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Persia - Order of the Lion and the Sun

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Hello, the "swan mark" is NOT a manufacturer mark. In France every item that is to be sold on auction has to be certified by the "Bureau de Garantie" = Office of Guaranty , in the meaning of guaranty

These are some of my favorite Lion and Sun order medals that are in the Spada Collection on exhibit in the Legion of Honor museum in Paris France. They are early 19th century examples loaded with jewe

Two more from the Spada collection on exhibit in the Legion of Honor Museum, Paris France. Beautiful workmanship and very rare! The second medal down borrows a lot of elements from the Turkish order m

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Beautiful Lion

Definetly a Bertrand lion and sun. The Lemaitre is my favorite of this latest group posted! It is interesting that Lemaitre also skipped the green enamal rays of this breast star like they did in the earlier Lemaitre posted. Nick, you certainly are an industrialist phaleristic. Thanks for all your great contributions!


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Gabriel Bouffet 1850-1910 was an accomplished French official who finished his career as French Counselor of State. His awards:

Knight, legion of Honor 1884

Officer, legion of Honor 1889

Commander, legion of Honor 1909

Commander, Nichan Iftikhar

Grand Officer, Royal Order of Cambodia

Grand Officer, Order of the Dragon , Annam

Knight, Order of Christ, Portugal

Knight, Order of Leopold, Belgium

2nd Class Order of Sacred Treasure, Japan

4th Class, Order of Civil Merit, Bulgaria

Grand Officer, Order of the Lion and Sun. Persia

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Excellent thread! So much info to absorb... Is there a book about this order? And any kind of price guide for a new person like me? I'd love to pick up a couple of these, but I'M not sure what the market is now. I see a few on ebay with Buy it Now prices. Not sure if they are wildly overpriced or not.

I'm sure there are many variables that affect the price, but if there are any rough guidelines, that would be great.

(I lived in Iran for two years before the Revolution--actually my time ended as the Revolution started--and I'd like to start adding a few Persian medals to my collection. I have a soft spot for the Iran of my youth!)



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Hi Rich, you've come to the right place with experts like Nick and Markus who'd be able to share their wealth of experience.

My two bits worth if you're thinking of dipping your toe.

The quality of the European manufactured insignia is typically worlds above the local Persian ones. Many also have identifiable makers marks and each firm had their own distinctive design in how they realised the Lion and Sun enamel painting.

If you haven't already, have a look at Markus's gallery of his collection of European lions.


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Hi Rich,

Gavin is right in that there are wide price variations for this Lion and Sun medal. Generally the Persian made ones are by far more abundant and can be reasonably priced. The exception are very early Persian made Lion and Sun which are quite scarce and usually command high prices at auction. The Persian made ones pop up on Ebay occasionally and seem to fall in the $200-$600 range for a 4th or 5th class model, depending on condition and dealers pricing. Here are a few dealer links that have a range of the Persian made ones for sale:




The European made ones are a whole different subject. The quality of these European made Lion and Sun medals is fantastic. France, Belgium, Germany and Russia produced the majority of these pieces. Medals with the makers plate on the back are priced at the highest premium. The European made ones can generally be found in European auction houses and the competition can be quite fierce driving the hammer price up to high levels. Occasionally a European made Lion and Sun medal can be found at a dealer and they sell pretty fast. So the prices run the gamut depending on the maker, class of medal, condition of medal and auction competition. Most of the medals in my collection are of European make:


There are a few antique books on the subject and a Danish book in PDF format that Nick will send your way, but nothing really current and comprehensive. This forum thread probably has the most comprehensive photo record of Lions and Suns available.

Your time in Iran as a youth sounds fascinating! Things certainly have changed dramatically for Iran after the revolution and their history is very turbulent in general.


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Thanks for the advice and the links. I'll mull over the choices and watch ebay. But this thread is really fantastic--such excellent pictures! Thanks for sharing, all of you.

Time in Iran was great, actually. I guess under the protection of the Shah, all Americans had a great time. I remember roaming downtown Tehran alone or with friends all the time. I was 13-14 then. We had to leave most of our possessions behind, though, in 1979. So some bittersweet memories as well.

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I can't help but feel a little nervous as to how many of this Lions are being bought for the diamonds and then stripped.

This was happening with some silver medals when silver prices were high. They were being bought and melted down for the silver value.

Historical vandalism in my view but I can understand how it could be financially lucrative.

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