Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (30 March 2011)

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Date of Auction: 30th March 2011

Sold for £2,700

Estimate: £3,000 - £3,500

The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, G.C.M.G., a rare early Knight Grand Cross breast star, the silver and gilt star with gold and enamel appliqué centre, the raised figure of Saint Michael on a translucent ground, 80mm diameter, fitted with gold pin for wearing, together with a good length of silk sash ribbon, small loss of enamel to St Michael’s chest, otherwise nearly extremely fine £3000-3500


This star was awarded to Count Demetrio Valsamachi of Corfu and Cephalonia (1785-1870), secretary to the Ionian Government who was appointed G.C.M.G. on 9 July 1857. Upon his death in 1870, this star was given by his daughter, Countess Penelope, to the diplomat Sidney Smith Saunders (1809-1884), who became Consul-General of the Ionian Islands in 1864, and who had previously been a Consul in Albania, Corfu and Alexandria.

Sold with the original letter from Countess Valsamachi forwarding the star to Saunders in April 1870.