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Ed_Haynes

ARAB MEDALS -- Syria

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It is not uncommon, in my somewhat limited experience, for 'foreign awards' and minatures in particular to have the wrong ribbons simply because the correct ones were not available to the tailor/jewelller when a set was being made up.  And, if one receives such a set, finding the correct ribbons, especially for strange awards which one's peers won't recognize anyway, is probably not high on the 'must do' list.

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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?

civilmerit3old.jpg

civilmerit4.jpg

Edited by 922F
spelchek

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922F,

Good post - yes two types of the Order of Merit. Many years ago I met with Bichay in his retirement in Canada and he specifically mentioned this award noting that he had advised or had been advised that post 1948 a 6 pointed star regardless of historical precedent could/would no longer be acceptable and thus the design was amended to 5 pointed star. I attach below some more examples

Regards,

Owain

Syria Merit 1st Type 4th Class Obverse.jpg

Syria Merit 1st Type 4th Class Reverse.jpg

Syria Merit Badge Variant Obverse.jpg

Syria Merit Badge Variant Reverse.jpg

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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]. 

Edited by 922F
s

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Hi - what you mention is interesting. I have never seen such an example of the Order of Merit with a space for a name to be engraved - do you have any images? All, of the six pointed stars that I have or have seen have the common reverse. Regards, Owain

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Interesting - I knew the Order of Merit had changed design but not why... until now!

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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?  

 

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Further this order I attach and image of the bronze piece I obtained from the American Numismatic Society auction at Morton & Eden in 2007. This is, I believe, a very early piece, but as to whether it is a specimen or not, I do not know, however as can be seen from the image there is no space for any name to be engraved.

Regards,

Owain

M & E Sale 2007 Syria Edit.jpg

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On 16/2/2018 at 17:54, 922F said:

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?

civilmerit3old.jpg

civilmerit4.jpg

Thank you very much for your reply! Don't know if there is a manufacture's mark on the top point of the star at the back, in the ball suspension? Details of the green graving on the anvers is very nice.

 

Best regards,

 

GM1

IMG_4169.jpg

IMG_4170.jpg

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Irrelevant to the main discussion but as soon as I saw Owain's 'disqulaified' 6 point star I wondered 'because of Israel?' :(

Edited by peter monahan

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Peter,

Subsequent to the 1948 war six pointed stars, which had also been a feature of Arabic design, were no longer deemed acceptable.

Owain

 

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Dear all!

In Syria a new stamps have been issued. The fact is that all of the images have been stolen from my web page. Look. Pretty, huh?(image from eBay.com) 

1600.jpg

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Яшкин Григорий Петрович

jah.jpg

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On 2/28/2018 at 23:08, samurai said:

Dear all!

In Syria a new stamps have been issued. The fact is that all of the images have been stolen from my web page. Look. Pretty, huh?(image from eBay.com) 

1600.jpg

I'm not sure if these stamps are actually issued by the Syrian government, or if they're just souvenirs. The Arabic text says "السورية" "The Syrian" instead of "سورية" "Syria". Using Google's reverse image search, I found the seller on eBay selling these, and a lot of the stamps he sells don't appear to be real. A lot of them appear to be pro-Syria "memes" from Twitter printed on perforated stamp sheets. One of the items he sells, a set of Haitian stamps featuring Chile's Pinochet is listed by the Haiti Philatelic Society as being falsely issued and reported by Haitian authorities to the UPU.

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