isabel II era back

cross of military merit alfonso xiiiCross of military merit alfonso xiii era back




2-Something similar will happen when we compare a cross of the Provisional Government (1868-1871) and the Second Republic (1931-1939), we will find some centers, both obverse and reserve, identical, but the Crown Real will first, while the second will be Crown Mural.

 

provisional government cross of military merit provisional government cross of military merit back

spanish second republic order of military merit


3-Finally differentiate between a Cross Franco era from 1936 to 1978 with one of the first era of Juan Carlos I, as you can see the change is only in the crown, remaining unchanged centers to the 2003 Regulations.
 

franco era cross of military meritfirst era of Juan Carlos I cross of military merit



4-There are many variations in shape, material and size according to its manufacturer, this is certainly one of the great attractions of collecting this Order, offering a huge range of possibilities to the collector to specialize your collection and numerous possibilities to investigate every detail.