An 1802 Establishment of the Legion of Honour Medal
An 1802 Establishment of the Legion of Honour Medal - (1969 Restrike) Bronze, engraver marked "ANDRIEU. F.", cornucopia hallmarked, marked "BR" (bronze) and dated "1969" on the edge, illustrating the right-facing bust of Napoleon Bonaparte with a crown of laurel leaves, reverse illustrating the Order of the Legion of Honour in the centre surrounded by the Latin inscription "AUSPICE NEAPOLEONE GALLIA RENOVATA" and marked "DENON . DIRt" and "JALEY . Ft" below the order. 41 mm, green oxidation evident on the edge and the reverse, extremely fine. Footnote: During the French Revolution, all French orders of chivalry were abolished, and replaced with Weapons of Honour. It was the wish of Napoleon Bonaparte, the First Consul and de facto military dictator, to create a reward to commend civilians and soldiers. From this wish, he had the Order of the Legion of Honour instituted in 1802, not as an order of chivalry but as a recognition of merit, rather than creating a system of nobility.