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eMedals-A Brazilian Imperial Order of the Southern Cross, Grand Officer Set, Type I (1822-1890), French Manufactured, Attributed to Count Gustav Heinrich Gottlieb von Braun

Item: W4124

A Brazilian Imperial Order of the Southern Cross, Grand Officer Set, Type I (1822-1890), French Manufactured, Attributed to Count Gustav Heinrich Gottlieb von Braun

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A Brazilian Imperial Order of the Southern Cross, Grand Officer Set, Type I (1822-1890), French Manufactured, Attributed to Count Gustav Heinrich Gottlieb von Braun

Grand Officer Badge: Gold with red, light green, emerald green, white, light blue and dark blue enamels, weighing 35.4 grams, hallmarked with a ram's head (indicating Gold and manufactured in Paris, c. 1819-1838) on the fluted integral loop, 59.5 mm x 85.5 mm inclusive of its crown suspension, on its original full-length neck ribbon, chipping evident in the green enamels of the wreath below the crown and in the blue enamels on the centrepiece rings, with crazing present in the white enamels on the arms; and Breast Star: multi-piece construction, a Gold and green enamelled crown at the top, along with a centrepiece in Gold with light blue and dark blue enamels, both insignias mounted to a silver gilt five-pointed star base, unmarked, 85 mm x 97 mm, vertical pinback, dent and chipping evident in the blue enamels on the centrepiece ring. Very fine.

Footnote: Gustav Heinrich Gottlieb von Braun was born December 25, 1775 in Arneburg and died May 28, 1859 in Dresden. His career as a soldier began as early as 1786, when he joined the Royal Saxonian cadet corps at the age of 10. He subsequently joined the British Army in 1794. In 1795, he was sent to the Caribbean, where he fought in several battles over the next years. Between 1800 and 1809, he was stationed in Jamaica. In 1810, he was made an Officer of the Light Infantry (9th Caçadores) of the British and Portuguese Army. As such he fought in the wars on the Iberian peninsula. In the process, he was severely wounded in the Battle of Nive in late 1813. For his service he was highly decorated, among other awards he received the Army Gold Cross. The highest rank he reached in the British Army was Colonel; the highest rank in the Portuguese Army in 1821 was Marechal de Campo (Major General). He had the honour of fighting under Wellington. On November 10, 1818, he was ennobled in Aachen, western Germany. The reason was that his father, at the age of 67, had lost three of his four legitimate children earlier that year. Gustav was an illegitimate child. But now, on the verge of having his family die out, his father made him a legitimate heir. In 1823, he married Jane Charlotte, nee Cuff-Gore from Cowes, Isle of Wight, in London. From 1826 to 1831, he served in the Royal Brazilian Army and th is when he was awarded the Order of the Southern Cross, in 1828. Known in Brazil as Gustavo Henrique Brown, he fought in the battle on the Passo do Rosário in 1827 against Argentinian forces. The battle was lost, but von Braun was able to hold the remains of the army together and see through an organized retreat. The Argentinian forces were weakened enough to not pursue them. The following peace negotiations in a relatively strong position enabled Brazil to keep the state of Rio Grande do Sul, and the Provincia Cisplatina became an independent buffer state between Brazil and Argentina: Uruguay. Von Braun is, in essence, an unwilling co-founder of the country of Uruguay. In 1831, he lost his favoured status in Brazil, due to a difference of opinion with his superior, and was declared a foreigner. He had to leave the country and sue the Brazilian government for his soldier’s pension, which took until 1851. He first went to Cowes on the Isle of Wight, then Germany, eventually arriving in Dresden in 1843, where he lived for the rest of his life.

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