Gem And Paste-Set Gold Badge
Qajar, circa 1840 CE
Materials and technique
Gold, enamel, gemstone and paste
Ø 7.4 cm
Diamonds and rubies encircle an enamelled lion and sun above three large green paste stones in this early Qajar Order of the Lion and the Sun, which is further ornamented by a radiating six-pointed star pattern of garnets, pastes and red enamel set in gold. The Qajars developed a series of orders inspired by Western examples and comprising stars, plaques and collars. Worn by rulers themselves and bestowed upon high-ranking civil officials, nobles and foreign diplomats for their distinguished service, the order was a highly coveted honour. This elaborate order follows in date the First Class Set of the Order dated 1242 H/1828 CE which may have been awarded to Sir John Kinneir Macdonald (1782-1830 CE), the East India Company envoy who helped arrange the final treaty of Turkmanchai with Russia in 1828 CE (Diba 1998, p. 204).
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