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oamotme

Ethiopian Group with awards from Greece, Norway, Holland, Denmark & Belgium

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Gentlemen,

I have recently had the good fortune to obtain an interesting Ethiopian group, which although missing two medals, is a group which I should be able to complete. The mounted group consists of :

  • Order of Menelik, 4th Class (missing and a "spare worn Haile Selassie merit medal has been substitutued)
  • Order of the Star, 4th Class
  • Large gilt Haile Selassie Medal of Merit
  • Haile Selassie Jubilee Medal
  • 25th Anniversary of Liberation Medal
  • Norway - Medal of Olav V
  • Greece - Order of George I, 6th Class
  • Holland - Order of Orange Nassau, 5th Class (or possibly medal?)
  • Denmark - Royal Medal of Recompense (Frederick IX) - 2nd Type 1965-71
  • Belgium - Order of the Crown, 4th Class

What attracted me to the group is that it was the first time I had seen a mounted group including the Jubilee and 25th Anniversary medals, both relatively scarce, especially the Jubilee medal. It also provides some scope for research in as much as I hope to be able to track down the state visits by Haile Selassie to the overseas countries or indeed visits by Heads of State to Addis Ababa.

From the grades of awards, both Ethiopian and from overseas, I would infer that the recipient was an official at the Court of Haile Selassie.

Whilst I should be able to source an Order of Menelik to complete the Ethiopian portion of the group my reasoning for posting this on the Northern European Forum is to ask fellow members with knowledge of such awards:

Is the missing Dutch order indeed the 5th Class of the Order of Orange Nassau or a Medal of the Order and if the latter of what grade? Was it a gilt medal removed because it was thought to be gold? Were the medals awarded to foriegners during state visits or were only orders presented?

With regard to the Danish and Norwegian medals - are these particulary scarce and are they well documented? Any information on these Danish and Norwegian awards would be welcome.

Finally with regard to the Begium Order of the Crown 4th Class - as it is mounted last and of the 4th Class, could this infer the increasing seniority or rank of the recipient assuming the foriegn awards are mounted in chronological order of receipt.

(I am not ignoring the Greek award but it is not the subject matter of this particular forum.)

Ideally what I need to do is track down the order of state visits to Ethiopia or by Haile Selassie to the countries represented in this group - perhaps a job for a wet weekend in January?

Many thanks in advance for any information provided.

Kind regards and festive greetings from Riyadh,

Owain Raw-Rees

Edited by oamotme

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Gentlemen,

I attach an image of the reverse of the group.

Regards, Owain

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Hi Owain,

Congratulations on a great looking bar :love:

Regarding the Danish medal, it is the Royal Medal of Recompense (Frederik IX version). This version could be awarded in gold (silvergilt) or silver, both with or without crown.

The awarded version would depend on the importance of the recipient or if it had been awarded previously.

For Frederik IX, silver without crown, a total of 1953 medals were awarded.

The medal was awarded by the King (government approval was not necessary), so there is no list of recipients (to my knowledge).

The Royal Medal of Recompense was very often awarded to court officials during state visits, like you mention.

/Michael

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Ah! I saw that one. Bravo. I am glad it found a safe home and did not get ripped apart.

Congrats Owen as that is one of the best Ethiopian medal groups I have seen in years.

YES- the medal was removed because the seller thought it was gold. I recently bought an NCOs' medal bar from a gentleman in Addis and the bar had had all medals that looked to be silver removed (as well as the Ethiopian UN medal). The sellers also read these forums and have figured out what is rarer and what they can charge more for.

I reckon your bar dates from @ 1965-1974 and was owned by one of the Emperor's personal servants/ADCs. These guys almost ALL were shot in 1974 or early 1975

The Crown Council has an Imperial Chronology of the Imperial visits and you can "coordinate the Scandinavian awards with that chronology. Just a quick google search shows that the Emperor visited in 1954, 1958 and was visited in 1962.

More importantly, I am almost certain that the Norwegian awards were published in the Court circulars.

I was also under the impression that the Danish royal medal rolls were kept at the palace so as to avoid Waler Mitty types wearing the award. ........ perhaps if Great Dane writes to them?

Also- there was/is an official court circular called the "Negerat Gazetta" which was published in English as well as Aramaic. In it diplomatic/ foreign awards to officers and other were often published on a monthly basis- like the London Gazette. In the USA there are only full copies in 3 places (all of which are @ 2000 miles from me). but there might be copies buried in a library out near you .

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Michael,

Many thanks for your prompt response - I will amend the title of the Danish medals accordingly. The number of medals issued you note was 1953 - does this figure include awards to foriegners?

Ulsterman,

Thank you also for your input - all good stuff. Do I now infer the missing Orange-Nassau is a medal 1st Class? Access to the Negerat Gazetta would be nice but I suspect it is not on line!

Kind regards and thank you to you both.

Owain

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Yes, that number includes all recipients. The number is known due to the records of struck medals in the Royal Mint.

However, no records exist of who was awarded. That information was simply not recorded.

After the fall of absolutism in 1849, the awarding of medals and orders was given to the parliament (all recipients still have to be formally approved), except for the Medal of Recompense.

That medal was awarded by the King to whomever he felt deserved it, and as a result of that - unfortunately - no records were kept.

/Michael

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Allow me to correct that number:

The number of medals awarded (Frederik IX, silver without crown) was 1947.

During the reign of Frederik IX (1947-1972) two types of this medal were struck, with a slight variation in the small bow on the reverse. Yours seems to be the type that was struck 1965-71.

/Michael

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Bravo on your acquisition! A very different and interesting bar!

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Michael- are you certain the palace has not kept records of awards? Even privately?

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I could be mistaken, of course, but I have no knowledge of - or ever heard of - such records.

/Michael

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Gentlemen,

Many thanks for your input - all information is welcome. I attach images of the Danish medal.

Regards, Owain

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Michael:

I was positive I had heard that the Crown kept records of the annual awards of the medal. I note on the Crown web site they list annually everyone who gets the medal for long service at companies etc..

Can one write to them and ask?

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Hmm... that's new to me. Besides the Chapter of the Orders (who doesn't have any lists), I wouldn't know who would keep such lists...

But if the - more recent - information is listed on a website, I'm sure it can't hurt to ask the persons behind the site.

/Michael

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Gents, the Orange Nassau 5th grade is a Gold Medal (not an enamelled cross) of this Order.

If it was awarded to your Ethiopian recepient, in the civil division it can be easily obtained. If it was the military version, which i doubt, it will be a bit more difficult (and expensive).

Regards

Herman

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Dear Herman,

Many thanks for this welcome advice - can I ask on what basis you believe it is the gold medal? I agree that it would be the civil version as the group has no suggestion that it could be a military set or awards. (I have also written to the vendor if he has any idea as to whether the missing award is the order or medal.)

I note from previous posts in the forum that the spelling on the reverse of the Order changed in 1975 from "ZY" to "ZIJ" - is there a similar distinction on the reverse of the medal?

With kind regards,

Owain

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Ulsterman and Owain,

I stand (a little bit ) corrected after researching a bit.

Since 1981 recipients of this medal are recorded and are asked to provide a short biography of themselves.

Unfortunately that is too late for Owain's medal.

/Michael

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Owain,

In both divisions the reverse is the same. The obverse is different. The military division has crossed swords. The civllian division has oakleaves between the arms of the cross.

FYI:

ON1 = Grandcross

ON2 Grand Officer

ON3 Commander

ON4 Officer

ON5 Knight

ON6 Gold medal

ON7 Silver medal

ON8 Bronze medal

Regards

Herman

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So, instead of my first posts opinion, the 5th grade is a knights cross of the order.

Herman

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Dear Herman,

Many thanks - I will now search out a Gilt Civil Medal - no rush and a project for next year!

Does anyone have any information of the Norwegian medal of Olav V?

Kind regards,

Owain

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There's apparently a new book out on Norwegian medals and orders.

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Aha, thanks. Some success from the Norwegian Royal House website:

http://www.kongehuset.no/c33027/artikkel/vis.html?tid=33029

..and from this site I detail below the information concernign this medal:

"The King's Commemorative Medal

His Majesty The King’s Commemorative Medal was founded by King Haakon VII in 1906. It is conferred for particularly meritorious service to His Majesty the King. The medal may also be conferred on foreign nationals in connection with state visits and visits of the King abroad, on those who have served at a Norwegian foreign service mission, and on others in recognition for special services. The medal is conferred in silver or gold.

Design

On the obverse the medal bears the likeness of the reigning Monarch with his name and motto. On the reverse the Monarch’s monogram appears. The medal is decorated with a crown and an orb with a cross. The medal is the property of the person on whom it is conferred and is not to be returned.

How the medal is worn

The medal is worn on the left breast, suspended from a horizontal ribbon of the same red colour as the Banner of the Realm."

I am assuming for gold it means silver gilt. I think the one in the group is a gold one but the gilding has worn thin.

Regards, Owain

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Dear Owain,

The Greek medal is the George I silver medal (or second class), unless it is gilt and I don't see it well.

The Order of George I consisted of 5 classes. The medal of George I was used as a Royal Household medal during king paul's (and possibly Constantine's II) reign and it was also given to lower rank civil servants and NCOs, who were not eligible for the Order. I somewhere have files of a gift awarded to Haile Selasie during his visit to Greece-I will let you know as soon as I find the photo, as I believe that the medal was awarded at that time to a member of his court.

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Dear Makedon, Many thanks for you input - every bit of information helps - I have also started this thread under Greece in the Southern Europe section. Owain

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