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Patiala (Indian Princely state) - Malawi

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Aside from the obvious ones - all the SSRs with similar Gold Stars - there are two, not mutually exclusive, explanations. Jim has the first one spot on - reusing dies and other bits gives the 'same shirt, new tie' effect. Paart of this too, is almost certainly the deliberately similar designs. How many Latin American countries, for example, who have constitutions based on that of the United States, troops uniformed like those of the US and so on have also designed decorations and medals which recall American orders for similar things. The same true of many former British, French and Spanish colonies, oddly enough, as modern thinking seems to suggest that the former masters are universally loathed and so one might expect the new states to chose designs as far from the old ones as possible. Perhaps military men and civil servants everywhere are closer to each other than to their civilian compatriots? ;)

The other explanation is whatever one calls the artistic equivalent of plagarism! There are a finite number of variations on circles and stars after all, and artists with a contract to fill will start with some research into what's out there already and, probably without deliberate copying come up with designs that draw on what they have seen. At least part of the explanation for some of the truly ghastly medal ribbons out there these days, IMHO, is the difficulty in finding any combination of sane colours that someone isn't already using! The same must be true of the medals themselves: given the finite number of symbols - eagles, swords, crowns... - with which to adress martial themes one has a virtual recipe for design derivatives!

I believe that most musical plagarism suits come down to the similarities in a bar or two which, given eight notes to work with, surprisingly rarely, again in my view, as I'm surprised how many distinctive tunes can be made with thise few variables. And, of course, there are lazy artists just as there are lazy writers and some work is apparently too good not to copy.

Great thread!


Edited by peter monahan
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Both orders were made by the very same workshop of Bichay in Cairo in 50s-60s (even hallmarks on reverses are identical).

Time for two Asian beauties ;)

Japanese Order of Rising Sun vs. Korean Order of Tuiguk (a.k.a. Taeguk)

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