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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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Dear Gentlemen

Can anyone help with the identification of the stars/medals depicted in the attached photos? The badge of the order matches the description and dimensions as set out in the article by Richard Smith referred to above. The other medals/badges are nowhere to be found on the internet. Can anyone cast light on which classes of the order they might belong to? 

3FA907CB-CBFE-4977-BCCA-9E215C1A5CB0.jpeg

This star matches the one depicted in the reply of 922F above:

F7CE5D7A-D164-4E86-B058-8E9249BE2A3A.jpeg

A5D4FB64-5D3D-401D-831B-B6F463BB897D.jpeg

B60D1678-1FF4-49BA-AC7C-0B52207604B8.jpeg

2029CB3C-C71E-4C56-B6E1-8B32B25939C1.jpeg

B0D9D1A8-BFA3-4B60-ABD4-C269F4BCA949.jpeg

80B62804-5061-49F1-AB88-406548FDCB18.jpeg

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The following medals are also somewhat enigmatic; despite a long internet search I was unable to find any information on them. The very good Wikipedia page on Bop medals does not mention them. I should be most grateful for any assistance in their identification. Any ideas?

Thanks and regards

Alex

3A506127-6C79-4A0A-B70D-EFD0F5145842.jpeg

89219AA5-4046-4389-851D-DB191D3D3472.jpeg

225E798D-13C2-4F17-B3EB-0C9509D52E0F.jpeg

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22 hours ago, AlexRSA said:

Dear Gentlemen

Can anyone help with the identification of the stars/medals depicted in the attached photos? The badge of the order matches the description and dimensions as set out in the article by Richard Smith referred to above. The other medals/badges are nowhere to be found on the internet. Can anyone cast light on which classes of the order they might belong to? 

As far as I can tell :

1 (gold badge on neck ribbon) is Grand Commander

2 (star with red circlet) is Grand Commander

3 (star with blue circlet) -- possibly military division?

4 (silver badge on neck ribbon) is probably Commander

5 (blue cross) is Commander in the Military Division (added in 1992)

6 (silver badge on chest ribbon) is either Officer or Member

7 (silver medal on chest ribbon) must be the Medal of the Order (added in 1992).

21 hours ago, AlexRSA said:

The following medals are also somewhat enigmatic; despite a long internet search I was unable to find any information on them. The very good Wikipedia page on Bop medals does not mention them. I should be most grateful for any assistance in their identification. Any ideas?

What are the reverse designs?

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2 hours ago, Arthur R said:

As far as I can tell :

1 (gold badge on neck ribbon) is Grand Commander

2 (star with red circlet) is Grand Commander

3 (star with blue circlet) -- possibly military division?

4 (silver badge on neck ribbon) is probably Commander

5 (blue cross) is Commander in the Military Division (added in 1992)

6 (silver badge on chest ribbon) is either Officer or Member

7 (silver medal on chest ribbon) must be the Medal of the Order (added in 1992).

What are the reverse designs?

Dear Arthur

Thank you so much!

You are a scholar and a gentleman.

Regards

Alex

2 hours ago, Arthur R said:

What are the reverse designs?

 

On 01/02/2019 at 19:07, AlexRSA said:

The following medals are also somewhat enigmatic; despite a long internet search I was unable to find any information on them. The very good Wikipedia page on Bop medals does not mention them. I should be most grateful for any assistance in their identification. Any ideas?

Thanks and regards

Alex

3A506127-6C79-4A0A-B70D-EFD0F5145842.jpeg

89219AA5-4046-4389-851D-DB191D3D3472.jpeg

225E798D-13C2-4F17-B3EB-0C9509D52E0F.jpeg

Here are the reverse designs (in the same order as the obverse designs posted)

B81335B6-292D-4AA9-ADCA-208565E37547.jpeg

4D12FB27-EB59-4738-A310-14D3F13981D3.jpeg

8025624A-2C0D-4484-B365-0DB376FF7E35.jpeg

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Noticed Bophuthatswana's coat of arms on medal reverses in Post 10 above.   Bophuthatswana's national motto,  Tshwaraganang Lo Dire Pula E Ne [Tswana for "If we stand together and work hard we will be blessed with rain"]  appears as the coat of arms motto underneath the blason.  

This caused me to revisit the entire thread where for the first time I saw what looks like an inscription embossed into the star motto ring Post 6 above.    It seems more visible from the reverse but the obverse image shows enamel 'thins' at the embossing's location.  Sometimes gouges or lines are made in metal before enameling to ensure that the enamel bonds more securely to the metal.  This technique is known as Champlevé.  It may be that whatever is embossed into the motto ring was so intended.  However, I seem to make out letters along the lines of "AFRIKAANCE--" on the upper half and "AFRICA--A" on the lower part.  [Dashes indicate unclear characters.]  This text, if that's what it is, seems unrelated to Bophuthatswana's national motto.  Maybe it's the manufacturer's mark or indicates that the same die was used for another item.   Perhaps the original design included a motto ring legend?

Any ideas?   

 

 

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2 hours ago, 922F said:

This caused me to revisit the entire thread where for the first time I saw what looks like an inscription embossed into the star motto ring Post 6 above.    ...  However, I seem to make out letters along the lines of "AFRIKAANCE--" on the upper half and "AFRICA--A" on the lower part.  [Dashes indicate unclear characters.] 

I think that the wording is SUID-AFRIKAANSE MUNT (around the top ) and SOUTH AFRICAN MINT (around the bottom).

Edited by Arthur R

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Thanks for posting the reverses of the three mystery medals, Alex.  Definitely the Bop coat of arms.

I wonder what on earth they are.  They aren't any of the Bop awards that are listed in the 2005 consolidated table of precedence (unless one of them is the State President's Medal for Shooting, of which I've never seen a pic or description).  Prototypes of medals that were never finalised perhaps?

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