This is a superb decoration that we are offering to you for the first time. It is the Albert Order Offizierkreuz (Officer’s Cross), Steckkreuez (Pinback Cross). It was a very rare award. The Albert Order was awarded in a full line that included the Grand Cross, the Commander’s Cross, the Knights Cross, etc. We rarely hear much about the Officer’s Cross because of its scarcity. It was only awarded to senior officers, in peacetime and also during wartime, when it was awarded with swords. It is a most striking decoration that measures 1 ½” x 1 ½.” Its white enamel arms measure an impressive 2″ x 2.” Circling the white arms is a green enamel wreath. The decoration’s center sports Albert’s gold-toned likeness. The center onto which he is mounted consists of blue, gold, and white enamel. A small chip appears in the blue portion between “Albertus” and “Animmosus.” Topping the white enamel cross is a lovely gilt crown which is quite detailed. The bottom arm’s edge sports an “S” for Scharffenberg (or silver as some sources have told me), the Saxon royal household’s court jeweler. This firm produced very fine work which compared favorably with any of the Berlin house jewelers. The reverse features a sturdy silver pin. Underneath the pin is yet another hallmark for G. A.. Scharffenberg in Dresden. This hallmarking is quite large and very intricate. The device’s center displays Saxony’s Coat-of-Arms.
At the outset we indicated that this was a scarce decoration. It was awarded from 1890 through 1918. During that period, 580 were awarded in gold and another 870 were awarded in gilt, for a total of 1,450. Our example is one of the 870 that were awarded in silver gilt. The decoration’s presentation case measures 3″ x 4″ x 1 ½.” It is made of red leatherette. The Saxon Coat-of-Arms is embossed in gold on the outer lid. When one opens the case, a white silk upper lid is revealed. The case’s bottom is covered in red velvet, which is fitted to accommodate the decoration. Two labels are displayed on the outer case’s bottom, one for Scharffenberg and one for C. E. Kunathe. [Allow me to make a point about presentation cases in general. Anytime that a decoration comes with a presentation case, it should be considered an added value. So many cases were not retained by their owners for any number of reasons. Having a case also is an attractive way to present your decoration. It adds true value to a decoration. One often sees a 50% addition to a decoration’s cost when accompanied by the correct case]. All that I have said is even more true for this particular decoration. I was very eager to buy it from an advanced collector in Germany. We are especially pleased to offer it to you today.