During more than 200 years of Prussian medals and orders history many different pieces and models were made. One of the most outstanding orders jeweler was Johann George Hossauer (October 5, 1794 to January 14, 1874).


Red Eagle Order 3rd class 1829-1846
marked: "Hossauer" on the lower cross arm

After being educated as a plumber, Hossauer went to Paris in 1815 to become a gold smith. While in Paris he became a supervisor in the manufacturing area of a gold smith company.  In 1819 he left Paris and moved to Berlin to open a plant for making goods of platinum, gold, silver, bronze and gilt and silvered cooper in English style.  Hossauer was awarded a golden medal for an industrial exhibition of his work in 1822. He was also awarded the title Goldsmith of his Kings Majesty by Wilhelm III. in 1826. In 1827 Hossauer was awarded the cross 4th class of the Red Eagle Order and 1839 the 3rd class with bow for developing burn rockets for infantry rifles. In 1841 the technique of electrolytic gilding substituted for the old poisonous fire gilding. In 1844 Hossauer employed 63 workers in his firm and 34 additional worker outside his site. His firm and storage was situated at Kronenstreet 28. After finishing the "shield of belief" for the older son of Queen Victoria of England, Hossauer was awarded the Great Golden Medal for a
Arts and Science of the Prince of Wales.
In 1858 he became Kommerzienrat, in 1859 when he retired he was awarded the title Senior Goldsmith of his Kings Majesty (Friedrich Wilhelm IV.), and in 1863 he became Geheimer Kommerzienrat. He also was awarded the knights cross of the House Order of Hohenzollern. In 1867 he was awarded the 2nd class of the Order of the Crown.



The importance and contributions of J.G. Hossauer to the design, development and making of orders and medals, not only in Prussia, was tremendous. After 1840 he developed, with the collaboration of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, the collar chains for the Black Eagle Order. The last change of the design of the order Pour le Mérite is connected to him. The development of full metal breast stars, equal in their fragile and delicate construction to the tinsel stars made by Fehrmann, were made in his firm. The basic design for the House Order of Hohenzollern was also made by Hossauer. Probably the design for the Order of the Crown was made by him, at least the technical manufacturing, since he remained the Kings Advising Goldsmith after he retired in 1859. The grand cross decorations for the order Pour le Mérite in 1866 and the design of the War Merit Medal 1870 were based on Hossauer layouts.

Hossauer was the goldsmith chosen when an important work or design had to be created or made. His designs not only highlighted the art of the 19th century, but also its culture. He was like Humbert & Son the court jeweler in Prussia. Regarding his talent and name, he wrote his invoices. Other jeweler went below his prices, as pictured in letters connected to the issue of the House Order of Hohenzollern.

Therefore the King's Prussian Order Commission ordered only a limited number of decoration from the Hossauer firm, since they had fixed purchasing prices. This must be a reason, that the high quality Hossauer made decorations are extremely rare. Often only the private ordered decorations, made specially for wealthy people, can be found.  Because the order didn't have to be returned.

Hossauer made decorations are marked as follows:

crosses: HOSSAUER

breast stars: HOSSAUER/BERLIN/15/LÖTH


Reverse of a star 1st class



© A. Schulze Ising, IX/99