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Kingdom of Madagascar - Order Of Merit

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Hello to all

Here are pictures of the Order of Merit, established in 1861 by King Ramada ll, it seems based on the French order system ( 2nd Empire Period ) with rosette, crown & center bust of the King. In 1863 King Ramada ll was assassinated and the order became abolished . Does anybody know if the order was primarily given for civil acts or military. Was it mostly awarded to the local populace or Europeans who were stationed in the Kingdom? Excuse delay for pictures

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Double wow!

Ever read Flashamns' Lady?

Queen Ravavanaola was a beast. Interesting medal from an interesting time.

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Very nice. There was a good piece in the JOMSA on these awards. Let me try to find the reference.

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A French language, paper bound book, entitled something like "Decorations Malagache", published in the late 1960s - early 70s? describes Malagasy decorations up to that time. It includes some information on royal award criteria. The book has a number of illustrations most of which are poor quality. I believe FJP auctioned a copy in the past few years and it's sometimes available from French sources.

Like the book's authors (the Chavincourts? who lived in Madagascar), Colonel Guyadier opined that most Radama II awardees were either French government (civil & military) officials or those closely related to the convoluted Malagasy elite. Overall numbers under Radama II were fairly limited and there is some discussion on this topic in 1960s-70s Sabretache articles. Queen Ranavalona III was supposedly more generous with her decorations. It is unclear whether additional decoration examples were manufactured in the 1890s or again in the 1920s. (Perhaps for collectors?) Most insignia is silver gilt but gold examples, including some set with precious stones, exist. Almost all insignia have French hallmarks and stars often have French jeweller ID plates on the reverse.

Google search reveals a number of illustrations of people wearing the royal Madagascar Order of Merit, including Queen Rasoherina (1863-68) who succeeded Radama II, her assassinated husband

The Malagasy national museum has only a few insignia on display, about the number you see at the Legion of Honor museum in Paris. A few Brits or Portugese may also have receive royal recognition. Several items are displayed, but not for sale at any price, in a Sandton (Jo'berg) coin shop.

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A French language, paper bound book, entitled something like "Decorations Malagache", published in the late 1960s - early 70s? describes Malagasy decorations up to that time. It includes some information on royal award criteria. The book has a number of illustrations most of which are poor quality. I believe FJP auctioned a copy in the past few years and it's sometimes available from French sources.

Like the book's authors (the Chavincourts? who lived in Madagascar), Colonel Guyadier opined that most Radama II awardees were either French government (civil & military) officials or those closely related to the convoluted Malagasy elite. Overall numbers under Radama II were fairly limited and there is some discussion on this topic in 1960s-70s Sabretache articles. Queen Ranavalona III was supposedly more generous with her decorations. It is unclear whether additional decoration examples were manufactured in the 1890s or again in the 1920s. (Perhaps for collectors?) Most insignia is silver gilt but gold examples, including some set with precious stones, exist. Almost all insignia have French hallmarks and stars often have French jeweller ID plates on the reverse.

Google search reveals a number of illustrations of people wearing the royal Madagascar Order of Merit, including Queen Rasoherina (1863-68) who succeeded Radama II, her assassinated husband

The Malagasy national museum has only a few insignia on display, about the number you see at the Legion of Honor museum in Paris. A few Brits or Portugese may also have receive royal recognition. Several items are displayed, but not for sale at any price, in a Sandton (Jo'berg) coin shop.

Dear 922F

Thanks for all that amazing info history :D , sounds like Queen Ranavalona was as generous in awarding as Ferdinand of Bulgaria but not as nice. The badge is silver gilt with gold centers. I did notice a hallmark on the ring so perhaps the jeweler can be identified.

Sincerely

Yankee

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Just saw FJP's 17 May auction catalog which offers a copy of the 1969 published book I mentioned earlier, "Numismatique Malgache: Medailles et decorations de Madagascar, the French language, paper bound book, describing Malagasy decorations up to that time, as lot 1567 at a very reasonable $35-$40 reserve. Usually they go for $75 or more on French eBay.

The recently posted photos of the President of the Republic wearing his Grand Master's insignia (collar and GC set) of the National Merit Order is most welcome!!

Note the 3rd Republic type design and the fact he wears insignia produced in Antanarivo rather than Paris.

The FJP auction contains several republic order insignia this time .

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Here are pictures of the Order of Merit, established in 1861 by King Radama ll, it seems based on the French order system ( 2nd Empire Period ) with rosette, crown & center bust of the King. In 1863 King Radama ll was assassinated and the order became abolished. Does anybody know if the order was primarily given for civil acts or military. Was it mostly awarded to the local populace or Europeans who were stationed in the Kingdom?

Here's a picture of the medal group of General Digby Willoughby, a British soldier-of-fortune who commanded the Madagascan Army against the French in the 1880's. Willoughby subsequently signed the Peace Treaty between the Madagascan and French Governments and was awarded the Order of Merit of Radama II (Officer's Class in gilt) and the French Legion of Honour in recognition of his services. I acquired Willoughby's medals in 1980 and I still have them. I published an article on this remarkable gentleman in a 1982 issue of the Journal of the Orders and Medals Research Society (UK).

Willoughby1.jpg

Willoughby2.jpg

Willoughby3.jpg

Treaty4033.jpg

Edited by Colonel-By

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Order of Radama II Order was created in september 1862

2 types :

Order of Radama II First Type

1/The jeweler manufacturer was Kretly in Paris for the first production, probably end of 1862. Radama is with short hair, looks like Jules Cesa …Under Radama II, the middle star is bigger than the 2 others. The ribbon is red, 5 classes like the french honour legion. (knight, Officer, Commander, Cross, Grand Cross)

Radama II was assassinated in May 1863…

Order of Radama II Second Type

2/A second manufacturing was also procuded. Radama is with longer hair and mustache. Portrait Photo coming from William Ellis. The 3 stars are similar under Radama.

Exist also in 5 classes.

No idea of this second production ?! probably during Ranavalona II, order confered until 1896 and the order of Ranavalona III.

For this new production, a new ribbon white edged with blue appears, but only for foreigners, still the Red ribbon for malagasy recipients.

Best Regards

 

 

 

Tête1.jpg

Tête2.JPG

2eTypeRadama.JPG

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Hello Gentlemen,

The Order of Radama has a thrilling history, the first supply of Orders sent to Madagascar was close to go down to the Ocean, as the ship which carried them suffered a storm, and was close to sank. However it finally reaches Madagascar.

Here you can see the 2 types of center side by side. The one at left hand side is from my collection, the one at left is from the collection of a fellow, who was kind enough to leave it with me for a couple of days, some years ago.

The reverse (photo 3) is of my Knight.

The reverse (photo 5), is of the Knight of my friend, and his Order bear also the hallmark at 11 O'Clock on reverse (photo 6)

For the potential buyer, this Order is rare and expensive, but DO NOT LET dealer get you fooled.

French Order (or Medals) produced for EXPORT, before 1879, must bear a specific hallmarks, (watch on 4th picture), it's like the head of the greek Ceres God. On my Knight this hallmark is on reverse at 11 O'Clock, but it is NOT always in the same place.

Collector should ay extreme care, because this Order was still produced by company Delande in the 1930ies. The Delande catalogue is a very good documentation for french Orders & Medals, and Mr Delande did great job in researching information from 1910 till the 1950ies about any information he could get on Orders & Medals (keep in mind that on that time, no internet, you had to write letter to your Embassy abroad, and wait a reply of the Chargé d'Affaire there, and then get in touch with the information he would have got for you, usually Mr Delande was able to get information within 1 to 2 years). But the Radama Order produced by Delande do NEVER have the "Ceres Head" hallmark, and are almost always found with the white ribbon edged in blue.

Best regards.

     Emmanuel

 

 

Madagascar Order of Radama Knight Type 1 & 2 obverse.jpg

Madagascar Order of Radama Knight Type 1 & 2 centers obverse.jpg

Madagascar Order of Radama Knight Type 1 reverse.jpg

Madagascar Order of Radama Knight Type 1 Hallmarks of Ceres Head French Export Hallmark before 1879..jpg

Madagascar Order of Radama Knight Type 2 reverse.jpg

Madagascar Order of Radama Knight Type 2 Hallmarks of Ceres Head French Export Hallmark before 1879.jpg

Edited by heusy68

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My friend who got the Type 2 Knight badge (with Radama with long beard), he was lucky enough to get it from a case of Orders awarded to the same person, incl a Radama Order breast star (sadly with 4 white arms damaged).

You can clearly see the back plate of Kretly, sole original manufacturer of this Order, and on the pin of this breast star, there is that specific hallmark : "Ceres God Head" for items produced in France BEFORE 1879, and made of silver & gold.

The cross, superimposed on the breast star, is made of gold.

It's difficult to see, but there is an empty space in the case, so if we refer to the chain of miniature, it could have been either a St Sylvester & Golden Sporn or a Christ from Portugal, or a Legion of honor 2nd Empire that is missing for the case.

Sadly this friend never accepted to sell this case to me. That's life....

Best regards.

    Emmanuel

Madagascar Order of Radama Grand Officer set in case small size file.JPG

Madagascar Order of Radama Knight Type 2 reverse.jpg

Madagascar Order of Radama Knight Type 2 obverse.jpg

Madagascar Order of Radama Knight Type 2 Hallmarks of Ceres Head French Export Hallmark before 1879.jpg

Madagascar Order of Radama Grand Officer breast star obverse small size file.jpg

Madagascar Order of Radama Grand Officer breast star reverse 2.jpg

Madagascar Order of Radama Grand Officer breast star reverse 1.jpg

Madagascar Order of Radama Grand Officer breast star reverse hallmark on pin.jpg

Edited by heusy68

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The Officer's badge of the Order of Radama from a post by Yankee in 2007, is also a 100 % original one.

The Officer ribbon is very rare. As you can see, here the "Ceres God Head" hallmark in on obverse side at 6 O'Clock.

This specific cross has a very good provenance, as it was long the property of the author Jeffrey Jacob who in the 1960ies published the book : "Court Jeweler of the World". I had the possibility to buy that cross, but sadly it did not materialized, and a well known dealer from Toronto bought it for probably a fraction of what is its value.

Transation over the Atantic are not always easy......

Best regards.

    Emmanuel

Madagascar Order of Radama Officer obverse.jpg

Madagascar Order of Radama Officer reverse.jpg

Edited by heusy68

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Courtesy of a London auction house, that had this fantastic neck badge of the Order of Radama on his web site in the 1st years of the 21st Century,I can share with you the pictures that I host.

That neck badge was awarded to Lord Anson (1826-1925 ), who was in 1862 Vice Governor of Mauritius, the Governor didn't wished to go to Madagascar to represent the British Government, and then he sent his Deputy, Archibald E.H. Anson, who went to Madagascar, and stayed 7 months on the Island. He assisted to the Coronation of the King, and was bestowed a Commander of the Order of Radama. Later Anson became Governor of the Straits Settlements, and nowadays in Singapore, Anson Road is named after him.

He published his memoire at the end of his long life, and his book depicts with details the life in Madagascar on that time, and the Coronation Ceremony. The book name is About Others & Myself and is a fantastic testimony from a person who witnessed the evolution of the world from the pre victorian era to the 1920ies

Later this fantastic neck badge was purchased by a well known swiss collector, who later auctioned his collection by a well known swiss auction house of Basel in November 2008.

Best regards.

    Emmanuel

 

Madagascar Order of Merit of Radama II Cmdr obverse.jpg

Madagascar Order of Merit of Radama II Cmdr reverse.jpg

Madagascar Order of Merit of Radama II 2nd Class case of issue lower size file051.jpg

Madagascar Sir Archibald.E.H. Anson.jpg

Edited by heusy68

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Emmanuel, Great pictures and fascinating history - thank you, Owain

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Thank you Emmanuel, very interesting !

I was yesterday in Antananarivo, and I saw a nice Radama Order still in the same family for the awarding!

A view question :

1/You are right, my order with blue ribbon is probably coming from Delande! Did they produce cross to be awarded ?

2/Do you have an idea of the production of the second type with long beard and hear?

3/What is strange is that knight could be in silver or in gold?

4/The nice commander do not have any hallmark, is it normal?

Best regards

Nicolas

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