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    Miniatures of the Middle East & Arab World


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    Further to discussion on another thread concerning miniatures of the Egyptian Order of Ismail I was asked about other Arabic miniatures. Accordingly I detail below an article I wrote some years ago and which was published in the then Broadsheet of the Miniature Medals Branch of the OMRS. Please feel free to add to add, amend and of course correct as necessary.

    Kind regards,


    Miniatures of the Middle East & Arab World


    Owain Raw-Rees,

    Miniature Branch Member No. 65,

    OMSA No. 4978, OMRS No. 3088


    I have been for a number of years a member of the Miniature Society and whilst having had a number of articles published in both the Orders and Medals Research Society Journal and the Journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America I have yet to submit any draft to the Miniature Medals Branch Journal. To be honest I do not even collect miniatures, but was encouraged to join the Branch by my late friend Henry Rye. I specialise in the full size awards of the Arab world and over the years, by default, have acquired a number of miniatures or have found references to such. Accordingly I would like to take this opportunity to provide a brief overview of such awards.


    In ascertaining whether there are miniature awards applicable to any particular country there are to be two key deciding factors:


    1. Whether British military personnel have served in a particular area? For example during the Gulf War, or have been on secondment such as to the Trucial Oman Scouts, or on loan service such as to the Sultan of Oman’s Forces. In the event that British military personnel received full-size awards corresponding miniature awards will have been manufactured. Incidentally during my time in the Middle East I have no evidence of any of the local military forces wearing miniatures. Indeed in most instances there are very few occasions when the various Arab forces even wear full size medals.

    2. Which company has manufactured the awards? Usually, if of European manufacture, it is reasonable to assume that at least some of the senior orders have also been manufactured in miniature.


      Listed below, in alphabetical order, is a brief review of each country.



    Prior to independence French awards were issued and thus miniatures are of a French design. The post independence awards, headed by the National Order of Merit, are little known and I do not believe that any miniatures have been manufactured.



    Until recently all awards were made by Spink and thus miniatures should be available of most awards and examples have been seen of the following Orders - Sheikh Issa, Bahrain, Achievement and the Military Service.



    Whilst a French colony the senior Orders of the Star of Comoro and Star of Anjouan were awarded to French personnel and miniatures are known. A series of post independence awards has been instituted but as of writing I have no evidence of any miniatures.



    Under French control the Sultanate of Tadjouorah instituted the Order of Al Anouar which was awarded mainly to French officers and officials and thus miniatures are not uncommon. Following independence the Djibouti has instituted its own series of awards, the senior of which is the National Order of the Great Djibouti Star. These awards are of French manufacture and awards have been made to French military personnel so it is reasonable to assume that miniatures do exist.



    British involvement in Egypt is well known and the first miniatures date back to the Khedivate with the Khedives Star of 1882-1891 – see Dennis Poole’s article in Broadsheet No. 41. The next miniature was the Khedives Sudan Medal of 1896-1908 and its subsequent issue. Miniatures should to exist of all of the main awards from the period of the monarchy - the most common being the Order of the Nile. Miniatures of the senior Order of Mohammed Ali are also known. Other miniatures include the Medal for Meritorious Acts and of Devotion, the Order of the Felaha (Agriculture) and the 1947 Cholera Medal. Royal Egyptian awards were made initially by J.Lattes and then Tewfiq Bichay - both of Cairo. (Examples of the Order of Ismail manufactured by Gardino of Rome are also known.) After the 1952 Revolution the first order instituted was the Order of Independence, since obsolete, and miniatures of this order are known to exist. Bichay also manufactured miniatures of other Republican orders and medals and such as the Order of Sport and the medal Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Egyptian Air Force.


    Federation of South Arabia

    The short existence of the awards of the F.S.A. limited their distribution and whilst a number of British personnel received appointment to the Order of the Hero of South Arabia I have no evidence that Spink, the manufacturer of the F.S.A. awards ever made any miniatures.



    During the First World War a number of British personnel were awarded the Order of Renaissance. As this was a locally manufactured award any miniatures would have been obtained in the U.K. and such miniatures appear to be of a similar design to the Order as redesigned as a Jordanian award. (Subsequent research shows both Hijazi and Jordanian issues in miniature.) Examples are known of miniatures of the only two Hijazi medals – Independence and Ma’an, although I have no evidence that any were awarded to British personnel.



    During the period of the monarchy many British personnel were recipients of the Order of the Rafidain and the Active Service Medal and miniatures of these awards are plentiful. Miniatures also exist of the scarcely awarded Gallantry Medal – please refer to Roger Colbourne’s article in Broadsheet No.48. Miniatures also exist of the Iraqi 1939-45 and Victory medals. All of these miniatures appear to be of British manufacture. Garrard is known to have manufactured some of the royal Iraqi awards. By the reign of King Faisal II most Iraqi awards were made by Huguenin of Le Locle, Switzerland. Huguenin retained the contract for Iraqi awards after the 1958 Revolution and continued making Iraqi medals until at least the mid 1970’s. I have no evidence of any miniatures from the Republican period. (Subsequent research shows a large series of miniature Republican miniatures.)



    As mentioned above the Hijaz orders of Renaissance and Independence became Jordanian awards and with the institution of the Order of the Star a number of these awards have been issued to British personnel over the years. The awards have been manufactured by various companies, including the London Goldsmiths & Silversmoths Company Ltd., Garrard, Bertrand of Paris and the Egyptian firm of Bichay of Cairo and it appears that miniatures exist of all the European manufactured awards. Miniatures also exist of a number of the Jordanian medals with examples known of the following: Order of Military Gallantry, 1941 Campaign, 1939-45 War, 1948 War, and Long Service Medals.



    The Order of Kuwait was manufactured initially by the Kuwait Gold and Silver Company and after the Gulf War by Garrard – I have not come across any miniatures of this award. With regard to other Kuwaiti awards miniatures do exist of the Order of National Defence, the Military Duty and Military Service medals. These awards were manufactured by Spink and examples are also known by Bertoni of Milan in Italy. Of course the most well known Kuwait award is the Order of the Liberation of Kuwait and I have seen examples of the three junior classes in miniature. The official issue of these classes in full size appear to have been manufactured in the Far East.



    Of the senior Lebanese orders the most commonplace are those of Merit and the Cedar and the bulk of these orders appear to have been manufactured either by Bertrand, Bichay or Huguenin and miniatures of both orders exist. (Subsequent research has seen miniature issues of most Lebanese awards.) 



    The first series of awards were instituted by King Idris in the 1950’s and consisted of three orders and two medals. These were manufactured by Bichay and whilst I have no evidence that any miniatures of the orders were manufactured I have seen an example of the medal of Mohammed Al Mokhtar in miniature. With the overthrow of the monarchy Colonel Qaddafi has over the years instituted various medals manufactured by Bichay, Bomisa of Milan, Italy and also the IKOM the State Mint in Zagreb, Yugoslavia – none of these appear to have been made in miniature form. (Subsequent research has seen miniature issues of the Order of the Great Victory.) 



    Whilst under French influence the Orders of Hafidien and Alouite, were awarded to many French military personnel and these awards in miniature are not difficult to find. Following independence a number of orders were instituted - and these orders along with various medals were made by Bertrand – e.g. the Orders of Interior, Merit, Star and Throne and miniatures do exist.



    With the long history of British involvement in Oman and the manufacture of the majority of Omani awards by Spink miniatures of almost all Omani awards appear to exist. The only non-British manufactured medal is that commemorating the 25th anniversary of the accession of Sultan Qaboos, which was made by Huguenin, and I have no evidence as of writing as to whether a miniature of this award exists. The miniatures of the Omani Police Force are dealt with in Colin Hole’s article in Broadsheet No. 68.



    Following the institution of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat has instituted two awards – the Order of Sacred Jerusalem and of Bethlehem 2000. These both appear to be single class neck badges and I have no evidence of any miniatures. (Subsequent issues of recent Palestinian State Awards have miniatures.)



    The primary Orders of Qatar – of Independence and Merit, have been made by Bertrand, and the cased insignia do not include miniatures. With regard to the medals, to date, two series of awards have been manufactured by Spink but never distributed and no miniatures of these series have been made.


    Qu’aiti Sultanate in Hadhramaut

    This Sultanate from 1948 to 1967 awarded two medals - the Order of Distinction and the Order of Merit. These were manufactured by the Royal Mint and were awarded in a number of instances to the British Military Resident Advisor. I have yet to see either of these awards in miniature but do believe that they exist. (Subsequent research shows miniatures manufactured.)


    Saudi Arabia

    A limited series of awards was instituted in the 1950’s and manufactured by Bichay – miniature examples so the Order of Abdulaziz are known. With the accession of King Faisal this series became obsolete and only in the early 1970’s was a new series of awards instituted. The Order of Abdulaziz and Faisal both are manufactured by Bertrand and whilst the presentation cases do not include miniatures many awards of the former were made to coalition personnel after the Gulf War and I would believe that some of the recipients may have had miniatures made. The most common Saudi award is the Liberation of Kuwait Medal of which miniatures are plentiful. The full size award was initially manufactured by Spink and Huguenin, with later varieties made by Graco of Texas, USA. Of the other Saudi medals - for Merit and the medals for the Army, Air Force and Navy these are manufactured by Bertrand and no miniatures appear to exist. A later series of awards has been instituted, 10 out of 12, have been manufactured by Fattorini of Brmingham and one each by Spink and Huguenin. The initial proof sets included miniatures however the mass production does not appear to have included miniatures. Spink manufactured the Combat Medal and a number of miniatures have been seen. Also seen is a miniature of the Saudi Military Management Medal



    The only Somali Order is that of the Somali Star. This was made by Gardino of Rome, and the presentation cases often include a miniature. There are a number of Somali medals and whilst also of Italian manufacture, I have no evidence that any miniatures were manufactured although I have seen a small 27mm diameter version of the 1960 Independence Medal.



    The situation here is similar to Lebanon. Of the senior Syrian Orders the most common place are those of Devotion and Civil Merit and whilst examples are known by Bichay, the bulk of these orders appear to have been manufactured either by Bertrand or Huguenin and miniatures of both orders exist. I have not seen any miniatures of any of the Syrian medal series.



    Prior to independence there was a series of four medals awarded to the Sudan Defence Force and a number of these medals would have been awarded to British personnel. Following independence various series of Sudanese awards were instituted – initially for the Republic of Sudan and latterly for the Democratic Republic of Sudan. Awards were made by Garrard and Spink and miniatures do exist of the senior Orders of the Two Niles and of the Republic. Miniatures are also known of the Order of Regional Government and the Star of Military Accomplishment.



    Whilst under French influence the Order of Glory - the central monogram of which changed with each ruler, was awarded to many French military personnel and the award in miniature is not difficult to find. Early pieces appear to have been made in Paris by such firms as Boulanger, Dupetitbosq and Fayole. Following independence a number of orders were instituted - initially the Order of Independence and the Order of the Republic. These orders along with various medals were made by Bertrand and whilst I have not seen any miniatures I suspect that examples do exist.


    United Arab Emirates

    Until recently all of the awards of the U.A.E. and its constituent parts were manufactured by Spink and a number of such awards were made to British military personnel and miniatures are not uncommon. The include the earliest medal for this region being the Loyal Service Medal of the Trucial Oman Scouts - four British officers were awarded this medal – please refer to Colin Hole’s article in Broadsheet No. 43. Miniatures are also known of the Abu Dhabi Defence Force Inauguration, Police Accession and Defence Force Service Medals, the Dubai Defence Force Service Medal, and also of the U.A.E. Armed Forces Amalgamation Medal and 1976 Lebanon Peace Keeping Force Medal. Of the modern series of U.A.E. awards I have no evidence that miniatures have been manufactured and the same applies to the separate series of awards for the Ministry of the Interior, Dubai Police and Sharjah Police – these three series have been made by Fattorini of Birmingham. Finally there is the Order of the Tower of Qassimi being the sole award of Ras Al Khaima – manufactured by Spink and the presentation case of the order does include a miniature.


    Yemen Arab Republic, and Republic of Yemen.

    A series of awards were initially manufactured in 1964 by Bichay but no miniatures are known, with the exception of a miniature star the Order of Mercy. This series became obsolete and a new series was made by Skinner of Bond Street, London. Skinner manufactured a number of the orders with miniatures and examples are known of the Orders of the Republic, Ma’areb, Justice, Seventy and 26 September. With regard to the lesser awards no miniatures were manufactured. With the unification of north and south Yemen in 1992 the awards of the Y.A.R. and P.D.R.Y. were to some degree merged into the new awards system of the Republic of Yemen. I have no evidence that miniatures of the new series, which I believe of be of German manufacture, exist. Whilst not miniatures in the normal sense the presentation cases of the Orders of the Hero of Yemen and War Wounded do include miniature pin-back versions of the full size awards.


    Yemen – People’s Democratic Republic

    No known miniatures of the awards if the PDRY appear to exist and the design of the full size awards follows an eastern European / Soviet style, with manufacture by the State Mints of Berlin, Budapest and Moscow.



    The most often seen order is that of the Brilliant Star - a number of British officers received this award over the years and miniatures are not uncommon. Examples are also seen of the Order of the Alijeh. It is believed that the majority of early awards were made by the London firm of Elkington & Co. Miniatures also exist of the 1896 Zanzibar Service Medal - see Dennis Poole’s article in Broadsheet No. 34, and also of the 1936 Jubilee Medal.


    The above is but a brief overview and I am sure that there are unrecorded miniatures awaiting discovery and no doubt many variations of the various miniatures referred to. I have not included a bibliography for this article as no specific reference exists but I have noted in the text where specific articles in the Broadsheet have dealt with a number of Arab miniatures. Much of the information given above is the result of a number of years of collecting and observation. I would especially thank Ivor Bush for the opportunity over the years to view his medal collection, which contains a number of Arab miniatures. Some of these have been photographed and are illustrated with this article. I hope that the article does give an insight, however slight, into a most interesting aspect of our hobby.


    Owain Raw-Rees,

    June 2003,

    Riyadh, K.S.A.


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    Many thanks for responding to my inquiry with this post. This is another fascinating facet to learning about these awards and medals. Your expertise is greatly appreciated in helping my inquiries about the Order of Ismail and the Mixed Courts/Native Courts judges badges, and making this such an interesting website for research on a broad array of awards. 


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    I have posted some of my limited information on miniatures of the Egyptian Order of Ismail on my other thread about this order, and apologize for duplicating that information here. However, this information follows the topic of Owain's post and may find more parties interested in miniatures more readily on this thread. 

    Below are images and the information I've come across on possible miniatures for this order. 


    Probable authentic miniature order of Ismail, 30 x 20 mm, identified on the La Galerie Numismatique website as as "Knight's Cross" which should probably be the Officers' breast badge if it is the 4th Class. However, without the correct ribbon identification devices for the class that Owain mentions, it may not be possible to identify these miniatures to the class they belonged. I have seen 2 other images of this miniature on auction sites and one on Picssr that is part of a private collection. Note that all other images of  this miniature I have seen have the Khedive crown for suspension-the example below from the Spink & Son December 4 auction resembles the workmanship and abbreviated design elements of this example, but lacks this Khedive crown. This is the only form of the miniature I have seen with "accurate" details of the insignia. (https://www.coins-la-galerie-numismatique.com/auction-33/order-ismail-1)


    Possible authentic miniatures of the Order of Ismail, Class unknown. The badge on the R resembles the miniature badge above from La Galerie Numismatique and other lower resolution photos I have seen of this miniature (except for the lack of the Khedive crown for suspension present on all other similar miniatures). I have never seen other images of the star (L) before. If I understand correctly, Owain commented in my thread on the Order of Ismail on 5 December that such pairs might be unusual (suspect?) as only the badge is normally the insignia for the miniature. The badge form similar to the image on the R (also see full-sized award examples below) is used for all classes of the Order of Ismail insignia except the Commander (3rd Class) that only uses the neck badge with the star "resembling" the miniature on the L (again see the full-sized award example below). Could the star be the miniature for the 3rd Class award? Or is that in contradiction with Owain's knowledge that a single insignia is used for all miniatures with ribbon device distinctions to identify the class of orders? The workmanship and design elements of the star are much less correct than those of the badge. The star has proportion problems compared to the authentic larger sash (Grand Cordon, 1st Class) or neck badges (Grand Officer and Commander, 2nd & 3rd Classes) of this configuration  (star too small & crown too large), and very poor workmanship shown in the enamel of the star's rays, no enamel coloring of the wreath around the central boss, a "gold" center with incorrect enamel distribution, an awkwardly rendered cipher, and no enamel colors on the crown, etc. Star with crown = 20 mm; The badge measures = 13 mm x 22mm. Materials identified for both as silver gilt and enamel. No manufacturer identified. Lot 267 of Spink & Son auction of 4 December, 2017. Manufacturer unknown. (ttps://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/spink/catalogue-id-srspi10156/lot-bb1a7884-22e6-4504-97db-a83200bb0ca9)


    Alleged miniature of the Order of Ismail. Extremely incorrect configuration. This example also violates Owain's position that a single insignia normally represents the miniature for an Order. Identified as silver-gilt, stamped, with cabochon in center (instead of enameled boss bearing the inscription "ISMAIL"). The reverse is stamped with the silver grades as "925". 25 mm including the crown suspension X 16 mm. No manufacturer identified. Lot 140 of an auction by Spink & Son, 4 December, 2017. (https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/spink/catalogue-id-srspi10156/lot-bd1c4e4c-7dc1-4560-a3c7-a83200ba36e7)


    Alleged miniature star (although not described as such on the website) identified as the 3rd Class Commander of the Order of Ismail. As noted for the first & second images, without the ribbon designation it is problematic to determine a class for this possible miniature. The ribbon also appears problematic for a miniature. There are several differences in the design of this star compared with full-sized authentic pieces. The same comment about whether the miniature badge would be one insignia (the form of the badge seen in the first photo here) mentioned before is relevant here. No dimensions provided, no information on any maker's mark, ribbon is identified as "original". This image is from a website that has these medals "in stock" and is pricing them at 1,500€ (https://www.falera-et-orbis.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=345)


    Inexpensive alleged miniature of the Order of Ismail available on eBay. Materials identified as copper, brass, gilt. size not identified, date of manufacture is 2015. No markings on the reverse. Price range identified between $22-$26, from Ukraine. Surprisingly better details than some other more expensive online offerings, but was a star ever the insignia of the miniature for this Order? (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Miniature-for-Order-of-Ismail-Kingdom-of-Egypt/302536806062?hash=item4670994eae:g:LUsAAOSwVCRZdMBd) 


    For comparison with the miniatures above, this is the full-sized insignia of the Grand Officer (2nd Class) of the Order of Ismail showing the 2 insignia used for each of the four classes of this Order. The star above is the neck badge worn on a ribbon, the chest badge below is worn on the right side. For the 1st Class (Grand Cordon) the star is attached to the decorative bow on the sash and the chest badge is worn on the left. The insignia for the 3rd Class (Commander) is the smaller star worn as a neck badge. The 4th Class (Officer) badge resembles the lower badge in the above photo and is suspended on a ribbon with a rosette using the same Khedive crown ornament as seen on the smaller star, and is worn on the left side. The Officer's badge is smaller than other versions of the insignia, but I have not yet found its dimensions. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelisli/8844318688)

    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    Dear Rusty Greaves,

    With regard to the miniature displayed with the small red stone (or cabochon) this is a miniature of the Order of the Star of Ethiopia although poorly executed as the lower arms of this star should be conjoined. The cross on the suspension crown 'gives it away'. Early examples of the full size in the lower grades has such stars but I have only seen this once seen such in the miniatures and on a higher grade.



    Ethiopia Star Miniature Obv Detail.jpg

    Najaf Miniatures.jpg

    Ethiopia Star Miniatures Radman Detail.jpg

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    Owain, thanks for illustrating these miniatures. I am interested to see your example of the Order of Ismail with the Khedive crown showing a slightly variant form in its attachment to the body of the miniature badge than the example I illustrated at the top of my 6 December post. Is the dark spot on the ribbon wear/staining or do you think there may have been a device attached to identify the class of the Order for this miniature? 

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    This is an illustration of the only other probably authentic miniature example I have found a photo of on the internet. 


    Probable authentic miniature of the Order of Ismail, Class unknown. This example shows a different form of the attachment between the body of the badge and the Khedive crown for suspension from the first miniature I illustrated on 6 December. I enlarged the image of Owain's example in the miniature group shown above today, and that also appears to show a slight variation from this example in the configuration the crown support. Just trying to document some of the variations among authentic examples of the miniature for this order. Owain, is yours slightly different from this one and is there any maker's mark on your example? (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kelisli/3052094604)


    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    Thanks for illustrating the reverse of the Khedive era miniatures and the the Republic awards. The reverse of the Order of Ismail miniature does show better the horizontal bar on the suspension element below the crown that is distinct from the examples I have illustrated on 6 December and yesterday. 

    Are you excited by the return of commercial cinemas in the coming year? 

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    On 12/11/2017 at 17:37, oamotme said:

    A nice selection - Iran, Jordan, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Egypt x 2, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon & Syria again.

    I detail below some Egyptian Monarchy miniatures.




    What are the two medals in the bottom row with the Green-White and Green ribbons with King Farouk's portrait? I don't think I've seen them before. Beautiful collection by the way!

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    Owain published an article in JOMSA, Volume 56, Number 2 pp 33-36 describing these two medals and information on the service ‘campaigns’ they represent.  You may find it online at: http://www.omsa.org/files/jomsa_arch/Splits/2005/58836_JOMSA_Vol56_2_34.pdf and http://www.omsa.org/files/jomsa_arch/Splits/2005/672153_JOMSA_Vol56_2_37.pdf.

    The one with crown suspension & green/white ribbon is the 1945 Malaria Medal.  The other with green ribbon is the Cholera Medal of 1947.   Both recognized service during these two major nation-wide health challenges.  Somewhere I may still have an Egyptian miniature group which includes them.  I am unable to find these medals listed in an official order of precedence or an Egyptian Gazette citation instituting/concerning them.   

    Edited by 922F
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    • 1 month later...

    I want to contribute a few images that show miniature designs in some detail for a couple of the Egyptian Republic medal miniatures that have been illustrated in this thread. The two miniature medals I have found pretty good images for are the Silver Anniversary of the Air Force and the Order of Sport. I'm sure many of you are very familiar with the designs, but I thought it would be useful to show them in better detail in this thread that Owain has dedicated to such miniatures. On 10 December, 2017 922f illustrated a miniature of the Silver Anniversary of the Air Force at the extreme right. Owain also has illustrated this miniature in his post of 12, December, 2017 in his second photo of a medal group as the medal second from the right. Below are a couple of images of this miniature from eMedals alongside a miniature of the Order of Sport. I've also posted photos of the full-sized awards to show their designs more clearly. 


    Image from eMedals of two Egyptian Republic miniatures. The medal on the left is identified on the auction website as the "Order of Air Force Mertit", but it is actually the Silver Anniversary of the Air Force medal. It is described as made of silver gilt and green enamel. measuring 19.5 x 20.3 mm. On the right is a miniature of the Medal of Sport. This medal is silver gilt with red, green, blue & white enamel, measuring 18 x 18.8 mm. (https://www.emedals.com/two-egyptian-miniature-orders)


    Close-up of the obverse of the Egyptian Republic medals for the Silver Anniversary of the Air Force medal (L) and the Order of Sport (R). (https://www.emedals.com/two-egyptian-miniature-orders)


    View of the reverse of the two Egyptian Republic miniature medals for the Silver Anniversary of the Air Force medal (L) and the Order of Sport (R). (https://www.emedals.com/two-egyptian-miniature-orders)


    Image of the obverse of a full-size Egyptian Republic - Silver Anniversary of the Air Force medal from a post by heusy68 on 27 June, 2010 in thread on Egypt: Unknown medal on Naguib started by ChrisW 23 on June, 2010 in Middle East & Arab States. This is the only image I have found of the full-sized version of this medal. heusy68 also notes this is the only photo he had of this medal. (http://gmic.co.uk/topic/44412-egypt-unknown-medal-on-naguib/)

    The Egyptian Republic Order of Sport also is illustrated on this thread on miniatures by Owain in his 12 December, 2017 post in the second photo. It is the medal third from the right without a ribbon. Below are illustrations of the 3 Classes of the full-size Order of Sport medals. 


    Image from eMedals of the full-size Egyptian Republic Order of Sport 1st Class medal. Made by Tewfick Bichay of Cairo, measuring 69 mm (https://www.emedals.com/an-egyptian-order-of-sport-first-class-by-bichay-of-cairo)


    Image from eMedals of the full-size Egyptian Republic Order of Sport 2nd Class medal. Made by Tewfick Bichay of Cairo, silver gilt & enamels, measuring 59 mm. The only design difference from the 1st class award appears to be the lack of the Republican Eagle on the 5 interlocked circles on the suspension construction. (https://www.emedals.com/an-egyptian-order-of-sport-by-bichay-of-cairo)


    Image from eMedals of the full-size Egyptian Republic Order of Sport 3rd Class medal. Silver gilt & enamels, measuring 65 mm. The design differences from the 1st & 2nd classes include a lack of the the lack of  the 5 interlocked circles on the suspension construction (and no Republican eagle), the central enameled boss is green rather than red, it looks as though there are some metal finish differences using silver rather than gold: there is a silver margin to the boss rather, silver script on the boss, and silver for the 5 interlocking rings on the enameled round border (can't tell the color of the torches). (https://www.emedals.com/a-scarce-egyptian-sports-order-commander-s-badge)

    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    Owain has identified some Egyptian miniatures that are quite well-known in his introduction to this thread. In the spirit of this thread's focus on miniatures, I wanted to provide a few more detailed illustrations of the miniatures of the Egyptian Order of the Nile. Owain has illustrated an example of the miniature of the Kingdom of Egypt form of the Order of the Nile (this order did continue to be awarded following the revolution) on his post of 11 December 2017 in this thread, it is the miniature medal on the far right of the upper row. An apparently even smaller miniature of this medal is shown as part of the two minis on a bar (second from the left)  on the on the second row of this same photo from 11 December. The reverse of both of these miniature medals are shown in the first photo in Owain's post of 12 December 2017 of this thread (upper row far right; lower row leftmost medal of the bar of two medals). I have found a pretty good image of a miniature of the Order of the Nile (4th Class, Officer) that shows some of the design differences in the miniature compared with the full-sized award. The primary distinction is the abbreviated elaboration of the motto on the central boss, because this feature is so much smaller on the miniature. As with my previous posts, I also am including images of the full-sized award to highlight the different design aspects of the miniature. 


    Image from Medal-Medaille auction website of a miniature of the 4th Class, Officer, award of the Order of the Nile. The miniature is silver gilt with white & blue enamel, measures 21.44 mm in diameter, and has a rosette on the original ribbon. This example predates 1952 (apparent because of the Khedive crown as part of the suspension). (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=499_389&products_id=8337)


    Closer view of the miniature medal for the Order of the Nile, 4th Class, Officer. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=499_389&products_id=8337)


    Close-up view of the obverse design of the miniature of the Order of the Nile (4th Class, Officer) showing the less elaborate script on the central boss than on the full-sized medal. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=499_389&products_id=8337)


    Image of the reverse of the miniature Order of the Nile 4th Class, Officer, medal. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=499_389&products_id=8337)


    Image from eMedals of a Khedive era full-size medal of the Order of the Nile, 4th Class, Officer, showing the more elaborate enameled script in the central boss. Silver gilt, enamel, 53 mm wide x 74.5 mm (including the crown suspension), original ribbon has a rosette, made by Lattes. (https://www.emedals.com/egypt-order-of-the-nile-nishan-al-nil-w0310)


    Image from Sixbid.com of the Order of the Nile 3rd Class, Commander, showing the more elaborate enameled motto on the central boss compared with the miniature of this medal. (https://www.sixbid.com/browse.html?auction=4040&category=106479&lot=3341984)


    Image from eMedals of the sash badge & sash and the chest badge for the Kingdom of Egypt Order of the Nile, 1st Class, Grand Cordon, also illustrating the more elaborate script enameled on  the central boss. Sash badge (L) = 63 mm wide x 93 mm in vertical dimension. Chest badge measures 95 mm wide x 96 mm in vertical dimension. Silver gilt, white and blue enamel. Approximately from 1940, made by Lattes.  (https://www.emedals.com/egypt-kingdom-an-order-of-nishan-al-nil-grand-cordon-by-lattes-of-cairo-c-1940)

    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    Several decades ago I met a chap who collected enamelled European orders 'becuase they look so nice' and kept them in an old medecin cabinet, velvet lined and with the mirror replaced by clear glass, which hung on his livingroom wall. 

    These are 'pretty' enough to earn the same treatment, aside from their historical and numismatic interest and value! Gorgeous, Rusty. 

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    • 2 weeks later...


    You illustrated and discussed the gold (obverse) & silver (reverse) versions of the Order of Muhammad Ali medals on 24 January, 2016 in the thread "Kingdom of Egypt (1922-1953)" started by Egyptian Zogist on 30 October, 2015 in this section Middle East & Arab States. Are these considered the miniatures of the Order of Muhammad Ali awards? Do these 2 medals represent the 2 lowest classes of the award? I have seen these medals identified as "miniatures", but I am uncertain whether that is correct or if there may be other miniatures that use the more elaborate medal designs of the Grand Cordon or Commander classes for this Order?

    Most of the images of these medals that I can find on the internet are relatively low resolution, the following two are better quality, showing only the obverse.



    Image from eBay of a Player's Cigarettes' card image of the obverse of the gold version of the medal for the Order of Muhammed Ali, showing good detail of this medal. From a series of 90 cards depicting military medals and orders from the world. This set of cards was printed in 1927, issued by John Player & Sons Branch of the Imperial Tobacco co. of Great Britain and Ireland, Ltd. (https://www.ebay.ie/itm/82-The-Medal-of-the-Order-of-Mohammed-Ali-Egyp-War-Decorations-Medals-Card-/401310801054?hash=item5d6ffcdc9e)


    Photographic image from the World Awards.com website showing fair detail of the obverse of a silver versions of the Order of Muhammed Ali medal. (from: https://wawards.org/en/egypt/kingdom-of-egypt/order-of-muhammad-ali.html)

    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    Here are a couple additional images of miniatures for the Order of the Nile that are slightly different from the example illustrated above on 24 January.


    Image from eMedals of the obverse of a pair of miniature, including the Order of the Nile, next to a British OBE award. The Order of the Nile mini measures 21 x 31 mm and is silver gilt. Although not identified to class, the rosette indicates it is the Officer, 4th Class miniature. No manufacturer is identified for this piece. (eMedals: https://www.emedals.com/europe/great-britain/orders-decorations/order-of-the-british-empire/a-british-egyptian-miniature-pair-gb2692)


    Image of the reverse of the same pair of miniatures, Order of the Nile on the left. (eMedals: https://www.emedals.com/europe/great-britain/orders-decorations/order-of-the-british-empire/a-british-egyptian-miniature-pair-gb2692)


    Oblique image from eMedals of the obverse of the same pair of miniatures, showing additional details of the Order of the Nile miniature. (eMedals: https://www.emedals.com/europe/great-britain/orders-decorations/order-of-the-british-empire/a-british-egyptian-miniature-pair-gb2692)


    Image from Medal-Medaille of a set of the Order of the Nile, Officer, 4th Class full-size and miniature. Silver with white & blue enamel. Both the full-size and miniature are signed by the manufacturer "LATTES". The case label reads: "J.LATTES, FOURNISSEUR DE S.M. Le ROI D’EGYPTE & DE L’ÉTAT, LE CAIRE’" according to the description for this auction listing. Measurements are not given for either medal. The Medal-Medaille description includes the following translation of the inscription on the central boss of the full-sized award as: "What benefits Egypt owes to the Nile, her source of prosperity and happiness". This example  possibly dates to the 1930s or early 1940s. The Medal-Medaille description states that: "Early examples of the order are made by 'A.Lattes'; and late royal examples by 'Maison Lattes, J. Weinber & Co.' with an Arabic inscription to the interior of the case. The presence of the words ‘& DE L’ÉTAT’ suggest this example is towards the end of the ‘J. Lattes’ period." (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=498_39&products_id=35)


    Image of the same Officer Class Order of the NIle within the presentation case. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=498_39&products_id=35)


    Obverse (left) view of the miniature Order of the Nile and reverse views (right) of both the full-size and miniature of this set. Note that the inscription in the central boss of the miniature is different from that shown on the example above and from that illustrated on 24 January from Medal-Medaille. The frame surrounding the central medallion also has a different configuration of the "ball" border motif from that the others as well. The other two miniatures are measured at 21.44 mm in diameter (Medal-Medaille example shown on 24 January) and 21 x 31 mm for the eMedals mini shown above here. Given that the 4th class award should be ~52-53 mm in diameter  and measure ~74.5 mm vertically including the crown suspension, this miniature appears to be approximately the same diameter as the other two minis.  The difference in the inscription is therefore unlikely to be due simply any difference in the size of the area of the central boss. However, it clearly is a different calligraphy than used on the other two minis (it is closer on this piece to that of the full-size examples) and has no inscription around the margin of this central medallion boss. (http://www.medal-medaille.com/sold/product_info.php?cPath=498_39&products_id=35)

    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    With regard to the medal of the Order of Mohammed Ali I detail below some of my notes:

    This Order was instituted on 14 April 1915 by Sultan Hussein Kamil and was the senior order of the Kingdom of Egypt. It is named after Mohammed Ali (1769-1849) who was regarded as the founder of modern Egypt and its royal house. The Regulations state,


    “Article 1. An Order is instituted which bears the name Order of Mohamed Ali, in memory of our illustrious ancestor the founder of our dynasty.”



    The Order, subject to various amendments, consisted in brief of:


      v  Collar.

      v  First Class or Grand Cordon - breast star worn left side, sash and sash badge.

      v  Second Class or Grand Officer - breast star worn right side and neck badge.

      v  Gold Medal.

      v  Silver Medal.


    The medals were the senior decorations for bravery for both army and navy. A circular style medal with a rim of sixteen alternating convex and pointed. The obverse centre the Arabic inscription, “Bravery is from self honour”. Below this is the Hegira date 1333, which corresponds with 1915. The reverse consists of a sword uppermost, a space, for the name of the recipient to be engraved and at the bottom the Arabic word “Egypt. Suspension is from a straight bar suspender. The ribbon is as for the neck badge of the order.

    I have not seen any miniatures of this award my self but attach the only image I have of a miniature of the silver medal.

    Kind regards,



    Egypt Mohamed Ali Medal Miniature.jpg

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    Owain, thanks for posting the additional information about the Order of Muhammed Ali and the photos of the obverse & reverse of the silver medal. I came across those same images on Colnect website (https://colnect.com/en/medals/medal/6631-Order_of_Muhammad_Ali_Silver_Medal-General_Issues-Egypt). Is that example a miniature of the silver medal? In your post of 24 January, 2016 on the Kingdom of Egypt (1922-1953) thread by Egyptian Zogist (30 October, 2015) you illustrated the reverse of a silver medal and the obverse of a gold medal - shown below:


    Image in post of 24 January, 2016 by Owain on the "Kingdom of Egypt (1922-1953)" GMIC  thread by Egyptian Zogist (started 30 October, 2015) illustrating the reverse of a silver medal (L) and the obverse of a gold medal (L). (http://gmic.co.uk/topic/66997-kingdom-of-egypt-1922-1953/)

    Below are illustrations of another miniature of the Order of the Nile from the a current auction on the UK eBay website (also paired with an OBE) that shows different configurations from a couple of the other examples illustrated here. This Order of the Nile miniature has a similar inscription & calligraphy to that in the 6th photo of my post of 12 January. It shows several differences in the configuration of the background star embellishment, border of the central medallion, the crown, and especially the suspension. This example closely resembles the medal from Owain's posted Kingdom of Egypt miniature group of 11 December, 2017 (upper row far right). The reverse of Owain's medal is shown in his post of 12 December, 2017 (also upper row far right, showing a different central boss or attachment on that reverse face). No descriptive information is provided on the eBay listing. 


    Obverse of a miniature of the Order of the Nile obverse (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MINIATURE-MEDALS-MEMBER-OF-THE-BRITISH-EMPIRE-EGYPT-ORDER-OF-THE-NILE-/202224760042)


    Reverse of the same miniature medal pair from eBay UK (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MINIATURE-MEDALS-MEMBER-OF-THE-BRITISH-EMPIRE-EGYPT-ORDER-OF-THE-NILE-/202224760042)

    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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    Good morning from Riyadh,

    Yes, a nice pair but my own bid was unsuccessful. Ah well, never mind. Presumably the pair was bestowed upon some manner of civilian administrator in the 1920's or thereabouts. I am assuming the Nile miniature was made in the UK as the Arabic, although recognisable as 'Al Nil' (The Nile), is not correct.

    I took the picture of the above gold and silver Mohammed Ali Medals from the display at the Abdine Palace in Cairo.

    Kind regards,


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    Some more miniatures. These were one of the many lots offered at the Spink auction in December 2017- with an estimate of between some GBP100-200.  I bid GBP500 thinking I would be in with a serious chance - they were knocked down at 800 or so - plus hammer almost GBP1,000 for nine minatures - surreal.

    They consist of

    1st Row:- Military Star of Sultan or King Foud (no image of the reverse to ascertain which version);  2 x Military Stars of the Republic (the first has the correct suspension as a bar/clasp on the ribbon and the second is missing its suspension);  Medal Commemorating the Eradication of the Gambiae Mosquito 1945.

    2nd Row:-  Military Medal of the Republic 2nd Class; Medal of Duty 2nd Class; Medal for Meritorious Acts 2nd Class; Medal Commemorating the Cholera Epidemic 1947" ; Khedive Abbas Hilmi's Bravery Medal 1913.

    .....and I only wanted the Fouad Military Star & Medal for Meritorious Acts.......next time, deo volente.



    Spink Egypt Miniatures December 2017.jpg

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    • 3 weeks later...

    I am curious whether a couple images in this thread show miniatures of the Republic of Egypt version of the Order of the Nile medal. In 922F's post of 10 December, 2017, is the medal 6th from the left (or right) a mini post-1953 Order of the Nile? Similarly, is the medal shown in the second photo, 3rd from the left of Owain's post of 12 December, 2017 also a Republic Order of the Nile mini? 

    Below is an image identified on the La Galerie Numismatique auction site as a miniature of the Republic of Egypt Order of the Nile. The imagery of the central design and the surrounding star of this piece seems quite a bit more detailed compared with the two medals in my question about 922f's and Owain's photos. It seems unlikely that the medal shown below is mistakenly identified as a miniature (dimensions = 25 x 20 mm), given the less detailed design compared with the full-sized medal shown in the second photo (and link to better World Awards images under that photo). If the above examples are the Order of the Nile, then why are they more abbreviated versions-just different manufacturers? 


    Miniature Order of the Nile from La Galerie Numismatique, silver partly gilt, and enamel 25 x 20 mm. It is described as a "Knights Cross Miniature (5th Class)". However, several sources (including Megan Robertson's Medals of the World website; as well as a post by Owain in his 17 September 2012 response to a thread titled "Egypt-New Collector-Order of the Nile", started by Moheb on 10 September 2012 here in the Middle East & Arab States section, that has some very useful information about variation in Egyptian manufacturers of the full-sized Kingdom of Egypt Order of the Nile and some design differences) indicate that the Republic of Egypt post-1953 version of this Order is probably only awarded as a Collar or Grand Cordon class. (https://www.coins-la-galerie-numismatique.com/online-shop/orders-medals/order-nile). The imagery is derived from ancient Egyptian depictions of the political/mythological unification of Upper & Lower Egypt (see third image below). 


    Image from Medals of the World (medals.org) of the obverse of the Republic of Egypt full-sized Order of the Nile, Grand Cordon star made by Tewfick Bichay showing greater detail of the central image of the unification of Egypt than on the miniature from La Galerie Numismatique shown above (http://www.medals.org.uk/egypt/egypt-republic/egypt-republic002.htm).

    Better details of the design of this full-sized medal can be seen by clicking on two thumbnail images on World Awards (https://wawards.org/en/egypt/republic-of-egypt/order-of-the-nile.html). They show the intertwined lotus on the right and the papyrus on the left (see discussion of imagery under the next drawing below). The enamel frame surrounding the central design has 15 stylized lotus blossoms.


    The imagery on the Republic's version of the Order of the Nile is derived from some of the many variant ancient Egyptian depictions symbolizing the ~5000 year-old unification of Egypt. This drawing of a relief panel on the stone throne of Pharaoh Senwosret I shows the gods Seth & Horus uniting the two (formerly divided) kingdoms of Upper & Lower Egypt. This throne dates to the 12th Dynasty (~1956-1911 BC), long after this has become an established icon in ancient Egyptian political decoration. In this version of the unification, Seth (on left) binds a lotus (the image of Upper Egypt-the southern portion by our geography) and Horus (on right) ties papyrus (symbolic of Lower Egypt, the northern part of the country) to the central sema symbol. The central dividing image is a symbol for the lungs (each of the brother gods have their feet on one lobe) attached to the trachea, which is the hieroglyphic symbol sema representing "union". In most written versions of this glyph it looks more "jar-like" through shortening of the trachea, as in the form adopted for the Republic of Egypt central icon on the Order of the Nile shown above. The suspension device connected to the link ring in the photo of the miniature Order of the Nile medal (fist photo above) further reiterates this unity theme in the symbolism of a lotus flower on the right and a papyrus bloom on the left. Other images depicting the union of Upper and Lower Egypt also employ a sedge for Upper Egypt or a bee to symbolize Lower Egypt. The well-known Narmer Palette (>5000 years old) is usually thought to depict this conquest of the "Two Lands" that became the unified Egypt with militaristic imagery of King Narmer (wearing the white Crown of Upper Egypt) smiting a prisoner with a cudgel on the recto side and wearing the Red Crown of Upper Egypt on the verso side. The hieroglyphs in the cartouche at the top of the trachea portion of the sema symbol are the throne name of Pharaoh Senwosret I: Kheperkara (http://www.joanlansberry.com/setfind/uniting.html).


    Image from Wikipedia of the post-1953 Republic of Egypt badge suspended on the Collar of the Order of the Nile showing a modern image adaptation of the ancient Egyptian theme of the unification of (Upper & Lower) Egypt. It retains the binding of lotus and papyrus, but has changed the sema image and inserted stylized ancient Egyptian water symbols under the figures' feet, presumably in reference to the Nile. The two male figures with pendulous breasts ("moobs"), fat rolls, and large bellies derive from common versions of this image depicting the god Hapi, frequently associated with this political art image during the 19th Dynasty (~1291-1189 BC). Hapi is a deity associated with the annual flooding of the Nile. His breasts and belly are considered to represent the fertility of the river and its renewal of the floodplain with the annual inundation that brought organic material to enrich the soils of the valley terraces. The gold design in the enamel probably depicts repeated sets of the three Great Pyramids of Giza (9 km west of the Nile), possibly reiterated to resemble ancient Egyptian imagery of water in reference the River Nile. The surrounding margin designs are stylized lotus blossoms interspersed with rubies. The suspension device depicts three lotus blossoms. Solid gold, rubies, turquoise, and enamel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Nile).

    Would someone volunteer a translation of the inscription on the superior enameled portion of the badge?  

    Edited by Rusty Greaves
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