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drclaw

Persia - Order of the Lion and the Sun

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Something nice from Germany.

Codet, Berlin.

Siver, marked 800.

Size 110´65mm

Unfortunately no photo of reverse.

Very nice Nick! This commander badge is most unusual in that it has eight green rays. Most of the commander badges have six rays and usually eight rays are reserved for 1st class badges. Was this beauty sold in auction? Godet (Berlin) is an extremely rare maker of this order. I have only seen one other on Najaf's site, a 2nd class breast star.

Edited by Markus

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This was a beautiful set of jeweled Russian made Commander badge and Breast star up for auction on Galerie Numastique XV auction. The pieces had Russian hallmarks but no makers names. The starting price was 9000 Euro, and it appears to have gone unsold, with no final listing price in realized prices document. The jewels were paste stones.

Edited by Markus

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Thank you Markus. One of the things that baffles me is the quality of enamel center piece of Russian manufactures. The quality of workmanship on the silver medal and the attached rays is remarkable however the center painting leaves more to be desired. Is that just me? I would have expected for such beautiful bling pieces that the center lion be a bit more regal looking.

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This was a beautiful set of jeweled Russian made Commander badge and Breast star up for auction on Galerie Numastique XV auction. The pieces had Russian hallmarks but no makers names. The starting price was 9000 Euro, and it appears to have gone unsold, with no final listing price in realized prices document. The jewels were paste stones.

Nope, there is maker name "ДО" (right lower conner of the photo close up), so it's our old buddy Dmitry Osipov ;)

No wonder it went unsold... The price was "strictly for crazies" :lol: and of course stones were "past stones"...

For the real one the starting price would be around 250-300 kg. At least! ;)

Another piece by this maker that I showed earlier today was sold for approximately 2000$.

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Thank you Markus. One of the things that baffles me is the quality of enamel center piece of Russian manufactures. The quality of workmanship on the silver medal and the attached rays is remarkable however the center painting leaves more to be desired. Is that just me? I would have expected for such beautiful bling pieces that the center lion be a bit more regal looking.

You are way to picky dear Babar, although I agree with you :)

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Very nice Nick! This commander badge is most unusual in that it has eight green rays. Most of the commander badges have six rays and usually eight rays are reserved for 1st class badges. Was this beauty sold in auction? Godet (Berlin) is an extremely rare maker of this order. I have only seen one other on Najaf's site, a 2nd class breast star.

They are (were?) asking 1000-1200$ for this piece. If you are interested PM me and I'll send you a link ;)

But I must warn you - this is Ukrainian auction :lol:

Edited by JapanX

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Thank you Markus. One of the things that baffles me is the quality of enamel center piece of Russian manufactures. The quality of workmanship on the silver medal and the attached rays is remarkable however the center painting leaves more to be desired. Is that just me? I would have expected for such beautiful bling pieces that the center lion be a bit more regal looking.

Yes Barbar, I agree with you in this case, however there have been many Russian makers with all different styles of medallion paintings. I believe posts #21 and #43 were both Russian made and are of incredible beauty! Some of the Russian made medallion paintings are difficult to tell the difference from the Persian made ones.

Markus

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Very nice points James. I have changed my references to full names. So the later issuance of Talleyrand's order would be the reason his order contained both lion and sun. That fact supports the theory of two separate orders. So few of the Order of the Sun medals were awarded it seems.

Markus

Yes, I think the photographic evidence in the article by Commissary-General Stiot, in the Revue Belge d’Histoire Militaire XVI-7/8, Bruxelles (1966), shows very different insignia for the Order of the Sun. Not only the central design with a depiction of the sun, without lion, but also the overall shape and design of the badge - a six-armed enamelled star in the shape of flower petals. See #161

The Order of the Sun seems to have fallen into disuse sometime in the 1820's. Up to the early 1820's there are a few reports in the memoirs of European officers who served in the Persian army, about the Crown Prince Abbas Mirza making the odd award, but nothing after 1826.

Cheers,

James

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Yes, I think the photographic evidence in the article by Commissary-General Stiot, in the Revue Belge d’Histoire Militaire XVI-7/8, Bruxelles (1966), shows very different insignia for the Order of the Sun. Not only the central design with a depiction of the sun, without lion, but also the overall shape and design of the badge - a six-armed enamelled star in the shape of flower petals. See #161

The Order of the Sun seems to have fallen into disuse sometime in the 1820's. Up to the early 1820's there are a few reports in the memoirs of European officers who served in the Persian army, about the Crown Prince Abbas Mirza making the odd award, but nothing after 1826.

Cheers,

James

Yes, I would have to agree. If the Persians could convince Sir John Malcolm that the orders ot the Sun and order of the Lion and Sun were two different orders (and he accepted it without protest given his abhorrence to accepting the same award as his enemy), the historians should also accept that the two orders were separate orders.

Markus

Edited by Markus

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The Encyclopedia Iranica states that the Order of the Sun was introduced by Naser-al-Din Shah (1848-96), which would make the Sun a subsequent Order to the Lion and the Sun:

"Nāer-al-Dīn Shah (1264-1313/1848-96) increased the repertoire of honors to include the Temāl-e Amīr-al-Moʾmenīn (referring to Imam ʿAlī and bearing his image; Plate XVII.a), which was reserved for the shah; the Sun (Āftāb) for royal women; and the Royal portrait (Temāl-e homāyūn)."

Whether there were two separate Orders is discussed in detail in Sir Denis Wright's article "Sir John Malcolm and the Order of the Lion and Sun" (Iran, vol.17 (1979), 135-141:

"According to Malcolm's biographer, J. W. Kaye, the Shah, having tried unsuccessfully at this audience to persuade Malcolm to remain in Persia, sent his Prime Minister the following day to tell Malcolm that His Majesty desired to bestow on him " some public and enduring mark of royal favour " and that, in addition to making him a Khan the Shah had decided that:

a decoration, similar to that which had been granted to General Gardane, should be bestowed on Malcolm. The Frenchman had been made a Knight of the Sun; but the Englishman now declared that it would be unloyal and unbecoming on his part to accept a title which had been instituted for the benefit of an enemy. This decision created some disappointment, and led to considerable controversy. The King proposed also to make Malcolm a Sepahdar, or General in the Persian Service. This honor was cheerfully accepted, and the General said that the King might send him a horse and sword to support his new dignity. But Futteh Ali said that he gave swords to people of all kinds, and that he desired to mark his especial sense of his affection for Malcolm. It was suggested, therefore, that a new order should be instituted, and a new star fabricated for the purpose, by the court jeweller. There was to be a Lion couchant, and a Sun rising on his back; and the order was to be the Order of the Lion and Sun. The distinction was pressed so earnestly upon Malcolm that he could no longer refuse it. And many brave men since that day have proudly written K.L.S. after their names.

"Some two weeks later, on 15 July, Malcolm was granted a farewell audience by the Shah at Oujan.

"Kaye tells us that on this occasion Malcolm

was met at the entrance of the audience-tent with a firman, or royal mandate appointing him a Khan and Sepahdar (a nobleman and general) of the Persian Empire. With these new titles he was introduced to the King, who welcomed him with becoming cordiality. The gentlemen of the Mission were also introduced in their dresses of honor; and then the King, desiring Malcolm to approach the throne, invested him with a diamond star, in the centre of which were the Lion and the Sun, the insignia of the new order of knighthood.

"Malcolm himself subsequently claimed that the Shah had insisted on honouring him and that the Order of the Lion and Sun had been created for this purpose. Since that time Malcolm's name has been firmly associated with the origin of an Order which thereafter was bestowed by a succession of Qajar Shahs on Persians and foreigners alike. The latter, though they sometimes referred to it irreverently as the Order of the Liar and Son,6 coveted it greatly. There is no doubt that Malcolm was the first Briton to receive this particular decoration, yet he has probably been given more credit than his due for its origin. There is also strong evidence that he solicited the honour rather than had it pressed upon him.

"L. Brasier and J. L. Brunet, the French authors of the only publication devoted exclusively to Persian Orders of chivalry, Les Ordres Persanes (Paris 1902), also treat the two Orders as identical. They state that Fath 'Ali Shah instituted the Order of the Sun in 18o8 (though Gardane received his in December 1807) and that he subsequently renamed it the Lion and Sun in order to add to its prestige. They record that Gardane and members of his staff held this second decoration. At the exhibition of Orders and Decorations organized by the Administration des Monnaies et Medailles de Paris in 1956, Talleyrand's decoration was catalogued as that of the Sun and Lion; it is similarly labelled at the Chateau de Valenay, Talleyrand's old home, where his badge and star can still be seen. It would seem therefore that in French minds there is no real distinction between the two Orders, despite one French account to the contrary. This occurs in a book by Gaspard Drouville, a French soldier of fortune attached to the British military mission to Persia in 1812-13. Drouville states that the two Orders existed side-by-side and that it was only when the British envoy refused the Sun that the Lion and Sun, hitherto restricted to Persian officers, was offered instead. If this were true one might well ask why nothing further is heard of any Order of the Sun-at least until 1873 when Nasir al-Din Shah, on the eve of his first European tour, instituted a new Order of the Sun (but with dftdb replacing khifrshid as the word for sun). This was exclusively for ladies, particularly royal ladies, Queen Victoria being one of the first to be so honoured. On this the sun is represented by the full face of a young female beauty with joining eyebrows, a particular Persian attribute of female pulchritude."

"Wellesley, like Malcolm, accepted the honour. Why Jones should have declined it in 1811 is not clear, unless despite the change of name, he regarded it as the same Order which he had refused in 1809. Also, being very conscious of his superior position as the Crown's representative, he may have felt it beneath his dignity to accept a decoration already bestowed on Malcolm. In addition, he may have been influenced by his materialistic streak."

Wright's article includes a photograph of the Sun insignia awarded to Queen Victoria in 1873 by Nasir al-Din Shah.

It would appear safe to conclude that there were two separate Orders, with the Order of the Sun continuing to be conferred at least until 1873.

What is unclear is:

1) When the different Orders were created?

Order of the Sun - Brasier and Brunet considers 1808, but General Gardane received his in Dec 1807; Encyclopedia Iranica considers it was created by Nasir al-Din Shah after 1848

Order of the Lion and Sun - Malcolm argues it was created specifically for him in 1810. However Drouville contends that the two Orders existed side by side, with the Lion and Sun hitherto restricted to Persian officers.

2) Whether the Sun was restricted to women.

The Encyclopedia Iranica considers that it was Aftab was limited to royal women. This would support the fact that Queen Victoria was awarded with the Order of the Sun, not the Order of the Lion and Sun.

But if the Sun was the Order awarded to General Gardane, then it clearly was not limited to women. However, it might have been subsequently restricted to women by Nasir al-Din Shah. There is also the possibility that the Aftab and the "original" Order of the Sun were two different Orders.

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The Iranica article is not very helpful, apart form the illustrations and references, there is a good deal of gobbledegook throughout the text. It may have been written by someone with a knowledge of history but completely unfamiliar with orders and decorations. There are numerous points which I would take issue with, but they are too many to discuss here. So I shall try to restrict my comments to issues raised by drclaw in his post above.

Firstly, the Order created by Nasir ud-din Shah in May 1873 was an entirely new decoration for ladies. He was in Russia and on his way to take part in his first State Visit to the UK, when he received news that Queen Victoria was going to give him the Garter. He suddenly realised that he had nothing equivalent to give her in return, so set to work establishing this new order while still in St Petersburg. The chief feature of the decoration was to include the full face image of a female sun (aftab), hence the name of the order Nishan-i-Aftab or for European consumption - The Imperial Order of the Sun for Ladies. In the event, the good Queen received both the new Order of the Sun as well as the Order of the Imperial Portrait, hitherto only bestowed on men.

Second, the order created for Gardane, although known as The Order of the Sun in English, is known as the Nishan-i-Khurshid. Khurshid is the word for sun with a male face (note that my earlier article of 2007 mistakenly said Nishan-i-Shir).

Gardane terminated his embassy and left Tehran on 26th January 1808, by which ime he had already received the Order of the Sun from Fath Ali Shah. He had been created a Khan and a General on 7th December 1807 at the start of the negotiations, and shortly afterwards received the order.

When Gardanne left Tehran, he was given two further sets of the order intended for Telleyrand and Maret. When he arrived at Marseilles, he sent these two sets of insignia on to Paris via his brother, who supposedly delivered them to the ministry offices on 4th September 1808. There was also a set for Napoleon sent out some time during 1808 but who or when exactly it was delivered to him, I do not know.

It should also be noted that the terminology associated with the Gardanne order is slightly different from the Order of the Lion and Sun. Persian sources say that recipients were known as Sahib-i-Nishan-i-Khurshid and the early French records which mention the awards to Gardanne, Teleyrand and Maret refer to the "Grand Order of the Sun" instead of first class or Grand Cross, etc.

Third, it seems to be the case that Malcolm did indeed exaggerate his role in the creation of the Order of the Lion and Sun or Nishan-i-Shir u Khurshid. The order was supposedly founded as a domestic equivalent to the Order of the Sun sometime in 1808 and intended as a purely military decoration for the reformed troops under the overall command of the Crown Prince Abbas Mirza, i.e. those reorganized, equipped and drilled according to European methods. It is quite possible that the original insignia meant for the military was nothing more elaborate than a medal. Alas we have no visual evidence to prove or disprove this theory.

It seems that what happened with Malcolm was that a breast star featuring the same design of the lion and sun was especially created for him, no such class or insignia having previously existed for this decoration.

The other early recipients of the Order of the Lion and Sun were:

Major-General Sir John Malcolm, GCB – 15
th
July 1810.

The Most Honourable Richard Colley (Wellesley), 1st Marquess Wellesley of Norrogh, KG, PC, KP – 30th December 1811.

The Right Honourable Sir Gore Ouseley, 1st Bart. PC, GCH - January 1812.

Lieutenant-General H.E. N.R. Rtistchev - 1813.

Major-General Sir Henry Lindsay-Bethune, of Kilconquhar, 1st Bart. (de jure 9th Earl of Lindsay) - 1816.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Henry Willock – 1826.

H.S.H. Charles-Maurice (de Telleyrand-Perigord), Duc de Telleyrand, Duc de Dino, Prince de Benevento and Grandee of the first class of Spain – sometime after 1826 (possibly a replacement for the earlier award of the Order of the Sun?).

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir John Kinnear Macdonald - 1828.

The Right Honourable Sir John McNeill, PC, GCB - 1833.

The Russians also followed the British in refusing to accept the Order of the Sun for much the same reasons, it had been created for and bestowed on the enemy.

Fath Ali Shah took some steps to regulate the order by issuing a firman on 4th May 1814 in which he limited the number of recipients of the first class, both foreign and domestic, to 12 members. At the same time bringing it more into line with European decorations by introducing a grand cordon in green and a collar and badge to go with the single insignia of a breast star.

Fourth, it is certainly the case that the two orders existed side by side from 1808 to about 1826. After that date there seems to be no longer any mention of the Nishan-i-Khurshid.

Cheers,

James

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Thanks James, I think we have the definitive history here of the two Orders, one that finally cuts through the errors and confusion of the different sources.

I've certainly learnt the importance of always referring back to the original name of the Order in the language of the country. While this is a challenge for non-speakers, it also avoids the compounding errors of translations (whether in English or French).

Your reference to Nishan-i-Khurshid, with Khurshid as the word for sun with a male face, highlights how even small nuances can convey important differences in meaning.

I'd be keen to track down a copy of your 2007 article. Was it published by OMSA or OMRS?

Gavin

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Thanks James, As Always, your scholarly and intimate knowledge of this order is amazing and deeply appreciated !

Regarding the early book, L. Brasier and J.L. Brunet, Les Ordres Persans, Actualites Diplomatiques & Coloniales, Arthus Bertrand et Beranger, Paris, 1902, are there any digital copies of this book in any libraries? I seem to come up empty searching for an original copy of the book. Did the book have illustrations? Lastly, do you consider this book an accurate source of Persians order history?

Thanks,

Markus

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"Second, the order created for Gardane, although known as The Order of the Sun in English, is known as the Nishan-i-Khurshid. Khurshid is the word for sun with a male face (note that my earlier article of 2007 mistakenly said Nishan-i-Shir)."

James -- Thank you for all the information. There is one thing that is not adding up. As far as I can tell, Khurshid is not the word for sun with male face. Khurshid has a female gender in Farsi. "Khurshid Khonom" means "lady sun". Could it be that folks are making a wrong compare/contrast between order of Khurshid and Order of Aftab? They both could reprsent a lady face however during naseraldin shah the lady sun had much more pronounced female features with attached eyebrows, etc.

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"Second, the order created for Gardane, although known as The Order of the Sun in English, is known as the Nishan-i-Khurshid. Khurshid is the word for sun with a male face (note that my earlier article of 2007 mistakenly said Nishan-i-Shir)."

James -- Thank you for all the information. There is one thing that is not adding up. As far as I can tell, Khurshid is not the word for sun with male face. Khurshid has a female gender in Farsi. "Khurshid Khonom" means "lady sun". Could it be that folks are making a wrong compare/contrast between order of Khurshid and Order of Aftab? They both could reprsent a lady face however during naseraldin shah the lady sun had much more pronounced female features with attached eyebrows, etc.

I don't think that is quite correct. It is the use of Khanum (basically the feminine of Khan) that makes it female. For example, the expression for princess is actually "Shahzada Khanum", Shahzada being prince. A direct translation would consequently be "lady son of a king".

Cheers,

James

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Thanks James, As Always, your scholarly and intimate knowledge of this order is amazing and deeply appreciated !

Regarding the early book, L. Brasier and J.L. Brunet, Les Ordres Persans, Actualites Diplomatiques & Coloniales, Arthus Bertrand et Beranger, Paris, 1902, are there any digital copies of this book in any libraries? I seem to come up empty searching for an original copy of the book. Did the book have illustrations? Lastly, do you consider this book an accurate source of Persians order history?

Markus,

I did warn when I posted the sources that some of them may be difficult to come by in the US. As far as I could find, several are only available in the US.

There is no single source out there, one has to go through them all and each will have its contribution to make as well as its drawbacks.

Cheers,

James

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I don't think that is quite correct. It is the use of Khanum (basically the feminine of Khan) that makes it female. For example, the expression for princess is actually "Shahzada Khanum", Shahzada being prince. A direct translation would consequently be "lady son of a king".

Cheers,

James

James -- I think you are right. Here is an excerpt from the book "Men with Mustaches and Men Without Beards" by Afsaneh Najmabadi:

"In this intensified visual regime, the sun, evoking the sun king for the Persianate dominion, became intimately identified with the person of Fath'ali Shah. The sun as metaphor for the ruling monarchs (including non-Iranian ones) predates the Qajars, and the expression khawrshidkulah (sun-hatted person) ws common. Although since the early Qajar period, this expression has been used to identify Catherine II of Russsia, in Safavi and early Qajar sources it was applied to any monarch. Aqa Muhammad Qajar, the fouder of the dynasty, was described through a number of sun-related metaphors, such as khawrshid'ara (adorning of the su) and khawrshid'khassiyat (having the same qualities as the sun). But it was the poets and writers of Fath'ali Shah's court who saturated the metaphoric field with the sun king. Two figures in particular delighted in inventing and proliferating sun metaphors for Fath'ali Shah: the court poet Fath'ali Khan Saba and the historian Rustam al-Hukama. Many of Saba's panegyrics center on the notion of Fath'ali Shah as sun. One of his best-known and most eloquent panegyrics, composed for the occasion of welcoming the Persian new year (nawruz) was a comparison between the sun in the sky and the sun on earth, with the opening verse:

Two suns from which the earth and time turned afresh

One entered the palace of hamal, the other the place of Kian."

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Afsaneh Najmabadi further writes:

"Identifying Fath'ali shah with the sun (sun king in affiliation with Jamshid) became so ubiquitous that the monarch himself used it self-referentially. When in 1819-20 Mirza Abu al-Hasan Khan Shirazi traveled to London as special envoy, Fath'ali Shah honored him by sending a dispatch of gifts, which reached him in Vienna: "A banner with the insignia of empire, ... a ribbon of an order with the picture of the sun; yes with the portrait of the emperor himself..."

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There is much more detailed background on Lion and Sun in chapter 3 of Afsaneh's book. I highly recommend it as a source.

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James -- I think you are right. Here is an excerpt from the book "Men with Mustaches and Men Without Beards" by Afsaneh Najmabadi:

"In this intensified visual regime, the sun, evoking the sun king for the Persianate dominion, became intimately identified with the person of Fath'ali Shah. The sun as metaphor for the ruling monarchs (including non-Iranian ones) predates the Qajars, and the expression khawrshidkulah (sun-hatted person) ws common. Although since the early Qajar period, this expression has been used to identify Catherine II of Russsia, in Safavi and early Qajar sources it was applied to any monarch. Aqa Muhammad Qajar, the fouder of the dynasty, was described through a number of sun-related metaphors, such as khawrshid'ara (adorning of the su) and khawrshid'khassiyat (having the same qualities as the sun). But it was the poets and writers of Fath'ali Shah's court who saturated the metaphoric field with the sun king. Two figures in particular delighted in inventing and proliferating sun metaphors for Fath'ali Shah: the court poet Fath'ali Khan Saba and the historian Rustam al-Hukama. Many of Saba's panegyrics center on the notion of Fath'ali Shah as sun. One of his best-known and most eloquent panegyrics, composed for the occasion of welcoming the Persian new year (nawruz) was a comparison between the sun in the sky and the sun on earth, with the opening verse:

Two suns from which the earth and time turned afresh

One entered the palace of hamal, the other the place of Kian."

Haha, yes indeed.

I once saw a collection of photographs, some of which were later placed online in a Persian blog, containing private portraits of ladies of Nazir ud-din Shah's family. He was very interested in photography, so had pictures taken of a wide number of subjects. The pictures of the ladies were amazing. To a man, they were all blessed with thick unibrows and moustaches, one or two even had beards. All potential candidates for the uggliest man in the world competition. Of course the founder of the dynasty, Aga Muhmmad Qajar, was a eunuch. So arguing about the gender of the sun seems somewhat moot.

I will indeed look into Afsaneh. Thank you for the tip.

Cheers,

James

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I believe we now have a good understanding as to why sun was selected as the symbol for the very first order in Persia. Sun simply represnet Fath'ali shah. He is the "sun on earth".

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I have always been wondering about the order of Aftab portraits of women who look like men!

The unibrows,mustaches and beards on women certainly are a special niche of beauty taste.

Louis XIV was also know as the Sun King. Thanks James and Babar for your interesting posts!

Markus

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This is a postcard photo taken of Nasir al-Din (1831-1896). Plenty of jewels, however I can't make out if any are order medals. He was the King of Persia from Sept 17,1848 to May 1, 1896, the day he was assassinated. He was the third longest reigning monarch King in Persian History, having sovereign power for close to fifty years. Nasir al-Din Shah brought Persia into the modern age, building modern infrastructure such as roadways, railways, schools and postal system. He was the first modern Persian Shah to visit europe in 1873 and again in 1878. He also was the first Shah to be photographed and had hundreds of portraits made during his reign.

A list of his order medals received shows the history of his interaction with Europe and Russia.

Honours

Edited by Markus

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Another oil painting portrait of Nasir al-Din Shah with Lion and Sun medal and the the Nishan-i-Tamtal-i-Humayun (Decoration of the imperial portrait) order. Artist of this painting was Abu'l Hasan Ghaffari. in 1842 he was appointed chief painter by Muhammad Shah and sent to Italy and France to study. He returned with a style that combined a new capacity for physical likeness and psychological characterization with a decorative flair that enlivened paintings without compromising their insight. In 1861 the Shah rewarded Abu'l Hasan with the title Sani al-Mulk ( Craftman of the Kingdom) In this era the Shah brought many European influences into Persia and the style of the paintings shifted to realism with a more pronounced western style. Excerpt from Qajar Portraits by Julian Raby.

Edited by Markus

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