Orders, Decorations and Medals (12 June 1991)

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Date of Auction: 12th June 1991

Sold for £2,000

Estimate: £2,500 - £3,500

A rare Napoleonic group of miniatures attributed to Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Felix Smith, K.C.B., Colonel Commandant, Royal Engineers, each award individually suspended from a gold bar inscribed in raised letters, TARIFA, surrounded by an intertwined wreath of laurel leaves and worn from a specially woven ribbon of the five decorations:-

i THE MOST HONOURABLE MILITARY ORDER OF THE BATH, gold and enamel.
ii Spain, ROYAL AND DISTINGUISHED ORDER OF CHARLES THE THIRD, gold and enamel.
iii Spain, MILITARY ORDER OF ST. FERDINAND, with laurel wreath distinction for bravery, gold and enamel.
iv FIELD OFFICER'S GOLD MEDAL, engraved on reverse VITORIA, gold.
v FIELD OFFICER'S GOLD MEDAL, engraved on reverse, ST. SEBASTIEN, gold. The group, circa 1820, with some chipping to the enamel but generally good very fine and of excellent workmanship (5)

Footnote

Lieutenant General Sir Charles Felix Smith was Commanding Royal Engineer at Tarifa, near Gibraltar, during the siege by the French, eight thousand strong, in December 1811. By general consent the chief merit for the defence was given to Smith, rather than to Colonel Skerrett who commanded the garrison, and who was in favour of capitulating to the French. Smith was promoted to Major for his services at Tarifa and served throughout the Peninsula Wars with great distinction. He was present at the siege of Cadiz, the action of Osma, the battle of Vittoria, the engagements at Villa Franca and Talosa, and the siege of San Sebastian. He was knighted by the Prince Regent in November, 1814, and on the same date he received permission to accept and wear the Crosses of the Royal Orders of Charles the Third and St. Ferdinand of Spain, given to him by the King 'in consideration of the Military services rendered by him in The Peninsula, but more particularly for his skill and highly distinguished merit in the defence of Tarifa, in December, 1811.' He received the gold medal and clasp for Vittoria and San Sebastian, and was made a C.B, 4 June, 1815. In 1840, Smith was in command of the allied land force in Syria, and was severely wounded at the capture of St. Jean d'Acre. He was promoted to K.C.B. and received from the Sultan of Turkey the Order of Nichani Iftihar, a sabre, and the St. Jean d'Acre gold medal surrounded by diamonds. In 1848 he received the Military General Service medal for Martinique and the Naval General Service Medal for Syria. He was promoted Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Royal Engineers on 6 March, 1856, and died at Worthing, Sussex, on 11 August 1858.