Order of the Golden Sprat

joke order, zinc plate, around 1930, length: 6.5 cm

The order came from the family of the former Bützow bailiff and later Ministerial Councillor Friedrich Fensch and is probably the only still existing example. The “Golden Sprat” was the highest honour that the “Caliph and Emperor of Bützow, King of Güstrow, Lord of the state of Biestow, Rieckdahl and Mistorf” awarded the town during his assembly of dignitaries in 1895. The Bützow Empire was a “beer state” of Rostock students, such as was also created in the second half of the 19th century in other universities. In beer states there were spoofs of courtly titles, noble titles, orders and ways of behaving.

The students selected smaller towns or larger villages where the population would “play along.” A “Via triumphalis” for the festive procession was created on the long Bahnhofstraße in Bützow, along which the “Emperor” travelled from Rostock on the train. He was accompanied by the arch chancellor “Entrecote de Ragout-fin,” the Finance Minister “Miracle of Mammon” and the Health Minister “Bone crack.” The order was awarded before the feast in the “Hotel de Prusse.” The sprat as the highest award can probably be traced back to the fact that smoked fish as food also played an important role for students in the port city of Rostock.


Text: C. RC.

The exhibit refers to:

Mecklenburg until 1945

Look here for the original exhibit:

Stiftung Mecklenburg

Stiftung Mecklenburg

Schliemannstaße 2
19053 Schwerin (Eingang zur Ausstellung: Puschkinstraße)