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Venezuela Order of the Bust of Bolivar - Question

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All, in my collection I have 3 miniature examples of the Order of the Bust of Bolivar. On 2 of them Simon Bolivar is facing left, on the 3rd he's facing right. When checking the net I can find a number of full size badges where he's facing either left or right as well. Is there a reason for this, e.g. a 1st and 2nd type, different grade or some other explanation? I cannot find that info?

Any comments appreciated! And yes, the middle miniature is a small beauty, it's set with 77 small diamonds in total!

 

Bolivar.jpg.9f94659dedae0d5a4c552dce0af590a7.jpg

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I am traveling, but a quick survey of the Spanish language site Condecoraciones de Venezuela (http://condecoracionesdevenezuela.com/civiles-nacionales-orden-del-libertador/) suggests that the bust of Bolivar faces to the left is a pre-1922 versions of all classes of this order while post 1922 versions have Bolivar facing to the right. 

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I checked the site you're referring to, and yes, this seems to be the case. I would never have found this site as I don't speak spanish. I believe the mystery is solved.

Thanks alot for your help. 

/Lars

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Hi,

and I think, that the mystery is not complete solved.

The source is the book from Maximilian Gritzner, edited 1893. There you can see the bust facing to the right.

5a482a94bf90b_OrdenSimonBolivarGritzner1893K.jpg.a197d67921bffdb42b10613ed4f34f57.jpg

Uwe

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Well, that's a fantastic website, to be sure. I'd found it last year but forgotten all about it!

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The Condecoraciones de Venezuela website also states that there was some variation in the forms of the full-sized awards for the Orden del Liberator, because of the number of different manufacturers. The website states that the 1922 decree especially specified in detail the designs needed for standardizing the forms of the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd class versions of the Order that had been subject to a large number of differences in their design interpretation by each manufacturer. This situation is likely to have been even more variable among miniatures (certainly evident in the examples from your collection), sometimes manufactured by other companies than those making the full-sized insignia. You might wish to check out a thread titled "Miniatures of the Middle East & Arab World" that was started by Owain (oamatme) on 6 December, 2017 under the "Middle East & Arab States" section of this "Rest of the World: Medals & Militaria" Forum discussing miniatures, although it is for a different area. He, and some of the contributors, especially 922F, are much more knowledgeable than I will ever be about variation in miniatures. Owain started his thread in response to a couple questions I had about miniatures starting on 5 December, 2017 on a thread I began about the Egyptian Order of Ismail ("Question about the Order of Ismail/Nishan al-Ismail", started on 7 November, 2017, under Middle East & Arab States) and responses from Owain and 922F. Some of their insights are likely relevant to understanding the variation in your items. 

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Below are two images of a miniature of the Orden del Liberator resembling the example on the left in the original post in this thread, from a group of nine miniatures from various countries all strung on a gold chain sold by eMedals.  It is identified as made of gold and enamel and is suggested to date to ~ 1910 (or earlier?). https://www.emedals.com/a-early-20th-century-french-gold-miniature-group-of-nine-eu6113

large.5a5811e5b400e_OrdendelLibertadorminiobversec1910.jpg.5716278a302ba88ecb347bbdf023715e.jpglarge.5a5811ee81526_OrdendelLibertadorminireversec1910.jpg.ec86543348049000604fba798cad203c.jpg

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I have been checking some auction images and the Condecoraciones de Venezuela website to try and glean some additional information relevant to better identfiying some aspects of the miniatures of the Venezuelan Orden del Libertador. While descriptions of the design changes are somewhat available for full-sized awards, there is almost no information about those related to miniatures. The Medal-Medaille website states there are at least 7 variants in the designs of the full-sized awards. Concedoraciones de Venezuela lists 9 separate decrees governing the designs from the initial institution of the award from April 1854 through April 2010. From 1854 through April 1881 there was only one class of the order. Given the minimal standardization, this does not necessarily mean only one design was made for genuine examples. From May 1881-April 2010 there were 5 classes of the Order. From 13 June, 1922 to 29 June, 2006 these grades were given official names, and a higher class named Collar (which is a collar not a medal) that was instituted as an award apparently exclusively for the head of the order (the Venezuelan President) and some other foreign heads of state: highest=Collar; 1st=Gran Cordon; 2nd=Gran Oficial (from 29 June, 2006 to 6 April, 2010 this class was called Magistrado/"Magistrate"; 3rd=Comendador (Commander); 4th=Oficial; 5th=Caballero (Knight). In April 2010 the Order was reduced to 3 classes other than the retention of the highest version = Collar: 1st=Espada (Sword); 2nd =Lanza (Lance); & 3rd Flecha (Arrow). Manufacturers through time included Lemaire, Paris; Godet & Sohn, Berlin; Russell Uniform Co. New York; Garthmann, Caracas (Venezuela); as well as other possible French, German, and Venezuelan manufactures. Likely, there are a great number of design differences in the full-sized medals. In addition to variation in the direction that Bolivar faces on the bust, some show him with his hand tucked inside his jacket (Napoleon style) and others show no arm. It appears that the 3rd-4th, & 5th classes of the Order used the coat of arms of Venezuela as the central obverse image on the star shaped badge, rather than the bust of Simon Bolivar that appears on the 1st & 2nd classes. The use of gold appears to be associated with the 1st Class versions (and some of the 2nd class versions?) of this order, the bust of Bolivar being gold while the rays of the star are usually silver. After 1922, there appears to be a star of open gold work rays (as seen on the miniatures illustrated above in this thread) surrounding the bust of Bolivar on top of the silver star. Although I have not yet found any clear information about miniature designs, it seems likely that the gold examples in the first post of this thread and on the example from my post of Jan 11 may represent the 1st (or 2nd classes?) only of this miniature. The coat of arms is the reverse design on some full-sized pieces (1st & 2n classes?), and the miniature in my Jan 11 example also has the coat of arms on the reverse. This (the coat of arms) also is the obverse design on full-sized awards for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th classes of the Order. The dimensions of the example illustrated on Jan 11 are not given, but measurements of other miniatures on this same chain indicate it is probably <20 mm in vertical height, matching other illustrations that do provide measurements. The miniatures are most likely ~19 mm in vertical dimension by ~15 mm wide. The full-sized neck star insignia are smaller than the chest badges (~70 X 80 moon pre-1922 badges, slightly larger on the 3 post-June 1922 design configuration changes), but the neck stars of the 3rd-4th classes that are  ~25-28 mm in diameter, and 30 mm in diameter for the 5th class awards. I'm unsure whether the two forms of the miniatures in the first illustrations below suggest different minis for the 1st and 2nd classes or why there might be these two forms, the auction house description is unclear on this point. Obviously there is still quite a lot of variation in the full-sized awards that is not easy to sort out, and even more so in miniatures.

large.5a63c33ccab2a_OrdendelLibertadorminisobverse2.jpg.53b4c0122eb46b92f6434fcbc71d9237.jpglarge.5a63c3475efd2_OrdendelLibertadorminisreverse2.jpg.3f136bb95a102b147df9e6eb54c50472.jpg

Obverse (above) and reverse (below images of Venezuelan Orden de Libertador miniatures. This is part of a group of miniatures from several countries mounted on a gold chain, identified as dating to ~1905. These 2 medals are identified by eMedals as the Grand Cross (1st class) miniatures consisting of the "Grand Cross and Star". No dimensions are provided, but those for other miniature medals on this chain suggests ~19 mm maximum vertical height. All miniatures in this grouping are identified as being made by made by Godet & Sohn, Berlin. The Auction listing incorrectly identifies these as Bolivian, not Venezuelan, medals. No materials are identified, but the rays of the medal and the bust of Bolivar appear to be silver, rather than gold as on most of the full-sized insignia (in addition to the enamel in the decorative legend surrounding Bolivar's bust). (https://www.emedals.com/a-fine-miniature-group-of-eight-by-godet-sohn-berlin)

large.VE119b.jpg.0ce2b861c517f1835ba6ed5b5679ca15.jpglarge.VE119e.jpg.01bcf439f78c0ae82f3ab06b2dbede06.jpg

Obverse & reverse images of a miniature of the Venezuelan Orden del Libertador (3rd, 4th, or 5th Class) from Medal-Medaille.com website made of "silver thirty-two-pointed rayed faceted star, with loop for ribbon suspension; the face an oval escutcheon imposed bearing the arms of Venezuela; the reverse plain; height 19 mm (0.75 inch), width 15.2 mm (0.6 inch); on replaced correct ribbon." This example example is identified as the manufacture of De Greef of Brussels, Belgium and dates from the mid-20th Century. The use of the coat of arms of Venezuela as the obverse design indicates that this miniature represents the 3rd, 4th or 5th class of this Order. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=499_423&products_id=4588)

large.VE119a.jpg.3d1cd318805a840f55fe4e5e97cd7d1a.jpg

The same miniature of the Venezuelan Orden del Liberator (3rd, 4th, or 5th Class) from Medal-Medaille.com on its replacement ribbon (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=499_423&products_id=4588)

Edited by Rusty Greaves

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Hi,

yes, there are many variations! And there are many different descriptions; some are wrong.

You can see here a complete set 3. Class (Commander). It is cased, and bottom left you can see the inscription on the case for the 3rd class. On the ribbon of the miniature you can see the added star:

5a6538ffe7626_VenezuelaOrdendelLibertado3.KlasseF.thumb.jpg.6162855f915df2ea3f007350dacf32d2.jpg

Miniatures of the 4th class (Officer) and the 5th class (Knight) cannot be a star, because the 4th and the 5th class don't have a star. The miniature ribbon of the 5th class should be without any added part, and the 4th class should have the rosette on it.

In Post 1 we can see in the middle a 4th class in a very special design with diamonds. The miniature in Post 8 must be a 4th class too, based on all the other decorations there.

But please, there are many variations!

Uwe

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Hello "Rusty" and Uwe, thank you for taking the time to dig into this, I would now have a much better understanding of the evolution of this Order, it was quite interesting to learn this.

/Lars

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Lars,

Thanks for bringing up this topic! I've enjoyed Uwe's significant knowledge of this Order. I keep looking at the variant forms in illustratios of the full-sized awards, and it is quite staggering. If I can sort out some aspects of design variability better I'll try to illustrate some in a systematic way. The Condecoraciones de Venezuela website has the most detail I've run across about the designs of this order, but even that is still quite confusing to me. It is a long entry, and I have not undertaken the task of trying to translate it yet for non-Spanish speakers interested in this thread. I may yet do that when I can make the time. 

I made an error in my post of 20 January 2017 where I identified the 3rd, 4th, & 5th images of the miniature as either the 3rd, 4th, or 5th class of the Orden del Libertador, the Medal-Medaille website does identify is as a 5th Class, Knight's (Caballero) mini. 

Updating the info I got from http://condecoracionesdevenezuela.com/civiles-nacionales-orden-del-libertador/ about the several manufacturers who made the full sized medal are: Distintivos, Venezolanos; Gathmann Hermanos, Caracas; S. Picard & Cie., Caracas; Boullanger, Paris; LeMaitre, Paris;  Godet & Sohn, Berlin; Russell Uniform Co., New York; in addition to other possible unspecified French & German makers (I noted that the mini in my 20 Jan 2017 post was made by De Greef of Brussels). 

Rusty

Edited by Rusty Greaves

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Here is an unusual example of a variant of the reverse design of a sash star of the Gran Cordon Class of the Orden del Libertador that was part of an exhibit: From A Thankful Nation: the Latin American Medals & Orders from the Robert L. Ross Collection at Princeton University (2014, illustrated catalog may still be available: full color catalogue of the exhibition, containing 736 pages with 969 color photographs, is available for $125 from the Friends of Princeton University Library, One Washington Road, Princeton, NJ 08544. Inquiries about ordering can made to Linda Oliveira at loliveir@princeton.edu or at (609) 258-3155.This example has the Venezuelan coat of arms executed in enamel on the reverse the sash star rather than cast in relief as seen on the mini examples I illustrated in posts on 11 January & 20 January 2017, and all other examples of the reverse with the coat of arms I have seen. That may suggest this is likely a pre-1922 creation before more codified design standards were established. The red & blue dyes of the sash are faded as well, possible being non-aniline dyes? 

large.5a725f4f0df55_OrdendelLiberadorGrandCross_reverse.jpg.e918e83f53d8af4d4aaf04371d36b417.jpg

(http://rbsc.princeton.edu/thankful-nation/case/a)

 

Edited by Rusty Greaves

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In wading though more of the information on Condecoraciones de Venezuela, I have only been able to confirm some of the recognized chaos in designs affecting both the full-sized and miniature medals for the Orden del Liberator, as is also quite apparent among the examples and information in this thread. That website identifies the different names of this award as: Medalla de Distinctión ("Medal of Distinction", from it's origin in 1854-1880); Condecoración del Busto del Liberator ("Award/Order of the Bust of the Liberator",1880-1922); Orden del Liberator ("Order of the Liberator", 1922-2010); Orden de las y los Libetadores ("Order of the [female] and [male] Liberators", 2010-present). 

Condecoraciones de Venezuela indicates that the full-sized awards of the Orden del Liberator show significant variation in size according to class (1st, 2nd, & 3rd = 50 x 54 mm; 4th & 5th = 35 x 28 mm) prior to 1922. This website also indicates that while all medals were supposed to be made of gold or silver gilt, prior to 2006 few examples fully complied with these requirements. I have encountered one additional manufacturer of the full-sized award. Fayolle Pouteau of Paris is identified as the manufacturer of a Grand Officer (2nd Class) set awarded to an Italian diplomat in 1932 that is illustrated from the same set of auction images as those below from Sixbid/La Galerie Numismatique in April 2017 (https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=3427&category=71803&lot=2844586). A  set of images on eMedals for a current auction illustrates the manufacturer's mark of Foyolle Pouteau on the obverse of an example identified as a 3rd Class Commander's star, c1900 (https://www.emedals.com/venezuela-an-order-of-the-liberator-3rd-class-commander-star-by-fayolle-pouteur-c-1900). 

As contributors have noted in this thread, miniature versions of the Orden del Liberator have great diversity in their forms. For the miniatures, Condecoraciones de Venezuela notes that their use almost certainly goes back to ~1880, although the website cannot identify any specific period or date when the use of the miniature was established by any official protocol. The miniature is not officially recognized (and officially standardized) until 2006. Private manufacturers apparently made a wide variety of miniature forms until ~50 years ago when Myer and Russell Uniform produced standardized forms, although there were no formal regulations of the form through the extant decrees or regulations at that time. 

I am including additional examples of three miniatures. The first two images appear to show an older medal (see note under the second images suggesting they are the same medal). Condecoraciones de Venezuela's section on ribbons & bars (http://condecoracionesdevenezuela.com/identificador-de-cintas/#) illustrates the different class designations for the 1st-5th Classes (described below under the first illustration), possibly from the 2006 regulations. The rosette has been part of the full-sized award since 1880, but that website indicates they were not (at least partly) standardized until 1922. 

large.5a7de32ba95f9_OrdendelLibertador3rdClassminiSixbid1.jpg.6fe63738632935766df61f96a50d2fe2.jpg

Reverse (L) and obverse (R) of an Orden del Libertador miniature from Sixbid.com (La Galerie Numismatique). Identified as a "1st Class Grand Cross miniature". Condecoraciones de Venezuela shows the ribbon for the 1st Class as having a horizontal gold band in addition to the rosette, the 2nd Class as having a silver band & rosette, the 3rd class with a miniature of the star with the Venezuelan coat of arms as shown in Uwe's example in the post of 21 January, 2017, the 4th class with only a rosette, and the 5th Class as solely the tricolored ribbon with no other device (from the post 2006 regulations?). The rosette shown in Uwe's 21 January, 2017 post looks just like that shown in the Condecoraciones de Venezuela website section on ribbons for the 2nd class award. The above illustrated example is 18 x 15 mm in diameter and silver gilt with enamel, the ribbon is stated to be original. From an Auction on 19-20 April, 2017, session 3, Lot 3060 (https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=3427&category=71803&lot=2844585)

large.5a7de33553b8b_OrdendelLibertdor3rdClassminiSixbid2.jpg.ad049e8b3d8622202d517592410b98be.jpg

Obverse (L) and reverse (R) of an Orden del Libertador miniature from Sixbid.com (La Galerie Numismatique). Identified as a "3rd Class Commander's Cross miniature". However, as noted above, the gold band with the rosette suggests it may be a 1st Class miniature. The description states this medal measures 17 x 14 mm in diameter and made of "gilt bronze and painted".  This listed medal is from the same auction as the previous example, Auction 19-20 April, 2017, session 3, Lot 3065. This lower resolution photograph appears to show the same medal as in the previous image (all casting flaws and wear appear identical between these 2 images, the fraying on the bottom of the rosette is identical), but the ribbon is folded differently. (https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=3427&category=71803&lot=2844590)

large.s-l1600-2.jpg.f89041d7b4632fc1dc06b12f7b1d9a41.jpg

Obverse of a full-sized and miniature medals of the Orden del Liberator from a current eBay auction. It is identified as a "Grand Cross set", but is more likely a 2nd or 3rd Class award because it represents a neck collar. No additional information is provided. The ribbon on the miniature is obviously a replacement incorrectly yellow rather than the correct yellow, blue & red ribbon. (https://www.ebay.ca/itm/VENEZUELA-ORDER-OF-THE-LIBERATOR-SIMON-BOLIVAR-GRAND-CROSS-MEDAL-SET-Vinatge/132145758712?hash=item1ec48041f8:g:rkgAAOSwGIRXbrsv)

large.s-l1600-3.jpg.063a38ad04931d04de556aeb65403d7f.jpg

Reverse of the same full-sized and miniature medals of the Orden del Liberator from eBay identified as a "Grand Cross set". (https://www.ebay.ca/itm/VENEZUELA-ORDER-OF-THE-LIBERATOR-SIMON-BOLIVAR-GRAND-CROSS-MEDAL-SET-Vinatge/132145758712?hash=item1ec48041f8:g:rkgAAOSwGIRXbrsv)

large.s-l1600-11.jpg.6fd7f561dd4d39e3cfa4dd54e0be332e.jpg

Close-up image of the obverse of the same miniature Orden del Liberator miniature from a current eBay auction. (https://www.ebay.ca/itm/VENEZUELA-ORDER-OF-THE-LIBERATOR-SIMON-BOLIVAR-GRAND-CROSS-MEDAL-SET-Vinatge/132145758712?hash=item1ec48041f8:g:rkgAAOSwGIRXbrsv)

Edited by Rusty Greaves

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Hi,

"The rosette shown in Uwe's 21 January, 2017 post looks just like that shown in the Condecoraciones de Venezuela website section on ribbons for the 2nd class award."

The horizontal ribbon band in silver is for the 3rd class. For the 2nd class it is half gold and half silver, for the 1st class it is in gold.

Uwe

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Uwe, many thanks for your clarification. I was trying to extend the information from the bars & ribbons section of Condecoraciones de Venezuela as that is the only literature I have about what the ribbon band distinctions might be, obviously overly enthusiastically! (http://condecoracionesdevenezuela.com/identificador-de-cintas/#). Do you have any written references on that you could share or is it from your knowledge & collections?  

Edited by Rusty Greaves

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Hi Rusty,

it is really confusing. Different sources, different results.

I've combined your source with the picture in the Portuguese language Wikipedia:

5a7f2d4dbd0d7_VenezuelaOrdendelLibertadoAuflagenmitRFEhrenlegion.thumb.jpg.82e4e5f42bc70c47c64965576192425f.jpg

The row in the middle from Wikipedia is concordant with the international way of distinguishing the different grades of orders on miniature ribbons; see parallel the French Légion d’honneur. Must we differentiate between a ribbon with the miniature hanging on it, and a ribbon on a ribbon bar without the miniatures; or as miniature without the miniature ribbon. See my two 3rd class pieces:

5a7f2e3484577_VenezuelaOrdendelLibertadoAuflagen3.Klasse.thumb.jpg.a2fb77568f014b4363c8e04dec2a69da.jpg

Will we ever have a final result?

Uwe

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Uwe, Thank you for addressing my question, illustrating your point, and helping to educate me on more standard practices regarding ribbons & bars. I also am happy to see your high resolution illustration of the 3rd class mini. Given the existence of so much variation prior to the 1922 decree, as well as the 2006 & 2010 changes, the historic examples will certainly show a lot of non-standard differences. The only other Venezuelan medal I have investigated, the Cruz del Ejercito discussed in another thread here in the "Rest of the World: Militia & History" forum section, has some institutionalized variance in how it is worn from international practice. As I translated from the Condecoraciones de Venezuela website description for that awards: 

(the Cruz del Ejercito or Cruz de Fuerzas Terrestres Venezolanas) - 1st Class: insignia worn on a neck collar, 2nd Class: insignia worn on the chest, and 3rd Class: insignia worn pinned to a ribbon. It is evident that the appearance of these four [sic-3?-RG) break with the classical scheme of presentation of insignia, not only internationally but also from the [Venezuelan-RG] Order of the Liberator [Simón Bolívar-RG] and the Order of Francisco Miranda, that consist [The Orden del Libertador and the Orden Francisco de Miranda-RG] of the 1st Class worn on a sash, 2nd Class worn on a neck collar, and 3rd Class insignia worn on the chest, which results in a divergence [from conventions-RG], especially for the 2nd Class, so that [the Cruz del Ejercito-RG] instead of having a badge or cross complementing the insignia, has [only-RG] the same insignia, resulting in a missing element that would give a harmonious presentation of the medal.

As a further complication (I know, none of us want this), I have been looking at images of military recipients of the Orden del Libetador to try and see if the bar with rosette & band split between silver & gold appears for a 2nd class award. I can't find a good images of such, but a couple individuals who I know received this order do have multiple photos on the internet, a couple better resolution ones, and they do not appear to be backwards. However, in looking at what should be the bar for a 5th class award on images of Carmen Teresa Melendez Rivas (she is identified as having the Caballero class award, rather than any of the post-2010 differently named classes that are limited to just 3 classes) and Vladimir Padrino Lopez (who is usually listed as having received the 2nd class award of the Orden del Libertador) I'm finding some ambiguity. If the attached first image of Melendez Rivas shows the bar for her award (top row center?), the color scheme is backwards from both sets of references we have identified: red on the right, blue in the middle and yellow on the left. Some of the ribbons of the medals you & I have illustrated show this color order. On images of Padrino Lopez, the bar also seems to show a reversal of colors, and the emblem on the bar appears to be that for the 3rd class of this award. Do you think the bar on the far left in the second photo should be that for the Orden del Libertador? I am even more confused by the bars in the third photo showing Padrino Lopez's bars. The uppermost central bar, the second row center bar, and possibly the second row far left  bar (is this the bar for his Orden del Libertador award?) all appear to have the color reversal. Are there Bolivarian versions of these color schemes that are different from the guides we have found? 

I apologize for muddying the war again Uwe, hopefully this is just my ignorance

Rusty

large_26.jpg.d6f694a6a42d95a0c7c16ea63ea336b4.jpg

Is the bar worn in the middle of the upper row the 5th class (Caballero) Orden del Libertador awarded to Carmen Teresa Melendez Rivas? (http://www.minci.gob.ve/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/26.jpg)

large.vladimir-padrino-lopez-ministro-para-la-defensa-con-la-mano-levantada.jpg.4eaa5553553019183f56ee4f17aeaeba.jpg

The bar on the far left worn by Vladimir Padrino Lopez (General en Jefe, Ministro del Poder Popular para la Defensa) appears to be the 3rd class of the Orden del Libertador, he is usually listed as having been awarded the 2nd Class of this order.  (http://www.elpolitico.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/vladimir-padrino-lopez-ministro-para-la-defensa-con-la-mano-levantada.jpg)

large.padrino17.png.c730743735f654b1953e69cf8c662e43.png

Is the bar on second row far left, partially under the Vladimir Padrino Lopez's lapel that for the Orden del Libertador? What is the top center bar and the second row center bar for? I cannot find a Venezuelan guide to bars that identifies this color scheme with the red on the right, blue in the middle, and yellow on the left. (http://www.minci.gob.ve/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/26.jpg)

Edited by Rusty Greaves

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And here are two other guides to ribbon bars fro the Orden del Libertador. Both do show the color scheme order of red on the right, blue in the middle & yellow on the left as seen on the bars worn by the military personnel shown in my previous post. However, the devices on the ribbons and rosettes are not shown in a way consistent with the other 2 guides that Uwe & I have been consulting. 

large.5a8251599dc74_RibbbonbarsforVenezuela1.gif.41cd2b1f6033642c08089846165e98ab.gif

Ribbon bars for the Venezuelan Orden del Libertador from the website ColeccionesMilitares.com by Antonio Prieto Barrio. (http://www.coleccionesmilitares.com/cintas/america/venezuela2.gif)

large.5a82516080aac_RibbonbarsforVenezuela2.gif.9a1ab25788c1afc0723ebd8efd827c91.gif

Ribbon bars for the Orden del Libertador from a listing by Eric Bush link on ODM (http://www.medals.org.uk/venezuela/venezuela-links.htm)

(http://www.frontiernet.net/~ericbush/FOREIGN/SA/Venezuela.html ) ©Eric Bush

Edited by Rusty Greaves

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Posted (edited)
On 12/25/2017 at 21:52, larsb001 said:

All, in my collection I have 3 miniature examples of the Order of the Bust of Bolivar. On 2 of them Simon Bolivar is facing left, on the 3rd he's facing right. When checking the net I can find a number of full size badges where he's facing either left or right as well. Is there a reason for this, e.g. a 1st and 2nd type, different grade or some other explanation? I cannot find that info?

Any comments appreciated! And yes, the middle miniature is a small beauty, it's set with 77 small diamonds in total!

Dear friends… let me begin by thank you all for showing that much interest in trying to elaborate some collective understanding regarding the order and I’m so glad that my web page (Condecoracionesdevenezuela.com) come handy… although I’m still in debt with a decent translation of the content…    

There are a many aspect to comment but let me begin by addressing the left right discussion which starter this post.

Since 1854 there are 14 government decrees that regulates the all versions of the Order, some of them with great level of details in design matters but none of them address the left or right facing of the bust. In theory, the Bolívar's painting chosen as inspiration to reproduce his bust on the medal, looked to the right, so when the medal of distinction of the bust of the liberator was created in 1854, the local manufacture made it facing right

With the institution of the Order after the reform of 1881 and the introduction of its 5 classes several European manufactures were commissioned to produce it but with no clear indication regarding the bust, nevertheless most of Bolivar engravings available at that time had bolivar looking to the right (and probably delivered to the manufacturer as a sample) therefore most of them, I would say more than 90% of them, have a right facing bust which set the standard even until modern days:

Right facing manufactures

Boullanger (Paris); La Royale (Rio); Gathmann (Caracas); Cravanzola (Roma); Godet (Berlin); Lemaitre (Paris); Meyer (New York); Russell Uniforms (New York); Distintivos Nacionales (Caracas); Picard (Caracas); Bacqueville (Paris); Wolfers (Brussels); JG Amme (Caracas); Carlman (Stockholm)

Left facing manufactures

Fayolle-Pouteau (Paris) + 2 unknow French manufactures and 1 probably German

My web page currently does not include any reference to this topic but I will write about it, just to clarify the reference made to the pre 1922 modification and that includes a right facing bust for illustration, refers only to the breast star design, before 1922 1rs and 2nd class use the same star and only after 1922 a new “model” was introduce to assign one particular design for each class.

Lars, wonderful examples! both right facing miniatures belong to the same manufacture officially classify as a French unknow manufacture but very likely to be Diets Joaillier (26, Rue Vivienne, Paris) and the manufacture timeframe should be between 1900 and 1919   

 In some day I will address some of the other topic…

simon-bolivar-1793-1830-military-and-venezuelan-statesman-called-the-H7XC3T.jpg

Libertador brillantes.jpg

Edited by emlynccs

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Posted (edited)

Estimado emlynccs, 

It is a pleasure to see your post about the Orden del Liberator here in this discussion. I have really enjoyed the information on your Condeccoraciones de Venezuela web page in trying to contribute to this thread and another on the Cruz del Ejercito Venezolano. Many thanks for your work to provide valuable information about such an array of the Venezuelan awards! Since you have opened with information about some of the variation in the portraits of Simon Bolivar, I am curious what insight you have about variants that include Bolivar's arm with his hand tucked into his jacket? Examples of this form of the bust seem to be less common, but versions with the arm appear somewhat frequently on full-sized medals shown on auction sites, what is your opinion? There also appear to be different variants showing the arm in slightly diverse positions relative to the frame around the bust. The only images I have encountered of miniatures with this form of Bolivar's bust showing his arm are shown in the initial post in this thread by Lars (25 December 2017) in the left and middle examples with Bolivar facing left and in obverse image of my post of 11 January. I am including three images of full-sized awards below with slightly different versions of the arm on the Bust of Bolivar from the website for Medal-Medaille. I also found two examples on alamy.com showing what are identified as an Officer's and Knight's medals with slightly different forms of Bolivar's arm placement relative to the frame around the bust, but those images may be copyrighted (http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-order-of-the-liberators-bust-or-of-simon-bolivar-created-in-1874-an-51659304.html). In the alamy images, the arm of the bust on the Officer's medal is similar to that illustrated below for the Commander's neck badge, although there may be other slight difference in the details of the Liberator's portrait. The Knight's medal example from alamy more closely resembles the image below of the Officer's medal, although the cuff is more fully exposed within the frame on the alamy image. I am very interested in your opinions about the reasons for these variations. Your knowledge of differences in designs by the various manufacturers of these awards is very interesting.

Saludos,  Rusty

large.VE102c.jpg.771646d4c474eb15308595f6b5a6f98a.jpg

Obverse image of the bust of Bolivar from Medal-Medaille identified as the Commander Class neck badge of this award (3rd Class) of a full-sized medal showing a variant form with Bolivar's arm visible in the portrait of the Liberator (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=498_100&products_id=1132). 

large.VE104c.jpg.728c749bc6f25eac6c87829de85ba361.jpg

Obverse image of the bust of Bolivar from Medal-Medaille identified as the Officer Class of this award (4th Class) on a full-sized medal showing a slightly different form with Bolivar's arm from the Commanders badge shown above (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=498_100&products_id=1135). 

large.VE117c.jpg.7fd714b923a2882141497e5e6424956e.jpg

Obverse image of the bust of Bolivar from Medal-Medaille identified as the Knight Class full-sized medal of this award (5th Class) showing a variant form with apparently less of Bolivar's arm visible (unless this is because of the angle of the photo) than in the other two examples above (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=498_100&products_id=3322). 

 

 

Edited by Rusty Greaves

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Hi Dusty… Thanks for good words regarding the page, an invitation for sure to continue with the work… I really appreciated!

Inventorying differences in the designs its quite a challenge, mainly because of inconsistencies within the same contractor and the “model” you refer to is a perfect example. Bolivar with arm came from a paint of the Peruvian artist Gil de Castro which Bolivar himself considered to be the most accurate version of him, this historical fact made that image the standard representation of Bolivar for many decades and therefore was an obvious choice for some contractor’s

Having that said, the angle and posture of Bolivar in the paint represented a technical difficulty to engrave the Die and the final result was not very attractive in comparison with other versions of the bust that were easier to accomplish and with a better final result. Only French subcontractor and earlier versions of N.S. Meyer (look to the right) chose this bust, so is fair to said that it is a version not commonly found.

Every single version of this model that I've seen have a French hallmark but with different manufacture punch (unfortunately unrecognizable), but many of them were commercialize by Fayolle Pouteau, I suppose with some kind of subcontractor arrangement.

Regarding the “arm position”, I don’t trust it as a valid variant identifier basically because the bust is an independent strike planchet that is attached to the flat oval. But the hole piece goes to the breast star (larger space) and for the medal, since the blue enable ring is a smaller frame, a hand cut was required in the bottom for perfect fitting and that the reason for the difference.

For this type of bust I prefer use as identifier, the number and model of stars in the epaulettes, the angle of the epaulettes, the number of buttons in each side of the uniform (3 or 4) or the floral arrangement in the chest.

I will write soon about rosettes, miniatures and ribbons bar of the Order… regards to all!

Michael

Simon_Bolivar.jpg

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Michael, 

Even having only dipped my toes in some of the astonishing variation apparent in the Orden del Libertador, I do appreciate the complexities of trying to sort out the design and manufacturing differences evident in this award. Thanks for your information about which manufacturers used the version of Bolivar's bust featuring his arm and hand tucked into his jacket. That is fascinating information about the reasons for some apparent differences in how the arm appears being the hand-fitting of the bust into he enameled frame. I'm sure the other followers of this thread also appreciate your opinion that other elements that can be hard to see in some photos are critical to identifying different manufacturers such as the stars on the epaulettes, their angle, details on the jacket embroidery, or the number of buttons on Bolivar's jacket. We await your help with so many other topics about these medals!

Rusty

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Michael, welcome to this Forum, and thank you for the additional comments, I never realized this should be so educational when posting the 3 miniatures and a simple question.

/Lars

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