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    Question about the Order of Ismail/Nishan al-Ismail

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    On 13/09/2023 at 15:13, Rusty Greaves said:

    I have two 1st Class Grand Cordon examples of the Order of Ismail to illustrate today. The first example comes from an upcoming September 23, 2023 auction (Auction 57, day 2, Lot 1280) by La Galerie Numismatique, archived on the invaluable.com website (https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/the-order-of-ismail-1280-c-7c0441d8e8). 




    Above is a low-resolution image of the sash with the sash badge and breast star of this Grand Cordon set. The only useful information in the auction description is that the breast star is identified as measuring 81mm in diameter. That, and the configuration of gold fruit dots in the wreath of the breast star, clearly indicate this is a 1st Class versions of this award. There is apparently no case nor documentation associated with this Grand Cordon set. It is unclear whether the ends of the sash exhibit pinking or not. The view of the end of the sash in the above photo is blocked by the placement of the breast star. Additionally, the folding of the sash and the odd knotting above the sash badge makes the bow of the decorative knot invisible, so whether that is pinked also cannot be determined (pinking is cutting the ends of the sash and bow with a zig-zag bladed scissors or other cutting device, the zig-zag reduces the frequency that the ends of the sash and bow may unravel).




    Above is a moderate-low-resolution image of the sash badge and breast star of this set. The wreath is the normal Lattes configuration.The date hallmark appears to be “C”, but it is unclear in the low-resolution image. "C" = an assay date of 1928-1929 (on the reverse of the sash badge's central boss and of the reverse of the sash badges suspension clip to the clip on the sash). The engraving on the gold floral elements of the arms of the blue and gold star arms on the sash badge appears to show 2 lateral marks on the most distal flowers and a single mark within the central petal. The middle flowers exhibit 3 lateral engraved marks and a single mark in the longer medial flower petal, almost forming the triangular outlining the central petals of those flowers, as seen on some Lattes and Bichay examples. The resolution is not good enough to comment on the other engraving within the gold floral ornamentation of the gold and blue enamel arms. The breast star of this set shows 3 sets of lateral marks in the most distal floral elements and a single mark in the central petal. The middle paired-flowers have 3 lateral marks on the middle flowers and a single mark engraved within the longer medial petal of each of those blossoms. The other engraving on the arms appears to be the most common format, but the photo is not high-enough resolution to distinguish details of that engraving. 




    Above is the other offering of a 1st Class Grand Cordon breast star of the Order of Ismail. This moderate-resolution image comes from the same September 23, 2023 auction (Auction 57, day 2, Lot 1281) by La Galerie Numismatique, archived on the invaluable.com website that includes the above set with the sash: https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/the-order-of-ismail-1281-c-e12424fa29?objectID=182383900&algIndex=upcoming_lots_lotNumber_asc_prod&queryID=c5f96266345ba7896be949a74ed75cc7). The given diameter measurement in the auction description of 80 mm, and the configurations of fruit dots in the wreath, confirms this is a 1st Class  award. There is no image of the reverse of this breast star and no descriptive information about the date hallmark, although the maker's mark for Lattes is noted. The wreath configuration is the standard design and execution seen on most Lattes-made pieces. The most distal flowers on each arm exhibit 3 lateral marks and a single engraved mark within the central petal. The paired flowers in the middle of each arm have 3 lateral marks and a single longer mark in the longer most medial petal. The other portions of the engraving appear normal and all of the engraving on this star is carefully done and symmetrical. This breast star is apparently unassociated with other elements of the insignia. 


    Lovely Orders

    On 09/02/2021 at 11:56, Rusty Greaves said:

    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. 


    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).


    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. 


    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). 


    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. 


    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. 


    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."


    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). 


    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").


    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). 


    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. 


    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' ?).  


    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.  


    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.

    Wow I like those watches

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    • 1 month later...

    Below is an image of a silver “housewife” (an 18th century term for a “sewing roll” or hussif [verbally, rarely written] for sewing equipment or embroidery supplies, or a cloth purse of some kind carried by women, and is applied to boxes holding silver service), sold under the J. Lattes name. This is from a 13 May, 2023 auction by HVMC, Auction House Monte Carlo, Lot 309 (https://hvmc.com/en/furniture-and-works-of-art-old-and-XNUMXth-century-paintings/important-housewife/). This same listing also is archived on the Drouot.com website (https://drouot.com/en/l/21410491-important-menagere-in-silver-with-chased-foliage-decoration) and calls this a ménagère, in English often translated as a canteen of silver cutlery, Although I am vigilant for additional examples of Lattes’ work, there are not a lot of examples of jewelry (see the 1st photo in my post of 12 November, 2019;  and the 1st-2nd photos in my post of 6 March, 2020) or other objects attributed to him readily findable online. The clocks I have previously shown on this thread (see the 2nd-5th photos in my post of 12 November, 2019; the 4th-11th photos in my post of 8 March, 2021; the photo in my post of 29 June, 2021; and the 1st photo in my post of 11 April, 2023) are more commonly identified as the work of Lattes Frères of Geneve. Other than these clocks and the Egyptian royal awards, I have only encountered a small number of pieces that can be attributed to J. Lattes. The horology literature was the source of identification the probable first name of J. Lattes being Job Lattes. See the 1st photo in my post of 11 April 2023 on this thread showing the name Job Lattes on the clock face; and the info in my post of 16 April, 2023 from a horologic publication listing the of the 3 brothers in Lattes Fréres & Cie a Geneve as Italians from Cuneo in NW Italy living in Alexandria in 1883 , and identifying the name Job Lattes for the only brother with a first name beginning with "J".




    The above housewife is from the May, 2023 auction by HVMC, Auction House Monte Carlo, Lot 309. The only information in the Lot description is a listing of the contents and a summary of the form of decoration. It contains What is of interest to me is that the form of the Lattes label is similar to those placed inside Egyptian royal awards, and is attached in the same location of the inner lid. The label on this housewife reads: “J. Lattes Genève-Caire.” All the other Lattes pieces I have seen only have a form of the Lattes name printed on the lining of the cases, not a ribbon as seen above and on the various awards manufacture by Maison Lattes. This housewife contains: 24 large forks; 20 knives; 12 dessert cutlery; 12 dessert knives; 12 salt cellars with their small spoons; seven serving pieces; and 12 large spoons. The service is described as silver decorated with chiased foliage decoration and monogrammed “JM” on the handles. I realize this service is peripheral to interest in J. Lattes’ manufacture of royal awards. However, it is difficult to find out much about him and his shop, so that information from clocks or other pieces can occasionally add some information to the meager profile of this maker of such beautiful Egyptian awards.




    As a note on some of those other J. Lattes jewelry cases, I contacted Wave Antiques who continually feature a number of pieces of jewelry in what appears to be a single case marked: “J. LATTES JOAILLIER LE CAIRE” that do not appear to represent pieces likely to have been made in the early 20th century (see the  2nd-4th photos in my post of 11 April, 2023 on this thread). Wave Antiques currently still uses this same one(?) case to exhibit several earrings, brooches, etc (the example of a citrine brooch shown above is from: https://waveantiques.com/products/vintage-citrine-brooch). This website also uses other historic jewelry boxes for online exhibition that are unrelated to the makers of the jewelry they are selling. Wave Antique wrote back to me about my enquiry that none of the pieces they have illustrated on their website in this case were made by Lattes. The case is just used for display and photography for their online sale catalog. The case (and the other pretty older cases) is not sent out with purchases, and appears to be re-used for their rotating inventory display on the website. The lettering on this case is different from that on the royal awards and on the one other piece of jewelry I have found of J. Lattes (see the different form of calligraphy on the inside lid shown in the 1st photo in my post of 12 November, 2019).

    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    I recently came across low-resolution photos of a 2nd Class Grand Officer Order of Ismail archived on Colnect.com (https://colnect.com/en/medals/medal/6619-Order_of_Ismail_Grandofficer_2nd_Class-General_Issues-Egypt). The set is attributed to a Belgian individual on the occasion of King Fuad’s trip to Belgium in 1927. The Colnect description gives the dimensions of the neck badge as 62 x 85 mm, and the diameter of the breast star as 70 mm. The associated attribution appears to confound two different examples of 2nd Class Orders of Ismail. I am not illustrating the low-resolution Colnect photos as I found better-quality images of these same photos from the 2021 auction archived by Jean Elsen & ses Fils, shown and discussed below. The Colnect description includes the confusing statement: “…with awarding document, 395 x 253 mm, to the King’s Italian Doctor and at the end of 1927 to Maurice Damoiseau (sic.), governor of the province of Hainaut on the occasion of King Fouad's official visit to Belgium.” It initially appeared to me that the mention of the award brevet and Italian doctor to King Fuad probably referred to an unfortunately damaged and badly rotated breast star example that I have previously illustrated on 14, Nov 2017 in its case, with its award brevet and envelope; as the photo in my post of 11 January, 2019 looking at hallmarks, in the 2nd-to-last photo (23rd photo) in my post of 19 October, 2019; and shown in a higher-resolution image of breast star as the 6th photo in my post of 31 January, 2021, all on this thread (I also have illustrated the Dr. Quirico breast star below in this post). I thought perhaps someone had repaired the poor condition of this breast star that had been awarded to Dr. Giovanni Quirico. However, that breast star has significant damage to the blue enamel on three of the arms of the star that are not visible in the Jean Elsen & see Fils better-quality photos of this set (described below). It seems that Colnect has jumbled two attributions. This breast star cannot be that awarded to Dr. Giovanni Quirico, despite the description statement suggesting it was given to the King’s Italian physician. The attribution to Maurice Damoiseaux is not supported by other documentation, but is the more likely of the two alleged awardee identifications. Note below that a 3rd Class, Commander Order of Léopold, Civil, was offered in the same Jean Elsen & ses Fils auction of 11 September, 2021 (Auction 148, Lot 1508) as this Order of Ismail attributed to Damoiseaux.




    Obverse and reveres of the 2nd Class Grand Officer Class Order of Ismail from the Jean Elsen & ses Fils 11 September, 2021 auction listing (higher resolution that the Colnect version). 




    Obverse and reverese of the 2nd Class Order of Ismail breast star of this set, illustrated on the Jean Elsen & ses Fils 2021 auction listing (higher resolution that the Colnect version).  


    This same set of the Grand Officer Order of Ismail was offered on the Jean Elsen & ses Fils website and is illustrated with higher-resolution images of the neck badge and breast star than the Colnect photos (https://elsen.bidinside.com/en/lot/8515/egypte-ordre-dtismahl-ensemble-de-2e-/). The above moderate-resolution illustrations show the neck badge and breast star well enough to see the design characteristics of the obverse and hallmarks on the reverse. These images can be enlarged slightly for some additional details. This comes from an 11 September, 2021 auction (Auction 148, Lot 1542). The wreaths on both the neck badge and breast star are of the normal J. Lattes pattern and workmanship. The engraving of the gold floral elements on the neck badge exhibit two lateral marks on each side of the terminal blossom and one central mark accenting the longer central petal. The two middle flowers show three lateral marks in each flower and a single engraving mark accenting the gap between the central petals and the longer lateral petal. The engraving on the floral elements of the arms of the breast star show the same common execution of these marks as on the neck badge. The Jean Elsen & ses Fils website description identifies the awardee as Maurice Damoiseaux (Maurice Louis François Damoiseaux, 1866-1938), who held the governorship of Heinaut Province in Belgium from 1908-1937. Damoiseaux was apparently awarded the 2nd Class Order of Ismail in 1927 during King Fuad’s visit to Belgium. The photos on the Jean Elsen & ses Fils site clearly shows a “Z” date hallmark on the reverse central boss of the neck badge. The reverse of the breast star also shows “Z” date hallmarks on the long ray to the viewer’s right of the central long ray of the inferior segment of the rayed embellishment and on the middle of the tunic pin. The ”Z” hallmark indicates an assay date of 1924-1925, still about 2 years before King Fuad travelled to Belgium and gave at least one Order of Ismail award during his official visit (also commemorated with a 1927 table medal). Of course, the assay date also might imply that Colnect has added a secondary spurious attribution. I know little about how many Egyptian Orders may have been made well-ahead of their distribution. I mostly assume that the date hallmarks represent ~2 year windows (the intervals covered by each date hallmark letter) on the decisions electing recipients and the formal award. 




    The Jean Elsen & ses Fils listing also includes the above  low-resolution photo of the neck badge and breast star resting in their presentation case. Note that no neck ribbon is now associated with this set. 




    For comparison, above is the damaged Lattes-made 2nd Class Grand Officer breast star awarded to Dr. Giovanni Quirico (formerly archived on the La Galerie Numismatique website, but apparently no longer on that site: https://www.coins-la-galerie-numismatique.com/auction-33-day-1/order-ismail). The incorrect rotation of the star relative to the rayed embellishment is obvious. Also the central medallion with the name “Ismail” is rotated slightly to the left, out of its correct orientation. This high-resolution image shows a crack in the enamel of the upper left star arm, some possible enamel damage to the most proximal (nearest the central boss) portion of the most superior star arm, and extensive enamel damage is apparent to the most proximal portion of the upper right star arm, including fractures and abrasions. There may be some damage to gold portions of the breast star near where the enamel of the star arms is damaged. The clearly visible damage indicates that the Colnect statement about this being the set with brevet that belonged to King Fuad's Italian physician is almost certainly incorrect (the Dr. Giovanni Quirico set is fairly unique among recent auctions to have this identified association, along with the case and brevet). 




    Above is a low-resolution portrait of Maurice Damoiseaux from a MutualArt website auction of 23 February, 2021 (https://www.mutualart.com/Artwork/Portrait-de-Maurice-Damoiseaux--gouverne/E701D8770ED488F). This undated portrait was painted by Louis Buisseret (1888-1956), and has the descriptive title: Portrait de Maurice Damoiseaux, Gouverneur du Hainaut. Damoiseaux was the Governor of the Heinaut province (usually written “Heynault” in English) in Belgium. He also held a Doctorate of Law from the Catholic University of Louvain and was the author of several political writings. The embroidered jacket appears to be part of insignia of the role as Governor of Heinaut. Similar jackets are shown on other contemporary portraits of Belgians identified as local Governors and Governor Generals of the Dutch East Indies. The Jean Elsin & ses Fils auction of 11 September, 2021 auction (Auction 148) also offered an Order of Léopold, 3rd Class Commander, Civil, in a Maison Wolfers presentation case with Damoiseaux's name on the outer lid and an award date of 8 April, 1929 as Lot 1508 of this same auction as the above Order of Ismail. Damoiseaux appears to be wearing this neck badge in the above portrait. At his retirement in 1937, he was promoted to Grand Officer of the Order of Léopold. 




    Above is a low-resolution photo of one of Maurice Damoiseaux's calling cards. From a current eBay auction (https://www.ebay.com/itm/B-Ancienne-carte-de-visite-maurice-damoiseaux-gouverneur-mons-/372740020727?_ul=AR). 



    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    • 1 month later...

    I recently came across a 16 March, 2023  auction by Philip Serrell offering of a 1st Class Grand Cordon Order of Ismail breast star. The auction listing is curated on the salesroom website (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/philip-serrell/catalogue-id-srph10104/lot-30434248-c001-4b50-8531-afc0010ccb65). The breast star is unassociated with any sash badge, sash, or case and is not attributed to any identified recipient. The photos of the breast star are only low-moderate resolution and the star has some enamel damage. Although damaged, the missing piece of blue enamel on one of the star arms shows a construction detail of the depth of the struck depression holding the enamel (champlevé), that is not evident on other examples.  




    Low-resolution photo of the 1st Class Order of Ismail breast star. The star is oriented incorrectly, the name Ismail and the central panel of the wreath indicate that the superior star arm is oriented toward the 7:00 position. The arm of the star with the damaged enamel should be oriented in the 5:00 position. This is a Lattes-made breast star, and the wreath configuration is that normally found on these pieces. The description gives the diameter of the star as approximately 8 cm and identifies its weight as 114.2 g. It identifies that there is enamel damage to one of the distal star arms (as is clear in the photo) and notes “minor damage to the green enamel”. The photos are not good enough resolution to see the damage to the enamel of the wreath.   




    Close-up photo of the damaged enamel of the arm that in correct orientation should be in the 5:00 position. Although a low-resolution image, it shows quite well the shallow depression (champlevé) of the star arm design that holds the blue enamel. This image also shows clearly (despite the low-resolution) the most common form of the engraving of the gold floral elements on the star arms. I have not seen photos of another example that shows the shallow depth of the champlevé as this photo does. 




    Low-resolution photo of the central boss with the name “Ismail” and the laurel wreath element. The star is oriented with a slight rotation to the upper left. As noted, the description states there is minor damage to the green enamel (of the wreath). However, the resolution of this photo is not good enough to tell where that damage is on this wreath. Is it some of the areas that show up as gray in this image (I.e., at the far right in the first panel to the right of the inferior panel of the wreath or on the user left wreath panel?). 




    Reverse of the Philip Serrall 1st Class Order of Ismail breast star. With the LATTES name correctly oriented, this is the correct orientation of the star. The 3 Egyptian silver hallmarks are visible on the central longer ray of the rightmost portion of the reverse of the embellishment. The Egyptian gold hallmarks are visible on the reverse of the gold star arm on the lower left (representing the arm in the 5:00 position on the obverse). This photo is not high enough resolution to read either of the date hallmarks. No hallmarks are visible on the tunic pin of this example. 




    Close-up image of the LATTES name on the reverse of the central boss. 




    Close-up of the reverse of this 1st Class Order of Ismail showing the placement of the 3 Egyptian gold hallmarks. The photo is not high-enough resolution to read the date hallmark (furthest to the viewers right), which also appears to have a light or incomplete punch. 

    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    • 4 weeks later...
    Posted (edited)

    Below is an illustration from the recently published Magdy Hanafy, 2023. Encyclopedia of Egyptian Protocol: Collars, Orders and Medals 1914-1953. Friends Group for Philately and Numismatics, Cairo. ISBN: 918-977-94-4509-0, page 122. I am not going to scan all the relevant images and data in this volume, but this photo of the component elements of the Order of Ismail adds some good information to this thread. 




    Hanafi also provides some information on J. Lattes (pp.342-343) and the Bichay family (pp. 344-347). He confirms that J. Lattes' first name was Job and that he and his brothers were Italian (M. M. Lattes and Bonayoto Lattes). Hanafi identifies the date they opened their business in Geneva as 1863. This contrasts with the date of 1860 on the front page of J. Lattes folding advertising card shown in 2 examples I first illustrated on this thread as the 1st photo in my post of 24 April, 2019 and in the 1st photo of my post of 4 March, 2020 (and in a few other posts discussing Lattes). He gives a date of 1883 for the founding of the Cairo shop, run by J. Lattes. He notes that "J. Lattes", was the shortened name used at an unspecified date after the early period of the Cairo business. Hanafi states that additional shops were opened in other areas of Egypt, but those locations are not identified. He gives a death date for Lattes as ca. 1930 (pg. 344). Although one auction listing claimed that J. Lattes was awarded an unspecified class of the Order of the Nile, Hanafi makes no mention of such an honor.


    Hanafi writes that Tewfik Bichay (Tewfiq Bishay) started working at Maison Lattes at the age of 18 and took over the atelier after Lattes' death. Bichay died in 1948 and his sons Fahmy, Francis, and Sadeq took over the workshop. Pieces were principally marked with Fahmy Bichay's name. Francis died in 1956. Fahmy emigrated to Canada in 1962. Hanafi states that Fahmy Tewfiq Bichay retired from active work by the mid 1980s and died in 2003. In 1986 the principal workshop at 40 Talaat Harb St., Cairo was taken over by Shawki Shehata Ishaq but remained under Tewfik Bichay's name to the present day. Both Fahmy and Francis were awarded the 3rd Class Order of Industry and Commerce on 6 May, 1951. 



    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    Rusty, Thank you for sharing this information.  Hanafy's Lattes/Bichay chronology tracks well with what you have developed.  Does Hanafy provide additional sources for his statements [business registrations, tax documents, etc.]?  

    Cheers, EJ

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    Howdy EJ, thanks for the question about documentation. Unfortunately no, and no footnotes or general references to track the sources. Below is the material on Lattes in: Magdy Hanafy, 2023. Encyclopedia of Egyptian Protocol: Collars, Orders and Medals 1914-1953. Friends Group for Philately and Numismatics, Cairo. pp. 342-343. This small portion of the recent Hanafy volume is reproduced solely for research purposes. This is probably a copyrighted work.






    Below is the Hanafy discussion of the Bichay family: Magdy Hanafy, 2023. Encyclopedia of Egyptian Protocol: Collars, Orders and Medals 1914-1953. Friends Group for Philately and Numismatics, Cairo. pp. 342-343, again for research purposes only. .









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    • 4 weeks later...

    I recently saw that the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in the US has completed conservation efforts on the 1st Class Grand Cordon set of the Order of Ismail in their collection. I illustrated this set in the first 8 photos of my post of 19 November, 2022. Among the many good things about this, the sash has been removed from its formerly stapled position on what was likely non-acid free backing. This was part of a general conservation effort made for all the Grand Cross Orders in the Museum collection (Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection, Grand Cross Orders of Knighthood), removing staples from all of the sashes that had been so rudely prepared previously. 







    The above 3 images are the moderate-resolution photos on the new NMAH website  listing of this holding (https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/nmah_963004). These images can be enlarged for some additional details, however, those below are much higher-resolution. All images in this post can be used for personal research, but not for publication without permission of the NMAH (©National Museum of American History). During the photographic documentation of these objects, the NMAH staff gave the items slightly new catalogue numbers. 67.94487a identifies the sash and sash badge and 67.94487b is assigned to the breast star. As noted in my original 19 November, 2022 post, the assay date hallmarks on both the sash badge and breast star are “A” for 1925-1926. Currently, the recipient of this award is still unknown. 


    Below are the high-resolution photos I was just sent from the NMAH staff. They provide much greater detail than the above photos. These images may be used for personal research, but again not for any publications or commercial use.



    High-resolution image of the NMAH sash & sash badge (Catalogue number 67.94487a) and breast star (Catalogue numbers 67.94487b). This image can be zoomed for significantly greater detail than the first illustration in this post. 




    High-resolution image of the NMAH sash & sash badge (Catalogue number 67.94487a) showing the obverse of the sash badge. 




    High-resolution image of the NMAH sash & sash badge (Catalogue number 67.94487a) showing the reverse of the sash badge. This image can be zoomed to see the 3 Egyptian gold hallmarks including the "A" assay date mark.



    High-resolution image of the obverse of the NMAH breast star (Catalogue number 67.94487b). This can be zoomed for greater detail. This image is higher-resolution (and has better lighting) than the obverse photo of this badge shown as the 1st photo in my post of 19 November, 2022. Note that after the recent curation efforts, whatever the reddish material is around the central boss with the "Ismail" inscription has not been cleaned off. 




    High-resolution image of the reverse of the NMAH breast star (Catalogue number 67.94487b). This can be zoomed for greater detail. This photo is higher-resolution than the obverse illustration of this breast star shown in the 2nd and 3rd images in my post of 19 November, 2022. The lighting and resolution does not show clearly the date hallmark on either the silver embellishment (on the central ray of the embellishment in the ~4:00 position) or the gold date hallmark on the left upper arm (in the ~ 9:30 position). The gold date hallmark "A" is clearly shown in the close-up image provided by the NMAH staff photographer as the 4th image in my post of 19 November, 2023. 



    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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