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What is this (Ethiopian?) medal please?


Garth Thompson
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Yes, the obverse is clearly the image of Emperor Menelik II, Elect of God, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah and King of Kings of Ethiopia (r. 1855-1913).

Somewhere, I recall seeing mention of a "railway medal" of Menelik related to the first railway construction in the country, but I am working from memory here. Realiable sources on Ethiopian ODM are, as we have bemoaned before, rather thin and often unreliable (one must walk carefully with sources coming from exiled-pretending-royals). The ribbon looks like what I associate with the Medal of Scholarship, but as that is a post-WWII invention, it may have draw on an earlier ribbon?

As I am drawing on distant memory here . . . help??

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yup-dead on Prof Ed.

There are two major books out there on Ethiopian orders and a few collectors. the mistakes in one of the books are easily corrected.

Also, the exiled Royal House, nowadays busy selling knighthoods to pay for their womens' college and supporting disabled kids in Addis have their own web site: the imperial Ethiopian Crown Council.

By the way-if you want to sell that, I would trade/buy it.

Edited by Ulsterman
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Medal for the opening of the Addis Ababa Railway. Although looped for suspension, I have never seen one mounted in a group or with a ribbon that I felt was original to the piece. I assume these were given without ribbons as commemoratives.

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Dennis Gill, in "The Coinage of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Italian Somalia", notes that this medal was struck in gold, silver and bronze by the Paris Mint (usually Mint marked on the edge). He describes it as being "issued to commemorate the start of the French-built railway between Djibouti and Addis Ababa, completed to the capital in 1918." He makes no reference to a ribbon.

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  • 7 months later...

By the way, the medal apparently appears in the catalog of the French sculptor/artist Chaplain's work. (See Dict. of Medallists' Bio, 1909: Spink reedit).

He was famous for doing coinage busts etc. and table medals, as well as bronzes of all types.

Apparently the medal was also worn with a plain green ribbon.

Edited by Ulsterman
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