Lot

174

EMIRATE OF BUKHARA, TEMP. SA‘ID ‘ABD AL-AHAD KHAN (AD 1886-1910), Order of Noble Bukhara, Breast

In Important Coins of the Islamic World

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EMIRATE OF BUKHARA, TEMP. SA‘ID ‘ABD AL-AHAD KHAN (AD 1886-1910), Order of Noble Bukhara, Breast Star, Special Class, in silver-gilt, two-colour blue enamel and diamonds. DESCRIPTION: in the form of a breast star, Russian-made (in the style of Albert Keibel but unmarked,) circa 1900-09, having a raised central boss set with a central solitaire diamond surrounded by five smaller diamonds and three citrines, with vertical brooch pin suspension, personally awarded in 1909 by the 17th Emir of Bukhara Sa‘id ‘Abd al-Ahad Khan (1859 – 1911) to Baron Alexander de Stoeckl. DIAMETER: 88.6mm. CONDITION: Extremely fine and excessively rare. NOTE: A major cultural centre and trading post on the Silk Road, Bukhara was for centuries a key city and province of the Persian Empire. Under the Samanids it also became the intellectual centre of the Islamic world. Much later, in the 19th Century, Bukhara came increasingly under Russian dominance although the Mangit Emirs remained absolute monarchs (at least as far as internal affairs were concerned) until 1920. The Order of Noble Bukhara was founded circa 1881, with the Russian Tsar Alexander II becoming one of its very first recipients in that year. The flamboyant Emir’s munificence in bestowing the lower grades of the Order of Noble Bukhara is well-documented although awards with diamonds are exceptionally rare. Alexander de Stoeckl was especially favoured, in part perhaps because he was Alexander II’s godson, on the occasion of a reception which followed the State Funeral of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich in St Petersburg in February, 1909. Baron Alexander (‘Sasha’) de Stoeckl (1862-1926) was the son of Edouard Andreevich de Stoeckl, the Russian diplomat who, as Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, negotiated the 1867 Alaska Purchase on behalf of Alexander II. Sasha, whose earliest memory was of Lincoln’s funeral, was also to become a diplomat before his appointment as Equerry to Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich in 1897. Grand Duke Michael had been banished from Russia by his cousin, Tsar Alexander III, following Michael’s morganatic marriage to Countess Sophie Merenberg in 1891. For several bohemian, lively and sometimes extravagant years the household spent its winters in France and summers in England, memorably at Keele Hall in Staffordshire and Kenwood House, Hampstead. By special dispensation Nicholas II granted Grand Duke Michael (his uncle) permission to return to Russia in order to attend the funeral of his (Michael’s) father, Grand Duke Vladimir, in 1909. The de Stoeckls naturally accompanied the Grand Duke on his return to St Petersburg for the occasion. LITERATURE: De Stoeckl, Baroness Agnes, Not All Vanity, London, 1950. Specific reference to this award is made (p. 91) while the book as a whole comprises the lively personal memoirs of Alexander de Stoeckl’s widow. PROVENANCE: Together with other family insignia the Order of Noble Bukhara survived forced relocations of the de Stoeckls from both Russia in 1917 and Poland in 1939. Ex Morton & Eden, 10 June 2011, lot 1042, when offered by direct descent.
EMIRATE OF BUKHARA, TEMP. SA‘ID ‘ABD AL-AHAD KHAN (AD 1886-1910), Order of Noble Bukhara, Breast Star, Special Class, in silver-gilt, two-colour blue enamel and diamonds. DESCRIPTION: in the form of a breast star, Russian-made (in the style of Albert Keibel but unmarked,) circa 1900-09, having a raised central boss set with a central solitaire diamond surrounded by five smaller diamonds and three citrines, with vertical brooch pin suspension, personally awarded in 1909 by the 17th Emir of Bukhara Sa‘id ‘Abd al-Ahad Khan (1859 – 1911) to Baron Alexander de Stoeckl. DIAMETER: 88.6mm. CONDITION: Extremely fine and excessively rare. NOTE: A major cultural centre and trading post on the Silk Road, Bukhara was for centuries a key city and province of the Persian Empire. Under the Samanids it also became the intellectual centre of the Islamic world. Much later, in the 19th Century, Bukhara came increasingly under Russian dominance although the Mangit Emirs remained absolute monarchs (at least as far as internal affairs were concerned) until 1920. The Order of Noble Bukhara was founded circa 1881, with the Russian Tsar Alexander II becoming one of its very first recipients in that year. The flamboyant Emir’s munificence in bestowing the lower grades of the Order of Noble Bukhara is well-documented although awards with diamonds are exceptionally rare. Alexander de Stoeckl was especially favoured, in part perhaps because he was Alexander II’s godson, on the occasion of a reception which followed the State Funeral of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich in St Petersburg in February, 1909. Baron Alexander (‘Sasha’) de Stoeckl (1862-1926) was the son of Edouard Andreevich de Stoeckl, the Russian diplomat who, as Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, negotiated the 1867 Alaska Purchase on behalf of Alexander II. Sasha, whose earliest memory was of Lincoln’s funeral, was also to become a diplomat before his appointment as Equerry to Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich in 1897. Grand Duke Michael had been banished from Russia by his cousin, Tsar Alexander III, following Michael’s morganatic marriage to Countess Sophie Merenberg in 1891. For several bohemian, lively and sometimes extravagant years the household spent its winters in France and summers in England, memorably at Keele Hall in Staffordshire and Kenwood House, Hampstead. By special dispensation Nicholas II granted Grand Duke Michael (his uncle) permission to return to Russia in order to attend the funeral of his (Michael’s) father, Grand Duke Vladimir, in 1909. The de Stoeckls naturally accompanied the Grand Duke on his return to St Petersburg for the occasion. LITERATURE: De Stoeckl, Baroness Agnes, Not All Vanity, London, 1950. Specific reference to this award is made (p. 91) while the book as a whole comprises the lively personal memoirs of Alexander de Stoeckl’s widow. PROVENANCE: Together with other family insignia the Order of Noble Bukhara survived forced relocations of the de Stoeckls from both Russia in 1917 and Poland in 1939. Ex Morton & Eden, 10 June 2011, lot 1042, when offered by direct descent.

Important Coins of the Islamic World

Sale Date(s)
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