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Gentleman's Military Interest Club


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  1. Franz Joseph Order Grand Cross ?

    Hi Lars, as I know there are 3 different FJO mini-chains and hence knight, commander/commander with star and grand cross. There isn't (at least I am not ware of it) any difference between commander and commander with star mini-chains, just there is a mini of breast star like you have displayed on the image to indicate commander with star. Regards, Tomas P.S. sorry for hijacking the question for E.L., I hope that I was correct
  2. Franz Joseph Order Grand Cross ?

    Dear Christian, I think, and pls correct me if I am wrong, that hallmarking law introducing three hallmarks for gold (head of Apollo, head of Chamois, head of Fox) came into force as of 1. January 1867. There was a slight change in the appearance of these hallmarks (and also other ones for silver and imported goods) to the 1. April 1872. Therefore I was asking whether head of Chamois hallmark is having also letter "A" present inside the hallmark sign (after 1872) or it´s just without it, only with simple number "3" inside (1867-1872). Badge with this older hallmark would be, with quite high degree of probability (but not 100% certain, of course) the product of Gebrueder Resch company. Later struck with after-1872 hallmark would be very probably Vincenz Mayer´s und Soehne struck. Maybe I wasn't accurate enough. I am sorry for this. Regards, Tomas
  3. Franz Joseph Order Grand Cross ?

    Hi, About 90% of all FJO decorations originates from these two producers when majority (period of 1872-1918) comes from VM. Concerning badges of grand cross/commander cross I have also seen Rothe but this is much rarer and it looks different. Of course, there are also some other manufacturers but mostly by other grades like knight crosses (very early version – Kittner, then Boehm, Bachruch) and officer’s crosses (also Rothe, Bachruch, Fischmeister). I have no idea what that number might be. It´s not very likely that it´s some official “serial number”. Maybe some manufacturer´s mark for its own and for me unknown purpose or collector’s mark? FJO was lowest of all Imperial orders and it was never connected to ennoblement therefore it was seen, even by better situated bourgeois social class as something not so very prestige, especially the lowest, knight class. Emperor himself never wore it and there wasn’t any collane/ grand chain like by other orders (all others had grand chain though). Regards,
  4. Franz Joseph Order Grand Cross ?

    Hi Alpha Draconis, It´s simple. There are 5 classes of FJO – knight, officer (since 1901), commander, commander with star and grand cross. Badge for grand cross and commander/ commander with star is the same and has the size of 70mm/38mm. The difference is how it was worn. In case of grand cross it was on sash and commanders were worn on neck ribbon. Grand cross is also having breast star which is larger than breast star of commander with star. “Simple” commander had only that badge worn round the neck. It´s gold and then it should be 18k and if it´s “head of Chamois” hallmark then number 3 should be present there. Head of Chamois shouldn’t have any other number. However I am not able to distinguish what I see on the pictures. I am sorry. There had been two major manufacturers. Gebrueder Resch, active in years 1864-1876 (“GR” as maker´s mark) which is early struck or then Vinzenz Mayer´s Soehne - 1872 till the very end – 1918 (usually “VM” as maker´s mark) …all-time classics for FJO. There were also some other producers but these are rarer (it´s not Rothe for sure). Try to find something on the suspension ring but according my humble opinion it´s VM production. If there is nothing then look once again at the hallmark. According the hallmark it might be distinguished whether the badge is made before 1872 or after this date (hint: before 1872 - “3”+ head of chamois; after 1872 - “3” + head of chamois + “A”). One more thing and hence ellipse suspension loop is missing and it was replaced by another smaller suspension ring, which might indicate that the badge was sewn into sash so it was probably grand cross indeed. Regards, TS
  5. Well, I dare to say that nobody expects to have real gold struck GTM Karl on any kind of bar. These medals are really rare and according generally widespread belief they had been given to enlisted men/NCOs or Officers (with “K”) only by emperor himself. Officially awarded GTMs in bronze gilt should have “Bronze” on the rim. These medals, as Enzo wrote, have been seen as replacement and every awarded soldier was entitled to get a real gold one after the war would be won. Moreover, there are also GTMs in bronze gilt given on sale for uniforms shops as second pieces and those should have “HMA Bronze” or “HMA Unecht” on the rim. It might be said that those medals are something like “replacement of the replacement” though. Both these medals in gilt bronze with simply “Bronze” or “HMA Bronze/Unecht” when on the old type of suspension, typical for real gold ones are considered period originals and collectors do not distinguish very much between them. However this theory have also some “leaking parts”. https://www.dorotheum.com/auktionen/aktuelle-auktionen/kataloge/list-lots-detail/auktion/12827-orden-und-auszeichnungen/lotID/3091/lot/2296573-goldene-tapferkeitsmedaille-fur-offiziere.html?currentPage=4&results=sold This medal came from the same provenience and it´s the piece with dedication but it has just “Bronze” on the rim. It’s very unlikely that this is awarded piece. Logic says that this medal was purchased privately and “upgraded” with personalized engraving. “K” also doesn’t correspond to officially awarded pattern and it was privately purchased. Originally awarded “K”s (during WWI) are very rare indeed. This is quite neglected topic and almost every “K” when looking at least somehow decent is considered original. I would humble say that "K" theme is rather tricky. The difference between this bronze GTM with beautiful engraving and that “Spange”, dicussed above is quite obvious. Nobody can challenge that this medal, without with any doubts is attributed to decorated hero Lt. Scheider. It will be so forever and this medal will be always very valuable collectors’ item. On the contrary that “Spange” is just interesting German-style bar with GTM for Officers however by the time nobody would be able to prove that it belonged to somebody famous and when sold separetly the price would be just a fraction...however there comes Enzo´s Charge of Light Brigade Tomas
  6. Well, this “Spange” is later production (probably after 1938), when “K” itself is not original imperial struck and also the GTM is just replacement (HMA Bronze). Rest of the bar is whatever you want it might be and there is a lot of things that you might get for more than 5000 EUR.
  7. Hi Palencia, Well, theoretically he could also get a Merit Cross with Crown on red (peace) ribbon during the WWI if his activity wouldn’t have been anyhow connected with merits in war. However I assume that displayed group belonged to Bavarian military person active for some time before WWI as he also had China Commemoration Medal for Combatants 1901. I would say that he originally received Merit Cross with Crown in real gold before WWI however he preserved that piece as valuable item and replaced it by gilded bronze version which was cheap and easy to acquire. This ribbon is probably from 1920s or maybe even 1930s. It was quite common with old German veterans to preserve the original and unique pieces and use some cheap replacement for everyday wear instead. Even that above- mentioned China medal looks like later struck for me. Regards, Tifes
  8. Well Farkas, I see very ordinary “Bandstreife” bar of the low-ranked AH officer (Leutnant/ 2nd lieutenant or Oberleutnant/ 1st lieutenant), starting with “something” on the ribbon of Military Merit Cross with Swords, which probably should be Bronze Military Merit Medal (BMVM/ Signum Laudis), followed by Karl-Truppen Cross, then there is Jubilee Cross 1908 and last AH medal is Mobilization Cross 1913. The medal at the end of the bar should be 2nd Class Military Merit Cross of Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. It´s absolutely correct and fully respecting the order of precedence. That officer was too young to get Long Service Cross for Officers for 25 years because even in 1918 he would be commissioned in 1893 which would mean that he had to have Jubilee Medal 1898. Elisabeth-Medaille was only for ladies and it was worn on butterfly ribbon. It goes without saying that there wasn’t any particular “Bandstreife” (small ribbon for bar) for it. It never existed. Regards, Tifes
  9. Austrian ww1 bar ? Correct ?

    Hi Scottplen, well, everything seems to be wrong here. It´s basically "non-sense". EK II was given to officers only. This composition is showing NCO awards. There is very little chance that some kuk NCO would have got EK II. He should have been serving in kuk Army unit directly subordinated under German command. Then his merits in combat would have been seen equally as any other German NCO. These situations had been extremely rare and you can count them on the fingers of one hand. In real life kuk NCO couldn't get EKII. Then first medal on the bar is Commemorative Medal of the 1. Austrian republic issued in 1932. It should be at the end of the bar, but before EK II (foreign decoration). Situation changed after "Anschluss" when Austria became part of the 3rd Reich. Then all German decorations would have priority so EK II would be first in the line before any Austrian one. Another problem is with JEM 1898 and MDZ for enlisted soldiers and NCO. If somebody had JEM 1898 then he had to have also JEK 1908. This would also mean that this particular NCO was serving in the army since 1897/1898 so at the end of WWI he would be entitled to get MDZ for NCO for 20 years of service or at least for 10 years (if some circumferences occurred). However on the bar there is only MDZ for enlisted men and NCO for 6 years. Mobilization Cross 1912/1913 would be after JEM 1898 just before Commemorative Medal of the 1. Austrian republic. Moreover the brass bar with long needle is not of Austrian style. I would say that this is just random selection of medals which was put altogether. It has very little to do with the reality, Regards, Tifes
  10. ID Weird A-H Flying badges

    + trakkles - it´s fake mark. You are right, Tursas. Zimbler was closed after WWI. The eagle didn't look like original Zimbler production but I wasn't sure. Now it´s clear. In interwar period many of pilot/observer badges had been made by BSW (but not exclusively) however it could happen that eagle would come from old Zimbler original just to be placed on the newly made wreath because old one was severely distorted and so it was replaced. Many of the former kuk pilots were in their mid-40s during WWII and served as pilot instructors in Wehrmacht (as Austrians after "Anschluss") . Some of them were even re-enlisted for active duty and flew over battlefields. However this wasn't a fate of this badge. Best, Tomas
  11. ID Weird A-H Flying badges

    Hi Tursas, I would definitely rule out that this badge is awarded original or privately purchased one prior 1918. It seems to me like very good collector`s copy but it´s true that there are only two pics for disposal and therefore best hope is for interwar period (1930s-1940s) however I am definitely more tending to that collector´s copy. Best, Tifes/Tomas
  12. Hi everyone, silver bars were for Bravery Medals but also for Silver Military Merit Medals (2x,1x) and Iron Merit Cross with or without crown when enemy wasn´t faced directly. Silver bars with swords were for Silver Military Merit Medals (2x,1x) when officer faced an enemy directly (mostly on battlefield). There also had been golden bars for other decorations - 2x golden bars with or without swords for Military Merit Cross with War Decoration (WD) and 1x golden bar with or without swords for LO-R with WD, EKO III with WD, FJO-R on the ribbon of Military Merit Cross, Golden Merit Cross with crown on the ribbon of Military Merit Cross and Large Silver Military Merit Medal. I think that I have covered them all. Those with "K" had been for Golden/Silver Bravery Medals for Officers. Awarded originals are rare, mostly we see privately purchased pieces or post-1918 ones. One more thing...it was quite common that NCO awarded twice or three times with Golden Bravery Medal had the bars made of gold, which wasn’t allowed by army regulations but tolerated. Those NCOs were seen as superheroes with widespread rumour (pilots, submariners, stormtroopers) and army authorities turned the blind eye on this practise. Regards, Tifes/Tomas
  13. Hi Jannis, Medal is A-H Bronze Medal for Bravery. It seems to absolutely OK. It´s one of the most common A-H decorations, awarded more than 950.000 times, not counting in so-called “second pieces” (medals purchased privately). Ribbon is older one, however it seems to be post-1918 (1930s). Bar for 4x awarding doesn’t look like original for me. These 4x bars are really rare and copies are very common. First suspicious sign is that bar is not sewn on the ribbon and there is also no maker´s mark or hallmark (sometimes they were made of silver). It doesn’t mean that the bar without any maker´s mark must be a fake however if it is there it´s better, of course. It is also good to mention that makers´ marks could be faked too. Absolutely most common maker´s mark is the one of “Zimbler” company. Bronze Bravery medal could awarded 4 times, like any other AH Bravery Medal (Silver II. Class, Silver I. Class and Gold) First picture is showing faked mark of Zimbler, second one is an original Zimbler maker´s mark. Regards, Tomas
  14. Hi John, A-H red ribbon is very common one used in variety of decorations either in peace time (Merit Crosses, Military Merit Medals, FJO) or for some other decorations like Annorum 40 (Medal for 40 years of faithful service) or JEM 1898 for military (Commemorative medal 1898 for military personal). We are talking about millions indeed. However never with swords. This combination is not possible. Story about Military Merit Cross with this combination is just fairy tale. Sorry for that. Regards, Tomas
  15. Order of the Iron Crown

    You welcome Christian. Just short comment to Pieter´s inquiry. According to its legal status the Order of Iron Crown is divided into three classes – first, second and third one and all recipients are „knights“. There is no Grand Cross and Commander however I perfectly see Pieter´s point. Knight of the I. Class is equal to Grand Cross, 2nd Class to Commander and 3rd Class is just the Knight. All there classes differ in size. 1st class – 76mm, 2nd Class – 66mm and 3rd Class – 55mm. Neckband is also smaller compared to sash, having just 52mm in width compared to sash´s 102mm. Sash is worn on the breast with exception of the high clergy like bishops, cardinals and other prelates who wore 1st Class sash round the upper chest as upper-body band (in a style of golden chain). In the attachment pls find 2nd class and 3rd class in gold and in boxes with original ribbons. “Commander” is issue about 1900 and “knight” is bit older, about 1875. Regards, Tifes/Tomas