Elmar Lang

Returning of the Garter's Collar and badges

10 posts in this topic

Hello,

I'm having an interesting discussion with a friend collector about the British Order of the Garter.

A question has arisen about the returning of this Order's insignia.

I know that the collar and "Greater George" has to be returned at a Knight's death, being this compulsory.

What happens with the Garters awarded to foreign royals and princes? do they remain in their families' hands or also those pieces should be restituted to the British Sovereign?

For instance, at the Armeria Reale in Turin, Italy, it's preseved the Garter's collar belonged to king Humbert I...

Any help would be most appreciated.

Best wishes,

E.L.

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They are a gift from one sovereign to another and therefore are not returnable on the death of the recipient. They only ones that might be a bit tricky are the German WWI forfeits, I know of a couple in Germany but I am unsure what the ruling would be were they to appear for sale.

Paul

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Dear Paul,

thank you for the reply: now it's clear!

Best,

Enzo (E.L.)

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This is a bit of a sticky area for collectors in general.  Several decades ago now I recall a discussion about the fact that the 'new chap' in charge in the office concerned with such things was raking a hard line.  Apparently his predecessor, either from policy or personal inclination, had been very good about providing information to enquirers on recipients of the various orders, based on serial numbers and so on .

This chap, however, was taking the view, expressed quite forcibly I understand that 'If you're asking because you have that piece, we want it back!', which understandably alarmed those who had invested in examples of the orders for their collections.  I'm not sure what the current attitude is but I think that infromation, or at least rumour, had the effect of driving some of the collectors and the pieces underground.  

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ID: 5   Posted (edited)

Hello,

my question was just technical, since the discussion with that friend of mine started with the Sardinian. then Italian "large collars" of the Holy Annonciade, talking then about Denmark's "Elephant" and about my own collar in gold of the Austrian Iron Crown (until 1941 thoroughly searched and sometimes collected with some "force" by the 3rd Reich authorities, as legal successors of Austria's government).

Naturally, we touched the British Garter too, of which I wasn't sure, thinking about King Humbert's collar, preserved (and hopefully still safely) in Turin.

So, let's consider my question as "academic". It's a pity, but in my collection I don't have a collar of the Garter with its Greater George.

Enzo (E.L.)

Edited by Elmar Lang

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I think Umberto's collar was awarded both as sovereign of the kingdom of Italy and exceptional services to moustache cultivation.

Paul

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Actually, I've never read anything about such exceptional services in the Garter's statutes, but perhaps I've missed a "Nachtrag"...

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Some time ago, I became acquainted with the grandson of a Knight of the Garter. More than 40 years after the death of the recipient, the family are still in possession of the insignia. From time to time, the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood would appear to turn a blind eye, as in recent years, I have occasionally noted widows or children of deceased Knights of the Order (or of the Order of the Thistle) returning the insignia to Her Majesty in private audience.

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Najaf Coins has an original Garter collar from 1878 for sale, for $1,250,000. Need to win the Euro Lottery jackpot to be able to afford that.

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I think it was in the 1980s, back when I still paid attention to ODMs and their sales that a change aoocurred.  An acquaintance got a Garter Star or some such and, as had been his custom, wrote to the relevant office in the UK to ask if they could put a name to the number on the reverse.  He and others had done this for years but this time he got a quick respnse saying 'That's the property of HM and we'd appreciate it if you'd send it back to us.'  That from the new head of the office in question.  I'm not sure he surrendered tio but I recall the discussions around 'Now what?' and how quickly collectors stopped trumpeting their acqusitions after that.

 

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