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RobW

Cuban Victory Medals

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Hi Gents,

Well, I lost out on the bidding for the Cuba vic I showed. It was not of the best quality (!) as the overall photo shows -

cubaribboned-1.png

At some time someone has replaced the suspension ring with a smaller one that is a different colour, the ribbon is very odd (possibly the Cuban Order of Military Merit), and it hangs from a strange suspender - it has a safety-pin on the back. If I had secured it I was intending to try to restore it to something like its original condition, with a proper ring and a French ribbon.

However, what are your views on this sort of thing? Would the 'restored' medal have been worth more or less that it cost as shown - $200? Is this sort of restoration acceptable for the vics? I know from other sections of the Forum that medals are re-ribboned and Imperial German bars with medals missing from the existing ribbons have them replaced with the same type.

No doubt the price reflects the condition it's in - there was another on the US eBay for about $1200, and UK medal dealers are offering it for £695. Would I have had a worth-while restoration project?

Bill

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It was a bargain. I missed this auction

because I forgot completely to my bid. :banger:

Another opportunity to make these is difficult to appear.

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Hi Lambert - At least we can console ourselves that we weren't fighting each other for it!

Bill

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There seems to be several sand casted Vic's medal for sale on ebay by same dealer, check them and see if you agree? They are not marked as modern reproductions - Feb 1, 2012

Cuban Item number: 260946754425

Hello Jim,

The French firm of M. Delande (Paris) produced reproductions, including cast copies, of all the vic series. This was during the late 1920s and early 1930s timeframe.

Regards,

Rob

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Hi Gents,

See an example here - http://www.liverpoolmedals.com/Cuba-unofficial-issue-with-no-hallmarks.html

Bill

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Good morning Bill,

That medal has been on the WWW for several year. I do collect a few good reproductions or a better term for them "fakes". I use the word fake because, the medal we collect were issued to the soldiers who earned the real Victory medal. No matter how we soften the word fake, these other medals are to fool or fill in a collection.

Here are my rules for buying.

  1. Issue - Government issue only.
  2. Re-strike, re-issue - The Government or someone who was authorized or approved in making the original style medals.
  3. Fantasy - never were issued by the Government, an example of this is U.S. campaign clasps.
  4. After market - an item that is known and sold not as an official issue, but as a collect's fill item.
  5. Unofficial - made before the original or made different from the original with no intent to fool.
  6. Bogus, copy, fakes or reproduction - these are meant to fool the public "if" there is no reference to it "not" being the original.

Bill as you can see it is endless, these are always on ebay. Some express what they are selling you, while others try to mislead. (The price does not make it original).

Regards, Jim

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The French firm of M. Delande (Paris) produced reproductions, including cast copies, of all the vic series. This was during the late 1920s and early 1930s timeframe.

Here is a cast cuban.

There are some scorch marks on the obverse and reverse from the casting process and filing wear and marks on the ball suspender. There are no edge marks.

Regards,

Rob

Edited by RobW

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Hi Rob.

These are the medals of Cuba, Brazil and Siam you see, are the most expensive .. :unsure::(

Lambert

Hello Lambert,

You would indeed be correct that those three are becoming much harder to find and none of them are going to get less expensive.

There is currently listed an official cuban at Liverpoolmedals:

http://www.liverpoolmedals.com/Cuba-Official-issue-with-chobillon-hallmark-and-bronze-on-edge-L5766-pr-4936.html

as well as at Medal-Medaille:

http://www.medal-medaille.com/product_info.php?cPath=188&products_id=5791

and there are four listed at eMedals although their prices are a bit higher than other places.

There is always the option of a contemporary reproduction piece, that are regularly seen on the online auction sites, to use as a 'space filler' until a suitable specimen is found.

Regards,

Rob

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Hi Gents,

Well, after several failed attempts I finally managed to get hold of a Cuban vic. Unfortunately, I was in competition with Lambert on a couple, although we didn't realize it at the time, but he's still talking to me!

The medal was in this state when I got it:

cubanaswas01.jpg

A bit dirty and with some thick verdigris in places on the obverse. I attempted a clean up after some expert advice with the following result:

cubanasis04-crop.jpg

A little over-enthusiastic around the sword hilt, but the verdigris was particularly stubborn there. The are still traces where it is sitting in the fine details, but I thought I'd better not do any more to it.

cubanasis02-crop.jpg

The reverse was clear of verdigris and is in good condition.

cubanasis06-crop-crop.jpg

The all-important BRONZE (or in this case 'RONZE') and AC in triangle Chobillon mark on the edge.

Finally, I fitted one of the French ribbons from contoutos.

Any comments welcome.

Bill

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Hello Bill,

A nice official example. It is good to see that the item cleaned up alright and looks particularly nice with the new ribbon. Such an attractive piece the cuban vic is.

As others have alluded to in earlier posts they are generally seen with a high price, and, with the Brazil and Siam vics as company, are in the next price bracket for most collectors.

Regards,

Rob

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Hello Rob,

I agree, I have always sought opportunities to get an official type 1 with affordable price.

I have also noticed that there is a certain frequency to Vic Czech, official and unofficial, and decreased Vic Greek type 1.

Interestingly, at least one time every two months appears a Cuban Vic.

Lambert

Hello Lambert,

I would agree that despite the low mintage numbers for the Cuban vic quoted by Alex Laslo there does seem to be a regular supply of the items in the market. Having said that I have only seen two cuban groups with the vic; one an official strike and the other a gilt version of the unofficial strike.

Regards,

Rob

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Lambert & RobW

There is a large population of Cubans living in the south Miami area which is in located in the state of Florida. It seem like most of the medals you two speak of as being for sale, come from Miami. The people living in Miami have daily contact with old family members who still live in Cuba. The standard of living in Cuba, as we in the USA hear is not good. So, I think a lot of the older Cubans send these medals to a family member living in USA to supplements their income. Of course this is just my feeling as to why there is a lot of Cuban Vic's on ebay.

Rob, would you not agree that there is 4 and not just 2 as you just mentioned? (1) The official strike (2) a gilt official strike (3) a very early unofficial strike and the (4) Cuban made gilt strike, which was made by VILARDEBO y RIERA of Havana. He was the official military supplier for the Cuban Government from the early 1920's into the 1950's?

Alex Laslo's book was written 20 years ago and as we all know more medals has surfaced since his book.

Jim

Edited by johnnymac

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Rob, would you not agree that there is 4 and not just 2 as you just mentioned? (1) The official strike (2) a gilt official strike (3) a very early unofficial strike and the (4) Cuban made gilt strike, which was made by VILARDEBO y RIERA of Havana. He was the official military supplier for the Cuban Government from the early 1920's into the 1950's?

Jim

Jim,

All I'm saying is that in the two groups that I have seen, one had an official stike and the other had an unofficial gilt strike. There are, of course, many more varieties that have been seen in the market.

Regards,

Rob

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Hi Gents,

I found this slightly odd Cuban vic on eBay - item no 300781967004.

I see the description calls it a copy and genuine, with gilding. A Cuban-made copy apparently, with background detail on the obverse I hadn't noticed before - is it banners?

Bill

Edited by Bilco

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Hi Gents,

Well, this item didn't sell last night. Here are the pictures of it:

Cubacopy01.jpg

Cubacopy02.jpg

There are detail differences from the Official Type - for example, Victory's wings are more pointed and the tump she's standing on seems higher - and there isn't a 'C Charles' signature. On the reverse, the palm tree on the Cuban arms is smaller.

Bill

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A Cuban-made copy apparently, with background detail on the obverse I hadn't noticed before - is it banners?

Bill

Hello Bill,

What does 'is it banners?' mean?

Hi Gents,

Well, this item didn't sell last night.

There are detail differences from the Official Type - for example, Victory's wings are more pointed and the tump she's standing on seems higher - and there isn't a 'C Charles' signature. On the reverse, the palm tree on the Cuban arms is smaller.

Bill

I would suggest that it is more likely to be a locally produced example. While it does bear a resemblence to the official strike it is probable that local artisans produced their own copy after the arrival of the official model.

It is an interesting piece either way.

Regards,

Rob

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Hi Rob,

By 'is it banners?' I meant that the lower part of the background to Victory looks to my eye like a bunch of flags on poles, maybe suggesting the banners of a victorious army. The worn gilding certainly brings out the textures of the background.

I should have made it clear that my last two posts concern the same medal. At least the description was honest in calling it a Cuban-made copy. The big question is, was the asking price justified?

Bill

Edited by Bilco

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Hi Bil and Robw..

I think that "flags" are actually leaves Cane Sugar, main agro-industry in Cuba ..

Cane sugar and tobacco.

Rum and cigars ;)

Regards...

Lambert

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Hi Lambert - yes, I think you have it! I hadn't thought of sugar cane.

Bill

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Hi Gents,

I'm now in a position to post better photos of the 'Cuban Copy' in post #25:

cubarepro01-crop.jpg

Obverse

cubarepro02-crop.jpg

Reverse

The worn gilding and the die crack on the reverse are very visible. The planchet is 36mm diameter and 2.5mm thick.

To compare with Official Charles Victory medals I've made these:

cubacomp01.jpg

Obverses of (L-R) French Unofficial Type 1, Cuban Official, 'Cuban Copy' The figure of Victory has differences in the arms, sleeves and drapery of the robe, as well as the wings

cubacomp02.jpg

Reverses (L-R) Cuban Official and 'Cuban Copy'. Lots of differences in the Cuban Arms on the shield in the centre, the leaves and the size of the lettering. The stalks at the bottom pass through the S of RUSIA and N of CHINA.

It obviously isn't a casting from an original - certainly not the cast French Repro mentioned by Laslo - and the crack on the reverse suggests that it is die struck.

So, what would be the correct nomenclature for the 'Cuban Copy'? Was it made as a replacement or interim medal for veterans - hence an Unofficial - or specifically for collectors - hence a Reproduction? It does appear worn and slightly battered as if it is old, but we see artificially aged medal copies being offered all the time.

After it failed to sell at the second time of offering on eBay I contacted the seller and negotiated a reduction in price. Sadly, this was more than offset by the duty charged on it by UK Customs. I should have asked him to send it uninsured!

Any comments welcome.

Bill

Edited by Bilco

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Bill, its a beautiful medal and i am glad you purchased it. I know in the future you will value it as one of your better buys, Jim

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Hello all.

I'm back

Bill, and an acquisition is quite interesting. I hope in the future to achieve my example with a fair price. Now I can not to spend large sums on a vic rare. :blush:

Best Regads

Lambert

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Hi everyone

Would like your coments on this Cuba VM:

mli7ua.jpg

el8h6p.jpg

Could this be an unoficial type? or an early replica replacement? made localy on Cuba...it reminds me the portuguese VM made by the Buttuller house on copper... It looks old with some age patina but has no makers marks visible...

Any clues???

Edited by peron

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Hi Peron,

Your medal seems to have the characteristics of the Official type - apart from not having the Chobillon mark. Does it have the C Charles signature on the obverse? It certainly isn't the same as my locally-produced version. Are there any signs of it being cast?

Bill

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