Order of the League of Mercy, with provenance. Mayer.
The original badge of the order, awarded from 1899, was a red enamelled silver or silver gilt cross surmounted by the plumes of the Prince of Wales and with a central roundel bearing the crest of the League. The reverse is plain, save for the inscription “League of Mercy 1898” on the central roundel. It was awarded for at least five years distinguished and unpaid personal service to the League in support of charity hospitals, or in the relief of suffering, poverty or distress. A bar for a second award was introduced in 1917. The Order ceased to be awarded after 1946, and the League itself closed in 1947.
This example is in excellent condition and is attributed to Max Mayer. and includes an original letter dated June 1924 allowing Mrs Mayer to retain the order within the family, and a copy of the Gazette entry from December 1913 confirming Max Mayer as a member, also a copy of a Gazette entry from June 1908 confirming Mrs Mayer as a Lady Vice President of the order.
Max Mayer was a wealthy diamond merchant living in Kensington. There is much that can be read about him on the internet, an example is shown below.
Max Mayer, the dealer in precious stones, was, in 1911, a diamond and pearl merchant, still living in Kensington with Tilly (Mathilda Amelia) and their son Edward Rudolph. Their residence at 20, Bolton Gardens, had seventeen rooms and the family of three had six servants. He was by now extremely eminent, buying and selling some of the rarest stones including the Agra Diamond which he purchased for £5, 100 which would be nearly £2,ooo,ooo today! In 1913 a necklace valued at half a million pounds (goodness knows how much it would be worth today) was stolen from Max who offered a substantial reward. The necklace was supposedly of the same value as the London Opera House!
For all his wealth, Max the diamond merchant who had started his career as a commercial clerk in Hatton Garden, lodging with a Mr Herman Oppenheimer, was not able to buy long life. Sadly he died in 1921 at the age of 62.