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Further to discussion on another thread concerning miniatures of the Egyptian Order of Ismail I was asked about other Arabic miniatures. Accordingly I detail below an article I wrote some years ago and which was published in the then Broadsheet of the Miniature Medals Branch of the OMRS. Please feel free to add to add, amend and of course correct as necessary.

Kind regards,


Miniatures of the Middle East & Arab World


Owain Raw-Rees,

Miniature Branch Member No. 65,

OMSA No. 4978, OMRS No. 3088


I have been for a number of years a member of the Miniature Society and whilst having had a number of articles published in both the Orders and Medals Research Society Journal and the Journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America I have yet to submit any draft to the Miniature Medals Branch Journal. To be honest I do not even collect miniatures, but was encouraged to join the Branch by my late friend Henry Rye. I specialise in the full size awards of the Arab world and over the years, by default, have acquired a number of miniatures or have found references to such. Accordingly I would like to take this opportunity to provide a brief overview of such awards.


In ascertaining whether there are miniature awards applicable to any particular country there are to be two key deciding factors:


  1. Whether British military personnel have served in a particular area? For example during the Gulf War, or have been on secondment such as to the Trucial Oman Scouts, or on loan service such as to the Sultan of Oman’s Forces. In the event that British military personnel received full-size awards corresponding miniature awards will have been manufactured. Incidentally during my time in the Middle East I have no evidence of any of the local military forces wearing miniatures. Indeed in most instances there are very few occasions when the various Arab forces even wear full size medals.

  2. Which company has manufactured the awards? Usually, if of European manufacture, it is reasonable to assume that at least some of the senior orders have also been manufactured in miniature.


    Listed below, in alphabetical order, is a brief review of each country.



Prior to independence French awards were issued and thus miniatures are of a French design. The post independence awards, headed by the National Order of Merit, are little known and I do not believe that any miniatures have been manufactured.



Until recently all awards were made by Spink and thus miniatures should be available of most awards and examples have been seen of the following Orders - Sheikh Issa, Bahrain, Achievement and the Military Service.



Whilst a French colony the senior Orders of the Star of Comoro and Star of Anjouan were awarded to French personnel and miniatures are known. A series of post independence awards has been instituted but as of writing I have no evidence of any miniatures.



Under French control the Sultanate of Tadjouorah instituted the Order of Al Anouar which was awarded mainly to French officers and officials and thus miniatures are not uncommon. Following independence the Djibouti has instituted its own series of awards, the senior of which is the National Order of the Great Djibouti Star. These awards are of French manufacture and awards have been made to French military personnel so it is reasonable to assume that miniatures do exist.



British involvement in Egypt is well known and the first miniatures date back to the Khedivate with the Khedives Star of 1882-1891 – see Dennis Poole’s article in Broadsheet No. 41. The next miniature was the Khedives Sudan Medal of 1896-1908 and its subsequent issue. Miniatures should to exist of all of the main awards from the period of the monarchy - the most common being the Order of the Nile. Miniatures of the senior Order of Mohammed Ali are also known. Other miniatures include the Medal for Meritorious Acts and of Devotion, the Order of the Felaha (Agriculture) and the 1947 Cholera Medal. Royal Egyptian awards were made initially by J.Lattes and then Tewfiq Bichay - both of Cairo. (Examples of the Order of Ismail manufactured by Gardino of Rome are also known.) After the 1952 Revolution the first order instituted was the Order of Independence, since obsolete, and miniatures of this order are known to exist. Bichay also manufactured miniatures of other Republican orders and medals and such as the Order of Sport and the medal Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Egyptian Air Force.


Federation of South Arabia

The short existence of the awards of the F.S.A. limited their distribution and whilst a number of British personnel received appointment to the Order of the Hero of South Arabia I have no evidence that Spink, the manufacturer of the F.S.A. awards ever made any miniatures.



During the First World War a number of British personnel were awarded the Order of Renaissance. As this was a locally manufactured award any miniatures would have been obtained in the U.K. and such miniatures appear to be of a similar design to the Order as redesigned as a Jordanian award. (Subsequent research shows both Hijazi and Jordanian issues in miniature.) Examples are known of miniatures of the only two Hijazi medals – Independence and Ma’an, although I have no evidence that any were awarded to British personnel.



During the period of the monarchy many British personnel were recipients of the Order of the Rafidain and the Active Service Medal and miniatures of these awards are plentiful. Miniatures also exist of the scarcely awarded Gallantry Medal – please refer to Roger Colbourne’s article in Broadsheet No.48. Miniatures also exist of the Iraqi 1939-45 and Victory medals. All of these miniatures appear to be of British manufacture. Garrard is known to have manufactured some of the royal Iraqi awards. By the reign of King Faisal II most Iraqi awards were made by Huguenin of Le Locle, Switzerland. Huguenin retained the contract for Iraqi awards after the 1958 Revolution and continued making Iraqi medals until at least the mid 1970’s. I have no evidence of any miniatures from the Republican period. (Subsequent research shows a large series of miniature Republican miniatures.)



As mentioned above the Hijaz orders of Renaissance and Independence became Jordanian awards and with the institution of the Order of the Star a number of these awards have been issued to British personnel over the years. The awards have been manufactured by various companies, including the London Goldsmiths & Silversmoths Company Ltd., Garrard, Bertrand of Paris and the Egyptian firm of Bichay of Cairo and it appears that miniatures exist of all the European manufactured awards. Miniatures also exist of a number of the Jordanian medals with examples known of the following: Order of Military Gallantry, 1941 Campaign, 1939-45 War, 1948 War, and Long Service Medals.



The Order of Kuwait was manufactured initially by the Kuwait Gold and Silver Company and after the Gulf War by Garrard – I have not come across any miniatures of this award. With regard to other Kuwaiti awards miniatures do exist of the Order of National Defence, the Military Duty and Military Service medals. These awards were manufactured by Spink and examples are also known by Bertoni of Milan in Italy. Of course the most well known Kuwait award is the Order of the Liberation of Kuwait and I have seen examples of the three junior classes in miniature. The official issue of these classes in full size appear to have been manufactured in the Far East.



Of the senior Lebanese orders the most commonplace are those of Merit and the Cedar and the bulk of these orders appear to have been manufactured either by Bertrand, Bichay or Huguenin and miniatures of both orders exist. (Subsequent research has seen miniature issues of most Lebanese awards.) 



The first series of awards were instituted by King Idris in the 1950’s and consisted of three orders and two medals. These were manufactured by Bichay and whilst I have no evidence that any miniatures of the orders were manufactured I have seen an example of the medal of Mohammed Al Mokhtar in miniature. With the overthrow of the monarchy Colonel Qaddafi has over the years instituted various medals manufactured by Bichay, Bomisa of Milan, Italy and also the IKOM the State Mint in Zagreb, Yugoslavia – none of these appear to have been made in miniature form. (Subsequent research has seen miniature issues of the Order of the Great Victory.) 



Whilst under French influence the Orders of Hafidien and Alouite, were awarded to many French military personnel and these awards in miniature are not difficult to find. Following independence a number of orders were instituted - and these orders along with various medals were made by Bertrand – e.g. the Orders of Interior, Merit, Star and Throne and miniatures do exist.



With the long history of British involvement in Oman and the manufacture of the majority of Omani awards by Spink miniatures of almost all Omani awards appear to exist. The only non-British manufactured medal is that commemorating the 25th anniversary of the accession of Sultan Qaboos, which was made by Huguenin, and I have no evidence as of writing as to whether a miniature of this award exists. The miniatures of the Omani Police Force are dealt with in Colin Hole’s article in Broadsheet No. 68.



Following the institution of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat has instituted two awards – the Order of Sacred Jerusalem and of Bethlehem 2000. These both appear to be single class neck badges and I have no evidence of any miniatures. (Subsequent issues of recent Palestinian State Awards have miniatures.)



The primary Orders of Qatar – of Independence and Merit, have been made by Bertrand, and the cased insignia do not include miniatures. With regard to the medals, to date, two series of awards have been manufactured by Spink but never distributed and no miniatures of these series have been made.


Qu’aiti Sultanate in Hadhramaut

This Sultanate from 1948 to 1967 awarded two medals - the Order of Distinction and the Order of Merit. These were manufactured by the Royal Mint and were awarded in a number of instances to the British Military Resident Advisor. I have yet to see either of these awards in miniature but do believe that they exist. (Subsequent research shows miniatures manufactured.)


Saudi Arabia

A limited series of awards was instituted in the 1950’s and manufactured by Bichay – miniature examples so the Order of Abdulaziz are known. With the accession of King Faisal this series became obsolete and only in the early 1970’s was a new series of awards instituted. The Order of Abdulaziz and Faisal both are manufactured by Bertrand and whilst the presentation cases do not include miniatures many awards of the former were made to coalition personnel after the Gulf War and I would believe that some of the recipients may have had miniatures made. The most common Saudi award is the Liberation of Kuwait Medal of which miniatures are plentiful. The full size award was initially manufactured by Spink and Huguenin, with later varieties made by Graco of Texas, USA. Of the other Saudi medals - for Merit and the medals for the Army, Air Force and Navy these are manufactured by Bertrand and no miniatures appear to exist. A later series of awards has been instituted, 10 out of 12, have been manufactured by Fattorini of Brmingham and one each by Spink and Huguenin. The initial proof sets included miniatures however the mass production does not appear to have included miniatures. Spink manufactured the Combat Medal and a number of miniatures have been seen. Also seen is a miniature of the Saudi Military Management Medal



The only Somali Order is that of the Somali Star. This was made by Gardino of Rome, and the presentation cases often include a miniature. There are a number of Somali medals and whilst also of Italian manufacture, I have no evidence that any miniatures were manufactured although I have seen a small 27mm diameter version of the 1960 Independence Medal.



The situation here is similar to Lebanon. Of the senior Syrian Orders the most common place are those of Devotion and Civil Merit and whilst examples are known by Bichay, the bulk of these orders appear to have been manufactured either by Bertrand or Huguenin and miniatures of both orders exist. I have not seen any miniatures of any of the Syrian medal series.



Prior to independence there was a series of four medals awarded to the Sudan Defence Force and a number of these medals would have been awarded to British personnel. Following independence various series of Sudanese awards were instituted – initially for the Republic of Sudan and latterly for the Democratic Republic of Sudan. Awards were made by Garrard and Spink and miniatures do exist of the senior Orders of the Two Niles and of the Republic. Miniatures are also known of the Order of Regional Government and the Star of Military Accomplishment.



Whilst under French influence the Order of Glory - the central monogram of which changed with each ruler, was awarded to many French military personnel and the award in miniature is not difficult to find. Early pieces appear to have been made in Paris by such firms as Boulanger, Dupetitbosq and Fayole. Following independence a number of orders were instituted - initially the Order of Independence and the Order of the Republic. These orders along with various medals were made by Bertrand and whilst I have not seen any miniatures I suspect that examples do exist.


United Arab Emirates

Until recently all of the awards of the U.A.E. and its constituent parts were manufactured by Spink and a number of such awards were made to British military personnel and miniatures are not uncommon. The include the earliest medal for this region being the Loyal Service Medal of the Trucial Oman Scouts - four British officers were awarded this medal – please refer to Colin Hole’s article in Broadsheet No. 43. Miniatures are also known of the Abu Dhabi Defence Force Inauguration, Police Accession and Defence Force Service Medals, the Dubai Defence Force Service Medal, and also of the U.A.E. Armed Forces Amalgamation Medal and 1976 Lebanon Peace Keeping Force Medal. Of the modern series of U.A.E. awards I have no evidence that miniatures have been manufactured and the same applies to the separate series of awards for the Ministry of the Interior, Dubai Police and Sharjah Police – these three series have been made by Fattorini of Birmingham. Finally there is the Order of the Tower of Qassimi being the sole award of Ras Al Khaima – manufactured by Spink and the presentation case of the order does include a miniature.


Yemen Arab Republic, and Republic of Yemen.

A series of awards were initially manufactured in 1964 by Bichay but no miniatures are known, with the exception of a miniature star the Order of Mercy. This series became obsolete and a new series was made by Skinner of Bond Street, London. Skinner manufactured a number of the orders with miniatures and examples are known of the Orders of the Republic, Ma’areb, Justice, Seventy and 26 September. With regard to the lesser awards no miniatures were manufactured. With the unification of north and south Yemen in 1992 the awards of the Y.A.R. and P.D.R.Y. were to some degree merged into the new awards system of the Republic of Yemen. I have no evidence that miniatures of the new series, which I believe of be of German manufacture, exist. Whilst not miniatures in the normal sense the presentation cases of the Orders of the Hero of Yemen and War Wounded do include miniature pin-back versions of the full size awards.


Yemen – People’s Democratic Republic

No known miniatures of the awards if the PDRY appear to exist and the design of the full size awards follows an eastern European / Soviet style, with manufacture by the State Mints of Berlin, Budapest and Moscow.



The most often seen order is that of the Brilliant Star - a number of British officers received this award over the years and miniatures are not uncommon. Examples are also seen of the Order of the Alijeh. It is believed that the majority of early awards were made by the London firm of Elkington & Co. Miniatures also exist of the 1896 Zanzibar Service Medal - see Dennis Poole’s article in Broadsheet No. 34, and also of the 1936 Jubilee Medal.


The above is but a brief overview and I am sure that there are unrecorded miniatures awaiting discovery and no doubt many variations of the various miniatures referred to. I have not included a bibliography for this article as no specific reference exists but I have noted in the text where specific articles in the Broadsheet have dealt with a number of Arab miniatures. Much of the information given above is the result of a number of years of collecting and observation. I would especially thank Ivor Bush for the opportunity over the years to view his medal collection, which contains a number of Arab miniatures. Some of these have been photographed and are illustrated with this article. I hope that the article does give an insight, however slight, into a most interesting aspect of our hobby.


Owain Raw-Rees,

June 2003,

Riyadh, K.S.A.


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Many thanks for responding to my inquiry with this post. This is another fascinating facet to learning about these awards and medals. Your expertise is greatly appreciated in helping my inquiries about the Order of Ismail and the Mixed Courts/Native Courts judges badges, and making this such an interesting website for research on a broad array of awards. 


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I have posted some of my limited information on miniatures of the Egyptian Order of Ismail on my other thread about this order, and apologize for duplicating that information here. However, this information follows the topic of Owain's post and may find more parties interested in miniatures more readily on this thread. 

Below are images and the information I've come across on possible miniatures for this order. 


Probable authentic miniature order of Ismail, 30 x 20 mm, identified on the La Galerie Numismatique website as as "Knight's Cross" which should probably be the Officers' breast badge if it is the 4th Class. However, without the correct ribbon identification devices for the class that Owain mentions, it may not be possible to identify these miniatures to the class they belonged. I have seen 2 other images of this miniature on auction sites and one on Picssr that is part of a private collection. Note that all other images of  this miniature I have seen have the Khedive crown for suspension-the example below from the Spink & Son December 4 auction resembles the workmanship and abbreviated design elements of this example, but lacks this Khedive crown. This is the only form of the miniature I have seen with "accurate" details of the insignia. (https://www.coins-la-galerie-numismatique.com/auction-33/order-ismail-1)


Possible authentic miniatures of the Order of Ismail, Class unknown. The badge on the R resembles the miniature badge above from La Galerie Numismatique and other lower resolution photos I have seen of this miniature (except for the lack of the Khedive crown for suspension present on all other similar miniatures). I have never seen other images of the star (L) before. If I understand correctly, Owain commented in my thread on the Order of Ismail on 5 December that such pairs might be unusual (suspect?) as only the badge is normally the insignia for the miniature. The badge form similar to the image on the R (also see full-sized award examples below) is used for all classes of the Order of Ismail insignia except the Commander (3rd Class) that only uses the neck badge with the star "resembling" the miniature on the L (again see the full-sized award example below). Could the star be the miniature for the 3rd Class award? Or is that in contradiction with Owain's knowledge that a single insignia is used for all miniatures with ribbon device distinctions to identify the class of orders? The workmanship and design elements of the star are much less correct than those of the badge. The star has proportion problems compared to the authentic larger sash (Grand Cordon, 1st Class) or neck badges (Grand Officer and Commander, 2nd & 3rd Classes) of this configuration  (star too small & crown too large), and very poor workmanship shown in the enamel of the star's rays, no enamel coloring of the wreath around the central boss, a "gold" center with incorrect enamel distribution, an awkwardly rendered cipher, and no enamel colors on the crown, etc. Star with crown = 20 mm; The badge measures = 13 mm x 22mm. Materials identified for both as silver gilt and enamel. No manufacturer identified. Lot 267 of Spink & Son auction of 4 December, 2017. Manufacturer unknown. (ttps://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/spink/catalogue-id-srspi10156/lot-bb1a7884-22e6-4504-97db-a83200bb0ca9)


Alleged miniature of the Order of Ismail. Extremely incorrect configuration. This example also violates Owain's position that a single insignia normally represents the miniature for an Order. Identified as silver-gilt, stamped, with cabochon in center (instead of enameled boss bearing the inscription "ISMAIL"). The reverse is stamped with the silver grades as "925". 25 mm including the crown suspension X 16 mm. No manufacturer identified. Lot 140 of an auction by Spink & Son, 4 December, 2017. (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/spink/catalogue-id-srspi10156/lot-bd1c4e4c-7dc1-4560-a3c7-a83200ba36e7)


Alleged miniature star (although not described as such on the website) identified as the 3rd Class Commander of the Order of Ismail. As noted for the first & second images, without the ribbon designation it is problematic to determine a class for this possible miniature. The ribbon also appears problematic for a miniature. There are several differences in the design of this star compared with full-sized authentic pieces. The same comment about whether the miniature badge would be one insignia (the form of the badge seen in the first photo here) mentioned before is relevant here. No dimensions provided, no information on any maker's mark, ribbon is identified as "original". This image is from a website that has these medals "in stock" and is pricing them at 1,500€ (https://www.falera-et-orbis.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=345)


Inexpensive alleged miniature of the Order of Ismail available on eBay. Materials identified as copper, brass, gilt. size not identified, date of manufacture is 2015. No markings on the reverse. Price range identified between $22-$26, from Ukraine. Surprisingly better details than some other more expensive online offerings, but was a star ever the insignia of the miniature for this Order? (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Miniature-for-Order-of-Ismail-Kingdom-of-Egypt/302536806062?hash=item4670994eae:g:LUsAAOSwVCRZdMBd) 


For comparison with the miniatures above, this is the full-sized insignia of the Grand Officer (2nd Class) of the Order of Ismail showing the 2 insignia used for each of the four classes of this Order. The star above is the neck badge worn on a ribbon, the chest badge below is worn on the right side. For the 1st Class (Grand Cordon) the star is attached to the decorative bow on the sash and the chest badge is worn on the left. The insignia for the 3rd Class (Commander) is the smaller star worn as a neck badge. The 4th Class (Officer) badge resembles the lower badge in the above photo and is suspended on a ribbon with a rosette using the same Khedive crown ornament as seen on the smaller star, and is worn on the left side. The Officer's badge is smaller than other versions of the insignia, but I have not yet found its dimensions. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelisli/8844318688)

Edited by Rusty Greaves

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Dear Rusty Greaves,

With regard to the miniature displayed with the small red stone (or cabochon) this is a miniature of the Order of the Star of Ethiopia although poorly executed as the lower arms of this star should be conjoined. The cross on the suspension crown 'gives it away'. Early examples of the full size in the lower grades has such stars but I have only seen this once seen such in the miniatures and on a higher grade.



Ethiopia Star Miniature Obv Detail.jpg

Najaf Miniatures.jpg

Ethiopia Star Miniatures Radman Detail.jpg

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Here are some perhaps interesting miniatures by French, British and Egyptian manufacturers.   



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A nice selection - Iran, Jordan, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Egypt x 2, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon & Syria again.

I detail below some Egyptian Monarchy miniatures.



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Owain, thanks for illustrating these miniatures. I am interested to see your example of the Order of Ismail with the Khedive crown showing a slightly variant form in its attachment to the body of the miniature badge than the example I illustrated at the top of my 6 December post. Is the dark spot on the ribbon wear/staining or do you think there may have been a device attached to identify the class of the Order for this miniature? 

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This is an illustration of the only other probably authentic miniature example I have found a photo of on the internet. 


Probable authentic miniature of the Order of Ismail, Class unknown. This example shows a different form of the attachment between the body of the badge and the Khedive crown for suspension from the first miniature I illustrated on 6 December. I enlarged the image of Owain's example in the miniature group shown above today, and that also appears to show a slight variation from this example in the configuration the crown support. Just trying to document some of the variations among authentic examples of the miniature for this order. Owain, is yours slightly different from this one and is there any maker's mark on your example? (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelisli/3052094604)


Edited by Rusty Greaves

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I attach an image of the reverse of the Egyptian Monarchical miniatures.



.....and now for some Republic of Egypt miniatures, Owain


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Thanks for illustrating the reverse of the Khedive era miniatures and the the Republic awards. The reverse of the Order of Ismail miniature does show better the horizontal bar on the suspension element below the crown that is distinct from the examples I have illustrated on 6 December and yesterday. 

Are you excited by the return of commercial cinemas in the coming year? 

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And some more Republic of Egypt miniatures.

Ah, cinema in Saudi - a lot of money involved with the various franchises so someone will benefit.........




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Rara Avis, Owain!!  Your Fahala Order mini is only the second I know in a private collection!!   

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