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Austrian hallmarks on Orders & Medals – additional comments

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I would definitely agree with Yankee, Paul and Enzo that Austrian hallmarks are a very complex topic. To clerify some issues about famous ''tax free'' hallmark and Rothe's hallmark (one of the most eminent producers of Austrain decoratios) , I would like to add some points which I've come across when doing research about Austrian producers and hallmarks. I'm presenting here some text parts and pictures from my book Serbian and Yugoslav Orders and Decorations 1858 – 1941. Namely, until 1914, all Serbian decorations were manufactured in Vienna. (there are 30 pages of producers & hallmarks in the book)

''Between 1872 and 1922 the Viennese Assay Office registered about 2,400 (!!) master craftsmen and their workshops manufacturing small artifacts of precious metals. Many of them were producers of decorations.'' I was lucky to be able to study this famous Register of workshops of the Viennese Assay Office (Amtspunzierung Wien), where each and every craftsman has his own hallmark shown; some of them even two or three. In addition, every producer has a detail specification what kind of products or jewelry can produce. Allowance for production of orders is specified as well.

''Until 1922 the products of Rothe & Neffe were hallmarked with 'FR' placed in a rhombus (Amtspunzierung registration number 711; II/158). Over the same period Christian Rothe also used the hallmark which was entered under his personal name in the register of workshops of the Viennese Assay Office (Amtspunzierung Wien). His personal hallmark was in the form of the letters 'FR' placed in a rectangle, with a dot between the letters (Amtspunzierung registration number 722; II/158). This hallmark appeared on decorations made in the early period of workshop production. The marking 'C. F. ROTHE - WIEN' is stamped on the pins. …….

''The workshop of Rothe & Neffe was famous for producing replicas of Austro-Hungarian and other world orders of the highest quality. The first replicas were made in the early 1930s, usually for recipients who had sold their gold decorations from the time of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in the postwar crisis and replaced them by decorations manufactured later. Most of these decorations were made of bronze, but some of silver. They were automatically hallmarked 'CFR', the mark used by the firm of Rothe & Neffe after 1922. After the Second World War Emil Rothe started producing new replicas, most of which he manufactured himself. To begin with, these decorations were ordered by museums and a few collectors, but when the workshop became linked to the auction house of Graf & Klenau in Munich, mass production started for the needs of collectors. All order badges manufactured at this time were made of silver and are usually hallmarked 'CFR'. As regards order stars, they are only marked with the workshop marking, which is placed on the pin. Otherwise they have no markings. After Emil Rothe's death in 1972, the company was taken over by his daughters Susanne and Elisabeth Rothe. Albeit trained goldsmiths, the sisters had never produced decorations themselves so this work was entrusted to a craftsman and employee of the workshop. Production lasted until the end of the 1980s and was discontinued when the craftsman went to retirement. The Rothe sisters retired in 2004 and 'Hollauerhaus' at Kohlmarkt 7 in Vienna closed its doors for good.''

'' Other secondary hallmarks, such as stock marks, inventory numbers, museum markings, etc. On Serbian decorations from the early period the mark 'Frei' can often be found, or exempt from customs duty, and a hallmark in the shape of the Latin capital letter 'A' in a circle, which collectors often misinterpret as the hallmark of the Viennese Assay office. This hallmark can usually be found on medals and it merely states that the object is made of precious metal. This hallmark was used by the State Mint, where most medals were manufactured. ''

As you can see from pictures bellow, hallmark ''FREI'' is quite different from Rothe's hallmark FR, and this one is very very often mistaken. Practically, ''FREI'' hallmark can't be found on Austrian orders and medals, as it was placed only on product which was exported from Austria (and nobody was exporting Austrian orders, naturally). However, even on exported items this hallmark is very rarely seen. I was inspecting many thousands of Serbian orders made in Vienna (and exported to Serbia) but I haven't seen not a single one ''FREI'' hallmark.

Bellow: FR hallmark of Rothe and Neffe in rhombus and personal hallmark of Christian Rothe, FR in rectangle, with dott between letter

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Rothe & Neffe's hallmark as seen on pin of the star and ''Tax Free'' hallmark

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some pages from my book from Chapter about producers and hallmarks

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last page....

Hi Bovec

Congratulations :D in publishing such a fine detailed book that covers all aspects of collecting Serbia. Always a plus to identify & know about the makers which was thoughtful to incorporate in your book. Where can I purchase a copy of your work?

Sincerely

Yankee

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Hello Yankee,

thanks for nice words;

I would be happy to provide you a copy, in English, I believe. The book exist as well in German language.

price is 99 Euro, but I can give you some discount, to a colleague collector. Post expenses depends on your location, pof course. USA, I presume.

regards, Pavel

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Hello Yankee,

thanks for nice words;

I would be happy to provide you a copy, in English, I believe. The book exist as well in German language.

price is 99 Euro, but I can give you some discount, to a colleague collector. Post expenses depends on your location, pof course. USA, I presume.

regards, Pavel

Hi Pavel

Thanks for allowing the opportunity to purchase directly from you. You are correct it would be sent to the States and an English version would be preferable. I will send out a PM for your payment instructions. Thanks for holding a copy :cheers:

Sincerely

Brian

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Hello,

I see that this interesting discussion about hallmarks returned back to life thanks to the post of Pavel, and this was a very good thing.

His book on Serbian and Yugoslavian orders is a magnificent work and what a scientifical work should be. I've bought my copy at the Gunzenhausen "Sammlertreffen" and now it occupies a preminent place in my library. I'm proud that it bears the signature of the author.

Of course, the chapter on hallmarks and producers of orders is most precious also to collectors of Imperial Austrian orders & decorations.

Best wishes,

Enzo (Elmar Lang)

Edited by Elmar Lang

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:jumping: :jumping:

Guys this is one really excellent book. The history, close up details of the illustrations, jewelers, are all combined in making a great read. Amazed by the quality of research that went into each Order, Decoration & medal. Even if you don't collect Serbia you'll be amazed at the awards that the State issued over the years. After reading this book one might easily turn to collecting Sebia. Great work Pavel :cheers:

Sincerely

Brian

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the marks shown in the picture are before 1918.

On which decoration are they struck?

E.L.

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Hello Elmar, thanks for info....I was confused wit the 900, hallmark for silver.

This hallmark was not ussualy used on Austrian decorations, or yes?

Elmar, I try to send You PM, but Your box for messages is probably full.

Can You send me You personal email, I send You large pictures.

Thanks, Xt.

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Hello,

the mark is the austrian one (from 1902 until May 1st 1922) for imported silver.

Best wishes,

E.L.

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Hello,

the mark is the austrian one (from 1902 until May 1st 1922) for imported silver.

Best wishes,

E.L.

Hi Elmar

I am impressed by your knowledge and speed ;) When you say "impoteret silver" does that mean that Austrian orders in silver without this mark are mined in Austria? What is the symbol supposed to look like, a person with bat wings? I assume that "A" means that the order is made in Vienna and the "1" below means?

As Colombo, I have always just one more question. What do these two (C & *) hallmarks on the FJO commander star means?

Kind regards

North Denmark

Edited by North Denmark

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Hi

Regarding Mr. Pavels first entry in the top of the page ''Until 1922 the products of Rothe & Neffe were hallmarked with 'FR' placed in a rhombus (Amtspunzierung registration number 711; II/158)." I here have an example of the hallmark <FR> in a rhombus used after 1922. This order was made from 1923-1938 in the first republic . I have also seen the same hallmarks on a similar RK Officers Cross from the same period. Sorry for the bad image, the marks shows: 935 <FR> "funny bird"

Regards

North Denmark

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Hi Elmar

I am impressed by your knowledge and speed ;) When you say "impoteret silver" does that mean that Austrian orders in silver without this mark are mined in Austria? What is the symbol supposed to look like, a person with bat wings? I assume that "A" means that the order is made in Vienna and the "1" below means?

As Colombo, I have always just one more question. What do these two (C & *) hallmarks on the FJO commander star means?

Kind regards

North Denmark

Hi,

Not necessarily, there must be particular Austrian hallmark for silver and/or mark of the control authority (Amtpunzierung). Most common is "A" which means Viennese control authority. In the case of presented Officers Cross there is a hallmark for imported silver goods (allegory of the person with wings) and it seems that control authority is "A1" - Wiener Neustadt.

"C" on the commander breast star of FJO means "Comthur" and it served to distinguish commander breast star from grand cross breast star (marked as "G"). On the needle there is "star hallmark" (Sternchenpunze). It s not hallmark in legal sense but it was used to distinguished between decoration made of precious metals like gold and decoration made of gilded bronze. This is the case. Corpus of the breast star is made of silver but "coating" is of gilded bronze. This FJO commander breast star was probably made in 1917/1918.

Regards,

sefit

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Hi Sandro,

book is still available with me;which language would you be interested in (English I presume; and German is available as well)

I can send the book on your address,

you can write to me on my private adress, pavel.car (monkey) s5.net

regards, Pavel

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The context would be helpful. What decoration bears the hereby posted marks? 

Best, 

Enzo 

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Hello Igor,

I don't see anything wrong with the star and its marks.

I assume that those in the picture you've previously posted, are on a piece similar to that offered for sale at emedals (a piece on which I haven't any doubts about its originality).

What would have been interesting is to see the actual piece (obverse and reverse) on which the posted marks are struck.

Best wishes,

Enzo

 

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