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Hendrik

Italy - Orders, Decorations and Medals

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Hi All,

Elsewhere on the forum Haynau asked the question " don't know why so few people collect italian decorations?"

Are there really so few around ? Let's find out ...

Here's one to start off with :

Commander Class of the Order of the Italian Crown (1868-1951)

[attachmentid=17814]

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Hendrik,

That is a beautiful award! How high up the award chain is this one and what was is awarded for?

Paul

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Hendrik,

That is a beautiful award! How high up the award chain is this one and what was is awarded for?

Paul

Hi Paul, it is the 3rd Class of 5. The italian crwon-order was an classic all-purpose-order for officers, beaurocrats, layers.....

haynau

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From http://www.gwpda.org/medals/italmedl/italy.html

Ordine della Corona d'Italia (Order of the Crown of Italy): established by Royal Decree on 20.2.1868 by King Vittorio Emanuele II after the annexation of the Venetian Region and the completion of Italy's unity. It was awarded to Italian and foreigner citizens, both civilians and soldiers, as a token of national gratitude for their accomplishments which could include a long military career with a 'clean' record. This Order was less exclusive than the Order of the Annunciation or the Order of St. Maurice and Lazarus.

It was divided in the usual five classes, worn in the customary ways: Knight, Officer, Commander, Grand Officer, Grand Cross. Between the cross arms were four knots of Savoy ("love knots) in gold filigree. On the obverse the cross was "charg?" by the "Iron Crown" encircled in gold and blue; on the reverse there was a black eagle with the Arms of Savoy "en coeur", encircled in red. The Order was named after the famed "Iron Crown", kept in Monza's Cathedral and allegedly crafted from a nail of the Holy Cross. The crown was used for the coronation - among many others - of Charlemagne, Napoleon I and all the Kings of Italy. With the fall of monarchy the order, being considered national, and not of dynastic property, was discontinued and replaced in 1951 by the Meritorious Order of the Republic of Italy ("Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana").

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Hendrik,

That is a beautiful award! How high up the award chain is this one and what was is awarded for?

Paul

Don't know all that much about it either but here goes :

Instituted by Royal Decree on 20.2.1868 by King Vittorio Emanuele II to commemorate the annexation of the Venetian Region which resulted in the completion of Italy's unity. It was awarded to Italians and foreigners, civilians and military alike, in recognition of the nation's gratitude for their services (e.g. also as a long service and good conduct award to the military) . This Order ranks after the Order of the Annunciation, the Order of St. Maurice and Lazarus and the Military Order of Savoya.

It was divided in the usual five classes : Knight, Officer, Commander, Grand Officer, Grand Cross. Apparently the Order was named after the "Iron Crown", kept in the Cathedral in the town of Monza (of car racing fame), which was supposedly made from a nail of the Holy Cross. The crown was used for the coronation of, among others, Charlemagne, Napoleon I and all the Kings of Italy. Italy becoming a republic after WW2, in 1946, the order was officially abolished and replaced in 1951 by the Meritorious Order of the Republic of Italy ("Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana").

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David was just that bit quicker on this ... and as two of us say the same, it should be true :D

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Here is the February 1914 award document for a Grand Officer-- same neck decoration as that shown above, with a breast star, to then Kapit?n zur See (later Konteradmiral zS) Johannes von Karpf (1867-1941), captain of the Imperial Yacht "Hohenzollern" from 1911 to 1914.

Because it is so big I've had to scan it in two pieces!

[attachmentid=17829]

[attachmentid=17828]

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Here is the January 1914 award document for a Grand Officer-- same neck decoration as that shown above, with a breast star, to then Kapit?n zur See Johannes von Karpf, captain of the Imperial Yacht "Hohenzollern."

Magnificent one !!! (... mopping up puddle of drool that has spontaneously formed :P )

Could that be awarded on 5 February 1914 or are my old eyes deceiving me ?

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:beer: Right you are!

This is one of those HUGE documents that has to be reduced in size and STILL does not fit on a scanner.

I'm rather surprised the King didn't sign such a "high profile" award, but maybe he never signed any of them. This is the only Italian award document I've got.

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I'm rather surprised the King didn't sign such a "high profile" award, but maybe he never signed any of them. This is the only Italian award document I've got.

It's one more than I have ! :blush:

You are quite right of course to wonder why the King himself didn't sign the certificate for such a rarer award. Haven't an answer for that either. My knowledge of Italian is more than limited but the document appears to be mentioning he personally signed the royal decree for the specific award (which is normal and to be expected) and does mention the "firmata Vittorio Emmanuele" etc. ... guess that represents his signature as verified by the other chap.

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As mentioned above, the successor to the Italian Crown Order is the Order of Merit of the Republic. Here's a knight class cross of that one :

[attachmentid=17931]

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Here is an example of the Italian Order of the Crown (Officer) and the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus on the bar of Rittmeister Waldemar Bodenstedt, Adjutant of Husaren Regiment 13.

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Here is an example of the Italian Order of the Crown (Officer) and the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus on the bar of Rittmeister Waldemar Bodenstedt, Adjutant of Husaren Regiment 13.

...and this is really an explicitly nice bar, not only for italian collectors. I would say this bar wakes longing...

Best regards

Matthias

PS: I do not know any halfway (Is this an English word ?) serious collection without at least one italian medal or order (Italy is everywhere :-)

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Halfway is a word, Matthias and you are using it colloquially to mean serioous or credible in terms of a collection. :D:beer:

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Italian Badge for the WW2 Campaign in Russia ... but it sounds better in Italian : Distintivo Commemorativo della Campagna di Russia :P

Made by Lorioli of Milano.

[attachmentid=22421]

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Also by Messrs. Lorioli of Milano, the 'Croce Commemorativa del Corpo di Spedizione Italiano di Russia' (Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia Commemorative Cross).

[attachmentid=22422]

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Italian Badge for the WW2 Campaign in Russia ... but it sounds better in Italian : Distintivo Commemorativo della Campagna di Russia :P

Made by Lorioli of Milano.

[attachmentid=22421]

A badge looking that good, does not have to sound good in any language :cheeky:

Nice one Hendrik

Jan

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Here's one of the few Italian medals I own.

It's a Mussolini medal to commemorate and honor the "Mutilated Legions"

Hendrik please correct me if I'm wrong, I seem to have misplaced our previous correspondance about this medal :blush:

Notice the high relief of the medal :speechless1:

Jan

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Hello,

Very nice thread - keep this nice thread going.

@ Hendrik : about "the 'Croce Commemorativa del Corpo di Spedizione Italiano di Russia' (Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia Commemorative Cross). ", there was a good article in one of the recent BDOS magazines about these. Interested in it? , I can otehrwise bring that certain article with me for you at the next SKF meeting :blush:

Cordial greetings,

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As a footnote to the my remarks about the Bodenstedt bar, both Italian awards are in gold and maker marked.

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about "the 'Croce Commemorativa del Corpo di Spedizione Italiano di Russia' (Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia Commemorative Cross). ", there was a good article in one of the recent BDOS magazines about these. Interested in it? , I can otehrwise bring that certain article with me for you at the next SKF meeting

Yes please ! Thanks Stijn :beer:

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Also by Messrs. Lorioli of Milano, the 'Croce Commemorativa del Corpo di Spedizione Italiano di Russia' (Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia Commemorative Cross).

[attachmentid=22422]

I have seen this cross with an enamel finish and a painted finish, were both types issued? (Officers and Rankers?) I can't say I've liked any of the enamel type I've seen. I have two of the painted type, one with the manufacturers name and one without, also were these both issued, and what time period are we talking about?

Regards,

Pete

Edited by wood

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I have seen this cross with an enamel finish and a painted finish, were both types issued? (Officers and Rankers?) I can't say I've liked any of the enamel type I've seen. I have two of the painted type, one with the manufacturers name and one without, also were these both issued, and what time period are we talking about?

Regards,

Pete

Hello Pete,

As this cross is not an official Italian government award, there aren't - to my knowledge - any fixed rules or regulations as to its manufacture or indeed its distribution.

The first types to see the light of day came from the Lorioli firm in 1942. These all had the manufacturer's name (Lorioli Milano-Roma / A. Picozzi Milano) in two lines on the reverse bottom cross arm. When in silver they have an '800' mark to the left of that but they also exist in silvered bronze and silvered zinc. The obverse was either enamelled or painted/varnished white.

A second type, to one unit only, also marked as the above ones, was manufactured in 1943 and bears the added text '1a COMPAGNIA / MOTOCICLISTA / BERSAGLIERI / E. DI SAVOIA' on the reverse, surrounding the C.S.I.R. centre.

These are the only types to have been made during WW2, all others are post-war (at the very least 5 different variations but quite probably more exist) and at least one of those even has other Russian locations on it e.g. 'CARPAZI', 'PRUT', etc.

Obviously the silver and enameled ones would have been more expensive in manufacturing (and purchasing) but I see no reason why a non-officer would not be able to acquire one as with non-official medals, there would hardly be any rules governing their issue. Unofficial as they were, these crosses were nevertheless proudly worn on the uniform at the time and were considered a distinction for bravery not unlike the German Iron Cross 2nd class.

Below : pictures of a Lorioli silvered zinc reverse (no '800' mark) and a postwar reverse.

[attachmentid=22789] [attachmentid=22790]

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Hendrik. Thanks for that useful info. Does this also apply to the "Italian Badge for the WW2 Campaign in Russia "?

Pete

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