Lot 59
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IMPORTANT HISTORICAL MEMORIES OF THE DUKE OF BERRY SOVEREIGN MILITARY AND HOSPITAL ORDER OF SAINT JOHN OF JERUSALEM, known as the ORDER OF MALTA Set of two pieces : -Important neck cross of commander or grand prior of the order that belonged to the Duke of Berry. In chased gold. It is composed of a trophy of arms to the cuirass surmounted by a helmet with visor, empanached, on bundles of flags, drums and guns. Large ring of suspension, mounted in two riveted parts, original. The breastplate decorated with an enameled cross and two flags enameled one of the cross of the order and the other of a Latin cross. And a cross with four double enamelled white branches, biface, with fleur-de-lys intercalated. The upper branch holding between its points an important crown amata, with branches decorated with tri-lobed fleurons and pearled friezes. The crown is surmounted by a cruciform orb and a flowerette allowing the passage of the ring of the trophy of arms. Gross weight : 38,6 g. Width 53 mm - Height : 115 mm. Minor wear to the enamel of the trophy. Chips and wear to the obverse of one of the branches, to four points and to the center. T.B. Gold and enamel miniature, with a white enamelled cross, surmounted by a crown with branches decorated with three-lobed fleurons and beaded friezes. The crown is surmounted by a cruciform orb. The ring opens to reveal a large gold ring engraved inside with "Souvenir du 15 december 1814" (sic). Gross weight : 2,9 g. Presented with a bill annotated in pencil "Croix de Malte du Duc de Berry", in its shaped case covered with red morocco decorated with iron, closed by two brass hooks, sheathed in shaped velvet. Bottom covered with green morocco paper. Probably Russian work, around 1799-1800. The manufacture of our two crosses, the crown "soldered" between the two points of the upper branch, as well as the mention on the ring of the miniature date them from the period 1799-1800, and not from the Restoration. The crown of this type is found only on a Russian model, and would be inspired by the crown of Grand Master of the Order of Malta of Emperor Paul I, now preserved in the Kremlin, also decorated with tri-lobed fleurons and beaded branches. Provenance : - Amy Brown, mistress of the Duke of Berry, - by descent to her son John Charles Ferdinand Freemann (1804-1866). - by descent to William Loys Freeman and Maria Januaria de Bourbon Sicile et Bragance. - then by descent. History: After the capture of Malta by the French in 1798, Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch abdicated (1799) and placed the order under the protection of Tsar Paul I, who was proclaimed Grand Master of the order. The Pope having refused to recognize the election of an Orthodox, the successor of Paul I, Alexander I, refused the Grand Master in 1801. It is during this short Russian interlude of the Order of Malta that the history of our insignia is probably set. Indeed, we learn that the Czar had the Prince of Condé send "the great cross of Malta" and invited him to give it to the Duke of Berry. Jérôme DELANDINE de ST ESPRIT in his " Life of SAR Charles Ferdinand d'Artois Duke of Berry " specifies: "The marriage of Madame with Monseigneur the duke of Angouleme was concluded in Mittau on June 10, 1799. The place of grand prior of the order having been vacated by this event, it was on the request of the King, granted by the Czar to Monseigneur the duke of Berry and His Russian Majesty, charged the prince of Condé to decorate H.R.H. with the grand cross of the order. It should be noted that some sources place this accession to the grand priory on June 30, 1789. Less than a month later, on July 17, 1789, the young Prince emigrated with his father the Count of Artois (and future Charles X). The attribution of the class of our cross is done by the Russian statutes of the order which mention "The Grand Prior and the Commanders alone shall have the right to wear the Cross of the Order in saltire, all other Knights shall wear the small Cross in the buttonhole." We do not know what the date of December 15, 1814, engraved in the ring of the miniature, corresponds to, but it is after the Duke of Berry's return to France, at the moment of the royal will to offer a prestigious alliance to the Duke and therefore of the break between the Duke and Amy Brown. Related works: - Knight's Cross of the Order of Malta of the Prince de Condé (1736-1818). Collections of the Musée Condé (Chantilly). Dated from the 18th century or the Emigration, its crown is fleurdelysé, topped by a trophy of ribbons. Much heavier than ours (72 g), it is smaller, with a height of 88 mm for an equivalent width of 50 mm. - Cross of the Order of Malta of Empress Maria Feodorovna (1797). The trophy of arms, although not enamelled, is of an identical manufacture to ours (without Latin cross on the trophy of flags). The branches of the crown are fleurdelysé
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