Lot Archive


№ 182


27 September 1994

Hammer Price:

THE MOST HONOURABLE ORDER OF THE BATH, C.B. (Military) breast badge in 22 carat gold and enamels by A.J. Strachan, hallmarked London 1828, fitted with original 2 inch swivel suspension to which a prong is fitted at each end, and contained in its original green leather case of issue with suppliers label on silk lining of lid 'Storr & Mortimer successors to Mr. W. Gray, Goldsmiths, Jewellers & Silversmiths, New Bond St.' lacking ribbon buckle, some damage to white enamel of one arm and minor chips to both centres, otherwise very fine and scarce, especially in case of issue.

This specimen is one of the less expensive or so called economy variety of badge first ordered by William IV as Duke of Clarence in 1827. At his suggestion several jewellers were asked for quotations and by this manoeuvre the cost was reduced to fifteen Guineas each, but quality had been sacrificed. With the sanction of the Duke of Wellington and the Lords of the Treasury, some of the Collars of deceased Grand Crosses which had been returned to stock were melted down and the gold used to manufacture the new insignia. Thus the shortage of insignia for Companions was, for the time being, overcome and although a great saving had been made on the public purse, this saving was illusory because within a decade there was a serious shortage of Collars. Further insignia was ordered in 1842 to meet the demand for newly created Companions of the wars in China and Afghanistan but a return was made to insignia of a better quality. (Ref The Histoty of the Order of the Bath, J.C. Risk).