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Graf

FAKE BULGARIAN ORDERS ON THE MARKET

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It gets more worrying each day,  by the by is anyone faking the boxes of issue or documents as that could be quite a lucrative way of marketing fake orders?

Paul

 

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10 minutes ago, paul wood said:

It gets more worrying each day,  by the by is anyone faking the boxes of issue or documents as that could be quite a lucrative way of marketing fake orders?

Paul

 

I never saw fake documents, but they do fake boxes for high classes. Most of them are not that good, would not fool collectors.

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On 9/17/2016 at 19:30, Graf said:

Sorry i missed last part of your post regarding the item  131937236792 on Ebay.de

I saw it In my opinion is OK.  Only the War Decoration is missing The edges are not as black as i have seen on some fakes See the fake Commander on top of this page.

There are some marks on the swords on the obverse of this 1st Class Cross It looks they tried to mask them. It means they were aware that the Decoration is missing.

 

 

mlq.JPG

mlq1.JPG

Agreed. This cross is fine, green War Decoration wreath is lost, other than that it's normal.

It looks like Schwerdtner manufacture.

 

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Regarding Paul's post 51 above, so far I know of only very crude box/document forgeries.   New World's post 36 in this thread depicts one [the major?] type of fake cases or boxes of issue. Cassia/Victor & others also offered Grand Cross, First Class and Grand Officer sets in newly made red boxes with either just a sloppily applied gilt Ferdinand cypher on the outer lid [image below] or that same cypher die above the name of the Order.  These usually had a poorly sized round insert in the case bottom pad for stars.  A couple of original Grand Cross and Commander boxes with crudely replaced 'pads/nests' for insignia or inner lid liners are around too -- these would not fool most collectors.

In Sofia 1996-7 [economic collapse years], blanko republic St. Alexander and Military Merit Order documents could be bought cheaply—5-10 U.S.$ or 10-15 DM.  These not seen after about 1998.  I recall seeing only 2 or 3 republic St. Alexander documents that appeared to have been blankos subsequently completed.  These had the same 1946 dates seen on documents given to Red Army personnel but the personal info and rank were typed rather than in script.  Whoever typed them had a heavy hand as parts of characters like я, д or а  almost punched the document stock. 

GetAttachment.jpg

Edited by 922F

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I just to add to the topic.

Yes,  Victor and others managed to sell few fake High Classes on Ebay and later on different dealers in EUROPE.

I even have in my collection one of his last Stars as a nice "Gift" from this period. At the time the Star arrived and I found it was fake he closed his Ebay store and I did not have a chance to return it. I keep it as a "filler' in my Collection till I get the original

Regarding the boxes - for me it is OK to have an rare original box with a replaced lining as long as long as the collector is aware about the fact and the price is right.

Here is the fake Order for Bravery Star 1st Class and also pictures of the Original so the members can compare both of them

Pic042.JPG

Pic043.JPG

Pic044.JPG

original front.jpg

original back.jpg

The God thing is that I did not pay a fortune for the fake/copy Star I made a very low offer and "surprisingly" Victor accepted it I found later on why..but a little bit late he was gone I hope for good.

 

Graf

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On 9/18/2016 at 02:50, Graf said:

RARE! BULGARIA ORDER OF MILITARY MERIT STAR on Ebay Germany  The suspected Fake

Sold for over 800 EURO  I feel sorry for the buyer

 

Graf

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Graf--is it correct to state that the distinguishing features for the fake Order for Bravery Star 1st Class are the design element of the sword grips [stippled and knurled detail] and the reverse central boss/protuberance?  Is the round 'shiney' area discoloration from a label or a different piece of metal?  Is the center enamel soft?   Thank you!!

Somewhere [maybe in a 1970s Klenau auction--will attempt to find?] I saw a 1st Class Order for Bravery Star with BOTH sword grips knurled.  At one point Victor had a star with 'diamonds' set in the ring around the motto.

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Main distinguishing feature is soft white enamel.

I had this fake Bravery in my hands (bought it from Viktor as original, was able to return it and get my money back) and it's very hard to determine from the pics that it's a fake. The quality of reproduction was excellent! I even showed it to some dealers/collectors in Bulgaria and they could not tell from the pics.

But the enamel was instant give away!

Part of the problem is scarcity of 1st class, few people saw real thing, there's nothing to compare it to, only photos from the textbooks. This factor plays to fakers advantage.

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Hi,

 

New World  is correct The main problem is the soft enamel white, red and green.

At one stage Victor/Karissa had other Star with hard central medallion I suspect it could be an original part and the rest is fake I have the pictures of this Star in my files Here is the Front the back is identical as my Star

See the poor finish of the swords, especially the one on the left

Other problems are

- The Star is very thin

- The gilding on the back surface and on the lion and the swords on the front came off very easy

- the front detailing is very poor -on the central medallion and on the swords

- the silver ring on the central medallion is not very detailed  as on the original

-  the difference in the colour suggests two different metals

- the nut on the back is glued not screwed and not the right form

- the pin assembly is poorly attached to the back

New Word is right that if you never seen the Original and/or hold it just from pictures one can be fooled.

However, at the moment I held this Star i realized, that something  is wrong It is impossible to have a very high class Order made with so many problems, especially during King Ferdinand Period

That is why I started this thread to share with others what i have experienced and learned regarding the fakes

That does  not mean that the fakers are not improving and they still can fool us

 

Graf

 

COPY.jpg

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I'm reading this thread with growing horror, I have to admit that those fakes would have fooled me, I may come to regret this, but any advice as to the authenticity of the attached Order of Civil Merit Commander and Award document, (It has been in my collection since January1991, they came together), Hoping for good news,

 

regards

 

Alex

cert2 copy.JPG

IMGP1254 copy.JPG

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Hi Alex,

 

From what I see you are safe.  The only thing we do not know whether the Document and the cross are for the same person.Sometimes dealers/Sellers "marry" such items for a little bit more profit as a Set.

The problem is that all Bulgarian Orders and decorations are not named.

 

Unless you have a very strong provenance that they come from the family of this person it is very difficult to know.

On the good side both the Document and the cross look Original The Cross looks an early Boris III period.one.. Only we have to accept that they belonged to the same person

The main areas of fakers are

-Order of St Alexander -mainly Stars. Crosses are "upgraded" from Commander Class with Green enamel to a First Class -see some of the listing in this thread Sometimes crosses are mutilated to match a Star.

- High Classes Stars of the Orders for Military Merit and Order for Civil merit

-Order for Bravery -only the 1st Class Star is known so far to be faked. I have seen also 3rd Class 2nd Grade copy -very bad work

- Different Badges from the Royal Period, however i collect only Bulgaria Royal Red Cross badges and Documents and I cannot make any comments.

The Civil Merit Commanders and lower Classes are the last on the fakers list due to the relatively low prices.

Why bother to fake and spend time only for few backs?

 

 

Best

 

Graf

 

 

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Hi Graf, thanks for the positive feedback, I can sleep soundly now:D I agree that whilst they came together I have to assume they belong together, they did come from a respected dealer at the time, but who knows, if nothing else, they are good period examples of badge and certificate

 

thanks

 

Alex

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Alex,

As Graf said - you have nothing to worry about! Both document and award are original.

You'll never know for sure if they were for the same person, but that applies to most awards offered to collectors. They are from the same period, so likely they were to the same person.

 

 

 

Edited by new world

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Hello,

As I started my collection not long ago (in 2013), I'd like to have your opinion on an unusual Bravery Order that I saw on Ebay.com.

Capture.JPG

At first sight it looks like a fake, not only because of the different pattern and ornaments on the swards that are different from the Alexander I or Ferdinand's "7dots" emissions, but as well because of the bad state of preservation. However, I've made a small research and I've discovered that a similar one was sold a few years ago by a dealer with a website named VicMart, which looks no longer active: 

5fcdc54c_bgbrave4c1880firstissue.jpg

Yet there are differencies even between those two.

I am even wondering if in generalit there exist original pieces from the last Alexander I and 1st Ferdinand emissions that deviate from the "classic" two "7dots" models, or it's all fakes.

 

Many thanks in advance for your kind help and advice !

Edited by V.Vazov
Adding Photos

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Hi Vazov,

Welcome  on board

This is not a fake Order It is very rare variation of the first model I saw the Bravery cross on Ebay, however i passed it because of the significant damage;

The VicMart as far as I know is still in action, however they do not sell much Orders and decorations now.

The Bravery Order you listed is one of their items which was sold , like you stated,  few years ago

 

You can see this cross in Prof. Pavlov book and also it is on display in the Bulgarian Military Museum in Sofia as part of Prince Alexander personal collection

 

Graf

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Hi Graf,

 

Many thanks for your help ! Its really important to have the opinion of someone with a lot of experience.

I would like to share some observations on two related matters:

1. The Alexander I 4 class emission that I'm trying to find for my collection (unfortunatelly without success yet):

The first picture shows a classic example, while the second one shows an order that was sold on the Emedals site a few months ago. The order looks perfectly fine to me, but as you can see the enamel has no pattern. While I was hesitating, someone bought it. Could you please share your opinion on this one? Pehaps it's just the enamel that was replaced with a new one if the order was in bad condition for sale?

IMG_0351.JPGCapture.JPG

2. This is a picture of a 1st Ferdinand emission 3rd class. The order was proposed to me by a Bulgarian dealer. I've asked for additional pictures because despite that it looks fine in general, the piece did not convinced me. As you may see the enamel does not fill its ''bed'' well and the central medalion does not look right.... Meanwhile I've heard that some fakes comming from Bulgarian dealers based on the Black Sea shore (Varna) are on the market and this one was based there. I've finally passed it on. Hope I didn't make a mitstake though...

P1240170.JPG

Regards,

Vazov

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Hi Vazov,

 

The 4th Class 2nd Grade Order is again a rare model, Although not as rare as the one you listed yesterday

It is believed to be one of the very early Ferdinand emission pieces -" with the Lily connection between the cross and the ribbon ring. Both crosses are OK The one on eMedals site was a very nice one in near mint condition and I know the person who did not hesitate and did buy it. Not me. He is an advanced collector.

eMedals is a good site, however sometimes they also make judgment errors.

The 3rd Class 2nd Grade looks OK for me The finish is very nice and the central medallion is perfect However you have to ask the seller to do so called "needle" test

The main give away of the fakes is the soft enamel and not very well defined letters on the central medallion.

Ask for pictures on the reverse as well and compare with well known samples If possible pay with PayPal and if anything is wrong you can return it

Most importantly "listen" your guts If you do not feel comfortable of buying an item then pass it on.Like you did

Fakers are everywhere not only in Varna. I visited recently Sofia, as part of a small hollday in some of the Balkan countries,  and I went to see few antique shops

One of the dealer mention  a "new" Faker on the market, who is very good. That is a little bit worry

I was happy to visit the Military Museum in Sofia. Very impressive exhibitions of Bulgarian Orders and decorations  You have to go and see them Even they had small errors in matching some of the Sets

 

 

Graf

 

 

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Graf is correct - the Military Museum in Sofia have loads of decorations, some of which are unique and are not displayed in the permanent exhibition. As far as I know, the Chairman of the Museum itself is a dedicated researcher in the field.

Even so, there are many incorrectly displayed orders and medals - wrong ribbons or sets, made up of a badge and star from different periods. While the incorrect ribbons could be down to the people who once wore the decorations, the incorrect matching of the sets is something which can always be fixed by the museum associates.

The best (which is actually worst) example of an incorrectly displayed set is from the window display where the so called personal collections of Bulgarian monarchs are shown. Below is a picture of one of the 1st class sets which is said to have belonged to Prince Alexander I. Look at the star - it's from the so called 'three dots' emission (post Great war period) which is decades after the actual abdication of 1886. I assume this is due to the fact that they do not have the unique 'skull and bones' rounded star and decided to put something else instead.

Also, attached is a close up of the star.

As for the order with the lily - please note that according to researchers there are two subtypes of these orders - one is with smooth edges and the order - with added decorative notches, which might suggest different manufactures or at least different batches. However, this would not explain the missing/hidden pattern on the one from eMedals.

 

 

set.jpg

star.jpg

In order to contribute to the above posts in regard to 1st class star - another image of a 'three dots' emission star from the same museum. The sword handles do look well defined, even for a post-war issue.

Also, a photograph of a very unorthodox 3rd class badge. I have not seen anything like this, have you?

star-close.jpg

3class.jpg

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Hi Ilieff,

 

Thank you for the post It is exactly how I felt it when i was vising the Museum.

Nicely described

Do you suggest that the 1st Class Star with the three dots on your second last picture is post -war production i.e. Museum quality reproduction?

 

Yes, this is very interesting 3rd Class from the 1st Prince Alexander Model. -1st St Petersburg Emission

The grand Cross with the "skull and bones" from this Emission should be exhibited in the personal collection of Prince Alexander in the Museum

Unusual crown. It seems the crown is of French or other European Order

Whether it was added at the time.when the Order was awarded or in later stage is very difficult to judge

If is added in  recent times then it is a little bit worry.

 On the other hand  we are so used to the strict rules about the Bulgarian decorations that sometimes when such unique pieces surface we very easily reject them or look them with suspicion

Those pieces are reminder that the rule were not followed all the time.

I have in my collection few of similar pieces some with makers "errors" One has to separate them form the fakes.

 

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Hi Ilieff,

Indeed, I think the ''three dots'' is the most misterious emission. To be honest I've never seen a piece of it for sale....

For example, the 3rd class 7 dots emission that I'm speaking about above (appologies Graf, I forgot to mention that but now I saw the pic and it came back to me), the reason that I've not bought it was the reverse as well, which had Bulgaria with cyrilic И, instead of I which should not be possible as the first orders with И come in 1915 and the WWI:

P1240171.JPG

 

As well, I completely agree with Graf concerning the unique pieces. Last year I saw this order (sold on an auction in Germany if I'm not mitstaken, which I've unfortunately lost) which is extremely unusual and still I simpy cannot believe it's fake:

IMG_0288.JPG

Although I'm perfectly aware that at the time of the 7 dots emission there was yet no 4 grade 1 class star, everithing looks too beautiful on this piece to be a fake. The central medalion and the lion are like form regency orders.

 

Regards,

Vazov

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