Summaries – 2010/2011

The traditional rubric Iconographic Memoirs is dedicated to king Michael I (1790- 1828-1834– 1866) in a splendid portrait wearing full Royal regalia and several decorations, namely, the Riband and Stars of the Grand Crosses of the Three Military Orders, of the Order of the Tower and Sword, of the Order of Our Lady of the Conception of Vila Viçosa, of Order the of Charles III, and a superb Collar and Badge of the Order of the Golden Spur.

Our President, Humberto Nuno de Oliveira signs the Editorial and two articles. One dealing with the newest European Phaleristic Society – The Phaleristic Society of Slovakia – Our newest sister societySlovenská faleristická spoločno  (SFS), which recently commemorated her first anniversary, and commenting its activities. The second article – Legislation, practices and nonsense, approaches critically some recent controversial cases of what might be considered as inaccurate and improper application of the new law of Portuguese Orders of Merit, as regards authorisation for the acceptance of foreign decorations by Portuguese citizens. The Author mentions as examples the authorisation given for the acceptance of several «decorations» which are sold by private European firms and which can thus be at least qualified as odd.

The lead article signed by our member Paulo Jorge Estrela – The Royal Military Order of St. Benedict of Aviz (1894-1910), analyses the not well-known Reform of this former ancient military order undertaken in 1894. Among other issues the Author describes the novelties introduced by the Reform as regards, classes, insignia and its wearing, diplomas, and the rules and requisites for its award, both to Portuguese subjects or to foreigners.

Also discussed is the administration of the Order by the Ministry of War and the setting of a Council that met regularly at the Royal Palace. The Order became distinctly a military order in the sense that could only be awarded to Officer’s of the Armed Forces or to those belonging to the Ranks of the Overseas Armed Forces.

But the most relevant contribution of this article lays in the publication of Tables with the number of awards to Portuguese, by year, rank and class and to foreigners, by class, year and nationality, during the period studied. This denotes a long term research made by the Author in the scattered sources, either published or laying in the public archives. AS the author says «Restrictions of time and space do not allow us a more detailed study of the data collected as regards the Order’s evolution or its comparison with the other orders of merit, but it gives nevertheless, a general outline of the Order in the last years of its existence as a royal order».

Following what is becoming an established practice, this issue includes an article written by the prominent Belgian Phalerist – Colonel Brevété d’E.M. Eric Tripnaux, on the Grand Cross of the Belgian Order of Leopold awarded to King Louis I, when he was still Duke of Oporto. The insignia are at the National Palace of Ajuda and have been exhibited before, at least twice. However, Colonel Tripnaux in his well documented article, apart from discussing the circumstances of the award, analyses the probable authorship of the insignia and its provenance, which till now had not been done. It is thus a rich and most valuable contribution to Portuguese Phaleristics made by an authority and expert on the Order of Leopold, who honours us with his article.

Under the rubric Review of Books and Magazines two short articles; the first, by José Vicente de Bragança on an article written by Gustavo Tracchia Piedrabuena on Medals, Decorations and Flags, published in 2008 at the on-line magazine «Trastámara». The author from Argentine – member of the International Federation of Vexillology Societies (FIAAV) – is a Vexillologist, having published various articles in specialized magazines. But what is examined is his confessed interest on the relations between Vexillology and Phaleristics and the analysis made on the issue of the role and nature of Phaleristics, namely as an auxiliary science of history – autonomous from its mother-science Numismatics. The reviewer defends the urgent need for the matter to be discussed and reflected upon by all who are fond of this science.

The second reviw written by Paulo Jorge Estrela is about the book written by Robert J. SCARLETT – The Sea Gallantry Medal, published by the Orders and Medals Research Society, 2010. The book covers two British medals intended to reward civil gallantry at sea. The first awarded by the Board of Trade was awarded to British subjects, or to foreigners serving in British ships. Foreigners who have displayed gallantry in foreign ships in saving the lives of British subjects are eligible for Board of Trade Gold and Silver Medals ‘for Foreign Services’.

On the reverse of the back cover, within the section «Guide of Portuguese Phaleristics», a card on the Medal of National Defense, with text in French and English.

The Bulletin has 36 pages with fully coloured illustrations, and includes the useful section «To Our Members Abroad * Pour Nos Amis du Monde Entier» with a précis in English and French for our members abroad».

Our Bulletin «Pro Phalaris» #3 – 1st. Semester 2011, is due to be issued by the end of September.

«Iconographic Memoirs» is dedicated to Marshal of the Army, the Duke of Saldanha (1790-1876), a Veteran of the Peninsular War, the Campaigns of Montevideu and of the Civil War, statesman and Ambassador, wearing his numeorus decorations (cf. p. 18) among which the Grand Cross of the reformed Order of the Tower and Sword, Valour, Loyalty and Merit (1832) and the star of commander of the Order of the Tower and Sword founded by king John VI, in 1808.

Our Chairman – Humberto Nuno de Oliveira signs the Editorial and a generously well illustrated article – The Academy’s presence at the V European Meeting of Phaleristic Societies- Copenhagen, 27-29 May 2011, reporting on the meeting organised by the Orders and Medals Society of Denmark (OMSD), emphasizing its enormous success and the fact that it’s Program exceeded all possible expectations. Our Academy was represented by the Chairman and by our Secretary – Paulo Estrela.

The leader article, equally with abundant illustrations, is signed by Guy Deploige (Belgium), from the Royal Army Museum of Brussels – The Portuguese War Cross awarded to the Belgian Unknown Soldier and the Belgian War Cross awarded to the Portuguese Unknown Soldier.

Our members Leonildo Ponce de Almeida and Paulo Jorge Estrela write about a subject not very often dealt with in Phaleristics, which the AA chose to call «Company Prizes». Illustrated with several specimens of their collections and aiming at being an illustrated guide (48 images), it is about a type of insignia conferred by company’s both public and private, to reward services of different kind. Since they are not official decorations, this type of «insignia» are often disregarded by collectors and even by the families and worst of all, very little is known about them due to the lack of regulations or other relevant sources of information.

In a second article – The Army Pupils Institute – a phaleristic approach on its I Centenary, our fellow member Rui Vargas, a former student at the Insitute, writes about its history, the dates and main events of this important educational institution, on the occasion of the I Centenary of the Institute’s foundation. The article also describes the numerous orders’ insignia and military medals which adorn the Institute’s Banner, making it one of the most decorated military institutions.

Under «Review of Books», the first article discusses a paper by Mariana Jacob Monteiro on the Vitorino Ribeiro Medals Collection, belonging to the Oporto Military Museum. The article apart from a short biography of the collector, tells the history and genesis of the collection and its partial acquisition by the Oporto Military Museum. It’s object is however limited to the study of 23 medals, specially those of the Peninsular War and of the Civil War (1828-34), with a detailed description of each medal and including a discussion of the techniques of medal making, with a list of the main manufacturers and artists. But the most interesting part of the paper is the one concerned with the processes and the materials used in the manufacture of «medals», with an analysis of the metal leagues and the ribbons of the medals in the collection.

The second review, written by Humberto Nuno de Oliveira, is dedicated to the recently published book on King John VI and the Order of the Tower and Sword (1808-1816), written by our fellow member José Vicente de Bragança, welcoming it and stressing its importance and value, not only due to the scarcity of phaleristic studies in Portugal, but also on account of the theme selected and the thorough preliminary research undertaken. The contents of the 10 chapters which precede the conclusions are discussed, considering them well structured and covering all aspects of the foundation and development of the Order of the Tower and Sword with a detailed précis in English.

Particular emphasis is placed on the chapters dealing with the typology of the order’s insignia and its manufacturers, considering that it reveals a deep knowledge of the theme, being also an indisputable and most relevant significant addition to discard myths and to withstand some recent and frequent frauds and forgeries; chapters 5 analysing statistical data, obtained through a well rooted research, and reporting exhaustively reporting on the first awards of the order; chapter 6, discussing the awards made for military actions related with the campaigns of the Peninsular War and the campaign of Montevideo are discussed with a list of British and Portuguese Officers distinguished for military deeds in this period, is reputed as being also a most relevant contribution not only to Phaleristics, but also to other branches of historical science; chapter 8, analysing the important role played by the Mesa da Consciência e Ordens in the life of the Order of the Tower and Sword is considered an important input, to refute common ideas as to the role played by the Mesa, as regards the military orders; chapter 9, with an abundant amount of graphics and tables, offering a complete and detailed portrait of the recipients of the order, the motives for the awards and even a unique comparison between the awards of the Order with those of the traditional three Portuguese military orders – an approach which not only marks and defines an original research but conveys relevant data for the knowledge of this Order.

HNO concludes, considering the book an outstanding contribution and an impressive keystone impossible to bypass, in the global history of the Order of the Tower and Sword, which deserves to be written.

On the reverse of the back cover, within the section «Guide of Portuguese Phaleristics», a card on the Medal for Corporative and Work Merit, with text in French and English.

The Bulletin has 36 pages with fully coloured illustrations, and includes the useful section «To Our Members Abroad * Pour Nos Amis du Monde Entier» with a précis in English and French for our members abroad».

Bulletin «Pro Phalaris», # 2, July-December 2010 will be issued soon.
Our Chaiman – Humberto Nuno de Oliveira signs the Editorial and an article with the report on the IV European Meeting, organized by our Academy – Memory of the IV European Meeting of Phaleristic Societies (Lisbon, 21-24 October, 2010). Generously illustrated with photos of the events and of the participants, the article includes a list of the participants and a detailed account of the several events included in the program.
The lead article is by Paulo Jorge Estrela, on the «Belgian Rifle Corps Medal (1834)» including an analysis of other similar medals, one of which the A. refutes has ever having been a «decoration», based on archival sources from the Army Historical Archive, Lisbon and the Musée Royal de l’Armée, Brussels. The article is accompanied by a photo of commander Le Charlier, with images of the various medals discussed and of the diploma of concessios and of a letter patent.
Under «Reviews of Books» three reviews, on articles by our member António Prieto (SP) on the Carlist decorations and another written in co-authorshipp with Dr. Francisco Javier HERNÁNDEZ NAVARRO, on the Order of Perseverance , created on the Spanish Protectorate of Morocoo (1946-1957)». The third review is by Humberto Nuno de Oliveria of the book recently published in Germany by Eckart HENNING & Dietrich HERFURTH. Orden & Ehrenzeichen. Handbuch der Phaleristik.
Also included is the provisional program of the V European Meeting, Copenhagen, 27-29 May, 2011, organized by our fellow Danish society – Ordenshistorisk Selskab.

On the reverse of the back cover, within the section «Guide of Portuguese Phaleristics», a card on the POST AND TELEGRAPH MEDAL, created in 1898, with texts in English and French.

With 36 pages and fully coloured illustrations and the section «To Our Members Abroad * Pour Nos Amis du Monde Entier» with a précis in English adn French for our members abroad.

Issue nº 1, of our Bulletin «Pro Phalaris», Jan.-June, 2010, will be distributed to our members in September, and to those attending the IV Meeting of European Phaleristic Societies in Ocotber.
Our Chairman – Prof. Humberto Nuno Oliveira signs the Editorial and an article about the genesis of the Academy, followed by articles about the War Cross 1917 and its awards to foreigners with an inedit Medal Roll, by Paulo Jorge Estrela; an article about a long forgotten phaleristic event – the exchange of decorations between John, Prince Regent of Portugal and Emperor Napoleon I, in 1805, by José Vicente de Bragança//Paulo Jorge Estrela and an article about the non-official insignia of the Order of St. Benedict of Avis which have been intriguing phalerists for a long time, written by Dom Vasco Teles da Gama. Finally, on the back of the back cover a card on the naval Medal of Vasco da Gama with text in English and French.

Printed in A4, with 32 pages, fully illustrated in colour, the Bulletin includes abstracts in English and French on behalf of our members abroad. Its distribution will coincide with the IV Meeting of European Phaleristic Societies, Lisbon, October, 21-24.