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National Order of the Southern Cross, Knight (Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul, Cavaleiro), miniature
[BR122]
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National Order of the Southern Cross, Knight (Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul, Cavaleiro), miniature
Click to enlarge

Five-pointed white enamel Maltese cross with ball finials, a laurel wreath between the arms, on a laurel wreath suspension; the face with a gilt central medallion bearing a female head representing the Brazilian nation within a deep blue enamel circle bearing the gilt inscription ‘REPUBLICA DOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DO BRASIL' (Republic of the United States of Brazil); the reverse with a central pale blue medallion with the constellation of the Southern Cross in gold and white enamel surrounded by a deep blue enamel circle bearing the gold inscription ‘BENEMERENTIUM PRÆMIUM’ (Latin = reward for merit); 18mm (½ inch) across; some enamel loss (see illustrations); on original ribbon. The Order of the Southern Cross was instituted by Emperor Don Pedro I as an imperial order on 1 December 1822. After Brazil became a republic, the order fell into abeyance for 41 years before being revived by Presidential decree on 5 December 1932. It is awarded only to foreign nationals and is intended as a token of gratitude and recognition for those who have rendered significant service to Brazilian nation. The Southern Cross is the smallest of all the constellations but also one of the most distinctive and, being cruciform, became the national symbol of a number of countries in the southern hemisphere discovered by devoutly Christian explorers and navigators. Rare miniature of the order.

 
National Order of the Southern Cross, Knight (Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul, Cavaleiro), miniature
Click to enlarge
National Order of the Southern Cross, Knight (Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul, Cavaleiro), miniature
Click to enlarge
National Order of the Southern Cross, Knight (Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul, Cavaleiro), miniature
Click to enlarge
National Order of the Southern Cross, Knight (Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul, Cavaleiro), miniature
Click to enlarge
National Order of the Southern Cross, Knight (Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul, Cavaleiro), miniature
Click to enlarge
 
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