Order of the Eagle of Este
| Order of the Eagle of Este|
Ordine dell'Aquila Estense
|Awarded by Duchy of Modena and Reggio|
|Type||Chivalric order with three degrees|
|Awarded for||Faithful civilians and officers and distinguished foreigners|
|First Grand Master||Francis V, Duke of Modena|
|Grades (w/ post-nominals)|| Grand Cross|
|Established||27 december 1855|
|Next (higher)||None (highest)|
|Next (lower)||Cross of Seniority of Service|
|Ribbon bar of the Order|
The Order was instituted on 27 December 1855 by Francis V of Modena, Duke of Modena & Reggio, to reward the services and the merits of faithful civilians and officers. The order was established under the protection (patronage) of Saint Contardo of Este, a founder's ancestor in maternal line (House of Este) & protector of Modena.
The ordine is divided in three classes:
- Grand Cross
The number of Grand Crosses was established to a maximum of ten, the Commander couldn't surpass twenty members & the Knights could be maximum sixty. The foreigners appointed into the Order were counted as supernumerary knights.
All grants were awarding personal nobility which, if mentioned in the letters patent, could also be hereditary.
The "Royal Parish of the Court" served as Church of the Order.
The medal of the order consisted of a white-enameled cross border of "overseas azure" and subdivided in eight "golden-balls" points. In the middle, an azure shield with a white eagle in its center, antique symbol of the Este. In the superior part of the shield, one can read the motto PROXIMA SOLI, and the inferior part, the data of foundation MDCCCLV. At the back, the shield shows the Saint Contardo's effigy with the inscription: S. CONTARDUS ATESTINUS. Between the four arms of the cross, four golden cursive letters, to form the word E S T E. The cross is surmounted by a trophy for military class, by an oak crown for the civilian one and a royal crown for foreigner knights.
The ribbon is white bordered with sky-blue stripes.
The founder, Francis V, continued to grant the Order, even in the years of his exile.
- Crespellani, Arsenio (1893). Medaglie Estensi ed Austro-Estensi (in Italian). Coi tipi della Società tipografica modenese.
- Photo of Grand Cross decorations
- Design of the different decorations.
- Ducato di Modena e Reggio, Corpo della Nobiltà Italiana - Circolo Giovanile. (Italian)