Original French 2nd Empire Reserve / Gendarmerie Officers’ Liberté, Ordre Public Brass Gorget

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely example of a 19th Century French Second Empire Officer’s Gorget, as worn by the French “National Guard” and Gendarmerie. A gorget , from the French gorge meaning throat, was a band of linen wrapped around a woman's neck and head in the medieval period or the lower part of a simple chaperon hood. The term later described a steel or leather collar to protect the throat, a set of pieces of plate armor, or a single piece of plate armor hanging from the neck and covering the throat and chest. Later, particularly from the 18th century, the gorget became primarily ornamental, serving as a symbolic accessory on military uniforms, a use which has survived in some armies.

The gorget is constructed out of brass which has tarnished to a lovely patina, and features the Gallic Rooster with its wings spread standing overtop of crossed flags that bear the old French motto established by the First Consul, Napoleon Bonaparte, Liberté / Ordre Public which translates to “liberty, public order. In the Middle Ages, the Gallic Rooster was widely used as a religious symbol, the sign of hope and faith. It was during the Renaissance that the rooster began to be associated with the emerging French nation. With time, the French kings adopted the rooster as a symbol of courage and bravery.

The condition of the gorget is just shy of being excellent for its age. There is minor pitting present on the reverse as well as scratching. There are no dents or any defects in shape and appearance that we can see.

A lovely example ready for further research and display.

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