PORTUGAL. Order of St James Grand Cross Collar and breast star, circa 1925-1935
Breast badge: silver, gold and enamels
Collar : silver plated gold
Breast badge : 72 mm
Collar : Central medallion : 100 x 50 mm excluding
suspension ring. Size of the chain: about 700 mm
Box : 290 x 220 x 35 mmThe (Royal) Military Order of Saint James of the Sword (Portuguese: (Real) Ordem Militar de Sant'Iago da Espada) is a Portuguese Order of Chivalry.
The Order of Saint James began in Castile-León in circa 1171, as an Order of knights for the protection of pilgrims to Compostela in Galicia. The Portuguese branch of the Order was separated from the Castilian-Leonese branch in 1290, a situation affirmed by Pope John XXII in 1320.
Pope Pius VI (1789) and the Queen Mary I reformed the order into a secular institution. In 1834 when the civil government of Portugal became anti-Catholic, after the defeat of King Miguel in the Civil War, under the constitutional monarchy the order lost its properties. The ancient Military Orders were transformed by the liberal constitution and subsequent legislation into mere Orders of Merit. The privileges which once had been an essential part of the membership of the old military orders were also ceased.
In 1910, when Portuguese monarchy ended, the Republic of Portugal abolished all the Orders except the Order of the Tower and Sword. However, in 1917, at the end of the World War I, some of these Orders were re-established as mere Orders of Merit to reward outstanding services to the state, the office of Grand Master belonging to the Head of State - the President of the Republic. The Military Order of St. James, together with the other Portuguese Orders of Merit, had its Statutes revised in several occasions, during the First Republic (1910–1926), then in 1962, and again in 1986.
The Military Order of Saint James, together with the Military Orders of Christ and of Aviz form the group of the "Ancient Military Orders", governed by a Chancellor and a Council of eight members, appointed by the President of the Republic, to assist him as Grand Master in all matters concerning the administration of the Order. The Order, despite its name, can be conferred to Portuguese and foreigners for outstanding services to science, literature or art. The highest grade of the Order, that of Grand Collar, is a special award, conferred only to foreign Heads of State.
The Order of St. James of the Sword, as awarded by the Portuguese government today, comes in six classes:
* Grand Collar (GColSE), which wears the badge of the Order on a special collar (chain), and the star of the Order in gold on the left chest;
* Grand Cross (GCSE), which wears the badge of the Order on a collar (chain), or on a sash on the right shoulder, and the star of the Order in gold on the left chest;
* Grand Officer (GOSE), which wears the badge of the Order on a necklet, and the star of the Order in gold on the left chest;
* Commander (ComSE), which wears the star of the Order in silver on the left chest;
* Officer (OSE), which wears the badge of the Order on a ribbon with rosette on the left chest;
* Knight (CavSE) or Dame (DamSE), which wears the badge of the Order on a plain ribbon on the left chest.
* The badge of the Order is a gilt cross with red enamel, similar to the Order's emblem illustrated here, but with a longer lower arm, and is surrounded by a wreath of green-enamelled palm leaves; a white-enamelled scroll, bearing the legend "Ciência Letras e Artes" (Science Literature and Art), is located at the bottom of the badge. (The Grand Collar badge has no scroll, and a laurel wreath instead of palms.) During the monarchy the badge was topped by the Sacred Heart of Christ.
* The star of the Order has 22 asymmetrical arms of rays, in gilt for Grand Collar, Grand Cross and Grand Officer, and in silver for Commander. The central disc is in white enamel, with a miniature of the modern badge in it. During the monarchy the Sacred Heart of Christ was placed at the top of the star.
* The ribbon of the Order is plain lilac.
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