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eMedals-France, III Republic. A Legion D'Honneur in Gold, Grand Cross, by Ouizille & Lemoine, c.1870

Item: EG2760

France, III Republic. A Legion D'Honneur in Gold, Grand Cross, by Ouizille & Lemoine, c.1870

Sale Date: May 15, 2019 Hammer Price

$2,001

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France, III Republic. A Legion D'Honneur in Gold, Grand Cross, by Ouizille & Lemoine, c.1870

(Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur). Instituted 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. Third Republic (1870-1951) issue. An outstanding sash badge of the order in Gold, consisting of a ball-tipped double-ended five-armed cross in white enamels, with green enamelled oak and laurel branches in each quadrant, surmounted by a highly-detailed green enamel wreath of oak and laurel with ornamented integral ring, obverse centre also in Gold etching by a right-facing woman, symbol of the Republic, encircled by a nice blue enamel ring inscribed REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE 1870 (French Republic 1870), the reverse centre etching by enameled crossed French flags, surrounded by the inscription HONNEUR ET PATRIE (Honor and Fatherland), on a beautiful blue-enamelling border, hallmarked twice by French hallmark denoting guarantee Gold of .750 purity between 1847 and 1919, loop suspension with maker’s mark of Ouizille & Lemoine, official jeweler of the Chancellery of the Legion of Honor during the Second Republic and the first years of the Third Republic, measuring 59.05 mm (w) x 89.64 mm (h - inclusive of integral ring), weighting 44.7 grams, light contact, on the original full-length red ribbon with bow and frayed ends, extremely fine. Accompanied by a highly-detailed star of the order in silver, a faceted double-ended five-pointed star with ball finials, featuring clusters of five rounded rays in each quadrant, obverse centre superposed by a right facing Marianne, circumscribing by silver lettering REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE 1870 HONNEUR ET PATRIE (French Republic 1870 Honor and Fatherland), reverse with vertical pin assembly flanked by two stays, presenting central maker’s cartouche of Ouizille & Lemoine as official jewelry of the Chancellery of the Legion of Honor, with partial maker’s marks on the right stay, pin with French hallmark denoting .800 silver fineness between 1838-1962, measuring 91.69 mm (w) x 91.18 mm (h), with toned silver, very fine.

Footnote: The Legion of Honour was proposed by Napoleon Bonaparte with the purpose of creating a decoration that would follow the principles of equality, fraternity, and freedom of the Republic, as well as would ensure political loyalty and promote unity among the new French Republic. The First Council voted on May 19, 1802 and approved the creation of the Order with 166 votes against 110. The Legion was awarded to military personnel, and civilians, either foreigners or nationals, in recognition of meritorious services promoting the republican principles, and French interests. It was the first Order founded as an Order of Merit based on the principle of equality of birth, and was open to men of all ranks and professions; only merit or bravery counted. The new legionnaire had to be sworn into the Order. The design of the Order was approved by popular vote on July 11, 1804.

 

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.

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