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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, Here is the information from Prince Romanoff book As I suggested he considers that this is second model of the cross, which was awarded.It is obvious that this model is by far much rarer then the first model The large ring could be another feature of this rare model apart from the other different features Hi Ilieff you have good eyes I did not notice that the line was drawn. That explains the difference This ribbon was modified to match the design of the original ribbon Bear in mind that Prince Romanoff had an exclusive access to very rare items at the time of writing his book including some rare ones. This was not the case fro the Bulgarian authors. This can explain why some of those models did not appear in their books. They rely on their own collections and the ones of fellow collectors. Graf
  2. Hi Petar, Very interesting facts Can you consider that this could be a rare Model with the name of the maker stamped on it Many of the books for Bulgarian Orders, although some of them are very good,, are not covering 100% of what was made. Like many Bulgarian and non Bulgarian awards, this particular one can come in two models marked and not marked and the first one being much rarer then the second one Why experimental or prototype model We can assume that this is a official marked model and as i mentioned rarer then the not marked one.. Like you say, this rare model came with a ribbon, although it is different from the well known one ( not only the size) suggests that it was awarded The smaller size ribbon indicate that it might have been awarded to a lady. Graf
  3. Hi Igor, There is a similar book on Bravery Order by Uwe Bretzendorfer I have this book.I was lucky that Uwe sold me the very last copy he had i am not sure whether he will re- publish it again Uwe does not have any more copies at this stage It looks like the Bulgarian Bravery Order is quite popular in Germany due to the fact that many Germans s were awarded It is very nice book He has a little bit different classification of the Bravery Order from those ones of the Bulgarian authors. He himself is a eager collector of Bulgarian Orders I will post the front cover in the next 1-2 days Graf
  4. It is sad that the Auction House has split the Set Starting price for the Cross -40 000 EURO plus com Starting Price for the Star -15.000 EURO plus com I wish i could buy both and keep the Set together...Just a dream
  5. Hi Lambert, The problem is that thre are collectors on the market who do not communicate with other fellow collectors and they buy such items believing that they are original. They even do not bother to check the diamonds. Even the diamonds were real , they could be very low grade ones. As far as I remember the Bravery "Set" was on sale for over 10.000 US$ The value of low quality diamonds plus the 1941 Orders cold be around 2.000 - 3,000 US$ at the best. Stl profit of 7.000. ,,, and this is the best scenario if the Star is Original and the Diamonds real This is not the only Luxury set offered by dishonest sellers. I remember few of them. There was a St Alexander Star offered by seller fro turkey. I saw the Star on his site before it was turned into "Luxury" with Diamonds The Star had specific marks that I noticed even after the improvement The price jumped nearly tenfold It was sold on Ebay. . Do not spend hard earned money for questionable items... or they will be yours for ever with no value
  6. Hi Johannis, Many times the Order and the box are not from the same maker or period.That is because down the time many collectors and dealers mix and match them The ribbon looks very new to me When you get the Order you can check for any makers marks Perhaps some more advanced collectors of Italian Orders can identify the period of your Order from the picures Best Graf
  7. The First Model of Prince Ferdinand for 20 years Service was with a reverse text "Sluzba Otlicna" The reverse medallion ha the date 2 August 1887 This is the date when Prince Ferdinand arrived in Bulgaria after being elected as a prince The Second Ferdinand Model for 29 years Service is the same, however the text is "Otlichna Sluzba" and the quality of the green enamel is not as fine as the one of the First Model In King Boris Model for 20 years Service, as the one shown by Camelneck, the reverse is changed with one with a Lion without a shield Om the reverse the Prince/King Ferdinand initial is changed with the one of King Boris Here is a nice example of First Model for 20 years of Service by Rothe
  8. Hi Binky, There are other scenarios as well : Many buyers are not members of any clubs like this one and they will keep the items till they sell them and then they will find the truth Some will find sooner and will try to recover the loss by re-selling them This guy was very smart , he knew what he was doing, therefore he had no return policy. Also the Ebay policy for fakes is that the buyer has to provide a certificate from a reputable expert that the item is fake..and then still it is not guaranty that he/she will get the money back The moral of the story is if you see such a sale you better pass it Keep away if the seller does have very vague details of the items, does not specify if the item is Original and has No return policy Always ask questions before commit yourself
  9. Hi With a risk to put oil into the fire Do not forget that the main occupation of the owner of eMedals has jeweler He run successful jewellery business before started selling Military stuff I also found very similar repair patterns in the enamel especially on the top of the right arm on the picture #44 it cannot be coincidence such identical repair on two extremely rare models surfacing on the market in a very short time I might be wrong I have seen over the years some items being sold and re-sold over and over aging with signs of small or big improvements Here is another early model sold by eMedals recently after being offered not long ago by a German dealer Those are the pictures from the German dealer site, which i was lucky to copy before the Order was sold and then appeared on eMedals site ..and sold again. Here are the pictures of this Model re-sold by eMedals as A Napoleonic Period Swedish Order of the Sword in Gold c.1815 -
  10. Regardless of those small differences both of them look from the same period When I listed the eMedals piece i did not mean that it was exactly the same as the one shown earlier in the thread i did mean that the piece is the same model from the Napoleon period Graf
  11. Very Bad news The fakers get away with a nice payments due to ignorance of Ebay and Ebay users i alerted Ebay -the response - only the Standard Thank you We will look into the issue. I looked into the other other of the seller very strange - some of them have shipping address in Bulgaria I hope this is one off problem he sells only very cheap coins. We will see Buyer Be Aware Rule
  12. It looks like what was a good Star or a part of it was altered plus engraving was added to look more real and also to add more value to the Star --similar to the engraved German Iron Crosses. I collect Iron Crosses as well, however personally I will be very reluctant to buy an engraved one unless I am 100% sure it is done at around the time of awarding Nevertheless, every collector has to make their mind whether he/she wants to have such a piece in their collection This thread is to alert the fellow collectors, however the choice is their Graf
  13. Hi Stuka, Some of the luxury Belgium miniatures are with real stones some are with artificial ones It is very difficult to say only from the pictures The best advice is to test them with a jeweler If you are located in Antwerp there are plenty of them and some of the nicest luxury Belgium miniatures are made there Graf
  14. Hi Camelneck, There is a book for sale on Ebay $159.90 or make an offer - free delivery The seller is 357-art from Bulgaria Good Luck Book " BULGARIAN ORDERS AND MEDALS " prof. Pavlov Lux Catalogue
  15. Hi guys. I i is nice to "hear' that you like the thread. I started it because I noticed that till then there had been no much information about fakes of Bulgarian Orders and decorations, Most of the collectors had to make their own judgement regarding the decorations that were for sale or an offer on the market. No body knows when the Bulgarian fakes came for the first time on the market,neither is known whether fakes have been made only in Bulgaria. Although that at one or another stage the fakes were discussed somewhere in the forums. It looks like that there is a new wave of Bulgarian fakes on the market The Ebay is not the only place for their distribution, although it is the easiest The problem is that many Military Dealers and Auction Houses, knowingly or not knowingly, also contribute to the sale of the fakes. All those facts have to make us very alert about any suspicious Bulgarian Decorations that appear on the market. The big question is how to separate the fakes from some pieces that are once off made or were made by order privately by the awarded persons or their families. My advice to the new collectors is to start with well known low levels decorations and once they have "hands on' experience to progress to the next level. Buy and invest in good books look the market and compare before commit yourself to buy an expensive item. Do not get fool by cheap deals an/or vague information and/or explains regarding the item an offer. Some of us are more informed then others, because they invested money and time to get some level of knowledge and also they had some bad experiences in the past with fakes Regarding the ways the fakes are created we can speculate quite a long time Some fakes , like Ilieff pointed out, are made with original parts to which new modern parts were adapted. It is known that a significant number of left over original parts were found and used for those kind of fakes. The other purpose of those kind of fakes is to upgrade, for example Commander Class to a 1st Class Cross. Also fake are created by butchering good Originals to match other Originals in order to create Sets of 1st and 2nd Class Awards or to create a rare Model like in the case of the Bravery Order 4th Class for Doctors and Clergy man. Those types of fakes are difficult to recognise just looking at the pictures. One has to hold them and investigate them using different simple methods - magnification, measuring, weighting and "needle test" The other fakes were made with new parts only and they, at least for the moment, are much easier to spot Whether the fakers use professional tools we only can guess. One is for sure they are getting better, because the demand is there on the market