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utopis

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Everything posted by utopis

  1. The order shown in post #7 is a fake. Seemingly originating from Eastern Europe, these relatively well made pieces appeared fairly recently on the market together with a number of other rare awards (Sukhe, Red Banner for Military Valour, Civil/Industrial Valour).
  2. Considering that this award was only awarded 2 times, one of them to Mannerheim himself, I doubt there even are any in private collections. About two year ago a Swedish auction house offered a cased near mint 2nd class for sale. The asking price was about €30,000 however I don't recall what the result was.
  3. No, it's the real deal. It's part of the Royal Collection See here: https://www.rct.uk/collection/441498/order-of-the-black-eagle-prussia-george-vs-star-with-garter
  4. Both the star in #66 and the set in #76 are Rothe pieces. However, the question to be answered is when these pieces were manufactured. The first star is lacking any marks and the second doesn't bear the typical "C.F.Rothe" "Wien" hallmarks. The star's overall quality also seems a little lower than what one would expect from Rothe pieces. An expert on Austrian decorations should be easily able to tell whether these pieces were made pre or post 1945.
  5. A rarely seen breast star. This specimen is a little damaged: pin missing, four pearls broken and a few cracks to the enamel. Nevertheless, I think it's always nice to see this rare pieces.
  6. Great Images, are the whereabouts of the king's bejeweled insignia known? In addition, if this is not the king's insignia, whose is it then? Where such badges awarded to high Bulgarian/ foreign nobility or are these simply later manufactured pieces for the royal family? Obviously a variation of the Maltese order comes to mind, I suggested the Tuscan decoration, mainly, because of the central stone which I only recall on this decoration and not on any other. In addition there where a few special made pieces with a white surface. However, as said before the Tuscan breast star had a different design than the badge.
  7. Besides the Bulgarian decorations (and the Golden Fleece) only Italian decorations can be seen in the photo. In it's design the star reminds me very much of the Tuscan Order of Saint Stephen's badge, although it's breast stars had a slightly different appearance. The cross, the fleur de lis and the stone in the center are identical, however.
  8. This is a very interesting photo. Not only does it show the previously unseen (?) bejeweled breast star of the St. Cyril and Methodius Order but it also serves as photographic evidence for the sash/collar badge currently on sale. Having never seen period pictures depicting such a badge in wear but instead only rather recent pictures of similar badges worn by the royal family, I had my doubts.
  9. Some time ago this, so called St. Sava for non Christians was offered for sale on auction at a staggering starting price of 9000€, accompanied by the following description: "Serbia - St. Sava Order 2. model (1903-1945) for Non-christians Grandofficers Set. 1.) Cross: Silver partially gilded and enamelled multiple parts and open work on movable crown on decorated neck ribbon ring with likly incorrect neck ribbon 2.) Star: Body silver diamond cut multiple parts device partially gilded and enamelled open work device reverse twice screwed on on pin.#88 x 52 mm / 93 x 89 mm325 g / 862 g.##Contrary to the regular decorations the following differences are obvious - the breast shields of the double-head-eagles in the corners of the arms are removed as well as the dedication in the medallion wreath St. Sava from the medallion was replaced by the Iron Crown of the Lombardy. The changes where made in juweleres quality and before the decoration itself was assembled. #The Order was given for various merits in the civil sector as well for merits in the field of Religion. Like in Russia - wehre there are decorations for Non-christians - in the christian-orthodoy-muslim Serbia they did same with the Order that was named after a christian Saint. Saint Sava as well as the medallion circumscription dedicated to him that can easily be viewed as christian representatives where replaced by the Iron Crown of Lombardy. The crown is an ancient symbole of crowning - it should originate from the 5. Century and was first posessed by the Ostrogoths King Theoderich and was used for crowning first time by Konrad III. Many more crownings should follow. Therfor its a simbole showing the legitimacy of the serbian royal dignity which made an award to a Non-christian then also possible. Of greates rarity." Never having heard of a piece like that I was quite skeptical at first. And it didn't get better from there on. Having spoken to our dear member paja, he confirmed my concerns. So what's the idea behind this piece? Since Sava is a Christian saint, an award bearing his depiction would be unfit for a recipient believing in a different religion. So far the story but is it likely that these pieces were awarded? I don't think so. First of all why has no other piece been seen or even mentioned in the corresponding literature? Surely there was more than one award to non Christians. What about the Japanese medal bars we have seen with St Savas? - All of them were standard issues. What about the Crown of Lombardy? How has that anything to do with Serbia? I think the logic was supposed to be that the iron crown was the first insignia of Christendom, which also wouldn't be fitting for non Christians. Another thing: The star base appears to be Huegenin made (so post WWI)- why would anyone consider the sign of an enemy state (formerly part of the Austrian Order of the Iron Crown) as a fit? Why not just follow the Russian example and put the double headed eagle at the center? This looks to me like an authentic order that has been doctored just to make some extra bucks.
  10. Well, let's take a closer look at it, shall we: The selling price was 13K, Rauch's fee + vat is 18.3 %, So Weitze paid roughly €15,400 (not counting shipping). I don't know how much Weitze makes a year, but making an educated guess here, I would say that when you count in all the costs (staff, business premises, tax subtractions for all the money spent on future merchandise) and subtract it from his revenue, his total tax rate is probably not that high I'd say something in the mid 30% range. Meaning that he made a profit of roughly 8K. Now keep in mind that the turnaround for that was under a month and the actual time spent on one little item not that much. That is a yield of 53%, 636% extrapolated on the year. But you see, it's not. 30 items require much more work: buying, photographing, creating the description, putting it online, storing it, communicating with the buyer, shipping. This results in a much higher transaction cost because the cost needs to be multiplied by 30! But wait that's not all: seeing as it is not very likely that he will sell all 30 items in one month, 2-6 month is more likely (based on his large client base, though that might even be a little too optimistic), that means that the monetary value of these items is not freely available, i.e. cannot be reinvested until the items are sold. Basically, you are losing money for every month these items lie around unsold, the amount of which is at the very least equal to your average yield on the common ETF, [i.e. between 1.3 and 4% (for 2-6 month respectively - based on an 8% ann. avg., not counting taxes)]. So all in all there's a huge difference whether you sell the same amount as one or as thirty items. In my opinion it comes all down to this: Of course sellers have to set a markup, otherwise they won't make a living, but usually you don't see it done so blatantly; Rauch is the second largest auction house for ODM in Austria, Weitze is the largest seller of ODM in Germany, to see the same item in such a short time frame with a price increase of 100% in such prominent places... Also, and I think this is key here: Weitze didn't provide any service at all. Sure it takes a lot of time and work to create a business like Weitze's - building a huge customer base and reputation. So if collectors, relatives of deceased collectors or relatives of the awardees turn to him to sell something, it's due to his merit (then there is the whole work on the transaction itself). But this is not the case here. The item was already on sale to the public. No one except Weitze really profited from this: not the original seller (the feeling "what he could've gotten" for this), certainly not the buyer (he'll probably never get his money back on this thing) or the potential buyers who where outbid by Weitze at the auction. It's not that due to Weitze's work an item was offered to the collector's market that otherwise wouldn't have been available to the public. Now, don't get me wrong, I fully support it from a pure free-market point of view, that's how the economy works, it's the same as the car dealer of your choice. But just look at the art market to see what happens if this gets out of hand: Paintings that go for millions, are (very often) not bought by collectors but rather by investors (sometimes even worse: money launderers). Meaning that most private collectors who actually appreciate these paintings will have no chance of acquiring them, instead they'll lie around in a vault or will decorate a mansion's living room, at best.
  11. utopis

    Auction

    Künker is not just a regular seller of orders and medals, it is among the top four (by number of sales and customers) auction houses on this topic in Germany. The other three being Zeige, Thies and Hermann Historica. Künker is regularly selling fakes, not only Russian ones though these seem to be the most prominent. To be honest, I don't believe that they don't know what they are selling - from what I've seen they have considerable knowledge on the topic of orders and medals... but ... ya know, they get 40% of every sold item. Zeige is also selling quite a lot of fakes on a regular basis, last three auction had a few and these are just the ones I remember. The upcoming sale has some, also. Hermann Historica is also known for selling a lot of fakes. Just look at their next sale: fake/fantasy anti partisan badge in diamonds for €50K... Of all these I believe Thies to be the most honest and offering the highest quality items, at least when it comes to German stuff. The only downside is that he is mostly focused on German items.
  12. utopis

    11 Enameled Asian War Medals

    How much have you been offered for them?
  13. On the website of a quite well known Canadian dealer just surfaced a breast star of the Order of the White Eagle with Diamonds. Since we have seen some suspect items form this dealer I'd be interested to hear your opinion on this particular piece. It was supposedly manufactured by the firm Scheid, Vienna between 1890 and 1898 (I wonder why the company name was stamped 4 times on the order). Has the conferring of such a piece ever been mentioned and if so who were the awardees?
  14. Thank you for the great pictures. I've heard about that museum but I had no idea that there is actually that much on display.
  15. Very impressive indeed. (That White Lion collar chain!) Did you take more pictures? If so, could you post some more?
  16. utopis

    osmanieh order with brilliants

    Has anyone ever encountered a bejeweled Osmanieh order like that? I wonder about the imperfections on the golden border, visible on the reverse...
  17. ​As Uwe correctly said, "nun erst recht" is a set phrase which best translates to "now more than ever". It has no plural or singular. The key to understanding this, is the word "erst" which is a particle (not to be confused with the adjective "erst" - same spelling - which means "first, at the beginning"). In German, like in English, particles cannot be inflected, therefore there is neither plural nor singular. The only correct translation of "rechts" (with an "s" - either adverb or preposition) is "right/on the right side" as a statement of place. Funnily enough, when first reading the title, a thought passed through my mind that this could be an intentional misspelling to be understood as a word play i.e. the Nazis are on the very right side of the political spectrum/ the phrase on the badge.
  18. utopis

    My new magnifyer

    Hm, that's quite interesting. So it has some connection ports, right? What about the image quality - how would you compare it to an upper-end-camera?
  19. utopis

    Sv Sava Diamond

    very niece piece - wish I had known about that auction .... In my opinion, even though damaged, not really that expensive
  20. utopis

    osmanieh order with brilliants

    Oh, of course I see the differences between the pieces, I simply assumed that this might have been a (doctored) foreign manufactured piece.
  21. utopis

    osmanieh order with brilliants

    what about these sabers?
  22. utopis

    osmanieh order with brilliants

    so not even an authentic base. Well at least it's made in good quality
  23. utopis

    osmanieh order with brilliants

    Due to the irritatingly white look of the stones and the way in which these were attached, I assume that these are modern synthetics which were slapped onto an older piece
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