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WW1 Victory Medal with clasp SERBIA

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Need for help.

I've got an interesting medal, WWI Victory Medal with three clasps: ''CHATEAU THIERRY'', ''CHANTIGNY'' and ''SERBIA'' .

I was looking for list of the clasp in the book The Call of Duty (military awards and decorations of the USA, by Starndberg and James Bender), but among the long list of the clasps for WW1 medal, these three are not listed.

Medal looks original to me. All three clasps have ''FRANCE'' engraved in reverse. Any idea about these clasps?

Thanks in advance, Pavel

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Hi bovec1313,

In the book:_

The Inter-Allied Victory Medals of World War 1

(Second Revised Edition)

by the late Alexander J.Laslo.

Page 119:-

With regards

"CHATEAU THIERRY" with edge stars "MADE IN FRANCE" impressed on the back of the clasp.

"CANTIGNY" with edge stars "MADE IN FRANCE" impressed on the back of the clasp.

These are known unauthorized clasps.

The only reference I find to a "SERBIA" clasp with regards unauthorized clasps is:-

"noted only in miniature form."

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

Edited by Kev in Deva

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Need for help.

I've got an interesting medal, WWI Victory Medal with three clasps: ''CHATEAU THIERRY'', ''CHANTIGNY'' and ''SERBIA'' .

I was looking for list of the clasp in the book The Call of Duty (military awards and decorations of the USA, by Starndberg and James Bender), but among the long list of the clasps for WW1 medal, these three are not listed.

Medal looks original to me. All three clasps have ''FRANCE'' engraved in reverse. Any idea about these clasps?

Thanks in advance, Pavel

Hello Tim,

The top two are fantasy or bogus (never were) clasps. The Siberia clasp has stars on each end, because of this, I would list this clasp as an unofficial as there was a Siberia clasp (but it was without stars).

Can you post a photo of the reverse side, my interest is the brooch, as I might be able to ID who put this together.

Regards Jim

Edited by johnnymac

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Hi Jim,

No, that last comment was actually Pavel asking, not me. I only included the link to the main thread you, Rob, myself and many others have already spent several hours on. So much information there already, I thought it was the best source of information.

Tim :beer:

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Hello Tim,

The top two are fantasy or bogus (never were) clasps. The Siberia clasp has stars on each end, because of this, I would list this clasp as an unofficial as there was a Siberia clasp (but it was without stars).

Can you post a photo of the reverse side, my interest is the brooch, as I might be able to ID who put this together.

Regards Jim

Hallo Jim,

perhaps it would be best if we explain to bovec1313 the way they are described in Mr. Laslo book, so he might have a better understanding about the clasps:-

Unauthorized Clasps and Ribbon devices.

A number of unauthorized clasps and ribbon devices, as distinct from copies of authorized clasps and ribbon devices frequently appear with legitimate Victory Medals and clasps.

These "fantasy" clasps and ribbon devices are the result of efforts by enterprising American and foreign, mainly French medals manufacturers and military outfitters to produce merchandise for sale to (WW1) veterans. Such items were often sold at veteran's convention, reunions and encampments. Moreover, these sales probably contributed to the supply of copy medals and clasps seen in the market today.

I would suggest that this enterprising marketing :P was done immediate post World War 1 up to the period of the start of WW2, especially with regards the French items being manufactured.

These items were being sold mainly to allow the veteran to embellish his U.S. legitimate Inter-Allied Victory Medal award, which is understandable, and to my mind, this is not the same as fantasy / bogus items being manufactured for example say in regard to Third Reich items, which are made to sell to unwary collectors as rare, seldom issued pieces.

The American veterans in most cases had serves, qualified for their medals, but for some reason felt the need to add unauthorized bars to show areas / battles they had specifically served in.

Please feel free to add any thoughts or comments,

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

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Hi Kevin,

No, I think you called it correctly here, these were "campaign" bars. There were several battles that never had a bar or other form of recognition. I know there were veterans who thought other bars should have been warranted because of the tremendous effort and loss of men in those specific actions (i/e: Verdun, Chateau Thierry, etc.). So, I could see quite easily where a member that no longer was active duty and required to conform to uniform standards would add those after-market bars to show off what battles/area he served in.

Of course, I also imagine there were more than a few that simply added items for embellishment for one reason or another.

I would think these would be collectable if coming from a known or documented group where we could trace the individual serviceman to the extra bars and they in fact matched his actual participation in those battles. Though it would not be "legit" in the true sense of correctness, no one could argue it was true to the actual history of the man who was awarded the medal.

Tim :cheers:

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Tim & Kevin :cheers:

To both of you, I agree the market was for the veterans. I further agree that person's put some of these campaign clasps on the proudly fight for victory medal they were awarded. That is not the question. Identifying what was an issued, authorized or official item, and how do you class things that are not official, to me is the real question. There are so many who do not know the differences between, Unofficial, Copy, Unauthorized, Fantasy, Bogus and Fake, that these words become meaningless (when selling).

Yes without doubt veterans purchased these type clasps. But I marked your top two clasps as"Fantasy or Bogus" to help a new collector who might put good money thinking he found a rare item. Marking claspsthis way just might save someone money.

On a personnel level, I enjoy and own a set of 17 different clasps from this same Mfg as shown on your posted medal. I to believe the veterans would have remembered these smaller campaign battle as it was "up close and personal" for them. As children, we held storiesof war like Belleau Woods. St. Mihiel,Ypres-Lys and places like these, were the General offensive battles and most veterans did not even know these names. To me I believe some of these type clasps are very collectible and are becoming hard to find.

I ask you to post a photo of the brooch, because from the looks of your suspension ribbon this medal might be one of three, G. Studley, J.K.Davison or even BB&B.

Jim cheers.gif

Edited by johnnymac

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Dear all,

thank you very much all data & comments. You've help me a lot to find out the real meaning of this medal & clasps.

I'm attaching the photo of reverse. Broch is unfortunately missing. Ribbon itself is in quite bad shape. Medal, ribbon and bars look to me as a old piece.

I know there are various typec of broches which can help to determine time frame, but here broch is unfortunately missing.

I've bought this medal especially because of clasp ''Serbia'', as I've never come across such an item yet.

But collecting Serbia and Yugoslavia mainly, I'm not an expert on US medals, but here you are to help.

I've paid quite a lot (Too much I think) but when I encounter to something special or unususal connected to Serbia, I juts have to buy.

I know Sebian medas were often bestowed to allied soldiers; I even saw an Gold Medal for Zealous Service with engraved name & unit (not in my collection unfortunately),

and many allied medals were bestwoed to Serbian solediers. So, you never know....

regards, Pavel

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