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eMedals-France. II Empire. An Order of the Legion of Honour, Miniature Knight Cross, c.1870

Item: EU16966

France. II Empire. An Order of the Legion of Honour, Miniature Knight Cross, c.1870


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France. II Empire. An Order of the Legion of Honour, Miniature Knight Cross, c.1870

(Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur). Instituted 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. Type VII (1852-1870 Issue). Of high quality manufacture, an enameled white ball-tipped five-armed cross in silver, with enameled green laurel and oak wreath in each quadrant, surmounted by a typical of period Imperial crown in silver, with obverse center featuring a superimposed Napoleon’s portrait in Gold, surrounded by an elegant enameled blue ring inscribed REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE 1870, the reverse featuring an engraved Napoleonic eagle in Gold, surrounded by an enameled blue border inscribed HONNEUR ET PATRIE (Honour and Fatherland), with French hallmark of a boar’s head denoting .800 silver fineness and Paris manufacture post 1838, measuring 19.86 mm (w) x 31.39 mm (h - inclusive the crown suspension), with toned silver and light contact, on original breast ribbon, fine condition.


Footnote: The Legion of Honour was proposed by Napoleon Bonaparte to the First Council, to create a reward to commend civilians and soldiers who had served the Republic, promoted republican principles and French interests. The Legion would ensure political loyalty and unity among the new French Republic. The first decorations were conferred in the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1804. They were awarded to French military personnel, wounded, and civilians who had served to the Republic cause during the Revolution period. On August 19, 1804 Napoleon awarded the Order by second time, to Officers who were in command of the army gathered in Boulogne; around 2000 crosses were awarded that day.

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