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Ethiopia - Unknown Combat/Wound/Martyr Cross/Medal


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Gentlemen,

Recently obtained at auction as part of a mixed lot. The award is well made, some 45mm in diamenter, and of gilded bronze or base metal weighing about 18gms. There appears to be a manufacturers/makers mark on the reverse below the suspension loop, but not clear even under high magnification. Whether the ribbon is original or not is unknown. The reverse inscription reads, according to one of my staff, literally as, "On the field of battle who sheds his blood and broken bones" - this may, no doubt, be rendered, in a more elegant manner.

Any suggestions? A late imperial piece? The background of cross may support this suggestion. A quality Derg issue? The obverse design of weapons - rifle, rocket, cannon and bomb, may support a post imperial design. However the rifle does appear to be similar to a Lee Enfield bolt action - not a more appropriate modern assault weapon such as an AK-47. Not, I think, post Derg.

Thanks & regards,

Owain

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wow! something new. my understanding is that the new Ethipian government redesigned the wound medal, but retained the heart motif. this I have no idea, but suspect it is either a 1. interim wound medal (1990-1995) or A local award OR an Italian collaborators piece.

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Ulsterman,

Yes, as far as I can find out, or rather not find out, it is an undocumented award. My gut feeling is that it is an older piece -:

  • Quality manufacture.
  • Use of a cross as a design.
  • Weapons of an older era.

But at the moment no other information.

Regards, Owain

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Paul,

The cross is a Lalibela cross and the trophy of arms WW2 or into the 50's or 60's. I am tempted to believe it to be a Selassie piece but am wary of allowing the desired end conclusion to manufacture arguments to support such a conclusion.

Regards, Owain

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  • 1 year later...

Gentlemen,

A fellow collector has sensibly suggested that all Haile Selassie I era awards have some form of imperial device or imagery and thus as this piece is devoid of such imagery attribution the to HSI era may not be wise.

Regards,

Owain

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Intriguing! I agree that the cross theme and the quality seem to suggest earlier rather than later but agree that one doesn't want the wish to be father to the child. Please keep us posted if you find out more about it. Not sure the ribbon is a reliable indicator of much of anything except country of origin, however.

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Gentlemen, Apologies for the delay in adding text - some form of gremlin allowed me only to upload the images of these wings - seen on E-Bay.  I thought the bomb design on the wings reminiscent of the medals design - I may be clutching at straws...... I have yet to decipher the Amharic initials. Regards, Owain

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That's an interesting medal at the beginning of this thread. I got the attached photos when I was in Addis about seven years ago. I have about four physical copies of the medals and a ribbon bar set.

ETHIOPIAN MEDAL 1 a.JPG

ETHIOPIAN MEDAL 2 A.JPG

ETHIOPIAN MEDAL 4 A.JPG

ETHIOPIAN MEDAL 5A.JPG

ETHIOPIAN MEDAL 6 A.JPG

ETHIOPIAN SERVICE RIBBONS.JPG

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My opinion is definitely not from Haile Selassie I era, and feel the same about those wings.

They are nice and good for a complete collection covering all eras, but probably not Imperial.

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I don't actively collect Socialist medals of Ethiopia just as I don't collect the Italian medals for invading Ethiopia, but having said that, I do find that I have quite a few.  Perhaps seeing these can help some of you figure out what you have.  Sorry about the reflections, but I can take better photos of any of them upon request and have titles for most of them. 

GEDC0283.JPG

More apologies for the reflections. and low resolution but better shots of any can be taken and sent to you by email.  Having just posted the above photo, it's not allowing me to post the next photo of another 20 socialist medals of Ethiopia.  Perhaps it will after someone responds.

Thanks.

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