Serbian Order of the Star of Karageorge with Swords | Špiro Vranješ
Two Serbian Karageorge Orders with cases, plus miniature, a regulations booklet for the Order, and a free-travel railway pass for a holder of the Order.
The Order of the Star of Karageorge was established by King Peter Karageorgevich of Serbia in 1904 to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the First Serbian Uprising of 1804 led by his grandfather, Kara George, against Ottoman Turkish forces, but also in part to replace the high-ranking Takovo and Milos the Great orders and awards of the defunct Obrenovic-era Serbian dynasty, whose unpopular King and Queen had been assassinated in a military coup of 1903, to be replaced by the Karageorgevich Royal Family. The high-ranking Karageorge Star award was for military or civilian recipients for services to the Serbian Crown and Nation, and which would also later be awarded to foreigners. A military-only division of the Star of Karageorge was established in October 1912, around the time of the First and Second Balkan Wars, of 1912 and 1913 respectively, and differed in appearance to the regular version in that the military one had crossed swords applied to the design. Awarded in four classes, this enamelled award was conferred to officers for deeds of bravery during war, for success and great effort or self-sacrifice on the battlefield, as well as distinguished military service. As the Serbian Army experienced heavy fighting from the outset, it became clear that there was a need to officially recognise the best fighting qualities of their NCO’s and enlisted men, and so, in May 1915, a related award for non-officers was established, and this was for the Military Order of the Star of Karageorge with Swords. There were two classes, gold and silver, which were gilded or silver-plated, respectively, and were awarded for personal gallantry by NCO’s and enlisted men. Shown here is a cased Order of the Star of Karageorge with Swords and also a Military Order of the Star of Karageorge with Swords. The former case has, on the outside, the Serbian coat of arms, with a Roman numeral ’IV’ to indicate it was fourth class, for officers of field units or staff, and a pair of crossed swords, and the inside lid has the name of the French makers, Arthus Bertrand. The latter has the Cyrillic text, ‘КАРАЋОРЋЕВА ЗВЕЗДА’, which transliterates to ‘Karadjordjeva Zvezda’, and translates as ‘Karageorge Star’, with the class of award, ‘IV’, shown in Roman numerals, though the gold lettering is badly worn, and the Swiss makers name, Huguenin Freres, inside the lid. Also shown is the miniature version of the officer version of the award. The gilding over the bronze base on the NCO's or enlisted men’s version show here is completely missing, having worn off or been polished away over the many years since it was awarded. The arms of the cross of the award are of equal length, with rays between the arms, and a pair of diagonal swords. The award is topped by the Serbian crown and the red ribbon indicates a war-time award. Red ribbons with white edges would signify a peace-time award. The officer's version of the award has the Serbian heraldic shield on one side with, surrounding it, the Old Church Slavonic text, 'ЗА ВЪРꙊ И СЛОБОДꙊ', which translates as 'For Faith and Liberty', and the year of the Serbian Uprising, '1804' below this. The text on the NCO's and enlisted men's version has the Cyrillic text, 'ЗА ХРАБРОСТ', which translates as 'For Bravery'. The other side, for both versions of this award, show the Serbian eagle emblem and the Christian name of King Peter the First, of Serbia in Cyrillic, thus, 'ПЕТАР I', and the year that the award was established, '1904'. Of interest is that the NCO's or enlisted men’s version also shows the year that the decoration was awarded to the individual recipient. Looking at a close-up, you can see the year’s ‘1914-17’, which indicates that this particular example was awarded in 1917. Also pictured are a 1935 booklet with regulations for wearing the Order, plus an Award-holder identification card and photograph, valid to the end of 1939, for a Ljubica Savic, entitling the holder to free rail travel. Also shown is a miniature of the NCO or enlisted men's version of the Karageorge Star, with the date on it showing that it was awarded in 1916.
Serbian Order of the Star of Karageorge with Swords, for officers, in original case, plus a miniature of the same. Military Serbian Order of the Star of Karageorge with Swords, in original case, for NCO's and enlisted men. A booklet of regulations for holder of the Order of the Star of Karageorge with Swords, and a photo identification pass entitling the holder of the Order of the Star of Karageorge with Swords to free railway travel. Miniature of the NCO or enlisted men's version of the Karageorge Star.