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Gentleman's Military Interest Club


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Everything posted by Graf

  1. Dear members, Till very recently we have enjoyed fake free market..bad news is not any more I just want to alert the Forum that for a quite a while I have noticed some increase of Fake Bulgarian Orders on the Market The most faked one is Order of St Alexander Also faked pieces of high Classes of the Other Ordes have been on the Market, Some single fakes of rare Bulgarian medals as well Be alert Most of them I have noticed are on EBay, however some of them are now surfacing on different dealers sites and also on different Auctions in Europe. The source of some of them is also a Dealer in France, who is offering them to other dealers I am trying to gather some information and at this stage I will not publish any pictures or names not to offend any pesons. My advice at this stage Buyer Be Aware Look for any alterations/modifications, changed parts,new parts ,fake enamel, faked patina, wrong size, bad craftsmanship etc. The most important -the quality is not as good as the original period Decorations Ask questions, ask for more information..if in doubt pass it on Use a common sense and your knowledge and do not jump to any deal because is too good THe Good News is that these fakes are mainly high classess -Bad news is they are expensive for fakes. I am expecting any one who notices any such a piece to alert the Forum We have to try to stop such a practice and protect ourselfs Graf
  2. I looked the ad. It seems the seller advises that the red and white enamel has been replaced He knows it is a fake
  3. Hi, I just found pictures of this unusual Sodiers Cross 3-4 Class It has multiparts removable central medalions and the swords are the same as the Officers Class Opinion wanted. Regards Graf
  4. Hi Igor The outer box is nice and very rare. Again it is more likely from the King Ferdinand period Similar Set (box and carton) was sold by eMedals...and this is the 2nd Class box for 1908 King Ferdinand Emission Again this is only if we follow strictly the design from the different Emissions
  5. Hi Igor, The box is very nice an is more likely princely type If the Cross comes directly from the Italian family and the Set can be traced to the awarded person it is very likely it is an award given an interim period. ...and could be 3rd Class. If there is not a strong evidence then the Set could be considered as a mix and match, because the Cross is 1908 Emission 2nd Class.if you have to follow strictly the design of the different Emissions The 3rd Class is the one listed by me earlier in post #27 with the green enamel We discussed in the Forum that a very strict line was not drown between the Emissions and thre were many cases when items from two Emissions could be assembled in a Set
  6. Hi Igor The crown before 1908 was princely one - French and Austrian Type The Order you listed is 1908 Emission and is 2nd Class only.eMedals listen on Auction similar one with .again. wrong information. They simply separated good 2nd Class Se, by the Austrian firm Shield on three parts Star, Cross and Box (2nd Class on the front of the lid ) The Star could be either 1908 Emission or earlier. as far as it was made in Austria The used the same type of Stars for both emission The French Stars for the emissions prior to 1908 were different Here are the two prior to 1908 Emission Types- Austrian and French and a nice 1908 Emission 2nd Class with box (late model box) NOTE We are discussing only Prince/King ferdinand Emissions not the earlier Prince Alexander ones (The Russian ones) Best Graf
  7. 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}
  8. Hi Igor, Here are close vew of my medals Both came without boxes One was removed from a medals bar and the other was mounted German Style I have never checked the material they have been made. What i just noticed that the Medal with the Princely crown is thinner and lighter then the one with the King Crown That makes me think to go to my local jeweler Cheers
  9. Well. That is Life. What i noticed in the Bidding History The Winning Bidder put 4 bids and no one was did. That means that he "outbid' himself three times??! It is supposed the Item to be sold on his lowest bid (which was higher than the other Bidders bids) That is a difference of $500. No idea how the bidding system is on this site works. Otherwise the 3rd Grade Bravery Order, which looked OK, was sold on very reasonable price.-$361 plus 20% com.
  10. Hi Ilieff, Thank you for the additional info Even only the pictures are good enough for me On one of them King Boris III is wearing his special XX years Service Star It is a tragic story , however it will be more tragic if the Communists had destroyed the Baton It could have been lost for ever
  11. Hi Igor here is a similar one Best Graf
  12. Hi Igor I am not sure about the post i suppose it is because of the front of the box and the form of the crown Here is a similar box for the 3rd Class of the Order of St Alexander Graf
  13. Hi Yankee, Yes, The possibilities are open to discuss. Only that person on his close relatives could have the answer We only can try to make our best guess I only based my answer because if he was promoted as an Officer he could have had an Officer Bravery Order as well. The Russian medal could have been given to him before the other Commemorative medals that means that if he was promoted then he will have an Officer Order for the Serbian-Bulgarian War not Soldier Cross(es) Someone might have a better and/or different idea Regards
  14. Hi new World. That was mu point in my previous posts The initial price of such an Award is very low. that means even Barry knows that this Set is questionable he sells single Stars of other Orders welll above this price A very high price will scare the bidders who are not aware of the facts The same Scenario we have witnessed over and over again remember all those strange SS Cyril and Methodius Sets sold in Europe They all were sold well bellow the price of the Real Original Sets Also all those strange Sets on ebay All sold bellow what could be the price for a real originals I forgot to tell you the follow up story of the returned fake of the legion of Honour i discussed in post #31 The Seller re-listed it on his site and tripled the price After a while it vanished from his site either it was sold or he removed it (less likely) Buyer be Aware Rule apply Well Good Luck to the new owner One thing is for sure it is not me.
  15. Hi Yankee Enlisted Men. However this medal Bar shows he took part in the Russian -Turkish War 1877-1878 and after the Liberation of Bulgaria in Serbian-Bulgarian War- 1885 and lived to get a Commemorative Medal for the 25th Anniversary of the April 1876 Uprising given to the wars veterans Only the Bravery Order -Soldier Cross (1st or 3rd Class -difficult to say if is in Gold is 1st Class, however it could be very nicely tarnished an toned 3rd Class) can tell you the rank Also the way the double ribbon is mounted could be indication that he was awarded more then one Class Other Medals are Commemorative ones
  16. Hi Vazov, I do not feel offended at all Simply i tried to explain why some members are conservative with their opinion regarding certain items. BTW Someone already put a bid on eMedals site, which mean regardless of our remarks and opinions as you stated it will be always sold....most likely to a "lonely wolf' collector with deep pockets. Also collectors similar to the the members of the "Grand Cross' Club who want to have the Set in their collection, who might be aware or not aware of our opinion. Surprisingly I have had items on ebay made from Gold that are bought by non collectors for presets to their loved ones. They browsed the ebay and came across that particular item and they liked it more as an object then as a collector value..or both. Scenarios are endless The fact is The Set will be sold.It will be interesting to know when It will appear on the market again. If the buyer is a very private person I bet it will be not very soon. Hi Ilieff Thank you for digging deep in the National Treasure and Museum and showing us this historical and amazing Baton The Price tag is astonishing It suits only a Tzar/King and In now days terms it means a fortune The maker if unknown could be also Zimmermann This Firm produced many Luxury Bulgarian Orders in Gold Platinum and Diamonds, However this is known only to the persons who ordered the baton and the name on the Invoice .Again Thank you
  17. Hi Vazov, The reason we sometimes do not reject an item an we make polite comments is simply because some of those Sellers follow our forum and we do not like to confront them directly. Also despite of some questionable items on their site we still buy a and deal with them if good items come along. However we have to read between the lines. If none of us recommends an item it means the odds are very high Fakes are not new thing. Simply the internet changes the game We are much more informed now. Fakes , especially on the high end items have existed , perhaps for a very long time. Also it is not the first respected collector who has had questionable items in his collection For example few months ago i did buy an extremely rare Model of the French legion of Honour from the First Restoration period It is considered as the rarest one because it lasted only a very short time. It came from a very huge collection of a well respected German Collector. This particular item was published in few German collectors magazines.in the past. My joy was very high to have such item in my collection However at the moment i hold it in my hands i suspected a foul play I gently removed the front medallions ( one was already very lose) My discovery was not pleasant one Someone faked the Order by using and old Cross and added newly made central medallions ( extremely shiny and did not much with the construction of this period) The fakers made two cardinal mistakes that i discovered not before lengthy consultations with experts in the field. It is too long to explain The glue was modern not the traditional old glue for that time. Simply because i got aware of the problem and i did dare to remove the central parts the foul play was discovered Yet this respected collector knowingly or not had this item in his collection for over 30 years Yes. sometimes even we suspect an item is fake we deny some facts and we really want to believe that it is a good item. I returned the item because the Seller had a return policy Not without a fight, because he believed that the item is OK because it came from a such respected collection and was featured in few magazines It is a common problem with the WW2 German Knight Cross of the iron Cross and the Imperial Russian Orders they are so finely faked that they can fool ..and they did. many advanced collectors, who had them in their collections ..and are still sold and re-sold on the collector's market The other reason we do not to classify the Bravery Set as 100% Fake is that we all have come across of Orders that are out of the square -i.e words the do not feet the common standard criteria for the design. However those item look quite genuine and we can only contribute them as makares Mistakes or as 992F stated the local makers "adapted" them to the particular country Orders design. hers are some examples in my collection - Order St Alexander -Grand Cross with swords Princely Model- German made ( perhaps by Godet) with design of french maker and the swords "borrowed" from a German Order The Pin system and the swords are typical Godet - A Commander Princely Model by Rothe, however with typical "French' crown or a crown for the 1st Class -- -Officer Princely Model French made with added typical French crown It came with French legion of Honour Ribbon -this model is not supposed to have crown Knight Class of Order for Military Merit with wrong letters for Order of Civil merit Miniatures with wrong letters and with adapted swords, The last picture -The Miniature of the Order of Bravery is Austrian made by Mayer The unusual thing is it has reverse medallions on both sides
  18. Hi Igor Thank you for the link. However I am still not 100% sure that Silber is only for Godet Here is the text for 1st Class Cross of Order of St Alexader marked Silber on the ring It is for sale on German dealer site Bulgaria - zaristic, St. Alexander - Order, cross 1st class silver gilt, enamelled, without sash, in suspension ring with hallmark: "SILBER", manufactured by Zimmermann in Pforzheim,
  19. Hi Ilieff, I agree with you You can see the Grand Cross Star of the Order of St Alexander
  20. There is a mystery around this Set as we agreed or at least discussed This mistake in the Title is part of it One can assume that this is purely genuine mistake or made on purpose to mislead the potential buyer/s. Keep in mind that we witnessed recently few strange Sets and Stars sold on eBay and somewhere else. The Members of this Club have been informed, however there are still many collectors who act as sole wolfs and spend money on very valuable items with questionable origin. Those collectors discover the truth only when they try to sell them to Dealer or at Auctions. Yet, we still do not know all about this Set. personally I will keep away from it I will lis soont few items that i have in my collection that are not Bravery Order, however they are related to the topic because they are unusual and/or different to the Awards we know I consider them as makers mistakes or adjustment to the local Awards Also keep in mind that the makers did not follow 100% the design of the Bulgarian Awards I closely examined those Awards i did not find any signs of foul play Graf
  21. Thank you 922F For the concise information. It personally to me did trow more light to the information already knew regarding the collecting world. Also it gave me some valuable insight into this "Grand Cross Club" Such Clubs do exist now as well ..and the information you provided us is still in place. I was also offered few years ago, when i was in Istanbul, some High Classes Orders of Europe I politely declined...and I witnessed later on when one of 1st Class Stars of St Alexander was sold "upgraded' with Diamonds on eBay for a price five times higher then the one I was offered. i recognized the Star because it has specific marks and scratches on the back. We are fortunate now because the Internet can provide us with a very valuable information, which was not at the dispose to the collectors before. Thank you again
  22. Hi, Ilieff thank you for the additional information.The more a person looks at this Set the more he discovers things that are not correct. and they do not fit to the criteria of a Grand Cross Set .even 1st Class Set BTW my comment about the high ranking German Officer was mainly an opening line, which i denied strait away New World made nice comments. It looks someone butchered a good 3rd Class 2nd Grade Star to create this fantasy Star I can only add my additional comments. When The Star is zoomed you can see that the whole front surface is gilded and the dark parts are created by applying dark varnish ,which is very uneven. Not a perfect finish for a Grand Cross Ferdinand was Kniaz/Tzar Ferdinand was fanatic about the quality of his Orders lets alone this "rare" Grand Cross Set It is a pity if this Set is what we suspect because this prominent collector thought he had something really rare If the claim of eMedals is correct that comes from the collection of this prominent collector then this Set shows that even back there there are people who "upgraded' Orders for the sole purpose of profit without thinking about other countries history. Do not forget that at that time not much knowledge was available. no books or internet no international forums like this one Collectors had to rely on their personal knowledge obtained from not many sources I will be very interested in the information eMedals researchers have obtained Even it was obtained from an Auction House this is not a proof, because we have seen strange items being sold on Auction s around the world on regular basis. What puzzles me is the very low starting auction price for such a rare Set They might be aware of some facts. There are so many not as rare single Stars from other countries with much higher evaluation As i stated the only person that could bring some light on this topic will be the member 922F It looks like he has solid knowledge into the American Phaleristics at that time ..and he might have seen this Set..or this Set could be have been discussed in one of their books/magazines I It will be very unlikely not to be discussed or shown in some article This Set is considered as very
  23. Dear Members, Here i am listing the all Emmissions of the Officer Class of Bulgaria Order for Civil Merit It took me a good time to collect them, especially the 1937 King Boris III Emmission with the flat back center Regards Graf
  24. Hi, Unless it was a special made Set for a German high ranking officer in my opinion I agree to the new World comments. for a fantasy Set. I can also add that the body of the Star resembles the Grand Cross Star of the German Eagle by German Firm - Deschler & Sohn. Munchen The Flat surface on the back and the pin assembly are typical Deschler & Sohn - It is not Austrian Type at all and Vazov comment is correct Also you can see that the gilding and the silver parts are alternating over the same arms/.rays which is not correct The Bulgarian Stars have separate gilded and .silver arms/rays However we have seen different unusual Orders and Sets and it will be difficult to be very harsh with our conclusions Personally i have few unusual pieces in my collection that look a bit different from the standard ones we know from the books. The only person that can add more to those comments or/and correct them is 922F because he might be much more familiar with the collection offered for sale by eMedals
  25. belgian Order of Leopold l

    Hi Igor, I can confirm that the Cross you showed is bronze I had one in my collection, Interesting is that the both central medallions have enamel that is blue purple in colour instead of the traditional red and black.otherwise the features are the same as Farmer described them Yes It is a pity that the back central medallion is missing Why the French made them in bronze is the other questions, however we see from time to time French legion of honour in bronze gilded from the same period That is a mystery because the vast majority of the Orders from officer class and above were made from gold We can only speculate. However those orders have their own place Here are few French examples made in France during this period 1/2 size Knight Class next tho Dutalis Cross The 1/2 size cross is marked with French mark for silver Knight Class Badge with swords -marked with French mark for silver -Gold Commander Class -reduced size 68 x40.5 mm I assume this was an Officer Class converted to Commander Class for neck wearing -Grand Cordon Badge -again French made in Gold The Star is made by British maker