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    922F last won the day on December 8 2023

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    1. Carl Edward, appointed Colonel in Chief of the Seaforth Highlanders in 1905 through 1915, granted some officers of that Regiment various grades of his Saxe-Ernestine House Order. Most of these officers received private permission from the Palace to wear the insignia. For example, I know that officers were decorated in May/June 1907, identifying the decoration as the Order "de la Maison Ernestine". Efforts to search the London and Edinburgh Gazettes to verify such grants have yet to yield results. One correspondent advises that private permission wear authorization would not be recorded in a Gazette while others inform that it would be recorded there. Could anyone offer guidance on resolving official recording practices in 1907 and/or searching for this information?
    2. Well known fake, apparently made in Italy allegedly using several original metal work dies. Fantasy star body format, crude enamel and metal finish, incorrect number of "FERT" chain links, badge lack of suspension crown and many other 'tells' or give-aways characterize these pieces. Similar construction counterfeit Skanderbeg insignia exist, known in all Order grades except officer. These reportedly commissioned by dealers including Ernst Blass. These appear to have first surfaced in 1970's German auctions including Klenau. Described in several references include Lame. Surprized that Dorotheum misidentified this one & shocked by price realized.
    3. Sincere thanks for this indispensable resource information!
    4. Thank you, Owain. Hope that Rusty hears from author!
    5. Found this from former Medal-Medaille site: Decoration of the Pontifical Zouaves (Décoration des Zouaves Pontificaux / Decorazione di Zuavi Pontifici), http://www.medal-medaille.com/images/pixel_trans.gif http://www.medal-medaille.com/images/IT676a.jpg Click to enlarge Gilt cross with three transverse arms, with eyelet for ribbon suspension; the face with the three-tiered Papal Tiara imposed centrally, the upper and lower arms inscribed ‘PRO DEO’ and ‘PONTIFICE’ (For God and Pontiff) respectively; the reverse plain gilt; diameter 9.56mm (0.38 inch); on original ribbon. The Decoration was established in 1890 and originally awarded to the Papal Zouaves, Catholic volunteers, especially from France and the Low Countries, who had defended the Holy See from 1859 to 1870 during the Italian Risorgimento. It was later awarded also to those who defended the Church in the media, politics and the arts. The Decoration is rarely found..
    6. See https://www.omsa.org/files/download.php?file=JOMSA_Vol29_4.pdf&stream=true&year=1978 for article "THE ODESSEY OF HIMMLER’S MEDALS" describing Himmler's bar transition to war booty as well as 'the' document for Himmler's 12 year SS Long Service award.
    7. Rusty, Thank you for sharing this information. Hanafy's Lattes/Bichay chronology tracks well with what you have developed. Does Hanafy provide additional sources for his statements [business registrations, tax documents, etc.]? Cheers, EJ
    8. Sorry for late reply. This star was originally made and sold as a piece of costume jewelry, not with the intent of misleading buyers. So, don't know if 'fantasy medal' is an exactly correct term. Sometimes vendors try to pass Coro items off as actual award insignia, especially those modeled on the Ottoman Shefkat Order and the Royal Order of the Star of Anjouan. Ignorance or cupidity, who knows? . Actual award insignia do appear for sale with broach pins or jewelry suspensions added and original parts removed because people wanted to wear them as 'fashion accessories'. Others were altered by awardees themselves to make them easier to fasten to clothing or wear. This includes removing hinges, pins, pin catches and 'outriggers' from stars and replacing them with clutch back type pins or soldering or gluing movable suspensions so the item lacks articulation. Alterations may also have been motivated by an awardee's desire to replace specific symbols.
    9. A piece of costume jewelry manufactured by the CORO firm. Coro, based in New York City, U.S.A., apparently bought a number of dies from French award makers [identified by some to include Delande and Baqueville] in the late 1940's-early 1950's. Coro used these and other of their own dies to produce a wide range of pieces in it's "Heraldic Line". Coro appears to have manufactured most "Heraldic Line" designs during the 1950's. At least four "international knightly orders" adopted Coro products as their insignia; Coro may have continued production of those through the 1960's. Some items within that line duplicated actual awards, sometimes even copying original enamel colors, but most combined several dies to create a novel design. Internet search will reveal variations created to be worn as pins, broaches, pendants, and so on. The most comprehensive study of this Coro product line may be found at https://www.omsa.org/forums/topic/coro-heraldic-line-medals/ That effort, however, does not include all types. Coro ceased business in 1979.
    10. Neck badge appears to be a Tunisian Nichan Iftikhir [monogram in center & bow suspension] rather than Nichan el-Anouar [star in center & crown suspension]. I cannot clearly discern the monogram. If center monogram is "Ali", then likely an 1882-1902 bestowal. See https://asiamedals.info/threads/guide-for-dating-of-nichan-iftikhar-order-by-bey-monograms. for a guide to Beyical monograms compiled by one of our distinguished members. Keep in mind that exact correlation between monogram and period when person received this honor not always the case. Nichan Iftikhir awards do not necessarily signify service in Tunisia; Nichan el-Anouar usually recognized service in French Somaliland/Central Africa and elsewhere in France's Colonial Empire. Nichan Iftikhir much more widely awarded than Nichan el-Anouar. Perhaps this information will help identify your colonel.
    11. Demir, The cross in the image seems to flare out at the ends in the style of Bulgarian National Merit [Civil & Military Divisions] Order insignia [type of Pisan Cross] but has no suspension crown so probably not one of those--too smallfor a commander badge anyway. Looks like there may be either a wreath or some sort of connection between the arms OR the cross is superimposed on a round base.. Sorry not to be of more help for the present.
    12. Hello No One, Thank you again!! Yes, I checked with the IU archives. A personal visit would be required with no certainty of success in finding any information regarding decorations. It appears that a list of both Tubman's and Tolbert's awards existed at one time in their personal and Liberian official records. However, those appear to be 'missing'. I know that both Tubman's & Tolbert's homes/museums were severely looted many times after Tolbert's execution and that some of their awards were sold 'on the street' as early as 1989 thru 1990. Based on both your news and my own impressions, it may be that rank one, grade B with number 430 set may have belonged to Tolbert, awarded during his tenure as foreign minister. The IU Tubman archive on-line presents images of Liberian dignitaries wearing various Orders and medals. I found none with Liberians wearing Order of the Brilliant Star [or any other Chinese] awards as yet. Thank you again for your help I will report any future findings here. All best regards!!
    13. Hello No One. Sincere thanks for your excellent advice, in-depth research and fast reply! I still try to find if and when Liberian Presidents received the Order as that may be a key to the number 430 set. High level ROC delegations visited Liberia in the early and mid-1950's and also at least in 1964, 1969 and 1970. These dates would indicate Tubman as president but do not answer why the insignia has an all purple sash. I will post any further findings. In your opinion, would this third level honor be appropriate for a head of state in the 1950's-1970's? It may be that a Liberian president would receive a higher grade. Possibly Liberian Vice-President/acting Foreign Minister Tolbert under Tubman received number 430. The Republic of Korea, for example, awarded the first class Order of Diplomatic Service Merit [Grand Gwanghwa] to him around 1968. All best regards!
    14. Hello No One, Thank you for your clear descriptions. Have you been able to find a list of the names of persons awarded the order that includes the number stamped on the insignia? Could you confirm that the ribbon color would be all purple before early 1950's for all classes/grades of the Order? To include rank one, grade B? Example of rank one, grade B with number 430 has purple only sash & rank one, grade B with number 495 also has purple only sash but without usual rosette & European type bow [replacement sash?]. Number 430 attributed to President of Liberia [probably William V. S. Tubman {president 1944-1971, less likely William Tolbert {president 1971-1980}]. Number 495, probably given to unknown foreign person. Sincere regards and thanks for your help!
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