The Urkunde

The Urkunde, which means document or diploma, was issued along with the medal to grant the right of the recipient to wear and possess the Pour le Mérite. The certificate was signed by the emperor and carried his official seal. The example below is too faded to clearly show the signature below the scripted text. The official seal was more than likely in the upper left hand corner where there is a noticeable darkened area. I can only assume that this was a raised seal or possibly a wax seal that was removed from the paper or on the other side. This particular document is 8.25 inches by 13 inches.

Details concerning why one received the award are not contained within the Urkunde but in another document. Often the date of the Urkunde does not coincide with the date of the recipient's receiving the award. This particular award was granted to Oberleutnant Rudolf Bertold of Jagstaffel 4 of the 2nd Army.

The translation of the document is as follows:

We Wilhelm
by God's grace
King of Prussia etc.,
Have conferred on Oberleutnant Rudolf Bertold in the Jagstaffel 4 of the 2nd Army the Orden Pour le Mérite and give to him the right to the lawful possession of this award that is the time certified in writing with our signature and affixed with the imprinted royal seal. Supreme Headquarters on 12 October 1816.*

*from David Edkins The Prussian Orden Pour le Mérite

Example of Pour le Mérite Urkunde

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Medals that are often mistaken with the Pour le Mérite