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922F

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  1. ARAB MEDALS -- Syria

    Owain, I could not find a single image of a first type insignia reverse, let along one illustrating a named example. Besides an hour’s internet search, no readily available books or periodicals [including manufacturers’ catalogs] depict it! Souyris-Rolland and Bourdier [1977 revision] describe first type reverses with space for engraving names. Neither specifically references a second type naming option. Rullier explicitly mentions first type naming but is unclear on applicability to the second type. He may have provided line drawings of reverses for both types in his late 1960's? Sabetache article but I cannot find the relevant issue. I've reviewed over 100 images and examples of second type reverses without finding a single named one. While hand engraved early [1927-29] second types may offer space possibility for naming, the most common pre 1953 struck examples [Arthus Bertrand or unmarked] do not. Although several French collector websites report that the second type could be named, they cite no source. Quite likely, the second type never had a naming option. Possibly confusion over Arabic script or the ornamental design separating the words at the circumference led to this error?
  2. ARAB MEDALS -- Syria

    Owain, Yes, Fahmy [along with French & Syrian colleagues] pointed out that the 'disqualifying' Star of David appearing in the center of first type insignia mandated a revised design post 1953! The reverse inscription changed at least three times to my knowledge. Originally [1926-27] in French in relief or raised format it read: "ETAT DE SYRIE" above a depressed rectangular plaque engraved "HONNEUR ET DEVOUEMENT" with the recipient’s name engraved underneath. Next (1927—1953?) all inscriptions were engraved in Arabic with "SYRIAN MERIT” above the recipient’s name surrounded by a circular inscription around the planchet edge which translates as "HONOR - DEVOTION”. After 1953? awardees’ names apparently ceased to be engraved on awards. Varients like your last two images above taking the form of the Order's star but worn on the chest and with a reverse Arabic inscription "ORDER OF CIVIL MERIT - SYRIA" exist as well. Burke cites regulations governing this award that differ from those provided in Sabretache [1963].
  3. ARAB MEDALS -- Syria

    I am not convinced that the miniature award under discussion represents a Syrian Order of Civil Merit nor that the ribbon is a replacement. Given the provenance and eclectic decoration range seen here, I cannot suggest an alternative honor -- although the Syrian Order of Devotion [project from 1940?, definitely active 1953] may be the closest design match, ribbon and planchet detail notwithstanding. I am well aware, nonetheless, that finding a mini corresponding to an award on the proper ribbon may well be rather difficult! Consideration of the 1953 Syrian Order of Civil Merit founding date may be immaterial as a precursor existed. Henry de Jouvenel, French High Commissioner in Syria & Lebanon, established the Honor Medal of Syrian Merit on 10 April 1926 with an overall ‘6 arrow’ design illustrated below. A decree of 1 August 1927 renamed the decoration as the Order of Civil Merit. Legislative Decree No. 153 of 25 June 1953 instituted a change in design [‘5 arrow’ type, 2nd image below] but retained the name Order of Civil Merit. Miniatures of this award on correct ribbon of either type were obtainable & remain widely available from inception, as do 1953 design Syrian Order of Devotion reductions, making me believe that this is not a one off mini. This piece appears to be very well executed: Does it have any manufacturer’s marks?
  4. Could you determine whether the eagle is hollow? Gold fakes are solid gold. Around 1915-16, silver-gilt replaced gold as the insignia base material. Every silver-gilt one I've seen, authentic or copy, was solid. There's not much debate that metal remaining between the upper eagle wings and the motto ring [as on this piece] indicates a copy. Contemporary images do illustrate a small number of Inhaber eagles with this variation; I know of no Ritter badges of that type. As ixhs informs, researchers agree that teachers and clergy primarily received eagle class decorations. On retirement, mid-to high rank civil servants also might obtain such an award for long & meritorious service. Award combination appears extremely unusual and should be relatively easy to trace, if legitimate.
  5. These pieces look to be of relatively high quality, perhaps Spanish, production.
  6. Awards to Enver Hoxha

    Hoxha's uniform belt [shown in post #47 image and previous] looks like a Zog type design with some modification above the eagle's heads. Could anyone verify this?
  7. Both for $50? Look on auction internet sites, including eB#y, to get a ballpark price idea, They look genuine.
  8. Alexei Evert unknown decoration.

    Looks like an Order of the Crown of the Emirate of Bukhara [Nishoni Todzhi Bukhoroi Dor Us Saltanat] Grand Cross star -- see Werlich's Russian Order book or Megan's website. Here's an image displaying a different but similar photo.
  9. Eurorders, Sincere congratulations on these marvelous pieces, especially the SCG bar!! Seem to recall that your SCG bar may have been in the Seymour collection -- if anyone has the relevant Thies auction catalogs, might be worth a look there to verify. Seymour certainly owned similar bars originally belonging to SCG government, household and court functionaries including quite impressive chauffeur, mid-level & superior ministry secretary, steward, and adjutant groups. Regrettably those catalogs do not usually contain recipient information.
  10. Blaschke, Hanns

    I cannot now locate an image of the miniature group. Emedals sold at least one of his awards [Croatian Order of Merit grand cross https://www.emedals.com/the-order-of-merit-awarded-to-vienna-mayor-eu4427] however.
  11. Blaschke, Hanns

    Weren't his mini medals/orders offered for sale recently?
  12. Order of the Leopard - Bophuthatswana

    Updates: Richard Smith authored the article published in The Medal Collector [now JOMSA] mentioned in my post #2 above. Titled ORDER OF THE LEOPARD OF BOPHUTHATSWANA, it appeared in December 1983, Volume 34, Number 12, pp. 6-7. The piece includes a black & white image of the star and badge. Smith states: "The Order’s Riband is woven watered silk, 38 mm wide, of cobalt blue with orange edgings along both sides, those being the national colors of the Republic of Bophuthatswana..." The sash may be broader than 38 mm. Smith reported that the Order had 4 classes. He describes the star as 110 mm. across. The badge resembles an elongated compass rose 90 mm. tall [perhaps 75 mm wide?] with a centered obverse disc like the star center and the Republic's arms on the reverse. Present South African award regulations acknowledge this award's legitimacy, as well as that of all other Bantustan decorations, and permit them to be worn. Arthur's images seem not available now. Illustrations of Bophuthatswana's Order of the Leopard star including hallmark follow--I do not see an obvious maker's mark.
  13. Medal to identify

    Likely a French or Belgian 'private' organizational award. Could you show the rest of the bar? The other awards mounted with it may give a clue to identification. See the fantastic catalog by a distinguished colleague at: http://www.semon.fr/LES ASSOCIATIVES.htm
  14. I am simply astounded at this heretofore unknown to me treasure!! The story behind this item excels even its exquisite craftsmanship. Deepest thanks for sharing this story and source!! Regarding our discussion of 'unknown' physical insignia, a recent e#ay lot offered what appears to be possibly a damaged [missing either the obverse coat of arms device or just a damaged center cross but by same maker as usual insignia] star to the Montenegrin Red Cross Order, 3rd or 4th type. Below images of usual badge and the recently offered 'star'.
  15. Regarding the 'set' imaged in Vazov's post 17 above, I saw only limited portions of the Goodwin collection and do not remember this ‘set’ at all. Given my interests,would think that I would recall seeing it or reading of it if I ever did!! However, Robert Werlich owned a somewhat similar ‘star’ in 1966-67. He said that he acquired it, perhaps in 1965-6, at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul in a lot of 10-12 high-ranking Balkan States awards sold by the same vendor. He may have listed in for sale in one of his 1967-68 catalogs; I cannot find the one in which it may have been enumerated, if that ever happened. His catalogs did not contain illustrations in any case. Alas, I could not afford the $150 price! Werlich’s ‘star’ certainly did not have a Schwertner backplate or any other marks; I believe that the star body was of a somewhat different shape [like a Romanian Crown star?] and silver, not gilt and silver. I do not recall whether the badge mounted on it had year dates or a pearled ring around the motto. The reverse pin had a more sculpted, traditional shape as found on most genuine Bulgarian stars. I have never seen another example of this sort of ‘star’ until now. As to the instant pieces, as New Word and others suggest, it might seem reasonable that if the ‘star’ has year dates, the badge would also. Further, one might expect that the sash badge would be at least as large as a first class badge. All contributors note other various ‘unusual’ aspects of these pieces, including overall quality, finish and starting price! Yet, we know that any number of ‘odd’ Bulgarian insignia configurations exist and have done since the 1940’s at least. The McKay Collection at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington contains, for example, the infamous Bulgarian ‘Order of the Red Cross Grand Cross set’ [badge & star illustrated in Werlich’s Orders and Decorations of All Nations, page 78, part of the collection since at least 1952]. Graf Klenau Auctions offered at least one related sash in the Red Cross colors in 1967-‘69. Werlich also illustrates a [misidentified] St. Alexander lst class star with swords and swords-on-the-ring from the same McKay collection. Several National Order of Military Merit commander with княз type suspension crowns or Civil Merit commanders with ‘Hessian’ crowns have appeared for sale over the years. Some possible but unlikely scenarios like an individual from a country that traditionally awarded swords plus sword-on-ring who received a Bulgarian award had insignia made to reflect their imagined honors or someone with delusions of grandeur expecting to impress superiors commissioned such insignia. It is also undoubtedly true that collectors with specialized interests could have insignia made for their imagined superior grades of Orders. An example: From the mid-1950’s thru late 1960’s a ‘Grand Cross Club’ existed in the U.S.A. composed of collectors like Goodwin, McKay, McNamara, and others who competed to ‘collect’ high rank awards. ‘Finding’ some supposed top class award from a then relatively unfamiliar country clearly would be a coup!! Aside but perhaps related note-- A French maker [maybe Bertrand?] manufactured copies of Haitian Imperial awards supposedly for the National Museum of Haiti in 1952-3 using original dies and fired enamel. Etienne used them to illustrate his 1954 published book. These copies were made of silver gilt, not gold. Nonetheless, several high-profile collectors [including some of the gentlemen named above and others like Kai Meyer of Holte and Colonel Deltcheff of Paris] managed to obtain hollow gold badges and 950 silver stars now almost indistinguishable from those made 100 years earlier! I’ve mainly given up trying to determine exactly what these things represent—are they dealer or collector assembled ‘mules’ or reconstructions, indicators of an awardee’s self-promotion, adaptations to national classes by foreigners [swords plus swords-on-ring], complete fantasies or trial pieces? Or perhaps a heretofor unknown official varient?
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