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Graf

Bulgarian Order of St Alexander -Two Variatians?

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I know the guy. If 2nd class is coming from him then I would stay away from it.

I bought few items from him, most were junk with some original parts, but with added newly made parts, as well as with new soft enamels. In best case you will get franken awards, with parts from several different awards, or damaged/repaired items.

I sent back most of items I bought from him, there was only one I kept.

Edited by new world

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Hi,

It does not come direct from him, however was sold somwhere then it ended up in a dealer site

Yes the Cross is bothering me a little because I do not know when these changes have been made,

The Cross is from an early emmission in silver. The Crown and the swords are from brass and from a later emmission.

The most disturbing is why the swords on the cross were cut off ..or the holes intended for the swords were repaired/closed with silver pieces...and when ..by whom

This Bulgarian dealer is on EBay. He had another shop. The shop was closed and he is operating with a new name.

I only recognised him by the items he is selling..or sold. The problem is that some of his "masterpieces" started surfacing in different dealers sites. Eighter he sold to them or people who did buy them tried to reduce the demage.

However i bought few items from Dealers sites that could be considered also as questionable ... therefore Buyer beware is valid regardless of the seller.

It is minefield and it will not get better

Edited by Graf

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Thank you for posting these images. Are these always interesting things from one Bulgarian eBay vendor who usually has several jeweled pieces on offer? Curious [or not] how all the 'diamond surrounds' look the same in terms of size and rather crude finish? Sometimes his decoration cases look newly made?

I cannot imagine any 'modern time' dealer or collector removing crossed swords from a St. Alexander first class star--such stars are just too difficult to find compared with the civil, or even swords through center variety. While swords have been removed from Military Bravery insignia many times to 'achieve' the rare medical type badges, cannot imagine 'sword through center' removal given the much greater availability of civil insignia. These 'rarity' factors would seem to preclude such changes. On the other hand, if someone has 5 or 6 of the same pieces, maybe they would try to diversify.

It seems well known and documented that large stocks of unissued Bulgarian royal decorations remained in central repositories in Sofia and Varna, at least. There seem to be many 'spare parts' from the same source. Some of these have made their way onto the collector market since the late 1940s-early 1950s until present.

It also seems likely that in the past, varient Bulgarian St. Alexander insignia existed--see Werlich for a St. Alexander lst class star with swords on ring and swords in center. [He shows even a 'Red Cross Order star'!!!] Klenau offered a commander with swords and swords on ring in 1969 and again in 1973. One could construct a story that the Chancery had many unused sets with swords on ring and needed civil type sets so rather than obtain more civil sets their technicians altered swords on ring or swords sets. This certainly happened in other places including some of the German States and pieces made in the UK for other countries.

A late St. Alexander commander with swords on ring awarded to a Soviet general appears as follows: Cross directly attached to suspension loop with swords on ring component piece 'threaded' through the suspension loop. A simple typed paper conferring the award accompanies this piece. I will attempt to get an image of this pair for this thread.

Edited by 922F

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... Are these always interesting things from one Bulgarian eBay vendor who usually has several jeweled pieces on offer? Curious [or not] how all the 'diamond surrounds' look the same in terms of size and rather crude finish? Sometimes his decoration cases look newly made?

...

Yes, that's the bad dealer mentioned earlier.

His "diamond" awards are bogus, recently made, most likely stones are not real. His award boxes are newly made.

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Hi 922F,

Thank you for the information It will help us when making decission and be more carefull,

The so called "hybrids" are well known in the mrket -

especially The French Legion of Honour The difference is that the France History Also they were in wars all the time.

The demand for new Orders could not match the supply, therefore the makers used "spare parts' from one period with new parts to modify the Decorations with the new requirements.

This could have happened in asmaller level with the Bulgarian Orders...however when these modified Orders come from one or two well known sellers --one has to ask the question -are these operiod modifications or "butchered' good decorations to meet the current demand. You are right about the spare parts. i have seen few on sale as well.

The decorations with the Diamonds are a very big Question The new boxes as well

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Hi,

I left my opinion on the tread Fake Bulgarian Orders

it is OK To be 100% sure run the "needle test' as i described it on the other tread

Regards

Graf

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Hello

this ist may Alexander.

Typ 1 1881 - 1886

Paris

Hi Paris

Is that a Russian or German made Saint Alexander ? Can you show the bar if not too much trouble.

Thanks.

Sincerely

Yankee

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On 27 באוגוסט 2011 at 14:59, Graf said:

Hi

The pictures are too big

I had to change their size

 

Graf

Picture 234.jpg

Picture 236.jpg

Picture 233.jpg

Today you can post these pictures in big resolution ? 

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On ‎30‎/‎12‎/‎2011 at 15:39, Graf said:

Yes,

Ferdinand was quite interisting person

When you compare the Orders from his period with the ones from his son Boris III you can realise how much he liked the glomour

By the way he spend qite a bit from his family wealth for transforming the capital Sofia into europian city.

From the photos that exist it is obvious that sometimes he had carry significant part of his collection for display

4099.jpg

Hi Graf,

Just for info, the man on the picture is Danail Nikolaev, 1st bulgarian military man to get the rank of colonnel and godfather of Boris III. He is known as the "Patriarch of the Bulgarian Army".

Kind regards,

Vazov

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Hi Vazov,

 

Thank you for the correction,

 

Yes It is General Nikolaev, 

 

 

Best

 

Graf        

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Take a look at this star 1st class with swords.

The star itself looks legitimate (despite some enamel damage), however engravings and stamps on the back are very unusual.

Engraving suggests German connection (German recipient?).

Stamped numbers could be inventory numbers from a museum...

What do you think?

SA_Star_1.jpg

SA_Star_2.jpg

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Hi,

 

I have seen this star on Auction not long ago

 

Interesting is that the engraving looks similar to the one on the back of the Military Order Star discussed in Fake Bulgarian Orders -Posts 133-135

It is possible to be inventory numbers, however we only can speculate....or added later on for better profit

Similar scenario we have with the German Iron Crosses if engraved they attract better price.Hence the temptation for later engraving

image.png.54dbc881cae92b2f52432f1636d2e7c2.png

 

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I completely forgot about this star we discussed earlier!

Engraving is certainly done by the same person, it's identical style and font.

Stamped numbers look the same, they are almost consecutive and are off by only 4 digits (1140 vs 1144).

Problem is that we had some major concerns about legitimacy of Mil Merit star, which puts this St Alexander star in question as well. 

 

 

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Unusual star of St Alexander - rays have diamond cut finish instead of being smooth.

Seller says it's 90 mm, which is 1st class size. No maker's marks.

Any opinions on what this star is?

 

SA_Star_1.jpg

SA_Star_2.jpg

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Hi New World,

I saw this Star on eBay Germany i t was sold for a good price.

The body of the Star is Austrian type Typical for the Austrian Orders

The size is mystery, because the features are for the 2nd Class because has only single ring around the central part of the medallion

However I have seen  1st Class of the early prince Ferdinand Stars with only one ring

This Star is not the Standard one and very likely was made by Order, hence the unusual features

The other, unlikely option is the central medallion to be attached in a later stage to the body of the Star.

This dealer from Austria has sold many rare items, however i have seen few unusual ones as well

That does not mean foul play at all

Did you buy the Star is so when the Star arrives inspect it carefully, although it looks OK for me

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Posted (edited)

Graf,

This type of St Alexander star existed, Dimitri Romanoff has some examples in his book and states these were issued before Ferdinand period.  

Here are some photos of similar stars from the book, second star is practically the same star except the swords. 

P1310676.JPG

P1310677.JPG

Edited by new world

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Hi New World,

 

Then Enjoy it Congrats

Yes it is typical Austrian type Notice the Swords they are mounted upside down..and the second ring

The first Star is typical French Similar sold by JK Militaria

 

Best

 

Graf

 

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Hi all,

The star looks fine to me. The diamond-cut rays are rare. King Ferdinand and His mother, Clementine, wear such examples on several occasions. Such diamond-cut star is displayed at the National Military History museum and presented as being part of Prince Alexander I collection (shown as part of a set along with a Russian-made 1st class badge on a sash). It does looks like the Kretly stars but the letters of the motto in this case are not mounted/fixed and also there appears to be a single ring of silver beads rather than two.

Yes, The majority of the known examples are French-made but I suspect that there are some Austrian (probably the above is one of them) and even perhaps Russian-made ones. 

In the earlier years of the order, there weren't particularly strict guidelines to the appearance of the rays themselves and we can see different types of them (at least 3). The same goes for the second ring of silver beads around the central medallion - there are known 1st class stars with a single ring and even without any beads (the earlier Russian examples), but the latter were perhaps produced using the stock of ready-made star bases for the Russian stars. Actually, this could well be the case with this star too but using an Austrian base instead.

Having said that though, I cannot ascertain whether this is indeed a 1st class star or not.

 

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Hi Ilieff,

 

Thanks for the additional information

 

That were my poiints

1,  Early Prince Ferdinand period

2. Austrian - all high classes Austrian made Stars has this diamond cut and shape

3. Not 100% whether 1st or 2nd Class The size leans toward 1st Class Also the Luxury type suggests that is more likely made by order by someone or for someone of importance The luck of second ring is not so important.

Only could be speculated that the Star could be a second Class and the maker did not have a small luxury size Star for this occasion

 

4. Because it is not marked, however only from two pictures front and back it can be speculated that could be marks/s somewhere only close inspection can tell us If not marked could be contributed to any of the Austrian makers at that time.

 

5. Anyway such Stars do not come very often on the market and if new World managed to get it Congrats.

 

 

Graf

 

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6 hours ago, new world said:

What kind of cross goes with this star?

Good question. 

I'd assume a generic 1st class badge for this period (presumably Austrian-made (Rothe?) ). 

I've had a quick look at my image archive and noticed that the majority of cases where those diamond-cut stars appear, it's usually a member of the royal family who wears them. This supports Graf's theory of the stars being used by/given to [exclusively] the highest of the high-ranking people.

Attached image shows two types of necklace sets - 1) with the so called 'Tsar' crown, worn by prince Cyril (c. 1909) and of the young Prince Ferdinand - example with crossed swords and earlier period crown suspension (c. 1888). Another examples of such stars which I came across are photos of King Boris III (both as King and heir to the Throne) and His mother Marie-Louise who only wore the diamond-cut stars without any necklaces/sashes.

comp.png

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2 hours ago, ilieff said:

Good question. 

I'd assume a generic 1st class badge for this period (presumably Austrian-made (Rothe?) ). 

I've had a quick look at my image archive and noticed that the majority of cases where those diamond-cut stars appear, it's usually a member of the royal family who wears them. This supports Graf's theory of the stars being used by/given to [exclusively] the highest of the high-ranking people.

Attached image shows two types of necklace sets - 1) with the so called 'Tsar' crown, worn by prince Cyril (c. 1909) and of the young Prince Ferdinand - example with crossed swords and earlier period crown suspension (c. 1888). Another examples of such stars which I came across are photos of King Boris III (both as King and heir to the Throne) and His mother Marie-Louise who only wore the diamond-cut stars without any necklaces/sashes.

comp.png

Thank you!

In post #69 Graf said "Notice the Swords they are mounted upside down" - that's exactly what we see in the 2nd photo you posted. It seems to be identical star to the one in the Romanoff's book.

 

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Yes, I'd say that it is the same star. Romanoff used the so called Royal Collection of the Bulgarian Monarchy for reference, hence the unique pieces which he shows in his book. 

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