|The Commanders cross consists of
several complex, joined individual parts. The cross body is made from red and
yellow gold and features silver foil underneath the green glass arms to
enhance light reflection. The center of the medal shows the family's castle
ruin in finest enamel hand painting.
made completely in gold contains a red enameled center. A miniature golden lion
is shown there. Decorations from the time the order was founded are extremely
rare, since they would have to be returned to the order’s chancellery after
the death of the recipient. Only in special cases the valuable pieces could be
kept by the recipient’s family. With the beginning of the 20th century, the
surviving family had the possibility to buy the order from the state. In most
cases however, the order was returned because its value equaled a weekly income.
Order of the Zähringer Lion: