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larsb001

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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