Group of five miniatures comprising FRANCE: War Cross (Croix de Guerre) 1914-1918, Military Medal (Médaille Militaire), 3rd Republic, 1870 to 1951 issue and Cross of the Voluntary Military Services, 1st type, I class (Croix des Services Militaires Volontaires, 1er type, Ière classe), GREECE: Royal Order of George I, Knight’s Gold Cross and AUSTRIA, EMPIRE: Imperial Order of Franz Joseph, knight (Kaiserlich Franz Joseph-Orden, Ritterkreuz), uniface, chain-mounted for wear.
***FRANCE War Cross (Croix de Guerre) 1914-1918. Bronze cross pattée with stippled arms, with crossed swords between the arms, on scroll and laterally-pierced ball suspension; the face with a circular central medallion bearing a female head facing right representing the French Republic within a ring inscribed ‘REPUB FRANC’; the reverse with a circular central medallion with the dates ‘1914’ and ‘1918’; diameter 12.41mm (0.49 inch). The award was created on 8 April 1915 and attributed to military personnel who received an individual citation for feats of arms. Versions exists dated 1914-1915, 1914-1916, 1914-1917 and 1914-1918, the latter being more commonly found than the others, awarded up to 1920 to ensure that military dead, wounded and missing in action were properly recognised. ***FRANCE Military Medal (Médaille Militaire), 3rd Republic, 1870 to 1951 issue. Circular silver, silver-gilt and blue enamel medal with military trophy of arms suspension, with ‘poinçon de crabe’ silver hallmark to the reverse; the face with a circular central medallion bearing a laurel-crowned female head facing left representing the French Republic, within a blue enamel ring inscribed ‘REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE * 1870’ encircled by a laurel wreath; the reverse with a circular central medallion inscribed ‘VALEUR ET DISCIPLINE’ within a blue enamel ring encircled by a laurel wreath; height 25.15mm (0.99 inch), width 13.02mm (0.51 inch). The Military Medal ranks second amongst all French decorations, giving precedence only to the Legion of Honour (and an exception made for the Order of the Liberation). It was created by Louis Napoleon on 22 January 1852 and was novel in being specifically intended for non-commissioned officers and soldiers. It may be awarded for completion of eight years of military service, on receipt of a citation, for being wounded in combat and for acts of courage and devotion to duty. There have been successively nine main types and some specialists point to more than 30 variants as a result of differences in manufacture. This example is from the period of the Third Republic, 1870 to 1951. ***FRANCE Cross of the Voluntary Military Services, 1st type, I class (Croix des Services Militaires Volontaires, 1er type, Ière classe). Gilt bronze Maltese cross with laurel wreath between the arms on laterally-pierced ball suspension; the face with a central octagonal medallion bearing the helmeted head of a soldier facing left and inscribed ‘REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE’; the reverse with a central octagonal medallion inscribed ‘SERVICES MILITAIRES VOLONTAIRES’; diameter 13.55mm (0.53 inch). The award was created on 13 May 1934 and intended to recompense those who were not full-time military but who served in the voluntary reserves of the armed forces and were liable to call-up in times of war. The award was discontinued in 1957, being superseded by the Mérite Militaire but was reinstated in 1975. This example is an early one of the first type. *** GREECE: Royal Order of George I, Knight’s Gold Cross. Gilt-edged white enamel cross pattée concave with laurel wreath between the arms, on crown suspension; the face with a circular central red enamel medallion bearing the crowned cipher of King George I within a white enamel ring bearing the inscription in gilt letters ‘ΙΣΧΥΣ ΜΟΥ ΗΑΓΑΠΗ ΤΟΥ ΛΑΟΥ’ (The People’s Love is my Strength); the reverse bearing the dates '1863-1915-1913'; height 23.9mm (0.94 inch), width 12.51mm (0.49 inch). The Order was created by King Constantine I in honour of the memory of his father on 16 January 1915 to be awarded to those who made a notable contribution to the cause of the Greek nation. The dates are those of the reign of King George I and the establishment of the Order. The Order was awarded from 1915 until 1924 when it was suppressed by the Second Republic. It was reinstituted when the monarchy was restored in 1935 and abolished in 1973. ***AUSTRIA, EMPIRE: Imperial Order of Franz Joseph, knight (Kaiserlich Franz Joseph-Orden, Ritterkreuz), uniface. Gilt bronze and red enamel cross pattée concave imposed on a gilt and black enamel double-headed crowned eagle with wings outstretched, on imperial red-enamel-lined crown suspension; the face with a circular central white enamel medallion bearing the gilt bronze initials ‘FJ’ (for Emperor Franz Joseph I); the reverse plain; height including suspension loop 26.91mm (1.06 inch), width 13.74mm (0.54 inch). The Order was instituted on 2 December 1849, the first anniversary of Emperor Franz Joseph’s ascension of the throne of Austria, and was awarded for outstanding civil or military merit, particularly in the field of diplomacy, and military awards were usually for distinguished service rather than bravery on the field of battle. The Order was abolished in 1918. ***The five miniatures are chain-mounted for wear with a ring enclosing an eight-pointed beaded star at one end and a pin with a shell finial at the other end.