Tim B

Austria-Hungary
Replacement Ribbons

22 posts in this topic

What is the best way to determine if a ribbon is actually a modern replacement?

I see a lot of ODM's that have ribbons that are newer and you can pretty much tell the ribbon has been replaced, but sometimes I see ribbons that look old or more worn and I have to ask myself whether it's original to the medal or if someone made it look that way.

I know replacement ribbons are readily available on the market and some sellers really seem not to care, or don't really know one way or the other.

Here's a couple I will use as examples. Note the stitching along the edge of the ribbon (reverse). I always thought this was an indication of a modern ribbon, but some are more apparent than others. Should originals have this stitching?

Also, what should one look for on the small ring? I thought originals should be steel looking, either silver or blackened silver in color.

Any help/thoughts?

Thanks,

Tim

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ID: 2   Posted (edited)

In my opinion modern made replacement ribbon are far coarser in weave and texture,

they also may differ in width and are far thicker in construction to the original ribbon,

either by being a couple of millimeters larger or small than the original items.

Kevin in Deva (actually in Bucharest :P )

Edited by Kev in Deva

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Hi Kevin,

I know you're traveling so I don't want to impede here but, two quick questions then.

1) In your opinion on the two examples above, are you saying they are genuine period made ribbons?

2) When you have time, can you post some examples showing what the differences are and look like in a side by side comparison?

Thanks Kev!

Obviously, anyone else can join in with what they know!

:beer:

Tim

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I can only give my experinces from Hungary - there was some very large reserves of WWI AH ribbon that were found - probably from the Hungarian State Mint in the 1990's and sold to collectors. The ribbon was probably made in the 1930's or 40's. The ribbon would feel like a period piece, but they were very bright as they were stored in a box away from light. They were cut up, sewed and had the hardward attached. At first they were easy to spot as the hardware was all wrong. But I did notice in the last years that they were using different construction methods for the hardware. I have seen period pieces with the white enamele gromets - and black and plain ones too! It seems now that they have perfeted the hardware to be more like the origionals. The sewing on the ribbon makes me very leery as this is a very quick way to sew it up and has been seen on the "replacement" ribbons. I think in this case both ribbons are original but have been "produced" more recently.

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I have noticed that in period pieces - the roundet and hook are brass, not silver metal nor plastic or painted. Cheers Captain Albert

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..."The sewing on the ribbon makes me very leery as this is a very quick way to sew it up and has been seen on the "replacement" ribbons."

Yes, my thoughts exactly and from the examples that call out "replaced ribbons" this always seem to be the case as well. I have also seen a couple cases where someone has applied black paint to the brass/bronze eyelet now.

There are a few online dealers that outright sell replacement ribbons and some of the examples are shown below. You can see they all share this side stitching.

Tim

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Hallo Tim,

The above picture shows a selection of modern replacement ribbons being offered

at the Collectors fairs in Romania, they first came on the scene here about 3 years ago.

There is a distinct difference in "feel" when comparing to original period ribbon,

the newer ribbons feel rough, they are also thicker in composition, I suppose the best way to describe that is to say the threads from which the ribbon is woven is far thicker than the original threads.

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

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The rears of the items.

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

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I hope the above picture indicates what I mean by thicker weave.

The top ribbon is a modern reproduction.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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ID: 10   Posted (edited)

Original on the left of picture.

Modern repro on the right.

Kevin in Deva.

Edited by Kev in Deva

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Original on the left.

Modern repro on the right of picture.

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

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Original on the left.

Reproduction on the right of picture.

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

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Original on the left.

Modern reproduction on the right.

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

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Hi Kev!

Thanks for posting those, I have a better idea and some points to look for next time I have ribbon questions. Never knew there was such a thickness difference between original and modern remakes. Also good to see the thread differences.

Thanks! :beer:

TIm

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Gents,

I think, this is an important problem regarding the Austro-Hungarian ribbons. One can meet less and less original ribbons, while the fakes and copies accompanied by different stories and fairy tales flood the markets. Those are produced in big quantities in Vienna, in Budapest and who knows where else. Sometime it is very difficult to differentiate between them and tell immediately which is original and which is a latter copy. I have been using UV lamp for many years and I have to tell you, it helps. Please, have a look at the pictures below.

Regards,

cimbineus

Here is what we can see with our eyes. Nothing special, one can say…

fj-ham-uvn-w_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.jpg

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.

… but, a UV lamp reveals the invisible things too:

fj-ham-uv-w_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.jpg

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And, I would like to add one more important thing. A UV lamp can assist you in detecting latter repairs on orders and medals too, when for reparation plastics were used. Here is one example.

Seemingly everything is okay with this order:

kor1-w_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.jpg

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...but in fact, please, look at the righ-hand side of the order. There are clear sings of a latter repair:

kor-uv-w_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.jpg

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I would like to comment that this is an excellent thread, lots of information and very educational.

This is what I would like to see more of on the forum.

Many thanks for starting this thread Tim and thanks to others who are adding to it.

Well done. :cheers:

Regards

Brian

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Hi guys!

Thanks for the additional inputs here, as Brian stated, this is what makes a forum so important and really helps out collectors when they can share knowledge. :beer:

Hello Cimbineus,

Great PIC's and examples!!

Can you tell us a little more on the black light you are using? I know many have used black lighting successfully for years on cloth and other items but as I understand it, you have to have a certain frequency for these to make the items glow; just any old black light will not work. Do you have the rating of the bulb or can you show us what you are using?

Thanks again everyone!

Tim

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..

.Can you tell us a little more on the black light you are using? ...

Tim

Tim,

Nothing special, I would say. Some years ago I noticed the increasing number of counterfeited Austro-Hungarian and pre-war Hungarian ribbons and started thinking about a counter-measure. It came to my mind if I could use a Ultraviolet Light Lamp for this purpose, you know, the gadget used for checking banknotes and credit cards, passports, etc, to detect fakes. I bought one and to my great satisfaction it works in most of the cases. It is a very helpful device, I have to say.

Here are some more examples. The first is the Korean War Medal ribbon. On the left-hand side is a recent one, whilst on the right-hand side is the original ribbon.

ensz-korea-w_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.jpg

And here are some Hungarian Bravery Medals' ribbons, but this time the fakes are on the right-hand side.

horthy-hadi-w_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.jpg

Regards,

cimbineus

(P.S.: But, if you want to learn more about the theory itself, please, refer to Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia....iki/Ultraviolet)

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