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Sudan Order of the Palm and Crocodile


oamotme
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Gentlemen,

In the aformentioned early edition of JOMSA's predecessor a submission by James W. Peterson:

"Trost in "Ritter und Verdienstorden" describes this order as having been established in the Sudan in 1837 in one class, to reward princely persons and foreigners for extraordinary service, but soon abolished. It does not seem to have been noted by any other wrtier.

The badge is described as a 7-pointed brillianted star, surmounted by a turban, worn on the neck on a golden chain. The medallion has an alligator at the foot of a palm, enamelled in natural colours, surrounded by a green-enamelled ring with gold Arabic characters reading, "God is Great".

The breast star is a golden rayed star with the superimposed obverse medallion encircled with precious stones."

In twenty years I have seen no other reference to this award - even if this award did exist would any of the leaders (tribal) in the area that became Sudan had the ability to institute, commission and manufacture such an award? I suspect that Trost may have confused this with something else. Any ideas?

Many thanks,

Owain

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Apparently there was a Napoleonic commemorative table medal struck to celebrate the conquest of upper Egypt with this motif.

The palm and crocodile was used on Romano-African coinage.

Given the Sudanese ability to make decent metalwork I think a star or gold chain would easily have been made in Khartoum in 1837. Rummaging through old Antiques Magazines on African art there is a plethora of brass work, bangles, necklaces, leg bracelets, swords, daggers etc. etc.. all with decoration and some are enameled.

Why not?

Edited by Ulsterman
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Whilst the theme of palm and crocodile is not new, I am not convinced of the ability of local craftsmen to execute such a piece - if you look at early examples of the Ethiopian Order of the Star, from the 1880's, whilst highly attractive, they are primitive and I would argue that if indeed Khartoum at this time had the ability to manfacture it would be on a level of tribal jewellery which was and remains basic in design.

Also at this period, say 1825 onwards, this was the beginning of Turco-Egyptian expansion into the area, and Khartoum in 1836 was suffering from drought, famine and cholera epidimics.

The design as described infers a more European influence than African thus possibly an attempt to either imitate locally or impose from afar an award.

On looking at my copy of Trost, published in 1910, the order is referred to on page 92 but no illustration and Trost has no bibliography thus no source for this award - fact or fiction?

Regards, Owain.

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Gentlemen,

In the aformentioned early edition of JOMSA's predecessor a submission by James W. Peterson:

"Trost in "Ritter und Verdienstorden" describes this order as having been established in the Sudan in 1837 in one class, to reward princely persons and foreigners for extraordinary service, but soon abolished. It does not seem to have been noted by any other wrtier.

Owain,

Established by whom?

Sudan was an Egyptian dependency, which was in turn a Turkish province. Why would the Egyptian Viceroy be establishing an order in the Sudan when he did not and could not do so in Egypt proper? Who were the foreigners and princes in the Sudan in 1837? At that time I doubt there were many foreigners about. As for princes, one or two of the Egyptian Viceroy's sons may have held the governorship, but that would have been about all.

Some of these old German works seem to have a lot of nonsence in them about non-European "orders". Yet people time and again pick them out afresh and repeat the canards over and over again. The Burmese "Order" of the Salwe is one such classic case.

James

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