Order of the Lion and Sun, Type IV, III Class Commander (with statant lion)


SKU: 01.IRN.0102.405.01.001

Estimated market value:

$1000 USD

  • Add an image

Estimated market value:

$1000 USD


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The Order of the Lion and Sun was originally instituted by Fath-Ali Shah Qajar, the second Qajar emperor of Iran, in 1808. The Order was conferred upon senior government officers and foreigners in recognition of admirable and distinguished service provided to the State. In 1939, Reza Shah Pahlavi replaced the Order with the Order of Homayoun (Order of August).

Since its institution, the Order has undergone numerous organizational changes. The Type IV Order was amended under Mirza Hossein Khan Moshir-ed-Dowleh Sepahsalar in 1872. Modifications influenced by Western award systems were made to the Order which reduced the number of classes to 5. Due to the complexity of the award, a lack of information, and changes over time, the regulations of distinguishing award criteria between classes of the Order remain unclear.

It is believed that there is no difference in the awards to foreigners and Persians and that the number of rays signalled the class, but more information is needed to confirm.

The III Class Commander is believed to feature 6 rays and 1 band of silver circlets bordering the centre medallion and is worn from a neck ribbon.

There are multiple versions of the III Class Commander which vary by design and composition. The Order is known to feature 2 distinct badge pendant designs. The centre medallion of the Order's badge depicts either a statant (standing) lion holding a sword or a resting (couchant) lion. Various sources posit that the statant lion was issued to recipients in recognition of military service, while couchant lions were awarded to denote civil service. However, other sources believe that the statant lion was awarded to Persian nationals and the couchant lion was awarded to foreigners. More research is necessary.

Additional versions of the III Class Commander which feature rubies, sapphires, diamonds, or other compositions may be encountered. Due to the complexity and uncertainty surrounding the Order, versions which are distinguished by composition and which do not have an associated image are not featured here.

There is also great variation across designs of both the statant and couchant lion. This is due to multiple European, Russian, and Iranian manufacturers of the Order; who abide by different production regulations and procedures. Additionally, the centre medallion of the badge pendant is hand painted, making examples of the Order highly variant and unique.

There are multiple ribbon colour and pattern variations worn with the award. Ribbon design may be dependent on the recipient’s status and class.

There is limited information regarding this item.


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