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Zanzibar: Orders, Decorations and Medals


Elmar Lang
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Prof. G. A. Tammann was working on a manuscript several years ago but I have not been able to contact him for about 2 years. Perhaps someone has a draft copy of his work? The U.S. Library of Congress had a complete run of the Zanzibar Gazette from about 1920-1963, the fall of the sultanate. I do not know if it still exists there. The British Foreign Office probably still has a Gazette run but the Gazette copies formerly held at the U.S. State Department were destroyed in 1989. Besides listing appointments to the Zanzibari orders and medal awards, they contained extra numbers with changes to award statutes/criteria. The Royal Ark website has minimal info at http://www.4dw.net/royalark/Tanzania/zanz7.htm as do Werlich and other general references. The Order of the Exhalted may have been awarded later than 1911. As Ed says, articles appear in the OMRS & OMSA journals and Sabretache. And Ed didn't you write something on this subject? Perhaps Dragomir Acovic did too?
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Hello,

many thanks for the precious information.

In reply to Ed's words, I admit that reading on paper would be a most advisable thing: I like the smell of old books and from my trips abroad I always take back home some reference books on many topics. The only problem is that I have full bookshelves in all of home's rooms (my wife thinks that a bookshelf with "meditative" literature would perfectly fit in the bathroom...).

I've been asking about an online reference, because I've recently seen a fine old group of Zanzibar orders and medals from the late 19th Century and, besides the "common-to-see" pieces, there are some of which I have no idea.

Best wishes,

Enzo (Elmar Lang)

Edited by Elmar Lang
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Peter Mulder's bibliography only lists two printed sources on Madagascar:

J. et S. Chauvicourt. Medailles et Decorations de Madgascar. Tananarive, 1969, 82pp,100 ills. (This was an issue of "Numismatique Malgache")

Paul Rullier. Les Decorations du Royaume de Madagascar. N.P, [c.1959], 69pp.

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Peter Mulder's bibliography only lists two printed sources on Madagascar:

J. et S. Chauvicourt. Medailles et Decorations de Madgascar. Tananarive, 1969, 82pp,100 ills. (This was an issue of "Numismatique Malgache")

Paul Rullier. Les Decorations du Royaume de Madagascar. N.P, [c.1959], 69pp.

How much do these deal with Zanzibar, Jeff?

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D'oh! It helps to be fully awake before answering multiple inquiries.

There are no entries for Zanzibar in Mulder's bibliography, so periodicals are the only likely source until Tammann's book sees the light of day. As already mentioned, the OMRS Journal has had some entries on Zanzibar. OMSA has no entries in that field.

But, for the hundreds of Madagascar collectors out there, my previous input applies.

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I've recently seen a fine old group of Zanzibar orders and medals from the late 19th Century and, besides the "common-to-see" pieces, there are some of which I have no idea.

Hello Enzo

Any chance to see a photo of the Zanzibar group posted as reference on this thread ??

It would be useful to try to indetify some medals.

Regards

Lilo

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello,

with some delay, I've been able to take a photo of the group: all the pieces belonged to Dr. George A. Mac Donald, Principal Medical Officer in the British Administration of Zanzibar, 1897-1915.

I hope that the resize of the picture would leave it readable enough...

kind regards,

Enzo

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Hello Enzo,

Thank you for posting this splendid and of outmost rarity group (I think is it unique).

Following I'll try to identify the various awards :

1 British, Queen South Africa medal (suspended from incorrect ribbn);

2 Zanzibar, Order of El Alijeh type 1906-10, (breast star and miniature);

3 British, East and West Africa medal;

4 Zanzibar, golden MEDAL OF HONOUR (????) (the central gold disk is exactly that of the 'MEDAL OF HONOUR' but the example of this last that I have seen hasn't the 'ornated' circular border) ;

5 ???? (could be affiliated with the Brilliant Star Order)

6 Zanzibar, medal of the Order of El Alijeh, junior class, circular medal, 45mm, silver and enamels with central toughra of Sultan Ali II bin Hamud;

7 Sultan of Zanzibar medal 1896;

8 Zanzibar, Order of El Alijeh type 1906-10, neck badge;

9 Zanzibar, Order of the Brilliant Star of Zanzibar, silver-gilt Medal of the Order, obverse with Tugra of Sultan (?Ali II bin Hamud, 1902-11? or of ?Sultan Khalifa II bin Harub, 1911-60?, according the period in which it was awarded), reverse plain;****

10 Zanzibar, Order of the Brilliant Star (type with tugra of ?Ali II bin Hamud, 1902-11? or type with tugra ?Sultan Khalifa II bin Harub,1911-60?, according the period in which it was awarded), breast star.

**** For what regard the gold medal (nr. 9 in the picture) I have found a colour photo of this medal mounted in a group in the back cover of the Dix Noonan Web catalog 12th Feb., 1997 (Part II - Douglas Morris Collection) Lot 54.

All the Best

Lilo

Edited by lilo
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Thanks for picturing this wonderful group! Regarding #4, I believe a 1967-68 Coin Galleries or Format catalog described but did not picture a similar badge identifying it as a Ladies lst class Medal of Honor. Don't remember whether there was a pinback or a suspension loop. Colonel Guyadier had a #5 in his collection but thought it affiliated with the Brilliant Star Order.

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Good morning from Riyadh,

I believe following discussion, some time ago, with Gustav Tammann that No. 6 is actually the junior class of the Order of the Alijieh - a three class order - a breast badge and graded 3rd Class - I do though need confrimation of this. ( I have an example with the reverse engraved with the recipients name). No.9 is, I think, the medal of the Order of the Brilliant Star.

Regards,

Owain

Edited by oamotme
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Hi all,

thank you very much for the comments and for the invaluable information.

The badge (breast star?...) nr. 4 is made of real gold, embossed, pierced, chased and engraved, with a vertical pin on the reverese; the piece looks as being of local manufacture.

I don't know how and where to start a research about Dr. Mac Donald, on the British side, but if anyone would know something more about his career and life, any information would be most welcome.

Kind regards,

Enzo

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Hello,

Is there on the Internet a complete reference about the faleristics of the Sultanate of Zanzibar, including the medals also?

Thank you very much,

Elmar Lang

I have a draft of Gustav Tamman's work on the Orders and Dcorations of the Sultanate of Zanzibar. I think the original draft was about 12 years ago but it is still very useful epecially for the toughra types and the comparative rarity of issues. It would be nice if a completed work was eventually published but knownig Gustav as I do he will always keep finding extra information thus putting the publication date ever forward.

Paul

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Interesting presentation and discussion. Thanks, all. :beer:

What makes you think the first (mis-ribboned) Victorian medal is a QSA? Normally, that would have a clasp (or several); unclasped QSAs are immensely uncommon. More likely China 1900?

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Hello,

the medal, is actually a Queen's South Africa Medal, without bar (and no sign that there would have been one), named "W.E. BRAHMIN, SEEDIE. H.M.S. PHILOMEL".

The reason for the presence of this medal in Dr. Mac Donald's group is a mistery to me.

Regards,

Enzo

Edited by Elmar Lang
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Hello,

the medal, is actually a Queen's South Africa Medal, without bar (and no sign that there would have been one), named "W.E. BRAHMIN, SEEDIE. H.M.S. PHILOMEL".

The reason for the presence of this medal in Dr. Mac Donald's group is a mistery to me.

Regards,

Enzo

The no bar QSA to WE Brhamin is confirmed on Fevyer's roll.

Paul

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Hello,

the medal, is actually a Queen's South Africa Medal, without bar (and no sign that there would have been one), named "W.E. BRAHMIN, SEEDIE. H.M.S. PHILOMEL".

The reason for the presence of this medal in Dr. Mac Donald's group is a mistery to me.

Regards,

Enzo

Hello,

Is the name BRAHMIN an indian one ?

If yes, in could well be a medal issued, may be (??), to a some sort of servant to MacDonald.

In this case the problem, at least to me, is to understand what an indian had to do with the Royal Navy during the Boer war.

Regards

Lilo

Edited by lilo
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