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  1. 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
  2. Hi Pieter, officially it´s EKO I. Class (Orden der Eisernen Krone I. Klasse) which is the equivalent of the Grand Cross in case of other Austrian Orders like FJO or LO. Big suspension ring could be also sewed into sash as you have presented however more often it was on ellipse ring with enamel pearls. It depended pretty much on personal taste of awardee. Ring was however inevitable if the badge was worn on collane. This also doesn’t exclude some other atypical form of attachment. As I wrote above the taste was quite important element and there was always some “space for manoeuvre” when necessary. Austrian protocol was quite versatile in this respect in contrary to Prussian one for instance. By the way you have really beautiful complete set in superb state, congrats and happy that you have shared it with us. Regards, Tifes
  3. Well Christian, the simple answer on your question would be yes; it does influence the price and hence also desirability however EKO I from Golden Chain is not a piece that you can find everyday just like that. As I wrote before it´s still very valuable decoration which is rare but you have to count with some lower price when compared to identical intact piece if you decide to sell it. Regards, Tifes
  4. Hi, It´s not a pilot badge. It´s „patriotic“ badge which could be purchase privately, also by “ordinary” people, not only by pilots. Spending had been then used to finance further “war efforts” . Some pilot used them as “Kappenabzeichen” – cap badges and I have seen some pieces even with personal dedications. This one is ordinary or I would rather say that it was. It´s in quite deteriorated state. Collector´s value is quite low, close to none. It´s just non-precious metal like messing or something in this sense. Regards, tifes
  5. For me it looks like very early version of the last type. Maker´s mark and enamels in the crown are indicating that it was made about 1870. It´s private purchase in gold. However as you have mentioned correctly ellipse suspension with “pearls” is missing but it could be done by purpose, for instance to fit on the bar. The ribbon is also correct and it seems to be quite old. Regards, Tifes
  6. Hi Christian, yes, it´s the EKO I in Gold, around 1900 (+/- 10 years). Except some imperfection in the Lombardy Crown (green „emeralds“) it´s in very nice state. Valuable piece indeed. Hallmarks are for gold, so called “Gemsenkopfpunze” (head of chamois from 1872 to 1922) for 18k gold. That one on pendilias under the crown is quite visible, at least for me. The ellipse suspension with small white “pearls” was replaced by the ring. This is the indication that this badge was placed on the “Kollane” – large gold ceremonial chain. As I wrote above – very fine piece. Regards, Tifes

    • FOR SALE

    An Austrian Military Merit Cross, Type I - (1849-1855), in silver and enamels with small imperfection in central medallion, original worn ribbon, nice dark patina, on the reverse privately attached piece of deerskin to protect white officer´s uniform from black traces, a very difficult decoration to find in such a fine condition; Price: 990 EUR + postal charges


  8. Dear Bucky, you probably mean whether the decoration is original piece (pre-1918, Monarchy time period) or collector´s copy. The later is true. It´s just collector´s copy, made after 1945. Sorry if this answer didn't please you. Regards, t.
  9. Hi Patrick, I am not into numismatics, but as I know this is just regular small coin which commonly circulated. I do not see anything special on it. Maybe somebody thought that`s precious. Inner circle with enamels might be made of gold, but enamels are of poor quality. Any official decorations makers of late 19 century like Rothe or Mayers wouldn't make it. These companies had also been jewelry makers, but this is too low craftsmanship for them. It probably served for some private purpose and I would assume that coin was personally valuable item for somebody who decided to place it in this brooch. Just my personal opinion. Maybe somebody can shed more light into it. Sorry, but I cant help you more. Regards, Tifes/Tom
  10. Salut Patrick, unfortunately it`s what you see...20-kreuzer in some brooch. Nothing official and nothing to do with Austrian decorations. Being frank…it`s worthless. Sorry. Regards, Tifes/Tom
  11. Well, I think that they are just migrating e-library. I would say it`s just temporary shut down. Book was published in 1919 and I think that copyright exclusivity ceases out after 75 years (EU law). I can check it if I am right and if it´s so then I can upload it at some server and provide you with the link.
  12. Dear Trooper_D, Of course, those facts, which have stated, are stipulated by the EKO Statute, particularly in para 12. Pls find picture of it and my courtesy translation from German below. §12 When the by Order awarded person obtains higher grade of the Order then he puts off a decoration of the lower grade. Awarding of the Order with War Decoration has the same effect of laying down the Order of the same grade without War Decoration. Person awarded by the Order with war Decoration cannot be awarded by the same grade of the Order without War Decoration. This status as well as other ones, including pictures and some charts could be found in one of the most classic work of Austrian- Hungarian Phaleristics: Das Ordensbuch der gewesenen Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie written by Heinrich Michetschläger. It is basically last one and most authentic publication of the period, which was ever made. Must for everyone who is serious about A-H decorations. It was for free downloading at the webpage of the Institute for Military History in Prague but I can’t find a link anymore. However it´s stated there that downloading is possible in the section “Annex”. http://www.vhu.cz/book/michetschlager-heinrich-f-das-ordensbuch-der-gewesenen-osterreichisch-ungarischen-monarchie-orden-kreuze-ehrenzeichen-medaillen-denkmunzen-dienstzeichen-matrikelzeichen-amtsabzeichen-etz/ Maybe somebody can help. The digital copy of the book has quite volume, 71 MB, so I don’t know how to help you with this. Regards, Tomas
  13. Good afternoon, Well, I wouldn’t say that´s crystal clear issue at all. First of all that medal bar seems quite strange to me. I am not an expert on German States medal bars but it would be good if somebody could explain why 3 first German orders (MMJO, Bavarian MVO and EK II) are suddenly “cut” by foreign decorations (Austria-Hungary, Braunschweig and Hungary after 1920) and then it continues with other German ones (Bavarian and Prussian) and then at the very end…EKO III peace version. Wouldn’t it be correct to have German decorations first and only then followed by those awarded by foreign states? There must be some order of precedence. Issue of Iron Crown is not that simple. Order of the British Empire couldn’t serve for this purpose. If somebody was awarded by Order of Iron Crown III Class in peace times (without war decoration) and consequently in a war, a war decoration would be awarded then he would be having just Iron Crown III Class with War Decoration, not both of them. Officially there could be worn only one Iron Crown Order at the same time (highest one) and that one with War decoration would have precedence. Furthermore it must be underlined that Iron Crown III. Class peace version (before 1914) was high decoration, usually given to the A-H army officer in the rank of colonel for successfully commanding the unit of the size of regiment or something comparable. In the case of foreign army officers it might be possible to get such decoration when serving as high military diplomat (military attaché or deputy military attaché) accredited in Vienna, take significant part in some “common undertaking” with Austrian- Hungarian Army like large military manoeuvres, war campaign etc. or for some special merit. Colonel Ritter von Scherf, before the WWI, was “just” major of Bavarian Army and he was never been involved in anything with A-H Army (at least I didn´t find anything), which would allow him to obtain EKO III. Moreover looking at that EKO III peace version at the very end of the medal bar, it is really some cheap copy from late times and definitely it has nothing to do with the original, even bronze gilded. EKO III with War Decoration paired with Military Merit Cross III. Class is, on the other hand, very nice WWI award piece in a good quality. Regards, Tomas
  14. Dear Kasle, Firstly I would like to touch upon the last point about cracks in enamels. Well, obviously I was thinking about the cracks that are visible by naked eye. I do not use anything stronger than 6x magnifying glass of standard numismatics loupe. I have never had a need to go for something stronger. If there is something invisible and not disturbing then it is OK. In wasting majority of all cases there is basically no problem to distinguish between genuine (pre-1918) enamel and modern polymer epoxide. The difference is day and night and even good quality photo is sometimes more than enough to clearly recognise the original and modern copy. Of course, there are some good quality copies made in 1990s and more attention should be paid indeed. Concerning the source of information I would very much prefer some quality literature than non-verified internet sources. In my humble opinion two best publications in this particular area are written by prominent Austrian expert Mr. Jörg C. Steiner. First one concerns field pilot badges (Jörg C. Steiner; Das Feldpilotenabzeichen – Militärhistorische Themenereihe, Band 4, Wien 1992) and second one observers badges (Jörg C. Steiner; Das Luftfahrer-Abzeichen – Militärhistorische Themenereihe, Band 8, Wien 1993). Both are written in German and they contain massive amount of all kind of information which Mr. Steiner gathered during his extensive research on the topic. Back to awarded badges. I can only repeat what I know. There is Circular Note No. 170 dated to 2. October 1917, part 13, Nr. 44252 which is published in 47th part of Official Journal of the k.u.k. Army dated to 6. October 1917 and signed by k.u.k. Minister of War GdI Rudolf v. Stöger-Steiner. It contains, except the exact design of “new” pilot badge, also the paragraph which says the following (courtesy translation from German) : “Attachment of the badge is made by the safety hooks, instead of until now used standardized needle, which is placed under the monogram shield, respectively shield with coat of arms”. I do not know about any other amendments to this circular note in this respect. The reason for that was quite simple and purely practical. Needle broke away quite often, because badge on the uniform was placed on quite exposed spot. There was a concept that one needle should have been replaced by double needle but this wasn’t very practical and even quite expensive. Safety hooks prevailed as this was a wish of the pilots and even some field pilot badges FJI version 1913 had been modified by hooks by the pilots themselves when needle tore away. All badges had been commissioned by the company “Zimbler”. First badges had been delivered not sooner than January 1918 and till end of the WWI 320 badges of this type should have been awarded to field pilots. There is quite possible that last 42 pilots never received theirs badges, because there was some time gap between decision made and decision carried out and meanwhile the Empire ceased to exist. Probably these pilots purchased those badges by themselves as they had been fully entitled to. Of course, maybe I am missing something and somebody dispose of more precise information on this subject. I would be really glad to get anything new to complete or even change what I have written above. Your badge, despite the pictures are in rather small size, seems OK for me. I would say it´s WWI original, because of the overall execution. It is quite possible that it was made by Zimbler. Needle would be OK when put on the dress uniform. Zimbler made almost all of its products of non-precious metals. I have seen some badges made by Rothe or other (civil) jewellers, of the highest craftsmanship, mostly in silver and sometimes with dedications in beautiful leather boxes. Sometimes they have identical shape as the official badges, but sometimes they look different. All of them are rare and quite expansive on the phaleristics marker now. Your badge is good addition to the collection and many collectors have the same or similar badges. Regards, tifes