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Tim B

Austrian Bravery Medals - Tapferkeitmedaille

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Hi guys,

I picked up a couple Austrian medals recently and have a question on this one.

First, it appears to be marked "Tautenhayn" under the bust and I assume this is just one of the maker's on these medals?

The medal appears to be made from silver and has a nice patina to the obverse however, I do not see any silver content marks on the rim or suspension ring. Were all of these stamped in actual silver, or is this some other metal I'm looking at?

Finally the ribbon appears original but, at one point had something attached to the tri-fold ribbon. As it's on the war ribbon, I understand crossed swords was not needed, nor authorized. Thus, you should never see crossed swords on these, correct? As the medal is a second class award, it would have only been awarded to NCO's and other ranks, thus no "K" attachment for officers. So, what possible attachments could it be?

Thanks!

Tim

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Here's a close-up of the ribbon and you can see the weird hole arrangement. Probably something unofficial and it got removed later on?

Tim

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That's an interesting question Tim and one I would like to hear more about from the other members.

I have medals with this same ribbon, some with and some without the crossed swords.

Being new to this area of collecting myself I have a lot more questions than answers (for now, but that should change with time...I hope).

Regards

Brian

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If you look closely you should see a punch mark on the rim near the Öse denoting silver.

Swords although, I believe, unoffficial are often seen on the ribbon. The official attachment was the repeat bars, in this case two,

which wrapped around, thus, no holes.

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Hi guys,

Thanks for taking a first look.

Tom,

No, I looped the entire medal and ring. Nothing anywhere, including the rim. The rim shows minor contact marks but nothing that could be a silver content mark that I can see. I believe these were usually placed near the 1 o'clock position of the edge (rim).

Sure looks silver and is starting to tone like I would expect of actual silver.

Thanks, cheers.gif

Tim

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Hi Guys, I believe I can give you some answers;

Austrian Medals for Bravery were never awarded with swords, as been anyhow awarded for bravery (in tze field) Swords were given for awards which can be as well awarded for civilian service or for service where was no direct contact with enemy.

Tautenhayn was pre graveur who made models for 2nd class Braver medal, used from 1966 onwards. And later used for Bronze Bravery medal as well. Model for Ist class medal was made by Leisek.

''A'' is a hallmark of Vienna Asay office and ususaly placed on items made form silver. hawever, 2nd clas medals almost olways lack of this hallmark while 1st class medal normaly have it. Some medals were stamped as well from zinc or ather alloys, but differ significantly. Interesting, price is sometimes higher for zinc medals as for silver ones (zinc medals are much more rare)

Bravery medals were until 1917 awarded only to non-commisioned ofiicers and soldiers; under emperor karl Gold and 1s class silver medal can be avarded to officers as well, in this case large letter K was attached to the ribbon.

If medals were awarded 2nd, 3rd or 4th time, respectible number of silver bars were added on the ribbon; these were almost always sewn on ribbon. If ribbons are original or not, I can't be sure from the picture. Tom's ribbons seems to be OK,

So, officialy nothing beside ''K'' or repetition bars can be attached to bravery medals' ribbon. However, you should have in mind that ribbons can be very easily transfered from one medal to another and after the war various unofficila items were often attach to ribbons, to make it ''looks better''

I can't seen your close up picture of the ribbon.

I'm attaching Karl's 1st Class Silver medal with K for officers

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Hello,

Thanks for the additional information and confirmation that 2nd class examples might not have a silver mark. I took it out again last night to re-loop it and never did see anything.

Tautenhayn was pre graveur who made models for 2nd class Braver medal, used from 1966 onwards. And later used for Bronze Bravery medal as well. Model for Ist class medal was made by Leisek.

I think you meant to write 1916 vice 1966 here? I hope so anyway. blush.gif

If I remember correctly, Tom's bars have the marks on the underside, so his should be good to go on his medal.

I checked my second PIC (close-up of the ribbon) and it shows for me, so you might just try to reload the page, not sure. Let me know if you still can't see it and I can try to reattach it to the thread again. I think the question is answered though; the 2nd class ribbon should have no ribbon attachments whatsoever. The "K" only applies to officer's awards and officers were never entitled to the 2nd class award(?).

Thanks again to all that responded! beer.gif

Tim

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Hello Tim,

Yes, I was wrong about the year, but it's 1866 (instead of 1966). Medals didn't change Franz Joseph portrait 50 years (from 1866 til 1916)

Now I can see ribbon clearly, indeed it's an originaal.

And you're right, ifficers were not entitled to 2nd class medal, so only possible attachment is repetition bar. But this one was normaly sewn and not attached with pins.

regards, bovec1313

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Thank you again Pavel!

Yes, my thoughts are that someone probably put swords on the ribbon at one point, then realized they didn't belong and subsequently removed them. I was curious due to the layout of the attachment holes on the ribbon as they didn't seem to match what I would expect for crossed swords.

Cheers!cheers.gif

Tim

Edited by Tim B

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I have no doubts on the medal itslef - however the ribbon looks like a "modern" replacement style. There are litterally miles of the wartime ribbon available still today and they are being manufactured and sold as WW1 era ribbon with modern hardware. The weave is not as tight as I would expect on this ribbon along with the pure "sheen" of the silk. The swords and the "K" are also being reproduced in mass for the collectors market. Still - its not a bad item to have in your collection. The Austrian items are unfortunatly all too overlooked in the collector community at large

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Hi, thanks for looking and the observations.

It may be my PIC's. Keep in mind, the details we tend to see on enlargements sometimes makes things appear more than they really are. IMO, the ribbon is original. A bit worn and the front is slightly more faded than the reverse in color, though hard to see in my PIC's. I'm not worried about.

I also have some others (Signum Laudis) that I compared it with and it looks to be the same in my eyes.

Thanks though!cheers.gif

Tim

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Hello,

the ribbon looks old, in my opinion.

The two vertically arranged holes could be the sign of a former attachment of a "Kleindekoration" of the Militärverdienstkreuz, most possibly of the 2nd Class one.

As already said, austrian ribbons are easy to change and everthing could have happened since 1918...

Best wishes,

E.L.

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I saved this PIC earlier and forgot what thread it originally belonged to, but wanted to ask a question on the silver content marks.

post-548-030823100 1288493647_thumb.jpg

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Another collector had posted this example of a silver bravery medal and the marks look correct in style, but it looks more like an "FM" instead of the "FR". Thoughts?

Thanks,

Tim

post-548-043301200 1288493809_thumb.jpg

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Hi Gentlemans !

If I may…

On the picture is a stamp of manufacturer on the right side and the stamp of "noble" metal on the left.

Since the law from first January 1867 must have all the precious metals in Austro-Hungary markes -"stamp" , even those intended for gifts. An exception was only thousand products intended for export, but were chased by the IOM''FR''is frei, zollfrei exempt from customs duties.

The Act was amended on 1 April 1872, when the addition of a "stamp" to pure material gives a "stamp" of the manufacturer. (The exception is the case of Vienna as''A''in the ring, without the "stamp" of noble - precious metal )

And engravers of medals for bravery:

Johann Nepomuk Wirt (1753-1810), Johann W. Harnisch (1785-1826), Johann Josef Daniel Boehm (1794-1865), Konrad Lange (1806-1856), Friedrich Leisek (1839-1914), Josef Tautenhayn (1837-1911) in Heinrich Kautsch (1859-1943)

Best regards, Dejan

Edited by djn

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I have a couple as well. I'm glad collectors haven't gone a goo goo over them or the prices would be hire than what they are now.

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I have a couple as well. I'm glad collectors haven't gone a goo goo over them or the prices would be hire than what they are now.

Yea, Austrian still is easy to obtain at reasonable prices...

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Last summer, I picked up this Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaille Franz Josef I, 1. Kl. at an antique market; the dealer thought it was the "bronze" Bravery Medal because it's stamped "BRONZE" on the rim near the suspension loop and it was priced low accordingly.

However, it's larger size should have been a give-away that it isn't the smaller bronze or even the 2. Class silver version.

It's actually, a post-war silver-plated bronze First Class Tapferkeit... The larger size and the "BRONZE" stempel are give aways to this class and version.

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Posted (edited)

Before I tell my story, let me ask my question.  Do all bronze FJ bravery medals have an engraver's mark underneath the bust of Franz Joseph?

I recently bought a medal that was sold as "a small (30mm) silver Franz Joseph bravery medal".  Even before I bought it, I thought it looked suspicious for two reasons:  

1) It was almost totally black in appearance with the tinniest bit of gray or silver peeking through the black tarnish.

2) There was no maker's mark, such as "Tautenhayn" underneath Franz Joseph's shoulders.

Although I had my doubts that it was a silver medal, it showed little signs of wear.  I also got a really good deal on it so I bought it out of curiousity more than anything else.  The next day I dipped the tip of a Q-tip in liquid silver cleaner and applied it to a tiny area on the edge of the medal.  The silver cleaner had no effect and it usually works really fast.  I began to think it was made of Kriegsmetall because I never saw bronze turn black with a hint of silver.  I then applied a bit of brass/bronze cleaner to a tiny spot on the edge.  The brass cleaner immediately cut through the tarnish exposing a beautiful golden/copper color.

Since I only paid a few dollars for this medal, I decided I would clean the entire medal.  I don't think I have ever seen or cleaned a medal with this much tarnish on it.  However, it cleaned up to be one of the most beautiful medals I have ever seen with a mirror-like finish, yet it still has a very antique-vintage look to it.  It is now distinctive for 3 reasons:

1) The medal has a pinkish-bronze look to it, but the ENTIRE BUST OF Franz Joseph looks as if it WERE PLATED IN GOLD!  There is this yellow-gold bust on top of this slightly reddish bronze medal--GORGEOUS!  Maybe it has something to do with the way I cleaned it, but I'm not going to touch it anymore because I'm very happy with the way it looks right now! 

2) There was no maker's mark, such as "Tautenhayn" underneath the shoulders of the FJ bust.

3) The bust details, such as the hair, the beard, the "neck award", and the shoulder's of the bust seem to be slightly different from those in the photos above as well as most other bravery medals.  However, the details are way too professional for it to be a cheap fake. 

Should all Austrian bravery medals have the name of the engraver?  Any comments?

I'll try to post a photo in the next few days. My camera won't capture the fine details of this medal.

UPDATE:

I just found a 40mm gold Franz Joseph medal on emedals.com that has the same bust details as my 30mm bronze medal.  This medal does not have an engraver's mark either (at least not underneath the shoulders).  This medal is listed as a private-purchase 1920's Austrian Gold Bravery medal.   Here is the link to the auction with photos: 

https://www.emedals.com/europe/austria-imperial/medals/bravery-medals/a-1920-austrian-golden-bravery-medal-eu7817

 

Edited by camelneck

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Hello,

all Austrian, officially made Tapferkeitsmedaillen (except the Golden ones of the 1859-'66 type), should bear the official engraver's name under the Emperor's bust.

If not, they are pieces made by various firms firms, for private purchase. Some types of the privately-made medals are interesting pieces and are worth to be collected.

E.L.

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Hi Gents

great thread....

I'm interested in the differences of the older FJi awards...

IMG_3975.thumb.PNG.39e8e6780e0f0ca36041470b3c1c5239.PNG

i have previously thought to disregard anything without a signature.

The above has no 'signature' but is from a period card shared  (thank you!) . It looks like one I've sidelined as a copy.

could anyone tell me the 'general' opinion on where the signature becomes a requirement?

thanks

tont

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Hello,

an officially awarded Tapferkeitsmedaille of the FJ type, period 1867-1916, should always bear the "LEISEK" (Golden and Silver 1st Class) and "TAUTENHAYN" (Silver 2nd Class and Bronze) signatures.

That postcard is a well-known one, where is depicted also a Geistliches Verdienstkreuz "PIIS MERITIS" of a type made by Messrs. Rothe & Neffe, for private purchase (and produced/sold until the late '70s of XX Century).

Best wishes,

E.L.

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and: there were after WW1 produced medals for mounting on german-style bars from 1938 to 1945. They have a different style for attachment and ring.

Regards

Christian

Edited by Christian1962

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