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National Order of Merit, commander (Orden Nacional del Mérito, encomienda)
[PY103]
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National Order of Merit, commander (Orden Nacional del Mérito, encomienda)
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Large gilt metal and white enamel five-pointed star with ball-tipped finials, with gilt ribbed arms between the points supporting a green enamel stylised laurel wreath, on laurel wreath suspension and replaced wire loop for neck ribbon; the face with a circular central gilt medallion with a full-face head of a lion within a blue enamel ring inscribed in gilt letters ‘HONOR ET GLORIA’; the reverse with a circular central gilt medallion bearing the date ‘1939’ within a blue enamel ring inscribed in gilt letters ‘PRAEMIUM MERITI’; 96mm (3¾ inches) high including suspension; on a replaced correct full neck ribbon lacking ties. The National Order of Merit was established by Marshal Francisco Solano López (born 24 July 1827, died 1 March 1870) who succeed his father as president of Paraguay in 1862 and held the office until his death in combat in 1870. He is remembered above all for bringing upon Paraguay the catastrophic war against the Triple Alliance of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay but his reputation has recovered in recent years, driven by nationalist sentiment. Originally the Order was for military only but it was revised in 1939 and is now Paraguay’s highest order for military and civil merit. An excellent example of a hard-to-find order.

 
National Order of Merit, commander (Orden Nacional del Mérito, encomienda)
Click to enlarge
National Order of Merit, commander (Orden Nacional del Mérito, encomienda)
Click to enlarge
National Order of Merit, commander (Orden Nacional del Mérito, encomienda)
Click to enlarge
National Order of Merit, commander (Orden Nacional del Mérito, encomienda)
Click to enlarge
National Order of Merit, commander (Orden Nacional del Mérito, encomienda)
Click to enlarge
National Order of Merit, commander (Orden Nacional del Mérito, encomienda)
Click to enlarge
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