Swedish Mount?

There is a way of mounting decorations in Sweden that has been called Court Mount (Hovmontering/Hovmontage). It is however interesting to note that the mount style was – and is – not excessively used in the Swedish Royal Court to an extent that merits the name. The mount style seems to have been predominantly used in the early-mid 20th century. (sources include my esteemed colleague Christian Thorén).

The mounts labelled Prussian Court/Parade Mount – which I first thought was ”one and the same” – is in fact a group of several variations , and the same goes for the Swedish variant. Some feels that the Swedish variant of mount is a flavor of the Prussian mount and prefer the Prussian Mount term. This is not a black/white matter, but a discussion of grays. In my humble opinion, the separation is detectable, the difference appear to be too large to keep within the same label, so perhaps it deserves its own term.

Regarding the slightly misleading name for the Swedish special mount, Prussian Court Mount is used synonymous to Prussian Parade Mount, and sometimes shortened to just – Prussian Mount.
Hence, I would like to suggest the name ‘Swedish Mount’ (”Svensk montering”) to describe the Swedish take on the German bogenband. This possible alternate label has previously been touched upon briefly by Swedish blogger Phaleristica.

In the following, I describe the Prussian and ‘Swedish’ Mount styles, to show similarities and differences.

Prussian Mount

  • The riband for the German/Prussian decorations was generally of lesser width: around 30 mm or even less (according to http://www.vonwrede.se/). This means that where the Prussian Mount has an unfolded riband – but there are examples of groups that have triple-folded ribands.
  • The Prussian Mount ribands for each decoration are mounted overlapping at the top, generally with the (wearer’s) right riband overlapping the left. The overlapping causes the sides of the mount to taper towards the top of the mount. However, if the riband is triple-folded, the sides of the mount tend to be parallel.
  • The Prussian Mount is often described as a rounded U at the bottom, but it may be folded into a V shape (above right), to more easily allow tapering towards the top of the mount. If the riband is triple-folded, the riband may be rounded at the botton, or it may to consist of two separate ribands ending squarely (below).
  • And there are combinations of these styles: for instance, triple-folded riband which taper and overlap at the top of each decoration.

Swedish Mount

  • The Swedish riband is generally 35 mm for breast decorations. This means that the Swedish Mount has to have a triple-folded riband to narrow the width down to similar appearance of the bogenband.
  • The ‘Swedish Mount’ does not usually overlap at the top, hence the sides of the mount are parallel. There are examples of mounts where the top overlap slightly and the sides are not altogether parallel, particularly when many decorations are mounted together. Notable examples include the mounted decorations of H. M. Gustaf VI Adolf, King of Sweden 1950-1973, his father Gustaf V and grand father Oscar II (Royal Armory of Sweden).
  • The bottom of the ‘Swedish Mount’ is perfectly rounded.
  • There appears to be two sub-variants of the ‘Swedish Mount’: the more common is to have the riband going down slightly below half of the decoration (above illustration), while the less common is to have the riband go all the way down to the bottom of the decoration (below illustration).

Further reading on different mounts at Orders & Medals Society of America.

EDIT: since the publication , I have been made aware that the ‘Swedish Mount’ might not be Swedish: something similar exists in the Netherlands. For this reason, I have hyphenated the ‘Swedish Mount’.

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