Albania - Republic of: Order of Skanderbeg, 1st type 1925-1940, 4th Class Officer’s Grade, with goats head facing left, silver-gilt, bronze-gilt and enamels, no makers marks but probably by Cravanzola of Rome. Rare.
Condition: test mark scratching to two areas on the reverse, specifically to the gilt back plate, otherwise enamel work is good, overall Good Very Fine.
The Order of Skanderbeg (Alanian: Urdhëri i Skënderbeut) was originally instituted in 1925 as an order of merit of the Albanian Republic. It was replaced by the Communist government in 1945 with a new award of the same name. Skandereg is the national hero of the Albanian people.
The Albanian royal family currently maintains the Order of Skanderbeg as a dynastic order, which has only been awarded to a select number of people since the fall of the monarchy in 1939. This order should not be mistaken for the award of the same name which is currently given by the head of the Republic of Albania.
The president and later king of Albania, Ahmet Zogu, founded the order in 1925 as an order of merit with four grades. After the Italian annexation of Albania, his successor, Victor Emanuel III, King of Italy and of Albania, Emperor of Ethiopia, added a fifth grade (Knight) in 1940.
In 1945, the People’s Republic of Albania decided to replace the order. In that same year, a new order with the same name was founded, along the lines of the Socialist Orders of Merit. It was awarded until the fall of Albanian Communism in 1990.
The Communist version of the order was created on 13 October 1945 with three classes. The medal design included an image of Skanderbeg on a five pointed star, and the ribbons were red with 1 to 3 blue stripes according to the class of award. It was awarded to officers of the Albanian People’s Army and the Ministry of Internal Affairs as a recognition of services to the country and the people for the organisation, modernisation and reinforcement of the armed forces.
Another honorary award bearing Skanderbeg's name, also known as the Order of Skanderbeg, has been instituted by the current Republic of Albania.