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paja

Socialist Yugoslavia Fakes!

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Well, regarding Yugoslavian miniatures I think we should first define what the "original" miniatures are. Are they only these produced by the State Mint when SFRJ existed? If so, are these manufactured by private producers fakes? I think the issue is not simple in this case. While a recipient obtained only one full-size order produced by the State Mint and he had to apply officially for a duplicate in case he had e.g. lost the original (I believe there was such a procedure), there were no limitations concerning the number of miniatures a recipient could have at the same time, for example to pin them to a few jackets. So if he bought them at different private manufacturers or purchased them later, when SFRJ did not exist any longer, can we really regard them as fakes? I believe the word "replica" or "copy" would be more approprieate here. "Faking" to me implies an intentional action of providing or selling a copy as an original. As long as we do not know what the originals really were, we should not speak about fakes. I would myself be delighted if I could buy a "faked" miniature of the Order of Freedom or Yugoslav Star 1st class. If someone can provide one, please PM me :)

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paja   

Greetings Lukasz and thanks for expressing your opinion.

As most of us interested in Yugoslav decorations know there were three types of miniatures: type 1 two-side on vertical ribbon, type 2 with "0" suspension ring on horizontal ribbon and type 3 with "8" suspension ring also on horizontal ribbon. I believe that all three were made by official producers. I have never heard of or found any information about privately made miniatures, do you perhaps know more about this, which manufacturers made them, photos of examples...?

If faking implies an intentional action of providing or selling a copy as an original, then it is the correct term for the most of the examples I used. But then what's the difference between fake and copy? Just that intention?

Edited by paja

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Hello and thank you for the answer.

I own some SFRJ miniatures - they look visually attractive to me (honestly speaking, more attractive than some of their full-size counterparts). I only have type 2 and 3, that is the ones on a horizontal ribbon bar. I actually do not know the producers, but regarding their number on market, I suspect that at least some of them (including these of the highest orders) must have been made by private manufactureres. But it is only my guess. No matter who made them, most of the ones I have were carefully produced with well visible details. Yes, indeed, to me a fake is a copy sold intentionally as an original item, and none of my sellers ever maintained they were original - whatever it would mean in this case. So I prefer to name them replicas or simply copies.

I am still missing a few miniatures, including these of the upper classes of the Order of Yugoslav Star and of the Order of Freedom, and I would gladly buy them, even if they were contemporary copies.

Best regards,

Lukasz

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Rogi   

Hello and thank you for the answer.

I own some SFRJ miniatures - they look visually attractive to me (honestly speaking, more attractive than some of their full-size counterparts). I only have type 2 and 3, that is the ones on a horizontal ribbon bar. I actually do not know the producers, but regarding their number on market, I suspect that at least some of them (including these of the highest orders) must have been made by private manufactureres. But it is only my guess. No matter who made them, most of the ones I have were carefully produced with well visible details. Yes, indeed, to me a fake is a copy sold intentionally as an original item, and none of my sellers ever maintained they were original - whatever it would mean in this case. So I prefer to name them replicas or simply copies.

I am still missing a few miniatures, including these of the upper classes of the Order of Yugoslav Star and of the Order of Freedom, and I would gladly buy them, even if they were contemporary copies.

Best regards,

Lukasz

Could you post some pictures of the minis in your collection?

I have to agree with Paja, most of the "miniatures" sold on the market look like copies or fakes.

Private producers of any miniatures have a certain quality to them, and yes they could look more visually appealing than an actual producer (they were expensive after all) although if it isn't up to par in the quality dept. I doubt we could call it legitimate. The examples that Paja posted, I wouldn't consider that great of a quality.

Edited by Rogi

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paja   

I do not consider myself an expert for miniatures nor a big collector but I followed couple of discussions about this topic on some "regional" forums and everyone here considers them as fakes or replicas (to me basically the same thing).

These miniatures were made in large quantities so even after the breakup of Socialist Yugoslavia they found their way on the market. According to some certain number of them was made later, is that really true or not I can't say but in my opinion there were so many of them that there was no need for Yugoslav citizens to go to some private manufacturer to make replica. I've also read that Chancellery of orders in some cases issued decorations after the breakup so I suppose that was also possible with miniatures. Besides price of privately made piece would probably be higher than the one ordered through official channels. Also it would be more complicated to order it privately. And for the end there's the legal issue, according to the law production and sale of badges and items with same form or appearance as decorations of SFRY was offense. In my opinion this article of the law also covers private production of miniatures.

It is very indicative that all of these low quality fakes/replicas are of top decorations, I don't remember seeing pieces like that for "lower" decorations...

Edited by paja

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paja   

To me a fake is a copy sold intentionally as an original item, and none of my sellers ever maintained they were original.

To me that is also misleading, if someone is selling copy that should be clearly pointed out.

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paja   

I forgot to mention one more form of faking. Although Yugoslav Flag can be considered as one of the top decorations they are not that hard to find (3rd type) not even the first class, but for some reason 4th class flags are pretty rare. So what happened, some "sellers" took 5th classes and started painting their rays! Remember how 3rd class full-size Orders of national merit became 1st class, same thing here.

Edited by paja

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utopis   

By the way, is it me or is the number of full-size orders on the market disproportional to the number of awarded pieces (only 262). I've seen over a dozen in the last year, year and a half, and that's only on ebay. Four of them are available as we speak. I can't see anything obviously wrong with them but still... Someone found a stash or what?

Exactly what I was thinking. National Liberation was similarly often awarded as the War Banner but you almost never see them. I only know of one War Banner publicly sold during the last three years (sadly I didn't get it - wasn't really a good deal, though). Hoard of unawarded ones is always an option but I think the best way would be to collect all images of them to see if some numbers appear twice on different pieces (=obvious sign).

Thinking about it, I can scarcely remember that there was a story floating around about them. It was either something about the official dies of these being sold or that a bunch of produced but not awarded pieces were taken/sold from stock in the '90 (?)

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paja   

You are right about that story, it was discussed on GMIC in this topic: http://gmic.co.uk/index.php/topic/25853-order-of-national-liberation/?p=310859

"Made after disintegration of Yugoslavia with use of original details in commercial objectives"

But piece that was showed in that topic is obviously different... And those others I mentioned (from ebay) are looking like a real deal, I compared them with photos of other decorations which should be original and I really can't find anything suspicious... It could be that I am missing something but to me personally it's more likely that hoard of unawarded ones somehow found their way on the market.

And those that appeared are "regular" variants, either with screw nut without name of the producer either with IKOM nuts. No "conversion" types. Numbers are not always very high, for example three of them on ebay right now are under 200, couple of weeks ago one with number 13X got sold. I am collecting images of them but so far there were no different orders with the same number (I've been doing the same thing with those strange Partisan Stars but also nothing so far...).

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utopis   

It would be interesting to know whether they were given out in order of numbering. Probably not - we know that 10XX are the earliest ;)

Thanks for the link. You're right these are different. Well we should still keep an eye on them

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paja   

I think that they weren't given out in order of numbering like the rest of Yugoslav decorations. For some reason until recently I taught Yugoslav decorations were given in that order but once I started collecting photos of awarding documents I saw how much was I wrong the whole time.

About the numbers, I've seen some below 100, mostly 8X and 9X, don't remember anything lower... And the highest I noticed so far is currently on ebay 580...

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paja   

Here's photo of one example which has been presented as fake on couple of forums.

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-7937-0-54067900-1416678227.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-7937-0-13492100-1416678250.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_11_2014/post-7937-0-80069700-1416678262.jpg

Edited by paja

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paja   

Unfortunately that's the only decent photo of Soviet type I saw so far... Same goes for the Soviet made Order of Brotherhood and Unity. Can anyone please share photos of other examples?

Now I understand what you meant by 10XX, I didn't realize that you we're talking about 1st type. So the Soviets started numbering from 1K or...?

Brotherhood and Unity I mentioned has even larger number - 21XX, so 2K onward?

Edited by paja

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utopis   

Can anyone please share photos of other examples?

To be honest, I don't think that there are any others.

Number 2162, I think.

Who knows who took the decision to start with such high numbers...

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paja   

Although something like that is unfortunately possible I still believe that there are other preserved examples out there, if not in museums then in private collections.

It's not like those were returned to USSR after Tito - Stalin split (or were they?). So many Partisan stars and Bravery orders/medals were kept and even worn the whole time, why would things be different with those two...

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paja   

Wait what am I saying, there's one in the collection of the Military Museum :)

According to information from their catalog it's number is 199! If that's true there goes our theory about 1K start...
Only photo I managed to find so far. That one is a unit award, not given to individual.


Edited by paja

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utopis   

To be honest, I don't think that there are any others.

Statement retracted.

Hm, maybe the numbering was completely random.

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paja   

I doubt that the numbering was random, hopefully no one was silly enough to do something like that. How would they prevent making of orders with same numbers? :)

Here's a link to excellent photo of the same order you presented. It's from Slovenian online catalog of Yugoslav decorations.

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Edited by paja

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Rogi   

What are the orders made of? Could they have been melted down after the conversion to new type? That is always what I thought of when thinking about these type 1s.

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utopis   

I doubt that the numbering was random,

They were probably numbered continuously during production, I meant the numbers were awarded randomly

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paja   

What are the orders made of? Could they have been melted down after the conversion to new type? That is always what I thought of when thinking about these type 1s.

They were made out of gilded silver. If that is the case why then making an exception for example for Partisan star?

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paja   

They were probably numbered continuously during production, I meant the numbers were awarded randomly

Sorry, I misunderstood :) I think that's the case here, who knows on how many sides were the orders distributed at the same time, probably not going directly to recipient from one center.

Edited by paja

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