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drclaw

Persia - Order of the Lion and the Sun

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Emmanuel and Nick, thanks for that detailed information on the swan marking and other French marks. I've saved it in a Word document for future reference.

The swan mark appears to have been used after 1893 until the 60s or 70s.

I've found these references on another forum:

A Guide to Old French Plate' by Louis Carre is;

"The decree of June 29, 1893, discontinued the use of the 'ET' mark which had been created on January 13, 1864, for marking plate coming from countries without customs conventions, and replaced it by an 'owl' in an oval frame for gold and a 'swan' for silver. This reform had been rendered necessary by the Customs Law of January 11, 1892, which stipulated that all imported gold and silver plate should comply with the same conditions as plate manufactured in France"

Tardy's "International Hallmarks on Silver":

"The 'Swan' mark has been used since 1st July, 1893 on watch cases of all origins and up to 1970 it was struck on articles coming from non-contracting countries. In addition it is struck on silverware of the legal standard of fineness, but of unknown origin, which is sold at public auctions."

Here's a link to a very useful site with images of silver hallmarks for France and other countries.

http://www.silvercollection.it/Frenchhallmarks.html

A Chinese Order of the Double Dragon sold in the same Hermann Historica auction had a swan mark on the reverse pin. Craftsmanship was superb, clearly European, but NOT French given the mark. It was a Second Type Double Dragon from the period around 1902-1911.

Finding a swan mark certainly makes for entertainment, like one of those frustrating logic puzzles. It tells you it ISN'T French, but NOT what it is.

It tells you that it was imported into France or sold at a French auction between 1893 and the 1970s (but NOT when it was manufactured or where it was imported from)!

Gavin

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Here is another image courtesy of g1usxs that I downsized for him. A great looking 1st class military Lion and Sun breast star pre-1872. European made. The enamel art on this medallion is stunning! A Halley made order.

Edited by Markus

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Close up of the medallion. Look at those serious stern eyes! A Halley made order.

Edited by Markus

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Nice Markus! :beer:

Edited by JapanX

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Emmanuel and Nick, thanks for that detailed information on the swan marking and other French marks. I've saved it in a Word document for future reference.

The swan mark appears to have been used after 1893 until the 60s or 70s.

I've found these references on another forum:

A Guide to Old French Plate' by Louis Carre is;

"The decree of June 29, 1893, discontinued the use of the 'ET' mark which had been created on January 13, 1864, for marking plate coming from countries without customs conventions, and replaced it by an 'owl' in an oval frame for gold and a 'swan' for silver. This reform had been rendered necessary by the Customs Law of January 11, 1892, which stipulated that all imported gold and silver plate should comply with the same conditions as plate manufactured in France"

Tardy's "International Hallmarks on Silver":

"The 'Swan' mark has been used since 1st July, 1893 on watch cases of all origins and up to 1970 it was struck on articles coming from non-contracting countries. In addition it is struck on silverware of the legal standard of fineness, but of unknown origin, which is sold at public auctions."

Here's a link to a very useful site with images of silver hallmarks for France and other countries.

http://www.silvercollection.it/Frenchhallmarks.html

A Chinese Order of the Double Dragon sold in the same Hermann Historica auction had a swan mark on the reverse pin. Craftsmanship was superb, clearly European, but NOT French given the mark. It was a Second Type Double Dragon from the period around 1902-1911.

Finding a swan mark certainly makes for entertainment, like one of those frustrating logic puzzles. It tells you it ISN'T French, but NOT what it is.

It tells you that it was imported into France or sold at a French auction between 1893 and the 1970s (but NOT when it was manufactured or where it was imported from)!

Gavin

Gavin, I rechecked my info and it seems that you are right. ET was used for silver items from 1864 till 1893, and since then SWAN mark was in use. But I will recheck this again, because one of my fellow collectors just recently mentioned 1864-1893 period for SWAN mark. And he is from old guards ;)

Regards,

Nick

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... military Lion and Sun ...

Mark could you tell me why you call this type "military"?

I am asking because I was under the impression that

Lying lion = for foreigners (sometimes they call it "for Christians" in Russia)

Standing lion with sword = for subjects (i.e. Persians)

Cheers,

Nick

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Well Mark you sure gonna like these ones

https://www.winkler-auktion.de/auktionen/auktion2/Nachlass_eines_hohen_persischen_osmanischen_Offiziers/Persien_Sonnen_und_Loewen_Orden_2_e.html

https://www.winkler-auktion.de/auktionen/auktion2/Nachlass_eines_hohen_persischen_osmanischen_Offiziers/Persien_Sonnen_und_Loewen_Orden_3_e.html

https://www.winkler-auktion.de/auktionen/auktion2/Nachlass_eines_hohen_persischen_osmanischen_Offiziers/Persien_Sonnen_und_Loewen_Orden_4_e.html

There they call them "for persian military personal"...

Which is again sounds a little strange to me...

More likely "for Persians"...

No?

Edited by JapanX

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Hi Nick,

The web resources I have read state that the Lion with sword was for military and the Lion without sword was for civilian:

"Under Mohammad Shah (r. 1250-64/1834-48) there were eight classes of the Lion and Sun, corresponding to military rank, from four-star general to non-commissioned officer, each with three grades. Under Nasser-ed-Din Shah the number was raised to nine with the creation of the rank of mir panj (comparable to lieutenant-general)($). The lion was shown holding a raised sword in one paw, and the decoration was set with diamonds.

For civilians, rubies and sapphires replaced the diamonds, and the lion was depicted reclining without the sword. "

Markus

Edited by Markus

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I am asking because all Russian sources (including Internet one http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Орден_Льва_и_Солнца ) confirmed this view:

Lying lion = for foreigners (sometimes they call it "for Christians" in Russia)

Standing lion with sword = for subjects (i.e. Persians)

Sword=military

Convenient, habitual stereotype ...

But does it works in this case?

Just wonder :) ;)

Edited by JapanX

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Well Mark you sure gonna like these ones

https://www.winkler-..._Orden_2_e.html

https://www.winkler-..._Orden_3_e.html

https://www.winkler-..._Orden_4_e.html

There they call them "for persian military personal"...

Which is again sounds a little strange to me...

More likely "for Persians"...

No?

Hi Nick,

Yes I do like these! A while back, I got in touch with the auctioneer and asked for the sellers contact info so I could purchase some of them, but wasn't given any useful info by Winkler Auction House. Couldn't believe these didn't sell at those prices!

Markus

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This is one strange auction-house...

You can't even pinch the pictures (believe me I tried!)...

I mean this is plain wrong :lol:

Non-phaleristic at least!!! :lol:

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by JapanX

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Yea I tried too and they have some security protocol not allowing any copies. LOL! They are no longer doing auctions any more from what they told me. That was quite an interesting batch of Lions and Suns. Now to the semantics of civilian and military verses Persian and foreigners (Christians). I think that even within Persia there must have been a distinction between civil awards and military awards, and it makes sense to me that lion with sword = military and lion without sword = civilian. What happens when you have a foreign military award? What if the foreigner is Buddhist and not Christian? LOL!

Markus

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I think that even within Persia there must have been a distinction between civil awards and military awards, and it makes sense to me that lion with sword = military and lion without sword = civilian. What happens when you have a foreign military award? What if the foreigner is Buddhist and not Christian? LOL!

Well, let me put it this way.

Imagine you are a military man and you are a foreigner... Where we will put sword for your lying lion :lol:

I guess the only suitable place will be right next to him :lol:

Of course if persian/foreigner = standing/lying.

Actually this is a serious issue.

For me at least ;)

They call lying lion version "for christians" in Russia because they are using Imperial Russia division of orders (or they are thinking only in terms Persian/Russian receiptor).

And of course in case with lions the using of this term "for Christians" is wrong, because if this version (lying lion) indeed was awarded to foreigners, then it was awarded without any faith distinction.

Edited by JapanX

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To sum up

Hypothesis # 1

Lying lion = civil division

Standing lion with sword = military division

Hypothesis # 2

Lying lion = for foreigners

Standing lion with sword = for subjects (i.e. Persians)

The first express test for plausibility if these two hypothesis will be a authentic medal bar with lion for military foreigner.

I will look into it ;)

Best regards,

Nick

Edited by JapanX

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A little add-on just to make my point perfectly clear to all our colleagues.

Weighty argument for hypothesis #2 will be that official coat of arms of Persia since 16th century till 1907 was standing lion with the sword

(the picture could be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Coat_of_arms_of_Persia_(16th_century_-_1907).png).

A little modification happened only in 1907

(the picture could be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Coat_of_arms_of_Iran,_Qajar_Dynasty_(1907-1925).png)

So it will be quite natural to assume that Persians get their orders with national emblem and foreigners get modified and more peaceful version of emblem.

But what about military/civil division you might ask me?

Well, according to my information all foreigners got their lions on plain green ribbon.

Persians got theirs in three different colors - Blue, Red and White subject to their merits. Unfortunately I don't have info about definition of each color.

For exceptional merits diamonds might be added to the first class signs.

Persians were awarded by this order quite rare (as compared to foreigners) - that's why standing lion version is much more scare (at least for period 1808-1907) than lying lion version. Often this order was used by Persian officials as implicit bribe to Russian and French officials. You could actually buy yourself a bestowal back in 19 century. That's why rewarding by this order was often ridiculed in Imperial Russia.

But every English language source states that standing lion with sword = military division and lying lion = civil division.

Well I think that this perception is wrong and was created by everlasting tradition sword=military.

But in the case of lions this tradition may play a mean trick with us.

Will be waiting for your comments dear colleagues.

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by JapanX

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"Persians were awarded by this order quite rare (as compared to foreigners) - that's why standing lion version is much more scare (at least for period 1808-1907) than lying lion version. Often this order was used by Persian officials as implicit bribe to Russian and French officials. You could actually buy yourself a bestowal back in 19 century. That's why rewarding by this order was often ridiculed in Imperial Russia."

Europeans really desired this Lion and Sun medal, so that would explain why there are so many different European makers of this medal. The Europeans preferred the higher quality European made medals rather than the Persian made medals it seems. If All the Persians received standing lion with sword medals why would the Persians also make Lions laying down medals in great quantities. I would assume that the Persian ones were for local consumption.

Markus

Edited by Markus

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I am posting some Lion and Sun medals from a private collection. I wish to thank the collector for his generosity in sharing these beautiful medals. His collection added a few more makers of Lion & Sun order to my list of makers. First up, a Persian made breast star with red rays and standing military lion and sword.

"The small stars between the rays applied between 1856 and 1872. They were removed because of the confusion with the breast stars of Order of the Aghdas, which had been instituted in 1870. Thereafter the class was indicated by the number of rays, eight for the first class down to four for the fifth class." per James Hoard

Edited by Markus

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A Boulanger made breast star Lion & Sun 2nd class. Private collection.

"The small stars between the rays applied between 1856 and 1872. They were removed because of the confusion with the breast stars of Order of the Aghdas, which had been instituted in 1870. Thereafter the class was indicated by the number of rays, eight for the first class down to four for the fifth class." per James Hoard

Edited by Markus

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Close up of the Boulanger breast star 2nd class medallion. Private collection.

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A Halley made Persia Lion & Sun breast star 1st class with red rays. Private collection.

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A close up of the Halley made breast star 1st class medallion. Private collection.

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Persia Military Lion & Sun by Halley breast star 2nd class. Pre-1872 made. Private collection.

"The small stars between the rays applied between 1856 and 1872. They were removed because of the confusion with the breast stars of Order of the Aghdas, which had been instituted in 1870. Thereafter the class was indicated by the number of rays, eight for the first class down to four for the fifth class." per James Hoard

Edited by Markus

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A Wolfers made Lion & Sun 1st class breast star. Private collection

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A Wolfers made Lion & Sun 1st class breast star,close-up of the medallion. Private collection

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An early period Lion & Sun, 1st class. Private collection

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