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    Egyptian Khedive commemorative medal question

    Rusty Greaves

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    Gentlemen,  I am a new member and recently had a terrific interaction with contributors to this website helping me identify a medal belonging to my wife's great-grandfather who was on the Mixed Courts in Egypt from 1911-1936. I posted that topic in the Africa seciton as that was the first place I found some information about Egyptian Khedive medals during my internet searches. I am posting this question about that medal here in hopes of getting some additional information. I apologize for the redundancy in this posting with that other string.  My wife's great grandfather, Pierre Crabites,  was appointed by president Taft to the Mixed Courts in Egypt between 1911-1936. He made a brief second visit to Egypt for the OAS in 1942 before dying in Baghdad in 1943. Judge Crabites was the presiding judge on the Mixed Courts for the case for sequestration rights to the Tomb of Tutankhamun in 1924. We have an image of him in his judicial robes wearing the Judicial Badge, although that badge is not with the family at this point. He was on very friendly terms with Kings Fuad I and Farouk and was a frequent visitor to the palace and its library. He found in favor of Egypt keeping the Tutankhamun artifacts in country and not allowing them to be taken to Britain. Judge Crabites was awarded the Order of Ismail (Grand Officer class) and another medal that contributors here (in the Africa section) have helped me identify as the Khedive Abbas Hilmi II coronation anniversary and return from Hegaz medal.  I found a couple images that are copyrighted by Hassan Kamel Kelisi-Morali through Flickr and then on Picssr (http://picssr.com/photos/kelisli/interesting/page42?nsid=7892156@N08 pages 42-43 (both images are identified as the reverse sides, although it is most likely the portrait side is the obverse). Since this is a commemorative medal and not a military service award, nor one of the other service to the state awards (i.e. Medals for Meritorious Service; Devotion to Duty; Benevolence; etc.), how would such medals likely have been obtained? Would this have been a gift from someone in the royal family whom Judge Crabites was friendly with, other officials, were they availalbe for purchase? I also would like confirmation, if someone here knows, that the Order of Ismail at the Grand Officer class was limited to 75 living individuals, is that correct?


    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    • 4 months later...

    Gentlemen & ladies, I have only small amount of additional information to update from my ongoing research about this medal. I originally posted this in the Africa section, and interaction with several researchers to that post helped me identify the medal: 

    This is a commemorative "table" medal that  was probably made by Tewfick Bichay of Cairo, who also cast several honorary awards for the Egyptian Khedive and the Republic, as well as other badges (i.e., the Mixed Courts judges' badges I have written about on other posts). I do not yet know if this medal is gilt bronze which is likely given the other commemorative medals I can find from Abbas Hilmi's regin. My wife's great grandfather was likely given this medal from a member of the royal family, potentially because of his strong anti-British sentiments while serving on the Distritict Mixed Courts in Cairo. His award of the Order of Ismail, Grand Officer Class, would probably been given to him at the end of his term on the Mixed Courts (1936). Judges of the mixed courts were supposedly prohibited from receiving honors from the Egyptian government during their tenure on the courts (Brinton, Jasper Yeates, 1968: The Mixed Courts of Egypt, 2nd edition. Yale University Press, New Haven. Pp:53-54). So the award of the Order of Ismail was most likely given at his retirement in 1936. Unfortunately, the family has neither the case nor brevet for this award, although they do have the breast star (but not the sash) and the neck star with its ribbon in very good shape. All of the illustrations and information I have seen identify that the maker for the Order of Ismail was J. Lattes, a businesses in Cairo (and Geneva?) that was located near the European quarters in Cairo (likely French-trained or expatriates). Another individual is trying to cross-check some dates on the Arabic inscription on the bottom of the reverse face to confirm that this Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal was probably struck in 1907. A minor correction about the coronation of Abbas Hilmi II relative to the information provided by Egyptian Zogist on 11/6/2016 (in the Africa string link above) is that his coronation would have been performed at Abdin Palace, not at the citadel. The citadel apparently had ceased to serve as the official residence of the rulers of Egypt during the reign of Abbas Hilmi's grandfather, Khedive Ismail the Magnificent. Other than being able to say that this medal is not common, I have not gotten any additional information on how rare this commemorative medal may be. It is certainly much less common than other Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medals that I can find on auction sites (especially the gilt bronze Abbas Hilmi International Import & Export Competition, Suez commemorative c1892; or the Abbas Hilmi gilt bronze Exposition internationald du Progres, Cairo 1985 commemorative medal-both of these appear with some frequency on on auction sites, i.e., the former is identified as "scarce" and sold for 2,200 GBP in extremely fine condition [lot 845] and the latter [lot 846] as "very rare" and sold for 2,100 GBP in mint state; or the Abbas Hilmi Dedication of the National Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Cairo, 1897, silver, sold for 2,500 GBP [lot 847], identified as very rare in near extremely fine condition on Baldwin's archived Islamic Coin Auction 27 of 12/20/2010: https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=1655&category=34440; or the Abbas Hilmi 1er Congres de Medecine, 1902, Cairo silver commemorative, currently on sale for $1,250 on eBay, identified as "excellent" condition: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/322450407022?vectorid=229466&item=322450407022&rmvSB=true). I have still found no additional images on the internet, nor any auction mentions of this Abbas Himi coronation medal, other than those I have previously identified and the link to a set of dies for this medal provided by Egyptian Zogist on 11/5/2016 (in the Africa string link above). At one point I encountered one additional thumbnail image from an archived eBay sale, but could not download the image, enlarge it, and it has not re-appeared during my subsequent searches. Some inquiries to auction houses have still not turned up any suggestions about this medal's scarcity. 


    Obverse of the Abbas Hilmi II medal commemorating his coronation and return from the Hegaz.

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    • 4 months later...

    Thanks to information from Chris Weeks, I was able to download images of the Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal from the Alexandria Library collections page. Since the only other image of the reverse that I could locate is copyrighted, this is the only image I feel I can share on this forum. The Library's images of the obverse and reverse of this medal are attached here. Is anyone willing to provide any information about whether the text (the same for both images) provides any additional information about this medal? 

    (Info below from Chris Weeks May 15, 2016 in topic 'Kingdom of Egypt 1922-1953" by Egyptian Zogist,  October 30, 2015 in Middle East & Arab States):

    "The most obvious medal-related page from the website is this photo gallery of Egyptian and foreign medals in the library's collection - possibly originally from the Montazah Palace and since taken into the state archives?"





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    On 8/24/2017 at 01:16, Rusty Greaves said:



    The text in Arabic to the left of each image just has information about the actual image. Here's what it says:


    Source: Library of Alexandria

    Topics: Government Badges [could also be translated a bit more accurately as 'state insignia'

    Key Words (General): Medal, Commemorative Medals, Commemorative Medal


    Hope that helps!

    Also the title of the image is "الاحتفال بعيد جلوس الخديوي و العودة من الأقطار الحجازية" "Celebration of the Anniversary of the Khedive's Enthronement and The Return from the Hejazi Territories", which would appear to be the event commemorated by the medal. 

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    Egyptian Zogist, 

    Many thanks with your help on the translation. You have provided a great deal of help in my research on this Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal since I first posted my inquiry, inadvertently in the Africa section! This does not provide new information about this medal commemorating his coronation and return from the Hegaz, however, it is useful to have the wording of the medal's title from the Library's catalogue. I wonder if the title you have translated replicates some parts of the legend on the reverse side of the medal. Unfortunately, the image of the reverse from the BA is of low resolution, probably making it more than difficult to read the legend on the medal. As the only better resolution image I have of the reverse is copyrighted (although I have been in correspondence with the individual who posted it on Flickr & Picssr: Hassan Kamel Kelisi-Morali http://picssr.com/photos/kelisli/interesting/page42?nsid=7892156@N08 pages 42-43) I have not replicated it here previously. That image is copyrighted by Catherine Bichay, the daughter of the jeweler Tewfik Bichay of Cairo, who may be the jeweler who cast this medal. I have attached only the legend portion of the reverse in the hope that is not a copyright violation. It should be possible to enlarge this view. 



    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    I zoomed in on the original picture on Flickr, and the inscription appears to be the same as the title given for the medal on the Library of Alexandria's page, with the addition of four words I can't make out, though I think the second one might possibly be "بمناسبة" "On the Occasion of...". On the bottom is the date, from left to right

    "يوم الثلاثاء" "Tuesday (literally 'the third day' [of the week, as per Arab reckoning])

    the numeral 12 or 13, I can't really tell, though more likely 13

    (EDIT: According to a calendar I found online, Tuesday, Muharram 1328 was the 13th, so the inscription does in fact say 13)

    "محرم" "Muharram" (the first month of the year in the Islamic calendar, and the one following the month of "Dhu al-Hijjah" [last month of the previous year] during which the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca takes place, which would fit in with the Khedive travelling there)

    The year 1328 AH (1910 AD), which means that Khedive would have participated in the Hajj pilgrimage 1327 AH (1909 AD). Beneath the numerals for the year is the 'shorthand' (I guess would be the most appropriate word) symbol for the word "سنة" "Year" .

    Hope that helps!

    Edited by Egyptian Zogist
    Arabic typo
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    Egyptian Zogist, 

    As always, your help is of tremendous value in documenting this piece of my wife's family history. I have also been in contact with the fellow who posted the Flickr images and concurs that the date is probably 1328 AH. His great grand uncle was Abbas Hilmi's Cabinet Chief, Ahmed Chafik Pasha, and apparently he mentions the year of the pilgrimage in his memoirs. He is checking the date but has not yet gotten back with me. I'm also going to check if he has a higher resolution version of those images, he is willing to share them with me. 

    On November 5, 2016 (in the forum string I started in the Africa section) you included a link to dies for this medal with a translation of part of the inscription that is included with the  description of these dies: 

    "I found the actual dies for this medal being sold, according to that site " Pair of indeterminate iron embossing dies with high relief . The front shows the ruler in an ornamental frame with landmark Egypt ( Sphinx and pyramids ). The reverse presents a view of a Mosque ( Mohammed Ali Mosque in Cairo ) within an ornamental frame , above Horus falcon , bottom two lines of Arabic script. The front bears the signature "S. G. un ". The back is called the year 1325 AH ( = 1907 AD ) in the inscription. Weight : 1.45 kg and 1.65 kg, Diameter : 78.26 mm and 78.80 mm . "

    http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/ottoman-egypt-medal-die-abbas-hilmi-138509049 " - You also wrote on Nov 6 checking The Royal Ark, and at that time it also appeared the date might be 1325 AH.  1328 seems more correct. Again the fellow who posted the Flickr images, Hassan Kamel Kelisli-Morali,  initially read the date as 1348, but that makes no sense in relation to Abbas Hilmi's abdication and exile in 1914, but it appears the final 8 is probably correct. 

    Always a pleasure to get your generous help with this. Many thanks!



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    • 2 months later...

    Looking at images I took last year of this medal I have recently noticed an inscription on the obverse side of the medal I had not seen before, and for which I can get almost no information from the few descriptive sources I have found. This is an inscription visible on the lower left, just inside the the portrait margin, below the right shoulder of Abbas Hilmi II's portrait, above the scarab in the 8:00 o'clock position. I see this inscription in all of the few images I have seen of this medal, but only my photos of this medal in a glass rooted mount provide much detail. I will probably have to visit the family member's home and use magnification and take a photo to document this, but thought I would see if anyone has any suggestions about this inscription. It is not in Arabic. A short statement exists in the description of the steel dies that Egyptian Zogist brought to my attention in his post on November 5, 2016 in the first string I created about this medal in the Africa section before I realized there was a separate Middle East & Arab States section on GMIC (titled Help with Egyptian Khedive Medal) regarding a set of steel dies for this medal that were on sale on WorthPoint.com. It states that an inscription on the obverse is a signature reading "S.G. un". This does not appear to match what little I can make out in my current imagery, and I am unsure if that refers to the medal or margins of the die outside of mold for the medal. I'm including 2 views of this, the second with different lighting may show the second word as "1917", but that is not completely clear. I realize there is not much information on this medal, but wanted to fish here among the knowledgable contributors to GMIC and see if anyone may suggest additional information sources about this inscription or the medal in general. Many thanks! 


    detail of inscription on obverse of the Abbas Hilmi II medal commemorating his coronation ad return from Hegaz. The inscription is on the lower left of the medal, just left of the right shoulder in the portrait of Abbas Hilmi II.


    detail of inscription on obverse of the Abbas Hilmi II medal commemorating his coronation ad return from Hegaz. The inscription is on the lower left of the medal, just left of the right shoulder in the portrait of Abbas Hilmi II. This image is slightly different lighting than in the previous image. The second word in the inscription may be "1917"?

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    • 2 weeks later...

    The signature is the well-known "Massonnet . Edit .", the 19th-early 20th century French medal editeur.

    I wrote that: 

    The second word in the inscription may be "1917"?

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha...similar to " . EDIT . ", but not quite.

    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    I apologize for my profound phaleristics ignorance, but I do not know what the specific role of a medal editeur is. Can someone please explain to me what role Massonnet Edit. is likely to have played in designing this medal, and how that is articulated into the manufacture of this medal by Tewfik Bichay? I have other information that indicated Bichay did produce this commemorative medal. I have had poor luck on any internet searches about Massonnet Edit, and do not have access to a good phalereistics library at the moment. 

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    I still hope that someone may have some information they are willing to pass along about Massonnet Edit, I'm also making some inquiries among some specifically numismatic information groups, but wanted to post a good images of the obverse & reverse of this image I recently came across. The photos probably have been edited with a graphics program, but it is a high-resolution image with good details of this medal. 


    Image of the obverse & reverse of the Abbas Hilmi II table medal commemorating his coronation and return from the Hegaz. This image is from an auction listing of 12 October, 2015 through La Galerie Numismatique, lot 182. In the catalogue it is misidentified as "Fouad I King of Egypt and Sudan Medal for Sultan Hassan Hassan Mosque" c 1922. This site also identifies the lower left obverse inscription of "Massonnet Edit." The starting price (300 EUR) and realized price (600 EUR) for this medal seem low by comparison with other Abbas Hilmi II medals on website auction sites, this may partly be due to the mis-attribution of this medal and not realizing its possible value or scarcity. (https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=2277&category=45886&lot=1928365). 

    I have also recently found the eBay listing of one of these medals that I referred to on 25 March, 2017 archived through the Worthpont.com website (https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/egypt-gilded-bronze-medal-b29-115277729). The images of the obverse & reverse are low-resolution, but the eBay listing does also note the "Massonnet Edit" signature, identifying it as belonging to a "famous 19th century French engraver". The listing for the medal includes minimal information, the seller stated they did not know much about the medal, and the 22, July 2010 auction sale price reflects that - $76 (how I wish I had been  doing this research in 2010!). 

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    • 4 months later...

    Gentlemen, I have found some additional information about the medallist Massonnet and a have a few other observations about this Abbas Hilm II commemorative medal. 

    Massonnet represents a family of medal designers and die engravers in Paris who designed a range medals, primarily European commemorative and art medals. The earliest references I can find to the company is an 1855, copper 10-sided medal measuring  26 mm in Diameter, medal, the reverse has C. Massonnet et Fils. identified with their full "Éditeur de Médailles Imperials... " title & street address in Paris as the entire reverse "design", catalogued at the (Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris) website. Frequencies of "Massonnnet Edit" work can be identified by their appearance on numismatic auction listings of dated commemorative medals. The Abbas Hilmi II medal was probably designed/engraved by one of the sons of Charles Massonnet, the likely founder of this somewhat prolific but minimally documented family. The presence of certain photographic documentation of this medal with Catherine Bichay in Canada, suggests that the design/dies were provided to Maison Tewfik Bichay in Cairo and they cast the medals. There is only minimal mention of Massonet in Leonard Forrer's immensely encyclopedic tomes: Forrer, L. (Compiler), Biographical Dictionary of Medallists: Coin-, Gem-, Seal Engravers, Mint Masters &c., Ancient and Modern, with References to Their Works, B.C. 500 - A.D. 1900. Spink & Son. London. Published in 6 main volumes and 2 supplemental volumes between 1904 and 1930, at various addresses across that period. Information about Massonnet is mentioned once in Vol III (Pg. 603) and once in the supplemental volume VIII (pg. 33). The Massonnet name is associated with the signature "Massonnet Edit", and they were known as Massonnet Éditeur de Médailles Impériales, Massonnet Éditeur (designer/engraver) médailleur (medal maker), and made prize medals, royal commemoratives, badges, tickets, etc. engraved by various artists.

    Interestingly, very few Kingdom of Egypt medals were made by Massonnet. None of the best-known Abbas Hilmi II medals were designed by them.


    The Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal (67 mm in diameter) for the International Import & Export, Suez Competition, in gilt bronze, c 1892 (the year he began ruling at age 18) is signed "SJ", probably Stefano Jonhnson of Milan. (https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=1655&category=34440&lot=1484705)


    The Abbas Hilmi II 1895 bronze commemorative medal (67 mm in diameter) celebrating the International Exposition of Progress also is signed "SJ", probably Stefano Jonhnson of Milan. (https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=1655&category=34440&lot=1484706)


    Both of the above medals appear to have used this photographic image of the young Abbas Hilmi II Pasha as the model for his bust on the obverse. On the medals, his mustaches have been given some added heft to make him look more authoritatively older. (http://lcivelekoglu.blogspot.com/2013/12/tarihten-bugune-dusen-notlar-20-aralik.html)


    The Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal of 1897 in silver, 70 mm in diameter, issued for the Dedication of the National Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo was designed by Séraphin Emil Vernier, of Paris. He was a sculptor, metal worker, engraver, and medallist. Interestingly, at least to me as an archaeologist with a familial connection to a Judge in Cairo, one of the French houses he made jewelry for was Froment-Meurice in 1882-85. They and other French & Egyptian jewelers manufactured the beautiful, large, & heavy Judges' badges for the Mixed Courts and Native Courts of Egypt (see my thread "Egypt Khedive Judge's Badge question" started 17 November, 2016, in the Middle East & Arab States section). Vernier was sent to Egypt by the French government in 1896-97 to study Ancient Egyptian jewelry. Vernier's signature appears on many Egyptian commemorative medals, in addition to his large body of important European médailleur work. (https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=1655&category=34440&lot=1484707)



    The Abbas Hilmi II medal commemorating the 1st Congress of Medicine in Cairo on the 19-24th of December, 1902 in silver is unsigned (unless there is engraving on the rim), but is not the work of Massonnet Edit. Obverse=above, reverse=below. (http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/323207911226?vectorid=229466&item=323207911226&rmvSB=true)


    The 1869 Ismail Pasha medal commemorating the Opening of the Suez Canal, cast in white metal, 50 mm in diameter, is the only other Egyptian medal I have found so far that was made by Massonnet Edit. This particular medal appears to have been designed or engraved by C. Trotin, a fairly prolific medallist, for Massonnet. Trotin's signature ("C. TROTIN") appears on the inferior of the obverse (L). Massonnet's signature ("MASSONNET EDITEUR") is on the inferior of the reverse (R). (https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=1655&category=34440&lot=1484698)

    Abbas Hilmi Coomemmorative medal.jpg


    The portrait of Abbas Hilmi Pasha on the medal commemorating the anniversary of his coronation and return from Hejaz is quite different from the first two medals illustrated above. It does not appear to be solely based on any one photograph, at least not the best-known of Abbas Hilmi II. The details of his uniform closely match the following portrait of Abbas Hilmi I, including the chest medals. Details of the proportions and perspective of his fez are identical between the photo and the medal. Perhaps because His Highness the Khedive of Egypt, Abbas Hilmi Pasha is a low resolution image, some facial aspects of the bust do not seem to match. However, there is significant similarity in the facial outline, perhaps in eyebrow shape & definition, but the medal bust does not appear to be completely adapted from this portrait photo shown below. The bust may be modeled or modified partly from one of the other most-used portraits of Abbas Hilmi Pasha. There is a chance that other photos were used for the modeling of his facial features on the medal (which exhibits slightly more scowl in the eyebrows, narrower eyes than in the two portraits I'm illustrating, thinness & height of the face of the face compared to this portrait, differences in the chin and jowls). All of that could be my imagination, or the médailleur using artistic license to make Abbas Himi II look more imposing, or the difficulty in changing 2-D art into a 3-D low-relief sculpture? Certainly, the more centered chin dimple also suggests some idealizing was done to any extant portrait images. As an archaeologist, I well know that Pharaohs & Queens of Ancient Egypt almost all (really, except 1) idealized their own public images in all available media. There is no suggestion that Abbas Hilmi did life-posing for the portrait, although that is possible (the stern expression of the eyebrows and narrower eyes might suggest exposure to more than the available photos, unless it is purely artistic improvement and not mostly political design strategy). Compared to the other official Abbas Hilmi II medals, this commemorative medal is only about the Khedive's personal achievements. The design of the new bust for this very handsome medal might have merited some form of a sitting, or brief observation by the Massonnet Edit artist. 


    Portrait of Abbas Hilmi Pasha with uniform and fez matching details on the commemorative medal for the anniversary of his coronation and return from Hejaz. Several aspects of the face also match the medal's bust, such as the outline of the face, prominence of the cheekbones, nose shape, perhaps the eyebrow configuration. However it seems to differ in the height of the face, narrowness of the eyes, details of the jowls, and curl of the mustaches. (https://www.huzursayfasi.com/biyografi-sayfasi/9223-abbas-hilmi-pasa-kimdir-s1.html)


    Probably the most commonly duplicated photo portrait of Abbas Hilmi II used for a wide quality range of cards, hand-colored single & composite images, newspaper illustrations, etc. during the Khedive's lifetime.  Possibly a 1911 image. (https://www.periodpaper.com/collections/antique-vintage-art/products/1911-print-egyptian-khedive-abbas-il-hilmi-bey-sudan-military-uniform-portrait-168464-xgjc9-036)


    An example of the above portrait use in a hand-colored card. (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--UtYF3QtK8U/UJ_zVJ2JcaI/AAAAAAAAaQw/wmHc-BVA4yg/s1600/544691_487730171259309_364027293_n.jpg)

    I am still unsure of the date for the manufacture of this medal? As you may see if you look at past threads, Egyptian Zogist evaluated the low resolution images of the  inscription on the reverse, and after he re-calculated his dates wrote in his post on this thread of 28, August 2016 that 1328 AH (1910) AD) was associated with the coronation anniversary, and 1327 AH (1909) with the Khedive's return from Hegaz. See Egyptian Zogist's post for other cool details on these dates. These are confirmed as dates for the Hajj from skimming document & photograph entries in the Univ of Durham Catalogue of the Abbas Hilmi II Papers online listings. The catalogue identified photos from his pilgrimage dating to 1909, possibly lasting into 1910. It is further confirmed through dated memories an Egyptian colleague consulted recently. His great grand uncle was Ahmed Chafik Pasha, Chief of the Khedivial Cabinet at the time, he wrote that the Khedive's departure for the Hegaz was in Dec 1909. Abbas Hilmi II's enthronement anniversary was 8 Jan 1910. His return to Egypt was on 25 Jan, 1910. I can further explore this with the Durham Univ Abbas Hilmi Papers. I can't link to documents in the Catalogue, and it is a very large archive (19 meters long & in 9 languages), but it is indexed in useful detail. Many photo descriptions in the Catalogue identify locations and dates along the Khedive's Hajj. However, I still do not know when this medal was made? How did Tewfik Bichay articulate with Massonnet Éditeur médailleur? That's enough for right now.

    As a complement, and a compliment, to Egyptian Zogist for the Cairo Punch cartoon supplied on 5 November 2016 in my initial thread on this medal in the Africa section (see http://gmic.co.uk/topic/69654-help-with-egyptian-khedive-medal/?do=findComment&comment=643578) showing Abbas Hilmi arriving in Al-Madina, I am including another Cairo Punch cartoon below.


    Cartoon from Cairo Punch showing Abbas Hilmi (identified at the head of the pilgrims with the stamped words THE KHEDIVE) leading the sa'i ceremony in Mecca. The British Museum identifies this images as dating to 1910. Can "No. 62 Third Year" in the top left corner of the cartoon border be associated with a volume or date for The Cairo Punch?  (https://blog.britishmuseum.org/hajj-pilgrimage-to-mecca/)

    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    Here is a better resolution version of the photographs portrait of Abbas Hilmi II that appears to be the primary basis for the portrait bust on the Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal for his coronation anniversary and return from Hegaz. This image, and the one I included on April 28, are the only two versions of this portrait I have so far found on the internet. 

    Abbas Hilmi 1910 portrait Atelier Resier from AMAR copy.jpg

    This is identified as a 1910 portrait of the Khedive, the year he returned from his pilgrimage and the year of his coronation anniversary, made by the studio Atelier Reiser, of Alexandria & Cairo. This version of the image comes from the AMAR Arab Music Archiving & Research website, for podcast #20 of August 1, 2013 playing examples of music associated with Abbas Hilmi Pasha, both during his reign and well after he was deposed due to ongoing anti-British sentiments in Egypt. (http://www.amar-foundation.org/020-khedive-abbas-ilmi-ii/). The signature on the lower left is that of Abbas Hilmi II. 


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    • 2 months later...




    Above are two high resolution images of an Abbas Hilmi II medal commemorating his coronation and return from Hejaz that is currently being auctioned on eBay with and estimate price of $4,950 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-OTTOMAN-EGYPT-MEDAL-ISLAMIC-ABBAS-HILMI-II-CORONATION-RETURN-FROM-HEDJAZ-/312177603567#viTabs_0). The photograph of the obverse shows the signature of "MASSONNET. EDIT." in the lower left of the portrait very clearly. Perhaps the Arabic on the reverse is easier to read than on the other images I have posted. If anyone would be willing to look the inscription over, there were a few aspects that Egyptian Zogist could not make out, as he states in his post on this thread of August 28, 2017. This example is identified as being in its original case. The name of the company in Cairo is very difficult to read in the photos, the seller was unable to suggested any reading and it is unclear if there is any identifying inscription on the inside of the case. The Arabic inscription on the case also is probably very difficult to read. 

    The 2 images below show the lid of the case for this medal. I don't know if anyone more familiar with other medal makers can help determine the name of the company in Cairo on this lid? Given the information from Catherine Bichay on this medal, I thought an original case might clearly identify Maison Bichay as the manufacturer. The owner may have some doubts about this being the original case. He also said he has previously handled an example of this medal with an original case and that the case was unmarked. 



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    • 2 months later...

    I came across the following example of the Abbas Hilmi II table medal commemorating his coronation and return from Hegaz on the veryimportantlot.com auction site (and also on the lot-tissimo.com auction site). The listing for this medal identifies it as gilt bronze, approximately 67 mm in diameter and weighing 120 g. This example is in its original green case, that appears identical in color and decorative margin marbling to the example I posted on 22 July, 2018. Details of the tear in the silk lining and the two upper corners of the case that can be seen in the 22 July photo suggest these are different cases, and two different examples of this medal. The description suggests a c1900 date for it, and notes it was made by the medalist "Massonnet, Avers." The avers. inclusion is simply the French term for obverse, not an alternate name for Massonnet Edit., some phalersitics listings identify work by the face the medal editeur designed (i.e., "Charles Massonnet [the founder of Massonnet et Fils, and Sons] avers", or "Massonnet avers"). Given the nature of the obverse and reverse design elements, Massonnet must have designed both faces of this medal, the "Massonnet avers" designation is simply an incorrect copying from a medal listing where Massonnet only designed the obverse (i.e., the The 1869 Ismail Pasha medal commemorating the Opening of the Suez Canal medal I illustrated on my post of 28 April, which "C. Trotin"  designed the obverse and "Massonnet Editeur" designed the reverse). This example was sold in May 2018, possibly for 1,000. As noted in my 28 April, 2018 posting, the most likely date for this medal is 1910. 



    a lower resolution image of this me photograph is shown on the Lot-Tissimo auction site: https://lot-tissimo.com/fr/i/13856592/aegyptische-medaille-um-1900-medailleur-massonnet-avers-brustbild-frontal-des-khedive-abbas-hilmi/hl/1/%7BSC_AUKLIVELINK%7D?PHPSESSID=uov0om51ms8meehguh2objk457


    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    • 3 months later...

    Below are two very high-resolution images of the Khedive Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal from an archived auction by Dix Noonan Webb (https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/lot-archive/lot.php?department=Medallions&lot_id=224096). The images provide even better detail than those I posted in the first 2 photos of 22 July, 2018. The lighting is a bit different and picks up a greater amount of detail of the design elements than on the previous best images from that 22 July post (including the reverse inscription in Arabic). Both of these images can be zoomed to see greater details of both faces of this medal (as can the slightly less detailed images from the eBay example I posted on 22 July). The wear patterns and some stains visible in these images are extremely similar to those in the eBay example I illustrated on 22 July. This is especially true of the rubbing on the reverse affecting the foreground mosque dome, the scarab on the lower left, and the scarab on the lower right. Some stains, nicks, and scratches on the superior star on the crescent of the Princely Crown of the obverse also are very similar to those visible in the previous post. This may be the same medal as that from the July, 2018 eBay auction. These images are from an archived 6 December, 2012 DNW auction (lot 1338) listing that correctly identifies the medallist as Massonnet, although the description identifies the editeur as "A. Massonnet", possible the same error I noted in the listing of "Massonnet, Avers." for the medallist on the Very Important Lot auction listing I posted on 2 October, 2018 that is a mistaken reference to the obverse face. I have only seen C. [Charles] Massonnet identified by name from this family of medal designers and die engravers in Paris. Although, as noted in my post of 28 April, 2018, it is most likely that a son of Charles Massonnet was the editeur of this medal as the name "C. Massonnet et Fils" appears on an 1855 copper (the first instance I have identified), which would make C. Massonnet, the father, quite a bit older when this medal was designed, probably in 1910. The auction description gives a single dimension as 67 mm, which is the same as that provided for the examples I illustrated here on 9 December,  2017 from a 2015 auction by La Galerie Numismatique archived on the sixbid.com website and on the V.I.L. example I posted here on 2 October, 2018 from a May, 2018 auction. This example was in its original worn case (like the case Illustrated on 22 July, 2018, the Dix Noonan Webb auction description for this piece specifically states that the inscription on the lid is "much faded") and sold for £620 in 2012.





    I am assembling some information on the two events this medal commemorates, the coronation of Abbas Hilmi II in 1892 and his return from the pilgrimage to Mecca in 1909. I hope to post that background in my next post on this thread. 

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    • 1 year later...

    I recently found the case for the Abbas Hilmi II medal commemorating the anniversary of his coronation and return from the haj (in 1909) that my wife's great-grandfather, Pierre Crabités obtained during his time as a judge on the Egyptian Mixed Courts in Cairo from 1911-1936. Although I was unable to open the frame and get any good pictures of the actual medal while visiting my wife's family, I have some information on the case to add here. 


    Photograph of the framed Pierre Crabités memorabilia that includes: the visible obverse of the bronze Abbas Hilmi II medal Crabités obtained that commemorates the Khedive’s coronation anniversary and return from the haj, probably struck in January 1909 (lower left); his 2nd Class Grand Officer Class Order of Ismail neck badge and ribbon (upper left, unfortunately, the mounting places the Order of Ismail neck badge at the back portion of the ribbon with the ties); the Order of Ismail breast star (upper right); and a 1911 photograph of Crabités wearing the regalia of his role as judge on the Egyptian Mixed Courts’ District Court of Cairo where he served from 1911-1936, consisting of a maroon tarboosh, black stambouline coat, a red sash over his right shoulder running to the decorative bow on the left hip (the sash is barely visible in this image, but the decorative bow is not shown in this photo) and the beautiful gold & silver judicial badge of office is pinned to that sash (lower right).  I had to take the photograph from an oblique angle as the non-museum-quality glass is highly reflective and I have had poor luck getting any good photographs of this ensemble in its mounting.


    Photo of the upper lid of the case for the Abbas Hilmi commemorative medal owned by Judge Pierre Crabités. The case dimensions are 121 mm long X 95 mm wide X 30 mm deep. This photo shows a textured blue paper label with a light green Arabic inscription pasted on the outer lid. It appears that 2 other areas of inscriptions (also in a light green color) may have been rubbed away (intentionally?) above the intact Arabic Inscription. This image shows the gold, twining floral ornamentation of the angled margins of the upper case lid (not present on any other part of the case). The case is covered in a marbled and textured paper, that was probably intended to imitate leather (the texturing is the stamped black crazing that is slightly lower than the green surface of the paper). There is some variation in how the coloration of the cover of the case appears in the photos below, the hue of green in the above photo is closest to how the coloration appears. The upper line of the paper label may be an English name of the company that sold the medal in Egypt (see the brief discussion of the few other images I have found of the case lid at the end of this post). There is no maker's labeling on the inside of the case lid (see the 7th photo in this post below). The push release button to open the case is visible at the lower margin of the photo. 


    Close-up image of the intact Arabic inscription on the paper label of the upper case lid. I have previously seen one other very low-resolution image of a case for this medal that I believe exhibited a similar label. Unfortunately, that internet image does not appear any longer for comparison with the Crabités example. As noted at the end of this posting, the other images I was able to download of the labeling of a case associated with this commemorative medal shows a different darker green colored textured paper label that also is quite difficult to read. 


    Close-up of the end of the case with the brass push-release button. The upper lid is oriented as the superior portion of the case in this photo (with the lone of gold floral ornamentation visible on parts of that beveled margin of the case).


    Photo of the left lateral side of the case, the push release button is not visible but is located on the right end of the case and the hinge is on the left end. The gold floral ornamentation is readily visible on the angled margin of the upper case lid, and can be seen not to be present on the angled margin of the lower portion of the case. 


    Close-up of the brass hinge on the back end of the case, also showing the gilt floral ornamentation of the beveled upper margin of the case lid. 


    Photo of the underside of the case, showing the same textured paper cover without any gilded ornamentation of the angled case margins. 


    Photo of the interior of the case for the Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal showing the red velvet medal bed and the cream or white silk (or satin?) cloth lining of the upper case lid (without any maker's name markings). This also shows the large brass catch mechanism of the push release. The medal bed is slight raised towards the back hinge end of the case. The princely crown ornamentation at the superior end of the medal fits between the cut-out in the round margins of the bed (as shown above in previous photos on this thread of 22 July, 2018 and 2 October, 2018). 

    I have previously included a few illustrations of cases for other examples of this commemorative medal on this thread. My post of 22 July, 2018 shows high-resolution images of the obverse & reverse of an example this commemorative medal from an eBay offering resting in the red velvet medal bed in the first 2 photos. The 3rd & 4th photos in that 22 July post show the difficult to read inscription on a dark green textured paper label pasted onto the the outer lid of that example ("..... &[?] Company, Cairo Egypt", and an Arabic inscription underneath it). I previously noted that the Dix Noonan Webb offering, Lot 1338 from 6 December, 2012 (shown in my post of 16 January, 2019 on this thread) of a cased example of this Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal is noted to have a "much faded inscription on lid", although no photo of that is provided. The first 2 photos the 22 July post show the same red velvet lining of the medal bed, and a small amount of the same textured green paper case covering. The 2nd two photos of the case lid in that 22 July post show well the the same textured green paper case covering of the case exterior as illustrated above for the Crabités example. Those final 2 photos in the 22 July post also show the identical gold floral ornamentation on the case margins as shown above on the Crabités case. An image of the obverse of another example resting in the medal bed is shown in the photo of my post of 2 October, 2018.  That image shows well the same green paper coating of the case, an identical form of brass push release opening mechanism, the red velvet medal bed, and some of the cream/white silk lining of the upper case lid interior. 

    I am still assembling the other contextual material about this commemorative medal that I threatened to include in the final sentence of my last post of 16 January, 2019. 


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    I recently stumbled on the moderately low-resolution images of an example of the Abbas Hilmi II medal commemorating the anniversary of his coronation and return from Hegaz in my older computer files that I initially mentioned at the end of my post of 25 March, 2017. I first encountered this example in an eBay listing, that included only a very low-resolution thumbnail image of the medal. I noted that I had found the listing and low resolution images of the medal archived on the WorthPoint.com website at the end of my post of 9 December, 2017, but did not include that image as it does not provide as much detail about the design as other images I had found on the internet, or the photo I took on 14 October, 2016 of the Crabités example through the glass of its mounting. I noted in the 9 December post that the seller stated little knowledge about the medal and that it sold for $US 76 (most auction prices available for this medal fall within the $600-700 range, with a couple reported sales up to ~$4,000)  I wish to illustrate it here as another example that appeared in an auction sale. The other point I want to raise here is something that I have inexplicably ignored, this bronze medal is gilt and that is why it appears gold in color rather than bronze.

    large.1914302846_EGYPTGILDEDBRONZEMEDALB29115277729B.jpg.3efa3b488fff37bf774138a909469a12.jpgLow-resolution image of the obverse the Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal sold on a 10 July, 2010 eBay auction and archived on the WorthPoint.com website (https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/egypt-gilded-bronze-medal-b29-115277729). The description identifies the diameter as 66 mm (across the lateral margins and not including the princely crown?), a thickness of 4 mm, and a weight of 118 g.  The archived listing states that the word "BRONZE" is engraved on the edge of the medal. I noted in my 9 December, 2017 post that that the description had correctly identified the "MASSONET . EDIT" medallists mark to the left of the obverse portrait of Khedive Abbas Hilm II, and that this was "a famous 19th century French engraver". Obviously, I forgot about that and since I could not find the posting again I spent November 2017 trying to determine what that inscription was. Another point that description raises is that it says the medal is gilt ("gilded"). All listings of this medal identify it as bronze, but the medal always appears gold in photographs. I have not addressed this question before. The veryimportantlot.com example I illustrated in my post of 2 October, 2018 also states that the medal is gilt bronze. The photo shows the significant corrosion of the crown on this example, wear to highpoints of the relief (especially the nose, brows, chin , mustaches, & cheeks of the Abbas Hilmi  II portrait, parts of the tarbush, some of the scrollwork and scarabs), probably some deep scratches on the Khedive's tarbush, and possibly discoloration of the flat background to the viewer's right of the Abbas Hilmi II portrait bust. The star on top of the crescent at the superior margin of the princely crown appears to be bent toward the right and backwards. 


    Reverse of the same Abbas Hilmi II medal from the 2010 eBay listing archived not ehe WorthPoint.com website. This shows were to some of the same highpoints as seen on the eBay example I illustrated in my post of 22 July, 2018, and the photos of the the Dix Noonan Webb example I illustrated in my post of that I think is the same medal as the July 2018 eBay offering. The reverse also shows the same extensive corrosion in the crown, appears to have a nick to the left of the Horus Falcon (at the superior portion of the medal design) image's feet, and has additional areas of wear on other high relief areas of the design (especially the body of Horus, the falcon's most distal tail, the sun symbols held in the Horus falcon's feet, the scarabs, and highpoint on the scrollwork). The star on top of the crescent at the superior margin of the princely crown also appears bent to the left in this photo. 

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    • 2 weeks later...

    I have 2 pretty good photos of an example of this Abbas Hilmi II 1909 commemorative medal to illustrate here. 


    Moderate-resolution image of the obverse of an Abbas Hilmi II medal commemorating the anniversary of his coronation and return from Hegaz. This illustration, and the one below of the reverse of this same example, is from the flickr photostream of Hassan Kamel Kelisi-Morali (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelisli/3048892065/in/photostream/) and is copyrighted by Hassan Kamel Kelisi-Morali. The image, and that below of the reverse, are credited on Kamel Kelisi-Morali's flickr site to Mrs. Catherine Bichay, the eldest daughter of Fahmy Tewfik Bichay. This medal shows a very fine condition, comparable to that shown from the Alexandria Library in my post on this thread of 23 August, 2017. The flickr image cuts off the superior-most portion of the star above the crescent. That aspect of the photo (the truncated star), part of the visible background on the viewer's lower right side to lower middle, the background to the right and left side of the princely crown, and a possible scratch below the portion of the chain of the Collar of Hanedani (see https://gmic.co.uk/topic/74377-question-about-the-collar-of-hanedan/) on the viewer's right, all suggest this is almost certainly a slightly better-resolution version of that same photo of this medal from the Alexandria Museum collections page (http://modernegypt.bibalex.org/Collections/Medals/MedalsLucene.aspx).



    Moderate-resolution photo of the reverse of the same Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal from the flickr photostream of Hassan Kamel Kelisi-Morali (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelisli/3049734010/in/photostream/) and also copyrighted by him. Although I saw this image several years ago, I have not posted it before because I was uncertain whether this was an example that the Bichay family obtained because of Fahmy Tewfik Bichay's father's (Tewfik Bichay) work as a medallist in Cairo at the time or if it is only a photo the family has in their possession. My delayed comparison with the Alexandria Library image now makes me fairly certain that this is a better-resolution version of that same photo from their collection.


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    • 9 months later...

    I recently came across two higher-resolution versions of the 1910 photo portrait of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II that I posted here on 28 April and 3 May, 2018. In that post of 28 April, I identified this studio image as the basis for the portrait bust on the 1910 Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal. This is apparently the only medal to have used this portrait of the Khedive, and is distinctively different than the portrait of the younger Abbas Hilmi II used on the better-known commemorative medals (those for the c. 1892 International Import & Export Suez Competition and the 1895 celebrating the International Exposition of Progress). I included in that 28 April post a version of the more commonly seen portrait of the young Khedive that served as the basis for that medal bust, produced by Stefano Johnson of Milan. The photo of 28 April (4th-to-last image in that post) is a low-resolution version of this image. I posted a higher resolution version on 3 May that is matted with a 1910 date, the name of the photo studio (Atelier Reiser, Alexandrie & le Caire), and the calligraphic signature of Abbas Hilmi II that was on the Foundation for Arab Music Archiving & Research website (AMAR), for a podcast (#20, 1 August, 2013) of music associated with Abbas Hilmi II Pasha (http://www.amar-foundation.org/020-khedive-abbas-hilmi-ii/). The slightly-higher resolution image directly below (the 1st photo in this post) is a cropped version of that portrait in the same matting. 




    I found the above slightly higher-resolution, cropped version of the matted image I posted on this thread on 3 May, 2018 image from the AMAR website, that includes some of the matting (it is from the same photo, the staining on the mat between the letters “…BAS…” is identical to that seen on my 3 May 2018 post). The cropping removes the name of Atelier Reiser and the signature of Abbas Hilmi II. This image is from a Pinterest post by Hassan Abo Marym (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/642888915547710702/). 




    Above is much higher-resolution version of this same 1910 portrait of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II that is posted on AFIFI’s Pinterest site (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/790663278323178294/). This photo can be zoomed for more details. This version from Pinterest shows only the photo and no matting. No source attribution is given for this photograph. The Khedive is wearing the Collar of the Order of Hanedon (normally awarded only to princes & princesses of the Ottoman Royal family and to some heads of state) and the neck badge and breast star that are identified by one Egyptian colleague as the Supreme Order of Imtiyaz in Brilliant. Can anyone here on GMIC confirm or correct that identification? This is the same neck badge and breast star shown in a common portrait of Abdulmejid II, the last Caliph of the Ottoman Dynasty (As shown in the 8th photo of my first post on the thread "Question about the Collar of Hanedon", 16 January, 2019, In the "European States" section under "Turkey"). Is the sash that of this Order of Imtiyaz (most color portraits of Abbas Hilmi show it with red above green, a few reverse that order)? I cannot identify the other three full-sized medals and the two miniatures. Two of those medals appear in most portraits of Abbas Hilmi II, in color versions the ribbons show green on the left and red on the right, would any of these be Medals of Imtiyaz (possibly one in gold and one is silver)? 




    Image of the bust on the obverse of the commemorative medal celebrating the anniversary of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II’s coronation  and return from the haj. This shows the resemblance between the above 1910 portrait photo of the Khedive and the form of this bust designed by the family of medallists in Paris, Charles Massonet et Fils. From a 6 December, 2012 auction (Lot 1338) by Dix Noonan Webb (https://www.dnw.co.uk/auction-archive/lot-archive/lot.php?department=Medallions&lot_uid=224096). This very-high resolution image can be zoomed for much greater detail and comparison with the 1910 portrait of the Khedive. 

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    • 2 weeks later...



    The previous higher-resolution version of the 1910 portrait photo of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II (the second photo in my recent post of 3 November, 2021 on this thread) allowed me to perform a google image search for other versions. I found one additional even higher-resolution online example of this portrait. This portrait, shown above, is the same 1910 photograph of the Khedive and came from an Italian language website of a collector of diverse militaria from ~1700-1946 (https://collezionemilitare.it/wp-content/uploads/IMG_4218.jpg). The matting is very similar to that on the two previous examples of the same matted portrait. The first version I initially found on the Foundation for Arab Music Archiving & Research website (http://www.amar-foundation.org/020-khedive-abbas-hilmi-ii/). The second example (a better-resolution cropped version of the same AMAR matted photograph) came from a Pinterest post by Hassan Abo Marym (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/642888915547710702/). The third version of this portrait, but not showing any indication of a contemporary matting, (the last image in my post of 3 November, 2021) came from AFIFI's Pinterest site (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/790663278323178294/). The above portrait lacks the legend with the number: “1328”, the Khedive’s name: “ABBAS II.”, the portrait date: “1910”, and the name of the studio: “ATELIER REISER, ALEXANDRIE & LE CAIRE.” seen in the lower right corner of the larger image of the matting in my post of 3 May, 2018 on this thread. However, the matting itself is identical with that in the previous labelled example. The photo is inscribed in pen with the name “Abbas Hilmi”, a short Arabic Inscription, and the date “21.7.11.” (27 July, 1911). The signature is probably original, the scratch of the pen nib and bleed of ink around that is visible when the signature is enlarged. This very high-resolution image can be zoomed for even greater discernable details, especially helpful in providing better views of the Khedive’s orders and medals, as well as his uniform. 


    Abbas Hilmi II wears the three highest orders of the Ottoman Empire: the Collar of Hanedan (Hanedan-ı Âli Osman Nişanı); the neck badge of the High Order of Honor (Nişanı Âli İmtiyaz) and the breast star for this same rare award (there also is a sash badge, not visible in this portrait). The sash is red and green, with red worn toward the right i.e., lower); and the Order of Glory (Iftikhar Madalyasi). Additionally, he wears four other insignia that were difficult to make out in the lower-resolution versions of this same portrait I previously encountered. I believe that this image has helped me securely identify the Khedive’s awards. A genealogical entry for Abbas Hilmi II on royalark.net (https://www.royalark.net/Egypt/egypt11.htm) lists several medals that are not identified in most other sources listing the Khedive’s honors (almost all derived from Wikipedia’s listing of honors) that include some of those shown in this portrait. 




    A moderate resolution image of the Ottoman Collar of Hanedan (Hanedan-ı Âli Osman Nişanı), from: Patterson, Stephen, 1996. Royal Insignia: British and Foreign Orders of Chivalry from the Royal Collection. Merrell Holberton Publishers, London. The photo probably represents the example presented to King Edward VII. The Royal Collection Identification Number is RCIN 441555a & b. The text description of the collar is on pg. 162, and the above image is on pg. 167 of Patterson 1996. I previously started a thread on 16 January, 2019 about this Collar in a thread titled “Question about the Collar of Hanedan” in the “Turkey” section of the “European States” here on GMIC. This is one of the images included in that thread, that also contains other detailed photos of the Collar of Hanedan contributed by other GMIC savants. Abbas Hilmi II received his Collar in 1895. 




    Very high-resolution image of a breast star of the rare Ottoman award Nişanı Âli İmtiyaz, the Exalted Order of Honor. This photograph can be enlarged for much better detail of its design. This image comes from an 18 August, 2018 auction (Auction 299, Lot 7176) by Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. (https://www.kuenker.de/en/archiv/stueck/172685). The Künker auction description identifies the materials as engraved gold, enamel, 118 antique-cut diamonds, 14 of them (probably those forming the frame of the central medallion) are each approximately 0.3 carats. The breast star measurements are given as 96.8 mm (probably the height including the tunic pin) x 96.3 mm, and the weight is 110.5 g. There is some chipping of the green enamel. The tughra in the central medallion is that of Sultan Abdülhamid II and the date is AH 1295 AH (AD 1878), when the award was established. The four green enamel plaques with gold script surrounding the central medallion read: Sadâkat (loyalty); Hamiyyet (devotion); Gayret (zeal); and Şecâ'at (courage). This particular piece is attributed to Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi (from 1908 to 1924 Grand Sherif of Mecca and Emir of the Hejaz, and after 1916 the self-proclaimed first King of Hejaz), with a probable award date of 1908. Apparently, a photo of him wearing this breast star shows the same damage to the medallion’s enamel. The hammer price for this seldom-seen medal was 85,000 €. These same very high-resolution images are also archived on the Turkish language website (https://koleksiyonturkiye.blogspot.com/2019/01/ottoman-empire-high-order-of-distinction.html). Online photos of the neck badge, sash, and sash badge are very uncommon (except in portrait photographs, and I have not seen a photo with a sash badge) and mostly low-resolution. I stumbled on a couple additional photos of possible examples, but could not bring them up in subsequent online searches.  




    As noted, I cannot unambiguously make out all of the five medals worn above the breast star of the Nişanı Âli İmtiyaz. However, beginning from the middle of the Khedive’s chest I believe this first medal is the type 2 Ottoman Order of Glory (Iftikhar Nişanı), shown above. I have only found three sources showing this form of the insignia, none of those photos includes a ribbon. A description of this second variant on a Czech language military history website, Valka (https://www.valka.cz/Rad-slavy-t82564), discusses the different form of this award and provides 3 low-resolution images of this oval badge (showing an example similar to that above, the reverse of that same badge, and a version with sabers). The above image shows an example from a 29 November, 2000 auction (Auction 1264, Lot 481) by Christies (https://www.christies.com/lot/lot-turkey-order-of-glory-oval-diamond-set-badge-1938433/). The auction description identifies this as a “type 2 Order of Glory”. The auction listing states that the materials are a gold central medallion, surrounded by a silver band set with 28 diamonds, the 32 silver gilt rays of the embellishment are set with 4 diamonds each, and the suspension ring is identified as gold. The measurements are 48 mm tall x 39 mm wide. The description states this example has the tughra of Sultan Mahmud II, and states a possible date of c.1850. The most reliably accurate depiction of several aspects of the Khedive’s awards is in a portrait painting of Abbas Hilmi II hanging in the Atlı Köşk (the next image in this post). That portrait appears to show a solid red ribbon for the Iftikhar Nişanı. There are several online illustrations of ribbons for at least two other forms of this award that show a red ribbon with thin green stripes inset slightly from the margin. The Valka military history website describes the ribbon for the oval version of this award as red with a green border. It states that even this oval form was normally worn as a neck badge, except by some foreigners who wore it as a chest badge. The Valka article also points out that variation in the form of this award is common (principally referring to the version seen in the more common online images of the type 1 form of the badge) as no formal decree ever stipulated precise design parameters. Individual court jewelers interpreted the general design and ornamentation as they pleased.  




    Moderately high-resolution image of this portrait of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II (from: http://lcivelekoglu.blogspot.com/2013/12/tarihten-bugune-dusen-notlar-20-aralik.html). The image can be zoomed for greater details. This is the most potentially accurate official color portrait of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II readily available online. It currently hangs in the Prince Muhammad Ali Hassan Mansion, now known as Atlı Köşk (Mansion with the Horse), in Istanbul. This painting, as well as other portraits of the Khedive, helps show critical details of the other medals that are obscured by the first chest loop of the uniform in the 1910 photographic portrait. The above portrait painting provides good information on ribbon colors, and at least the overall color of the Order of Glory badge and the other medals, relative to the same awards shown in the 1910 Reiser Studio photographic portrait. The colors and configuration of the depictions of the Collar of Hanedan and of the Nişanı Âli İmtiyaz are quite accurate, lending confidence in using this as a source for complementary identification of the awards worn by the Khedive in the 1910 portrait, that was used as the model for the 1910 commemorative medal. I have not identified the date when this portrait was made. This painting also quite  conveniently shows all of the same medals that are worn in the 1910 photographic portrait that is the first image in this post. Although several photos of the Khedive after 1910 show him wearing some foreign orders, this particular suite of medals also is featured in several other portraits.




    Given the color of the ribbons shown in the above portrait of the Khedive, and a couple of other fairly accurate painted portraits of Abbas Hilmi II, I believe that the 2nd and 3rd medals are likely to be the Ottoman Medal of Imtiyaz Medal (Imtiyaz Madalyasi), in gold and silver. As noted, royalark.net lists the Khedive as having been awarded the Imtiyaz Madalyasi in both gold and silver. Other photographic portraits show the elaborate suspension devices on both of these medals. I believe that the identification of these two medals is quite secure. The medal colors in the above portrait also suggest the gold and silver. The ribbon colors in the Atlı Köşk portrait show the correct ribbon color orientation of red on the right and green on the left for the Imtiyaz Medal. The example shown above of the Imtiyaz Madalyasi exhibits refitting with a different suspension from the original (obverse on L, reverse on R). This photo shows good details of the design of both faces of the Imtiyaz Medal and the reverse illustrates the engraved name of the recipient (it can be enlarged for much better detail of the medal design). This example is from an auction by Spink (Auction 17003, Lot 115), identified as a 2nd type of this medal (would the 2nd type not be just the addition of the bar with the date AH 1333 [AD 1915?] above crossed sabers for WWI?), and measuring 38 mm in diameter (https://spink.com/lot/17003000115). The reverse (R) is described as having a date of AH 1302 (AD 1884), however, it looks like AH 1300 (AD 1882) to me (which is the date of the inception of the medal). It is named to Qirah Hamad Shah. Many examples of the Imyitaz Medal on auction sites exhibit incorrect ribbons and replacement suspension devices. This is especially common on the gold examples that are less common on the auction market. 




    The above image of a gold Imyitaz Medal shows the distinctive original suspension device for this award. The same form was used for the examples in both gold and silver. In the 1910 photographic portrait of the Khedive from the Studio Reiser in either Alexandria or Cario, and on the Atlı Köşk portrait painting shown above, this unique element is not visible. However, other portraits of the Khedive do show the suspension devices and help identify the Imyitaz Medals (see below). The above good-resolution photo shows the obverse (L) and reverse (R) of the Imtiyaz Medal in gold. This  comes from a Pinterest post of Halid Tezcan Keser (https://i.pinimg.com/originals/05/85/b6/0585b6fb4eaf46d95322afe54cbe83fe.jpg). Although this example does not have a ribbon, it does show quite well the suspension device, that is missing on the above example of an Imtiyaz Medal in gold. It also is another example showing an engraved name in the space above the date. The Pinterest site provides no information about this medal and I have not yet found a source for the image. 




    The 3rd medal from the center of the Khedives chest is certainly the Ottoman Imtiyaz Medal in silver. The above example shows the correct ribbon color configuration and an intact suspension device. This comes from a 2 September, 2021 auction (Sale 127) by Noble Numismatics Pty Ltd (https://www.noble.com.au/auctions/lot/?id=436721). This is Lot 1569. This image can be zoomed for bit of additional detail. Again, this example was selected because it had a recipient’s name inscribed above the year AH 1300 (unaccountably, the auction description identifies AH 1316 [ AD 1898]). I intentionally did not select photos of either the gold or silver Imtiyaz Medal with the WWI bar with date above crossed sabers. This is because Abbas Hilmi II was forced to abdicate by the British just at the outbreak of the war in 1914. The British perceived his uncle, Hussein Kamel, to be both more malleable to their desires for a ruler of Egypt and unenthusiastic for Abbas Hilmi II’s interest in seeking ways to make nationalist aspirations consistent with the monarchy. There are many more examples of the WWI Imtiyaz Medals in auction morgues than pre-WWI medals. Even many of these more recent examples are plagued by incorrect ribbons and suspension replacements. The bars with the date above the crossed sabers are made of either gold or silver as appropriate to the medal. Other auction listings provide diameter measurements between 37-38 mm. The website of Medals Database gives the following translations of inscriptions: obverse: Relying on Divine Guidance and Assistance, Abdulhamid Khan, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire; reverse; Medal for Those That Have Shown Exceptional Loyalty and Bravery for the Ottoman Empire (from: https://www.identifymedals.com/database/medals-by-country/turkey-medals/the-imtiyaz-medal/). 




    The above portrait of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II shows him wearing the neck badge of the Collar of Hanedan suspended by a gold and enamel suspension clip, without the red and white ribbon, as shown in my post of 18 January, 2019 in the thread “Question about the Collar of Hanedan”. This photo also shows the breast star of the Nişanı Âli İmtiyaz. Some details on the obverse designs of the Imtiyaz Medals in gold and silver worn by the Khedive are visible in this image. The form of the suspension on both these two medals also matches that seen on photographs of the Imtiyaz Medals with the original suspension devices. This portrait photo also appears to show the same two smaller medals at the viewer’s right as seen in the 1910 portrait photo, and that the 4th is darker (gold) and the 5th is lighter (silver). This version of the portrait photo of the Khedive comes from the flickr site of Hassan Kamel-Kelisli-Morali (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelisli/501497462), who notes that the Khedive is wearing the summer military uniform of a Field Marshall. I do not know the precise date of this photo. However, an engraving of this image is used in the French news journal L’ILLUSTRATION of 27 June, 1903 (No. 3148. Pg. 430), in a short report on the Khedive’s visit to Britain. That 1903 image from L’Illustration is on the Salt Research website, Istanbul, Turkey (https://archives.saltresearch.org/handle/123456789/22980). 




    The above photographic portrait also shows the ribbon colors, the medal colors (gold and silver), and especially the form of the suspension for both Imyitaz medals. In this black & white image, the green of the left side of each medal’s ribbon and the upper band of the sash appears darker, and the red appears lighter. I do not know the date of this photograph. This portrait version comes from a post on Pinterest by AFIFI (https://i.pinimg.com/originals/50/c6/69/50c669a115bd933077a406fd096af617.jpg). There two online dated versions of this photo that provide some temporal brackets: first, the photo was published in the British journal The Sphere from 23 June, 1900, Vol 1 No 22, Pg. 3, in an article discussing a visit by the Khedive to Britain. Second, is a rare stencil colored lithograph Weißenberg illustrated broadsheet from 1895 based on this photo portrait (see the 4th photo in my post of 16 January, 2019 on the thread “Question about the Collar of Hanedan”). Alleged dates associated with a few online versions of this photo vary wildly, the earliest is 1889. 




    I think that the 4th medal from the center of the Khedive’s chest is the Ottoman Liyakat Medal in gold (Liyakat Madlyasi). Technically, this gold version ranked higher than the Imyataz Medal in silver, and should have been next to that gold Imyitaz. In the 1910 Reiser Studio photo of Abbas Hilmi II, this 4th medal is smaller than the two Imyitaz and has a ribbon with two thin marginal stripes (probably a red ribbon with two inset edge stripes in green). The Atlı Köşk portrait of the Khedive shows this medal with a ribbon that is red with two thin edge stripes of green. The Pinterest portrait of the Khedive wearing the summer Field Marshall uniform clearly shows the size difference of this 4th (and the 5th) medal compared with the two larger Imyitaz Medals. Auction site measurements reported range between 24-25.5 mm in diameter. The above Liyakat Medal comes from a fall 2017 auction (Lot 7284) by Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. (https://www.kuenker.de/en/archiv/stueck/172345). Medals Database translates the inscription on the reverse as: Medal of Merit Specially for Those Who Have Shown Loyalty and Bravery, above the date of the institution of this medal, AH 1308 (AD 1890): (https://www.identifymedals.com/database/medals-by-country/turkey-medals/the-liyakat-medal/). 




    Obverse of the silver Ottoman Medal for the War with Greece 1897 (Yunan Muharabsei Madalyasi) from  a 13 May, 2019 auction by eMedals, Item: EU16879.




    Reverse of the same silver Ottoman Medal for the War with Greece 1897 (Yunan Muharabsei Madalyasi) from a 2019 auction by eMedals.


    The small 5th medal from the center of the Khedive’s chest was the more difficult for me to try and identify. This medal is comparably as small as the Liyakat Medal, and the 1910 Reiser Studio portrait shows a ribbon with 4 lighter stripes (green) and 4 or 5 darker stripes (red). The large, painted portrait of Abbas Hilmi II hanging in the Atlı Köşk shows this medal with a ribbon that has 3 green stripes and 4 red stripes. This ribbon pattern indicates the greatest probability that it is the silver Ottoman Medal for the War with Greece 1897 (Yunan Muharabsei Madalyasi). This medal commemorates the military success of the campaign, although the diplomatic outcome was settled more in Greece's favor. The above moderate-resolution images show the obverse of the medal as the 1st illustration and the reverse in the 2nd photo. This example comes from a 13 May, 2019 auction by eMedals, Item: EU16879 (https://www.emedals.com/turkey-ottoman-empire-a-medal-for-the-war-with-greece-1896-1314-ah). The auction description gives a diameter measurement of 24.5 mm. This is the same dimension given in most descriptions I have found on auction information that include measurements. I have seen examples with various numbers of stripes on the ribbon (5 green & 6 red; 4 green & 5 red). Although I have seen examples of this medal with different number of red and green stripes, Demir states in a post of 25 March, 2013 on the thread “Greek war medal” started by lew on 15 March, 2013 in the “Turkey” section of “European States” here on GMIC that the ribbon should have 4 red stripes and 3 green stripes. I also have seen a few examples with more elaborate suspension devices (in addition to the chain ribbon for officers). The flickr portrait of Abbas Hilmi in the summer Field Marshall uniform may show either the same suspension as seen on the eMedals example shown above, or possibly a more decorative suspension. However, the detail of the photo is not good enough to determine which form the suspension exhibits. The very high-resolution engraved version of this portrait from L’Illustration of 27 June, 1903 lacks some precise details, but shows a plain suspension. The obverse design includes the tughra of Sultan Abdul Hamid II with laurel wreath and a rose. The reverse is inscribed: Greek War Day - Sunday, 23rd of Zildake (11th month of the Hejira calendar), 1314' (1897AD), according to the translation provided by Medal Medaille for a listing of an example of this medal, with an incorrect ribbon (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?products_id=717).




    A photograph of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II from Egyptian Royalty blogspot (http://egyptianroyalityandglory.blogspot.com/2010/04/khedivi-abbass-helmi-ii-great-statesman.html). This photo is undated and no contextual information is available on this website or from correlations with other examples of this image (I have not yet found better resolution or documented versions of this portrait). It shows Abbas Hilmi II wearing all of the same medals seen in the 1st and 10th portraits above, those discussed in this thread. 




    The last portrait I wish to include is one of an older image of Abbas Hilmi II. This portrait also comes from the Pinterest site of AFIFI, showing Abbas Hilmi II later in life following his exile from Egypt (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/790663278323257394/). I cannot tell from the low-resolution of this image whether this is a painting or a photograph. I favor it being a painting. It shows the former Khedive with white moustaches, eyebrows, and hair. He appears to be wearing the same awards as in the 1910 Reiser Studio portrait photo of the Khedive. The costume appears copied from earlier examples (such as the 1st and 10th photos in this post), the older Abbas Hilmi II's torso is not his actual more robust girth seen in photographs of him in middle and older ages. Some photographic portraits of the Khedive do show him wearing a few foreign honors, however he appears to have preferred a modest display, dominated by Ottoman awards. The reprise of this ensemble of awards from relatively early in the Khedive's reign is either: an artist's uniformed use of early images of the costume with the older exile's facial features (more likely); or an actual nostalgic tribute if this portrait was executed for Abbas Hilmi II (less likely). 


    The very high-resolution of the 1910 portrait of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II that is the first photo in this post comes from an Italian language website documenting an extensive private collection of his historical military artifact covering a total period of 1700-1946, specializing in materials and documents from 1848-1946 (collezionemilitare.it: https://collezionemilitare.it). The collector identifies the materials he collects as: cavalry uniforms, helmets, hats, material pertaining to particular military personnel and historical figures, medals, decorations, honors, orders of chivalry, badges, flags, military paintings, photographs, documents, weapons, etc. The website also repeatedly expresses an interest in obtaining additional materials, including entire collections of militaria, family collections, and items from military libraries and archives. The individual who runs this personal website, Marco Torelli, provides some images of grouped items in his collections, photos of the facility where they are housed, and several eclectic sets of montage illustrations of groups of items in his collection. As far as I can tell, there is no search tool to look for materials or information on his website. Some internal links do connect to a range of different topics on collezionemilitare.it, however there is not a systematic presentation of different areas of interest to Torelli. I found this photo of Abbas Hilmi in a section discussing King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy (1869-1947) who reigned as the King of Italy from 29 May, 1900 until his abdication on 9 May, 1946 (https://collezionemilitare.it/mostra/re-vittorio-emanuele-iii/). He was also the Emperor of Ethiopia (1936–1941) and the King of the Albanians (1939-1943). There is no information on Marco Torelli’s website providing any documentation of why this portrait photo of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II is associated with the materials regarding King Vittorio Emanuele III. My assumption would be that this signed photograph was given to Vittorio Emanuele by the Khedive as a personal memento. However, other than royal courtesy, as expected between Italy and Egypt, the specific contexts of any relationship they may have had is unclear to me. Both rulers sympathized with Parliamentary institutions within their countries. Abbas Hilmi II with more insight and ethics in how he trod that unworn path for rulers, but with no greater luck. When Vittorio Emanuele abdicated in 1946 in favor of his son Umberto II (hoping that action would reinvigorate the Savoy monarchy in the face of a referendum to abolish the institution that eventually did succeed with 54% of the vote by the Constitutional Assembly; certainly attributable to his unflagging support for Mussolini until shortly after the first bombing of Rome on 19 July, 1943, even when the many members of the Fascists party itself and the Fascist military had previously pressured the King to dismiss Mussolini, politicians all supporting the open belief that only Fascism could save Italy from the alternatives of Anarchy or Communism), he went into exile in Alexandria, Egypt, welcomed by King Farouk I. He died there the next year and was buried at St. Catherine’s Cathedral in Alexandria (his remains were repatriated to Italy in 2017). 




    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    • 1 year later...

    I just came across another example of the Abbas Hilmi II medal commemorating the anniversary of his coronation and return from the haj. This comes from a recent eBay offering that correctly identified the example as having been cast in 1909 and that it is gilt bronze. The object description also provided a diameter measurement of 70 mm and a weight of 121 g. The attribution of the medal's commemorative nature also was accurately identified. The eBay listing includes an image of the stamped word "BRONZE" on the rim of the medal (see 3rd photo below). This was mentioned in a description for an example sold on a 10 July, 2010 eBay auction (for $76!) and archived on the WorthPoint.com website (https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/egypt-gilded-bronze-medal-b29-115277729). I illustrated that example of this medal in my post on this thread of 8 January, 2021.  With an asking price of $2,500, this current Abbas Hilmi II medal  shows significant increase in presumed value over prices from examples auctioned over the last 10 years. 




    Very high-resolution lllustration of the obverse of this current eBay offering of the Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal. All three photos of this medal can be enlarged for greater detail. This example may have been cleaned. It shows a textured surface that is not as readily visible in photos of other examples. 





    Very high-resolution image of the reverse of the same current eBay commemorative medal.




    Photo of the stamped "BRONZE" on the edge of the medal. There is another hallmark to the right that may be an assay office mark (Cairo?), but I am unsure as I cannot read it well (It may be a mark for 14 carat gold?) and I don't know why there would be an assay mark for a gilt bronze medal. 

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    The hallmark on the edge of the recent eBay offering of this Abbas Hilmi II commemorative medal is probably that of "C. Massonnet et Fils." The Mark is shown below. It is surprisingly in a square frame (most French manufacturing marks are in diamond-shaped frames) and the letters "C" and "M" can be seen on either side of an unspecified central design element that I cannot identify. At this point, I have not yet found another example of this mark. 




    The above image shows the mark on the edge of this medal, is approximately in the 10:00 position. The "BRONZE" mark, shown in the final photo of my previous post, is situated at the approximate 9:15 position (both referenced to the obverse of the medal, and both are oriented to be read from the obverse). As noted, I have not yet confirmed this identification with another example, however the "C M" matches the name of the original Medallist family's business in Paris that produced medals from about 1850 until the early 20th century. C. Massonnet refers to Charles Massonnet, the scion of a family of prominent medallists in Paris. I provided some information that I had encountered about this business in my post on this thread of 28 April, 2018. This mark would indicate that Massonnet both designed and cast this medal. I previously wondered whether the information curated by one of Tewfik Bichay's daughters in Canada might suggest that Bichay had cast this medal. Previous research identified the earliest example I have found of work by this atelier, an1855 copper medal (possibly an advertising token?) made by Massonnet and in the collection of Les Musées de la Ville, Paris (identifed as from the collection of the Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris, Numéro d'inventaire: NJ11735) included the following address taking up the entirely of the reverse: "C. MASSONNET FILS, ÉDITEUR DES MÉDAILLES IMPÉRIALES ÉXÉCUTÉES PAR LE GRAVEUR DU CABINET DE L’EMPEREUR RUWE GUÉNÉGAUD 19 (á Paris)". 




    The name "MASSONNET • EDIT •" on the lower left border of the recent eBay example of this commemorative medal that stands for "Massonnet editeur" meaning that Massonnet was a medallist who designed and cast medals. Other artists also designed, or co-designed, some medals for C. Massonnet et Fils. While Charles Massonnet was the founder of this atelier, it may have been Francis Massonnet who was involved with the design and execution of this medal. I have not yet found names of other sons in this business. Francis Massonnet is credited with several medals from the 1890s-1905 in L. (Leonard) Forrer (compiler), 1930. Biographical Dictionary of Medallists: Coin, Gem, and Seal-Engravers, Mint-Masters, &c., Ancient and Moder, with Reference to Their Works. B.C. 500-A.D. 1900. Vol 8 Supplement, pg 33. Spink & Son, Ltd. London. This particular mark shows only a very light impression of the initial "M" in "MASSONNET". Also see the images in my posts of illustrating this name (16 November, 2017) and on a couple the higher resolution images of the obverse of other examples of this medal that I have posted on this thread (9 December, 2017; 1st photo of 22 July, 2018; 1st photo of 16 January, 2019; and the 1st photo in my 1 April, 2023 post). 




    Egyptian Zogist provided a link in my initial string about this medal in his post on November 6, 2016 ("Help with Egyptian Khedival medal" started on 2 November, 2016 in the "Africa" listings of the "Rest of the World: Medals & Militaria" section) to this low-resolution image of a set of steel dies for this commemorative medal that was sold on eBay and archived on the WorhtPoint.com website (https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/ottoman-egypt-medal-die-abbas-hilmi-138509049). 


    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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