The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George Knight’s Grand Cross, G.C.M.G. wire bullion Breast Star with a very well finished hand painted central panel, circa 1840’s, and of continental size measuring 65 mm in diameter, this having originally come from the possession of an Indian ruling family. An excellent example of this early form of bullion badge, and very rare.
Condition: the central panel with a hole indicative of an insect having burrowed into it, otherwise the wire bullion is in fair condition with evidence of having been worn, overall Very Fine.
The Order of St Michael and St George was originally awarded to those holding commands or high position in the Mediterranean territories acquired in the Napoleonic Wars, and was subsequently extended to holders of similar office or position in other territories of the British Empire. It is at present awarded to men and women who hold high office or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country, and can also be conferred for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs.
It is used to honour individuals who have rendered important services in relation to Commonwealth or foreign nations. People are appointed to the Order rather than awarded it. British Ambassadors to foreign nations are regularly appointed as KCMGs or CMGs. For example, the former British Ambassador to the United States, Sir David Manning, was appointed a CMG when he worked for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and then after his appointment as British Ambassador to the US, he was promoted to a Knight Commander (KCMG). It is the traditional award for members of the FCO.
The Order's motto is Auspicium melioris ævi (Latin for Token of a better age ). Its patron saints, as the name suggests, are St. Michael the Archangel, and St. George, patron saint of England. One of its primary symbols is that of St Michael trampling over and subduing Satan in battle