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Alex K

Grand Cross Souval

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Hi all, I had the chance to purchase a Souval Grand Cross of the Iron Cross to add to my ek collection, so I did. Many collectors will poo-pooh Souval stuff as post-war junk, even though he was a legitimate war-time manufacturer (alas not the GK), given the fact that authentic GK's are as rare as hen's teeth and when the odd one surfaces, it's a mortgage job, many don't have that kind of spare cash lying around and if they did, may well decide to spend it on more useful things. As space fillers I think they fill a gap nicely, they are most probably the best alternative to the war-time piece, so am I deluded, are they trash or affordable treasure?

 

Alex K

gk2.JPG

gk3.JPG

souval GK.JPG

Edited by Alex K
additional info, three piece construction, unmarked

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Hi Alex,

I realize its usefulness as spacefiller, but for myself I shoo away from replica's even if they are made by an official manufacturer of a particular order. Like Rothe made, from their original dies, collector's copies of the Hungarian St Stephan order, well into the 60's.The only difference is that these copies are not made of gold but are silver gilt. I'd love to have one of these beautiful orders in my collection, but the originals are very rare and very expensive. However, instead of buying a collector's copy, I'd rather wait till the national lotery smiles to me. But of course this is my personal opinion.

regards, Pieter

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Hi Pieter, thanks for your comments I obviously prefer original, but when they are unavailable.... (I may even win the Euro-lottery before you!!)

 

regards

 

Alex

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Alex.

That's one great quality item.  I'd happily have it in my collection, next to this Souval RK from the '60s...............................

Early post-45 Souvals are very much underappreciated, in my humble opinion. 

Let's face it, there was only one original recipient of the GC and even when an original wartime GC does turn up for sale, it probably spent it's life in a storage box and was never within spitting distance of the Fat One.  :) 

Souval_RK_3.JPG

My little Souval group ......................... RK, GWB & Warschau.

Just representative examples of copies from the 1960s.

The SS Proficiency Rune is not Souval, but is the so-called 'Kremnitz' variety that Angolia featured as an original in his 1974 book. Another excellent quality copy from the 1960s by an unknown maker. 

These early copies by Souval and others were much better than many of the later fakes.

Enjoy your GC !! :)

Souval_Group.JPG

Edited by Robin Lumsden

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The cross on the right was brought back by a British vet in 1946 ......................

Souval RK 7 & Vet 1946.jpg

Price of a Souval as against an original ................................

Good value, I think.

Souval RK 6 & Original.jpg

Best of all, Major Mohn might have worn a Souval in the 'Colditz' series from 1974 !!  :) 

Souval RK 8 & Mohn 1974.jpg

Finally, if the cross on the right is the best that the Bavarian State Army Museum at Ingolstadt could come up with when I visited there in 1998, I'd rather have a 1960s Souval !! 

Souval RK 11 & Ingolstadt c. 1998.jpg

Edited by Robin Lumsden

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Hi Robin, Souvals will always raise different comments, positive and negative, I'm obviously of the opinion that originals are better, given financial consideration, failing that, Souvals are a nice alternative, those early Souvals are really quite nice, particularly the vet bring-back.

 

Here's an old photo of my early-sh Souval RK

 

BTW I remember watching him in I think "Secret Army",

 

regards

 

Alex

IMGP1288.JPG

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Alex.

Since German firms could not legally produce items with swastikas after 1945, the Austrians filled the gap for their veterans !

Many 'old Nazis' wore early Souval items to their regimental reunions in the 1960s.

'Early' Souvals = stamped 'L/58'.

By the way, Mohn was definitely in 'Colditz'. 

Reinhardt and Kessler were in 'Secret Army'.  :)

Before 'Allo, Allo' with Rene et al.

Happy days !!  :)

 

Reinhardt.jpg

Kessler.jpg

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You are quite right of course, it was Colditz, not Secret Army, although I watched them both, (In the final series of "Secret army" set in South America, wasn't there a subtle reference to someone with a limp and a cased ritterkreuz with Golden Oakleaves, or is my memory playing tricks again)

 

The earlier versions are certainly preferable, I did have a very late Souval KC, which was extremely lightweight, once I discovered that it was a "Fake", I disassembled it, to my surprise it was a four piece construction, front and back frames as usual, and two thin sheet metal stamping, one obverse and one reverse,, explained the lack of weight, alas I have it no more

 

Alex

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Hello Alex.

Thanks for the info on the 1970s 4-piece lightweight construction. 

I didn't know that .................. about the 4 pieces. :)

Explains the weight. 

Or lack of it !!

I also bought one of these later lightweight Souval 'RK O&S' things when I was about 15 years old ................. around 1973, I think.

Seller said it had been found at a Luftwaffe base at the end of the war.  :(

Sold it to me for £150.   That was BIG money for me, back then.

Even as a wet-eared youngster, I concluded it was fake when I compared it to my much better made original EK2 ................ bought for £3 from Stan Paget in Dundee in 1970  ............. and (luckily) got my money back. :) 

We learn from our mistakes !!

As I recall, the lightweight looked something like the pix below ...................

Thanks again for this info.

Souval RK Late 2.jpg

Souval RK Late 3.jpg

Edited by Robin Lumsden

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Hi Robin, that WAS big money back then, unfortunately way-way before the internet all we had to go on were very often poorly printed and photostatted paper catalogues (No pickies) to make decisions on, and of course the belief that the dealer was impeccably honest, at least nowadays internet access can make life less of a gamble. My first EK1 arrived sometime in the early 70's and I was over the moon, my first Iron Cross!, alas not quite, it turned out to be what became known as the "Polish fake", still got it.

 

Alex

polish ek13945fake.jpg

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Just returning to the subject of Grand crosses, but this time, imperial, I came across these images which may be of interest concerning Von Hindenburg's Grand Cross (Or one of them if he had several), together with original German narrative and literal translation, does anyone know what actually happened to his GK's? if this is not one of them, (Interesting how they included the suspension loop)

DRITTES REICH ZEITGESCHICHTE, Reichspräsident Paul von Hindenburg (1847 – 1934) – Großkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes 1914, Exemplar des Ordenskissens seiner Beisetzung im Tannenberg-Denkmal 1934. Der geschwärzte Eisenkern etwas korrodiert, Silberzarge, Maße 62 × 62 mm. An der Öse und am Bandring befestigte, vergoldete Adlerauflage des Feldmarschallstabes. Das Großkreuz montiert in späterem Rahmen aus silbernen Lorbeerzweigen mit aufgelegtem, silbervergoldetem Wappen der Familie von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg, auf kleinem Marmorsockel. Dazu ein Brief der Enkelin Paul von Hindenburgs an den Autor Rolf Grams aus dem Jahr 1976, ‘Ich bin sehr überrascht, daß Sie einige so interessante Dinge aus früherer Zeit besitzen. …Zu dem Großkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes kann ich Ihnen selber keine Auskunft geben. Meine Mutter aber… gab mir Bescheid, daß dieses Stück aus den Funeralien stammt und bei den Trauerfeierlichkeiten… auf einem der Ordenskissen lag. Es ist erstaunlich, woran sich meine Mutter trotz ihres hohen Alters noch erinnern kann.’

 

THE THIRD EMPIRE CONTEMPORARY HISTORY, imperial president Paul von Hindenburg (1847 - 1934) – great cross of the iron cross in 1914, copy of the order cushion of his funeral in the fir mountain monument in 1934. The blackened iron core a little bit corroded, silver frame, mass 62 × 62 mm. In the Öse and in the tape ring fastened, gilt eagle edition of the field marshal's stick. The great cross mounts in later frame of silver sprigs of laurel with silver-gilt coat of arms in the mood of the family of Beneckendorff and from Hindenburg, on small marble base. In addition a letter the granddaughter Paul von Hindenburg to the author Rolf Grams from 1976, ‘I am surprised very much that you own some so interesting things from former time. … To the great cross of the iron cross I can provide to yourselves no information. My mother, however, … gave notice to me that this piece comes from the Funeralien and lay with the funereal festivities … on one of the order cushions. It is astonishing what my mother in spite of her old age can still remember.

 

 Images and narrative credits to AKG images

 

 

 

AKG1361739 copycombined.JPG

AKG1361741 copycombined.JPG

Edited by Alex K

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Wonderful Souval Grand Cross. I assume the core is already magnetic ? :thumbup:

I have a few Souval and St&L Grand Crosses in my collection as well... top row are all Souval Grand Crosses in all variants that were offered.

Second row are all St&L made Grand Crosses.

The second pic shows two St&L Grand Cross stars (1813 & 1914) and a Souval made star (1939)

Best regards,

Alex

IMG_4623.PNG

IMG_4624.PNG

Edited by AlexW

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The cross in leaves and the eagle on top is actually a fake, this type of cross have been seen with a variety of markings j.Wagner, JGuS,  14 loth, 800 half moon, the little suspension ring is on top of the rim, not deeped in like S&l and different from Souval. And it also comes in 1813, 1870,1914, and 1939 ....fakes.

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1 hour ago, AlikN said:

The cross in leaves and the eagle on top is actually a fake, this type of cross have been seen with a variety of markings j.Wagner, JGuS,  14 loth, 800 half moon, the little suspension ring is on top of the rim, not deeped in like S&l and different from Souval. And it also comes in 1813, 1870,1914, and 1939 ....fakes.

Interesting, comments, according to his daughter it was part of his Ordenskissen, maybe she was confused.

 

Hi Alex, yes very nice collection, (seen them before on another forum),  this my S & L stern, this one actually has a period EK1 attached, I understand the earliest one's often had original pieces attached,

 

regards

s&l hindy cased.JPG

s&l hindy large ek1.JPG

s&l hindy smaller.JPG

Untitled-1 copy.JPG

Edited by Alex K

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The price of early (L/58) Souvals seems to be going up.

These Oaks sold today on eBay ........................... minus the ribbon ................................. for 322 Euros !!

They were properly advertised as Souval copies ............... so the buyer knew what he was getting.

 

1.jpg

2.jpg

Edited by Robin Lumsden

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31 minutes ago, Robin Lumsden said:

The price of early (L/58) Souvals seems to be going up.

These Oaks sold today on eBay ........................... minus the ribbon ................................. for 322 Euros !!

They were properly advertised as Souval copies ............... so the buyer knew what he was getting.

 

1.jpg

2.jpg

 

I saw this auction as well. Indeed prices for Souval and St&L made products have gone up quite a lot. I'm glad I already have a few sets in my collection. 
The Oaks in this auction is a nice early made piece. Later ones were made in semi-hollow construction. The ribbon is just a repro though.

Regards,
Alex

 

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Hello Alex.

I often think that the hollow L/58 Souval Oaks were a bit like the original hollow Oaks for the PLM .................... this was the PLM of GFM von Mackensen.

Souval RK 2.JPG

PLM Mackensen 2.jpg

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I guess it all comes down to how much spare cash you have.

For me it is post war junk and any spare cash goes toward something of the period.

Displays are good but I hate to see a mix of real and fake, mixed messages?

I am just old fashioned and tight though!

I would pay a fiver for one I suppose as a reference object.

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Jock.

I agree with you to some extent ................. I'm a purist as well.

I'd never mix copies with originals in the same display.

But these early Souvals can't just be written off as junk.

It's a bit like collecting 19th Century Gerz copies of Renaissance Westerwald pottery, or Victorian copies of medieval armour.

These copies are now bona fide antiques in their own right.

Old copies themselves become collectable as the years pass ................... If they are of sufficiently good quality.

Edited by Robin Lumsden

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I tend to agree with Robin, they've reached the "Collectable" age, My Souval Hollow oaks, (from the back, minus the loop thanks to inquisitive grandson), with prices rising, maybe worth repairing!!, with regards to copies v originals, repro's go in framed wall displays as "Bling", whilst the genuine stuff normally hides away for security reasons unfortunately

 

Unfortunately, E-bay is full of buyers who get carried away and end up in a race, spending far more than the items worth, that unfortunately sets a precedent in that the next person with one assumed that the price paid is now the benchmark value and expects the same (Or more), just destroys the "Hobby eventually)

 

Alex

souval rk2.JPG

Edited by Alex K

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Got a chance to add to my Grosskreuz, an example of a nice Souval with OLS, so I thought I'd do it, the case is quite hard to find, It's an early "De-luxe" version of his RK cases, the other type he offered was more basic. the EK1 is a war-time version. Now looking for a minty set of very early RK and EK2.

 

regards

DSC_0903 copycomb.JPG

DSC_0912 copy1000.JPG

DSC_0914 copy1000.JPG

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