Medallion: Order of the Brilliant Star of Zanzibar awarded by Sultan Barghash 1875-1888

The Brilliant Star of Zanzibar dating between 1875 and 1888

Arab name: Wisam al-Kawkab al-Durri al-Zanzibari

Period: 1875-1888

Origin: Founded by Sultan Sayyid Majid bin Sa‘id in 1865, modified and extended by Sayyid Barghash bin Sa‘id on 22nd December 1875, and modified again by Sayyid Khalifa II bin Harub on 5th August 1918 .

This scarce medallion was made by Elkington & Co Birmingham, who also made the famous trophies for the Wimbledon man the women single finals. During his visit to Britain Sultan Barghash also visited Elkington & Co in Birmingham.  However, it is also reported that the earliest versions of this medal came from France/Germany, but no clear evidence found of this so far.

We purchased this early medallion in Germany, so the person the medallion was awarded to may very well have been a German.

Description: This Order of the Brilliant Star of Zanzibar was a decoration awarded by sultan  Barghash of Zanzibar to reward those who had provided important assistance to the Sultan.  The medal is made of silver and enamel. The enamels of these old knight badges are often chipped (like this one) also the gilded silver wreath suspension and lint are unfortunately missing. See slide-show for a complete one (not in our collection) In the center of the knights badge is the monogram in Arabic (tughra) of Sultan Barghash. Diameter 4 cm.