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Rusty Greaves

Help with Egyptian Khedive medal

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Gentlemen, I am looking for some help in identifying an Egyptian medal awarded to my wife's great grandfather in the early 20th century. He was appointed by president Taft to the Mixed Courts in Egypt between 1911-1936. He made a brief second visit to Egypt for the OAS in 1942. Judge Pierre Crabites was the presiding judge on the Mixed courts for the case for sequestration rights to the Tomb of Tutankhamun in 1924. We have an image of him in his judicial robes wearing the Judicial Badge, although that badge is not with the family at this point. He was on very friendly terms with King Farouk and was a frequent visitor to the palace and its library. He found in favor of Egypt keeping the Tutankhamun artifacts in country and not allowing them to be taken to Britain. Judge Crabites was awarded the Order of Ismail (probably Grand Officer class) and another medal I cannot yet identify. I have attached 2 images of this medal (I apologize for the poor quality of the images through the glass of the mounting). The medal in question is not a military award, and is likely related to his judgement that kept the Tutankhamun artifacts in Egypt. The medal is round with the Khedive crown on top, it is gold or gold plated. The central portrait is a 3/4 view of a moustached man in a military style uniform and fez that is probably King Farouk. There is no writing on the visible side of the medal (it is in a frame and I cannot open it yet to see the reverse side). Around the margin are several images of Egytian antiquities separated from each other and the central portrait by scrolling. In the 12:00, 4:00, and 8:00 positions are stylized forms of ancient Egyptian scarabs flanked by lotus blossoms. On the upper right third is an image of the sphinx. On the upper left third is a view of the pyramids. At the bottom is a scene that probably represents archaeological ruins. I have not yet had any luck in my research to identify this medal and would appreciate any help determining what it may have been awarded for or suggestions about references I could consult further. Thank you for your attention to my inquiry. 

IMG_1842B.jpgIMG_1844B.jpg

Edited by Rusty Greaves

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Rusty,

Thanks for posting this. It's a remarkable piece, with a great back story and family connection. The motifs (pyramids and lotuses) definitely mark it as Egyptian. But I don't think the figure is of King Farouk, or his predecessor, King Fuad. This figure is too slender, with a fuller mustache, than either of the kings. It might be a lower ranking official, perhaps a prince?

Chris

 

I may have answered my own question. Could it be Khedive Abbas II, ruler of Egypt from 1892-1914? Image result for abbas hilmi pasha

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Dear Chris,

Thanks for your input. I understand the question about the likeness. Certainly it could be King Fuad, Khedive Abbas II, or some other royal as you suggest rather than Farouk. I still have not come across any descriptive or photographic material that can help me identify the nature of this medal. As I noted, Judge Crabites was in Egypt 1911-36, and briefly in 1942 before the British maneuvered to have him shifted to the backwater location of Baghdad because of his royalist sympathies in Egypt. Crabites died in Baghdad in 1943. The family has the collar star and badge for the Order of Ismail mounted with this same unidentified medal.

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Chris-Zowie-you were 100% correct and have allowed me to identify this medal!! Yay-hurray! Indeed, the portrait is Khedive Abbas Hilmi II, and it is a medal commemorating his coronation and return from Hegaz. I found a couple images that are copyrighted by Hassan Kamel Kelisi-Morali through Flickr and them on Picssr (http://picssr.com/photos/kelisli/interesting/page42?nsid=7892156@N08 pages 42-43. Both images are identified as the reverse sides. The side I cannot see has a central image of a mosque, an inscription at the bottom, a stylized ancient Egyptian Horus in the 12:00 position, and the other border elements are identical to those on the side I have illustrated (that probably is the front since it has Abbas II portrait). Now what I need to track down is the date of issue and I do not yet know the location or significance of Hegaz. Thank you so much for your help! I was awake last night several times excited because the image you sent and my first checks on Abbas II were spot on with the medal portrait. There were a few old Ebay images that turned up as image thumbnails during my searches-but I could not find the original entries anywhere until I hit on flickr then linked to picssr. I'm not posting the reverse as it is copyrighted. Most gratefully yours-Rusty

Edited by Rusty Greaves
minor spelling error

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Hello!

That is a very interesting piece you've got there! The Hejaz (الحجاز) is the western (Red Sea) coast of what is today Saudi Arabia. It is the location of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and is the destination of those participating in the Muslim "Hajj" pilgrimage. Here is a lithograph (I think?) of the Khedive Abbas Helmy II arriving at Medina and being received by the Ottoman authorities. While Egypt did have a hereditary ruler at the time, it was nominally a province of the Ottoman Empire, as was the Hejaz. The reverse of the medal shows the Mohammed Aly Mosque, located in the medieval citadel of Cairo. This iconic mosque was built by Mohammed Aly Pasha, the founder of the dynasty of the khedives, and later Kings Fouad and Farouk. I can barely make out a few words from the inscription of the bottom of the medal, but I see it says "الاحتفال بعيد جلوس الخديوي" that is, "the celebration of the anniversary of the Khedive's enthronement" and a couple of words I can't make out, and finally "العودة من الأقطار الحجازية" the return from the Hejazian lands/regions. The date is at the bottom, but unfortunately I can't make out the year, but the rest of it says Tuesday 13th (or 12th I can't tell) Muharram. The year would then, obviously, be the Hegira date, not AD. Very beautiful piece! Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

e25f291e8ca91f954cd4b7962ce586e0.jpg

 

 

EDIT:

I found the actual dies for this medal being sold, according to that site " Pair of indeterminate iron embossing dies with high relief . The front shows the ruler in an ornamental frame with landmark Egypt ( Sphinx and pyramids ). The reverse presents a view of a Mosque ( Mohammed Ali Mosque in Cairo ) within an ornamental frame , above Horus falcon , bottom two lines of Arabic script. The front bears the signature "S. G. un ". The back is called the year 1325 AH ( = 1907 AD ) in the inscription. Weight : 1.45 kg and 1.65 kg, Diameter : 78.26 mm and 78.80 mm . "

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/ottoman-egypt-medal-die-abbas-hilmi-138509049 

Also, hope this isn't too off topic, but I found a rather interesting bookplate that appears to have belonged to Pierre Crabites and his wife Charlotte:

Source: http://bookplatejunkie.blogspot.com.eg/2014/04/this-week-in-bookplates-april-13th-2014.html

crabites.JPG

Edited by Egyptian Zogist
Found more information

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Dear Egyptian Zogist, you have been of great help in my quest about this medal and additional family history. Many thanks for the additional information on the location of Hejaz as the area of Al-Medina and Mecca, your identification of the mosque in Cairo, the lithograph, and translation of the inscription on this medal. I do have a copy of Pierre & Charlotte Crabites' bookplate (and the translation) which was drawn by Mary Reisner, daughter of the Egyptlogist Dr. George Reisner.  

The information on the die description you found is also quite intersting. Does the identified the anniversary year of 1907 in that description square with what you can read?

Crabites bookplate translation.jpg

Edited by Rusty Greaves
re: additional info in previous message

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14 hours ago, Rusty Greaves said:

The information on the die description you found is also quite intersting. Does the identified the anniversary year of 1907 in that description square with what you can read?

Well, according to The Royal Ark [http://www.royalark.net/ an amazing resource on non-European (with the exception of Albania) ruling dynasties incl. orders and decorations], the Khedive Abbas Hilmi II was "Installed at the Citadel, Cairo, 26th March 1892". The date on the medal is 12 (or 13, I can't see the numeral clearly) Muharram, 1325. According to a Hegira/Gregorian date converter I found online, 13 Muharram 1325 is 26th February 1907. So, a month's difference. Oddly, though, the anniversary date appears to have been based on the Gregorian date of the khedive's enthronement (or close enough to it), but the Hegira equivalent (of the date of the anniversary in 1907) is what is inscribed on the medal. 

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Wow, I really appreciate the work you have done on this medal. While I can stumble through some ancient Egyptian, I do not read any Arabic, so this is a huge help to me. I have used Royal Ark for some of my research, and it was a location where I was first able to identify some initial information about the Order of Ismail that Crabites was awarded. 

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I have an additional question about the Khedive Abbas Hilmi II coronation anniversary and return from Hegaz medal. Since the commemorative medal I have asked about is not a military service award, nor one of the other service to the state awards, how would such medals be obtained? Would this have been a gift from someone in the royal family whom Judge Crabites was friendly with, other officials, were they availalbe for purchase? I have found confirmation that he was awarded the Order of Ismail at the Grand Officer class (limited to 75 individuals, living I assume?).

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Hello, Rusty Greaves question, how much the Egyptian Khedive medal

Hello, how are these medals and what is the price Egyptian Khedive medal

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Gregory6, the Abbas Hilmi II commemorative coronation & return from Hegaz medal is a family piece that belonged to my wife's great-grandfather. We currently have no plans to sell this piece. I also do not have any idea of the market value of this medal. The one reference to it on an Ebay site that I could find did not include a price.  

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Gentlemen & ladies, I have only small amount of additional information to update from my ongoing research about this medal. This is a commemorative "table" medal that  was probably made by Tewfick Bichay of Cairo, who also cast several honorary awards for the Egyptian Khedive and the Republic, as well as other badges (i.e., the Mixed Courts judges' badges I have written about on other posts). I do not yet know if this medal is gilt bronze which is likely given the other commemorative medals I can find from Abbas Hilmi's regin. My wife's great grandfather was likely given this medal from a member of the royal family, potentially because of his strong anti-British sentiments while serving on the Distritict Mixed Courts in Cairo. His award of the Order of Ismail, Grand Officer Class, would probably been given to him at the end of his term on the Mixed Courts (1936). Judges of the mixed courts were supposedly prohibited from receiving honors from the Egyptian government during their tenure on the courts (Brinton, Jasper Yeates, 1968: The Mixed Courts of Egypt, 2nd edition. Yale University Press, New Haven. Pp:53-54). So the award of the Order of Ismail was most likely given at his retirement in 1936. Unfortunately, the family has neither the case nor brevet for this award, although they do have the breast star (but not the sash) and the neck star with its ribbon in very good shape. All of the illustrations and information I have seen identify that the maker for the Order of Ismail was J. Lattes, a businesses in Cairo (and Geneva?) that was located near the European quarters in Cairo (likely French-trained or expatriates). Another individual is trying to cross-check some dates to confirm that the Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal was probably struck in 1907. A minor correction about the coronation of Abbas Hilmi II relative to the information provided by Egyptian Zogist on 11/6/2016 is that his coronation would have been performed at Abdin Palace, not at the citadel. The citadel apparently had ceased to serve as the official residence of the rulers of Egypt during the reign of Abbas Hilmi's grandfather, Khedive Ismail the Magnificent. Other than being able to say that this medal is not common, I have not gotten any additional information on how rare this commemorative medal may be. It is certainly much less common than other Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medals that I can find on auction sites (especially the gilt bronze Abbas Hilmi International Import & Export Competition, Suez commemorative c1892; or the Abbas Hilmi gilt bronze Exposition internationald du Progres, Cairo 1985 commemorative medal-both of these appear with some frequency on on auction sites, i.e., the former is identified as "scarce" and sold for 2,200 GBP in extremely fine condition [lot 845] and the latter [lot 846] as "very rare" and sold for 2,100 GBP in mint state; or the Abbas Hilmi Dedication of the National Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Cairo, 1897, silver, sold for 2,500 GBP [lot 847], identified as very rare in near extremely fine condition on Baldwin's archived Islamic Coin Auction 27 of 12/20/2010: https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=1655&category=34440; or the Abbas Hilmi 1er Congres de Medecine, 1902, Cairo silver commemorative, currently on sale for $1,250 on eBay, identified as "excellent" condition: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/322450407022?vectorid=229466&item=322450407022&rmvSB=true). I have still found no additional images on the internet, nor any auction mentions of this Abbas Himi coronation medal, other than those I have previously identified and the link to a set of dies for this medal provided by Egyptian Zogist on 11/5/2016. At one point I encountered one additional thumbnail image from an archived eBay sale, but could not download the image, enlarge it, and it has not re-appeared during my subsequent searches. Some inquiries to auction houses have still not turned up any suggestions about this medal's scarcity. 

 large.589270ae07c07_Petiemedal2.jpg.feb45349c041cd13bf791d19f437dbdb.jpg

Obverse of the Abbas Hilmi II medal commemorating his coronation and return from the Hegaz.

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Dear Mr. Rusty,
Thank you for the information, I am grateful for the picture, I would like to say that this is a very rare medal, if possible please write who could get it as a gift, for merit and whether there is any information how and who made these medals.
Can you rate this medal?
Regards

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