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Gentleman's Military Interest Club

medalworld

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Everything posted by medalworld

  1. This post about the extremely difficult process of expert enameling is an excellent reminder to all of us who buy enameled insignia for our collections. The collector's best friend to inspect enamel and other small details is a high quality magnifying glass. I've found that magnifiers with at least two powers is best; one lens of about 5X to get an enlarged view of a main section, then a 10X at least to view tiny areas like hallmarks, makers marks and telltale signs of fakery like casting pits, etc. Having attended incalculable numbers of numismatic conventions over 55+ years of coin dealing and collecting, where magnifying glass are seen everywhere, I am always amazed when attending medal or militaria shows where one hardly sees a collector using a magnifier to view a medal or enameled Order. They seem more apt to accept the notion that what they're looking at, at arm's length, really is what it purports to be...but we know that very often, and increasingly now as with these excellent Bulgarian fakes, they are not. A quality magnifier used wisely will pay for itself many times over.
  2. Hello All, I recently acquired this Commander set in a case and request some help please with an accurate attribution if anyone knows for sure. It was purportedly a Portuguese "Order". It is large, 90mm to top of globe suspension x 40 mm wide, the cross with the same form as an Order of Christ, but in green. It is quite well made of gilt silver. The suspension is an armillary globe, thus it's likely something geographic, perhaps an Order of Geographic Merit from a learned society? Consists of a neck badge as shown in the photo, with Commander lapel rosette-pin with two gold wings, plus a handsome little miniature and a ribbon bar all in a Cravanzola, Roma, green case of issue with gold imprint of the Order arms on top. I'd say vintage is ca.1940s, +/- a few years. Can anyone help with an identification please? Many thanks, Frank Draskovic
  3. ITALY "ORDER" Identification needed

    After posting the above, I found a hint in Burke's that led me to a website. This is most likely an insignia of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy. The still vibrant order describes itself at its website as shown below. 2018 is its 800th anniversary. "The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy is an international community of priests and brothers who live a life of prayer and communal fraternity. In addition to the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, their members take a special fourth vow to give up their own selves for others whose faith is in danger. The Order, also called the Mercedarians, or Order of Mercy, was founded in 1218 in Spain by St. Peter Nolasco to redeem Christian captives from their Muslim captors. The Order exists today in 17 countries, including Spain, Italy, Brazil, India, and the United States. In the U.S., its student house is in Philadelphia, and it also has houses in New York, Florida, and Ohio. Today, friars of the Order of Mercy continue to rescue others from modern types of captivity, such as social, political, and psychological forms. They work in jails, marginal neighborhoods, among addicts, and in hospitals. In the United States, the Order of Mercy gives special emphasis to educational and parish work. The spiritual and communal life of the friars include prayer, meditation, Holy Mass, recreation, and apostolate. Their life is based on the Rule of St. Augustine and the Constitutions of the Order. Overall, the Order of Mercy commits itself to give testimony to the same Good News of love and redemption that it has shown since the beginning of its history." Additional comments and photos of other examples of the insignia are encouraged.
  4. Hi Gents: Along with the unknown "Portuguese" Order we've been chatting about, here is another unknown Commander cased set originating from Italy. It also consists of a neck badge in gilt AE and enamels and includes a miniature and lapel rosette in a plain red fitted case. There are no markings on the insignia and the case is likewise unmarked. There was also, inside the box, a 1949 transmittal letter to the recipient, a Mr. Giulio Fronza of Milan. However, there is no mention of the Order's name in the letter. So here we have a cased medal and a transmittal letter with still no name anywhere in sight! I've seen this insignia two or three times over the last few decades and someone once told me its name, but I have forgotten. Can someone remind me please if you know it. Thanks, Frank D.
  5. Hello Jerome, Nice to "meet" you. Many thanks for your comments. You are correct, unless someone comes up with a solid attribution, or a document with the insignia, we can only guess at it's origin and name. Speaking of names, you mention Concorde. I don't know it, so I checked the "Self-Styled Orders" index in Burke's, but can't find it there either. What is it please? Regarding accompanying documents with unknown insignia, I just started another unknown inquiry under Italy. That medal had a transmittal letter in the box, but it does not mention the name of the "Order" ! Please have a look there. Frank D. Frank D.
  6. Hello Paul, Nice to hear from you. I hope all is well. It's a handsome and well made insignia with the pierced globe and crossed batons with little globes at the ends. Wouldn't it be nice if we could name it ourselves? I'd agree with the "Order of Military Exploration", sounds terrific! But our pal quivivfrance has offered another scenario. He could be right, but we still need a firm attribution. Maybe someone will have a document or receipt for one? Best Wishes, Frank
  7. This is the gilt imprint on the top of the green Cravanzola case.
  8. Unknown "Order" or medal ID inquiry

    The attribution found by member Noor is correct and confirmed. Many thanks for his eagle eye in finding it !!! I hope to be able to return the favor some day. Frank Draskovic
  9. A museum curator has asked me for an ID of this unknown award. It has a vaguely Baltic look to it, though it could be from anywhere. The Red Cross is a major clue, but from where? The marking on the reverse center is not an inscription, only an old inked museum accession number of no significance. My usual suspects for obscure attributions have no clue. Hopefully one of our members will know it. Many thanks for looking, Frank Draskovic
  10. As member Noor might be familiar with Belgian awards, please have a look at this one...

     

  11. Another view at 400 dpi, reverse detail, showing the thick, broad weave and stitching, along with a few moth holes and tears, stains, etc. I have no doubt about genuineness. I'm more interested in the period used and if this size was particular to a certain rank perhaps? 3-20-18. Here are the rings that were attached to the corners, well oxidized now due to age. Would anyone know the current retail market value of this flag?
  12. I was researching this Stalhelm flag recently, regarding the predominant period used, who by (rank?), etc., and thought I'd post it for comments. Presumed to be from the 1919-1933 period, it measures 5 3/8 inches (13.5 cm) vertical by 9 inches (23 cm) on each long side, and is well soiled with 100% original Weimar period dirt. Not shown are two small rusty rings which would have gone on the vertical ends for mounting. I'm thinking it's likely a car flag. Any comments about its history will be most appreciated. Thanks. Frank D.
  13. Unknown "Order" or medal ID inquiry

    Hello member Noor, Many thanks for your success in finding a similar medal for sale with an attribution. The first thing I did was go to my "Quinot" book on Belgian orders and medals to confirm..."Recueil Illustre Des Orders De Chevalerie et Decorations Belges De 1830 A 1963" by H. Quinot, 5th edition. It was not listed there in the Red Cross, or any other, section, though I did find the ribbon being used for a different medal entirely. I'll contact jkmilitaria and ask for an attribution. They are experts on Red Cross ODMs and should have more info on it. Thanks again Noor ! Regards, Frank D.
  14. If you click on the picture a few times, it will enlarge enough to see the weave and stitching. I'd guess it to be a cotton or linen fabric, certainly not modern. Another view at 400 dpi, reverse detail, showing the thick, broad weave and stitching, along with a few moth holes and tears, stains, etc. I have no doubt about genuineness. I'm more interested in the period used and if this size was particular to a certain rank perhaps?
  15. Unknown "Order" or medal ID inquiry

    Hi to Bayern in Argentina. I'd say the colors are more of a faded light cobalt blue, rather than gray, but a good hint about a possible nurse's cloak badge. The mystery continues. Gracias amigo! Regards, Frank
  16. A museum curator has asked me for an ID of this Belgian award which seems to be on a lady's ribbon. The legends either side of the lion say "Honneur / Fraternite". My usual suspects for obscure attributions have no clue. Hopefully one of our members will know it. Many thanks for looking, Frank Draskovic
  17. Nicaraguan Awards

    For those collectors interested in the topic of Nicaraguan ODMs, the cover of the standard reference on Nicaraguan numismatics is shown in the attachment. Chapter three on the nation's medals, pages 173 through 301, covers all Nicaragua's Orders, Decorations & Medals, military and civilian, as well as selected historical medals (medallions) and misc. medals, from 1854 to the early 21st century, the book being published in 2002. As a fully illustrated comprehensive reference, in addition to medals, the coins, paper money and tokens are also receive excellent coverage. To my knowledge there was only one print run when published, but as a specialized work of limited interest, there should still be copies available from numismatic booksellers. I seem to recall the price was about $75 or so. For medal collectors interested in modern ODMs from the second half of the 20th century to about 2000, I know of no other book but this one where such information can be found.
  18. Hello Kharis, As about six months have gone by with no reply from you, I thought I'd check in to ask how your research is going? Have you found any interesting biographical information yet? I still would like to acquire (buy) an original nice old photo of CI Kelley in uniform. Could you ask your Mom if she has one to spare? I look forward to hearing back from you. Many thanks, Frank Draskovic
  19. Hello All, In Oct. 2005, just short of a decade ago, I acquired a CPM, named with engraved block capitals, as follows..."DET. SGT. MAJ. EDWIN F. KELLY. TRINIDAD POLICE". I bought it from a coin dealer colleague at a Los Angeles area coin show, who himself acquired it from a nearby coin shop in Northern California. I began to research the officer and his citation in early 2007, and for two years I wrote and emailed every governmental agency, department, archive and library (including the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Museum in Port of Spain) that I could find in the nation of Trinidad & Tobago. My correspondents were, for the most part, cordial and, but for one exception, slow and unenthusiastic about helping with my inquiry. After two years of off and on effort, I gave up, having achieved absolutely nothing. One reason I kept writing to T&T officials was a phone conversation I had with the original coin dealer who bought it over his counter in 2005. He told me that the seller, a black man, was the step-son of DSM Kelly, who was purportedly the first black man to attain officer status in the Trinidad Police. I'm loath to mention that this CPM was part of a two piece group along with his Col. Police LSGC. Sometime is 2006, while disposing of some UK medals at Ebay, Kelly's LSGC medal was inadvertently sold. I tried to buy it back from the UK buyer, but he did not respond, so it's out there somewhere. Today, while filing away a newly acquired DFM, I found this interesting medal again and thought I'd ask fellow GMIC members if any have had better luck with research, and perhaps a few tips on how to proceed with this award. Before hitting this send button, I just did a name search and found Kelly's gazette entry in the 1942 King's Birthday Honors list 5 June 1942; CPM to Edwin Fitzosbert Kelly, Trinidad Police Force. Any further comments re: my pal "Fitzosbert" will be appreciated. Many thanks. Frank Draskovic (medalworld)
  20. Hello Gents, Please have a look at this Knight's Badge of the Mecklenburg Schwerin Griffin Order (obv and rev scans at 800dpi). I bought this at OMSA a half dozen or so years ago, but I've just looked closely at it today and compared details to Nimmergut's listing, his no. 1679 in vol. 2. My piece measures 46.5mm high x 43mm wide and weighs 13.7 grams. Nimmergut says Knights are 49mm x 49mm and the weight as 20.2 grams. He seems not to include the pie shaped suspension in his measurements! If his 49mm size is correct, isn't it unusual that a Knight would be larger than the Knight with Crown (his no. 1678) which he quotes as 44mm x 44mm, not including the size of the crown? Other than the size and weight, what bothers me about my piece is the pebbling within the pie shape suspension. It does not actually consist of raised dots as pebbling should be, but rather like irregular, somewhat circular, broken raised lines. If other members who are specialists in German Imperial Orders would have a look and comment, I'd be most appreciative. Many thanks, Frank D.
  21. Here's one in silver sold at Morton & Eden on 26 Nov 2014. Comes in silver and bronze, and I'm sure a few gold ones for the royal family. Cataloged as Barac-42, 43. Frank D.
  22. Hi Scott, Re: your "wrong" comment..."wrong" is subjective, not easily quantifiable. And age has nothing to do with condition. There are ancient coins that are in perfect mint state after having existed for 2000 years. The point I was making is that there are gradations of condition with medals as with coins or any collectible. And unless we're going to keep our collections in the family when we're gone (they'll sell too eventually), we should figure we're going to have to sell at some point. So why not try to acquire the best condition possible, because future potential buyers will want to buy the best condition possible too. In 50+ years of collecting, buying and selling as a full-time dealer, I've seen large collections sold by collectors who spent well into five figures and held the items for 20 to 40 years. But they almost always bought the cheapest low-end stuff they could find, and it's still low end and not very desirable when sold. My observations of the current market is that buyers want rarity and top condition items and are willing to pay a premium to get them. By the way, these comments refer to anonymous or un-named Orders or medals only, i.e., as in a type collection. Named or attributed medals are a whole different ballgame. Here's my Zahringer Lion. I loved it when I bought it 20+ years ago, and if I could find it, I'm sure I still would! Happy Collecting, Frank D.
  23. Hi Dansson, All things are relative and if you got a very good buy and like it, that's all that matters. I was under the impression that you were seeking a single insignia for a type collection, thus my comments. Here's a link to a seller of the OEK catalog I mentioned. http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/OEK-German-Orders-Medals-1800-1945-reference-catalog-new-issue-2017-/371896842675?hash=item5696c779b3:g:2q4AAOSwol5YznA- Happy Collecting! Frank D.
  24. What fantastic coverage of a most interesting and rare award. It makes me wish I would have bid higher on a few of these that were in Spink sales some years ago. But I'm more intrigued right now about this comment on the Order of the White Eagle. Do you mean that only one award of that Order was ever made? Or that only one actual insignia of this order is known to be extant at this time? If the latter, are photos of that 2nd Class published anywhere? I would like to know more about this great rarity. Frank D. at medalworld
  25. For gold you must go to 1st Class with Swords. My latest OEK catalog is the 20th edition, where it quotes OEK-152 in gold at 1400 Euro. If you don't have an OEK catalog, get one. It will help you a lot with attribution and valuations.
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