Order of Military Merit, 1st Class Cross (Orden del Mérito Militar, Cruz del 1ª Clase), rare 1868-1870 war issue
Gilt-edged red enamel Greek cross on swivel royal crown suspension; the face with an imposed circular central medallion in red and white enamel and gilt metal bearing an escutcheon quarterly of Castile and Léon with enté en point of Granada; the reverse with a circular central white enamel medallion bearing the gilt initials ‘MM’ (for Merito Militar); on probably original tired ribbon.
The Order was created by Queen Isabel II in 1864 for military merit. The cross is of white enamel in times of peace, and of red in times of war. This example does not bear the fleur de lys of the House of Bourbon nor the escutcheon of Aosta used during the brief reign of Amadeo I and we can therefore date its issue to the period after the establishment of the Provisional Government on 29 September 1868 and before the beginning of the reign of Amadeo I on 16 November 1870.
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