The duchy Brunswick; real nice to collect, since some experts wrote a book about this topic some years ago. A book that tells about orders and medals, the history and a lot of other things. Very interesting is the chapter about the number of awards. Disappointing, if you plan to collect Brunswick orders until getting a complete collection. Everyone will get to a limit, when it comes to try to buy the pieces with swords.
You will find the following numbers:
Class: Awards without swords Awards with swords
Grand Cross 473 36
Cross 1st class 120 2
Commanders Cross 1st class 523 36
Commanders Cross 2nd class 903 59
Officers Cross  228 3
Knights Cross 1st class 1778 109
Knights Cross 2nd class 1837 51
Cross 4th class 532 1

It is amazing, if a piece comes up. Nevertheless I was able to get such a piece several years ago. A Knight Cross with swords.
It was a real joy, when I proved, that it was an original and not somehow assembled. You also have to know , that there are two different kinds with swords with different award numbers. First of all, there is the type that had swords under the cross, as awarded from 12.09.1870 on. Second there is the type with swords through the middle, awarded from 15.03.1909 on.

The award number is the following ( taken from the book written by Reckewell & Fischer ):

  Swords under the Cross Swords through die middle
Knights Cross 2nd class



Amazing, one of two original pieces !? Well I bought a second piece a year later and I couldn't believe owning the only two pieces. Indeed, one of them was a piece made with swords under the cross, but as these pieces were very fragile, swords tended to break off. What obviously happened, was that after the change of the statues, the swords were attached to the cross in the new way. It couldn't be a piece given back to the orders chancellery, after the death of the bearer, so recipients in Brunswick didn't have to return pieces for war merit with swords until 1909.

It is anyway questionable if the numbers, given in the book of Reckewell/Fischer is complete.

Source: [1] Stätisches Museum Braunschweig; Arbeitsberichte; Roger Reckewell/Jens Fischer:“Orden, Ehren- und Abzeichen des Herzogtums Braunschweig Lüneburg von 1809 bis 1918“; 1987

© A. Schulze Ising, VII/99