Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club

Rusty Greaves

Silver Membership
  • Content count

    377
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Rusty Greaves

  1. And here are two other guides to ribbon bars fro the Orden del Libertador. Both do show the color scheme order of red on the right, blue in the middle & yellow on the left as seen on the bars worn by the military personnel shown in my previous post. However, the devices on the ribbons and rosettes are not shown in a way consistent with the other 2 guides that Uwe & I have been consulting. Ribbon bars for the Venezuelan Orden del Libertador from the website ColeccionesMilitares.com by Antonio Prieto Barrio. (http://www.coleccionesmilitares.com/cintas/america/venezuela2.gif) Ribbon bars for the Orden del Libertador from a listing by Eric Bush link on ODM (http://www.medals.org.uk/venezuela/venezuela-links.htm) (http://www.frontiernet.net/~ericbush/FOREIGN/SA/Venezuela.html ) ©Eric Bush
  2. Rusty Greaves

    Miniatures of the Middle East & Arab World

    Here are a couple additional images of miniatures for the Order of the Nile that are slightly different from the example illustrated above on 24 January. Image from eMedals of the obverse of a pair of miniature, including the Order of the Nile, next to a British OBE award. The Order of the Nile mini measures 21 x 31 mm and is silver gilt. Although not identified to class, the rosette indicates it is the Officer, 4th Class miniature. No manufacturer is identified for this piece. (eMedals: https://www.emedals.com/europe/great-britain/orders-decorations/order-of-the-british-empire/a-british-egyptian-miniature-pair-gb2692) Image of the reverse of the same pair of miniatures, Order of the Nile on the left. (eMedals: https://www.emedals.com/europe/great-britain/orders-decorations/order-of-the-british-empire/a-british-egyptian-miniature-pair-gb2692) Oblique image from eMedals of the obverse of the same pair of miniatures, showing additional details of the Order of the Nile miniature. (eMedals: https://www.emedals.com/europe/great-britain/orders-decorations/order-of-the-british-empire/a-british-egyptian-miniature-pair-gb2692) Image from Medal-Medaille of a set of the Order of the Nile, Officer, 4th Class full-size and miniature. Silver with white & blue enamel. Both the full-size and miniature are signed by the manufacturer "LATTES". The case label reads: "J.LATTES, FOURNISSEUR DE S.M. Le ROI D’EGYPTE & DE L’ÉTAT, LE CAIRE’" according to the description for this auction listing. Measurements are not given for either medal. The Medal-Medaille description includes the following translation of the inscription on the central boss of the full-sized award as: "What benefits Egypt owes to the Nile, her source of prosperity and happiness". This example possibly dates to the 1930s or early 1940s. The Medal-Medaille description states that: "Early examples of the order are made by 'A.Lattes'; and late royal examples by 'Maison Lattes, J. Weinber & Co.' with an Arabic inscription to the interior of the case. The presence of the words ‘& DE L’ÉTAT’ suggest this example is towards the end of the ‘J. Lattes’ period." (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=498_39&products_id=35) Image of the same Officer Class Order of the NIle within the presentation case. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=498_39&products_id=35) Obverse (left) view of the miniature Order of the Nile and reverse views (right) of both the full-size and miniature of this set. Note that the inscription in the central boss of the miniature is different from that shown on the example above and from that illustrated on 24 January from Medal-Medaille. The frame surrounding the central medallion also has a different configuration of the "ball" border motif from that the others as well. The other two miniatures are measured at 21.44 mm in diameter (Medal-Medaille example shown on 24 January) and 21 x 31 mm for the eMedals mini shown above here. Given that the 4th class award should be ~52-53 mm in diameter and measure ~74.5 mm vertically including the crown suspension, this miniature appears to be approximately the same diameter as the other two minis. The difference in the inscription is therefore unlikely to be due simply any difference in the size of the area of the central boss. However, it clearly is a different calligraphy than used on the other two minis (it is closer on this piece to that of the full-size examples) and has no inscription around the margin of this central medallion boss. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=498_39&products_id=35)
  3. Rusty Greaves

    Miniatures of the Middle East & Arab World

    Owain, You illustrated and discussed the gold (obverse) & silver (reverse) versions of the Order of Muhammad Ali medals on 24 January, 2016 in the thread "Kingdom of Egypt (1922-1953)" started by Egyptian Zogist on 30 October, 2015 in this section Middle East & Arab States. Are these considered the miniatures of the Order of Muhammad Ali awards? Do these 2 medals represent the 2 lowest classes of the award? I have seen these medals identified as "miniatures", but I am uncertain whether that is correct or if there may be other miniatures that use the more elaborate medal designs of the Grand Cordon or Commander classes for this Order? Most of the images of these medals that I can find on the internet are relatively low resolution, the following two are better quality, showing only the obverse. Rusty Image from eBay of a Player's Cigarettes' card image of the obverse of the gold version of the medal for the Order of Muhammed Ali, showing good detail of this medal. From a series of 90 cards depicting military medals and orders from the world. This set of cards was printed in 1927, issued by John Player & Sons Branch of the Imperial Tobacco co. of Great Britain and Ireland, Ltd. (https://www.ebay.ie/itm/82-The-Medal-of-the-Order-of-Mohammed-Ali-Egyp-War-Decorations-Medals-Card-/401310801054?hash=item5d6ffcdc9e) Photographic image from the World Awards.com website showing fair detail of the obverse of a silver versions of the Order of Muhammed Ali medal. (from: https://wawards.org/en/egypt/kingdom-of-egypt/order-of-muhammad-ali.html)
  4. Rusty Greaves

    Venezuela - Cross of the Army

    Following the 3rd & 4th images in my post of 29 January, 2018, here are a few illustrations of another non-regulation variant form of the Cruz del Ejecito that probably represents early trial designs that were never authorized as official awards. This example comes from the Medal-Medaille website and has green enamel on the obverse arms of the cross (Condecoraciones de Venezuela calls this a Maltese cross; Medal-Medaille calls this a cross pattée; the Borna Barac guide calls a cross with 3 "facets" cross patonce), and a non-standard green & white ribbon. The reverse also has the same unusual inscription that appears on at least one other of the trial examples illustrated on 29 January. The Condecoraciones de Venezuela website mentions these variants; see the last paragraph of my translation above from 29, November, 2017. The Medal-Medaille website identifies this as a 3rd class of this award, but in all likelihood it is simply a design variant made either prior to June, 1952 when the decree for this award was issued or just after that date, depending on when its design was standardized for issue as the highest honor of the Venezuelan army. Variant form of the Cruz del Ejercito that shows green enamel instead of red and a non-standard color scheme for the ribbon. This design form was never approved for issue as an award. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?products_id=301) Close-up obverse view of the variant form of the Cruz del Ejercito shown above with the green enamel. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?products_id=301) Reverse view of the same variant Cruz del Ejercito. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?products_id=301) Close-up reverse view of the same variant form of the Cruz del Ejercito shown above showing the unusual inscription "FUERZAS TERRSTRES DE VENEZUELA" (as seen only on the variant form noted above on 29 January) that contrasts with the reverse inscriptions of the official versions of this medal that include the two variant forms: "CRUZ DEL EJERCITO. VENZOLANO." and "FUERZAS TERRESTRES VENEZOLANAS" as shown above in this thread. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?products_id=301) Close-up reverse view of the same variant form of the same Cruz del Ejercito medal showing the manufacturer's mark on the lower arm for N.S. MEYER INC. NEW YORK. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?products_id=301)
  5. Here is a higher resolution image of a couple of these bars shown above for Padrino Lopez, here worn by Carlos Augusto Leal Telleria, Mayor General, Comandante General de la Milicia Bolivariana http://www.milicia.mil.ve/milicia/images/linea_de_mando/2017/mgleal17.png
  6. Uwe, Thank you for addressing my question, illustrating your point, and helping to educate me on more standard practices regarding ribbons & bars. I also am happy to see your high resolution illustration of the 3rd class mini. Given the existence of so much variation prior to the 1922 decree, as well as the 2006 & 2010 changes, the historic examples will certainly show a lot of non-standard differences. The only other Venezuelan medal I have investigated, the Cruz del Ejercito discussed in another thread here in the "Rest of the World: Militia & History" forum section, has some institutionalized variance in how it is worn from international practice. As I translated from the Condecoraciones de Venezuela website description for that awards: (the Cruz del Ejercito or Cruz de Fuerzas Terrestres Venezolanas) - 1st Class: insignia worn on a neck collar, 2nd Class: insignia worn on the chest, and 3rd Class: insignia worn pinned to a ribbon. It is evident that the appearance of these four [sic-3?-RG) break with the classical scheme of presentation of insignia, not only internationally but also from the [Venezuelan-RG] Order of the Liberator [Simón Bolívar-RG] and the Order of Francisco Miranda, that consist [The Orden del Libertador and the Orden Francisco de Miranda-RG] of the 1st Class worn on a sash, 2nd Class worn on a neck collar, and 3rd Class insignia worn on the chest, which results in a divergence [from conventions-RG], especially for the 2nd Class, so that [the Cruz del Ejercito-RG] instead of having a badge or cross complementing the insignia, has [only-RG] the same insignia, resulting in a missing element that would give a harmonious presentation of the medal. As a further complication (I know, none of us want this), I have been looking at images of military recipients of the Orden del Libetador to try and see if the bar with rosette & band split between silver & gold appears for a 2nd class award. I can't find a good images of such, but a couple individuals who I know received this order do have multiple photos on the internet, a couple better resolution ones, and they do not appear to be backwards. However, in looking at what should be the bar for a 5th class award on images of Carmen Teresa Melendez Rivas (she is identified as having the Caballero class award, rather than any of the post-2010 differently named classes that are limited to just 3 classes) and Vladimir Padrino Lopez (who is usually listed as having received the 2nd class award of the Orden del Libertador) I'm finding some ambiguity. If the attached first image of Melendez Rivas shows the bar for her award (top row center?), the color scheme is backwards from both sets of references we have identified: red on the right, blue in the middle and yellow on the left. Some of the ribbons of the medals you & I have illustrated show this color order. On images of Padrino Lopez, the bar also seems to show a reversal of colors, and the emblem on the bar appears to be that for the 3rd class of this award. Do you think the bar on the far left in the second photo should be that for the Orden del Libertador? I am even more confused by the bars in the third photo showing Padrino Lopez's bars. The uppermost central bar, the second row center bar, and possibly the second row far left bar (is this the bar for his Orden del Libertador award?) all appear to have the color reversal. Are there Bolivarian versions of these color schemes that are different from the guides we have found? I apologize for muddying the war again Uwe, hopefully this is just my ignorance Rusty Is the bar worn in the middle of the upper row the 5th class (Caballero) Orden del Libertador awarded to Carmen Teresa Melendez Rivas? (http://www.minci.gob.ve/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/26.jpg) The bar on the far left worn by Vladimir Padrino Lopez (General en Jefe, Ministro del Poder Popular para la Defensa) appears to be the 3rd class of the Orden del Libertador, he is usually listed as having been awarded the 2nd Class of this order. (http://www.elpolitico.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/vladimir-padrino-lopez-ministro-para-la-defensa-con-la-mano-levantada.jpg) Is the bar on second row far left, partially under the Vladimir Padrino Lopez's lapel that for the Orden del Libertador? What is the top center bar and the second row center bar for? I cannot find a Venezuelan guide to bars that identifies this color scheme with the red on the right, blue in the middle, and yellow on the left. (http://www.minci.gob.ve/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/26.jpg)
  7. Uwe, many thanks for your clarification. I was trying to extend the information from the bars & ribbons section of Condecoraciones de Venezuela as that is the only literature I have about what the ribbon band distinctions might be, obviously overly enthusiastically! (http://condecoracionesdevenezuela.com/identificador-de-cintas/#). Do you have any written references on that you could share or is it from your knowledge & collections?
  8. Rusty Greaves

    Venezuela - Cross of the Army

    Images of the designs for the bars of each different class of the Cruz del Ejercito award can be seen on the Condecoraciones de Venezuela website's section on Ribbons & Bars ("Cintas") as the first 3 illustrations under "Componente Ejercito". http://condecoracionesdevenezuela.com/identificador-de-cintas/ Award ceremony presenting the 1st Class Cruz del Ejercito (the "Cruz de Las Fuerzas Terrestres Venezolanas") to Carmen Teresa Meléndez Rivas on January 10, 2014. Meléndez Rivas is a Navy Vice Admiral (first woman to hold this rank) and this award was given during her tenure as Minister of Defense. The presenting officer is Major General Alexis Ascensión López Ramirez, who resigned as head of Venezuela's National Defense Council on June 13, 2017 because of his disagreement with the creation of the controversial "Constituent Assembly" by Venezuela's president, Nicolás Maduro. (photo credit: Jesús Roa - http://www.noticias24.com/venezuela/noticia/216860/ejercito-bolivariano-otorgo-la-cruz-de-las-fuerzas-terrestres-a-la-ministra-carmen-melendez/) Major General Alexis Ascensión López Ramirez showing the ribbon bar for the 1st Class Cruz del Ejercito: third row down, center. In addition to renouncing his position as head of Venezuela's National Defense Council over the creation of the ANC ("Constituent Assembly"), López Ramirez also expressed support in June 2017 for the ex-Fiscal General de la República, Luisa Ortega Díaz, who fled the country and denounced corruption of the Maduro regime. Both of these acts by López Ramirez (as well as those of Ortega Díaz) are the most visible defections by high level members of the Venezuelan government against policies of the Venezuelan president and his party supporters. (Globovisión-http://elvenezolanonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/mayor-general-cambio-descripción-twitter.png)
  9. In wading though more of the information on Condecoraciones de Venezuela, I have only been able to confirm some of the recognized chaos in designs affecting both the full-sized and miniature medals for the Orden del Liberator, as is also quite apparent among the examples and information in this thread. That website identifies the different names of this award as: Medalla de Distinctión ("Medal of Distinction", from it's origin in 1854-1880); Condecoración del Busto del Liberator ("Award/Order of the Bust of the Liberator",1880-1922); Orden del Liberator ("Order of the Liberator", 1922-2010); Orden de las y los Libetadores ("Order of the [female] and [male] Liberators", 2010-present). Condecoraciones de Venezuela indicates that the full-sized awards of the Orden del Liberator show significant variation in size according to class (1st, 2nd, & 3rd = 50 x 54 mm; 4th & 5th = 35 x 28 mm) prior to 1922. This website also indicates that while all medals were supposed to be made of gold or silver gilt, prior to 2006 few examples fully complied with these requirements. I have encountered one additional manufacturer of the full-sized award. Fayolle Pouteau of Paris is identified as the manufacturer of a Grand Officer (2nd Class) set awarded to an Italian diplomat in 1932 that is illustrated from the same set of auction images as those below from Sixbid/La Galerie Numismatique in April 2017 (https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=3427&category=71803&lot=2844586). A set of images on eMedals for a current auction illustrates the manufacturer's mark of Foyolle Pouteau on the obverse of an example identified as a 3rd Class Commander's star, c1900 (https://www.emedals.com/venezuela-an-order-of-the-liberator-3rd-class-commander-star-by-fayolle-pouteur-c-1900). As contributors have noted in this thread, miniature versions of the Orden del Liberator have great diversity in their forms. For the miniatures, Condecoraciones de Venezuela notes that their use almost certainly goes back to ~1880, although the website cannot identify any specific period or date when the use of the miniature was established by any official protocol. The miniature is not officially recognized (and officially standardized) until 2006. Private manufacturers apparently made a wide variety of miniature forms until ~50 years ago when Myer and Russell Uniform produced standardized forms, although there were no formal regulations of the form through the extant decrees or regulations at that time. I am including additional examples of three miniatures. The first two images appear to show an older medal (see note under the second images suggesting they are the same medal). Condecoraciones de Venezuela's section on ribbons & bars (http://condecoracionesdevenezuela.com/identificador-de-cintas/#) illustrates the different class designations for the 1st-5th Classes (described below under the first illustration), possibly from the 2006 regulations. The rosette has been part of the full-sized award since 1880, but that website indicates they were not (at least partly) standardized until 1922. Reverse (L) and obverse (R) of an Orden del Libertador miniature from Sixbid.com (La Galerie Numismatique). Identified as a "1st Class Grand Cross miniature". Condecoraciones de Venezuela shows the ribbon for the 1st Class as having a horizontal gold band in addition to the rosette, the 2nd Class as having a silver band & rosette, the 3rd class with a miniature of the star with the Venezuelan coat of arms as shown in Uwe's example in the post of 21 January, 2017, the 4th class with only a rosette, and the 5th Class as solely the tricolored ribbon with no other device (from the post 2006 regulations?). The rosette shown in Uwe's 21 January, 2017 post looks just like that shown in the Condecoraciones de Venezuela website section on ribbons for the 2nd class award. The above illustrated example is 18 x 15 mm in diameter and silver gilt with enamel, the ribbon is stated to be original. From an Auction on 19-20 April, 2017, session 3, Lot 3060 (https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=3427&category=71803&lot=2844585) Obverse (L) and reverse (R) of an Orden del Libertador miniature from Sixbid.com (La Galerie Numismatique). Identified as a "3rd Class Commander's Cross miniature". However, as noted above, the gold band with the rosette suggests it may be a 1st Class miniature. The description states this medal measures 17 x 14 mm in diameter and made of "gilt bronze and painted". This listed medal is from the same auction as the previous example, Auction 19-20 April, 2017, session 3, Lot 3065. This lower resolution photograph appears to show the same medal as in the previous image (all casting flaws and wear appear identical between these 2 images, the fraying on the bottom of the rosette is identical), but the ribbon is folded differently. (https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=3427&category=71803&lot=2844590) Obverse of a full-sized and miniature medals of the Orden del Liberator from a current eBay auction. It is identified as a "Grand Cross set", but is more likely a 2nd or 3rd Class award because it represents a neck collar. No additional information is provided. The ribbon on the miniature is obviously a replacement incorrectly yellow rather than the correct yellow, blue & red ribbon. (https://www.ebay.ca/itm/VENEZUELA-ORDER-OF-THE-LIBERATOR-SIMON-BOLIVAR-GRAND-CROSS-MEDAL-SET-Vinatge/132145758712?hash=item1ec48041f8:g:rkgAAOSwGIRXbrsv) Reverse of the same full-sized and miniature medals of the Orden del Liberator from eBay identified as a "Grand Cross set". (https://www.ebay.ca/itm/VENEZUELA-ORDER-OF-THE-LIBERATOR-SIMON-BOLIVAR-GRAND-CROSS-MEDAL-SET-Vinatge/132145758712?hash=item1ec48041f8:g:rkgAAOSwGIRXbrsv) Close-up image of the obverse of the same miniature Orden del Liberator miniature from a current eBay auction. (https://www.ebay.ca/itm/VENEZUELA-ORDER-OF-THE-LIBERATOR-SIMON-BOLIVAR-GRAND-CROSS-MEDAL-SET-Vinatge/132145758712?hash=item1ec48041f8:g:rkgAAOSwGIRXbrsv)
  10. Rusty Greaves

    Walking Sticks - and as Weapons

    Although I began part of my archaeological journey interested in stone tools, some of my laboratory work in botanical remains from past sites, library research on technology around the world, and more especially my work with living hunter-gatherers has given me a profound recognition of the importance of human strategy over design. We tend to think of human ingenuity across the globe as a consequence of invention of new tools, and that is certainly part of the story. However, the ability to use a "simple" stick, or to modify one so that it can perform a variety of tasks and not burden a man hunting or a woman collecting plant foods with more junk to carry, illuminates other parts of the human success story. How we plan the variety of ways to extract a living from the diversity of environments in which humans live using knowledge and empirical science, and still take some time for music & dancing even when there is no food, is a wonder. I am currently designing a display of some of the variety of "sticks" in my ethnographic collection that celebrate the elegant strategies witnessed in these humble technologies. Peter, Many thanks for your kind words and encouragement. I have really enjoyed finding GMIC and the interactions that have helped me in my research on Egyptian medals & orders, and the many interesting other topics explored here. Two older Pumé women in the Venezuelan llanos collecting wild tubers during the wet season. Their digging sticks can be used for a variety of tasks, from collecting plant raw materials to clubbing small game they encounter, plus an endless set of uses in camp. Pumé man on a bow & arrow fishing trip in the dry season (bows & arrows in his right hand). On his left shoulder he carries sticks that have great egret wings attached to them that he places around a lagoon as decoys to attract egrets while he fishes at this location. Pumé couple hunting & gathering in the late wet season. He carries his bow, arrows, & a hat that mimics the form of a jabiru stork (the dark cloth below the carved wooden beak represents the dark coloration of the upper body of these tall storks, and he has a white shirt in it that he will put on to look like the white feathers of the lower body) to try and get closer to deer should he encounter any. On this trip, he used his bow as a probe & digging stick to check lizard & armadillo burrows, even though his wife is carrying a digging stick, and as a long club to kill poisonous snakes. His wife has a digging stick with a worn steel tip for excvating deep-growing tubers. On this trip, her stick also was used to kill armadillos they encountered.
  11. Rusty Greaves

    US Spanish Campaign Medal-Army. 1898.

    Great to see this medal! There is a thread about other Spanish American War medals started by Noor on 4 July, 2011 titled: Spanish American War Spanish Campaign Army Service Medal here in the United States of America section. Noor illustrated the reverse of the Spanish American War Army Service medal for the Cuba campaign, the number on its rim, the box and label, ribbon, and lapel pin. I added to that thread photos of my grandfather's army service medals for the Spanish American War and the Philippine Insurrection as well. The numbers on the rim match the red numbering on the boxes of these contract pieces. I do not know when he requested these medals, he stayed in the Philippines after his service until ~1915. He received these service medals after he had returned to the US, taken employment in New York City, and started a family. Given the dates on the boxes he probably got these in late 1937 or early 1938 (?). Although there is a cut-out in the back of the frame I have these in showing the reverse of each medal, I can't get a good focus through the glass. So I'm including here the reverse image of the Spanish War medal that Noor had in his post and an image of the reverse of the Philippine Insurrection medal from eMedals (that I never added to that earlier thread). It is easy to find better quality images of the obverse of these medals on the internet than these I have provided (I did not document them before they were framed). US Army service medals with original ribbons and ribbon bars for the Spanish-American War (top & left in 3rd photo) and the Philippine Insurrection (2nd from top & right in 3rd photo). Awarded to my grandfather, William K. Blessing serving in one of the Arkansas units. The rim of the Spanish War service medal reads: 27291. The box for the Spanish War Service medal reads: "27291" (printed in red) "Spanish War Service; Stock No 71-M-942 Spec 5-23-33; Northern Smelting & Refining Co.; Con. No W. 669 Q.M. 6764 10-21-37; Phila. Q. M. Depot." The number on the rim of the Philippine Insurrection medal is 29848. The box for the Philippine Insurrection medal reads: "29848" (printed in red) "Philippine Campaign; Stock No 71-M-934 Spec 5-23-37; Northern Smelting & Refining Co.; Con. No W. 669 Q.M. 6764 2-23-37; Phila. Q. M. Depot." Reverse of the Philippine Insurrection Army Service medal from eMedals (https://www.emedals.com/north-america/united-states/pre-first-world-war-campaign-medals/an-american-army-philippine-insurrection-medal-1899-boxed) On 7/4/2011 at 15:33, Noor said: Reverse of the Spanish War service medal from Noor (7/4/2011) in his thread here on GMIC: Spanish American War Spanish Campaign Army Service Medal, in the United States of America Forum section.
  12. Rusty Greaves

    Walking Sticks - and as Weapons

    Peter, Thanks for your point about snake dangers. Several Pumé folks I've worked with in Venezuela have suffered bites from coral snakes & rattlesnakes as they are always barefoot. There are a few local "cures" I've collected but have not yet found a lab interested in running analyses to see if they have any efficacy (I always had 2-3 courses of antivenin I left at a nearby ranch that had refrigeration from a few hours of generator use each evening-these days there is so little medicine in Venezuela I'm sure I couldn't find any or would it pilfered from my bags by the military). In my archaeological work in the American southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, & Utah) I've certainly been stopped in my tracks at night watching the stars or getting back to my tent trying to locate the direction of a rattlesnake warning. The wood this stick is made from is not as hard as that used to make an animal cudgel (moramo) that the same researcher gave to me (for coup de grace on larger ungulates-I'll try to illustrate that when I can), but this stick is not made from a softwood. I've paid a lot of attention to raw material selection in my work with Venezuelan foragers and with the Maya folks I work with, but my colleague did not make comparable observations about wood choice. This example has been carefully smoothed after debarking and the dark staining below the knob (visible to the left of the end of the measuring tape in the photo) is from heating the wood and straightening it. This piece was selected to have the natural proximal knob for holding. The distal end (for the ground) has been carefully trimmed. This is intended as a piece of personal gear, useful for many years, and is not an expedient implement. That proximal knob has some polish from use. It is a relatively new piece when my friend obtained it, but is a used example. I was told it is thrown at mambas (don't want to get too close!), but these do not break too often (it is still supple and exhibits no cracking, unlike the maramo cudgel I have) and are intended to be retrieved and reused. I'm checking a source on Hambukushu foraging and tool manufacture to see what else I can dig up on this implement.
  13. Rusty Greaves

    Walking Sticks - and as Weapons

    As an anthropologist I agree with Mervyn's introduction to this thread about the importance of sticks in human technology. In my work with traditional peoples, sticks of many "simple" forms are some of the most creative and often-used implements in their total tool repertoire. On 29 February, 2012 Chris mentioned the use of ~1m long sticks by Ethiopian men in this thread, and Mervyn requested a photo of such a walking stick/weapon. I do not have one from Ethiopia, but was given an example from Botswana by anthropology colleagues who worked there. In the spirit of Mervyn's emphasis on some African (and especially South African) useful designs, especially against snakes, I offer an image & description of this modest stick. This is a man's walking stick and expedient protective weapon used by Hambukushu people (sometimes known by the more pejorative terms: "River Bushmen" or "Swamp Bushmen", although they are Bantu-speaking folks and not Xanekwe or Khoi people) living in the Okavango River Delta region of Botswana. It's primary defensive use is against aggressive mambas, and it was better known as a "mamba-stick" than as a walking stick. This example is 96.5 cm long and was made in 1992.
  14. Here is an unusual example of a variant of the reverse design of a sash star of the Gran Cordon Class of the Orden del Libertador that was part of an exhibit: From A Thankful Nation: the Latin American Medals & Orders from the Robert L. Ross Collection at Princeton University (2014, illustrated catalog may still be available: full color catalogue of the exhibition, containing 736 pages with 969 color photographs, is available for $125 from the Friends of Princeton University Library, One Washington Road, Princeton, NJ 08544. Inquiries about ordering can made to Linda Oliveira at loliveir@princeton.edu or at (609) 258-3155.) This example has the Venezuelan coat of arms executed in enamel on the reverse the sash star rather than cast in relief as seen on the mini examples I illustrated in posts on 11 January & 20 January 2017, and all other examples of the reverse with the coat of arms I have seen. That may suggest this is likely a pre-1922 creation before more codified design standards were established. The red & blue dyes of the sash are faded as well, possible being non-aniline dyes? (http://rbsc.princeton.edu/thankful-nation/case/a)
  15. Lars, Thanks for bringing up this topic! I've enjoyed Uwe's significant knowledge of this Order. I keep looking at the variant forms in illustratios of the full-sized awards, and it is quite staggering. If I can sort out some aspects of design variability better I'll try to illustrate some in a systematic way. The Condecoraciones de Venezuela website has the most detail I've run across about the designs of this order, but even that is still quite confusing to me. It is a long entry, and I have not undertaken the task of trying to translate it yet for non-Spanish speakers interested in this thread. I may yet do that when I can make the time. I made an error in my post of 20 January 2017 where I identified the 3rd, 4th, & 5th images of the miniature as either the 3rd, 4th, or 5th class of the Orden del Libertador, the Medal-Medaille website does identify is as a 5th Class, Knight's (Caballero) mini. Updating the info I got from http://condecoracionesdevenezuela.com/civiles-nacionales-orden-del-libertador/ about the several manufacturers who made the full sized medal are: Distintivos, Venezolanos; Gathmann Hermanos, Caracas; S. Picard & Cie., Caracas; Boullanger, Paris; LeMaitre, Paris; Godet & Sohn, Berlin; Russell Uniform Co., New York; in addition to other possible unspecified French & German makers (I noted that the mini in my 20 Jan 2017 post was made by De Greef of Brussels). Rusty
  16. Rusty Greaves

    Venezuela - Cross of the Army

    Here are a few additional variants for the Cruz del Ejercito. The first image shows a very different configuration of the obverse laurel wreath on the margin of the central medallion than seen in other examples, the reverse of this badge (2nd image) exhibits the probably older form of the inscription FUERZAS TERRESTRES VENEZOLANAS rather than the CRUZ DEL EJERCITO VENEZOLANO that is more common on most photographs of this award. The last images are probably examples of early obverse design variants of the award mentioned in the Condecoraciones de Venezuela website's description of the medal (also see the unusual reverse inscription) and would not considered authorized versions that were likely awarded to members of the Venezuelan military. Image of the obverse of a version of the Cruz del Ejercito, possibly the 2nd Class, that may be an earlier variant versions or a modern manufacture of this award. Note the difference in the forms of the leaves of the laurel wreath on the medallion margin around the central boss compared with all other examples I have seen photos of, especially apparent in contrast with the close-up of the medallion design shown in the 3rd image of my post on 29 November, 2017. (http://wawards.org/oldsite/america/ven/12/medal.html) Image of the obverse of a version of the Cruz del Ejercito, possibly the 2nd Class, that may be an earlier variant versions (or a modern manufacture?) of this award. Note the inscription FUERZAS TERRESTRES VENEZOLANAS and unusual relief sculpting of the laurel wreath border that is also present on the example illustrated in the 5th photo of my post from 29 November, 2017 that shows the reverse with the same inscription. The Condecoraciones de Venezuela website identifies this inscription as authentic reverse motto for this award. (http://wawards.org/oldsite/america/ven/12/medal.html) Variant trial forms of the obverse design for the Cruz del Ejercito showing non-standard enamel colors for the arms of the cross, probably representing early trial forms during the initial design period of this award as mentioned on the Condecoraciones de Venezuela website. (http://condecoracionesdevenezuela.com/militares-cruz-del-ejercito/) Image of the reverse of one of the variant versions of the Cruz del Ejercito shown in the last image that also exhibits an alternate reverse inscription: FUERZAS TERRESTRES DE VENEZUELA rather than FUERZAS TERRESTRES VENEZOLANAS that is an authorized form of the reverse design on some (probably) early versions of this medal. (http://wawards.org/oldsite/america/ven/12/medal.html)
  17. Rusty Greaves

    Venezuela - Cross of the Army

    Illustrated below is an example of an usual configuration for the reverse of the Venezuelan Cruz del Ejercito. This is identified as a 3rd Class medal of this award, which consists of the medal suspended on a ribbon. The laurel wreath on the reverse has green enamel in the same color as on the obverse. No other illustrated examples I've come across show this variation. The condecoracionesdevenezuela.com website translated above on 29 November, 2017 identifies most known variants as "trial" forms, primarily related to the red enamel color of the arms on the obverse of this medal and no mention is made of enamel on the reverse. This example is from a Venezuelan auction site Mercado Libre, the listed price is BS 300,000. Today's black market "value" of the Bolivar is at 255,900 to the US dollar (= an asking price of $1.17) thanks to the hyperinflation that Venezuela is experiencing. Venezuelan Cruz del Ejercito, 3rd Class, obverse (https://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ve/MLV-508520379-condecoracion-cruz-del-ejercito-venezolano-3era-clase-_JM) Venezuelan Cruz del Ejercito, 3rd Class, reverse showing unusual configuration of having green enamel in the laurel wreath. Most examples do not not show enamel on the reverse of this wreath, only on the obverse. (https://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ve/MLV-508520379-condecoracion-cruz-del-ejercito-venezolano-3era-clase-_JM)
  18. Rusty Greaves

    South American bow and arrows

    During my research with the Savanna Pumé of Venezuela, metal used to make the points on arrows was very scarce. For the thin, pointed small-game & fishing arrows I have previously illustrated in the post of 10 January 2017, pieces of bar steel or nails were scavenged from criollo garbage dumps or traded in from River Pumé with greater access to trade items. Larger pieces of steel to make lanceolate arrow points used for large game arrows was even scarcer. The Savanna Pumé used worn-out machete or knife blades, broken or worn-out shovels, or other pieces of scrap steel that they could find. When I started looking at museum collections from 1934 and 1958 I was surprised to find a couple of design features for these lanceolate arrows that at first was puzzling, but I eventually determined was an indication that steel raw material was even scarcer in these earlier time periods. Several examples in collections at the Univ. of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology collected in 1934 and examples in the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), New York) and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University collected in 1958 showed these features. Near the proximal portion of these lanceolate points where they insert into the foreshaft, a small horizontal bar was attached to the distal foreshaft with palm leaf fiber string that would have prevented deeper penetration of the arrow beyond the point. One example in the AMNH had a rounded mass that is made of wound palm leaf fiber string (at least on the most exterior portion, there may be cloth under these windings) at the distal foreshaft/proximal end of the point blade. These points were designed not to penetrate any deeper into prey so that if the hunter had a poor shot and the animal was likely to be able to escape, the arrow had a higher probability of falling out and the valuable metal point would not be lost. This feature was especially important in deer hunting, where the success rate was relatively low because of the open savanna environment and the difficulty in getting close enough for a good shot (traditional folks always try to get well within 30 m of their prey with any projectile technology, arrows, spear throwers & darts, blowguns, throwing sticks, or crossbows, etc.). The use of museum collections in my research allowed me to see these economic constraints outside of my anthropological lifetime and get a deeper temporal view of raw material availability and its influence on technological design for this group of foragers. Example of a River Pumé large game arrow with a thin wooden bar tied to the proximal end of a lanceolate point with moriche palm leaf fiber in lateral view to prevent deep penetration of the point and conserve the metal if a killing shot was not made and the animal had a chance of escaping. The stop at the proximal end would allow the arrow to fall out if the game was able to run off with a potentially non-mortal wound and the hunter could collect the arrow and its valuable metal point. (AMNH #40.1.58) Superior view of the same arrow collected among River Pumé in 1958 by Anthony Leeds showing the small wooden bar tied to the distal portion of the foreshaft to prevent deeper penetration. (AMNH #40.1.58) Close-up superior view of the same arrow collected among River Pumé in 1958 by Anthony Leeds showing a detailed image of the attachment of the small wooden bar tied to the distal portion of the foreshaft to prevent deeper penetration. (AMNH #40.1.58) An example of a lanceolate large game arrow from AMNH (collected among River Pumé in 1958 by Anthony Leeds) with palm leaf fiber string windings (lateral view) to make a large knot that also prevents deeper penetration of the point in case of a poor shot. (AMNH #40.1.54) Superior view of the same River Pumé large game arrow showing the wound string stop in relation to the thickness of the arrow point blade. (AMNH #40.1.54) Two lanceolate large game arrowpoints showing the past use of the bar stop attached with palm leaf fiber string to the distal foreshaft of a River Pumé arrow collected by Vincenzo Petrullo in 1934 (lower arrow; UPENN Museum #34-3-7) and a recent Savanna Pumé lanceolate point collected by me in 1993 that lacks this feature (upper arrow; UPENN Museum #96-1-453). The same two UPENN arrowpoints with a slightly different angle on the older River Pumé point (UPENN Museum #34-3-7) collected by Petrullo showing the horizontal width of the proximal stop.
  19. Rusty Greaves

    South American bow and arrows

    I personally think a lot of “taboo” as well as "myth & ritual" in anthropology is passing off our linguistic ineptitudes onto the people we work with & assuming they are explaining non-concrete, non-scientific concepts. The Pumé hunter-gatherers I’ve worked with in Venenzuela try very hard to teach me what their foraging lifeway is like, & the 2 hurdles I always have to overcome are: 1) that asking obvious questions about stuff every child knows by ~7 years of age (now as a grey hair) seems crazy to them, & 2) understanding the linguistic conventions, alliterations, or metaphors of how things are said when they finally realize I need the full explanation can be difficult for me in such a complex language as a non-native speaker. In my >30 months of fieldwork I have improved my language skills to where they most recently (before the political & economic problems in Venezuela made it really hard to work there) have been teaching me elegant forms of speaking beyond just making myself understood, the normal young adult speaking skills I have, & the "easy" fun phrases that are part of how things are said. I want to keep this post associated with collecting, so I will address your apt points from the perspective of how my work documenting and collecting artifacts helped me learn about the sophistication of Pumé science. As part of my research I have made a very extensive collection of their material culture that I gave to the UPENN Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology (I’ve given a smaller collection to the Museo de Ciencias Naturales, in Caracas, Venezuela, have a few hundred more items for UPENN, & may give some to a couple of additional museums). My UPENN collection consists of ~1,300 items that are very well-documented, represent all kinds of tools the Pumé make & use, & almost all of my examples are used not new ones made for me. I have a few long-winded stories about how my work let me understand their vast knowledge of climate variation, geomorphology, plant dynamics, & animal behaviors. My collecting certain items that might be called anti-lightning "magic" devices puts some of this knowledge into an appropriate scientific light for GMIC, & I’ll soapbox a couple other points as well. During my fieldwork with the Pumé I tried to understand people’s behaviors about lightning during frequent & severe lightning storms. 85% of the rainfall (up to 1.8 m) occurs during the 6 months of wet season. In this savanna, the Pumé camps can be the highest features for a kilometer or more in these flat plains (llanos). During these frequent & impressive lightning storms they would sing to bundles of minty herbs, wave their arms & tell the lightning to go away, hold electric eel bones & sing to them, or use other specialized paraphernalia that was always nearby in the wet season in gesture & entreaty of lightning to pass by them. As part to my ethnographic collection for UPENN, I collected examples of these “anti-lightning magic” devices such as electric eel vertebrae, stingray spines used to pierce their tongues & blow blood at the sky, a caiman mandible hung in the roof & thrown on the fire during storms, electric eel mandibles tied to a stick, electric eel fin bracelets, etc. I thought the connection was electricity. I asked about these activities, & of course the answer was what any dopey child would be told: “Because that’s what we do!” I got part of my answer in my third wet season living with the Pumé, & part in contemplation many years later. One of the 2 times in a 24-month period that they caught a deer (while I kept track of all game that came into camps) I was given a large piece of meat not butchered to normal small size by them. I cut it up myself, so had no intention of saving the bones for my colleagues who study how people modify bones to better understand what we find in archaeological sites. The weather looked like rain, & my neighbor called over that it would soon rain (one of the common conventions in their language & among many traditional populations-stating the obvious, i.e., "You're awake!"; "You're alive!"; You're here!"; to which the appropriate responses are: "I'm awake!"; "I'm alive!"; "I'm here!"), & I agreed ("It's going to rain!"), hungrily awaiting the meat to cook. We bantered back & forth about the rain, & when the deer was done I quickly ate it & did something I had never done before, I threw the deer bone in the fire. My neighbor appeared immediately & asked, “You didn’t just throw that deer bone in the fire did you”? I said “Yes”, & right then – BLAM- we experienced the flash, ozone smell, & thunder clap of a very close lightning strike! My neighbor madly threw the contents of my hearth out & reformed the termite mound pot rests ~1 m away, stood up & said “Don’t you know that lightning really likes deer meat?” I did know a variety of stories about lightning as a kind of being who responded to blood (hence blowing blood at the sky from a pierced tongue), but did not know the connections to cooking. My neighbor explained that lightning likes deer, lightning likes armadillos, it likes anteaters, lizards, & capybara, it doesn’t like fish, lightning likes marsupials, it doesn’t like caimans, or stingrays, or turtles, it likes tapirs, rabbits, wild pigs, etc. I was the only idiot in camp who did not know this already. I threw lightning’s favorite food (“Lightning especially likes deer”) in my hearth & got an instant response from lightning. In addition to making me repeat the list of lightning’s likes multiple times over the next few days, every visitor to camp was told the story & then I would be interrogated about the list of lightning’s preferred foods (they did not care if I listed what lightning didn’t like, it was only important that I demonstrate an awareness of what it did like). That almost died down when an old woman coming back from root gathering called everyone out to the margin of camp near my house when the location of the lightning strikes’ killing of grass showed it hit <2 m from the edge of camp, & I had to go through the whole litany again & everytime guests came while that strike spot was visible. So I got some parts of the explanation, but it took years for me to put other aspects of this together. The Pumé are fabulous empirical scientists, they see how the world works, & they understand cause & effect. I kept pondering this in relation to lightning ideas. The first thing I realized was that lightning is very hard to predict. I know a couple Pumé who have survived being struck by lightning, with long convalescence, & been told of folks who died from it. Even with our sophisticated technology, actually predicting where lightning will strike is problematic for us, & this is a really terrifying threat during the impressive thunderstorms that occur often on a daily basis for much of the 6-month wet season in these Venezuelan savannas. Many anthropologists recognize that “taboos” affecting hunting success, death, illness or other events often include “normal” things that might have occurred someplace in the population (i.e., stepping over a stick, sewing a button, particular sexual activity, etc.) & may simply represent attempts to link low predictability events to common activities. So I thought these were just part of that kind of thinking about causes & effects. More years later, I realized that all the foods lightning “liked” were wet season foods, & all the food lightning did not like were dry season foods when there were no storms. Lightning "especially likes deer" or other large game as butchering, dividing the animal into shares for everyone in camp, cooking. & eating such "large" amounts of meat takes more time than for small game-so there is greater opportunity for a storm to produce lightning during processing & consumption of large game. The Pumé arsenal of anti-lightning “magic” devices, simply pretend that they have dry season foods present, & maybe that could be associated with avoiding the dangers of a lightning strike. They have at least a 50% chance of avoiding a strike during their use, and that is about the best they can do living outdoors in the middle of a flat savanna under the threat of lightning. We can’t do much better with our technology on this issue. These were rational, cause & effect-based responses to uncontrollable events only predictable at a low frequency. In my time with Pumé hunter-gatherers in the savannas of Venezuela, It has often taken up to 24 months & my slowly growing competence in the language of this monolingual group to get answers volunteered that explain activities I've been asking about. For example, on hunts, when Pumé men encounter raptors, they shoot at them (only infrequently killing them) &, if there is a nest, they will destroy the eggs. Raptors (mostly hawks & caracaras) were never used as food, even in this food-stressed population. Of course I asked why they did this, & since that seemed an idiotic thing to say, the Pumé responded as they would to a child: “Because that’s what we do!” I wasn’t getting the answer & kept seeing this done. So, I put together my working hypotheses. I thought maybe it was because of competition for the small game, primarily armadillos & lizards that they rely on for most (87%) of their hunting returns. Even rabbits (yuk, not enough fat!) & most other small mammals aren’t frequently captured, & larger games is quite uncommon in this impoverished environment. I kept asking & getting no answers & tried to keep shoring up my competition “hypothesis”. The Pumé liked that I asked questions about them in their own language & they knew that I was an adult without adult knowledge, but it still took forever to get answers to many questions. One day on a hunting & gathering trip, about 18 months after I started fieldwork, a man & his wife stopped & he shot at a hawk, missed, then climbed up the tree & threw the eggs on the ground. His wife further destroyed them with an arrow & turned to me & said: “We do this because the hawk people fly away & tell the deer people we are here” For a moment I thought I was hearing a quaint Indian story, & then realized it was an accurate naturalistic description of animal behavior. Deer see “poorly”, but have acute senses of hearing & smell, & could readily identify a hawk’s predator alarm call that would certainly startle them. Thanks to efforts to learn & keep improving my ability to understand and speak the Pumé language (there are only 2 other non-Pumé who may speak it), I have appreciated a large number of stories & explanations about the world that underscore what keen observers and sharp empirical scientists these hunter-gatherers are. Without some linguistic sophistication, the literary or metaphorical ways they speak about the world might have made me think they did not have such knowledge or left me confused about how they explained many events in the natural world. On another occasion they explained evapotranspiration during the dry season to me in absolutely accurate physics terms: "the wind drinks the water." I have many additional examples as well. The only things that are difficult to explain are things with complex causes, that can be hard to predict, such as where will lightning strike and how can it be avoided. As I mentioned, even we cannot predict that well even with our technological abilities to image and track storms. For me, collecting kept my curiosity peaked & helped me eventually learn about a number of diverse & situational uses of technology. Pumé man "imploring" lightning to go away (In white shirt with L arm raised) during an approaching thunderstorm in the wet season & just about to pierce his tongue with a stingray spine to blow blood at the sky in an attempt to "appease" lightning.
  20. Rusty Greaves

    Miniatures of the Middle East & Arab World

    Owain has identified some Egyptian miniatures that are quite well-known in his introduction to this thread. In the spirit of this thread's focus on miniatures, I wanted to provide a few more detailed illustrations of the miniatures of the Egyptian Order of the Nile. Owain has illustrated an example of the miniature of the Kingdom of Egypt form of the Order of the Nile (this order did continue to be awarded following the revolution) on his post of 11 December 2017 in this thread, it is the miniature medal on the far right of the upper row. An apparently even smaller miniature of this medal is shown as part of the two minis on a bar (second from the left) on the on the second row of this same photo from 11 December. The reverse of both of these miniature medals are shown in the first photo in Owain's post of 12 December 2017 of this thread (upper row far right; lower row leftmost medal of the bar of two medals). I have found a pretty good image of a miniature of the Order of the Nile (4th Class, Officer) that shows some of the design differences in the miniature compared with the full-sized award. The primary distinction is the abbreviated elaboration of the motto on the central boss, because this feature is so much smaller on the miniature. As with my previous posts, I also am including images of the full-sized award to highlight the different design aspects of the miniature. Image from Medal-Medaille auction website of a miniature of the 4th Class, Officer, award of the Order of the Nile. The miniature is silver gilt with white & blue enamel, measures 21.44 mm in diameter, and has a rosette on the original ribbon. This example predates 1952 (apparent because of the Khedive crown as part of the suspension). (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=499_389&products_id=8337) Closer view of the miniature medal for the Order of the Nile, 4th Class, Officer. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=499_389&products_id=8337) Close-up view of the obverse design of the miniature of the Order of the Nile (4th Class, Officer) showing the less elaborate script on the central boss than on the full-sized medal. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=499_389&products_id=8337) Image of the reverse of the miniature Order of the Nile 4th Class, Officer, medal. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=499_389&products_id=8337) Image from eMedals of a Khedive era full-size medal of the Order of the Nile, 4th Class, Officer, showing the more elaborate enameled script in the central boss. Silver gilt, enamel, 53 mm wide x 74.5 mm (including the crown suspension), original ribbon has a rosette, made by Lattes. (https://www.emedals.com/egypt-order-of-the-nile-nishan-al-nil-w0310) Image from Sixbid.com of the Order of the Nile 3rd Class, Commander, showing the more elaborate enameled motto on the central boss compared with the miniature of this medal. (https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=4040&category=106479&lot=3341984) Image from eMedals of the sash badge & sash and the chest badge for the Kingdom of Egypt Order of the Nile, 1st Class, Grand Cordon, also illustrating the more elaborate script enameled on the central boss. Sash badge (L) = 63 mm wide x 93 mm in vertical dimension. Chest badge measures 95 mm wide x 96 mm in vertical dimension. Silver gilt, white and blue enamel. Approximately from 1940, made by Lattes. (https://www.emedals.com/egypt-kingdom-an-order-of-nishan-al-nil-grand-cordon-by-lattes-of-cairo-c-1940)
  21. Rusty Greaves

    Miniatures of the Middle East & Arab World

    I want to contribute a few images that show miniature designs in some detail for a couple of the Egyptian Republic medal miniatures that have been illustrated in this thread. The two miniature medals I have found pretty good images for are the Silver Anniversary of the Air Force and the Order of Sport. I'm sure many of you are very familiar with the designs, but I thought it would be useful to show them in better detail in this thread that Owain has dedicated to such miniatures. On 10 December, 2017 922f illustrated a miniature of the Silver Anniversary of the Air Force at the extreme right. Owain also has illustrated this miniature in his post of 12, December, 2017 in his second photo of a medal group as the medal second from the right. Below are a couple of images of this miniature from eMedals alongside a miniature of the Order of Sport. I've also posted photos of the full-sized awards to show their designs more clearly. Image from eMedals of two Egyptian Republic miniatures. The medal on the left is identified on the auction website as the "Order of Air Force Mertit", but it is actually the Silver Anniversary of the Air Force medal. It is described as made of silver gilt and green enamel. measuring 19.5 x 20.3 mm. On the right is a miniature of the Medal of Sport. This medal is silver gilt with red, green, blue & white enamel, measuring 18 x 18.8 mm. (https://www.emedals.com/two-egyptian-miniature-orders) Close-up of the obverse of the Egyptian Republic medals for the Silver Anniversary of the Air Force medal (L) and the Order of Sport (R). (https://www.emedals.com/two-egyptian-miniature-orders) View of the reverse of the two Egyptian Republic miniature medals for the Silver Anniversary of the Air Force medal (L) and the Order of Sport (R). (https://www.emedals.com/two-egyptian-miniature-orders) Image of the obverse of a full-size Egyptian Republic - Silver Anniversary of the Air Force medal from a post by heusy68 on 27 June, 2010 in thread on Egypt: Unknown medal on Naguib started by ChrisW 23 on June, 2010 in Middle East & Arab States. This is the only image I have found of the full-sized version of this medal. heusy68 also notes this is the only photo he had of this medal. (http://gmic.co.uk/topic/44412-egypt-unknown-medal-on-naguib/) The Egyptian Republic Order of Sport also is illustrated on this thread on miniatures by Owain in his 12 December, 2017 post in the second photo. It is the medal third from the right without a ribbon. Below are illustrations of the 3 Classes of the full-size Order of Sport medals. Image from eMedals of the full-size Egyptian Republic Order of Sport 1st Class medal. Made by Tewfick Bichay of Cairo, measuring 69 mm (https://www.emedals.com/an-egyptian-order-of-sport-first-class-by-bichay-of-cairo) Image from eMedals of the full-size Egyptian Republic Order of Sport 2nd Class medal. Made by Tewfick Bichay of Cairo, silver gilt & enamels, measuring 59 mm. The only design difference from the 1st class award appears to be the lack of the Republican Eagle on the 5 interlocked circles on the suspension construction. (https://www.emedals.com/an-egyptian-order-of-sport-by-bichay-of-cairo) Image from eMedals of the full-size Egyptian Republic Order of Sport 3rd Class medal. Silver gilt & enamels, measuring 65 mm. The design differences from the 1st & 2nd classes include a lack of the the lack of the 5 interlocked circles on the suspension construction (and no Republican eagle), the central enameled boss is green rather than red, it looks as though there are some metal finish differences using silver rather than gold: there is a silver margin to the boss rather, silver script on the boss, and silver for the 5 interlocking rings on the enameled round border (can't tell the color of the torches). (https://www.emedals.com/a-scarce-egyptian-sports-order-commander-s-badge)
  22. Rusty Greaves

    Venezuela - Cross of the Army

    I recently saw an alleged Venezuelan Cruz del Ejercito full-sized medal advertised on eBay for $1800 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/18K-Yellow-Gold-Red-Enamel-Cross-of-the-Army-of-Venezuela-First-Class-/232194657943?_trksid=p2141725.m3641.l6368) that seems to have some anomalous aspects of the legends' lettering compared with most examples I have seen on other websites. The piece appears to be in excellent condition, if original. The medal is identified as 18 K gold, weight=37.4 g; with a diameter of 2 1/4 inches excluding the suspension loop. Other probably genuine examples measure 55 mm (~2 14 inches) in diameter and are identified as weighing 38.2 g (on a medal missing the suspension loop). The motto "HONOR AL MERiTO" on the obverse is in very tall relief (contrast images below with photo 3 in my post of 29 November, 2017). The form of these letters also is different from those in the detail photo above and all other examples I have seen images of on other websites. The reverse legend "CRUZ DEL EJERCIT0" also is in higher relief and uses a similarly different lettering style than other examples. Additionally the configuration of the legend is unusual. Rather than having dots bracketing each end of the word "VENEZOLANO", the word follows "...EJERCITO" with no separation; the motto orientation is different - "VENEZOLANO" is not at the bottom; and there is an asterisk-like shape at the end of "VENEZOLANO" and before the word "CRUZ". This asterisk is in the central bottom portion of the legend design. None of these elements appear in other examples or on variants with the motto "FUERZAS TERRESTRES VENEZOLANAS". Also compare this reverse legend to those in the third photo of my 29 November 2017 post. I don't know if these anomalies suggest a different manufacturer than most genuine examples or if it might be a recent make that is not original. Any thoughts chamos? Image from eBay of medal offered for $1,800. Note that the "HONOR AL MERITO" on the obverse is in very tall relief compared with other examples, and the form of the lettering is different. Lateral image of the eBay medal showing better the high relief of the motto "HONOR AL MERITO" on the obverse. The reverse of the eBay example showing anomalous aspects of the legend motto as described above and the position of the unusual asterisk mark at the bottom of the reverse legend. Lateral image of the reverse of the eBay medal showing better the high relief of the motto "CRUZ DEL EJERCIT0 VENEZOLANO".
  23. I have been checking some auction images and the Condecoraciones de Venezuela website to try and glean some additional information relevant to better identfiying some aspects of the miniatures of the Venezuelan Orden del Libertador. While descriptions of the design changes are somewhat available for full-sized awards, there is almost no information about those related to miniatures. The Medal-Medaille website states there are at least 7 variants in the designs of the full-sized awards. Concedoraciones de Venezuela lists 9 separate decrees governing the designs from the initial institution of the award from April 1854 through April 2010. From 1854 through April 1881 there was only one class of the order. Given the minimal standardization, this does not necessarily mean only one design was made for genuine examples. From May 1881-April 2010 there were 5 classes of the Order. From 13 June, 1922 to 29 June, 2006 these grades were given official names, and a higher class named Collar (which is a collar not a medal) that was instituted as an award apparently exclusively for the head of the order (the Venezuelan President) and some other foreign heads of state: highest=Collar; 1st=Gran Cordon; 2nd=Gran Oficial (from 29 June, 2006 to 6 April, 2010 this class was called Magistrado/"Magistrate"; 3rd=Comendador (Commander); 4th=Oficial; 5th=Caballero (Knight). In April 2010 the Order was reduced to 3 classes other than the retention of the highest version = Collar: 1st=Espada (Sword); 2nd =Lanza (Lance); & 3rd Flecha (Arrow). Manufacturers through time included Lemaire, Paris; Godet & Sohn, Berlin; Russell Uniform Co. New York; Garthmann, Caracas (Venezuela); as well as other possible French, German, and Venezuelan manufactures. Likely, there are a great number of design differences in the full-sized medals. In addition to variation in the direction that Bolivar faces on the bust, some show him with his hand tucked inside his jacket (Napoleon style) and others show no arm. It appears that the 3rd-4th, & 5th classes of the Order used the coat of arms of Venezuela as the central obverse image on the star shaped badge, rather than the bust of Simon Bolivar that appears on the 1st & 2nd classes. The use of gold appears to be associated with the 1st Class versions (and some of the 2nd class versions?) of this order, the bust of Bolivar being gold while the rays of the star are usually silver. After 1922, there appears to be a star of open gold work rays (as seen on the miniatures illustrated above in this thread) surrounding the bust of Bolivar on top of the silver star. Although I have not yet found any clear information about miniature designs, it seems likely that the gold examples in the first post of this thread and on the example from my post of Jan 11 may represent the 1st (or 2nd classes?) only of this miniature. The coat of arms is the reverse design on some full-sized pieces (1st & 2n classes?), and the miniature in my Jan 11 example also has the coat of arms on the reverse. This (the coat of arms) also is the obverse design on full-sized awards for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th classes of the Order. The dimensions of the example illustrated on Jan 11 are not given, but measurements of other miniatures on this same chain indicate it is probably <20 mm in vertical height, matching other illustrations that do provide measurements. The miniatures are most likely ~19 mm in vertical dimension by ~15 mm wide. The full-sized neck star insignia are smaller than the chest badges (~70 X 80 moon pre-1922 badges, slightly larger on the 3 post-June 1922 design configuration changes), but the neck stars of the 3rd-4th classes that are ~25-28 mm in diameter, and 30 mm in diameter for the 5th class awards. I'm unsure whether the two forms of the miniatures in the first illustrations below suggest different minis for the 1st and 2nd classes or why there might be these two forms, the auction house description is unclear on this point. Obviously there is still quite a lot of variation in the full-sized awards that is not easy to sort out, and even more so in miniatures. Obverse (above) and reverse (below images of Venezuelan Orden de Libertador miniatures. This is part of a group of miniatures from several countries mounted on a gold chain, identified as dating to ~1905. These 2 medals are identified by eMedals as the Grand Cross (1st class) miniatures consisting of the "Grand Cross and Star". No dimensions are provided, but those for other miniature medals on this chain suggests ~19 mm maximum vertical height. All miniatures in this grouping are identified as being made by made by Godet & Sohn, Berlin. The Auction listing incorrectly identifies these as Bolivian, not Venezuelan, medals. No materials are identified, but the rays of the medal and the bust of Bolivar appear to be silver, rather than gold as on most of the full-sized insignia (in addition to the enamel in the decorative legend surrounding Bolivar's bust). (https://www.emedals.com/a-fine-miniature-group-of-eight-by-godet-sohn-berlin) Obverse & reverse images of a miniature of the Venezuelan Orden del Libertador (3rd, 4th, or 5th Class) from Medal-Medaille.com website made of "silver thirty-two-pointed rayed faceted star, with loop for ribbon suspension; the face an oval escutcheon imposed bearing the arms of Venezuela; the reverse plain; height 19 mm (0.75 inch), width 15.2 mm (0.6 inch); on replaced correct ribbon." This example example is identified as the manufacture of De Greef of Brussels, Belgium and dates from the mid-20th Century. The use of the coat of arms of Venezuela as the obverse design indicates that this miniature represents the 3rd, 4th or 5th class of this Order. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=499_423&products_id=4588) The same miniature of the Venezuelan Orden del Liberator (3rd, 4th, or 5th Class) from Medal-Medaille.com on its replacement ribbon (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=499_423&products_id=4588)
  24. Rusty Greaves

    South American bow and arrows

    Your point about monkey tracking is interesting from the perspective of animal conservation. The folks I work with do not hunt monkeys, simply because there are none in the savanna. Some anthropologists have recorded that as a "taboo", which in my experience is just a silly anthropology term that means the anthropologist has no idea and probably never learned to speak the languages so they can't understand an explanation about why they don't hunt them. Adjacent populations along the major rivers do because there are gallery forests there. Colleagues of mine working in the Manu Biosphere Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon who also did long-term fieldwork looked at conservation issues related to hunting. Populations of Machiguenga and Piro Indians within the park are prohibited from using shotguns, deemed "non-traditional" technology. Groups of the same Indians living outside of Manu do use shotguns. When shotgun using groups of men encounter monkeys, the inquisitive males descend slightly when they see these potential predators, and "blam" they are killed and the hunters go home. Within the park, the use of bows & arrows almost always results in missed shots in the first encounter with monkeys in the canopy. The Indians run shooting (and often losing arrows) through the forest until they are able to tire the stragglers, whom they are then able to kill. Who is slow in those troops? Females encumbered with young. Monkeys have long and slow reproduction, and one prime conservation goal in the Biosphere Reserve is to encourage the recovery of all primate populations. From a conservation perspective, what would be most sensible is to allow park inhabitants to use shotguns and preferentially kill males. Try telling that to conservation biologists and park administrators in contrast to their ideas about "traditional" hunting practices and there idea all of that is "naturally conservationist". Under past conditions of fewer people (especially outsiders) in the region, Indians could move to new areas when they start to exhaust the resources. That is no longer an option for them with encroachment on all their territories, and over-exploitation is the consequence here, and in many parts of the world.
×