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Elmar Lang

A General with the "Literis et Artibus" Medal

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Hello,

one of my recent acquisitions, is this group of orders, medals and a portrait photograph of an Austrian General wearing, besides his "typical" orders and decorations, the oval, neck medal for arts and sciences, instituted on August 20th 1887.

The decoration is in gold and black enamel; ring, crown and medal's suspension loop are struck with the old Austrian manufacturer's (Rothe) and gold marks.

As a comparison, I add the picture of the medal, along with a French medal of the Archaeological Academy (this piece too, shows old Austrian marks).

Does anyone have an idea on who's this general?

Many thanks in advance, for any help and advise,

Enzo

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Enzo,

I can find only one serving General officer in 1914 with the medal for arts and sciences but not all the listed decorations match:

General der Infanterie Emil Woinovich v. Belobreska, Director of the Vienna War Archives was awarded the medal for arts and sciences in April 1907. Unfortunately I do not have a good comparison photograph.

His awards as at 1914.

FJO-GK

LO-R

EKO-R3

Ehrenzeichen f?r Kunst u. Wissenschaft

MVK

Kriegsmedaille

Milit?rdienstzeichen 2. Classe f?r Offiziere

Bronzene Jubil?umserinnerungsmedaille

Regards

Glenn

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Hello Glenn,

thank you for your reply: I think that you've solved the "mistery". General Wojnovich received the Ehrenzeichen f?r Kunst und Wissenschaft on April 4th, 1907; on an old Austrian book on the Franz Josef Orden, I've found his picture and it matches with the portait one, acquired with the medals.

Your further observation is also right: it looks strange that with all these decorations a MVK is missing. Actually, when I've bought the group, it was partially "looted" already from other collectors. They bought other "lower" pieces, like another long service cross, buttons, other pictures and who knows what else. The seller was going to separate the whole (remaining) group, but after a short discussion I was able to take these pieces home.

It's a pity when an interesting group is consciously split with the idea: "I'll get much more money". I'm happy with what I've found; I'm not happy with what -for pure ignorance- have been dispersed.

Best wishes,

Enzo

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@Enzo

thanks for showing what a unique combination.

The Name Woinovic i read before. Did this group came from Carinthia?

Maybe then i have something that belonged to the same family.

Look here

This came from Carinthia aswell. They sold family papers and bef?rderungsurkunden that belonged to the woinovic-family

Feldmarschall-Leutnant Maximillian Freiherr von Reisingers daughter Elisa (1824-1852) married Johann von Woinovic, k.k. General-Major und Festungskommandant zu Legnano. After her death in 1852 Woinovic married Antonie another Reisinger-daughter.

Funny, isn't it

haynau

Edited by haynau

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Hi Enzo

Congratulations in obtaining that fantastic group :jumping::jumping: Really great that you were able to rescue the remainder of the group from the wrecking ball. All too often they get broken up. Thinking there easier to sell, unfortunately on high ticket items in a group there dispersed even more. Very seldom to see an Austrian group that can be identified. I have seen a copy of the :D book on the Franz Joseph recipients a bit like 5 telephone books stacked on top of one another, excellent source for all individuals are wearing full uniforms & decorations. Thanks for sharing.

Sincerely

Brian

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Hello,

many thanks for the replies.

The group appeared for sale in South Tyrol. The portrait photo has the mark of a frame-maker from Innsbruck and the seller told me that the group comes from that city, where it was for sale at an antique dealer. In the various passages, something was sold (f.e. the full-size Grand Cross of the Franz Joseph Orden) and other amenities. At last, a good friend of mine told me about the opportunity and I ran to the flea market where this dealer took the group. Before my arrival, other small pieces were away already; and in the pictures you can see what I've been able to take home.

The French medal put for confrontation, is in my collection since the '90s and was for sale at Rauch, Vienna.

The "Literis et Artibus" medal is very rare (well... please, not unique), so I'm quite happy for having added it to my Austrian "Wunderkammer".

To Haynau: that "Feldbesteck" is a nice, gentleman's accessory!

Best wishes,

Enzo

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Enzo,

came across this today. You now need his RAO. :D This from around 1904/1905.

Regards

Glenn

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...collecting is a neverending story...

Now, I want HIS Commander's Cross of the RAO, not anyone's one!

Enzo

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Woinovich is a medieval Serbian noble family from Herzegovina. Some of the Woinovichs were generalsand admirals in the Russian Imperial Army as well.

082 Kosancic_Voinovic.jpg

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Well, it´s very much true what was stated by Sajkaca about Serbian noble family of Vojnovich/Woinowitch however, it doesn’t seem likely that Emil Woinowitsch von Belobreska has anything to do with this noble house. House of Woinowitch could be tracked back to late 16 century and was active in 18th and 19th century with members of the family living up to mid-20th century. There is no record of any kuk general named Emil Woinowich or Vojnovich in the Vojnovich pedigree, which is well documented. Nobility titles of the Voinovich family had been recognised in Republic of Venice and by Russian Imperial Court, but it´s doubtful whether Austrian Empire or Austria-Hungary ever recognised the noble status of this family.

Emil Woinowich was born in Dalmatia in the town of Petrinja and his father was military engineer. Family originated from small town of Belobreska, nowadays in Rumania on border with Serbia. His family was of common origin. He was raised to the Hungarian nobility just in 1905 as Feldmarschalleutnant with the predicate “belobreskai” (de/von Belobreska)  and consequently promoted to the rank of baron in 1916 when he was already full general. There is no evidence of “re-nobilitation” - quite widespread and many time foul practise when wealthy bourgeois families had been trying to prove that they are originating from old, usually lesser nobility but the evidence was “lost in time". General Emil Woinowich didn’t need it because he earned his noble title for long-lasting and very successful military service. However, he obviously used the resemblance of his name with above mentioned Serbian noble house and asked for coat of arms very similar to the one used by original Vojnovich family. The shield is basically the same but the crest is different. It was obviously enough to be accepted by Austrian authorities as Austrian Empire or Austria-Hungary probably ever recognised the noble status of this family in its own territory. I have also found another new nobilitation for certain György (Georg) Woinowich who has got a Hungarian noble title with predicate „vracsevgáji“ (von/de Vracsevgáj) in 1893. His coat of arms was also „heavily inspired“ by Serbian noble house of Vojnovich.  He was captain in 39th infantry regiment in Vienna and he hadn’t any connection either to Serbian noble house of Vojnovich or Emil Woinowich von Belobreska. Pls see link on nobilitation info (in Czech) and coat of arms of both officers:  woinovich von belobreska ; woinovich de vracsevgaj

It should be also said that the name “Vojnovic” and its variants is not unique one and there are many families in Balkan region or even in Russian speaking countries going under this name. It’s similar like in Hungary or Slovakia where you can easily find hundreds of people with names like Pálffy, Andrássy or Koháry  but they have anything to do with old Hungarian aristocracy.   

Anyway congrats to Enzo to beautiful general´s Woinowich von Belobreska group presided by unique (yes, Enzo, in original it´s above “very rare” level ;)) “Literis et Artibus” medal.    

 

Tifes/Tomas

 

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19 minutes ago, tifes said:

There is no evidence of “re-nobilitation” - quite widespread and many time foul practise when wealthy bourgeois families had been trying to prove that they are originating from old, usually lesser nobility but the evidence was “lost in time".

Just to add to Tomas's comprehensive posting, here is a link to a most interesting journal article, in English, by Jan Županič on the subject of re-ennoblement in the KuK,

Re-ennoblement and nobility issues at the dawn of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (2009)

In his introduction, he gives a good explanation of how a bourgeois soldier could become ennobled under the 30-year service rule.

Edited by Trooper_D

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1 hour ago, tifes said:

Well, it´s very much true what was stated by Sajkaca about Serbian noble family of Vojnovich/Woinowitch however, it doesn’t seem likely that Emil Woinowitsch von Belobreska has anything to do with this noble house. House of Woinowitch could be tracked back to late 16 century and was active in 18th and 19th century with members of the family living up to mid-20th century. There is no record of any kuk general named Emil Woinowich or Vojnovich in the Vojnovich pedigree, which is well documented. Nobility titles of the Voinovich family had been recognised in Republic of Venice and by Russian Imperial Court, but it´s doubtful whether Austrian Empire or Austria-Hungary ever recognised the noble status of this family.

Emil Woinowich was born in Dalmatia in the town of Petrinja and his father was military engineer. Family originated from small town of Belobreska, nowadays in Rumania on border with Serbia. His family was of common origin. He was raised to the Hungarian nobility just in 1905 as Feldmarschalleutnant with the predicate “belobreskai” (de/von Belobreska....

This is not correct information. Vojnovic surname can be found in Dalmatia in small town Omis and all of them are Croats. In town Petrinja and Glina we can find Vojnovic surname too, but they are Serbs and Petrinja and Glina are in Banija, which is continental part of Croatia. Dalmatia is coastal part of Croatia.

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True, I apologize. Petrinja is in the Banija region, however, he was born there or at least the original record says that. I would say his birthplace it´s not so much of importance as he could be born wherever as his father as kuk officer could be stationed basically anywhere. General himself during his long active career was serving at many places as in Bosnia and Herzegovina during Uprising then in Esztergom (Hungary), Prague and ended up in Vienna. After the fall of Austria-Hungary he obviously signed in to Austrian citizenship.     

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Hello posters, I found this thread and it is fascinating. 

I discovered the thread while looking for Austro-Hungarian military records about my family.  And I believe that Emil Vojnovic is my direct ancestor!  I know this isn't a ancestry.com posting board, but since I would think that more information around the posting topic may be of interest I'll share what I know.

I can address some of the facts that were discussed in the thread, I'm born and raised American so I will be using American English and some of my spelling may be different than you are used to.  I will share what I know of "family history" to help broaden the Emil Vojnovic story. 

Emil's line of Vojnovic's are Serbs from the Lika region of Croatia and were Serbian Orthodox.  His father Johann was a commoner who saved an Austro-Hungarian general's life through some particular act of valor on the battlefield. The general then provided Johann with a battlefield promotion and promised to educate Johann's three sons in the military academy.  Emil had two brothers, both in service, one of whom died in service while on the frontier at I believe the rank of Major.  The education promised may have been the k.u.k. referenced in one of the posts here.  Their sons/cousins continued on in service eventually through the 2nd world war with my father being the last.  He was only 16 at the start and was a Yugoslavian Army air cadet when the German's invaded.  His Uncle was a Colonel at that time.  These are the records I have been searching for/through and working through to begin to gather a more complete history on these years of the family. Of course, being American, records are all in 18th century German handwritten documents.  Oh well, I'll figure a solution eventually.

The crest that was also shared in this posting is very similar to a crest that I found in my father's papers.  I do not believe that this is a noble family crest though, my father felt like either his grandfather or one of his uncles designed it.  If I can find the crest in our documents I will scan it and post here.

The medals are spectacular and the whole family is thrilled to discover that they have survived.  With all the "history" that has occurred through the region in the last 100 years, it is really a miracle.  And to think that these medals resulted in one of you here not only researching and finding not just one photo, but two photos of my great-grandfather is really something else!  

Thank you for your efforts, I know you are collectors but you really are keeping these wonderful memories from being tossed away or just randomly lost or destroyed.  I would have never know these photos of my great-grandfather existed!

Greg

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