The Red Eagle Order was the oldest of the Prussian decorations that were awarded in peacetime and wartime alike. It predates both the Crown Order and the Hohenzollern House Order. It was awarded to both civilians and military officers in a wide variety of classes, including neck orders, breast stars, and so on. Our offering today is the 3rd Model of the 4th Class. The 3rd Model was awarded from 1846 through 1854. This particular example is an early version, which was awarded during the years 1848 to 1849. Several characteristics mark it as an early Red Eagle. The first are its smooth arms. Later Red Eagles displayed a pebbled arm-surface. An even more apparent difference shows up in the eagles. Our decoration’s enamel center boasts a hand-painted, gold, red, black, and green eagle. An earlier decoration’s eagle is smaller, particularly when comparing the wings. The green wreath held in the eagle’s talons is also far smaller. The cross, which measures 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2,” is made of silver. The decoration’s reverse displays König Friedrich Wilhelm’s crowned royal cypher. Its ribbon is a replacement. The decoration’s condition is exceptional, overall. We rarely have the opportunity to share such an early Red Eagle with you. This one is a beauty.