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eMedals-International. An Order of Saint Catherine of Mount Sinai, Grand Cross Star, c.1870

Item: EG231

International. An Order of Saint Catherine of Mount Sinai, Grand Cross Star, c.1870

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$1,200

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International. An Order of Saint Catherine of Mount Sinai, Grand Cross Star, c.1870

In the fine French style with eight hand filed and detailed arms, with a white enameled Maltese cross affixed by four pins, with a silver Jerusalem Cross in each quadrant, crown affixed by two pins, within a red enamel ring radiating flames inscribed in gilt letters ‘POUR BAILLER SA FOI’ (to convey her faith), reverse with two stays as well as pin assembly, makers cartouche of Pouteau, well hallmarked on catch and pin with boars head denoting French silver guarantee, measuring 86 mm (w) x 86 mm (h), with only very minimal enamel loss to radiating flames, otherwise extremely fine.

Footnote: Saint Catherine was born at el-Iskandariya (Alexandria), Egypt, in the late third Century. Famous for her beauty and intellect, she converted to Christianity and refused all offers of marriage. Early in the fourth Century, Emperor Maxentius appointed fifty academics to debate with her but such were her powers of persuasion that they too converted to Christianity. Eventually she was tortured and executed for her faith. It is said that angels transported her body to the peak of Mount Sinaï where it rests in the seventeen-hundred-years-old Monastery of Saint Catherine. The Order is one of a number created by ‘Marie de Lusignan’, wife of ‘Guy de Lusignan’, self-styled Prince of Jerusalem, of Cyprus and of Armenia. When he died in 1905, her lover took over as ‘Grand Master’, having awarded himself the title ‘Comte d'Alby de Gratigny’. The founder of the Order and her husband were well-known for creating orders for financial gain and social prestige and he seems to have started life named ‘Kafta’ and to have become a Maronite priest before taking on a royal title. This rare and interesting piece is probably from the late 19th or early 20th Century.

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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