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lilo

Afghanistan Nishan-I-Astour Order : what is the exact colour/s of the ribbon ?

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Hello Everyone,

I'm searching for what should be the colour/colours used in the ribbon for the Afghanistan Order called : Nishan-I-Astour (known in English as 'Order of the Star').

The sources on this order either in internet or in the various auction catalogs are scarce but I was convinced that the true colour used for this Order was the 'DARK CRIMSON'.

This was my understanding till I bought a book I ordered from the following web-site : http://www.ormedec.com/products.html

The book in question is entitled : 'Reference Catalogue Orders, Medals, and Decorations of the World - Part I, Iron book A - D, Borna Barac'

On page 18 of this book the author identifies Five different types of the Nishan-I-Astour Order starting from its institution (about 1920) till his demise (about 1973).

He also identifies two different types of ribbons used for this Order as following :

1) a 'Black/Red/Green' ribbon used for the first four types of the Nishan-I-Astour Order, in use till 1960;

2) a 'DARK CRIMSON' ribbon used for the fifth type, from 1960 till the demise of this Order.

Please bear also in mind that in the Editor's Preface of this book (on page 7) it is reported the following statement : 'Although we are sure that it (the book) contains a number of incorrect data, particularly with China and Afghanistan, ??????..' this being an admission by the same author that not all that was written in this book especially for what regards the Afghanistan material, is correct.

My questions are :

-Is it true that the Nishan-I-Astour Order had the two different types of ribbon as above mentioned ?

-If not, what is the exact colour/colours of the ribbon used for this Order ?

In particular, I'm trying to establish the exact colour used for this Order in the period 1928 ? 1939 and this because I want to use the exact colour ribbon to put in the medal ribbon bars of two British recipients that received this Afghanistan Order.

The first recipient was Lord Baden-Powell that received the 1st class of this Order in 1928, during the visit to England of King Amanullah.

The other recipient was T/Capt Francis Douglas BAKER (1884-1958) that received the 2nd class of this Order in a period 1933-1939 (I don't know exactly when).

Awaiting to hear from you

Best Regards

Lilo

Edited by lilo

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Hi Lilo

At the time of King Amanullah the ribbon colours were blue-red-blue.

I have a picture of this Grand Cordon from a sales catalogue, but the dealer had wrongly attached the badge of the Order of the Sun, included a star and was trying to flog them all off as a set. The image is too big to post here, so please drop me a line with your e-mail address and I will send it to you.

The ribbon under King Zahir Shah was red, but I would not call it crimson. It was somewhat darker than crimson. I don't know what to call it. Cerise, perhaps?

Cheers,

James

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There is tremendous confusion and misunderstanding over these royal Afghan awards. James has given the best summary possible, given current knowledge. A shame the records are lost.

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Hi Lilo

At the time of King Amanullah the ribbon colours were blue-red-blue.

I have a picture of this Grand Cordon from a sales catalogue, but the dealer had wrongly attached the badge of the Order of the Sun, included a star and was trying to flog them all off as a set. The image is too big to post here, so please drop me a line with your e-mail address and I will send it to you.

The ribbon under King Zahir Shah was red, but I would not call it crimson. It was somewhat darker than crimson. I don't know what to call it. Cerise, perhaps?

Cheers,

James

Hi James,

Many thanks for your replay and kind offer (PM sent).

However, at the best of my knowledge, the ribbon colours blue/red/blue were just the colours used for the Order of the Sun.

(please bear also in mind that another -1st type- ribbon, different from the blue/red/blue before mentioned, was used for the Order of the Sun).

In conclusion I think that the photo you have in your catalog is that of the Order of the Sun with his correct 2nd type of ribbon (i.e. blue/red/blue).

What is not clear to me is what let you think that the dealer attached a wrong Order from the blue/red/blue ribbon (which thing I know to be correct) ?

Returning to my previous question I agree with you that the Cerise is the correct colour used for the ribbon of the Order of the STAR.

My modest opinion is that the other ribbon (that with the Black/Red/Green' colours) was used by people who did not know the correct ribbon to use with this Order, but I would like this matter to be judged by other forum members.

Regards

Lilo

Edited by lilo

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I suspect many foreigners used the ubiquitous Afghan tricolor ribbon on things to which it didn't belong, simply because it was available. This has certerinly been done into the 1980s, at least. Earlier, so little information was available on Afghanm awards (for example to the British) that it was general policy in the 19th century just to let recipients use whatever ribbons they wished for Afghan awards (especially since the wearing permission was usually tightly regulated for these awards and there were few legitimate wearers of Afghan awards -- not everyone that was given an award would be premitted to wear it under all circumstances).

Moreover, I think we here (as elsewhere) risk making a tremedous error in expecting too much scientific standardization in the colors used with ribbons from any place (at least until the post-WWII period, and maybe later that that). Color quality could and would vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and from batch to batch and often you just got as close as you could or, if that wasn't poissible, used whatever was at hand. This really isn't rocket science, never was.

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Hi James,

Many thanks for your replay and kind offer (PM sent).

However, at the best of my knowledge, the ribbon colours blue/red/blue were just the colours used for the Order of the Sun.

(please bear also in mind that another -1st type- ribbon, different from the blue/red/blue before mentioned, was used for the Order of the Sun).

In conclusion I think that the photo you have in your catalog is that of the Order of the Sun with his correct 2nd type of ribbon (i.e. blue/red/blue).

What is not clear to me is what let you think that the dealer attached a wrong Order from the blue/red/blue ribbon (which thing I know to be correct) ?

Returning to my previous question I agree with you that the Cerise is the correct colour used for the ribbon of the Order of the STAR.

My modest opinion is that the other ribbon (that with the Black/Red/Green' colours) was used by people who did not know the correct ribbon to use with this Order, but I would like this matter to be judged by other forum members.

Hello Lilo,

I have just sent you the ribbon that I mentioned.

The ribbon of the Order of the Sun (as well as the ankle length GC cape) at that time was definitely pale blue. 1) The original insignia and the Grand Cordon presented to King Albert of the Belgians by King Amanullah during the same visit to Europe in 1928 survives. It is at the Belgian Army Museum and they used to have a website with some pictures which you may be able to find by googling. 2) I have two hand coloured photograph of King Nadir Shah and King Zahir Shah from the 1930s where the cordon is colured pale blue. 3) I also have a b/w picture of Queen Suraya from 1928 where she is wearing the star, badge and sash, which is clearly of a light colour and plain (clearly without any stripes).

The black/red/green ribbon of equal stripes was indeed used by people who prefer to sell a medal with a ribbon than without. However, the Afghans themselves tended to use it for several different medals. At least up to the late 1930's.

Cheers,

James

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Hello Lilo,

I have just sent you the ribbon that I mentioned.

The ribbon of the Order of the Sun (as well as the ankle length GC cape) at that time was definitely pale blue. 1) The original insignia and the Grand Cordon presented to King Albert of the Belgians by King Amanullah during the same visit to Europe in 1928 survives. It is at the Belgian Army Museum and they used to have a website with some pictures which you may be able to find by googling. 2) I have two hand coloured photograph of King Nadir Shah and King Zahir Shah from the 1930s where the cordon is colured pale blue. 3) I also have a b/w picture of Queen Suraya from 1928 where she is wearing the star, badge and sash, which is clearly of a light colour and plain (clearly without any stripes).

The black/red/green ribbon of equal stripes was indeed used by people who prefer to sell a medal with a ribbon than without. However, the Afghans themselves tended to use it for several different medals. At least up to the late 1930's.

Cheers,

James

Hi James,

Many thanks for your usual kindness toward me in answering my various questions !

As I already stated in the answer I posted above and now that I can see the photo you sent me, what I recognise here - at the best of my knowledge - is that of a complete set (i.e. sash badge + breast star and including the sash ribbon) belonging to the Order of the Sun.

You are correct that the first type of ribbon for the Order of the Sun used from its istitution till about the starting 1930's was of a 'pale blue' colour but later (I don't know the exact date) it was changed in that of the 2nd type that is blue/red/blue.

The data you have to state that the ribbon used for the Order of the Sun till the starting 1930's is the pale blue, coincide with what is known to me so no conflict at all with what I have said. I only have addeed that a new 2nd type (blue/red/blue) was later used for the Order of the Sun.

Again, going back to my starting query, you have said that a blue/red/blue ribbon was used for the Order of the Star.

From what source you have taken this informations ?

Best Regards

Lilo

Edited by lilo

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Hi James,

I have re-read your last post and I think that a litlle misuruderstanding occurred for the incorrect identification the Belgian Army museum made of the Afghanistan Order received by King Albert.

As suggested by you, I googled to see the Belgian King's Afghan Order and I found it at : http://www.klm-mra.be/klm-new/engels/colle...bert/index.html (see the left list : it is the 1st Order listed)

I must report that it is incorrectly described/called by the museum as : Ordre d'Ustar (i.e. Order of the Star) but t is fisically corresponding to the Nishan-i-Almar (i.e. Order of the Sun).

So, to recapitolate, we have two different Afghanistan Orders about which we are speaking :

1) Order of the Sun (Nishan-i-Almar);

2) Order of the Star (Nishan-i-Astour): this is spelt variously and we can find it also as : 'Ustar', 'Istour', etc.

Beeing so the things, all the confusion - at least between these different Orders - is cleared up.

The two different Ribbons used for the Order of the Sun (Nishan-i-Almar), that received by Belgian King Albert, are :

- pale blue used from the istitution of this Order to the beginning of the 1930's (the same ribbon colour of the Afghan Order given at the end of 1920's to Belgian King Albert);

- blue/red/blue used from the beginning of the 1930's to the demise of this Order.

(In conclusion all correspond with what you have posted in your preceding comment !)

The ribbon used for the Order of the Star (Nishan-i-Astour) should be that of Cerise colour.

What do you think about my clarification ?

Best Regards

Lilo

Edited by lilo

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Hello Lilo,

I am sorry to say that your reasoning isn't correct.

You are right about the naming on the website of the Royal Army Museum in Belgium, but wrong about the ribbon colours.

The base colour of the ribbon of the Order of the Sun has always been pale blue. There was a change under King Zahir Shah to 'blue and red', but that is as far as the description goes. The actual "new" colours of the Zahir Shah ribbon were pale blue of a more 'electric' shade than before, with the addition of narrow cerise coloured stripes towards each edge. Here is the GC ribbon:

' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

Order of the Sun, first class ribbon - Zahir Shah

The Order of the Sun (or Astour) was equal stripes of blue-red-blue until the reign of Zahir Shah when it was changed to cerise. My brother owned an Amanullah third class neck badge with ribbon. Here it is:

' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

The Order of the Star, third class ribbon - Amanullah Shah

With best wishes,

James

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Hello Lilo,

I am sorry to say that your reasoning isn't correct.

You are right about the naming on the website of the Royal Army Museum in Belgium, but wrong about the ribbon colours.

The base colour of the ribbon of the Order of the Sun has always been pale blue. There was a change under King Zahir Shah to 'blue and red', but that is as far as the description goes. The actual "new" colours of the Zahir Shah ribbon were pale blue of a more 'electric' shade than before, with the addition of narrow cerise coloured stripes towards each edge. Here is the GC ribbon:

' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

Order of the Sun, first class ribbon - Zahir Shah

The Order of the Sun (or Astour) was equal stripes of blue-red-blue until the reign of Zahir Shah when it was changed to cerise. My brother owned an Amanullah third class neck badge with ribbon. Here it is:

' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

The Order of the Star, third class ribbon - Amanullah Shah

With best wishes,

James

Apologies, my attachments did not take properly in the above post.

The second ribbon should be:

Cheers,

James

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Hello Lilo,

The Order of the Sun (or Astour) was equal stripes of blue-red-blue until the reign of Zahir Shah when it was changed to cerise. My brother owned an Amanullah third class neck badge with ribbon. Here it is:

James

Hi James,

The discussion is becoming more and more interesting here, although some confusion is starting to come, at least for me.

Before going ahead, I must WELL understand about what we are discussing.

In your quote (I reported above), you have stated the Order of the Sun to be the same as that called Astour. I'm sorry to say that this is incorrect for what I have understood of all the matter.

Again, the Order of the Sun is the 'Nishan-i-Almar' while the Order of the Star is the 'Nishan-i-Astour'. Is this correct for what you know ????

When we agree on this point we can discuss about the colours of the ribbons used for the two Orders.

The Ribbons

If I well understood what you say, regarding the :

- Order of the Sun (or 'Nishan-i-Almar') two different (in colours) ribbons were used :

1) First type was : 'pale blue';

2) Second type was : pale blue of a more 'electric' shade + the addition of narrow cerise coloured stripes toward each edge.

regarding the :

- Order of the Star (or 'Nishan-i-Astour') two different (in colours) ribbons were used :

1) First type was : 3 equal stripes of blue/red/blue;

2) Second type was : 'Cerise'.

When Happened the change of the ribbons from 1st type to 2nd type ?

I have found the following web site : http://www.royalark.net/Afghanistan/orders.htm run by Christopher Buyers.

Between the various descriptions of the Afghanistan Orders there are the following :

-Order of the Sun (Nishan-i-Almar): founded by Amir Abdu'r Rahman ca. 1897, reformed and reorganised by King Habibu'llah Shah in 1901 and by King Amanu'llah in 1923. Remodelled by King Muhammad Zahir Shah in 1960 with a new ribbon and badge. Reorganised into a single class order during his exile in 1977.

-Order of the Star (Nishan-i-Astour): founded by Amir Abdu'r Rahman before 1901. Later modified and expanded to include four classes by King Muhammad Zahir Shah.

From what it is stated in the web site, the change from the 1st type to the 2nd type of the ribbon of the Order of the Sun was made by King Zahir Shah not in 1933 when He took the power but later in 1960.

For what regards the Order of the Star, instead, the change from the 1st type to the 2nd type of the ribbon, although not clearly reported in the before cited web site, is cleary stated in the book (I have cited in my starting post on this thread) entitled : 'Reference Catalogue Orders, Medals, and Decorations of the World - Part I, Iron book A - D, Borna Barac', where on page 18 it is stated that the change of ribbon happened in 1960 under King Zahir Shah.

In conclusion, the two sources both agree on the fact that during the year 1960 of his reign, the King Zahir Shah reformed some of his Orders and between the changes He made there were those of the ribbons (from 1st type to the 2nd type) used for the Orders about which we are discussing (i.e. the Sun and the Star)

Some questions :

1) Is it correct what I have understood about the colours of the ribbons of the two Orders?

2) If yes, from what source have you taken these very important conclusions/information ?

3) In the specific, I would like to know from what source you have taken the fact that for the Order of the Star (or 'Nishan-i-Astour') was used a 1st type of ribbon (blue/red/blue) ?

4) Am I correct in having understood that the change of colours of the types (from 1st to 2nd) of the ribbons for both Orders happened in 1960 during the rule of King Zahir Shah ?

Awaiting to hear from you

Best Regards

Lilo

Edited by lilo

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Hello Lilo,

?In your quote (I reported above), you have stated the Order of the Sun to be the same as that called Astour?.

Sorry, this is my mistake Astour is Star, as you say. Almar really translates as "Supreme Sun", as in full or mid-day sun, as opposed to a setting or rising sun.

?- Order of the Sun (or 'Nishan-i-Almar') two different (in colours) ribbons were used :

1) First type was : 'pale blue' used from the istitution of this Order to about the 1933 (year in which King Zahir Shah came to the power);

2) When in 1933 King Zahir Shah came to the power, the colours of the ribbons for the Order of the Sun changed in pale blue of a more 'electric' shade + the addition of narrow cerise coloured stripes toward each edge (i.e. 2nd type of ribbon). This last was the colour used till the demise of this Order in the first half of the '70s.?

Yes regarding the colours. No, I never mentioned the date 1933 anywhere. All I know is that the colour of the ribbon was changed sometime during the reign of Zahir Shah. Perhaps in the late 1950?s or early 1960?s but I do not know the date. Chancellor Adenaur of Germany received his GC with this second colour, that why I give this timing.

?- Order of the Star (or 'Nishan-i-Astour') two different (in colours) ribbons were used :

1) First type of the ribbon was : 3 equal stripes of blue/red/blue. This ribbon was used till about 1933 (year in which King Zahir Shah came to the power) when the ribbon changed its colours becoming the 2nd type of the ribbon;

2) Second type of the ribbon was introduced in 1933 (when King Zahir Shah came to the power); the colours of the ribbons for the Order of the Star changed into the 'Cerise' one.?

Yes regarding the colours. But again, I mentioned no date. Perhaps it was changed at the same time as the Order of the Sun, but I do not know when.

?1) Is it correct what I have understood about the colours of the ribbons of the two Orders??

Please see my answers above.

2) If yes, from what source have you taken these very important conclusions/information ?

See above and my earlier posting.

3) In the specific (I would like to know) from what source you have taken the fact that for the Order of the Star (or 'Nishan-i-Astour') was used a 1st type of ribbon (blue/red/blue) ?

See my earlier post and my e-mail to you. My brother had a third class neck badge with original ribbon from the reign of Amanullah. One of the online German or Swiss auction houses also had an almost identical third class badge on a similar coloured ribbon.

4) Am I correct in having understood that the change of colours of the types of the ribbons for both Orders happened in 1933 with the rule of King Zahir Shah ?

No.

The confusion over the ribbon colours probably all stems from Werlich, who appears to have confused the two orders. He does not mention the Order of the Star (Astour) at all, only the Orders of the Sun, Independence, Leader and the Dooranee Empire. Then, he says that the ribbon of the Order of the Sun was blue-red-blue.

Cheers,

James

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Hi James,

I have edited my previous post while you have posted your answer at this.

May I ask you to re-read what I have addeed in particular a propos of the time changing (1960) of the ribbons from 1st type to 2nd type ??

Many thanks for the other answers

Best Regards

Lilo

P.S. a very interesting exachange of information and a well done job !

Edited by lilo

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Lilo

Your estimate for 1960 may be correct because new statutes were published in that year. I am told that Adenauer received his insignia in 1963.

Cheers

James

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Hello,

For the records about the two different colours of ribbons used for the Order of the Sun (or 'Nishan-i-Almar') we have :

1) First type : 'pale blue' (on the left in the photo);

2) Second type : pale blue of a more 'electric' shade + the addition of narrow cerise coloured stripes toward each edge. (on the right in the photo)

From what discussed above is plausible to believe that the change from 1st type to 2nd type of the ribbon happened in c. 1960.

Edited by lilo

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For the records about the two different colours of ribbons used for the Order of the Star (or 'Nishan-i-Astour') we have :

1) First type : 3 equal stripes of blue/red/blue;

2) Second type : 'Cerise'.

From what discussed above is plausible to believe that the change from 1st type to 2nd type of the ribbon happened in c. 1960.

Edited by lilo

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