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About camelneck

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  1. Ruiz, that is a very Nice Medal! In fact, I'm thinking about buying one to go with my latest addition to my Bulgarian collection--the XX Year Long Service Cross. Unlike Ruiz's medal, my XX Year medal is a King Boris issue. Note that the lion crest on the reverse side is lacking the shield with the Saxony Coat of Arms on it. The Neck
  2. In regards to Pavlov's book, I think you guys have made your point. I've been keeping my eye on Ebay hoping to find one, but I didn't realize that $160 was considered a bargain. However, I'm sure it will pay off rather quickly. I wish he would come up with a version that dealt with the Kingdom of Bulgaria exclusively. I could care less about the Communist period and thereafter and I bet that takes up 40% of the book. Nevertheless, it will probably be one of my next purchases. BTW, I finally found a really good website on Kingdom era Bulgarian Awards. It is by far the best single source of information on Bulgarian Awards that I've found so far on the Internet. Here is the web link: It gives fairly good background info on all of the major Bulgarian Awards and their associated ribbons. It includes photos of each class and most grades of the various orders. It also gives hierarchical information on the various awards. This includes a list showing the order that they should appear on medal bars as well as several nice, all-Bulgarian Medal Bars. I was surprised to learn that the Soldier's Cross of Bravery (any of the 4 grades) should appear on a medal bar before a Class 4 Order of Alexander or a Class 4 Order of Military Merit. I'm surprised that nobody mentioned this wonderful website when I was asking about the Order of Merit and the various Medals of Merit (although Graf provided a thread of really good information on these medals. Thanks again, Graf).
  3. Hi, Does anybody know what era the St Alexander Orders shown in the photo is from? I assume the St. Alexander Orders that have the swords above the medal are older than those St Alexander Orders that have the swords piercing the center of the medal. Is this correct. Does anybody know of a particular thread that deals with the St. Alexander variants? I want to learn more, but I hate to fork out a fortune for Pavlov's book.
  4. This is a great thread. For somebody who is just starting to get serious about Bulgarian awards, I also find it a bit scary especially when you see these Frankenstein fakes that were made from various parts of cheaper vintage medals. It makes me wonder "Will there come a day when it is virtually impossible to tell if a medal is fake?" Probably. Perhaps, for now, the best thing to do is just stay away from ebay. It is the ideal dumping ground for fake medals. Please keep up the good work, guys. The best way to beat the fakers is to inform the public. We need to know what to look for as well as the names of sellers who are repeat-offenders. Even for those of us (like me) who are not experts, if we see a suspicious medal, we should save photos of it. If the seller is intentionally selling fakes, there Is a good chance that he or she will be selling another suspicious medal that looks identical to it in the not-so-distant future. You can then compare the photos. (Some of these sellers have made their cast forms from medals that had imperfections. So if you see the same imperfection(s) appearing over and over again in different medals, you will know it is a fake.) IMO, the most important thing to look for is imperfections--especially casting mistakes. For example, if you look at the Bravery Medal (ID 106) that New World posted, you see pits and other imperfections on the back side. On the front side of this same medal, there is one arm in particular that has a jagged gold frame. A real medal should be of much better quality because most of those early 20th century jewelers took a lot of pride in their work. If they had a casting that was short of being perfect, they threw it back in the melting pot and recast it. David
  5. Beau, Thank you very much. I was looking at various photos of various variants (tongue twister), and of all the variants that I had looked at, I thought my medal looked most like the Hemmerle variants. However, I didn't know that Hemmerle's first name was Gebuder so I wasn't aware of the connection between the GH and Hemmerle. Thanks for clearing that up for me! David
  6. I was wondering if someone could tell me the maker and the approximate date of issue for my latest addition to the family. GH 950 on the back of the Agraffe GH 900 on the back of the sword. Thanks.
  7. This is a very nice medal, Deruelle. I've been looking for one very similar to this (Model 2 with crown and swords). (I prefer the swords through the center of the medal as opposed to the ones with the swords between the top of the medal and the crown.)
  8. Hi, I was recently doing a bit of research on the awards of Nazi Field Marshalls. So far I have discovered that at least 3 of Hitler's Field Marshalls (and 1 Generaloberst) were awarded the Prussian Order of the Crown either before or during WW1: *A) FM Werner von Blomberg (2 awards: a) 4th class (presumably without swords) and b) "4th class with swords and crown") B) FM Gerd Von Rundstedt (4th class) (no mention of swords) C) FM Fedor Von Bock (4th class) (no mention of swords) D) Generaloberst Ludwig Beck (4th class) (no mention of swords) *I found 3 different Internet websites that contained a list of Blomberg's awards. All 3 of these websites listed Blomberg as being the recipient of two different versions of the Prussian Order of the Crown: Version 1) Order of the Crown, 4th class (no swords) and 2) Order of the Crown, 4th class with Swords and Crown (Prussia). (All 3 lists were identical (exact same words, same order, same everything) so all 3 lists came from a common source.) I would normally presume that "4th class" (no mention of swords) means "4th class without swords". However, I thought most military officers received the "with swords" variant. Thus, I want confirmation. Unfortunately, all of my information came from the Internet. Hopefully, someone who has access to more reliable information can provide more reliable information in regards to whether each of these awards was issued "without swords" or "with swords". QUESTIONS: (all questions can be answered with 1 word) 1a) Was Rundstedt's award with or without swords? 1b) Was Bock's award with or without swords? 1c) Was Beck's awards with or without swords? 2a) Did Blomberg receive "one" or "two" variants of the Prussian Order of the Crown? (variant 1 = no swords, variant 2 = swords). 2b) If the answer to question 2a) is "two (or 2)", was the 2nd variant "with swords" or was it "with swords and crown"? 2c) Is there a variant of the "Prussian Order of the Crown" that comes with both "swords and a crown"? I've never seen one. If anybody has one, please post a photo. 3) In regards to the "Prussian Order of the Crown with swords", was the "with swords" variant only awarded during wartime? This is a lot of questions (7), but each question can be answered in a single word. However, feel free to use more than one word if you wish.) Thanks, David
  9. Demir, I appreciate your opinion. Thanks! David
  10. Hi, I was thinking about buying this Gallipoli star. The front side looks beautiful and is very unique. The enamel appears to be antique, but then again, I don't consider myself an expert. However, what bothers me most is the fact that there are several casting mistakes on the back side of this award. It appears to be very rough in places and there is a lot of pitting especially around the balls. A friend of mine also pointed out some pitting on and around a couple of the balls on the front side (particularly the ball on the 9 o'clock arm). Since variants of this award were made in Turkey, Austria, and Germany, I've seen many different examples of this award and I've also heard the quality of workmanship varied from excellent to fair. Thus, I'd like to hear from some fellow collectors who know a lot more about this award than I do. Is this medal a fake or is it just a victim of shoddy workmanship (especially on the reverse side)? Thanks, David aka Camelneck
  11. Thanks Graf, I wasn't planning on buying this one. (I actually bought one Saturday night.) Thanks for your opinions and thanks for the excellent tips. Mr. C Neck
  12. I recently found the following Order of Merit (2nd class) for sale. In the description the seller referred to it as being silver. However, I have never seen silver tarnish like this before.. This raises a question, was the Order of Merit (2nd class) suppose to be pure silver or was it silver-plated bronze (or brass)? If the Order of Merit (2nd class) was made of pure silver then logic dictates that the medal pictured below is either 1) a fake or 2) the silver has somehow developed a very unusual bronze-like patina. On the other hand, it the Order of Merit (2nd class) was made of silver-plated brass or bronze as opposed to being true silver, then there a 3rd possibility comes into play: 3) this was a silver-plated bronze medal that has lost all of its silver. Well, enough of my logic, I would like to hear from the experts as to why the medal below doesn't look like Igor's Order of Merit (above). They both suppose to be silver, but only Igor's looks like a silver medal. --------- Igor, Those are very nice awards. I especially like your Order of Merit. Thanks for posting!
  13. In addition to a rosette, didn't all the 4th class awards have gold crowns and swords? (At least mine has a gold crown and gold swords.) On the other hand, don't the 5th class awards have silver swords and silver crowns (provided they come with a crown)? I think the same thing was true about the Romanian Order of the Crown? My Officer's Class has a Rosette on the ribbon and gold gilt on the crown and swords. However, I believe the Knight's Class has no Rosette and their swords and crown are silver instead of gold? ---------- Elaborating on what Hypnos was saying, there were actually 36 possible variations of the Medal of Merit although I don't know if all 36 possible types were awarded. Each Medal of Merit falls into 6 basic categories: gold, silver, bronze, gold with crown, silver with crown, and bronze with crown. For each of these 6 categories, there are 6 sub-categories based upon who or what is on the front side of the medal: 1) Knjaz (Prince) Alexander; 2) Knjaz Ferdinand; 3) Tsar Ferdinand I, 4) Tsar Boris III, 5) Tsar Boriss III (with "A" missing from Bulgaria); and 6) a regent coat of arms instead of a prince or king. Technically speaking, there was a 37th variation which was awarded to Stefan Stambolov which was a gold medal with crown and diamonds. (If one was to count wartime awards that were awarded on the bravery ribbon, there were over 50 variations of this award.) And I used to think that the Bavarian MVK held the record for the most variations ... David