Order of Merit of the Hungarian People's Republic, 1st class
Breast Star, 1949-1953.
In gilded brass and enamels; measures 69.8 mm in heights,
69.8 mm in width; weighs 71.0 grams. Multi-piece
construction: the crossed
hammer and ear of wheat, wreath with star and national flag,
and the large red star are separate parts superimposed on
the gold starburst. There is a standard five-sided maker
mark to the underside of the pin near the hinge. The quality
is exceptional throughout.
In very fine condition. There is a chip to the small faceted
red star, very insignificant given the overall scale of the
award and not easily noticeable. The red enamel on the large
star as well as tri-colored national flag are perfect. The
are a few tiny "dots" to the azure enamel in the center
medallion but these appear to be manufacturing imperfections
rather than external damage, and are almost unnoticeable
without magnification (they are visible only in our greatly
enlarged photo). The gilt finish is exceptionally well
preserved and bright on both the obverse and reverse.
Founded 24 October 1949, the first presentation of the
various degrees of the Hungarian Order of Merit appears to
have been on May Day of 1950 - with a substantial number of
awards going to Soviets. The various degrees of this Order
were presented for less than three years before being
replaced by a single medal (with a slightly simpler design)
that eventually would display the last (1957) version of the
communist national coat of arms in the center.
Only 169 of the first class were ever bestowed making this
award one of the rarest of all decorations of the Communist