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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 New World, i think in the very early stages the Order for Bravery was called Military Order. i suspect once the Order for Military Merit was introduced the Order for Bravery was called Military Order for Bravery not to be confused with the new Military Order as you can see during Battennberg period was called also Military Order only for the first time you can see from the last pictures, from King Ferdinand period, was called Military Order for Bravery
  2. Hi Vazov, Most of the "old' collectors of Bulgarian Orders are familiar with this Dealer, He is still active, however, for some reasons he is not selling many Military decorations now days . Yous finding, for the events are quite correct. I like your eagerness to explore new things. We all did the same when we started collecting Good on you. I agree with New World, that this dealer liked to make up stories regarding the items he sold. Despite that he had good items and the site is a good for reference ignoring some of the information in the text. Also some serious collectors have doubts about the originality of some of the items, especially the medals and badges sold on this site The 2nd Class Bravery Order "discovered' by you is really nice and looks very similar to the Cross from a 1st Class Set sold few years ago on 173 Kuenker Auction. The small difference in the crown form, can be explained that those Classes were made in small numbers and the makers used the parts available for the time of making the awards. Here is a picture of someone's collection shown in a exhibition in Sweden. It is unknown to me collector
  3. New discovery. Document for the 3rd Class 2nd Grade given to German Officer This is the first i have seen for a high Class
  4. Ferdinand Maximilian Karl Leopold Maria Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Prince and King of Bulgaria He was recipient of the Pure la Merite with Gold Oak leaves Closely related to many Royal families in Europe
  5. Hi Vazov, Yes We and other like us more or less more exited from collecting, are discovering new things that are not covered by the current literature. It is difficult to classify those Crosses as sub-emission it is more proper to give them the name unknown till mow variation of the princely emission Also it is difficult to identify exactly the time of their fabrication I will keep an eye for this 4th Class variation and i will let you know Graf
  6. Three more signatures
  7. This 3rd Class was sold couple of years ago in Germany and again re-sold on a recent Auction in Austria. It was advertised as Austrian made silver gilded The crown is the same as the first Class Cross of the early Prince Ferdinand model made in Austria 1887-1908 Although Prof Pavlov did not specify in his book that there were two princely periods Prince Alexander and Prince Ferdinand , he mentioned that some of the early period Bravery Orders were also made in Austria not only in Russia.He also mentions two different types of central medallions gold and green for the high classes Some other Authors separate the periods more clearly 1st princely period -Prince Alexander Battenberg period (1880-1886 ) This period includes he model with the gold Rings -made in Russia and the Model with skulls The Prince Ferdinand period (1887-1914) Model which features the early pieces with the green enamel, also shown in Prof.Pavlov book It is very difficult to identify the 4th class different variations, which ones are earlier then the others One is for sure that some of the variations are much rarer then the others because of their specific features and their numbers on the market I think we will find more facts regarding Bulgarian Orders Although some of the books were very good they reflect the knowledge obtained by the authors during their publishing We are also part of the obtaining additional knowledge by our research work Graf
  8. Hi Nicolas 7507 This is a very nice site and i hope it will get better and better. Only problem for this topic is that the site cover only Royal period Orders For Camelneck will bo more cleared , if not yet to see pictures of different ribbons used with the Military Order I will try to show some examples for a better understanding The yellow/black /white ribbon is the Standard one use all through Royal period 1900 -1944 and also is use fro the lower Classes during the Regency period 1944-1946 The Bravery Order Ribbon( blue with white/silver line) was used also during those periods and also the Regency Period for Classes 4th, 5th and 6th During the Regency period for the High Classes (Grand Cross, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Classes) was used the Civil Merit ribbon(white/red/green) Therefore during the Regency Period we had the ribbon, the blue with a white/silver line ribbon, and the white/red/green ribbon During the Republican period 1946-1950) only the Civil Merit Ribbon was used Note As 992F stated the Civil Merit Ribbon for the Regency and the Republican period is with slightly different shades of Red and green colours Here are some examples First pictures are only during the Royal period Prince/ King Ferdinand and King Boris III Next pictures are for the Regency period And the last pictures are from the Republican period you can see as 992F stated the central medallions of the Star is bigger then then the ones on the Cross Graf
  9. It started during WW! period however continued later on, which is obvious from your St Alexander Officer Cross and other Decorations from a later periods. I have to check my Decorations...till now I never looked fro this mark From all the information i managed to get nobody knows exactly when this mark was introduced, because there is not official document The year 1916 is the most speculated one It is believed that one of the makers introduced it and the rest followed with their own star marks When was stopped no one is sure, however it continued well after WW1
  10. Hi New World, Further detective work found 1 The Star mark is not a hallmark It was a mark stamped on products manufactured in the most common materials available to jewelers such bronze, copper, nickel and (especially) tombak. -the star-mark denotes "unedles Metall", so not gold, platina or silver, and is not a hallmark, but is believed to be an (Austrian) jewellers mark to assist in identification of the type of metal used (and thus: the commercial value) of the piece.2. During the WW1 the jewelers were being asked to refrain from the usage of .all precious metals and also zinc and nickel and several other alloys( needed for the military purpose). The use of copper/bronze/brass and tombak (a brass/copper/zinc alloy) was introduced and the items were marked with the Star mark and sometimes the maker mark. 3.The different makers used different Star marks, because it was not an approved hallmark and the awarded people were advised that they can replace them precious metals when the time allows 4. Precious metals were still but the Orders and decorations were very expensive 5 Because many Orders for other countries, including Bulgaria, were made in Austria, the makers used the Star mark when the Order was made from copper/bronze/brass and tombak i suspect that many of those countries during and around WW1 period ordered decorations from copper/bronze/brass and tombak due to the high cost. ONLY for special occasions they ordered expensive decorations That is why not many Bulgarian decorations exist made of Gilded Silver and only handful luxury. We know that later King Boris III was very modest person , and also very well controlled by the Bulgarian Government. During his period even much less decorations from precious metals were made This trend was followed by other countries as well The extravaganza of the earlier periods before WW! period was not there any more The use of precious metals was significantly reduced due to economic and other factors Graf
  11. Hi New world It is a brass/bronze and the asterisk mark is quite clear on the ribbon loop Interestingly it looks like silver on the picures Here is one more picture at different angle you can see on the ball just under the cross the gilding is worn off and the brass/bronze is showing off Plus the asterisk on the loop Graf
  12. HI New World, this is the latest reply from the Austrian dealer expert it was very kind of him yes, this was true. It was planned to replace the Bronze decorations after the war but due to the end of the Habsburg monarchy, quite understandable no replacements took place. Best regards, Best Graf
  13. Hi New World We all witness that decorations come in any box type It is harsh to blame the sellers that they are misleading us Simply some of them do not have a very sound knowledge of the Bulgarian decorations and they sell wht the get from somewhere else Also we can assume that some of the makers used the left over boxes need to get rid of them i believe that the same apply for the Decorations as well, therefore it is very difficult to draw clear cut line for the different periods and models. Also Prof Pavlov book, despite of being one of the best so far, has its own weaknesses. He was based on the information know by that time and the personal knowledge of prof. Pavlov. The Bravery Order with the "fat crown" is believed to be made by left overs of the early Princely model and the central medallions were replaced in accordance with the new model Because the 1915 Bravery Order I have with the "fat crown" is marked with asterisk or Sterhenpunze it is a fact that the Austrian makers were involved in the very early stages alongside the Russian makers Also the boxes are some kind of proof We also with our Detective work make new discoveries regarding the Bulgarian Decorations Best Graf