Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Graf

Bulgarian Order of St Alexander -Two Variatians?

Recommended Posts

Hi ,

I am a new member i collect Orders from Europe including Royal Bulgarian Orders

I have two Orders of St. Alexander that I could not find in the existing sources of information

One appears to be 4- th Class of the First Model ,Second Type -1886

It is 45 mm wide and very thick - 7mm at midpoint of the arms

The problem is that the 4-th Class from this period is 39 mm wide

Is it possible this Order to be 3-rd Class with missing princely Crown and converted to 4-th class or..?

The other Order -it looks like to be from French Maker It came with French Legion of Honour Officer Ribbon with rosette

The cross is 35 mm wide and 4.5 mm thick It appears to be 4-th Class of The second Model 1887 - however it has a crown, which looks like the crowns made by French makers for exported foreign orders. Usually this Class comes without crow.

The crown and the cross have the same aging patina. There are not signs indicating that the crown was fitted at later stage. Is this piece once off of kind ( The French maker made it before knowing the shape of the crown fro the next Model)

or.........?

Note: The Officer Class of the Order of St.Alexander - Boris iii Model is for comparison

I am waiting for your opinion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

The pictures are too big

I had to change their size

Graf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Welcome on board, I think you will find all info you need here. don't hesitate to make research, I know there is a lot of topic to this subject.

You have very nice medals indeed. Congrats

Christophe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Christophe,

Thank you for your welcome

These Orders are part of my St Alexander Collection

I can identify the rest however the two ones I listed as a topic are not described in any book I came across

That is why I have listed them.

Regards

Graf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Hidden by Graf, August 27, 2011 - No reason given
Hidden by Graf, August 27, 2011 - No reason given

Hi,

While on this topic I have St Alexander 3-rd Class Second type1887

It is very interesting ,since it is made by Austrian Maker Rothe

The Cross is marked by Rothe and has Austrian halmarks fro silver

The interesting fact is that the Princely crown is a French Type one

Is this an early Rothe ..before he started making the Order with his distinctive Princely crown, seen in the books and fas one for sale at the moment on Emedals site.

Regards

Graf

Share this post


Link to post

Hi,

While still on this topic,

I would like to show you onother interestin St Alexander Order

It is 3-rd Class Commander -2Model 1887

It is made by The Austrian maker Rothe

The cross is maker marked and hallmarked with Austrian marks for silver

The interesting thing is that the crown is of French type

All Rothe 3-Class I have seen have distinctive crown - Austrian Type

Is this Order an early Rothe piece or hybrid, or...?

You can have a look for onother comparison on the Emedals Site- They have at the moment 3-rd Class by Rothe for sale

Regards

Graf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cross #1 looks like most Russian made crosses from that period. Loop also looks like proper one.

Is the cross gold-plated? It's hard to tell from the pics.

Cross #2 - it appears that crown is missing ribbons on the sides.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Thank you for the reply.

Cross 1 is Russian made - It is Second St. Petersburg Issue - 1886 It is Silver gold plated Not marked

Interisting fact is that has the size of Commander Class, however the features are for the Officer Class

Cross 2 Is French made - The crown as I mentioned in my first mail is a French crown which never had the ribbons/penadia/arms on the side

This type of crowns you can see on Belgium Order of Leopold made by French makers in the period 1880-1920.

In 1908 The King Ferdinand introduced the next model of St. Alexander with The Kings Crown

I assume that this paricular Cross was made around this period The Cross has the features of the Princely Model till 1908 .

My speculation is that the French maker atached the crown to match the 1908 Model without knowing that ths model will have Kings crown with ribbons

The Cross came from France with ribbon for Officer of French Legion of Honour with Rosette

However this is my theory ..the story of the Cross could be different. That is why I listed them as a topic

Both Crosses 1 and 2 are not standard, or at least are not in any book I have seen.

The same is with The Commander Cross I listed as well ( The small format pictures) It is Austrian made by Rothe , however the crown is French Style

Is it an early Rothe ? or a Hybrid The Rothe Commander we know is the one on the bigger pictures with distinctive Austrian typy Crown.

Regards

Graf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with your assessment that crosses do not conform to the known standards.

As for why this is the case - there could be multiple reasons. Perhaps crosses were damaged and repaired by a jeweler with parts that he had at his disposal (from different awards - hence the mismatch of the cross and crown).

William

Edited by new world

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...

The same is with The Commander Cross I listed as well ( The small format pictures) It is Austrian made by Rothe , however the crown is French Style

Is it an early Rothe ? or a Hybrid The Rothe Commander we know is the one on the bigger pictures with distinctive Austrian typy Crown.

...

Your neck cross looks fine to me.

Here's another example (emedals), identical to your cross - also made by Rothe, with the same French style crown.

William

Edited by new world

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Details of the crown and suspension loop - looks like identical twin of your cross.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi William,

Thank you for the post.

I agree with your comments

I know the Emedals Commander - It is the Standard Austrian Model we know

I meant the Commander on the smaller images

I will post them again

Regards

Graf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I can't really see diffrences between standard cross and the one in your pics, the pics are too small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I have problem resizing the pictures

As a Basic Member i have restriction about the size of the files

I have to upgrade to get better Benefits

Anyway this is closer view of the Crown in question

Pay attention on the crown and compare it with this from Emedals The Cross is the same by Rothe (marked on the loop)

Regards

Graf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see it now, thank you!

In Professor Pavlov book you can see this exact crown on some pre-1908 crosses - only 1st classes, but I wold imagine 2-3 classes were of the same design. Take a look at photos #96 and #97 - they have identical crown as on your cross. The only difference I can observe are flying ribbons.

Prof Pavlov describes #96 as Vienna manufacture (Rothe?), but he also states that #97 was made in Paris. Perhaps he meant that both were made in Vienna?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Thank you for the information. I do not have Prof. Pavlov book I have few other book, however they show only the Standrd pieces.

Yes, The crown on the Grand Cross of pre 1908 model made by Rothe is the same sahpe Emedals has one for sale for $5500

All Rothe 2-3 Classes i have seen had the typical Crown of the Commander you have posted

I assume that could be few pieces of 2-3 Classess made by Rothe with the Crown of the Commander i have, Reasons ?!!!

The small problem is that The Cross is clearly marked on the loop by Rothe , however the marks on the ribbon loop of the crown are not very clear, therfore i cannot identify whether the Crown is by French maker or By Rothe

On the other hand the patina of the Cross and the Crown is the same, therfore it is in favour that ther are made at the same time.

Regards

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I highly recommend book "Bulgarian Orders and Medals" by Professor Petko Pavlov. It was published in 2002 and still is the best reference on the subject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It appears that your first piece is a commander lacking a suspension crown. These appear on the maket from time to time. The second badge maybe had a crown added when crowns became statutory for officer insignia. Since it's a first type crown, perhaps the holder wanted to indicate officer status before the change. Removing the infulae would make it easier to attach the crown to the cross. It could also be a manufacturer trial piece. Pavlov and Denkov report that several jewelers in France and Austria, in addition to Russia manufactured first type Alexander insignia--later some German and Bulgarian makers supplied the insignia.

Pavlov, Denkov [in Bulgarian Orders and Decorations, 1998, 2003, & a just released edition], and Acovic [1973] identify suspension crown design changes for this order. Generally, what you call the French style crown is described as a Hessian crown. It's use stems from the iconography of Alexander of Batemburg's [Prince of Hesse] family. First type insignia always appears with this type of crown for classes with a suspension crown. The so-called Tsarist suspension crowns may have been used as early as 1900 for the St. Alexander Order though the more generally accepted date for their use is later, some say 1908, others 1912.

As an aside, Bulgarian Bravery Order [the country's first Order] insignia crown suspension always remained of the Hessian crown type.

Compare St. Alexander suspension crown evolution with the Bulgarian Civil Merit Order {actually National Order of Merit, later National Order of Merit, Civil Division} suspension crown change from the so-called 1900 Princely type to the Tsarist type in about 1908. The Bulgarian Military Merit Order {actually National Order of Merit, Military Division} always appears with the Tsarist type suspension crown -- this division was created in 1908. One example of a Military Merit commander with a Princely crown suspension exists in the Sofia Military Museum but it appears to have been altered from an original Schwertner-made badge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your information. It is of a great help.

I susspected that the first Officer Cross on the picture was a Commander lacking the crown.

I am not sure whether it was converted to Officer Class at early stage by the wearer or later on.

For the French one I like your idea that could be Makers trial model - The Order came from France with a French Legion of Honour Ribon.

It might be taht the recepient to be French National and as you said requested the crown to be added to the cross, in my opinion I favour the idea of French maker trial Order. ..who knows. That these pieces are interesting, because their not the Standard ones in the books.. what is their market and collectors value? ..who knows

Regarding the Commander of St. Alexander, which is marked by Rothe, my question is whether Rothe made in an early stage Orders with as you menioned Hessian Crown as one on the picture of my posting from 31st of August. Most of the Rothe Crosses appear with the other type of crown - posted by NEW WORLD Member on 31 of August as well. Both of crowns are known as princely type, however the one I have posted is seen predomiantly on St Alexander Commander Class made by French makers the one posted by New World is seen mostly with Rothe made ones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another Rothe cross with "Austrian" crown, identical to the one I posted earlier (from emedals).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more from Rothe, part of a 2nd class set. Same "Austrian" crown.

Edited by new world

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_09_2011/post-12584-0-24134900-1315650463.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_09_2011/post-12584-0-22099100-1315650498.jpgHi,

Thank you for the nice pictures.

Yes, This is the Rothe made Order with typical Austrian type crown as we see mostly on the market for sale..or in the books

The loop above the cross is clearly marked by Rothe. Most of the time the ring between the ribbon loop and the cross is marked as well by Rothe.

That is why I posted this Commander Class, altgough it is made by Rothe, the crown is different.

By the way I found pictures of the Commander - First Model, Second St.Petersburg Type -1886

The cross on my first posting has the same features minus the crown however It has ribbon loop as for the Officer Class instead.

I also noticed on Ebay.com a Knight of St Alexander - French made in a black box for sale by a Bulgarian Dealer Asking price $1999 ???!!!

The Order is the same as the one from my First Posting minus the crown ( which was the case for the Officer Class and the lower Classes as well)

Regards

Graf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I just noticed your posting of the 1st Class by Rothe

Yes, It is the interisting fact....he made the First Class with this "French" crown, however he made the Scond/Third Class Crosses with the "Austrian" crown. I suspect that the Third Class I listed with the "French" type crown could be an early piece or trial one or exception..who knows.

Regards

Graf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×