Author Topic: Egypt: The Mystery of the Missing Moustache  (Read 5247 times)

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Offline <k>

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Egypt: The Mystery of the Missing Moustache
« on: March 05, 2011, 03:58:07 PM »
I've always liked this portrait, by Percy Metcalfe, of Farouk I on the old Egyptian coins. It's only recently that I was looking at some photos of Farouk, and I see that he sported a moustache.



I'd never noticed a moustache on the coin portrait before, but there does seem to be a very light trace of one.

Apparently Metcalfe was flown out to Egypt for a series of sittings with the King. He also took some photographs that he was able to work from later. Metcalfe's most famous work was probably the Irish barnyard set, but he also produced the British "rocking-horse crown" (St George and the Dragon, 1935) and the crowned effigy of King George VI.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 11:48:57 AM by coffeetime »

Offline <k>

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Re: Egypt: The Mystery of the Missing Moustache
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2011, 04:13:21 PM »
I also think Metcalfe didn't get Farouk's ear quite right, so I've taken it from the photo and added it to the coin. What do you think?

Offline <k>

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Re: Egypt: The Mystery of the Missing Moustache
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2011, 04:26:20 PM »
Metcalfe also created the portrait of Fuad, who was king prior to Farouk. Here a moustache is certainly visible.

Offline <k>

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Re: Egypt: The Mystery of the Missing Moustache
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2011, 04:27:31 PM »
There is an earlier portrait of Fuad, but I don't know who designed this one.


Offline Figleaf

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Re: Egypt: The Mystery of the Missing Moustache
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 09:49:35 PM »
This is indeed a nice series for reflection. Metcalfe dared to trod where none had gone before, picturing the king as a latter day hieroglyphed pharaoh. I think he did a great job, but the people of Egypt may have considered otherwise.

As for the ears, they normally stretch from the eyebrow almost to the upper lip, so yes, his spectacle support is too small. Judging from the portrait of George VI you show, he liked it that way. Or maybe lifesize ears quickly become Charlesian. There is a series of large silver coins of William III of the Netherlands with the ear in different heights. Like the kings of Egypt, William wasn't overly good at listening...

Peter
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Offline <k>

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Re: Egypt: The Mystery of the Missing Moustache
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 03:55:16 PM »
I have found a fascinating article about Farouk, which displays a 10 milliemes coin with his portrait, and gives a potted biography of him:

http://www.cachecoins.org/egypt.htm

Extracts:

All the preparation in the world seemed unable to divert the young king from his obsession for wealth and extreme excess... During his 16 year reign he did little more than indulge his tastes for fine food and luxurious living...Those things he could not buy he stole. A peculiar practice for a king, he began stealing valuable objects and artifacts while abroad, including a sword belonging to the Shah of Iran and a pocket watch from Winston Churchill. He is said to have mastered the dubious art of pick pocketing and would practice this as he mingled at gatherings earning the nickname ' The Thief of Cairo'.

Farouk continued to live a lavish life even in exile, and continued his obsessive accumulation of material goods. His gluttony for fine cuisine soon made the former king dangerously obese, weighing nearly 300 pounds; an acquaintance described him as "a stomach with a head". He died at the age of 45 in Rome on March 3, 1965. He collapsed and died at the dinner table following a characteristically heavy meal.

translateltd

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Re: Egypt: The Mystery of the Missing Moustache
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 06:34:54 PM »
He had a massive collection of coins (more an accumulation, I suspect), many of which were not paid for at the time of his overthrow.   I believe a number of dealers attended the sale to try and recover some of their goods.

I discovered a year or three ago that the RNSNZ accepted him as a member shortly before his overthrow - I don't know whether we ever received his 8-pound life subscription, though.


Offline <k>

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Re: Egypt: The Mystery of the Missing Moustache
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 06:37:26 PM »

I discovered a year or three ago that the RNSNZ accepted him as a member shortly before his overthrow - I don't know whether we ever received his 8-pound life subscription, though.



Good job he's dead, or you might be in trouble now, given this silly politically correct trend of damning people retrospectively for any dealings with unsavoury leaders.

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Egypt: The Mystery of the Missing Moustache
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2011, 04:45:15 PM »
Perhaps his Moustache is missing because it was predicted he would have a close shave when Egypt had a revolution  ;D
Vic

Offline malj1

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Re: Egypt: The Mystery of the Missing Moustache
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2011, 09:25:19 PM »
An Army post stamp issued for British Forces from 1939 also hides Farouk's moustache.



A close up...

Fuad's Army post stamp from 1936 is much better.

« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 11:21:09 AM by Niels »
Malcolm
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Offline Coinsforever

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Re: Egypt: The Mystery of the Missing Moustache
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2011, 11:39:14 PM »
I also think Metcalfe didn't get Farouk's ear quite right, so I've taken it from the photo and added it to the coin. What do you think?

I would say It was an attempt to give him another look  :P


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Offline Abhay

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Re: Egypt: The Mystery of the Missing Moustache
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2011, 01:40:57 AM »
I also think Metcalfe didn't get Farouk's ear quite right, so I've taken it from the photo and added it to the coin. What do you think?

Wow! Now it looks perfect. But the EAR needs a little toning, to match with the rest of the coin. Keep it in polluted air. ;D ;D ;D

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