Publications Corner

Bulletin of the Société Suisse de Phaléristique (SSP) – #100, 29th Year, June 2010

Gérard Laureau & Eric Schaerer (Editors)

Our sister society from Switzerland – SSP, founded on September, 30, 1981, hás just issued to its members Nº 100 of its periodical Bulletin

Claude Graber & Eric Schaerer in the Editorial trace back the history of near 30 years of this publication and of its predecessor the JECOD (Journal Européen des Collectionneteurs d’Ordres et Décorations) published from 1971-73.

It was followed, after an interregnum of almost a decade, by issue nº 1 of the present Bulletin which appeared in 1982 – just one year after the foundation of the Swiss Phaleristics Society. It started as a modest edition, in black& white, typewritten and stapled by hand and with illustrations pasted manually from issue # 13-50, owing to the dedication of the society’s founder Michel Guignard and a small bunch of enthusiasts. From issue nº 53, in 1995, computers begun to be used in the edition and layout of the Bulletin and with issue nº 60, illustrations started to be printed. Colour illustration appeared with issue nº 77.

The arrival to issue nº 100 is a remarkable feat only possible due to the enthusiasm of successive editors and to the rising collaboration of members with the regular delivery of articles and illustrations progressively with a higher quality

Gérard Laureau signs an article on the Medals of the Press Ambulances, 1870-71, created on the occasion of the Franco-Prussian War, generally in brass and non-portable, with three models, some in silver or gold, suspended from a ribbon to be worn.

From the same author another article A Distinguished and Forgotten Ambassador dealing with the decorations of an anonymous French Ambassador which appeared in a Sales catalogue of Maison Libert, with interesting thoughts about the motivations and emotions of a collector when standing before items, wanting to know about its history, origins, context and provenance. The writer then reviews the insignia of orders from China, Egypt, Italy, Montenegro, Prussia, Romania, Poland, Russian Empire, Serbia, Tunisia and Ottoman Empire based on the Sales catalogue.

By Dominique Cropt a detailed study on the East Indian Co. Medal for the Battle of Seringapatam, issued in commemoration of the British victory over the Sultan of Mysore – the unfortunate Tipû Sâhib, in 1779, including a description of its various types and a brief historical account on the fall of Seringapatam. Among the attacking army there was the Swiss Regiment of Meuro, under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Henri David de Meuron-Môtiers whose history is also accounted for in this excellent study, including the roll of the Regiment Officers who took part in the siege and assault of the Indian fortress.

Again Gérard Laureau gives us na article «1860 – a very rare piece» on the decorations of a Prussian enlisted in the Pontifical armies. It is a group of 4 medals, mounted in the German fashion, among which can be found the insignia of a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory, military division, and the medal of «Pro Petri Sede», known as the medal of «Castelfidardo», created by papal brief of 12.XI.1860 – an unknown and rare type with the legend «Fano». The author then engages in considerations about the possible identification of the recipienday.

Elio Labarek publishes na article on the Italian Medal for the War Volunteers, for the Great War – 1915-18, with a description of the medal and its legal foundation. Having been enlarged in 1939, 1940 and 1948 to other Campaigns – Italian East African Campaign 1935-36, Campaign of Military Operations in Spain 1936-39 and War Volunteers 1940-45 – the author also describes them in detail.

A Collar of the order of St. Lazarus and of Our lady of Mount Carmelo, 1779, which appeared in a Sales catalogue of a firm located at Brest, in 2009, deserves an article by Gérard Laureau, reminding the origins of the order and the creation of the collar by the grand-master, the Count of Provence, the future Louis XVIII, king of France. It is one of the only three known collars.

Also from the previous author a study on the Ottoman Order founded in 1893  – The House Decoration of the Most Eminent Osman, reserved for the members fo the Imperial Family and for foreign sovereigns.

On the section review of books, an entry on the book by the Slovene Pavel Car and the Croat Tomislav Muhic, on the Serbian and Yugoslav  orders and decorations, published in German, under the title – «Serbische und jugoslawische Orden und Ehrenzeichen von 1859 bis 1941», Militaria-Verlag, Viena.

Congratulations to the Editors and to our friends from Switzerland for this excellent number and for the encurance and persistence that they have demonstrated over the past three decades in maintaining alive a superb francophone publication on Phaleristics.