Orders, Decorations and Medals (7 April 1994)

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Date of Auction: 7th April 1994

Sold for £3,400

Estimate: £2,500 - £3,000

The rare insignia of the Order of Merit awarded to George Edward Moore, the distinguished Cambridge Professor of Philosophy

THE ORDER OF MERIT (Civil) G.VI.R., neck badge in gold and enamels, contained in its Collingwood fitted case of issue, minor enamel chip to 'ermine' band and one 'pearl' on crown, and another to the white central surround on the reverse, otherwise extremely fine and virtually as issued


George Edward Moore, O.M., Litt. D. (Cambridge), Hon. LL.D. (St. Andrews) was born in 1873 grandson of the novelist George Augustus Moore. He was educated at Dulwich College and Trinity College, Cambridge. First Class Classical Tripos Part 1, 1894; Craven University Scholar, 1895; First Class Moral Sciences Tripos, Part II, 1895; Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, 1898-1904; University Lecturer in Moral Science at Cambridge 1911-25; Editor of Mind, 1921-47; Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge 1925-39. He was a close friend at Cambridge of Bertrand (later Earl) Russell, and published Principa Ethica in the same year as Russell's Principles of Mathematics, 1903. Moore was a leading figure in the twentieth century revolution in philosophy, insisting that philosophy should adhere to commonsense. His published works included Ethics (1912), Philosophical Studies (1922) and Some Main Problems of Philosophy (1953). He was awarded the Order of Merit and received the insignia from the hands of the King at a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace on 13 December 1951. Professor Moore died at Cambridge on 24 October 1958. The lot is sold with the original Warrant for the O.M. and the official statutes of the Order.