Bulgaria, Kingdom. A Military Order of Bravery, Knight Grand Officer, c.1900

Item #EG223


(Военна ордена на смелостта, Гранд Крос). Instituted in 1880. Type II. A white enameled Maltese cross with crossed swords, obverse centre with crowned Bulgarian lion on red enamel, green enamel surround, reverse centre with cipher of Price Alexander of Battenberg on a red enameled backing, green enamel surround with 1879 date, measuring 58.5 mm (w) x 85.5 mm (h - inclusive of its crown suspension), intact enamels, extremely fine.

Footnote: The Military Order for Bravery is the oldest and most recognizable order in the history of the Third Bulgarian Kingdom. Its history begins in 1879 when the first Constitution of the Bulgarian Principality had been passed by the National Parliament in Tarnovo. Under clause 58 of this new highest document, it was stated that within the borders of the newly established state, ""…no noble titles and orders of distinction may exist of any sort"". However, the next clause makes an exception by allowing the new Monarch to establish ""a single decoration for military distinction in wartime and only for army men"". This clause made it possible for the order to be established on January 1, 1880, as the nation’s only official order which is being awarded for exceptional military deeds and demonstrated valour on the battlefield. 

This offering is a part of the "Dr. Albert Goodwin Collection", a preeminent assemblage of world Orders, Medals, and Decorations composed solely by Dr.Goodwin between 1946-1967. Dr. Goodwin had a successful career as an educator and prominent physician in New York as well as actively serving in both World Wars with the United States Medical Corps. He acted as both President and Vice-President of the Orders and Medals Society of America (OMSA) and is responsible for organizing their first convention in 1960. He maintained further membership with the American Society of Military Collectors, the International Orders Research Society, and the American Numismatic Society. His knowledge and passion for history and awards is evident in this meticulously compiled collection that is now available in its entirety for the first time exclusively on eMedals.com.