Silk, silver (?), enamel
badge (and ribbon): 4 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (10.8 x 3.8 cm)
Badge of the society of Cincinnati consisting of silk ribbon of pale blue with white edges, attached by 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 right and enameled plaque at center with scene of city and Cincinnatus in foreground; eagle, plaque and portion of wreath decorated with enamels; plaques with Latin inscriptions around perimeter of oval. Metal is heavily corroded but is probably silver.
Gift of Mrs. Augustus Van Horne Ellis
written: on reverse of enamel plaque: "VIRT. PRAEM. SOCI.CIN.RUM. INST.A.D. 1783" written: on obverse of enamel plaque: "OMNIA. RELINQT. SERVAT. REMPB."
The Society of the Cincinnati was formed in 1783 by Major-General Henry Knox and other Revolutionary War officers, including General George Washington, to maintain and perpetuate the personal associations established during the war. The original medal was designed by Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant and the die cut in Paris in 1784. This badge belonged to Dr. Samuel Corp Ellis (1803-1874), who joined the Society of the Cincinnati in 1859 in the right of his grandfather, William Willcocks of New York.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.