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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Frunzich

Bulgarian Medal for Merit

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Hello!

As for the ribbon of my Medal for Merit. Yes, you are right in terms of its back side, according to the photos I have seen (also see links above) the ribbon's back side should be assembled in other way. Nevertheless, the ribbon back side is not visible in the Optima-type album plate for medals I am using for my collection;). I guess that the ribbon on my medal is old, perhaps, it was repaired sometime and then assembled in differ way or, which is more possible, it was ordered later to replace the original worn ribbon...Anyway, its shape, size and color are absolutely correct.

Yes, to finish with the color. I am not iterating the topic, but I put your mind to your peremptory phrase about crimson ribbon as one of the proofs that the ribbon can be a replica whereas there are a lot of red ribbons for such medals on the modern photos (crimson also) and many respectful faleristic sites mention that the color of ribbon for Medal for Merit and Order of St. Alexander is dark-red. It will be nice to find original Bulgarian documents on the topic, including description of types and emissions of the medal.

http://www.medals.pl/bg/bg12.htm - excellent ribbon chart. But thank you for your Easter present also:beer:

P.S. So I see, what we can say about my bronze-class medal - that it belongs to Boris III emission (1918-1943 period) and was minted, perhaps, in Germany. Any more detailed info (exact manufacturer, exact year of mintage etc.) is impossible to discover. 

Edited by Frunzich

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Please post a normal quality photograph/scan of your medal and ribbon. I am sure the folks here will be able to tell you whether it's original or a replica ribbon.

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The quality is normal for the web pages. I specially reduced the large original scan with the highest resolution to this one. If I have time to take the medal from an album plate and scan it again tonight, I will do this;)

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Hi ,

 

I am not too much in to this medal.

However I have only this Gold/Gilded medal of Prince Ferdinand  in my collection.

i assume, it was removed from a Medal Bar of a German Officer.

 

Graf

 

004.JPG

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Hi Graf,

Very nice medal. If it's a genuine gold class medal*, then it's a very rare thing. Bulgarian golden medals of merit were only given to people who have already been decorated with the grand cross sets of the Bulgarian orders. Authors mention the number 69 as the total number of actual golden medals being awarded.

 

* There are some faked golden medals ( being originally silver or bronze ones), which have been gilded by unfaithful dealers.

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Hi Ilieff,

 

Thank you for the comments and information

The problem to prove the last sentence could be difficult, because there is no a united opinion what material was used for the Gold/Gilded Class. There is a only one unique Real Gold medal with Diamonds on the ribbon which is in the Museum in Sofia and is shown in few books.

The other information is quite different -some authors claim that the medal is made of Gold, other Silver Gilded and third Group that it is Bronze Gilded. a fact which can open the door for the Fakers

The only proof will be to test the Gilding and to compare with one well know Original Gold/Gilded piece.

However all of them are stating that most of those Gold and/or Gold/Gilded medals were given to non Bulgarians

This particular one comes from a German Dealer with a solid reputation....which in some aspects is not 100% proof that is an Original piece, although is some kind of  solid reassurance.

I did buy it at the time. without  knowing that it is a rare bird, because I liked the princely crown and the mounting ribbon..

In general I keep away from any Medals apart from the Serbian - Bulgarian War ones in my collection..

The main reason is that the medals are much easier to be faked the the Orders with complex construction and different materials used.

 

 

Graf

 

 

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Here are the Three Classes of this particular model. including the unique one in Gold

 

i just looked also in 173 Kuenker Auction catalogue - there were three pieces sold - in Gold/Gilded, Silver and Bronze

On this Auction one of the biggest collection of Bulgarian decorations, owned by Bulgarian in France, was sold

The Gold/Gilded one was claimed to be Gilded bronze as the one listed on the second picture now with the box

I have not tested mine, however I assume it is the same Gilded bronze, however this gives me the idea to see my local jeweler.

MMMFERDPRINCE.gold.jpg

MMMFERDPRINCE.gold.1.jpg

MMMFERDPRINCE.siver.jpg

MMMFERDPRINCE.jpg

Edited by Graf

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Graf,

I agree with you - there's no single opinion on the actual material of the gold medals. I do believe that there were both silver gilt and bronze gilt gold class medals. As for medals made of solid gold - I think these were 'one-off's. This is indirectly proven by the different way of attaching the medal to the crown. See in the above image that the golden medal has some sort of a small metal clamp.

Anyway, just like many other topics regarding Bulgarian decorations, this one too needs thorough research.

PS: I have not seen any gold class medals of merit displayed at the Military History museum in Sofia. Did you mean another museum?

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Hi Ilieff,

Because there is only one Gold made medal known we assume that all of the existing ones have the same attachment.

The information about the Bulgarian decorations is still growing

For example there is no information about the  weight of Medal for Merit made from different materials as we have for many other decorations from Europe that were very well researched

I assume that the main reason was that this period from 1944 till 1990 when, i assume was not allowed  such a research by the Bulgarian Authorities

Also, because only, as you said only one-off pieces were made from Gold  for handful people it will be impossible to

standardize them.

I can speculate that if any other Gold pieces were made there were probably from the Prince/King Ferdinand period

As i mentioned in other paces in the Forum. there are still many pieces not described in the books  and they are in exclusive private collections

For example I have seen the Medal for Merit -Prince Ferdinand Model with King's Crown in Gold, while at the same time Prof Pavlov sates, in his boo,k that only a Medal in Bronze from this Model is known to him to exist

About the piece in the Military Museum I am not 100% sure - I visited the Museum in September and i might have mingled my information. i had the impression that i saw this particular one -off Gold medal there. It is featured in few  places and books, therefore one can get confused.

If you live in Sofia you can check for us.

 

Graf

 

 

 

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Unfortunately, I don't. I only visited the museum once - last winter. I did managed to make some photographs of the awards but as I mentioned earlier, the decorations on display are not clearly and fully described, so one can only guess of the material they are made of.

Here's an image of part of the medal of merit stall. The only medals with domed-shaped crown shown are these two bronze ones. However, the Boris III medal on the right-hand side looks like silver gilt medal. No labels to confirm this, though. Opinions?

 

PS: Pavlov's book is a bit out-of-date nowadays, I believe. He mentions that he's only aware of a bronze class medal of this issue, but there are certainly others.

SAM_2800.jpg

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Hi Ilieff,

 

Thanks. It look one of them is Silver.

I did not have a chance to take pictures, because i was the only visitor at the the time and i have one of the members of the staff with me all the time

Yes although, those books are very nice attempt to cover the Bulgarian decorations and Orders they have some weak points. The same i noticed in the Museum - there are few mixed Sets and missing labels plus few other problems,however very impressive display

The main problems for us collectors are do you have to follow the books and be safe or we have to buy items using our own guts instinct ..plus the additional knowledge we gained over the years.

 

I found many of the Dealers in Bulgaria not very helpful The Dealers out of Bulgaria do have very basic knowledge.

Some Auction Houses try to provide as much information as possible, which does not mean is correct all the time.

Graf

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16 hours ago, Graf said:

I did not have a chance to take pictures, because i was the only visitor at the the time and i have one of the members of the staff with me all the time

Yes, it was the same with me but I explicitly asked if I will be able to take photographs. The lady at the entrance said that I can take photos, as long as these are 'not of a professional nature', i.e. using professional equipment for hi-quality output.

A side note here: A few years ago, someone has actually managed to open one of the display windows and steal an original Nazi regimental banner from the museum while visiting it. Following the mass disapproval of the nation, the banner was later 'returned' by leaving it in front of the office of a national newspaper agency. The person who managed to steal this rarity was never identified. Even after the banner was recovered by the museum, certain people believe that the 'returned' banner was actually a well-made replica, while the original has been kept by the robbers. So, this might be one of the reasons why now there are tens of museum employees stalking you at each corner

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