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Legion d'Honneur Awards from the First Empire

Napoleonic Wars First Empire

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#41 garfordhouse

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:04

Willing, Page 18a.

Edited by garfordhouse, 07 March 2012 - 15:58 .


#42 garfordhouse

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:05

Colonel Paul Willing, Page 18, Paragraph 1:

"L'Ordre de la Legion d'honneur a initialement quatre grades: grand officier, commandant, officier et legionnaire (devenu plus tard chevalier). Un decret de janvier 1805 institua un cinquieme grade, celui de "grand-aigle" comprenant une decoration de grand module portee en echarpe et une plaque en argent portee a gauche sur la poitrine."

(The Order of the Legion of Honor initially had four grades: Grand Officer,Commander, Officer and Legionnaire, (which later became Knight). A decree of January 1805 instituted the fifth grade, that of "Grand Eagle" including a decoration of a large star on a sash and a silver plaque worn on the left chest.)

Edited by garfordhouse, 07 March 2012 - 17:33 .


#43 garfordhouse

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:06

Colonel Paul Willing, Page 18, Paragraph 2:

"Alors que l'insigne de chevalier est en argent celui d'officier, de commandant et au-dessus sont en or. L'etoile d'officier porte, en centre, une rosette sur son ruban. L'insigne de commandant (qui deviendra "commandeur"), ne se porta en [illegible] suspendu au cou, qu'a partir de juillet 1814, sous la 1re Restauration. Quant au grade de grand-officier il etait initialement represente par un insigne porte en esharpe sur un ruban moins large que celui de grand-aigle; en revanche, les titulaires de ce grade n'avent pas encore le droit de porter la plaque sur le cote droit de la poitrine, ce qui ne se realisera pas avant 1816."

Edited by garfordhouse, 07 March 2012 - 17:34 .


#44 garfordhouse

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:08

Colonel Willing, Paragraph 2 translation:

"While the insignia of Knight is silver, the officer, commander and above are gold. The star of an Officer bears a rosette on the center of the ribbon. Insignia of Commandant (which later became "Commander"), is not worn [illegible] suspended from the neck until July of 1814, under the 1st Restoration. As for the rank of Grand Officer, it was initially represented by a badge on a sash narrower than that of Grand Eagle; however, holders of this grade were not allowed to wear the breast star on the right side of the chest until 1816. "

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Edited by garfordhouse, 08 March 2012 - 04:00 .


#45 garfordhouse

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:20

P. Willing, Modele 1

"Le 1er modele d'insigne de mai 1804 ne comportait pas de couronne."

(The first model of May 1804 did not have a crown.)

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Edited by garfordhouse, 07 March 2012 - 17:27 .


#46 garfordhouse

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:21

P. Willing, Modele 2

"Le 2e modele cree 9 mois plus tard par le graveur Fauquet comporte une couronne non articulee avec l'etoile."

(The second model created 9 months later by the engraver Fauquet has a crown rigidly connected to the star.)

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Edited by garfordhouse, 07 March 2012 - 17:27 .


#47 garfordhouse

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:23

P. Willing, Modele 3

"Le 3e modele, realise en 1806 par le joallier de la Maison imperiale, Biennais, porte une couronne imperiale mobile a 12 fleurons, petit et tres arrondie, surmontee d'une croix; le medallion de l'avers porte le profil de l'Empereur tourne a droite et au revers une aigle imperiale dont la tete est tournee a gauche."

(The third model, crafted in 1806 by jeweler to the Imperial House, M. Biennais, wears a mobile imperial crown and has 12 florettes, small and very rounded, surmounted by a cross; the medallion on the obverse bears the profile of the Emperor turned right and on the reverse an imperial eagle whose head is turned left.)

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Edited by garfordhouse, 07 March 2012 - 17:30 .


#48 garfordhouse

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:24

P. Willing, Modele 4

"Le 4e modele, cree en 1808, a la tete de l'aigle au revers tournee a droite et la couronne porte des aigles."

(The fourth model, created in 1808, has the head of the eagle turned right on the reverse, and the crown bears eagles.)

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Edited by garfordhouse, 07 March 2012 - 17:29 .


#49 garfordhouse

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:26

P. Willing, Modele 5

"Le 5e modele, cree en 1809, comporte des 'perles' aux extremites des pointes de l'etoile; par ailleurs, la tete cote avers est plus petite que precedemment. L'aigle a la tete a gauche."

(The fifth model, created in 1809, has 'pearls' at the tips of the star; also the Emperor's head on the obverse side is smaller than previously. The eagle's head is facing left.)

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Edited by garfordhouse, 07 March 2012 - 17:31 .


#50 garfordhouse

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:27

P. Willing, Modele 6

"Le 6e modele, des Cent-Jours, a les rubans de la couronne de chene et de laurier pendants, sinon il est similaire au 5e modele."

(The sixth model, the "Hundred Days" model, has the ribbons of the crown adorned with oak-leaf and laurel-leaf pendants, otherwise it is similar to the fifth model.)

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Edited by garfordhouse, 07 March 2012 - 17:50 .


#51 Jaybo

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 15:41

Well done Garfordhouse. I'm glad that we could be of some assistance on this topic which is dear to my heart. By the way, the book refered to above in this thread, Insigne de l'Honneur, is excellent and highly recommended. I would be curious to hear Bison's input on this Willing information.........as well as Jeff's.

#52 Bison

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 17:21

Thank you Gardfordhouse, now we know what we are speaking about.

In my humble opinion, Col Willing made some confusions and one mistake.

The confusion is about the "Willing type 4". If we know some samples of First Empire crowns bearing eagles, they remain very very scarce. One famous example is the Aigle d'Or which has belonged to Cambacérés and which is in the LdH Museum in Paris (ref. O7818, shown in L'Insigne de l'Honneur page 134). . Moreover the side where the eagle is looking is not a criteria for a specific model because we find for every model eagles looking right or left. One can even find the Empereur looking right or left ! This is in fact and definitely a variation of the third type, even if I suspect this is a first type modified with an additional crown.

The "Willing type 5" is consequently a fourth type (if it is really the decoration of Maréchal Bessières which I am very doubtful, because it looks like a "Présidence" model).

The mistake is about the Willing model 6 so-called "Cent-Jours". There is no specific model established during this period (1st of March 1815 - 22nd of March 1815). First because I do not see any manufacturer reactive enough to produce a brand new design in such a short and turmoil period; second because there is an Imperial Decree dated 13 March 1815 stating that : "each member of the Legion d'honneur will bear his decoration as it was at the 1st April 1814", i.e. the fourth type. In fact, the model shown by Col Willing is definitely a variation of the fourth type and without any attached documents there is no way to know the exact year of issue.
This mistake has been replicated again and again and up to now to serve mercantile purposes. During the "Présidence" period (1848 - 1851), Napoleon III who was President at that time, officially re-established the fourth type, and some different details where made by the manufacturers, like the pendant ribbons at 6hrs (like the "Willing type 5"...). Some malignant sellers have used this "Cent-Jours type" denomination to screw ignorant buyers, selling at the highest price a "Présidence" model instead of a true fourth type model.

There are definitely only four types of the Légion d'honneur for the period of the First Empire. For further details, the best reference is the book "L'Insigne de l'Honneur" quoted above.

Edited by Bison, 07 March 2012 - 18:07 .


#53 Bison

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 17:37

I would add that actually, and strictly from a 'phaleristic' perspective, there are only two types during the First Empire.
The first is created by the Decree of the 11th July 1804 = first type.
The second is characterized by the addition of an imperial crown (without any official text supporting this change) = second type.
The third and the fourth types are only characterized by technical improvements, and not by important changes. In my opinion the third and fourth types are only variations from the second type.

Anyway, it is commonly established that there are four types...

#54 Jaybo

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 21:48

Hello Bison,
Thank you for your input on the Willing information. Did you see my question to you earlier in the thread about Colonel M. Dugue MacCarthy?
Jay

#55 Bison

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 10:26

Hi Jaybo
Yes I did but I don't know this officer, sorry.

#56 RobW

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:01

To all,

Here is my contribution to this fascinating subject.

I have an original copy of:

'Décorations France Et Colonies, Croix Et Médailles De La Guerre 1914 - 1918 Des Pays Alliés' edited by M. Delande, dated January 1934. As garfordhouse mentioned (post # 39) this volume has illustrations in black and white and a colour ribbon section.

In this wonderful tome of pictures and text it details the different varieties of the Légion D'Honneur. Over the following posts I will list the four pages of illustrations. There are corresponding entries for the medal illustrations in French.

There is a 2001 re-print available of the 1934 Delande book produced by PHV Phaleristischer Verlag Autengruber & Hrdina GbR, Offenbach am Main. It is in black and white with the corresponding ribbon section in colour. The paper used is of poorer quality and the illustrations are less clear.

Not being able to read French I will leave it to the experts to identify the differences.

I hope they are of use.

Regards,
Rob

Edited by RobW, 11 March 2012 - 03:06 .


#57 RobW

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:03

Page 5

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#58 RobW

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:03

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#59 RobW

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:04

Page 9

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#60 RobW

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:05

Page 10

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