Catherine II | Document signed, granting the Order of Saint George during the war against the Ottomans, 1792
2,000 - 3,000 GBP
Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia
Document signed ("Ekaterina"), granting the Order of Saint George to Major Mal'ye, 26 November 1792,
in Russian, promoting him to the rank of Major ("Нашему Секунд Майору к Кавалеру Малье") and Knight of the prestigious Military Order of St. George, Fourth Class ("Вертаго Класса"), in recognition of his outstanding and courageous exploits against the Turks at Izmail in Bessarabia in 1790 and at Brailov on the Danube in 1791, and permitting him to display the decoration in the accustomed manner.
"… at the storming of the fortress Izmail … you, in command of your force, broke the enemy relief force in front of the stone bastion, and put them to flight; and then on 30 March 1791 … you went up the Danube with six artillery boats, past the fortifications on the island opposite Brailov, under bombardment by case shot, and so encountered the enemy relief force in a cruel battle and drove them away, & sank a transport ship and two half-galleys, and then crossed and took part in the capture of the fortress …[translation]"
1 page, folio, early Russian identification of the recipient in ink at the foot of the page ("Graf Alexandr Suvarov-Ramniksky"), later collector's annotation to verso ("Brief der Kaiserin Katharina von Rußland, d.d. Petersburg 26.XI.1792, an Graf Alexander Souvaroff"), St Petersburg, 26 November 1792
The citation makes clear the gallantry of Major Mal'ye at the Siege of Izmail in December 1790, a key victory in the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792, and his subsequent exploits at Brailov on the Danube the following spring. The early ownership inscriptions state incorrectly that the recipient was the more famous Alexander Suvarov, who led the forces at Izmail and was awarded the Order of St George, First Class. However, Suvarov is not named here and, in our opinion, the citation celebrates Mal'ye's exploits at a rank deserving the Order of St George, Fourth Class.
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