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About Graf

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    Belgium NationalOrders, Imperial German Iron Cross, French Legion of Honour Order, Italy Order of the Crown.
    Bulgariam Royal Orders and Rare Communist Orders
    Epaulettes -WW1 and earlier era

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  1. Hi Camelneck. It looks Silver with a very nice patina Sometimes the light can make the medal to look differently. I am not quite sure whether all Orders of merit are made of pure silver The could be as you said silvered bronze or base metal It is difficult to say just from the pictures. Some are marked for silver.Most are not The best advice is to request a close up pictures in different light. Look for defects and flaws Compare with other similar awards on the market The real one have very nice details The fakes are with less details and have some surface defects Because they are not very expensive It is very unlikely to be faked with perfection in mind Graf
  2. Hi Ilieff, Thank you for the information When i initially wrote the text it was very late at night and I did not realized that i made a mistake regarding the Order for Merit Since then i edited the text accordingly. Regarding the two Gold medals Both of them came from Germany from a reputable sources and i believe that they are real. Both are have German mounting style ribbons one of the appear to be removed from a medal bar I have not checked the metal yet. however i plan to do it in the near future. I will take a photo on the back of the medals with a different view Here is one view of the back of the medals Hi Camelneck, you have very good points yes collecting is a very interesting and also could be very expensive. expensive. Your approach towards collecting is the right one. First taste it with more common pieces, then get a good information before dive head first in to the deep waters of the collecting world. Yes it is a good investment Many of the Military dealers have been collectors for a long time and tuned it to a business. They still collect. Regarding the Medal for Merit i tried to give you as simple information as possible not to confue you too much, i also have seen the medal as part of medal bar to Military persons. Best Graf Hi New World I agree with you. Therefore i did not invest big $$ into them They are very rare and only by looking at the pictures of previously sold or from the books one can not have the idea whether they hold the real ones. Gold medals were made by fire gilding of bronze or Silver medals. Information which could be helpful when assessing the medals. As i mentioned somewhere else i have not checked them yet about the metal they are made from.
  3. Hi Yankee, I know the Auction site. It is very nice one and i wanted to bid on it, however they do not have postage for outside of Sweden Best Graf
  4. Hi Camelneck, Both Order of merit and Medal for Merit are founded on 25th of December 1881 by Prince Alexander Battenberg Medal of Merit comes in three Classes 1st Class Gold 2nd Class Silver 3rd Class Bronze Order of Merit comes in two Classes 1st Class Gold 2nd Class Silver Both are associated with the Order of St Alexander Order of Merit is with the laurel and swords II is military decoration and was i given for merit in war time and in piece time The Medal of Merit is more civil Decoration and was given for merit and contributions to the throne. There are few emissions of the Medal for merit Prince Alexander with no crown Prince Ferdinand few models the very first model is without crown, next model is with princely crown and later model with King crown ( the last two models came without crowns as well} King Ferdinand- with crown and without crown King Boris - with crown and without crown There is a model with an error -in the word Bulgarite there is a missing letter, however it is fair common model Regency emission The Monarch image is replaced with a lion with no crown Republican Emission as the Regency Emission plus in addition the crown on top is replaced with laurel The Order for Merit comes with no crown and have the same emissions Prince Alexander Note This emission comes only in Silver Prince Ferdinand King Ferdinand and King Boris There are different models of each emission Both decorations are worn on the breasts suspended on triangular red ribbon as Order of St Alexander or Bravery Order ribbon when given at war time Both decorations do not have any enamel parts This is a very general information but remember Medal of Merit -Three Classes Gold, Silver and Bronze and Order for Merit only Two Classes Gold and Silver No enamel parts I personally do not collect those decorations i have only two Gold Medals of Merit Prince Ferdinand Emission with princely crown and King crown because they are rare and i was lucky to get across them The Gold medals are very rare according to the existing information only 23 men during the 69 years period In my personal opinion their number is higher. The price as you can assume depends on the how rare is the decoration and how old it is Also the condition and the presence of original box and Document My personal advice is not to jump to buy now research the market and compare Ebay is a good site, however look the reputation of the seller Same sellers put a high price, however they accept decent offers Some sellers want to sell quick and put low prices in the begging of the sale Be careful for fakes Compare few times before you buy eMedals is a good site, however he could be expensive Shop Bulgaria is another site to look into and lastly Liverpool Medals { be careful of the murky pictures}
  5. Hi Yankee, Here is another one sold recently by eMedals
  6. Hi New World, My apology I just noticed that I made a mistake I did mean Order for Bravery 4th class 2nd Grade without swords 1941 Model I also share your opinion regarding Soldiers Cross, however we have to bear in mind that the Orders was given to medical persons and Clergy mans and in the army they had medical persons that are not doctors Simply because those crosses are not mentioned in any books we do not have to ignore their existence..we have to give them the Benefit of Doubt However as i mentioned I share your opinion till proven wrong Hi Igor Ostapenko Can you show the sites of the Soldiers cross without swords. Hi Camelneck there iare two nice books on Ebay USA for Bulgarian Orders and Decoration one is Prof Pavlov book and B. Denkov book If you are serious in collecting Bulgarian decorations you need a good books not just internet I can explain you a bit Order for merit and the medal for merit later on. I personally do not collect the i have only two Gold Medal for Merit -Prince Ferdinand Model simply because they are very rare birds
  7. Hi New World, Yes I did mean Soldiers Cross without swords I even did not look whether it was "adapted" by cutting the swords Or it was originally made without them
  8. Here what i found on internet -This is a first Document i have ever seen to an SS Person awarded Bravery Order -It is an Soldiers cross, Also i found on internet this very rare Document for the 3rd Class 1st Grade of the 1941 Order for Bravery it is the highest i have ever seen from this period It is given to a High ranking German Officer (Colonel) Also the pfot of the officer wearing the Order Hi Camelneck the Awards you are looking are not difficult to find on Ebay The Silver Medals for merit are not rare one unless you like to get ones that are from Prince Battenberg Period or the first Prince Ferdinand models with Princely crown The most difficult ones are the Gold ones.According to prof Pavlov only 28 were awarded Also the Military Order with War decoration in low Classes is not difficult to find Most of us are not restricted in certain period of collecting, however because due to many factors some of us have more Awards from particular period then from the other periods. personally I try to have a balance in my collection, however at certain points i have more from one period then the other ones. Simply this is the story of collecting. Also some are more lucky to find rare "birds" then oters..or/and have more $$$$ in their pockets or/and more desire to obtain an Award at certain point I remember an English Lord, who bought a very expensive items from an Action.was asked why he spent so much money for them. The answer was " One can say that they were more valuable to me then they were for the other bidders" Hi Ilieff very nice photo. I regret that i did not bid on the 1941 Model Soldiers Cross for Doctors i am still looking whether at least i managed to save it in my files
  9. Hi Camelneck, You have good points regarding the soldiers crosses dated 1941 All of them i bought from Germany over a long period of time O own three of them One was from Ebay Germany couple of years ago. I know the seller of it. He is a serious collector and co-author of a German book regarding Bulgaria Order for Bravery ( including the Soldier Cross) I know where he obtained the Cross from. He stated that in his opinion the 1941 Soldiers cross is less seen on the market then some of the very high Classes Bulgarian Orders Because it believed that they are produced in Germany and mainly given to German military personnel and none to Bulgarians it explain that their are found in Germany Four pieces were sold on a Auction few years ago as part of one of the biggest collection of Bulgarian Orders and decorations, which belonged to a Bulgarian collector living in France. Regarding the quality because, with the exception of 1941, other models were produced in huge numbers the quality may be from a very good one to very poor one Fakes - could be.. Fake 1941 very unlikely, because the fakers have to get the good quality My advice - do not buy any that looks bad and comes without any ribbon Best to have an original ribbon.
  10. Thank you Megan, That was my information, because from two sources it was dated 1850 and 1860 Hi Yankee I have not seen a Swedish Order of the Sword with a such rosette.It could have been given to a French person If the photo is from 1960 then the rosette is completely correct for the France Second Empire period 1852-1869 Award Document will be of help if there is strong evidence that belongs to the Order Graf
  11. Hi Megan Thank you I will appreciate any info regarding the date of this latest addition with double sided swords As i mentioned my information is that it dates 1850-60 i have seen one for sale The seller name is Tim
  12. CCJ You can buy it It is only 65 000 EURO It is for sale on Ebay Germany or you can contact the Seller House of History Hamburg Germany He might sell it cheaper I also believe that such items belong to the Military Museum in Sofia. It is interesting to find out who put the items for sale on the Auction in 1989 If it is King Simeon It is a shame He sold too many items on different auctions he is selling the history of Bulgaria.
  13. I finally got this old model It is very interesting double sided swords model Here are some pictures to compare
  14. Hi Ilieff, I found an interesting answer to your question Apparently, the Soldier's Cross was awarded also to German Officers. I assume that the rule for enlisted men applied only for Bulgarians Graf
  15. Hi Igor Here are 2 more pictures