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Egypt, Khedivate - Judge's Badge of Office


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Gentlemen, this is an Egypt, Khedivate Badge of Office of the Judges of the International Tribunal for the Legal Administration of Egypt and the Suez Canal Zone in Alexandria, just arrived from Jorg at Sammler-Cabinett.

This Badge was instituted by the Khedive of Egypt, Abbas II Hilmi Bey, the last Khedive of Egypt and the Sudan. Emile Froment-Meurice, the most famous jeweler in Paris at the time and active until 1913, was commissioned to design the Badge. Imposing and of impressive size in heavy gilded silver, the Badge reflects contemporary design and the reputation of the jeweller. Egypt was at the time under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire and did not have its own system of Orders. This Badge could therefore be regarded as the antecedent of the later Egyptian Order system. The small circular 'medallion' at the bottom of the badge bears the Ottoman Tughra and resembles the Order of Medjidie.

The Khedivate was abolished by Britain in 1914, after Turkey joined the war on the side of the Central Powers. A new Sultanate was proclaimed under Hussein Kamel, uncle of the former Khedive. Abbas II, who was hostile to Britain and supported the Central Powers, was exiled to Switzerland.

An example offered for sale in the 2008 UBS Basle Auction 80 (Collection Tammann) bore the manufacturing mark of Froment-Meurice of Paris, with the original case. This example, also in heavy gilded silver, does not bear a manufacturing mark.

Reference: UBS Auction 80 (Tammann Collection, November 2008)

Edited by drclaw
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Such an interesting history with this badge. No wonder it has the Ottoman cipher on the bottom, since it was when Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire! The design is first class and reflects that a very talented Parisian Designer had this design project. I could almost picture the somber handle-barred mustache Judge that wore this badge. Great find!

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Thanks gents. I'm a little nervous that it doesn't have any manufacturer's mark on the reverse, unlike the 2008 UBS example.

But it weighs an absolute tonne and was heavily patinated.

And I suspect there are other things one could more profitably reproduce than an obscure Egyptian badge ...

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Thanks gents. I'm a little nervous that it doesn't have any manufacturer's mark on the reverse, unlike the 2008 UBS example.

But it weighs an absolute tonne and was heavily patinated.

And I suspect there are other things one could more profitably reproduce than an obscure Egyptian badge ...

The badges were issued virtually unchanged during the entire period between 1917-52. There were several maker's and early on these would have been also been used in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. I have seen French made examples, examples by Lattes and also Bichai and I suspect some, like yours may well have been made by local jewellers. I think yours is 100% Halal.

Paul

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Thanks Paul for clarifying that and for the Tammann catalogue which has been incredibly useful.

Absolutely fascinating that a badge founded during the Khedivate, and incorporating official Ottoman elements such as the Sultan's Tughra, would continue to be issued right until the Republic. But why change such an elegant design!

Gavin

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Thanks Paul for clarifying that and for the Tammann catalogue which has been incredibly useful.

Absolutely fascinating that a badge founded during the Khedivate, and incorporating official Ottoman elements such as the Sultan's Tughra, would continue to be issued right until the Republic. But why change such an elegant design!

Gavin

Many Egyptian medals awarded during the Kingdom had the old Ottoman style designs. Fuad was Khedive from 1917-22 before become King and was a direct descendent of the House of Mohammed Ali which had ruled as Khedives (or Walis) from 1813. Hence I suppose the imagery demonstrated continuity of the the dynasty.

Paul

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Gentlemen,

With the overthrow / exile by the British of Khedive Ismali in 1914 he was succeeded by Hussain Kamel and the title changed from Khedive to Sultan. With the accession of Sultan Hussein and during his brief reign he instituted the Order of the Felaha, Mohamed Ali (plus two medals), Ismail and Nile.(The last award instituted by the Khedive was a bravery medal in 1913.) Sultan Hussein died in 1917 and in turn was succeeded by Sultan Fouad who became king in 1922 and shortly afterwards instituted more orders - Agriculture, Art & Literature, Industry and a Bravery Star....but I have digressed from the Judge's badge!.

Kind regards,

Owain

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Not at all Owain. This information is extremely helpful in expanding one's knolwedge on the history and background of these very beautiful orders.

And it's not readily available information either - until your book(s) come out. ;)

Edited by drclaw
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Beautiful!

How large is this? Was it actually worn? Contemporary Egyptian judges usually wear a green sash, with a republican eagle and/or small gold stars on the front. Would this have been worn in a similar fashion?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Chris,

I'm afraid that all I can tell you is that it is almost as large as your outstretched hand, made of solid gilded silver, and weighs accordingly.

There is a vertical pin clasp on the reverse.

Gavin

Edited by drclaw
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