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Belgium / France ‘Union et Maintien’ Social/Philanthropic Commander Medal


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Hello.  I just purchased this interesting commander’s cross.  It states ‘Union et Maintien’ on the cross center.  As I researched this, I found a certificate for this exact cross, but in a Chevalier class.  There the collector referenced it as Belgian.  I have a number of questions:

1.       Is this Belgian or French?

2.       If it is Belgian, why no crown?

3.       Who issued and awarded this medal (a government ministry or some association)?

4.       I know this is for Social and Philanthropic services rendered.  Do you know though the criteria?  Especially, why were there several grades?

5.       What time period is this from?

6.       Is this a common medal or is it somewhat rare?

7.       What would you estimate the value?

Any and all responses will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks you.

Linas

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It is French and there is a Belgian equivalent that does have a crown.

from the document I would say it was handed out in 1964 but as shown the diploma does not belong to the cross.

and from some really rapid googling I found multiple knights crosses for around 15-20 Euro

 

Edited by OvBacon
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OvBacon addressed most of your queries.

Your question #3   This is an award of a private society, not a nation's award.

Your question #4   The 5 grades in this award recognize degrees of contributions either money or services to the Societe.  Formerly a website publicized the group--cannot locate it now.

Your question #5    Looks like a 1960-80 made item.  If enamel is soft type, maybe mid-late 1980's-90's or early 2000's.  If it were uniface, it would be current production. 

Your questions #6 & 7   Neck badges and below appear on French eBay fairly often.  You rarely may find a few higher classes there as well.  Prices [including taxes & delivery] realized on French eBay are a fairly accurate value guide.

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Yes, as named on the Belgian Society diploma <<  Société UNION et MAINTIEN>>.  The Belgian group also used the name La Société de Secours Mutuels « Union et Maintien ».   The société royale UNION et Maintien, another Belgian group probably is a completely different organization.  Offhand I don't find web info or either the French or Belgian groups.  May have a French type diploma somewhere though.  

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As far as I can tell it really is an organization that bears some resemblance to trade unions. And so I assume this is an award to members of the union that have performed special service to the group. You can always look up "Les sociétés de secours mutuel" 

I was able to find the Belgian organization in the state papers of 1952 and it translates as an organization for mutual aid/support. 

 

Edited by OvBacon
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I do like the award... It looks nice and so as long as you didn't pay an arm and a leg I would think you did a nice purchase and have a handsome cross in your collection. 

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