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Gentleman's Military Interest Club


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  1. 922F

    St. Alexander star, 1881

    Great item! Marks look like those of I. Oseritskij [maker] and 84 [silver]...
  2. Simply an amazing major coup!!! Strongly agree that Rick would have been overjoyed!!!
  3. Judging mostly by the badge [lowest one, hangs almost beside star] this looks like a civil division set. Take into consideration my poor eyesight combined with the image size & wash-out, however.
  4. 922F

    Order of the Leopard - Bophuthatswana

    Noticed Bophuthatswana's coat of arms on medal reverses in Post 10 above. Bophuthatswana's national motto, Tshwaraganang Lo Dire Pula E Ne [Tswana for "If we stand together and work hard we will be blessed with rain"] appears as the coat of arms motto underneath the blason. This caused me to revisit the entire thread where for the first time I saw what looks like an inscription embossed into the star motto ring Post 6 above. It seems more visible from the reverse but the obverse image shows enamel 'thins' at the embossing's location. Sometimes gouges or lines are made in metal before enameling to ensure that the enamel bonds more securely to the metal. This technique is known as Champlevé. It may be that whatever is embossed into the motto ring was so intended. However, I seem to make out letters along the lines of "AFRIKAANCE--" on the upper half and "AFRICA--A" on the lower part. [Dashes indicate unclear characters.] This text, if that's what it is, seems unrelated to Bophuthatswana's national motto. Maybe it's the manufacturer's mark or indicates that the same die was used for another item. Perhaps the original design included a motto ring legend? Any ideas?
  5. This man has been identified as a son of King Toffa II of Porto Novo or as a Marcus Garvey disciple...neither with any conclusive proof. He somewhat resembles Toffa's son Prince Adjiki, sent to Paris as Ambassador in the 1880's. The decorations suggest that neither of the supposed IDs are correct.
  6. Cursory search of Silver Star multiple recipients lists reveals a scant handful of supposed 9 time winners, none named Delaney. Looks like at least 2 ribbon mounts here. Some Vietnamese ribbons apparently not in correct rank order. Can't make out shoulder tab insignia--which might be an ID clue.
  7. 922F

    A Chainlet of 5 Minis

    Although they are handsome minis, you are correct. They are of course collectible and often not as expensive as national or regional awards.
  8. 922F

    A Chainlet of 5 Minis

    Specialist websites like that of M. Semon chronicle these sorts of awards. Most of the groups that use such awards have [or had] a five class award structure usually with French style ranks/insignia. The first item on the mini bar that resembles a Belgian Royal Order of the Lion cross format with commander rosette on ribbon indicates membership in the Société Vivre et Sourire [live & smile/laugh Society] also known as Société Dévouement Civiquesee, among other names, see eZay https://www.befr.ebay.be/itm/MED-556-MEDAILLE-VIVRE-ET-SOURIRE/401610527583?hash=item5d81da535f:g:rs8AAOSwhN5btFee:rk:1:pf:0 The second has been identified as either the Royal Polish [exile] Merit Order or the Franco-Polish Historical Recognition Order. I know of no definitive proof for either or what entity it definitely indicates. As to the blue enamel one, I do not have even a tentative identification. A similar badge with red enamel arms, however, is yet another Public Education/Instruction society award. The Ordre Ouvre Humanitaire officer mini is 2nd type. The group had to alter their badge design as the first type [pictured above post 3] resembled Legion of Honor insignia too closely. Except for high-profile people decorated by these 'charitable organizations' generally for publicity purposes, persons admitted to such bodies pay what equate to admission, membership and insignia cost fees as well as contribute to various associated fund-raisers. The groups use money they collect to do good. Many of them actually put some of the funds they collect to charitable use--others do not using them for social functions or 'overhead' expenses.
  9. This museum constantly improves in terms of facilities, displays and information resources. The staff, unfailingly knowledgeable, helpful to visitors, and polite, really appear to enjoy their work. I first visited it in 1980 when housed in an old barracks closer to the city center. Even then, it was of remarkable quality. Enhanced presentation, not to mention the greatly increased range of materials on display, really sets a standard for similar exhibitions. Other Eastern European military museums, like the National Military Museum (Muzeul Militar Naţional) at 125-127 Mircea Vulcănescu St., Bucharest, Romania, offer further outstanding examples of the museological art.
  10. Wonderful item in prostine condition!, Uwe. You are lucky!
  11. Don't find him [other than an image] in Neal O'Conner's works. Didn't he fly with the Turks rather than Bulgarians?
  12. 922F

    Unknown Italian neck award

    Mea Culpa--too old eyes and faulty memory. Last 2 photos seem to show Raeder with a ribbon bar and pin back awards. Boris' bio Crown of Thorns reports "...Field Marshal Keitel and Grand Admiral Dönitz headed the German delegation", p 384. I find no mention of Boris' funeral in Dönitz' autobiography. It would seem extremely unusual that both Dönitz and Raeder would attend so CoT likely seems wrong! Raeder reportedly received the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Alexander with swords on September 3, 1941. It looks like the Bulgarian report claiming that both Dönitz & Keitel received a Bulgarian star & sash set before Boris' funeral ceremonies was completely incorrect! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY3A1x3ZH2Q at 1:15 3:02 certainly looks like Raeder wearing a St. Alexander GC star with Keital in background! See also
  13. This may be either ex-Alexander Patterson collection which Paul describes above or of a piece with that example. The serrated reverse center and clunky reverse ribbon attachments indicate that type work. Another person [don’t recall the name but maybe a Bavarian] started as a sort of EB worker/collaborator but graduated to making or enhancing their own product for a year or two in the mid-1970's. This variety is somewhat cruder than those attributed to Ernst. [Oak leaf reverse bent pin attachment may be a hint?] D.R. Overall-Hatswell Collection had several of both types.
  14. 922F

    Unknown Italian neck award

    1812 thank you for the above images! The 4th funeral image depicts Keitel wearing what appears to be a St. Alexander star, maybe Grand Cross with swords through the center. Conceivably, he received a St. Alexander in 1941-2 when he liaised closely with the Bulgarians during the Balkan Campaign. That possibility leaves open what, if any, Bulgarian award with star he and Dönitz may have received at the funeral. Image 7 angle seems to show Dönitz with a Romanian Michael the Brave and pinback awards but in image 5 Dönitz does not appear to wear these. Suspect that apparent image 7 awards actually relate to the Romanian officer in image 7 back standing behind and to left of Dönitz.
  15. Hi Yankee, Yes, sadly the phaleristic enhancer’s or forger’s art is/was widespread and has been documented in 1890’s sales/auction catalogs and probably before. Some copies may truly be replacements for original recipients' lost awards. Others seem clearly made for more or less legitimate purposes, like the Imperial Haitian Order insignia made in the 1950’s by Bertrand to illustrate Major Francis Etienne’s book, Decorations haitiennes a travers l'histoire Port-au-Prince (1954), and the French Three Golden Fleeces examples. Others….[1974] well do you really want that Berthold collar for 90,000DM? To my knowledge Rothe never put other than their marks [if any] on their ‘collector copy’ work. This was done by 'job lotters' or individuals. Tells include Rozet & Fischmeister’s name/logo engraved on Iron Crown reverse banderolls [aka lappets or infulae], something never seen on original R & F work which have the names in relief or raised letters. Other give-aways include bungled letter, trapezoid & and star punches suggesting Meyer origin on Leopold or Maria Theresa badge ribbon loops. However, Rothe certainly made copies of their work well into the 1960’s and early '70's at least. Even as late as the late '80's they did special commission work, mainly on A-H orders but also Mexican Eagle badges, a couple of Italian States Orders and Bavarian Crown stars among others. These were on display for sale in vitrines to the right of the shop entry door and in counter cases along with genuine items. One could specify bronze-gilt or silver-gilt varities--not sure about gold. While the metal stamping work of those is often hard to differentiate from original work, the enamel work and enamel detail fall short of originals. The very heavy crosshatching on Bavarian Crown star centers is a give-away for example…and whether Rothe ever was an official supplier of that order insignia remains an open topic. Again to my understanding, Rothe did make 'replacement' and collector pieces through the '20's-'50's. Maybe up to the early ‘60’s they might have put A-H or Austrian tax release stamps on these but they seem to have stopped applying tax stamps around that time. Someone one this forum mentioned that Rothe dies were sold –2007-14? Possibly those now enjoy reuse?