The Most Honourable Order of the Bath

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2,686 voices, and was last updated by  cecawthorne 6 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #11801

    cecawthorne
    Moderator

    Hello All,

    Just thought I would share another early British Order, this particular example being a first year issue Civil Companion of the Bath (C.B.) badge. The illustration shows the fine 18K workmanship, being hallmarked with an RG (Garrard & Co.) on the lower right obverse side of the badge. The first year of issue is indicated by the London stamp of a gothic style “M” as shown by the red circle on the obverse. If you want to read more about this fascinating order, I would highly suggest reading “The History of the Order of the Bath and its Insignia” by James C. Risk. He was a highly regarded expert on British Orders, an OMSA member and those of us who knew him miss his presence and his sage advice.

    Best Regards,
    Chris
    Reduced II Early Civil Companion of the Bath JPEG.jpg

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    #13576

    cecawthorne
    Moderator

    One of the benefits of attending an OMSA Convention is a chance to see some rare pieces such as this Military Division first year issue (1815) Companion of the Bath (CB) I took pictures of a few years back. The CB class as well as the Knight Commander (KCB) was created under the Military Division upon the re-organization of the Order of the Bath into (3) classes in 1815. This was prompted by the need to recognize the services of numerous Military and Naval Officers for the Napoleonic Wars. Officers who distinguished themselves at the Battle of Waterloo were awarded the CB in lieu of a Small Army Gold Medal as had been done during the battles of the Peninsular War.

    This particular example is in 18K gold and is hallmarked with the letter “U” on the upper suspension ring outlined in RED, indicating it was made in London in 1815. The early CB badges had a wide suspension with a gold prong buckle, which in later years was replaced with a narrower suspension. These badges were returnable up until 1859 for refurbishment and reissue, so it is not uncommon to see a refurbished 1815 issue CB badge on a narrow suspension.

    There were numerous makers of Bath insignia, so I would be interested in seeing other collectors’ pieces showing the differences in the three classes by year and the differences in the manufacturers.

    Best Regards,
    Chris
    CB Military D.jpg

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    #13596

    megan
    Moderator

    If you like early Order of the Bath insignia, this may be of interest…

    [attachment=0]bath-star+letter-small.jpg[/attachment]

    This is Admiral Lord Nelson’s KB star (from when it was still a single-class order) with a letter gifting it to a fellow naval officer called Admiral Sir Richard Keats. It was sold by Morton & Eden in 2010, and – as ever – I am grateful to the company which has given me the run of their catalogues :)

    Speaking of catalogues, the one from which this one comes – Auction 45, 22 October 2010 – is well worth acquiring if you like British naval history of this period – it’s a fascinating read. (Available in PDF on their website.)

    I agree with Chris, the Risk book is excellent if you are interested in the Order of the Bath. My father bought me a copy when it first came out, being a KCB he got a discount!

    Megan
    http://www.medals.org.uk/
    bath-star+letter-small.jpg

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