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Jacaranda

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  1. Yes - I can't make out the year or assay mark, but it looks like an English sterling silver hallmark; the maker's mark is S&S which I presume is Spink & Son.
  2. Here's the Botha doc I mentioned a while ago for you to see - it's actually an autographed menu from one of the dinners that De La Rey, Botha and de Wet attended in Germany during their tour in about 1903-4 to raise funds for widows and orphans!
  3. Schutztruppe Iron Crosses....

    I don't have your expertise and experience at reading Suetterlin, but this is a pencil note on a typewritten 1921 extract certificate of war service for a captain in DSWA, signed in a slightly clearer hand apparently by the same man who signed Chris B's document. It looks to my untrained eye like KEIL, but it could equally well be KEIE.
  4. The fashions are earlier than WWI; it's summer (no overcoats, and some men are wearing boaters) and there are Union Jacks on display: I think Kev is spot on, and I think this is Anglo-Boer War era. I can't read all of the writing on the bag, but I believe the last three letters are IEF. My vote is one of the hundreds of town or village parades held somewhere in the UK (maybe as dsgrant suggests, Gloucs?) to celebrate the Relief of Mafeking in May 1900.
  5. It looks very tricky to do safely. My advice would be to concentrate on ensuring that the tarnish does not progress - a light covering of Renaissance wax may help to halt any further darkening of the brass. Probably a good idea to test it with a cotton bud on an inconspicuous corner of the stencils first, to make sure that it doesn't lift, lighten or remove the stencil markings. You could try speaking to one of the conservators at the National Army Museum, who may have some tips for cleaning or preservation.
  6. A little bit later but still interesting, this souvenir used to hang in the Post Office at L?deritzbucht in German South West Africa. It's small - only 12" x 10", with the imperial eagle printed on a piece of tin tacked to a varnished pine board. The reverse has a very faded ink inscription: Taken from Post Office L?deritzbucht G.S.W.A. Oct. 1915 Major F. A. Jones D.S.O., Brigade Major - 1st S. A. Infantry Brigade Jones was killed the following year at Delville Wood while commanding the 4th South African Infantry Regiment. [attachmentid=63656]
  7. That's really interesting to see, James: thank you very much; I had no idea that there was a second series that can be identified so easily. (I've just glanced again at your user ID and twigged who you are! Of course you know Peter G: my apologies for being so dense: I'm not terribly quick on the uptake, I'm afraid!) It certainly looks as though the restrikes may not have been struck on mirror-finish blanks, as I am certain was the case with the original run. I could easily be getting confused with some of the other commemorative medallions issued by companies like Livingstone Mint and Matthews Manufacturing, but I'm almost certain that the original issue medallions also had a Rhodesian sterling silver hallmark on the rim, with a sable antelope's head device. I'm not surprised that these were restruck: I know that about 4 years ago the original dies for many of the Rhodesian army cap badges surfaced in Bulawayo, being offered for sale at a ludicrously high price. And a coin dealer in Bedfordshire in the UK has been touting round restruck Rhodesian crosses - Bronze and Silver Cross, Grand Cross of Valour and Police and Prison Gallantry Crosses - sans ribbon, for the last couple of years. On a related note, it's interesting to see that on eBay a seller is offering original unissued Rhodesian army buttons, slouch hats, hackles and belts. In 2004 someone showed me photographs of a collection of stock that had clearly been an Rhodesian army surplus purchase or similar: literally hundreds of rolls of belt material from different regiments; thousands of cards of buttons and thousands of bags of loose badges, and cards of badges. If this is the same collection being dispersed, then it could go on for the next 20 years and still not even scratch the surface!
  8. Very nice - are the beret badge and collar dogs silver or aluminium? It's very interesting to see the colour variations - the bronze wings were coated with a sort of chocolate-brown antiquing effect, but a lot of the issued wings were cleaned by their wearers and have consequently lost their brown patination. I'm sure that you already know Peter Garratt's web site at www.rhodesianmilitaria.com, but I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone who hasn't yet visited. He has a pictorial database on the site that covers dozens of variations of the different Rhodesian fakes knocking around, and has always been unstintingly generous in his time and expertise when I've asked his advice about items. It's startling - and depressing - to see how widespread the faking of Rhodesian militaria is! On an earlier note in this thread, the Selous Scouts ingot may well have been given to some members of the regiment, but it was most definitely advertised in newspapers and magazines and sold to the general public by Matthews Manufacturing of Bulawayo, who struck it.
  9. It might be worth Gary double-checking the spelling, particularly if it's from a handwritten reference - could it be Lefebvre, which is a common surname in the Channel Islands? The Nat. Archives WW1 Medal Rolls have a card for G. P. Lefebvre, Temp Lt in the Nothumberland Fusiliers.
  10. Welch Wigs

    You'll find it easier to search looking for the more common spelling of "Welsh wig" - one page explains that "By the eighteenth century, the woollen cap worn by the ordinary sailors in the British Navy had changed to the Welsh Wig which was described as a round knitted cap which may have originally been the "Monmouth cap". It was often knitted of thruns, where the multiple broken ends were left outside the cap and may have helped to make the cap warmer and at the same time given it a hairy appearance, probably giving rise to the nick-name "Welsh wig". Another site describes it as "a relatively unfelted hat with bits of unspun fleece knitted into the cap."
  11. Oh yes - this was from the personal collection of a very respected militaria dealer in Johannesburg, now deceased, who was previously a senior officer in the BSAP. Here's the ribbon bar and Hickman's other insignia: you'll see why I was puzzled by the lack of Jubilee/Coronation ribbons on the ribbon bar. [attachmentid=54883]
  12. Here's an unusual group of miniatures - to Col. A. S. Hickman, Commissioner of the British South Africa Police (the national police force of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, in southern Africa) in 1954-55. [attachmentid=54868] M.B.E. Commander of the Order of St John King's Police Medal (Distinguished Service) 1939-45 Medal Colonial Police Medal (Meritorious Service) 1935 Jubilee 1937 Coronation Hickman's ribbon bar, which I also have, shows that he also had the 1953 Coronation medal. Looking more closely at the miniatures, I see that whoever made them up put a mini Colonial Police LSGC on the group instead of the correct Colonial Police Meritorious Service miniature - an easy mistake to make, as the reverses are almost identical except for the wording round the edge.
  13. Rhodesia Legion of Merit Grand Commander breast star

    Hi Matthis, here's a pic of the reverse; two very stiff pins soldered on at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock with silver solder (one has come off). No makers' marks visible. [attachmentid=53987] There are maybe only two or three companies that could have made it in Zimbabwe - I immediately think of Matthews, who made a lot of medallions and some of the earlier cap badges, and Reuteler, who did a lot of manufacturing for the government: cap badges, handcuffs etc. - so it might well have been put together overseas. The Rhodesian version is obsolete, and hasn't been awarded since a handful of Military Division awards were made in June 1980, two months after majority rule. The Rhodesian Legion of Merit was replaced by an almost identical award in October 1981 (Zimbabwe Order of Merit; also five grades).
  14. Rhodesia Legion of Merit Grand Commander breast star

    It is pretty, isn't it? This was awarded for "outstanding service to Rhodesia". In practice it was awarded only to Prime Minister Ian Smith and his close ally and first President of Rhodesia, Clifford Dupont. There was theoretically a Military Division, but no Military awards were ever made. The next grade down, Grand Officer of the Legion of Merit, was also awarded for "outstanding service to Rhodesia". It had a breast star almost identical in design, but without the emeralds. It was awarded to just 29 recipients - almost all of whom were politicians in Smith's Rhodesian Front party. Just one Military award at this grade, to Lt.-Gen. Peter Walls, who commanded the Rhodesian security forces.
  15. Rhodesia Legion of Merit Grand Commander breast star

    The book's a nominal roll of Rhodesian awards from their inception up to 1981, when they were replaced by the award system of the Republic of Zimbabwe. I was partly correct about Iran, I think: the only other relatively recent decorations I've found with emeralds, apart from this one and the Persian one, are a modern Ethiopian dynastic order and the Mahendra Mala Manapadvi from Nepal.
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