Original Iraq War Saddam Hussein Republican Palace Silver Silverware Set - Fork, Knife & Spoon - Christofle, France Silver
Original Item: Only One Available. During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, U.S. soldiers captured and occupied Saddam Hussein's palaces. Much of the State Silver was taken by soldiers as "spoils of war" and brought back to the United States. However, some of it remained in Iraq, some was later returned, and those pieces were auctioned off by the Iraqi government many years later.
This particular knife, fork and spoon set was obtained recently and legally through Al Finjan Antiques in Baghdad, Iraq. These items were sold legally and do not violate Law No. 55 of 2002 For The Antiquities & Heritage of Iraq. Items such as this were legally obtained from an antiquities dealer with an exporters license in Iraq and are not considered “spoils of war”. A copy of the letter from Al Finjan Antiques as well as the translation is included in this purchase.
The Republican Palace is a palace in Baghdad, Iraq, constructed on the orders of King Faisal II. It was Saddam Hussein's preferred place to meet visiting heads of state. The United States spared the palace during its shock and awe raid during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, in the belief that it might hold valuable documents. The Green Zone developed around it. The palace itself served as the Multi-National Force – Iraq Headquarters of Coalition troops during the U.S. Occupation of Iraq as well as the primary base of operations for the American diplomatic mission in Iraq until the opening of the new US Embassy in Baghdad in 2009.
In 2003 many personal items of Hussein were captured, as well items such as this set here. Many items were sent home but most were collected by the Iraqi government and auctioned off many years later. This set could very well have been ready to be sent back to the United States but was turned in to the Iraqi government in good faith.
The fork, knife and spoon all feature a beautiful roll-stamped Iraq Coat of Arms that was used from 1965 to 1991 on the handles. Roll Stamping is similar to Impression Marking, but involves a flat die and a round part. The flat die is pressed into the round part as it rolls across the periphery. Rolling a die over a part creates less stress since all of the pressure is not being applied to the marking area at the same time.
All 3 items have Christofle's stamping and hallmarks:
Christofle is a goldsmith and tableware company, founded in Paris in 1830 by Charles Christofle. The company is known for having introduced electrolytic gilding and silver plating in France in 1842. The company was bought in 2012 by one of its shareholders, the Chalhoub family.
The hallmarks are the Goldsmith’s Mark (Depuis 1935) and a Quality Hallmark that was used from 1935-1983.
The knife measures 9 5/8", the fork 8 1/8", and the spoon 6 5/8". Most of the plating is still present but there are some portions where it has worn through to the bare metal. They all show signs of use and wear, and could very well have even been used by Saddam himself.
The plating does have the expected tarnish and would clean up and look lovely in your Global War on Terror collections.
Collectors should not buy pieces without a provenance — a history — and supporting documents. Export and import documents are particularly important in these cases. It’s critical to understand that this piece was legally exported from its country of origin, Iraq, and legally imported here. Included with this item is a copy of an original letter from a licensed antiquities exporter in Iraq with his store’s letterhead as well as a translation of the letter.
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was an Iraqi politician who served as the fifth president of Iraq from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. A leading member of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, and later, the Baghdad-based Ba'ath Party and its regional organization, the Iraqi Ba'ath Party—which espoused Ba'athism, a mix of Arab nationalism and Arab socialism—Saddam played a key role in the 1968 coup (later referred to as the 17 July Revolution) that brought the party to power in Iraq.
As vice president under the ailing General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, and at a time when many groups were considered capable of overthrowing the government, Saddam created security forces through which he tightly controlled conflicts between the government and the armed forces. In the early 1970s, Saddam nationalised the Iraq Petroleum Company and independent banks, eventually leaving the banking system insolvent due to inflation and bad loans. Through the 1970s, Saddam consolidated his authority over the apparatus of government as oil money helped Iraq's economy grow rapidly. Positions of power in the country were mostly filled with Sunni Arabs, a minority that made up only a fifth of the population.
Saddam formally took power in 1979, although he had already been the de facto head of Iraq for several years. He suppressed several movements, particularly Shi'a and Kurdish movements which sought to overthrow the government or gain independence, respectively, and maintained power during the Iran–Iraq War and the Gulf War. Saddam's rule was a repressive dictatorship notorious for its severe human rights abuses. The total number of Iraqis killed by the security services of Saddam's government in various purges and genocides is conservatively estimated to be 250,000. Saddam's invasions of Iran and Kuwait also resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths.
In 2003, a coalition led by the United States invaded Iraq to depose Saddam. U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair accused Iraq of possessing weapons of mass destruction and having ties to Al-Qaeda. Saddam's Ba'ath party was disbanded and the country's first democratic elections were held. After his capture on 13 December 2003, the trial of Saddam Hussein took place under the Iraqi Interim Government. On 5 November 2006, Saddam was convicted by an Iraqi court of crimes against humanity related to the 1982 killing of 148 Iraqi Shi'a and sentenced to death by hanging. He was executed on 30 December 2006.
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