Badge of the Society of the Cincinnati
Silk, gold, enamel
Overall (ribbon and badge): 5 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (13.3 x 3.8 cm)
Inscription: in ink, around oval medallion (obverse): "ViRT . PRAeM . Soc . CiNC . iNST . ANN . 1783" Inscription: in ink, around oval medallion (reverse): "OMNiA ReL . iNq . SeRV . ReM=P" Label: printed on jeweler's label (c), torn at left: "...MARC D'
Badge (a) consisting of silk ribbon (b) of pale blue with white edges, attached by gold loop to badge in the form of an eagle with outstretched wings and a wreath around his head; obverse has eagle head facing left, and oval plaque at center of eagle with enameled image of Cincinnatus receiving a sword; reverse has eagle head facing left, with center medallion high relief image of Cincinnatus with plow at right, sunburst and unclear object at left; wreath and laurels decorated with green enamel; plaques with Latin inscriptions around perimeter of oval. With fragment of original jeweler's label (c) and small gilt metal eagle(d).
This badge belonged to Major David Lenox (1753-1828) of Philadelphia, who was elected as an honorary member of the Society of the Cincinnati in 1789. The original medal, which was distributed to Revolutionary War officers, was designed by Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant. This example is one of four known examples of the first French eagle, made in Paris in January, 1784. It was probably made by Jean-Épiphanie Diodet, a Paris jeweler whose label is still with the badge.
Gift of Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Jr.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.