Lot 28
  • 28


100,000 - 150,000 GBP
bidding is closed


the superb Lesser George sash badge, Cambridge No. 12, presented by King William IV to his nephew Prince George of Cambridge on the occasion of the young Prince’s installation as a Knight of the Garter in 1835, of oval form with central agate cameo of St George and the Dragon by Benedetto Pistrucci set in a fine 22 carat gold and blue enamel mount by William Clutton, with engraved presentation inscription on the reverse reading THE GRACIOUS GIFT OF HIS MAJESTY WILLIAM THE FOURTH 15 AUGt 1835, with the crowned letters GC (for George Cambridge) below dividing ‘No. 12’, fully hallmarked on the matted outer rim including date letter “t” and the rarely-seen sun-in-splendour mark to indicate 22 carat gold, height 91.8mm, max. width 62mm, reverse of the cameo lightly scratchmarked with numbers and date(?) by a workmaster, with light overall wear but generally in extremely fine condition and of superb quality workmanship

Catalogue Note

Given to Prince George of Cambridge on the day of his investiture as a Knight of the Garter, 15th August 1835, by his uncle King William IV.  See also the preceding and following lots.  

Writing in his diary on the day after the ceremony, Prince George recorded: ‘I am delighted to say that yesterday went off remarkably well, but I must say I think it is a very good thing over. The King has been kind enough to give me a most beautiful set of the Order.  Two stars, and two splendid Georges, beside what I have got from the Lord Chamberlain’s Office’.


The cameo of St George and the dragon is the work of the celebrated gem- and die-engraver Benedetto Pistrucci (1783-1855), who had arrived in England from Rome in 1815 and had succeeded Thomas Wyon as Chief Medallist at the Royal Mint. Pistrucci’s iconic St George and the dragon design for coinage, which first appeared on the new gold sovereigns struck in 1817, remains in regular use 200 years later.


The present Lesser George badge is evidently one of a pair, the other having being given by the King to Prince George of Cumberland (1819-78), who was created KG on the same day as his cousin and who was later to become King George V of Hanover. Following the King’s death in 1878, his Pistrucci Lesser George was acquired by the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) and is now in the Royal Collection.  See also front cover illustration.