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Eric Stahlhut, May 15, 2008 in Napoleonic Wars
Simply no words can express my state of owe
A very scarce award.
Two reasons to this :
First : only 1.364 knights ever were created before March 31, 1814; French military 462 / French civilians 407 / foreigners 495. An additionnal 190 in 1815 (100 days period ending with Waterloo). A full list of recipients was published in 1958 : STALINS, Jean-Louis. 0rdre imp?rial de la R?union.
Only 135 Grand-crosses and 135 Commanders were also created during the short period 1812-1815
Second : French recipients were ordered to return their badges after 1817 by the Royalist Adminstration. A total of at least 250 of them submitted to this order between 1817 ane 1820.
Non French recipients were mostly Dutchmen and Italians, with a few Germans (Grand Duchy of BERG).
Wonderful piece!! A treasure!!! Very nice condition too.
Besides the Stalins book, a 1960s Medal Collector has a feature article on this award in English and several 1960s-70s Sabretache articles discuss this order in French. At one time the Museum of the Legion of Honor (Paris) published a catalog of an exhibition on this order.
yes, it is a stunning little thing!
i realized that i neglected to provide the measurements: 35mm x 20mm.
yes, it is a stunning little thing! i realized that i neglected to provide the measurements: 35mm x 20mm.
It means that this is a miniature, not the full-sized cross. Amazing nevertheless
It really is a "half-size" rather than a miniature. In those days, orders were constantly worn even in civvies. Non military recipients, who were a significant number of the members of the Reunion, tended to wear such reduced sized badges, which was also true for the Legion d'honneur.
True miniatures were also available. They were occasionnally mounted with other awards on a gold backing. All this was quite official.
proof mark on reverse of cross; tiny and hard to capture
The mark on your fantastic ordre de la R?union is a head of cock (but you finally catched it!), proof for gold between 1809 and 1819... A rare an beautiful order, obviously identified with this tiny stamp on the crown...
Really outstanding !
I agree that you have got a nice half-size badge (or is this what is often referred to as a "R?duction" in French?). The miniatures is smaller. Here you have two for camparison which I would both quote as miniatures. The smaller one is 11 mm * 18 mm and the larger is 14 * 25 mm.
Congratulations with your badge, Lars
thank you very much for taking the time to display further examples so that viewers may compare...
Here is the picture of a full-size badge of the Order of the Reunion. As you can see, it does not differ from your badge, except for the mesurements.
The "coq's head" hallmark can be seen on the cross on the crown, obverse view of the badge.
Incidentally, these badges were supposed to be turned in when the Restauration came, in 1814/1815-1830. A small number were by Frenchmen, but awards had been made to Dutchmen and members of other countries in Europe - temporarily considered to be part of the Empire. Most of them considered they were not concerned.... The badges were naturally never worn in public after 1814.
The overall number of awards was 135 Grand Crosses, 135 Commanders and 1,554 Knights. Approximately 250 Knigbts' badges were given up.
thanks to everyone for a highly informative thread!
i think the only time i've ever seen another one of these orders up close was at a small shop in paris. the owner had many beautiful pre-ww1 german orders (many in gold) of the highest level of quality. i happened to notice that he had the commander version of this order on display. when i inquired as to the price, he asked me why i was interested, since my primary interest in his shop was towards the beautiful 'foreign' examples. when i related to him the fact that i had a knight version of this order, he sneered and rolled his eyes and would not tell me the price. after that it was all downhill from there. i was planning on purchasing a beautiful rose gold/gold zahringen lion from him, but his attitude prevented this.
anyways, sorry for the tangent/side story. it doesn't really matter anyway, since i'm fairly certain that i would not have been able to afford the commander version! :P
Here is another image of a badge of this order, displayed in a royal palace in Copenhagen several years ago.
The badge is unfortunately out of focus but doesn't the surmounting crown appear to have a different shape?
Although it is difficult to see them clearly, you might be right thinking minor details may have existed. Several French jewelers probably made badges, which would account for such limited variations. The accounts of the Order show that the badges were ordered and paid for by the Chancery.
Half- or reduced sized badges were privately made and sold. They are just as period and legitimate as the full size pieces
Although it is difficult to see clearly such details, you might be right thinking minor details may have existed. Several French jewelers probably made badges, which would account for such limited variations. The accounts of the Order show that the badges were ordered and paid for by the Chancery.
Thanks Paul. The whole idea was to point that differences between badges might exist. The Copenhagen award seems to have a somewhat pointed crown compared to the one you posted.
A full size from my collection:
and a reduced size:
Ooooh! Shiny! A very attractive award. Thanks for sharing it.
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