Austria, Order of the Golden Fleece
A full size neck badge in gold and enamels, early 19th Century, unsigned and unmarked but in original fitted case bearing the label of Johan Hollauer, ‘Ordens Galanterie=Arbeiter’ am 1149 Kohlmarkt, Vienna (fl. 1790-1824); subsequently adapted to include an unofficial uniface decorative suspension replacing the original fire-steel with ‘Jason scene’ element (which is nevertheless present and is offered with the lot, see below), also with the ‘coulant’ element (as originally supplied loose on the ribbon) altered by the addition of a mount to the reverse to form a riband carrier and with a hinged attachment to the badge, height 127mm, width at flames 65.7mm; together with the original double-sided fire-steel and ‘Jason scene’ section as supplied with the badge, in gold and enamels and of superb quality, with legend PRETIVM LABORVM NON VILE on the obverse and NON ALIVD on reverse, with finely-detailed cartouches depicting Jason and the Dragon and Gideon and the Midianites, height 55.8mm, width 37.2mm, in good extremely fine condition, with neck riband for wearing, in fitted case of issue.
Probably Louis-Antoine de Bourbon, Duc d’Angoulême and Comte de Marnes (1775-1844), the eldest son of the future Charles X, who was invested as a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1814. At a later date the Duke must have given instructions for his badge to be altered although the original fire-stone and ‘Jason’ element, which is a perfect fit in the Hollauer case, could easily be reinstated.
The base of the case bears a second Hollauer label, of slightly different style and in worn condition, as well as a later inventory label numbered ‘20’ and ‘Tolone D’oro No. 6’ handwritten in ink.