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Steve Russell

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    World War I era collector. Soldier and veteran.
  1. Les, I am aghast at this statement. I simply cannot believe someone who purports some sort of decent decorum, and one who lectures others about it (see post 20, para 2), would fall prey to make such a personal and outrageous attack on another individual in this forum. In it, you insult my faith, my undergraduate degree (public speaking and debate), the university itself (rated for over 20 years in the top 10 in US News & World Report in academics), and the people that live in the state of that institution. Your statement is filled with no small bit of vitriol and prejudice. I would gladly compare resumes and life accomplishments with you, but why stoop to the level you have reduced yourself to with this rude insult? It is not the purpose of this thread and something I thought did not happen in this forum. Since you cannot discuss this cross without reducing yourself to personal attacks and insults, I am quite finished with this thread. I bear you no malice and hope you may come to hold less jaundiced views about people from different walks of life. Moderators - I think some form of apology is in order. Thanks, Steve
  2. Well too bad Les. I was hoping for some pictures and some examples to discuss from you. Instead it is just more words and diversion to other posts. Not much action. Komtur has laid things out. So has Uwe. So have I. I suppose it is true there are some, not saying you, that would only be satisfied if Linde himself came back from the dead and appeared wearing the entire ensemble and then it would be rejected because it would be impossible that he should be alive and therefore all must be fake. I think it is fair to deduce possibilities from examples and photos. It is done all the time on this forum. You seem to put high stock in the fact that we are seeing only a digital image. To say it is fake is to question Komtur's integrity--or worse--insulting him and saying that what he himself does have in hand he is not smart enough to interpret. But we are not talking about ego I guess, are we. We were hoping to talk about the PlM in question. By the statements you have made, it is quite impossible to prove anything to be a possibility. Your opinion on my view has been noted and I appreciate it. I could only hope to see you make a case of your own instead of only tear other ones down. Thanks, Steve
  3. Uwe, I appreciate you taking the time to show why you believe something and actually posting a picture to support why. We have not always agreed on things and that is fine. It is easy to be quite the contrarian on any and every issue, but instead, you took the time to investigate yourself and came to a similar conclusion that a great many of us have. Les, I read a lot of talk. You seem to ignore the different angles between the Rothe cross of Charles and the Berlin / Grant specimens that I overlayed earlier. You also seem to ignore the raised crown that plays prominently in the cross and the Linde pic. You think it is something else--fine. Let's SEE something to back up these other crosses you seem to defend. You--not someone else to do it for you as you asked Uwe above. Would love to see you make your case without the off-topic chases that you think prove why everyone else is off the mark but you and only you on almost anything that gets posted. OK, fine, you are entitled to your educated opinion--now show us. And yes I do still value your opinion. But I want to SEE the case made. So far, I don't think you have made it, so I guess that makes us even? Daniel, we had a lengthy discussion on this PlM at the WAF, so it may appear disjointed when references to the two threads are combined. I think there is little doubt that the pic looks like Linde. If someone thinks it may be someone else, then they need to make that case. Komtur has stated that his pic is quite authentic. So, short of questioning his integrity, it has fallen to study who the pic might be, since it should be identifiable with a TR-era living PlM recipient. And most that have studied it seem to think it is Linde. This pic, coupled with a pic of the Berlin museum cross just happened to surface at about the same time a totally different discussion on this type of cross began by totally different collectors with a completely different example. Upon survey, the two crosses matched each other and are now tied to a pre-45 picture of a recipient--hence the discussion and excitement generated on the possibility of a pre-1945 PlM variant. Steve
  4. Thanks Uwe for that fine piece of picture work. It seems to support what I stated earlier about the Linde cross. Steve
  5. Les, I stated I would be happy to discuss the S&L pieces, just not here. As I read your comments, you seem to agree somewhat that the Linde cross is not a typical Rothe. I agree. As to the picture itself, Komtur has it, said it is legit, that it has not been altered and is original--and that is good enough for me. Why should I question his integrity? I agree that a duck at a certain angle can look like a goose--just not a goat. I think I've made my case pretty clear as to why I believe how similar the Linde pic cross is with the Grant and Berlin examples. You choose to disagree (constantly) as to why I should believe what I do as I've explained it--as is your prerogative. To everyone else, My hope has been that by laying out why I think the Linde PlM in Komtur's pic is the type found in Berlin and in private hands, I could add some small value to the study of the question that opened this thread to begin with. The mystery surrounding an unusual PlM that Linde is wearing no doubt has many possibilities. I've offered one view and attempted to do so with clarity and pictures where possible and to suggest that this cross exists in the form of a surviving example or two. I think that has been accomplished. Steve
  6. Les, I'll be happy to discuss the S&L use post war on a different thread. Ancillary discussion here. And yes, there are pics of them in wear and even vended examples. As to the Johanniter I posted, I readily deferred to those that know more about them in that post, suggesting only that this style of Eagle can be found on them. Komtur seems to agree and so does Ralph. My point is the eagle style can be found on a Johanniter--which they can. I was not talking about the particular merits of that piece. Again, I asked that the cross be focused on more than the eagles earlier in my posts. It is readily conceded that this eagle exists on both the Rothe and the Berlin type, so why argue about those eagles? They are clearly there on both anyway. Mike, The zinc piece is..well..interesting but also ancillary to our discussion on the Berlin / Linde cross. It might make for an interesting thread in its own right though. Thanks for posting that blank. Les, I would be a bit surprised if you thought I made any case that was strong. But others see what they see, too. That said, I am waiting for your analysis of why you think Linde's cross is a Rothe and not the Berlin style cross. You've heard from me, now I am waiting to hear something other than only counter points and sidetracks to my case. Let's hear your case on the Rothe. And, by the way, Happy New Year. Steve
  7. Thanks Komtur. I agree that Johanniters usually have crowned heads and are of the style as encountered on other types of orders. But not always. And the eagles heads can have the crowns filed. See below this interesting example of a Johanniter with gold eagles. They are exactly the fishbone tail style seen on the PlM in question. Note the top left eagle. Notice the absence of crown in this odd and imperfect example? I believe Ralph may shed even more light on these eagles. He is the one that astutely noticed the Johanniter style. Perhaps others can show examples as well on this type of eagle on a Johanniter. I am somewhat out of my league on Johanniters. Greg - thanks. Daniel & RAO - those are S&Ls. While Ju"nger did wear his, Immelman could not have worn that one in Dresden unless there is something we all do not know. The Dresden piece could likely be a museum display space filler. RAO, thanks for providing the larger pics of the Berlin PlM. Les, I am not asking anyone to shell out anything. I am laying out a fair case that this duck looks like the same duck in Linde's photo. I understand angles well. But I think I have made a strong case that the cross in the Linde photo is not the type of Rothe that we have all come to know. And unless someone can counter that the type is something else, I think it safe to say that as the study continues on these, that the type separates itself from the post war fake variety because of a known recipient wearing one in a pre-1945 photo. And that deserves a careful look into the possibility of a limited and new type. I agree with Komtur that these could be a private jeweler variant after 1920 but prior to 1945. That could make them along the lines of a Werner or Schickle type variant, but given the major differences of this type to a known cross, it makes them in a special category. Werners were a Wagner variant. Schickles were of a Godet variant. These seem to be something stand alone with a raised crown type never before encountered, which is why they are deserving of study and in my opinion ought to be taken seriously. Steve
  8. The crown is significant because if the Linde photo did not have the crown casting a shadow, this photo might easily be mistaken to show a Johanniter due to the glare that would show no letters and further complicated by Johanniter eagles on this PlM. But two things are in the pic's favor. First, there is a crown clearly casting a shadow when it should not be due to glare, showing its raised structure. Second, it is a photo of Linde, a known PlM recipient. Here is the side by side of the pic with this type of cross. Note the crown. Note the steep angles of the arm rays that are recessed much steeper than a Rothe like Charles' example I have discussed. This is why I think this PlM is the type in Berlin and why I think it is the same as Grant's type. A study of the Berlin cross even shows a striking resemblance to the actual Linde PlM in his pic. This should excite all of us that study PlMs because it is something not yet previously known but certainly has evidence of existing prior to 1945 and that has at least two surviving examples today. Thanks for walking through this with me. Steve
  9. In Grant's example and the one in Berllin, you will note a distinct 'raised' crown that is like an Iron Cross. This feature is not encountered on any of the normal makers of the PlM and gives it a unique signature. The rest of the lettering is flat with the enamel, like all PlMs. But the crown casts a shadow because it is raised. This is important in addition to the basic shape characteristics also noted. More in next post...
  10. Here is a side by side of Grant's unknown type with Charles' Rothe type. As you can see, there are a great many stark differences that make these two crosses completely at odds with one another. I do not believe these can be from the same dies. More in next post...
  11. Les, Charles PlM is a light enamel Rothe style with Johanniter eagles. Grant Bias' may be made by Rothe (I am still skeptical) but not from the same mold or die at all. They are so completely different. If we can defer the eagle discussion on them and focus only on the cross we can see why. But first, to answer the question on what Charles' cross is--a Rothe. See comparison pic below with a rich blue example compared to the light blue of Charles. I personally am very wary of light blue enameled Rothes but that is another discussion entirely. What makes Charles cross a Rothe? Crown - 5 jewel base. Crown at top has a 'saddle' where the cross meets it rather than being perched on a 'peak' like other PlM crowns. F - offset to the right where it joins the crown. Lettering - Besides matching letter for letter, it has the ladder style etching so common on Rothes. le - top of 'l' has 'cap' that points right instead of left or none at all. Arm Rays - Flat and broad. This characteristic to me makes Rothes so identifiable in my opinion because regardless of what eagles they have, the broad flat and wide arm rays always set them apart. Other common maker PlMs have more recessed ray ends with a much sharper angle in the center of the ray. Now, if we accept that Charles' cross is a Rothe with the descriptions above and with the comparison cross I posted, I do believe I can show why the one Linde has is not this type of Rothe cross but is like the cross in the Berlin museum and like the one Grant owns. This will come in my next post. Steve
  12. Ancillary discussion. Can anyone look at the two crosses and tell me why you do not believe they are the same or look at the Linde pic and tell me why you believe they do not match. Of course, you may believe they do and that is fine too. I've shown both crosses side by side. I've described a few lead in discussions points such as the same right side crown gaps, the cross lettering dimensions and overall cross dimensions being the same. I've also shown them compared to the Linde pic over at the WAF where this cross has been discussed at length. To not address any of this by just dismissing a picture's format or analyzing price comparisons between ribbons and PlMs is somewhat of a mystery to me. I am making no attempt at rudeness, just trying to get back to discussing this cross. I sincerely value the opinions of those on this forum. Would love to hear why some believe the crosses are or are not the same. I believe they are. Thanks, Steve
  13. From Aldo von Wangenheim's homepage in Brazil. http://www.inf.ufsc.br/~awangenh/ Check out his section on Florian?polis Antiga and you will see many photos. Thought this might provide some leads to his family. Steve
  14. Well, I am certainly not one to ignore facts. But to dismiss digital photos simply because they are digital would be to eliminate much of the research and medal and ribbon bar solving that goes on in this forum. Rick can spot a ribbon bar in a digital photo, track the owner and say with a very high degree of certainty that the owner was named such and such. And he would of course likely be right. I do think there is the matter where common sense takes hold as well. If something walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it might just be a duck. We could over analyze it to make it impossible to prove that it actually was a duck, but... Now, what does that have to do with this PlM? Well, for one, the cross in Berlin has a twin. See below Grant Bias' on the left and the Berlin cross on the right. The crown gap on the right side, the letter dimensions, the cross itself--they match. They both look like the same duck to me. While it may be hard to say if either or neither belonged to Linde (although I think the Berlin cross is Linde's and will show why in a later post), Linde's photo does seem to prove that this cross existed during the TR era. And while I appreciate that photos can be faked and that Linde's actual face could be added and that a cross that no one has ever seen could be inserted and that it could be taken after the war even though Linde looks like he did during the war, I think it safe to assume that this cross Linde is wearing is the same type as the one in Berlin and the one Grant Bias owns and posted in the WAF. And that would make it something unique in that it has surfaced in two real examples and in one actual recipient's photo. That is why I for one am excited about this cross. I am not ready to dismiss it as an anomaly. Steve
  15. Fair enough Les and I told you when you left I regretted your departure and felt it a loss for the reasons already discussed. I joined that forum not long before your departure and was not privy to the infighting of which you speak but I have witnessed since. Your kindness to me at the WAF when I first started my interest in PlMs was most welcome. Even so, I do hope we can continue to collaborate and would welcome, even privately, any of your own observations on my PlM work over there. I am currently working a Rothe PlM thread to finish out the makers of PlM discussion before getting on to the Arts & Sciences award. This particular piece strikes me as very significant because of the two surfacing examples and its appearance with von der Linde in a wartime photo. As I looked it over though, it differs in a great many respects from Rothe crosses in dimension, letters and style, even though at first blush it looks closer to Rothe than anything else. While we all have noted that it may be a put together of some kind by a jeweler given the Johanniter eagles, the cross itself is not like any other known maker, making this a unique piece, similar to the initial Schickle discussions, although those were still in the Godet family. This one seems to stand in its own right and were it not for the Linde photo, might be dismissed altogether as an anomaly. Given the odd marks on the example posted in the WAF and von der Linde's photo, it seems to be that the piece dates somewhere between the late 30s and early 40s. If not Rothe, who could be the possible maker? Someone that made Johanniters? Steve