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ilieff

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  1. Nice one Graf. This is General Draganov just a year priot to his death.
  2. The Maltese cross on the below picture (circled). It's the same as shown on the uniform from post 27 in this thread.
  3. Your cross should have been gilded, too. I assume the golden layer has worn off with time. All classes except 5th and 6th had gilt.
  4. Here's another one: This is how some Bulgarian priests used to wear their medals - suspended at the neck
  5. Guys, I think there's no disagreement here. I did say that 'there was no Grand Cross class before the Independence' - I merely tried to point out that often the term 'Grand cross' was being misused for the 1st class even by officials and especially by foreigners (westerners in particular) for whom any decoration worn on a sash over the shoulder was a Grand Cross/Grand Cordon. I believe that this might be the main reason for the introduction of the Grand cross - the attempt to modernize and align the decorations system with the European (i.e. not Russian) standards and not the newly declared Independence. In regard to the change of the crown - Prince Romanoff even points out that the change was initiated in 1891 (assuming he means the 1st change in the Civil merit order). In the period of 1891-1910 there has been a number of changes in the design of the crown and perhaps in this transitional period there were also limited numbers of the new style crows being awarded with the Alexander order, too. Certainly the higher classes were, at least. However, this contradicts the general understanding that these were only awarded after 1908. Here's an image of 1907. The bishop on the left wears a (what appears to be) generic non-jewelled grand officer cross with flat top crown. I haven't been searching for such images in particular but I will try to find some more because it's an interesting topic. Lastly, about the size of the collar badge - not too sure which of the info I read is correct, but I assume that perhaps none of it was, as the quoted numbers varied from 39 to 55 mm. My understanding is that the necklace was given in addition to a Grand Cross/ I class badge, so it makes sense (just like other orders) to have a similar badge attached to it (i.e. 55mm). Thanks
  6. Very nice! Here are images of the orders you are enquiring. Unfortunately, I cannot say why the King decided to use a Bulgarian crown (if it is at all) between a foreign award and its chain. Perhaps the original crown wasn't jewelled, so was replaced with a jewelled one - or perhaps there wasn't a crown at all and it was added in. It's hard to read King Ferdinand's mind - He has worn so many unique awards and combinations that it's impossible to keep track all of them. Similar is the case with his Legion d'honneur - as we know, He's been presented with a generic set (sold recently, I believe) but there is a photo of Him wearing an enamelled star from the Monarchy period instead. I am not too sure if that would be acceptable for the French republic, but these are the facts. Yes - the jewelled St.St. Cyril and Methodius set - it is unique indeed, produced for the 30th anniversary of His reign, thus the star bears the corresponding years inscribed. King Simeon II has also worn this star on several occasions. Pictures do exist, too. Please note that the jewelled badge which is on online sale is not the one which belonged to the King. The scans I provide are from Schalafoff's book, but they are also depicted in the earlier Prince Romanoff's book, where we can also see other variations of this high decorations, including enlarged breast stars (100mm). Lastly, so far the only two decorations which I couldn't identify are the one Robert enquired and another Maltese-shaped cross of very crude shape, worn on most of the King's uniforms during ww1 (I showed a photo somewhere in the thread earlier). I am not too sure if the former is the Tuscan order, as suggested above, because it is clear that the enamel is white (or of very light colour), rather than red. I am prone to think that it's just a strangely designed Maltese order but I cannot find evidence or logic in this direction (yes, it does make sense for this to be an Italian-related award). Thanks,
  7. Hi new world, The introduction of the flat-top crown after the Independence of 1908 is a myth. 'Tsar' crown, as some call it, have been around for quite some time before 1908 and the proclamation of the Tsardom/Kingdom is (should) only used as a very general milestone in the history of the order. Here are a couple of images which prove that flat-top crowns were used well before this: The Princess-consort wearing a diamond order with new type of crown (dated 1893) Gen. Markov wearing a 2nd/3rd class with new type of crown on the very date of the proclamation of the Independence There are also images of other people wearing such orders well before 1908. My second point: I do not want to prove that there was a grand cross prior to 1908/1909 - I am just pointing out that the terms 1 class and grand cross were being used interchangeably (both officially and unofficially) ever since the foundation of the order - by the way, this is proven by a thread you posted last month - the Statute of the Order from 1896 where it clearly says "1 classe = Grand 'Croix". Thanks, Ilieff
  8. Hi, I don't think it really matters whether it's 54, 55 or 56 mm, as long at it's not more or less than that. I think there have been samples of 56mm in size too. It has to do with the fact that sometimes a) the hand-crafting/polishing/gilding takes more material off the base of the cross, thus the size decreases or inscreased; OR b) people who measure these did not use well-calibrated tools, thus the result is slightly off (nothing personal here). As for the Collar - I don't think the badge differs. It should be a generic GrandCross/I class badge just attached to a chain instead. Please correct me if I am wrong. And by the way, the central medallion of the obverse is rotated 180 (or so) degrees. If you feel confident enough, you can try to rotate it to its correct position. Thanks
  9. Hi Robert, These are: the Order of Danilo (5th class) and the Saxe-Ernestine house order (1st class Knights cross)
  10. Hi Joseph, Short answer: This cannot be determined, unless you trace back the original document/story or at least a date of decoration. Long answer: It's a bit like the Schrödinger's cat paradox - the cross is currently both a Grand cross and 1st Class and you wouldn't be able to tell, unless you find solid evidence of it being either of the two. We had a discussion about this earlier this year when some people considered that the two grades are completely different (and they are to some extent) but after the so called introduction of the Grand cross, the size and appearance remained the same, thus, the only difference between the pre- and post-conversion orders was simply the wording used to describe them. Of course, there was this new green 1st class which was introduced but it wasn't meant to be a substitution for the old 1st class. My personal opinion is that the old 1st class (white) ranks above the new 1st class (green) and perhaps equal or near-to-equal to the new Grand cross (if they can be matched at all). In addition, I believe that people of the late XIX century had the same dilemma, as in official documents, we can see the top grade of the order being described as both 'I class' and 'Grand croix' on different occasions - just to add to the confusion. Personal opinion: You can call it Grand cross/I class, if that's acceptable for you. At the end of the day, the main thing which matters is the fact that regardless of the exact time of decoration, it was the top grade of the order at the time. Ilieff
  11. Hi all, I thought we need a separate thread for interesting photographs and portraits, rather than putting such images in between discussions of other threads. I hope you'd agree. Here's the first one: Prince Alexander I of Bulgaria (probably photographed after his abdication) wearing a modest set of three decorations on his chest: bravery order (4th class) - interesting example - perhaps one of those mythical French-made ones (due to the swords) Voluntary corps medal of 1881- interesting because the Prince wasn't really eligible to be decorated with it but apparently he was medal for the war with Serbia (1886) - not sure whether this is indeed this particular medal (could be something foreign). This fact poses the question whether the Prince received a 'replacement' 2nd type medal (like the rest) or stuck with the 1st type. The answer to this question would perhaps solve the myth of the 'ribbon of different colour' for the 1st type. and The star - Order of Leopold with swords (not that interesting but very untypical), though at first glance I took it for a Bravery order star Thanks Ilieff
  12. Now for a sudden change in topic from the highest award to [perhaps] the lowest: It looks as if fakers are now trying to fake even the cheapest of medals - bronze medals of merit. I find this pathetic.
  13. Very nice. I`m still trying to find a copy of this, in order to make it available on my website.
  14. Are you sure that these are not photographs of the same medal? The ribbons look identical and this can hardly be achieved as these are hand-stitched. The photograph Igor posted is from the archives of the website, so it's older than [perhaps] 10 years - it might be your medal prior to you purchasing it.
  15. I cannot quote any figures, but certainly not that many were decorated. This is one of the rarest emissions in general, and I have only seen photographs of 5 or 6 medals (both bronze and silver) in total. We are still waiting for a 'golden' medal of this issue to be discovered (in case it existed at all).
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