Summaries – 2012


We are pleased to announce the edition of Bulletin «Pro Phalaris», # 6 – 2nd Semester 2012.

The rubric Iconographic Memoirs is dedicated to Marshal of the Army Manuel de Oliveira Gomes da Costa (1863-1929), President of the Republic (1926 who fought in Flanders in WW1.

The lead article is by our vice-president José Vicente Pinheiro de Melo de Bragança on The Collection of D. Manuel de Souza e Holstein Beck, IV Count of Póvoa, auctioned by the renowned Lisbon Auction House – Palácio do Correio Velho, on June 19-20th 2012, with a well-illustrated Catalogue. Given the high quality and in some cases the rarity of the lots, the auction had a large audience including several well-known foreign collectors and dealers, being an opportunity for the acquisition of rare insignia-jewels. The article comments and analyses some of the most important lots, among an exceptional set of 74 insignia in gold/silver, with precious stones, dating from the XVII-XIX centuries, mainly from the Military Order of Christ. And also comments on some remarkable or rare portraits of Queen Mary I and her son King John VI, namely one, bearing the Garter.

Our Secretary and Treasurer, Paulo Jorge Estrela, signs an article, nicely illustrated, on the ephemeral Order of Instruction and Benemerance (1927-29) which afterwards was to be split into two autonomous orders – that of the Public Instruction and the Order of Benemerance (and after 1986 – that of Merit). The author describes the order and its insignia accompanied by a table of the (quite rare) awards made form 1927-1929 and a list of some distinguished recipients.

Our Chairman Prof. Humberto Nuno Oliveira, in turn, writes an article on an historical event – Five Collective awards of the War Cross, 1st class, to «Commando» Units of the War in Africa.

On June 29th, the Center of Commando Troops (CTC) celebrated its anniversary and commemorated also 50 years of the Commando Troops history at the service of the Nation. The ceremony, highly emotive and widely attended, was presided by the President of the Republic, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces who delivered a speech, largely inspired in the text of the commendations (unnumbered) of November 24th, 2011, of the then Army-Chief-of-Staff, General “Cmd” José Luís Pinto Ramalho, stressing the valiant acts of bravery and courage serving the country performed by these units and troops. He further stated that “During 12 years, nine thousand men, in various units of this elite corps, had a remarkable performance in the operational theatres of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea, making the “commando” service man an exceptional soldier, an example of the highest military valour, bravery in combat, courage, cold blooded and serene under fire”.

Then follows a report on – The A.F.P. presence at the VI Meeting of the European Phaleristic Societies, in Brussels, by our Chairman Humberto Nuno Oliveira, who after describing and commenting on the event’s program, considers that the Meeting organized by the SKF (Studiekring Faleristiek vzw) was very well organized and having had a large participation of delegates from several counties, thus deserving to be considered a success.

On the reverse of the back cover, within the section «Guide of Portuguese Phaleristics», a card on the Medal of Good Service and Exemplary Conduct of The State Railways Workers, with text in French and English.

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

 en Français

We are pleased to announce the upcoming edition of Bulletin «Pro Phalaris», # 5 – 1st semester 2012, due for distribution in September.

The rubric Iconographic Memoirs is dedicated Vice Admiral Hyacinthe Laurent Théophile Aube (1826-1890), of the French Navy, in a photograph wearing several decorations, including the insignia of Knight Commander of the Order of Tower and Sword, valour, Loyalty and Merit (1884) and of Knight of the Order of Christ

Our Chairman Prof. Humberto Nuno de Oliveira signs the Editorial and the lead article, in co-authorship with Momo Cvijovic- Curator of the Historical Museum of Yougoslavia, and Paulo Jorge Estrela, on The Portuguese Decorations of Marshall Josip Broz Tito.

After a brief introduction on the numerous decorations awarded to Marshall Tito, namely by foreign countries, the Authors analyse his Portuguese decorations and the apparent mystery which involve them, as far as the official Portuguese sources are concerned. Upon consulting local sources and after exhaustive contacts made with Serbian authorities, the Authors managed however to enlighten the whole matter, proving that Marshall Josip Tito did not receive one, but two Portuguese high decorations, in 1975 and in 1978, one of which they insist, is completely ignored in Portugal.

In another remarkable article, our member and renowned herald Lieutenant-Colonel José Pedroso da Silva writes on the The creation of the Decorations of the Azores Autonomous Region, which he conceived after a request made by the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Azores to the Army Heraldic Office.

The theme is not common since we can’t recall of having ever read, with this detail, on the conception and the basis for the creation of a given medal or decoration.

In a clear and concise and sometimes picturesque language, the Author tells us the circumstances that led to the conception and creation of these set of insignia of the Azores Autonomous Region and also the reasons for the complex, but heraldic correct, symbols wisely chosen.

The illumination were made by our member Master José Estevéns Colaço and the insignia were masterly executed and faithfully interpreted by the firm Frederico Costa, Lda., of Lisbon.

Our Vice-president Dom Vasco Telles da Gama reveals us A unique Badge of Office, worn by the Portugal King of Arms, as from the middle of the XIX c. till 1910. After a brief introduction on the history of the Corporation of the Officers of Arms in Portugal and their duties, the Author describes this very rare insignia of office, accompanied by excellent illustration.

Under the rubric Review of Books and Magazines two short articles, the first by José Vicente de Bragança deals with a book written by our founding member from Spain, Antonio Prieto Barrio & Manuel Pérez Rubio, Condecoraciones Y Distintivos De La División Azul – Compendio legislativo de condecoraciones y distintivos españoles y alemanes, Editorial: Patrocinado por la Fundación División Azul, 2012.

The book deserves special attention since the Authors, adopting the correct conception of Phaleristics as an auxiliary science of History, aim at going beyond the usual and simple description of medals and decorations accompanied by images and medal rolls often incomplete, but without recurring to primary sources and serious solidly based research on manufacturers, models and types.

On the contrary the AA, after a careful and deep research undertaken in archives, geographically dispersed, both public and private, and using a vast range of available information – documentary, iconographical, photographic and by the analysis and study of collections – have accomplished a thorough study on the subject, using a methodology of research and analysis which honours Phaleristics.

The second review deals with the Catalogue of the Exhibition, directed by Professor Jean Tullard, La Berline de Napoléon. Le mystère du butin de Waterloo, Paris, Éditions Albin Michel, 2012, which took place at the Museum of the Légion d’honneur, in Paris.

The A. analyses and describes the themes of the various chapters, giving special attention to chapter 2. Indeed, he considers it as the most interesting from the phaleristic studies’ doctrinarian point of view, with two articles signed by Professor Jean Tullard and another by Michel Kerautret, reputed as three essential reading articles for those who wish to study the origins of modern phaleristics.

Chapter 3 – “The loot of Waterloo” centered mainly on the vast phaleristic universe of the Emperor, goes beyond the theme – the loot at Waterloo – by making a global appreciation of Napoleon I’s decorations. Divided in two parts, the first dealing with the insignia of Napoleon’s Orders and the second with the insignia of the Emperor’s foreign orders, some of which looted after Waterloo.

The A, also refers the article by Nicolas Botta-Kouznetzoff (of the Société des Amis du Musée de la Légion d’honneur) on the Order of Saint Andrew, and another by our member José Vicente de Bragança on the Grand-Cross of the Three Military Orders of Christ, Avis and St. James awarded to Emperor Napoleon I, by the Prince Regent Dom João, finally enlightening a subject which was not clear till recently – the Portuguese decoration awarded to Napoleon I, in 1805.

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

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

Leave a Reply