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NPGilbert

Order of the Leopard - Bophuthatswana

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Afternoon all

I found images of the Bophuthatswana Order of the Leopard (Not sure?). This is the first time I come across the name of this order. I presume it was one of Bophuthatswana's National Orders as it is not part of the orders and decorations of the Bophuthatswana Defence Force of which I have a little knowledge. The images posted here looks similar to the Defence Force Merit Decoration so it might be a case of mistaken identity. If anybody can help with information on the order of the leopard as well as with images of the order I will appreciate it.

Regards

Norman

Edited by NPGilbert

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The OMSA "Medal Collector" contained an article on Bophuthatswana's Order of the Leopard some years ago. The article was written because of an award of the grand cross of this order to Frank Sinatra when he performed at Sun City in South Africa. I believe at least the star was illustrated. Unfortunately I do not have a "Medal Collector" index available. Perhaps someone else could consult that index?

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Trick question-there is no complete Index. I have been working on one -working backwards for about 3 months now. I am hoping to find the original comprehensive 1984 index so as to incorporate it. Then I figured I could upload it on the OMSA site and edit it monthly-perhaps even earning myself the OMSA merit medal for all my typing :unsure:

I'll go have a snout round.

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The images posted here looks similar to the Defence Force Merit Decoration so it might be a case of mistaken identity.

Yup, that's the Defence Force Merit Decoration.

The Order of the Leopard was a civil honour, established at the time of independence in 1977. It was apparently reorganised, and expanded to include a military division, in 1992.

The original badge of the order was an 16-pointed star:

boplep1.jpg

Apparently the following are post-1992 insignia of the order -- I don't know whether of the military division only, or both civil and military divisions:

boplep2.jpg

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Afternoon Gentlemen

Thank you for your inputs. Arthur thank for the images you posted of the order. That is another puzzle solved for me.

Much Appreciated.

Regards

Norman :jumping:

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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.   

bop star.jpg

bop star rev.jpg

s-l1600.jpg

Edited by 922F
spelck

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