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  #1  
Old 30-06-20, 12:24 PM
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gurkharifles gurkharifles is offline
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Default Nepaul (Nepalese enigma II)

Sometime ago - the subject of brass buttons bearing "Nepaul" over crossed Kukris came up for discussion - opinions seemed to vary as to whether they were connected to "The Nepal Escort" or alternatively may have belonged to the Royal Nepal Army. I've just acquired these buttons which will either help or further confuse!
1) Nepaul - 23mm - this is one shown before although this one has the makers name - Mappin and Webb London - which I've never seen on any button or badge before?
2) Nepaul with field gun 23mm - with makers mark "Superior Extra Quality" - a mark I have seen before on Gurkha buttons - but I have no idea as to the unit.
3) Nepaul with field gun 18mm - with makers mark "Extra Rich Colour" - which again is a new one on me
4) And then the most bizarre of all - Victorian Crown Nepaul and made in Austria on the front ( I can only imagine this was a manufacturer's error and probably never worn) 16mm - rear is corroded so can't see what it says.
5) Victorian Crown MOHAMED JSHAK ALLAH WALLAH - with makers mark MADE IN AUSTRIA on the rear. 17mm
Any thoughts ? Tim
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  #2  
Old 30-06-20, 03:20 PM
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I have always believed that those marked Nepaul, were for the Royal Nepalese Army. Any trace of gilt on the Maplin and Webb one? As you may know they are posh Jewellers who have made officers badges. Could it have been for one of the princes? The last two are a bit bizarre. What does Ashok or Dennis think

Steve
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Old 30-06-20, 05:15 PM
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Hi Steve - Ashok thinks the Nepaul ones are Royal Nepal Army - pre WW1 possibly Victorian. The last one could be a livery button to a Muslim Prince or something to do with one of the Indian State Forces ( Muslim ). Apparently there were a number of insignia items made for the ISF by Austrian and German manufacturers in the 1920's ( I think the States were making a deliberate point to the British? ) The one with Made in Austria on the front must be a manufacturers error or a sample of what they could produce? There's no obvious gilt remains on the Mappin and Webb button - but there are some other markings near the shank H&S above the shank and S below it - not sure if that's in anyway significant.
By the way Steve is your message box full?
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Old 01-07-20, 01:13 PM
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Hi Tim,
No only have 17 in the box.
Steve M
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Old 01-07-20, 02:29 PM
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It was commercial, worldwide competition which had these buttons made. The Princely States were targeted in an attempt to get a foothold in British India. The sales pitches started during Queen Victoria's reign. Manufacturers sent sample trays with copied designs, successful sales and even made up buttons. I do not know if they continued doing so after WWI.
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Old 01-07-20, 07:52 PM
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Thanks for that. Does anyone have an idea on the last one - which Princely State it might be?
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Old 02-07-20, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurkharifles View Post
Thanks for that. Does anyone have an idea on the last one - which Princely State it might be?
Have you had a look at the meaning of the word Wallah?
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Old 02-07-20, 03:14 PM
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Btns, I thought you were using Wallah in the “Hindi” so not sure what your post meant. After a crash course in Arabic, I find a completely different meaning, still not sure of what you mean! Regards,D.J.
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Old 02-07-20, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artynut View Post
Btns, I thought you were using Wallah in the “Hindi” so not sure what your post meant. After a crash course in Arabic, I find a completely different meaning, still not sure of what you mean! Regards,D.J.
Like you I have looked at the Hindi, Urdu and Arabic meanings and I feel it is more a name for a trader than for a ruler of a Princely State. The agent or trader can visit a court and show the box of buttons sent to him by a European manufacturer.

Attached is a button from a sample tray for Maj. HH Raja Sir Joginder Sen Bahadur, 18th Raja of Mandi 1913/1986. I guess the tray may have been sent in 1912/1913, but a post WWI date is possible. The scan is from a surplus box sent to an European agent. The button's backmark is 'A, * * Superior Make * *'
The ASC button is a filler, probably from an older production run. It has 2 dotted circles for backmark.
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Last edited by btns; 02-07-20 at 09:13 PM.
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