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Question about the Order of Ismail/Nishan al-Ismail


Rusty Greaves
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To return to information about the real Order of Ismail, I am including a photo below of an individual wearing the neck badge and breast star of the Order of Ismail, probably the 2nd Class Grand Officer.  The individual is not named in the captions I have been able to find for this image that shows the Prime Minister Mahmoud El Nokrashy Pasha during part of the Mahmal ceremony in Cairo. large.1159207689_MahmoudPashaEl-Nokrashy1946.jpg.3d1747d7793969a90798c3685b31fc54.jpg

This photo shows Prime Minister Mahmoud Pasha El-Nokrashy being handed the reigns of the camel that is carrying the Mahmal as part of the Holy Carpet ceremony before the Mahmal makes its journey from Cairo with pilgrims to Mecca. This photo comes from Ash Baraka's Twitter site (https://twitter.com/Ash_Baraka/status/1261051446365171718/photo/1) and the same image also is available on Getty Images. Both sources provide the same information. The unidentified man on the viewer's far right is wearing the breast star of the Order of Ismail and it appear that he also is wearing the neck badge of this order as well. The reflection on the neck badge does not make it clear that it is the Order of Ismail, but that is almost certainly the Ismail neck badge as the Order of Ismail breast star is the only decoration he is wearing other than his ribbon bar. This photo is probably from 20 January, 1947. Getty images identifies the photo source as Keystone/Hulton Archive. A film of this event also is available online that shows the same man on the far right with the Order of Ismail regalia, Prime Minister Mahmoud Pasha El-Nokrashy (including this scene of him receiving the camel's begins), and parade events associated with the Holy Carpet ceremony. That film can be seen through the British Pathé newsreel on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYg783dyoFE). The man wearing the Order of Ismail in the above photo is shown from 55 seconds in to 1 min and 1 sec into the film, and from 1 min 36 sec to 1 min 38 seconds into the 2 min 7 second news clip. Another man in military uniform appears to be wearing a 4th Class Knight breast badge of the Order of Ismail from 8-11 seconds into the film, riding in a carriage and seated next to Prime Minister Mahmoud Pasha El-Nokrashy. He also appears in the following shot from 11-16 seconds into the film standing to the viewer's right of Mahmoud Pasha El-Nokrashy and saluting. This news reel film is titled "Holy Carpet Leaves for Mecca (1946)" the date is probably incorrect and January 1947 is the more likely date of this event. 

British Pathé on YouTube also has a 2 minute 26 second film of King Adulaziz Ibn Saud of Arabia visiting  Egypt on January 11, 1946 (titled "King Ibn Saud in Egypt [1946]") that shows King Farouk I and Ahmed Hassanenin Pasha wearing the Order of Ismail (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW9yXtU-B9s). I included a still photo of this event showing King Farouk I and Ahmed Hassanein each wearing the Grand Cordon breast star of the Order of Ismail as the 6th photo in the post of 24 March, 2019 on this thread. The British Pathé/YouTube news reel shows both King Farouk I and Ahmed Hassanein with clear images of the Order of Ismai, and several other of their awards, multiple times in parade with the Saudi King and at later events. This film also is interesting in relation to this thread as I believe it shows Abdullah al-Nagoumi Pasha walking with the parading group. I illustrated Abdullah al-Nagoumi Pasha wearing the neck badge of the 3rd Class Commander Order of Ismail as the 1st photo in my post of 29 August, 2019 (and in the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th photos of that post as well, without the Order of Ismail decoration). In the film, al-Nagoumi Pasha is wearing the neck badge of the Order of the Nile, but not the Order of Ismail while visible from 1 minute 4 second to 1 minute 9 seconds into the film on the left side of the frame walking just ahead of King Adulaziz Ibn Saud and King Farouk I. Another person shown parading in a Royal Guard uniform (on the viewer's right side of the frame) in this film clip is wearing the 4th Class breast badge of the Order Ismail between 1 min 23 seconds and 1 minute 28 seconds. I believe that individual probably is Osman El Mahdi Pasha, who is pictured wearing the 4th Class Knight Order of Ismail breast badge in a previous illustration of him as the 3rd man from the left seated on a couch in the 4th photo of my post of 29 August, 2019. A cropped and slightly enlarged version of that image of Osman El Mahdi Pasha is shown in my post of 4 September, 2019 on this thread. Another photo that I think may show a portrait of Osman El Mahdi as a younger man, also wearing the 4th class breast badge of the Order of Ismail, is the 5th image in my post of 29 August, 2019. 

Edited by Rusty Greaves
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  • 4 weeks later...

Below are a few good illustrations of a 3rd Class Commander neck badge of the Order of Ismail made by Tewfik Bichay. This is a good example of the Bichay workmanship that is very comparable to that performed in the Lattes workshop. These photos come from a 4 December, 2020 auction listing (No. 43), Lot 193, on the La Gazette Drout website (https://www.gazette-drouot.com/lots/8238067). The offering included the neck ribbon and case. Although the recipient is named, no information is provided whether a brevet is associated with this award. The illustrations on the website can be zoomed for greater detail than the images I was able to download. However, the images below can be enlarged for additionally detailed views of this piece (except the cropped photo of the silver foil Tewfik Bichay interior case label). 

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Moderate-resolution image of this Tewfik Bichay-made Commander neck badge. the auction listing correctly identifies this neck badge as a 3rd Class regalia made of 18 k gold. It provides an approximate weight of ~50 g, but no dimensions are given. The description identifies the recipient as Monsieur René Ossola, the General Manager of the Cairo Electric Railways Heliopolois Oases Co (a property development company founded in February, 1906). The listing includes a date of 1946 that may either the award date or the assay date for this badge. No images are provided showing the reverse of this neck badge. A photo of the exterior cover of the case has the cipher of King Farouk I. 

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Cropped close-up of the image of the obverse of this Tewfik Bichay neck badge detailing workmanship and design of this Bichay example of the Order of Ismail. This image can be zoomed for comparison of the design and execution of this insignia with other J. Lattes, Tewfik Bichay neck & sash badges, and the one Fahmy Tewfik Bichay neck badge shown in this thread. The engraving on the gold floral designs of the blue enamel arms is identical in design layout to those of many J. Lattes examples, and well-executed. The most distal flower exhibits 3 lateral engraving marks on each half of that blossom and a single distal mark ornamenting the central petal. The 2 central flowers have three lateral engraving marks and a single mark oriented just proximal of the separation between the most medial petal and the central petal of each of these blossoms. A single mark is present at the proximal joint of these 2 central flowers that is a bit unlike some Lattes examples using a single dot or punch, this is a "comma"-shaped that is quite delicate & elegant on the left lateral arm (~9:30 position), the right lateral arm (~2:30 position), and probably on the lower left arm (~7:00 position). This mark on this origin point of the 2 central flowers of the other 2 arms (superior 12:00 position & the lower right ~5:00 position) appears to be single punches, and may be slightly off-center on the lower right arm. The single engraved  line in the most proximal "bud" component of the 2 most proximal leaf elements is thinner than on many Lattes examples. The curling engraved lines in the leaf elements of the gold ornamenting the blue enamel arms exhibit a grace & moving flow as sen on the best engraving of pieces made by the Lattes workshop. The wreath element surrounding the central inscribed medallion boss  shows a different number and arrangement of gold laurel-fruit dots in each panel of the great compared to Lattes examples. The distribution and number of these fruit dots is identical to those shown in the high-resolution image of a Tewfik Bichay 1st Class sash badge from a fall 2014 Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG auction (that has the wreath slightly rotated out of correct orientation to the left) shown in the 3rd-to-last photo of my post of 28 March, 2020 discussing design variation in the Commander neck badges of this Order. The wreath configuration also is apparently identical to the lower resolution photo (5th-to-last) in my 28 March post from Hassan Kamal-Kelisi Morali’s flickr photostream that I believe is an example of a Tewfik Bichay piece. The wreath also is identical to that on the odd neck badge shown as the 4th illustration of my 28 March post and again discussed in my post of 13 August, 2020 that Owain alerted me to on a Spink Auction (Auction 20002, Lot 985) and shown in detail as the 3rd photo in that post, which exhibits a "LATTES" maker's mark on the reverse of the central medallion boss, but appears to have been refit with a Bichay central medallion's wreath (and possibly the central inscribed boss portion of the medallion). The green enamel of the wreath on this example appears quite thick, but the molded laurel leaves seen through the enamel do not appear 3-dimensional as is commonly seen on the Lattes examples, but also on the Tewfik Bichay examples referenced above. The smooth surface of the wreath may just be due to thicker enamel on this piece and not any design difference in the Bichay execution. As noted, the Fritz Rudolf Künker sash badge & breast star, the Hassan Kamal-Kelisi Morali neck badge, and the wreath from what I think is a bit of a chimera reconstruction combining a Bichay medallion (or at least the wreath element) with a Lattes-made components do show the uneven surface of the leaves in the enamel, as on all J. Lattes insignia. The above illustration when zoomed (or enlarged even more on the La Gazette Drout auction listing's illustrations) also shows well the differences seen in the design of the Tewfik Bichay gold & red enable bands around the wreath compared to their execution on Lattes-made pieces. The illustration above clearly appears to show thinner & slightly more irregular gold margins, a thinner channel of red enamel, and this example shows well that several bands are not completely filled with enamel, all in contrast with the execution of these bands under the Lattes workshop name. 

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Image of the same 3rd Class neck badge resting in the medal bed of its case. This photo nicely shows the 2 ties for the ties at the back of the neck ribbon. A silver foil label with the name of Tewfik Bichay is present on the interior of the lid. I have not seen this form of the Tewfik Bichay label in illustrations of other examples of the Order of Ismail or the Order of the Nile (many more auction listings are available to see cases and labels of Tewfik Bichay for the more commonly awarded Order of the Nile than for the Order of Ismail).

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Cropped slight enlargement of the Tewfik Bichay silver foil label in the case for this 3rd Class Commander neck badge.large.193_2.jpg.14a456a39d821655660615155cda93de.jpg

Good resolution photo of the outer case lid of this Order of Ismail neck badge showing the cipher of King Farouk I. Although the case is a bit disheveled, it does show well the threads of the coated cloth cover of the case. Compared with other better-quality illustrations I have found of J. Lattes cases (for both the Order of Ismail and the more common cases for the Oder of the Nile), this coating does not effectively create a mock leather look as well as many of the Lattes cases (however, see the case that Owain illustrated as the 1st photo for a Fahmy Tewfik Bichay-made 3rd Class neck badge in his post of 5 April, 2018 on this thread).

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Above is the biography of Monsieur René Ossola, from pg 207 of Le Mondain Egyptian: The Egyptian Who’s Who. 1943. L’Annuaire de l’Elite d’ Egypte.  Part II. F. E. Noury et Fils, Le Caire. It notes that he is a recipient of the 4th Class Officer Order of Leopold, Officer's Cross, Military Division. This is prior to his award of the 3rd Class Order of Ismail, or it would be listed in this biographical sketch. The same bio also appears in the 1939 (pg. 304) and 1941 (pg. 228) editions of Le Mondain Egyptien

I was quite interested to see these good illustrations of this Tewfik Bichay-made Commander neck badge in relation to points brought up by Owain in his his interview notes with Fahmy Tewfik Bichay on his post of 19 August, 2020 on this thread. Pursuant to conversations with Owain and 922F, it would be interesting to compare the date hallmarks on the latest J. Lattes made-Egyptian awards with the earliest assay date hallmarks for Bichay-made pieces to see when Tewfik Bichay took over running the workshop and began placing his name on these awards. Owain has suggested such a task would involve comparisons across a range of Egyptian awards from the 1930s-early 1940s, as no single award may be represented adequately through my research reliant on using auction listings. That also would allow a better sample view of the total repertoire change from Lattes marked awards to Bichay pieces, sometime in the 1930s. Supposedly, the Tewfik Bichay marked 1st Class sash badge & breast star from the fall 2014 Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG auction (discussed above and the sash badge was illustrated as the 3rd-to-last photo in my post of 28 March, 2020 and discussion of the breast star shown as the 8th photo in my post of 31 January, 2020 detailing design variation in breast stars) carries an assay hallmark of 1929-1930 ("D"). The auction description only states that the date hallmark is a "D" and the accompanying photo of the hallmark is unclear to me (as noted in my discussion in those posts). This seems an unlikely early date for Bichay-marked pieces, several well-illustrated Lattes-made Order of Ismail insignia show "F" assay date hallmarks from 1931-1932. I illustrated a 4th Class Knight breast badge from a past Spink Auction (Auction 19001, Lot 1179) as the 4th image in my post of 8 July, 2020 discussing design variation of the Knights' badge design that states (no photos of the revers are provided in the listing) it has a Lattes mark on the reverse and a date hallmark of "K" (1935-1936) that would be the latest date hallmark I have encountered on a Lattes-made Order of Ismail.  Perhaps, if I have any initial success I may be able to start a new thread focused on this chronological question and solicit contributions from collectors in the GMIC community. So many aspect of the life of J. Lattes are obscure that even such a simple question as when Tewfik Bichay took over the manufacture of Egyptian insignia from Maison Lattes would be of some interest. 

Edited by Rusty Greaves
added bio reference for René Ossola
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Photograph of the framed Pierre Crabités memorabilia that includes: his 2nd Class Grand Officer Class Order of Ismail neck badge and ribbon (upper left); the Order of Ismail breast star (upper right); the obverse of the bronze Abbas Hilmi II medal commemorating the Khedive’s coronation anniversary and return from the haj, probably struck in January 1909 (lower left); 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). Unfortunately, the mounting places the Order of Ismail neck badge at the back portion of the ribbon with the ties. I had to take the photograph from an oblique angle as the non-musuem-quality glass is highly reflective and I have had poor luck getting any good photographs of this ensemble in its mounting. 

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While visiting a member of my wife’s family, I did find the presentation case for the 2nd Class Grand Officer Order of Ismail award to my wife’s great grandfather, Pierre Crabités. The outer lid of the case is shown in the photo above. The blue color is how it appears. To my quantifying, science-minded chagrin, the family member did not have a measuring tape, and the only measuring device I could find in the house was only marked in full inches, not even fractions of an inch. I was not carrying a measuring tape for this visit on the US holiday of Thanksgiving (the anniversary of when I joined GMIC in 2016 after being asked by the family to help identify the medals shown in the frame above, and when another family member showed me the Crabités gold & silver Rudolf Stobbe-made judicial badge in 2019), but will do so on my next visit. Although cases are not as interesting as the awards themselves, I wish to provide a series of photos I took of this case to complement posts I made in October of 2019 about Lattes case construction variations. All of these photos of the Crabités Order of Ismail case can be zoomed for greater detail. 

I am not yet able to open the frame and check the date hallmark on the neck badge and breast star, but the cipher of King Fuad I on the case lid does at least bracket when Crabités would have received this award. I have been uncertain whether it would have been prior to, or after his term on the District Courts of Cairo ended in June of 1936. One of the principal authors about the Egyptian Mixed Courts, the American jurist Jasper Yeates Brinton, a judge appointed to the Appeals Court in 1921, made the President of that Court in 1943 and served in that role until 1948, is one of the few writers who not only describes the Mixed Courts’ regalia, but also mentions practices relevant to judges and other Mixed Courts officials being awarded honors by the Egyptian government. His book The Mixed Courts of Egypt, 1930 Yale University Press, New Haven (revised edition published in 1931) states (on page 87 and in note 14 of the 1931 edition) states that there was a general proviso that judges not receive any honorary or material distinctions from the Egyptian Government during their tenure on the Mixed Courts. A formal proposal was made in 1927 to codify this practice and extend such restrictions to other officials on the Mixed Courts, especially in relation to the awarding of the title of "Bey" in recognition long service. At the time of the publication of Brinton's book, this proposal by the Egyptian government had not yet been voted on by the different foreign governments with legal representatives on the Courts, and while still being mooted when Brinton published his book, such a restriction was not supported by many members of the Courts. Brinton notes a customary practice of awarding the outgoing President of the Appeals Court the “highest available decoration” (meaning that if the rolls of recipients of the Order of Mohammed Ali are not yet filled -15 for the Grand Cordon-that would be the honor, otherwise the Grand Cordon of the Order of Ismail-limited to 30 recipients, and then the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Nile, limited to 30 recipients, would probably be offered if all other rolls were filled). I have included several images of a few Mixed Courts’ officers (not necessarily judges in the early 20th century) whose official portraits for the 1926 publication celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mixed Courts (Les Juridictions Mixtes d'Égypte 1876-1926: Livre d'or Édité sous le Patronage du Conseil de l’Ordre des Avocats á l’Occasion du Cinquantenaire des Tribunaux de la Réforme, par le: Journal des Tribunaux Mixtes. Alexandrie, Egypte, Février 1926) shows them wearing both European and Egyptian medals with their court finery in my thread on the Mixed Court badges (see the 4th photo in my post of 29 April, 2019 of the Belgian Procureur Général Firman Von Den Bosch wearing the Order of the Nile and 2 Belgian awards; the 14th & 15th photos in my post of 6 September, 2019 showing the Greffier en Chef Adib Maakad Bey wearing the Order of the Nile and the 16th photo in that same post showing him in a 1929 portrait sporting the order of the Nile and 3 European awards; and the studio portrait of an unnamed judge or official of the Courts wearing the Order of the Nile in the 1st & 2nd photos of my post of 6 April, 2019, all in the thread I started on 17 November, 2017: “Egypt Khedivate Judge’s Badge question”, here in the Middle East & Arab States section). There are additional portraits of members of the Mixed Courts, including judges, wearing awards with their Court regalia in that 50th Anniversary Les Juridictions Mixtes d'Égypte 1876-1926 volume, principally from the late 19th century before the debated prohibition that Brinton mentions was mooted (see the 8th photo showing the Parquet in 1891 in my post of 29 April, 2019 in the “Egypt Khedivate Judge’s Badge question” thread). I include this long-winded background because I have expected that when I am able to see the reverse of the Crabités neck badge and breast star that the assay hallmark will date to after June 1936 when Crabités resigned from the court. The cipher of Fuad I on the case lid indicates that Crabités was honored with this award during his time sitting on the bench, prior to Fuad I’s death on 28 April, 1936. Crabités was quite friendly with the royal family and was allowed to make liberal use of King Fuad I’s library. As the Order of Ismial was awarded specifically “…to those who rendered eminent services to the nation”, as Owain Raw-Reese writes on page 20 of his 2006 article in Journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America (JOMSA). Vol 57 (4):15-23, I have always suspected that his Order of Ismail may have been awarded for his written works lionizing Khedive Ismail (1927, "Ismail the Magnificent.” Nineteenth Century 102 (1927): 108-119; Crabités later expansion of this into a book post-dates his departure from Egypt: 1938, Ismail, The Maligned Khedive. London: Routledge, the only biography of Khedive Ismail) whose reputation was significantly tarnished by several European authors, a perspective that  currently considered much more harsh than warranted, focusing on debts created under his realm and downplaying his attempts at reform in Egypt. I don’t know if I will ever learn why Crabités was awarded the Order of Ismail, whether it was for a specific act(s) or just his service on the Mixed Courts and friendship with King Fuad I. However, perhaps when I can examine the date hallmark identifying when in his career as jurist and author he was honored, it may suggest a reason for his recognition by King Fuad I.

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Image of the pull release catch hardware on the Crabités case for his 2nd Class Order of Ismail. I previously illustrated 2 examples of this decorated form of release catch on this thread; as the 3rd-to-last photo in my post of 19 October, 2019 showing the same form of catch on a cased 1st Class Grand Cordon set of the Order of Ismail, and as the 15th, 16th & 18th photos (most detailed in the 16th, photo) in my first of 2 posts on 21 October, 2019 showing the catch on a third Class Order of the Nile case from an eMedals auction. When zoomed, this image provides better detail of this pull release catch than those photos. This example (and the other 2 referenced above in previous photos on this thread) is the most elaborate form of the release catch I have seen on Lattes cases for the Order of Ismail or the Order of the Nile. 

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Interior of the lid of the Crabités Order of Ismail case showing the J. Lattes label. Some details of the interior of the decorated pull release catch can be seen in the upper margin of this photograph.

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Photo of the medal bed of the Crabités case for his 2nd Class Order of Ismail. This medal bed shows the interior cutout at the inferior margin of the resting spot for the breast star (contiguous with the cutout for the central tunic pin) for easier removal of the star. Such cutouts are not present on all Lattes cases. Note the silk pull ribbon on the upper right margin of the folding cover for the neck ribbon to open the compartment (shown below). I illustrated two other examples of this configuration in several photos of my post of 19 October, 2019 on this thread: the 2nd-to-last photo of that post of showing Dr. Giovanni Quirico's 2nd Class Order of Ismail from a La Galerie Numismatique auction; and in the 4th-to-last, 6th-to-last, & 7th-to-last photos in the same 19 October post of a 2nd Class set of the Order of Ismail from a December 2017 eBay auction. Those previously posted photos also show the complete set of neck badge with ribbon and breast star of the Grand Officer insignia in place within their cases.

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Photo of the medal bed of the Crabités Grand Officer Order of Ismail case showing the hinged cover for the compartment where the folded neck ribbon is stored. The same previously referenced images for the preceding image of the medal bed, from my 19 October, 2019 post on this thread, show the neck ribbon tucked into this compartment, although the hinged cover is shown closed, not in the open position. 

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Image of the interior of the Crabités Grand Officer Order of Ismail case with the medal bed removed showing some construction details of the case interior. I posted a comparable image of an empty Order of Ismail case from a past eMedals auction (only the case without the medal bed was offered in that auction) as the 4th photo in my 2nd post on 21 October, 2019 on this thread (although the class is unspecified in the eMedals auction description that empty case, the Arabic number on the exterior case lid indicates it was for a 1st Class Grand Cordon Class award). That  photo posted on 21 October shows the grooved wooden block (that sits above the sliding mechanism seen in lower edge this photo above) removed to reveal the interior push catch mechanism below this wooden block  (in addition to missing some of the fabric lining present on the rests for the medal bed in the above image of the Crabités case). Although the entire medal bed now lifts out easily, a small amount of yellowed glue is visible on the cloth of the narrow ledges of each lateral edge just to viewer's direction of where the lining of the interior stops, indicating that the bed previously was glued into place. This image also shows the thin, lightweight wood used for the case construction. 

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The underside of the Crabités Grand Officer Order of Ismail case showing the different material covering the base of the case compared with the coated cloth “mock leather” of the sides and upper lid. The latch is oriented at the bottom of the above photo. I posted a similar photo as the 2nd image in my 2nd post on 21 October, 2019 on this thread showing the underside of an Order of Ismail case from the same eMedals auction of an empty case without its medal bed as discussed for the previous image of the Crabités case interior. 

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Close up of the covering of the underside of the Crabités Order of Ismail case where the material has been loosened and has been stored folded over. This permits an opportuniyt to see both sides of this covering. This material appears to be a coated paper cover on the underside, not a coated cloth cover. The folded-down corner reveals the light wood base of the case’s interior construction.

Edited by Rusty Greaves
added small amount more information
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  • 3 weeks later...

The following book illustrations of Kingdom of Egypt awards come from a current eBay listing for a 1946 book of Egyptian medals (https://www.ebay.com/itm/EGYPT-BOOK-1946-medals-and-military-ranks-ISSUE-150-PCS-ONLY-RARE/274630500280?hash=item3ff140dfb8:g:degAAOSwrKNf3ff1) by a seller who specializes in older photographs of Egypt. The price was halved this week from US$999 to $500. The listing identifies the book only as "EGYPT BOOK.1946 medals and military ranks - ISSUE 150 PCS ONLY ,.RARE", and in Arabic the seller's notes include: “الرتب المدنية والعسكرية والقاب حامليها - الاوسمة والانواط والقواعد الخاصة بها اصدار ديوان كبير الامناء 1946 تم اصدار 150 طبعة منه فقط" ("Civil and military ranks and titles of their holders - medals, medals and rules related to the issuance of the Office of the Chief Secretary 1946, of which only 150 copies were issued"), no complete referencer for this volume is provided. The eBay listing includes an image of the cover and 10 of the painted illustrations, including 2 that show the 1st Class & 2nd Class insignia of the Order of Ismail.

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Cover of the 1946 volume illustrating Egyptian medals.

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Illustration of the Collar of the Order of Muhammad Ali (Nishan al-Muhammad'Ali).

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Illustration of the sash badge and breast star of the Grand Cordon Class of the Order of Muhammad Ali.

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 Illustrations of the Medals of the Order of Muhammad Ali (Nu'ut al-Muhammad'Ali), showing the medal in gold (R, showing the obverse) and in silver (L, showing the reverse) .

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Foldout illustration of the Collar of Fuad I (Qiladat Fu'ad al-Awal) . 

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Illustration of the Grand Cordon Class of the Order of Ismail (Nishan al-Ismail) sash badge and breast star. 

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Illustration of the 2nd Class Grand Officer neck badge and breast star of the Order of Ismail. 

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Illustration of the Grand Cordon Order of the Nile (Nishan al-Nil) sash badge and breast star. 

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Illustration of the 4th Class Officer breast badge of the Order of the Nile. 

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Illustration of the 1st Class Commander Order of Agriculture (Nishan al-Zira'ah) neck badge. 

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Illustrations of the 3 classes of the Medal of Benevolence: in gold for 35 years of service (upper R, showing the obverse); silver for 25 years of service (upper L, showing the reverse); & bronze for 15 year of service (lower, showing the obverse). 

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Illustrations the 3 classes of the Medal for Meritorious Acts in gold (upper R, showing the obverse), silver (upper L, showing the reverse), and bronze (lower, showing the obverse).

 

Edited by Rusty Greaves
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Rusty,

I have a similar but earlier edition of 1936, by the same publisher - bilingual Arabic /French (sadly no pictures) and the front hard cover reads:

  • Royaume D'Egypte
  • Recueil
  • des
  • Rescrits relatifs aux Grades Civils,
  • Ordres et Medailles
  • Le Caire
  • Imprimerie National, Boulac
  • 1936

The contents consist of: 

  1. Grades Civils
  2. Ordre de Mohamed Ali
  3. Collier Fouad 1er
  4. Ordre d'Ismail
  5. Ordre du Nil
  6. Ordre de l'Etoile Militaire du Roi Fouad
  7. Ordre de l'Agriculture
  8. Ordre d'El Maaref
  9. Ordre de l'Industrie et du Commerce
  10. Ordre d'Al-Kamal
  11. Medaille pour Actes Meritoires
  12. Medaille du Devoir
  13. Medaille de Bienveillance

Regards,

Owain

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Owain, 

Many thanks for providing the additional reference information on this publication and the very useful table of contents. The eBay listing identifies this edition as lacking any bilingual text and being only in Arabic. 

Happy New Year, 

Rusty

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Gentlemen,

The 1946/7, 192 page, 500 copy, edition exists in French as well as Arabic.  Implication appears that 500 copies printed in each language but not clear.   It is titled simply Protocole,  published under authority of the Grand Chamberlain, Abdel Latif Talaat, and printed at the National Printery in Cairo.   Copies of 1946/7 French and Arabic versions at the Library of Congress in Washington [seen in 1973 and 1994], the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris [seen in 1977] and reported in French at the British Library, London.    A French edition [formerly?] held by the French Foreign Ministry could not be located in 2004.  Would suppose that other national libraries and possibly foreign ministries may have copies.  

I've seen only one Arabic [copy found by Rusty] and two French 1946/7 editions for sale since about 1980.   1946/7 contents include, in addition to those Owain reports, everything from seating arrangements at state dinners to flag specifications.  

 

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922F, 

The additional information & clarification is most useful. So this is a version the Protocole volume I have not been able to track down through interlibrary loans yet, most interesting. As an underpaid part-time professor, I do not have the $ to bid on this through eBay if someone else is interested. I don't know if the price will drop again if this listing is not bought, the seller is willing to consider offers. 

Edited by Rusty Greaves
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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks to the references provided by Owain & 922F, I was at last able to locate an English translation of the Royaume d'Egypte protocol (Royal Kingdom of Egypt Orders/Medals 1919-1947) with French titled figures, detailing Egyptian awards and protocol. Consulting this primary reference on Egyptian orders and medals indicated that I have often repeatedly made a mistaken identification/designation of the 4th Class Order of Ismail as the "Knight" Class of that award throughout this thread. The 4th Class of the Order of Ismail is correctly the Officer Class. While the Order of the Nile includes a 4th Class Officer breast badge with a rosette on the ribbon and a 5th Class Knight breast badge without a rosette on the ribbon, the Order of Ismail lacks a Knight Class award. Just to thematically include a visual apology for my oversights as well, I have included 2 illustrations (not of very good resolution) from the faroukmisr.net website (https://www.faroukmisr.net/orders1.htm) that are the source of one image of a 4th Class breast badge I included as the 8th photo in my post of 13 November, 2017 which came from the flickr photostream of Hassan Kamel-Kelisli-Morali (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelisli/3052095308).

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Low-resolution image from the faroukmisr.net website showing the obverse & reverse of a J. Lattes-made 4th Class Officer breast badge of the Order of Ismail (https://www.faroukmisr.net/orders.htm). The image of the obverse apoears to be a lower-resolution version of the same photo I included from Hassan Kamel-Kelisli-Morali's flickr photostream in my 13 November, 2017 post. These images probably derive from an Egyptian Museum's collection or exhibition, however that museum is not identified on the faroukmisr.net website. 

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This is a close-up and only a slightly higher-resolution photo of the obverse of the 4th Class Officer breast badge of the Order of Ismail from the faroukmisr.net website (https://www.faroukmisr.net/orders.htm). The position of the camera watermark in the lower right is that same as in Hassan Kamel-Kelisli-Morali's flickr photostream photo used in my 13 November, 2017 post, but the ribbon is cropped out of this version. This photo can be zoomed for only a minor amount of additional detail of this badge's design elements. Although this is not a high-resolution image of the Officer Class of this award, as I noted in my post of 8 July, 2020 discussing design variation of the 4th Class breast badge compared with other classes of this medial, this class is much less well illustrated across auction sites and other internet sources than the other 3 classes of the Order of Ismail. This photo also shows the thinner gold margins of the crossed bands with red enamel around the wreath element compared with the execution on the other classes of the Order of Ismail (probably due to its smaller size than the insignia of the other classes), as I noted in my 8 July 2020 post about the design and workmanship seen on examples of the Officer beast badge of this Order.  

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Igor & Owain, many thanks for the photos of the case design & the good resolution photo of an example of the L. ROSEN & CIE SUCC label & cipher confirmation of Fuad I to help start a stumbling chronology of this association between Lattes & Rosen. It certainly looks as though the case is for an Order of Ismail, correct? 

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The photo that Igor included as the last image in his post of 7 February showing the "MAISON LATTES L. ROSEN & CIE SUCC LE CAIRE" is of interest to my continued search for additional information about J. Lattes. I have previously illustrated a couple examples of the satin labels showing the name L. Rosen associated with J. Lattes name (marked "Maison Lattes L. Rosen & Cie. Le Caire", as shown in the 14th-to-last and 9th-to-last photos of my first post of 21 October, 2019 on this thread detailing some variation in the forms of Lattes cases and labeling). Those labels were in cases for Orders of the Nile awards. All of those labels are printed in the same cursive calligraphy as the silk ribbons in the same upper left position of the upper lid interiors printed "J. Lattes Le Caire". Both of those ribbons in Order of the Nile cases also  are in cases bearing King Fuad I's cider on the outer lid. As these couple of empty cases (with the L. Rosen association with J. Lattes) are not associated with any medal bearing a date hallmark, they onto provide a chronological marker of pre-1936 (King Fuad I died on 28 April, 1936) for identifying the association between Lattes and Rosen. I recently saw an example with the different script and term "L. ROSEN & CIE SUCC" on a Grand Cordon example of the Order of Muhammed Ali. That common image from a Wikipedia article (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Republic_exhibition_-_NM_Prague_65_(cropped1).jpg#/media/File:The_Republic_exhibition_-_NM_Prague_65.JPG) does not show the cipher on the outer lid nor identify any date hallmark on the award in that case to refine information about the temporal association between Rosen & Lattes. 

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Above is an example of one of the few satin labels showing the most common configuration of the labeling linking Maison Lattes with "L. Rosen & Cie. Le Caire". As with the "J. Lattes" labels, these are situated on the interior upper left corner of the upper lid, this example is from an empty case for a 3rd Class Commander Order of the Nile. This image comes from a current eMedals auction, Item: W5562 (https://www.emedals.com/africa/egypt/egypt-kingdom-an-order-of-the-nile-iii-class-commander-case-by-lattes-100694).

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Cropped image from a Wikimedia photo of a cased example of the Grand Cordon Class of the Order of Muhammed Ali (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Republic_exhibition_-_NM_Prague_65_(cropped1).jpg#/media/File:The_Republic_exhibition_-_NM_Prague_65.JPG) showing the same form of maker's ribbon as in Igor's example of the 2nd Class Order of Ismail case above in his 7 February post.  Igor's and this example are currently the only cases I have found that show labels with this script and identification of the association of L. Rosen with Maison Lattes on the interior satin case label ribbon as "MAISON LATTES L. ROSEN & CIE SUCC LE CAIRE". The SUCC abbreviation likely means successeur (successor), adding another set of wrinkles to the relationships between Tewfik Bichay, J. Lattes, and L. Rosen in the 1920s-1930s

Because so much about J. Lattes remains opaque to my research, I continue to look for any additional ways to find out about this skilled jeweler. I have included bits of information as I have encountered them throughout this thread, but J. Lattes remains an enigmatic figure. I have not uncovered much about L. Rosen to date, but recently identified one Egyptian medal attributed to this maker. The Medal of Benevolence is identified in a few auction description as having been designed or made by L. Rosen. No images of any maker's marks are seen on the obverse or reverse of these medals. Perhaps the name L. Rosen is marked on the edge of some medals, or else the name may be identified on a case associated with some of these medals? I included some of this information in a recent post on the thread "Unknown Egyptian? Medal in Lattes Case" started by JackCR on 11 June, 2020, here in the "Middle East & Arabs States" section. 

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High resolution images of the 2nd Class silver version of the Medal of Benevolence, from a 10 December, 2014 Auction 27, Lot 864, listing by A. H. Baldwin & Sons, archived on the NumisBids.com website (https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=lot&sid=936&lot=864). The auction description identifies this medal as "by L. Rosen & Co, Cairo". It is unclear if that may be from labeling of a case (a brown leather case is mentioned in the description) or on the medal, most likely it is the labelling of the case (not shown in the auction listing). L Rosen also is identified in a listing of a gold 1st Class example of this medal from a Numista website archived auction description (https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces104987.html). Although I have not found a listing specifically associating Rosen with a bronze 3rd Class version of this medal, almost certainly that workshop made all 3 classes of this medal. I have not yet found another Egyptian award attributed to L. Rosen, nor have I yet found any other information about the business generally. The Medal of Benevolence was instituted in 1928. 

Additional information about Lattes occasionally can be found in relation to internet sources about pocketwatches. J. Lattes of Cairo had a relationship with some watchmakers in Geneva. I still do not know if the firm Lattes Frères & Cie à Genève represents a familial connection to J. Lattes in Cairo. I have previously illustrated a couple examples of watches probably made for distribution by J. Lattes in Cairo in my post of 12 November, 2019. The first watch shown in that post includes an example by Lattes Frères & Cie à Genève designed with 2-time zone displays ("made before the official adoption of time zones as we know them today"), one with Turkish numerals (2nd and 3rd photos in the 12 November post). The 13 November, 2017 auction by Christie's identifies this watch as having been made for the Turkish market. This same watch (No. 10789) also was offered on a Sotheby's auction of 10 November, 2015, Lot 154 (https://www.sothebys.com/es/auctions/ecatalogue/2014/important-watches-ge1504/lot.154.html). My 12 November, 2019 post also shows one piece of Egyptian revival art deco style jewelry in a case with a  "J. Lattes Caire" labeling form unlike those on any Egyptian state awards (1st photo in that post). As with most jewelry stores at the time, Lattes also dealt in watches. As seen in the 2 examples of J. Lattes business cards (shown in my post of 24 April 2019, also in the same 12 November post discussing watches, and in higher resolution images in my post of 4 March, 2020), Lattes advertised selling watches from Geneva. There is evidence that a few manufacturers made watches for distribution specifically though the J. Lattes Cairo shop. For example, my 12 November post also illustrates a watch marked "J. LATTES LE CAIRE" that was made by Haas Neveux & Cie., a Geneva-based and award winning fine watchmaker, and that watch was apparently owned by Ahmed Ihsan Bey, a member of the royal family and a chamberlain of King Fuad I (5th photo in my 12 November post). 

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I apologize for cluttering up this thread with pictures of watches again. I am only doing this as adjunct information regarding what I have been able to find out about J. Lattes of Cairo, through connections with horological information on the internet. Above is an image of a watch bearing the cipher of King Fuad I surmounted by the Egyptian princely crown. This image comes from the Good Old Watch website (https://www.goodoldwatch.com/it123-royal-minute-repeating-watch.html) description of watch that was not offered for sale (ID: 123). The hunter case (cover over the watch face) of this watch is identified as 18 k gold and signed by J. Lattes, a "retailer in Cairo." The movement is based on LePhare 102 calibre also used by Tiffany and Cartier watches. The text description states that the dust cover (cuvette) is signed by "J. Lattes in Geneva and Cairo".  The text also cites information from O. Patrizzi in "Dictionnaire des horlogers Genevois" that mentions J. Lattes "known from late XIX retailer for Egyptian market.
He was supplier to Sultan and after to the King, and awarded by Order of the Nile (Nishan al-Nil) for his services to crown." I have tried to find this reference (Osvaldo Patrizzi. 1998. Dictionnaire des horlogers genevois: la "fabrique" et les arts annexes du XVIe siècle à nos jours., Antiquorum Editions ISBN 10 2940019207), without luck thus far (one internet site turns up claiming to link to the text of this volume, but is just another web dead end of advertising). I may be able to use my access to the Harvard Library system to get an interlibrary loan of their copy of this volume. A YouTube video on the Good Old Watch website article about this timepiece (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMT_c3f6LWI) shows the watch being opened and a brief view of the dust cover of the mechanism showing an upper engraving of “P. Kühling Bösel”, and below that, engraved in a different script, is “J. Lattes Geneve Caire" (same style of cursive as used on Lattes silk labels inside of Egyptian award cases).  A brief glimpse of the inside of the covers of the outer case shows European not Egyptian hallmarks, including "18K" for the gold purity assay. 

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Low-resolution image of a watch from a 8 June, 2001 auction archived on the Antiquorum website (https://catalog.antiquorum.swiss/en/lots/lot-15-45). The watch is identified as (marked?) J. Lattes, Genève - Cairo, No. 4386, and dating to c. 1890. The description states that it is "signed on the cuvette" (inner dust cover), but does not say if that is the placement of the J. Lattes name. 

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Image of a watch made for the Middle Eastern market and identified with Lattés, Gardiol & Co, Geneva and Cairo from an 11 November, 2001 auction, Lot 116, archived on the Antiquorum website (https://catalog.antiquorum.swiss/en/lots/8881). The description states that the signature of "Lattès Gardiol" is on the silver enamel dial (in Persian). The special features include "subsidiary sunk seconds also with Islamic numerals, four apertures for days, month in Islamic characters, and moon phases." No photos of the outer cases are provided, but the description states that both covers have: "applied gold crowns surmounting texts in Persian, signifying 'King' on one side and 'Mohammed Toussoun' on the other. A note also abstracts a some information from the Osvaldo Patrizzi. 1998. Dictionnaire des horlogers genevois: la "fabrique" et les arts annexes du XVIe siècle à nos jours., Antiquorum Editions volume that: "The Lattès brothers were horological merchants active about 1860-1880, who specialized in complicated watches, in particular for export for the Middle East. They were partners with an an otherwise unknown Monsieur Gardiol. A certain J. Lattès is recorded as being established in Geneva and Cairo toward the end of the 19th century. Dictionnaire des Horlogers Genevois by Osvaldo Patrizzi, Antiquorum Editions, Geneva, 1998." A lower-resolution image of the same design watch from a 20 October, 1991 auction, Lot 453, also archived on the Antiquorum website (https://catalog.antiquorum.swiss/en/lots/lot-149-453?browse_all=1&page=1&q=Lattes). It also is described as made by Lattes, Gardiol & Co., Genève, with "Turkish numerals and apertures for months, week days and date, with moon-phase and sunk subsidiary seconds."

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A watch made by Lattes Frères & Cie à Genève is illustrated in low resolution catalogue images as Lot 240 (Case No. 4318) of an auction of 10 May, 2014 by Dr. Crott, Mannheim I/BW (https://www.uhren-muser.de/en/documents/Crott_89_US.pdf). The auction description includes the information: "Lattes Frères & Cie. (1860 - 1880)
Lattes Frères & Cie were known for making watches with complications, automaton watches, and independant dead center-seconds watches for the Middle-Eastern market." The same watch (Case No. 4318) is archived for an undated auction (probably earlier as the listed price is lower than the 2014 Dr. Crott offering) as Lot 46. The better quality image from that listing is shown above (https://www.uhren-muser.de/en/44512/lattes-freres-cie-a-geneve-pocket-watch). The same note about Lattes Frères & Cie is included in the Lot 46 listing. The same design watch (No. 4386) also is listed from an 8 June 2001 auction, Lot 45, archived on the Antiquorum website (https://catalog.antiquorum.swiss/en/lots/lot-15-45?browse_all=1&page=1&q=Lattes). 

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Two listings of watches made by Lattes Frères & Cie, Genève are archived on the Antiquorum website (https://catalog.antiquorum.swiss/en/lots?utf8=✓&q=Lattes) that are probably 2 examples of the same design. Lot 197 was auctioned on 2 December, 2003 (https://catalog.antiquorum.swiss/en/lots/lot-47-197?browse_all=1&page=1&q=Lattes) and Lot 356 was auctioned on 6 June, 2004 (https://catalog.antiquorum.swiss/en/lots/lot-71-356?browse_all=1&page=1&q=Lattes). The higher-resolution image of Lot 356 is shown above. Although both watches look alike (to me) and descriptions are the same, the grading and anticipated prices are different for each (Lot 356 auctioned in 2004 has a higher grading and expected price than Lot 197 auctioned in 2003). Both of these are described as "Karnak and the Valley of the Kings" watches made for the "Oriental" market. The case is described as having: "the front with a pharaoh flanked by two sphinxes and two obelisks, the back with ruins of Karnak with the Valley of the Kings in the background, bezels and band in repeated pattern" although no photos in either listing show these case designs. The face design is described as an automaton scene depicting Chronos forging his scythe (the Lot 197 description calls him "Father of Time").

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Low-resolution image of watch made by Lattes Frères & Co., Genève, No 7477 again dated to c 1890. From a 14 June, 1995 auction archived on the Antiquorum website (https://catalog.antiquorum.swiss/en/lots/lot-120-182?browse_all=1&page=1&q=Lattes). The signature of Lattes Frères & Cie. is on the cuvette (not illustrated). 

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An 18k watch made by Lattès Frères & Cie à Genève, No. 4099, from a 19 November, 2019 auction, Lot 11, by Bonhams, archived on the salesroom website (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/bonhams/catalogue-id-bonham10022/lot-3a43c30a-34e1-4cb6-97b7-aaf600cc482f). The Bonhams website listing of this watch (https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/25398/lot/11/) includes a much lower resolution photo, and identifies the c. 1890 date that appears to be given for most of these watches without firm supporting documentation. 

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An example of an unusually designed watch attributed to J. Lattes is the above example from a 14 May, 2016 auction by Sotheby's, Lot 194 (https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2016/important-watches-ge1601/lot.194.html). This is identified as a yellow gold cylinder watch inside of a brooch in the form of a beetle (wings numbered 52407, movement numbered 52406), manufactured c. 1890. The name "J  ATTES" can barely be seen on the white enameled dial just below the "12", but I cannot make out the word(s) below that (L' ?).  

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J. Lattès is mentioned on page 19 of  L'Horologerie Suisse, 34e Année, 1890-1891, Genève et Canton de Aud, F. L. Davoine à Marin, Neuchâtel, available online at:https://doc.rero.ch/record/323375/files/DAVOINE_1891.pdf. His name appears as the 5th down in the column on the upper left listing of Fabrique et Commerce d'horlogerie pour tous pays ("Manufacture and trade in watchmaking for all countries"). J. Lattes (not Lattes Frères & Cie) is listed as a jeweler (Boul.). Page 17 gives the information about the abbreviations used before the names - f., n., and m. as indicating f.=manufacturer; n.=business; and m.=store), "Fazy 9" refers to the street address of the Lattès shop in Geneva, Switzerland, currently known as James-Fazy 9.  

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Another mention I recently identified comes from Egypt and is not associated with any of J. Lattes business connections to Geneva watchmakers. The above page documents a charitable gift by J. Lattes to an orphanage in Cairo. It comes from The Sphinx: The English Illustrated Weekly, No 506, 14April, 1923, page 706 (available online form The American University in Cairo: http://digitalcollections.aucegypt.edu/digital/collection/sphinx/id/6842/rec/7). The article in the upper right hand column "The Brotherhood Waif's Home" discusses  an upcoming Visiting Day at the Waif's Home "for the rescue and training of outcast children". The second paragraph lists contributions received by the Administrative Committee toward the home's work since that March. Line 12 includes "J. Lattes 200" indicating his donation of 200 L.E. Although the image above is unclear when zoomed, the original listing in The American University in Cairo Rare Books and Special Collections Digital Library website (page 30 of this digitized document) can be zoomed for good detail.

Edited by Rusty Greaves
added a couple watches
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I have some high-resolution images from the 1946 Arabic language edition of the Royaume d'Egypte Protocole pertaining to the Order of Ismail that I wish to include here. Owain provided the title, the table of contents, and other information from a 1936 French/Arabic edition in his post of 2 January, 2021 on this thread. 922F included the full reference for this publication and some additional information about the different language editions in his recent post in this thread, also from 2 January, 2021. I previously posted a few lower-resolution images from an eBay listing of this book on 31 December, 2020 that included some of the same pages I am including here as better quality scans. All can be zoomed for a much greater detailed view of the text and the lovely illustrations. 

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High-resolution image of the title page of the 1946 Arabic edition of the Royaume d"Egypt Protocole volume. With the complete reference I was able to find a photocopy of a 1947 English edition, titled Royal Kingdom of Egypt Orders/Medals 1919-1947 although probably Protocol is the more correct title of this English language publication. That copy identified the ISBN numbers of a few different language editions as: ISBN:0-929757-03-3 for a black & white English edition; ISBN:0-929757-02-5 for a black& white French edition; ISBN:0-929757-28-9 for a black & white Arabic edition, and ISBN:0-929757-29-7 for a color edition in English. As 922F noted, the Protocole publication was published under the authority of the Kingdom of Egypt, Grand Chamberlain to His Majesty the King (Farouk I for the 1946 and the 1946/47 editions), Abdel Latin Talaat. The photocopied 1947 English language edition I found was printed by the Government Printing Service, Cairo. The English language edition retains the French titles for each illustration. 

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High-resolution scan of the first portion of the description of the Order of Ismail, the 3rd Order discussed and illustrated in this volume (after the Order of Muhammed Ali and the Collar of Fuad I). The translated English text (much of this has already been published by Owain in his article: Owain Raw-Rees, 2006,  “King Farouk and his Awards", JOMSA, Vol 57, No. 4, pp: 15-23) from the 1947 edition for this page is: 

"3. Order of Ismail  

 (Royal Decree 96/1922 modified by Royal Decree 48/1926).

The four classes of this order are: Grand Cordon; Grand Officer; Commander; Officer. It rewards distinguished services to the Nation. 

a) Holders of the Grand Cordon wear a star on the left breast and, over the right shoulder, a broad dark-blue riband with two red stripes. A badge similar to that of the Commander is affixed to the end of this riband.

There number is limited to thirty, excluding Members of the Royal Family and foreigners outside Egyptian government service. 

Recipients of he Grand Cordon resident in Egypt receive their insignia from the Hands of His Majesty the King.  

b) Grand Officers wear a similar star on the right breast and a neck-badge similar to that of the Commander held in place by means of a riband in the same colours.

Their number is limited to seventy-five." 

The dimensions of the Grand Cordon sash badge, the Grand Officer new badge, and the Commander neck badge all are reported across various auction listings as being roughly the same size (as noted in several post posts on this thread; variations in reported sizes appear to be due to slightly different orientation of measurements or the level of precision employed). The remainder of the textual description of the Commander and Officer Class awards are given on the following page, shown below opposite the page illustrating the Grand Cordon insignia. 

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High-resolution scan of pages with the text description of the Commander and Officer Classes of the Order of Ismail and the illustration of the 1st Class Grand Cordon Order of Ismail sash with sash badge and breast star. The beautiful illustrations are printed from original watercolors, each printed on separate paper tipped into the book. They are quite accurate depictions of the insignia for the Order of Ismail, and the other awards included in the volume. The only very minor discrepancy for the Order of Ismail is that the number & placement of some of the gold laurel fruit dots in the wreath do not necessarily represent the precise number and placement as on actual Order of Ismail insignia, however even these ornamental components the wreath are mostly identical to the execution on the awards (the very slight differences may simply be due to artistic representation of the green wash of the wreath enamel obscuring a few of the fruit dots). These illustrations can all be zoomed for significantly greater detail.

The text on the right hand page describing the Commander and Officer insignia is translated in the 1947 English editions as follows: 

"c) Commanders wear a neck badge held in place by means of a riband of the same colors. 

Their number is limited to one hundred fifty. 

d) On their left breast, Officers wear a badge smaller than that of a Commander. The badge is held in place by means of a ribbon in the same color; a rosette is mounted upon this ribbon. 

Their number is limited to three hundred." 

I am unsure whether the description for the Officer's breast badge is poorly translated or incorrectly states that the badge is "smaller than that of the Commander." The breast badge is not similar to the neck badge of the Commander. The Officer's insignia is a smaller form of the design used for the breast stars of the Grand Cordon (diameter =80 mm) and Grand Officer (diameter=70 mm), measuring between 54-58 mm in width, with the addition of a princely crown as part of the suspension device (the same design as employed for the miniature of all classes of the Order of Ismail, distinguished only by the forms of galon, or braid, underneath the rosette).  

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High-resolution illustration of the 2nd Class Grand Officer Order of Ismail neck badge, neck riband, and breast star. 

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High-resolution illustration of the 3rd Class Commander Order of Ismail neck badge and riband. 

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High-resolution illustration the 4th Class Officer Order of Ismail breast badge. 

Edited by Rusty Greaves
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I was able to download a higher-resolution image of a 4th Class Officer breast badge of the Order of Ismail from a previous Spink auction (19001, Lot  1179). I previously illustrated this badge as the 4th photo in my post of 8 July, 2020, but only in a lower-resolution form than could be seen on the Spink website. As I noted in my 8 July post discussing design variation of the Officer breast badge compared with the other classes of this award, there are many fewer good internet images of the 4h Class badge. Because of that, I do want to include this better resolution image than I was able to post in that previous discussion. 

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High resolution of the Spink 4th Class Officer breast badge example (https://spink.com/lot/19001001179) identified in the auction description as made by Lattes. My post of 8 July, 2020 notes that I had also illustrated this badge in a previous post, and restates that the reported date hallmark is "K". I mistakenly wrote that this indicates an assay date of '1935-35", but that date hallmark actually denotes a date of 1935-1936. This photo can be zoomed for comparable detail to what can be seen on the Spink website and for comparisons with the better photos of Officer breast badges that I illustrated in my 8 July, 2020 post discussing the design of this badge in relation to the insignia of the other classes of the Order of Ismail. That discussion compares some design differences between their Spink auciotn example and the 2 other best-illustrated examples (the first in that post is a Lattes-made badge from a 12 December, 2015 auction by Heritage Auctions [Lot 47429]; and a Lattes made-badge from an October 2017 auction by eMedals [Itme EG137]; neither listing has good images of the assay date hallmarks). As noted in the 8 July discussion, the most interesting difference is that the Spink auction example has some differences in the engraving of the gold floral ornamentation of the gold & blue enamel star arms. Unlike the Heritage Auctions Officer's breast badge (1st photo of 8 July) this example from Spink Auction 19001, Lot 1179, exhibits only 2 paired-engraved marks on the most distal flowers of each of the five arms' gold floral ornamentation, and on each of the central dual flowers. The engraving of the most distal flower on the Spink example includes 2 marks forming an oval loop, unlike the more common single mark, as seen on the Heritage Auctions badge. As noted, the 2 joined middle flowers on the Spink badge  show only 2 lateral engraving marks (unpaired with 3 on the Heritage Auctions badge) and a v-shaped engraving outlining their central petals (the Heritage Auctions badge has one mark at the distal end positioned between the most medial and the middle petals of each of these flowers). The eMedals example (2nd & 3rd photos in my 8 July post) exhibits 3 engraved marks on the paired central flowers and the similar v-shaped 2 marks outlining the central petals, as on the Spink badge. The most distal flowers on each arm of the eMedals badge also has only 2 lateral engraving marks, like the Spink example, but only a single engraved mark at the most distal end of each flower. My subjective view is that the workmanship of the engraving on the above breast badge seems less-skilled in execution than can be seen on the good photographs of the Heritage Auctions or eMedals pieces.  

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I have had some difficulty downloading a good-resolution image of a 2nd Class Grand Officer "set" of Order of Ismail insignia on Hassan Kamel-Kelisi-Morali's flickr site (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelisli/3050711467/in/photostream/). This is an image of the paired neck badge and breast star, and has been re-posted on several internet locations. Hassan identifies this image as coming from an unspecified eBay listing, sometime around November 22, 2008. There are no images of the reverse of these 2 items and no information about hallmarks that would allow dating of their manufacture or could confirm the makers of each piece. Although these are not high-resolution images, they are pretty good images, and better than I have been able to get off that flickr site for illustration on this thread. I have been curious about this "set", because (as discussed below), it appears to me that the neck badge was probably produced by J. Lattes, but the breast star appears to be a Tewfik Bichay-made piece. 

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Moderate-resolution cropped image of the neck badge from this "set" of 2nd Class Grand Officer regalia from Hassan Kamel-Kelisi-Morali's flickr site. The configuration of the wreath's gold laurel fruit dots & the gold & red enamel bands are consistent with other examples that are Lattes-made pieces (note the thick & even gold margins of the gold & red enamel bands compared with those on the breast star below), as discussed in my post of 28 March, 2020 on this thread comparing variation in 1st Class sash badges and 2nd Class neck badges of the Order of Ismail. The leaves of the wreath, also show the thicker, more prominently veined execution than are seen on the wreaths of Lattes-made pieces (see my discussion above in the 10 December 2020 post about the 3rd Class Commander neck badge from the 4 December, 2020 auction listing No. 43, Lot 193, on the La Gazette Drout website, and also see my discussion below about the wreath on the "associated"  breast star of this "set" and the images in my post of 28 March showing what appear to be contrasting configurations of confirmed or probable Bichay-made neck badges, i.e., the anomalous example in the 1st photo of that post; the 16th-probable Bichay piece [3rd Class?]; 17th photo-possibly a chimera mixture of Lattes elements with a Bichay-made wreath [3rd Class?]; 18th photo-a confirmed Tewfik Bichay 1st Class sash badge). The most distal flowers show 2 paired-lateral engraving marks and a single engraved mark at the most distal portion of each flower on the gold & blue enamel arms of the star. The central 2 flowers on each arm have 3 sets  of lateral engraving marks and a single distal mark positioned between the most medial & the middle petals of these flowers. This variation is seen among other examples. The resolution of the image is not good enough to read the hallmarks on the connection between the superior star arm and the crown suspension device, and the lower image detail also makes it difficult to comment on other aspects of the engraving on this neck badge. 

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Cropped image of the 2nd Class Grand Officer's breast star from Hassan Kamel-Kelisi-Morali's flickr site. The wreath configuration has a couple details that suggest this is a Tewfik Bichay-made piece rather than a Lattes breast star. See my discussion of breast stars of the Order of Ismail in the post of 31 January, 2020 on this thread for descriptive comparisons and additional photos. The thinness, and slight irregularities, of the gold border of the gold & red enamel bands are not seen in Lattes examples, but do seem to characterize the Tewfik Bichay-made breast stars. The arrangement of gold fruit dots appears normal for Bichay wreath elements, but not the distribution seen on Lattes-made wreath components (there are a few minor placement differences visible in comparisons of the images on the 31 January, 2020 post). However, on the above example they appear smaller than seen on other Bichay stars, probably because the wreath has a thick application of green enamel that appears to cover some of those fruit dots. The shape of leaves on Bichay-made wreaths appear a bit longer, with less prominent veins in the leaves than those on Lattes-made examples (compare the high-resolution image of the wreath of a Tewfik Bichay 1st Class Grand cordon breast star from a Künker Münzauktionen und Goldhandel 2014 auction shown as the 8th photo in that 31 January post on this thread). The resolution does not show the engraved marks on the gold floral ornamentation of the star arms as well as several illustrated in my previous 31 January, 2020 post. The most distal flowers show 3 paired-lateral engraving marks and a single mark in the most distal central petal. The joined flowers in the middle of each arm exhibit 3 lateral marks and a single engraved mark distally oriented between the space separating the most medial and central petals. The other engraving of the gold floral ornamentation on the star arms of the above example may also show slightly less elegant execution than several Lattes examples shown in the 31 January, 2020 post, but does not appear to be as "casually" engraved as can be seen on that Künker Münzauktionen und Goldhandel auction breast star. Although the resolution of both images is not good enough for detailed views of these insignia, the significant difference between the configurtaions of the wreath elements suggest to me a high probability that the they are not an actual set, but a J. Lattes-made neck badge that has been combined with a Tewfik Bichay-made breast star. 

 

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I want to briefly re-visit a topic that was part of this thread discussing regalia of the Grand Chamberlain and other Chamberlains to the Egyptian King and Queen that I mentioned in my post of 26 March 2019 on this thread. In that post, I illustrated another image of the intrepid Ahmed Hassanein accompanying King Fuad I to the Egyptian Parliament on 27 November, 1939 wearing his Grand Cordon Class breast star of the Order of Ismail (in addition to other honors) with his Pasha costume and Grand Chamberlain regalia. I briefly discussed the Chamberlains' badges on that date. I recently found the information detailing the wearing  of these badges in the Protocole put out by the Office of the Grand Chamberlain to King Farouk I, Abdel Latif Talaat. 

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Above are 2 illustrations of examples of the Chamberlain's badges from my post of 26 March, 2019 (from Hassan Kamel-Kelisli-Morali's flickr site: upper badge from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelisli/20322111042/in/photostream; lower badge from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelisli/12036519145/in/photostream). Both badges have the cipher (monogram) of King Farouk I. Owain illustrated the same upper badge and several others that he photographed from a display in Abdine Palace Cairo in his posts of 26 March and of 29 March, 2019. I further discussed these badges (misrepresenting them as "pins" throughout my posts) in relation to the first 6 photos in my post of 2 April, 2019 on this thread. 

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Thus far, the only additional informationI have found regarding  variation in the form of these Chamberlain's badges comes from a Tewfik Bichay advertising flyer. Above is a cropped portion of the bottom of the 3rd page of this flyer which I included in my post of 21 September, 2020 on this thread. This illustration indicates that the 2nd badge shown above is that of the Master of Ceremonies and the first badge shown above is probably that of the Grand Chamberlain. The 3 badges on the right bear the cipher (monogram) of King Farouk I and the badge on the left has the cipher (monogram) of Queen Farida. 

The beginning chapter of the 1947 English language edition of the Royaume d"Rgypte Protocole (Chapter I. Office of the Grand Chamberlain, on pp. 3-4) discusses the wearing the Chamberlains' badges as follows: 

"8. On the occasions listed below the Grand Chamberlain, the Chamberlains, and the Masters of Ceremonies will wear the special hexagonal gold badge on their right-hand buttonholes. In the centre of the badge there is the Royal Monogramme in white enamel on a green enamel shield. The badge has a diamond surround and is ensigned with the Royal Crown: 

    1. when on duty in the Palace or on His Majesty's business outside; 

    2. at court banquets, receptions and functions; 

    3. at the homes of private persons when either His Majesty the King or Her Majesty the Queen is present; 

    4. at religious ceremonies attended by His Majesty the King; 

    5. at concerts and stage performances honoured by the Presence of His Majesty the King or Her Majesty the Queen.

9. When on duty in the Palace the Chamberlains and Masters of Ceremonies will wear black morning dress."

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Visiting card (or calling card) of Abdel Latif Talaat, Grand Chamberlain to His Majesty the King (Farouk I). I found this card tucked into the copy of the Royaume d'Egypt Protocole, 1946, whose illustrations of the Order of Ismail are shown above in my post of 11 February, 2021 (and a few additional images in my post here of 31 December, 2020). 

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Above is an image of the Chamberlains to King Farouk I (all wearing the Chamberlains' Badges on their right-hand lapels) that I included as the 6th photo in my post of 2 April, 2019 on this thread. At the time I posted this, I had no good information about the identity of any of these Chamberlains. The name on the above calling card (translated thanks to Owain's help) matches the inserted labelling (at the feet) identifying the man standing in the front center with wide-striped pants and glasses as the Grand Chamberlain, Abdel Latif Talaat. This image is from Hassan Kamel-Kelisli-Morali's flickr site, and is credited courtesy of Mr. Aly Zulifikar (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelisli/8395692018/in/pool-egyptianroyalty/).  There are several much better quality photos of Abdel Latif Talaat on the Flickr photostream of Fadia Badrawi, his great granddaughter (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dereenb/with/48119910441/).

 

 

 

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large.1671662866_EGYPTOLDVINTAGEPHOTOGRAPH.AhmedPashaHassaneinwithmedalsandsword.1939666979Bcrop.jpg.3072946174d413a85497845c65d95b45.jpgAbove is another portrait photo of Ahmed Hassanein wearing his Pasha costume and numerous awards. This photo shows him wearing what is probably the Grand Chamberlain's badge on the upper right (the viewer's left) portion of his sash (possibly that of the Grand Cordon Class of the Order of Ismail). It also shows the breast star of the 1st Class Order of Ismail prominently on his left breast. This portrait appears to come from the same sitting as another common image of the intrepid Hassanein that I previously illustrated on this thread in my post of 30 April. 2018 (low-resolution) and in 2 higher resolution images in my post of 14 September, 2018 (showing him seated wearing an open cape and tarboosh). The above portrait is from a past eBay auction archived on the WorthPoint website (https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/egypt-vintage-photograph-ahmed-pasha-1939666979). No information other than the identification of Hassanien and brief mention that it includes "medals and sword" is included in the auction listing. The signature visible in an image of the matting indicates the portrait was made by the Jean Weinberg Studio in Cairo. 

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A close-up image of Ahmed Hassanein's awards from the WorthPoint archived past eBay listing, showing the Chamberlain's badge, the breast star of the 1st Class Order of Ismail, as well as Hassanein's many other awards.  Obviously this is not a high-resolution image, but a better view of these same medals can be seen in the photo close-up that is the 2nd photo in my 14 September, 2018 post on this thread. 

large.ORDRE-D-ISMAIL-DECORATION-D-EGYPTE-EN-OR-(18K)-EMAILLE-1.-POIDS-BRUT--43-26-G..jpg.02ddbf31ebd8c10415ae2d9d55671b90.jpg 

A low-resolution image of a 3rd Class Commander neck badge of the Order of Ismail from a current auction listing, Lot 123, of Delon-Hoebanx of Paris (https://www.delon-hoebanx.com/lot/95661/10461417?). The badge is noted as made of 18 k gold with enamel and weighs 43.26 g, but no additional information is provided. The photo in the auction listing is of no higher resolution than what is shown above.

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Owain sent me the link to this current auction listing of another 3rd Class Commander neck badge by Ader of Paris, Lot 220 (https://www.ader-paris.fr/lot/110892/14446647?offset=200&). The auction listing includes a very high-resolution image of this badge that can be zoomed for excellent detail. Although no photos of the revere or hallmarks are provided, the auction listing identifies that there is a Maison Lattes hallmark on the reverse and states the date hallmark is for 1926 (but does not specify the date hallmark letter). This example is associated with its presentation case. The wreath design is consistent with Lattes execution, and the Lot 220 photo provides a great zoomed view of the wreath configuration and the engraving on the gold floral elements of the gold and blue enamel star arms. The maximum enlargement possible on the website listing has good lighting for seeing the distribution of the gold laurel fruit dots in the wreath, the shorter form of the leaves with prominent veins (compared with the contrasting form seen in Bichay-made examples), as well as the form of the gold and red enamel bands, and the thickness of the green enamel. The most distal flowers have 3 paired sets of lateral lines and a single distal engraving mark in the central petal. The 2 central flowers each have 3 lateral engraved marks and a single mark centered in the longer, most medial petal. The engraving on this piece is very well-executed.  The dimensions of the badge are given as 81 mm X 66 mm and its weight as 42 g.

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large.126954765_sashbadgeOIfromHassan.jpg.6721d52c0bbee6bde82b4d03223fc227.jpg

Above is a pretty good illustration of a Lattes-made 1st Class sash badge of the Order of Ismail attached to the sash. The angle of the photo leaves the 5:00 and 7:00 arms of the star unfocused, but the 12:00 arm is clear enough to see the engraving (the engraving on the 9:00 arm also is fairly visible). It shows the 3 pairs of lateral engraved marks (slightly uneven?) on the most distal flower with a single engraving mark in the central petal. The middle flowers have the 3 lateral marks and the single engraving mark in the longer and most medial petals of each flower. The other engraving cannot be evaluated for "elegance" in the quality of this image. However, the uneven paired marks in the most distal flower underscore some of the variations seen in this aspect of the execution of these pieces suggesting the employment of craftsmen of different skills attending to this aspect of the insignia design at Maison Lattes. The wreath design distribution of the gold laurel fruit dots, the shorter length & greater visibility of the leaf veins, and the the even and thick design of the gold and red enamel bands are consistent with other Lattes-made sash badges (in contrast with Bichay examples), and reiterates that the sash badge and all neck badges exhibit the same configuration. Although the image is partly unfocused, I wanted to add this example as photos of the Grand Cordon sash badges that show the design and execution differences are naturally less common (limited to 30 living recipients other than members of the Royal Family and foreigners outside of Egyptian Government service) than images of the 2nd Class Grand Officer neck badges (limited to 75 living recipients) and the much more common 3rd Class Commander neck badges (limited to 150 living recipients). See my post of 28 March, 2018 for a more detailed, if pedantic, treatment of variation visible in images of the sash and neck badges of this order. The decorative bow shows the common pinked edges. The image comes from Hassan Kamel-Kelisli-Morali, who only identifies it as a Lattes-made piece.  Unfortunately he cannot recall the source of this photo. 

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I have just a few additions to this thread today, including a current auction example of a 3rd Class Commander neck badge, measurements of the case for the Pierre Crabités 2nd Class Grand Officer regalia, and a poor quality photo of another example of a 1st Class Grand Cordon Order of Ismail. 

 

 Below are 2 images of a 3rd Class Commander order of Ismail neck badge from a current (ending May 29, 2021) auction by La Galerie Numismatique (https://www.coins-la-galerie-numismatique.com/auction-li-day-1/order-ismail).

 

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Moderate-resolution image of the 3rd Class Commander Order of Ismail and case. This photo from the La Galerie Numismatique listing (SKU 198) can be zoomed for a bit more detail. The dimensions given in the auction description are 83 mm (tall) X 60 mm (wide), and the weight is given as 44.8 g. The piece of paper on the lower left reads "Ismail le magnifique", referencing Ismail Pasha, "Ismail the Magnificent", Khedive of Egypt (reign=January 1863-June 1879, removed by the the Ottoman Sultan under coercion by the British & French governments) and conqueror of the Sudan, for whom the Order of Ismail was named by Sultan Hussein Kamel of Egypt on 14 April, 1915. 

 

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Image showing the obverse and reverse of this same example of the 3rd Class neck badge from the La Galerie Numismatique listing for the 29 May auction. The inset photo below shows 2 of the Egyptian gold hallmarks on the reverse of the suspension loop (the middle hallmark of an ibis indicating Egyptian-manufactured gold is missing, not an uncommon combination) showing the assay mark, probably for the Cairo office (the resolution this image  is a bit unclear) indicating 18k gold. The "B" date hallmark indicates an assay date of 1927-1928. The reverse of the neck badge shows the "LATTES" maker's mark and the 3 Egyptian hallmarks, although they cannot be distinguished even by zooming this image.  

 

I was recently able to measure the case of the Pierre Crabités 2nd Class Grand Officer Order of Ismail award, that I illustrated here in my post on this thread of 11 December, 2020 (when I did not have access to a measuring tape). 

 

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Above is the same image of the Pierre Crabités 2nd Class Grand Officer Order of Ismail case that I posted as the 2nd photo in my post of 11 December, 2020. I brought a tape measure with me on a recent visit to a family member where the case is, as they did not have any way for me to measure it on my last visit. The length of the case is 243 mm; its width is 122 mm; and it is 47 mm in maximum depth. The upper lid measures 22 mm deep and the lower portion with the medal bed is 25 mm deep. See my 11 December post for additional detailed images of this case design & construction. 

 

I recently came across a low-resolution image (shown below) of a 1st Class Grand Cordon Order of Ismail from a 23 October, 2010 auction by MedalHouse OY of Helsinki, Finland. The "best" versions of this catalogue illustration is archived on the DOCPLAYER website (https://docplayer.fi/1459898-Orders-medals-auction-aukcion-ordenov-i-medaley-october-23-2010-23-oktyabrya-2010-g-helsinki-finland-helsinki-finlyandiya.html). I have previously encountered an even smaller version of this photo, but have not included it here before as it does not provide any useful details of the design or execution of an example of this award. 

 

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This low-resolution image of a cased example of a 1st Class Order of Ismail comes from page 18 of the MedalHouse OY auction catalogue for 23 October, 2010 (item no. 62). Although there is little detail in the image, it appears likely to be a Lattes made example. It does show the pinking of both the decorative bow and ends of the sash. The case may show the more decorative form of the flip release latch opening of the case. The auction description does not provide any dimensions or other relevant information beyond a common, brief description of this Order. I am including this image and reference simply to document another example of what is likely a complete set (sash, sash badge, breast star, and case, but apparently without the brevet or attribution to an awardee) of the Grand Cordon Class of this Order. 

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I continue to find it very difficult to locate information about J. Lattes. My recent efforts have only found a couple of mentions, again in the online horological literature. A very brief synopsis of J. Lattes is noted in the 16 May, 2020 listing  "Dictionnaire des Horlogers: De Identitas à Lyanna (Abécédaire des hommes et des entreprises qui ont fait l'histoire de l'horlogerie) on the WorldTempus Swiss Watch Authority website (http://fr.worldtempus.com/article/industrie-news/economie/dictionnaire-des-horlogers-de-identitas-a-lyanna-15633.html). It states in a simple listing (in French) that: "Lattes, J. Geneva and Cairo. End of the 19th century. Simple and complicated watches for the Egyptian market."

 

I also have found an illustration of a cased travel clock with the name J. Lattes stamped on the leather case cover from an 18 March, 2020 auction (785: Kunst, Antiquäten, & Schmuck) by NAGEL auction.de (https://www.auction.de/catalogues/epaper-785/index.html#104), shown below. 

 

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This clock (illustrated on page 102 of the NAGEL auction catalogue (for auction 785) is identified as a miniature travel clock in its original case. This moderate-resolution image can be zoomed for slightly more detail. It is supposedly dated to c. 1830 (no basis for this date is provided in the auction description). However, this seems far too early considering that J. Lattes was still manufacturing Egyptian orders in the 1930s. The auction description (in German) states that this item (Lot Number 185) is made of 935 silver and the clock sends 5 mm tall. "Finely guilloched silver case on a low, black marble base in a brown, gold-tooled leather case. Four-sided polychrome enamel decorations with translucent band ornaments. Enamel dial with Arabic hours and decorative gold hands. Cylinder gear. Movement no. 12890. Folding, original case with key compartment, inscription 'J. Lattes Le Caire' ". No illustration of the J. Lattes name is included with the listing. The same clock also is listed with a lower-resolution illustration on the ArtFox website:  (https://www.artfoxlive.com/product/3752780.html#prettyPhoto)

 

I also have a couple bits of information regarding Egyptian hallmarks that come from an article by Azza Fahmy (whose illustrations of Egyptian hallmark reference tables I have used previously in this thread) in an article she authored in RAWI (issue 7, 2015: https://rawi-magazine.com/articles/everlasting_lustre/) "An everlasting lustre: a thousand years of monitoring Egypt's jewelry industry". In reference to a discussion of the development of regulations for the assay of precious metals, she states that the 1st law regulating the carats of gold and grades of silver was passed in 1847, under Khedive Abbas Hilmi I. A 2nd law that regulated the process of hallmarking was passed under Khedive Abbas Hilmi II. She states: "This law was passed in English, as Egypt was under British occupation at the time and a British official headed the Cairo assay office. This law stipulated the permissible carats of gold and standards of silver to be traded in Egyptian markets as follows: ‘Gold – 23.5 / 21 / 18 / 15 / 12’ and ‘Silver – 90 / 80 / 60 / 45’. A third law was passed in the reign of Sultan Hussein Kamel (1914–1917), which prohibited the buying or selling of any precious metals that were not stamped by the Egyptian assay office. After some time, the lowest permissible grade of silver became 60, while the lowest carat of gold became 15...Hallmarks were added to precious metals using a fine steel punch, which bore the required symbol at its tip; this symbol was hammered (struck) onto the piece to record the kind of metal used, its carat value, and the date and place it was crafted. Each symbol struck comprised four signs, arranged in the shape of a square no larger than two millimetres. At the time of the British occupation, the punches used to apply hallmarks were made in England and exported to Egypt. From 1916 to 1938, English letters were used to write the date a piece was crafted, and the punches were changed annually, a practice that continued until 1951. To this day, Egypt’s punches are still made in England and exported to the assay office, though Arabic letters have been used since 1940."

Edited by Rusty Greaves
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  • 2 months later...

The oddly combined 3rd Class Commander neck badge that I have previously described as almost certainly a Lattes-made body with a Tewfik Bichay-made wreath has yet again surfaced on an auction listing. I first described the unusual configuration of this badge from a 23 July, 2019 listing on eMedals (Item M0306-1) in my post on this thread of 28 March, 2020 describing design variations of the Order of Ismail 1st Class sash badges, 2nd Class neck badges, and 3rd Class neck badges. In that post, I noted an anomalous combination of elements, described in relation to the 4th-to-last illustration in that post. I further elaborated on that point in my post of 13 August, 2020 when this same badge was advertised in a Spink ~July-August 2020 auction listing (Auction 20002, Lot 985), in relation to the first 3 photos in that post. The last 3 photos in that 13 August, 2020 post illustrate another neck badge (2nd or 3rd Class?) with a normal Lattes configuration of the badge star and wreath elements, from a different Spink auction (Auction 18003, Lot 908). I further illustrated my observations about an apparent size difference between the Tewfik Bichay-made wreath and the Lattes-made star body of this neck badge in my post of 14 August, 2020. This badge again re-surfaced again in an offering on the Liverpool Medals website, probably in August of 2020, as SKU 28988. That listing identified the maker as Lattes, as a 3rd Class Commander neck badge, that assay and date hallmarks were present, but incorrectly identified the badge as made of 22 k gold. In that post, I discussed the odd combination of components, and specific wear that indicated this was the same neck badge as shown in the 23 July, 2019 listing on eMedals (Item M0306-1); and on the 2020 Spink auction (Auction 20002, Lot 985). I subsequently wrote to Liverpool Medals informing them of my suspicions that this badge combined a Tewfik Bichay-made wreath onto a Lattes-made star. I received a reply that my argument was too complicated to follow. My previous posts of 13 August 2020; 14 August, 2020; and 26 August, 2020 discuss my reasons for asserting that this is a highly anomalous combination of elements on an Order of Ismail neck badge. 

 

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Above is the obverse of the neck badge from the current Liverpool Medals listing (https://www.liverpoolmedals.com/product/order-of-ismail-commander-neck-badge-22ct-gold) that is the same photo from the August 2020 listing, both using the same SKU number 28988. The current listing (I believe there was a hiatus in this listing sometime after fall of 2020) also includes the same photo of the reverse used in the 2020 offer. I previously included both of these photos in my post of 26 August, 2020. Although the link still includes the identifier "...-22ct-gold" at the end, the description has been updated to correct the gold purity to 18 carat gold, as I told Spink in my communication. None of my other concerns about the combination of Lattes and Bichay elements are included in the currently updated listing. The asking price is still the same £1,795 greater than the likely price it just sold for during the 2020 Spink offering (Auction 20002, Lot 985) in ~July or early August 2020, about 1 month prior to its first listing on Liverpool Medals. 

 

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Reverse of the same badge from the current Liverpool Medals listing. Although the resolution of this photo is not high enough to read the Egyptian assay and date hallmarks, my post of 22 August, 2019 that show better details of the reverse and hallmarks as the 3rd photo (frontal), 4th (oblique), and a close-up of the "LATTES" maker's mark and the 3 Egyptian gold hallmarks as the 5th image in the post. The last image in that prior post shows the Cairo assay office mark for 18 carat gold, the ibis hallmark for Egyptian-made gold, and the date hallmark of "Y" = 1923-1924 as an assay date for this badge. 

 

As noted in my 26 August, 2020 post, there is a revolving door of sales and re-listings for this particular neck badge (eMedals-July 2019; Spink July-August 2020; Liverpool Medals~August 2020; and now again recently this year on Liverpool Medals). This turnover makes me think that collectors are noticing the anomalies after their purchases. Despite this, and my email to Spink, the current price remains £1,795 greater than what Spink sold this badge for just prior to its first listing on Liverpool Medals. 

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Below are images of a set of Tewfik Bichay-made 1st Class Grand Cordon Order of Ismail breast star and sash badge from a 2008 listing in the UBS Tammann Collection auction catalogue. These are not high-resolution images, but provide good measurements, date information, and are another example of a Tewfik Bichay complete Grand Cordon set of this Order. 

 

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Moderate-resolution image of the 1st Class breast star of the Order of Ismail from a November 2008 auction by UBS of the Tammann Collection (Ordern aus Aller Welt: Sammlung Tammann, 80. Auktion, 4.-5. November 2008, Basel. 2008. UBS AG, Gold & Numismatik Basel, plate 7, pg. 42). The auction description gives a diameter of 80 mm (in the German text, it mistakenly states 94 mm in the English translation) for this piece, identifies it as silver and partly gilt, with enamel. The weight of the breast star is not given. A maker's marks for Tewfik Bichay (in Arabic characters) is identified on the reverse along with a date hallmark of "F"= 1931-1932 (the auction listing only specifies 1931 for this hallmark). Although enlarging these images provides a small amount of additional detail, only the superior and left lateral arms show the engraving well enough to determine there are 3 lateral marks and 1 distal mark on the terminal gold flowers ornaments on the blue enamel arms, 3 lateral marks on each of the paired middle flowers and a single terminal mark oriented between the central and most medial petals. No anomalous aspects of the engraving are apparent. The wreath configuration is consistent with those seen on other Bichay-made examples. 

 

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Sash badge from the same 1st Class Grand Cordon set of the Order of Ismail from the November 2008 auction catalogue by UBS. The badge is described as measuring 80 mm X 61 mm (in the German text, it mistakenly identifies the dimension in the English text as  94 mm X 63 mm), weighing 49 g (consistent with other Bichay-made examples), made of gold and enameled. The Tewfik Bichay Arabic makers mark is present on the reverse and the date hallmark of "F" also is present on the reverse. Although zooming does not provide any additional detail, the wreath is of the normal Bichay configuration. This set is noted to include the full sash and original case marked Tewfik Bichay, Cairo and to have the cipher of King Fuad I on the outer lid of the case. No illustrations are provided of the case or sash. 

 

 

Edited by Rusty Greaves
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