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Order of the Ethiopean star, grand cross


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Nice to see it 'dressed' - thank you for sharing, Dave. The openwork design is quite unusual, and quite beautiful. Lower grades have an unusual shape, a kind of squared-off star.


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As I thought a Sevadjian piece. There were a lot of these found left over with other Ethiopian Orders after Haile Selassie got the boot. A lot of these ended up in Europe in the 80s mainly imported by a Greek who had an absolutely stunning Ethiopian wife (I still drool thinking of her) alas the various orders including copious quantities of the Holy Trinity and Menelik had no sashes or ribbons (at the time they were more difficult to obtain).


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Hello Gentlemen, there is a large number of sub variation in 5th & 4th Class of the Order of the Star in the late 25th years of XIX to the first 25 years of the XX centuries.

Here you can enyo some, the 2 with red stone & red cabochon are french made, the 3 others ,as you can see are local made.


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  • 6 years later...

I keep coming across this odd miniature of the Order of the Star of Ethiopia being auctioned as a miniature of the Egyptian Order of Ismail. The ribbon on this medal is that of the Order of Ismail. Owain first made me aware of the correct identification of this medal after I posted it on 17 December, 2017  as the 3rd photo, on the thread "Miniatures of the Middle East & Arab States", started by Oamotme on 6 December, 2017 in the "Middle East & Arab States" Section here on GMIC. Owain pointed out that the 2 separated lower arms of star of this miniature are odd. Subsequently the same medal has turned up periodically on auction sites, always incorrectly configured with this ribbon and  labelled as a mini of the Order of Ismail. I would appreciate any comments by some of the learned GMIC scholars here about this unusual configuration of the Order of the Star of Ethiopia miniature. 


Above is a low-resolution image of this anomalous (?) configuration of a miniature of the Order of the Star of Ethiopia that I first encountered masquerading as a mini of the Egyptian Order of Ismail. This comes from a 4 December, 2017 auction listing of Spink & Son (Lot 140) that is archived on the salesroom.com website (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/spink/catalogue-id-srspi10156/lot-bd1c4e4c-7dc1-4560-a3c7-a83200ba36e7). This is the only listing for this particular miniature medal that includes its dimensions: 25 mm tall including the crown suspension device X 16 mm wide. The auction listing states it is silver gilt with a "925" silver purity marking on the revers, but does not identify the material of the red cabochon. No image of the reverse was provided in the auction listing. 




I next came across the above 3 better-resolution pictures of the same miniature, again listed as a mini of the Egyptian Order of Ismail from a Bene Merenti Auktionen listing of 6 April, 2019 (ID 175086, Lot 1028) that is archived on the Very Important Lot website (https://veryimportantlot.com/en/lot/view/agypten-ismail-orden-nischan-al-ismail-miniatu-175086). The auction description states that it is silver plated, mistakenly identifies the silver purity mark as "935", and identifies the red cabochon as glass. As these images are higher resolution, it was unclear if this was another example or the same miniature. However, the two white portions of the weft that are visible in the ribbon on the upper right margin of the ribbon in the first photo are identical to those seen in the first image (obverse) from the Spink & Son auction of December, 2017 (and below in the Stephen Album Rare Coins example below). The  image of the reverse clearly shows the silver purity marking as "925". I cannot zoom the image of the reverse of this medal for a better view of the hallmark to the left of the silver purity mark. 



The above high-resolution photos are the most recent auction appearance I have found of this same medal, again fitted with a ribbon of the Egyptian Order of Ismail and incorrectly identified as a miniature of that order. This comes from a 23-25 January, 2020 auction listing of Stephen Album Rare Coins (Auction 36, Lot 1884), archived on the NumistBids.com website (https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=lot&sid=3628&lot=1884). The auction description provides no information about this medal, simply reiterating some information regarding the Order of Ismail. Note the 2 white portions of the ribbon's weft in the same position along the right margin in the obverse view identifying this as the same medal as in the previous 2 auction listings (at least the same ribbon). Some debris on the reverse side of the ribbon visible in this image also is present in the 3rd photo above from the Merenti Aucktionen  April 2019 auction listing. The pattern of tarnish on both the obverse and reverse of the crown suspension device appears to show the same distribution compared with the 3rd photo of the second auction listing by Bene Merenti Auktionen of April 2019, shown above. The shadows in this photo show the design elements of this unusually configured miniature Order of the Star of Ethiopia quite well. The reverse can be zoomed for a slightly better view of the hallmark to the left of the 925 silver purity mark. As I am unfamiliar with Ethiopian regalia, I do not know what this mark may be. 

Edited by Rusty Greaves
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