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Christian J

Order of the Iron Crown

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I have this Iron Crown. The ring is clearly marked with A for Wien and what with a little imagination would be a goat and 3 for 18ct. FR for Rothe. The mark on the cross is blurred like hell. Could it be something else considering the ring is made of gold? 33gr, 75mm. Guess it's a first class?

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Hi Christian,

yes, it´s the EKO I in Gold, around 1900 (+/- 10 years). Except some imperfection in the Lombardy Crown (green „emeralds“) it´s in very nice state. Valuable piece indeed. Hallmarks are for gold,  so called “Gemsenkopfpunze” (head of chamois from 1872 to 1922) for 18k gold. That one on pendilias under the crown is quite visible, at least for me. The ellipse suspension with small white “pearls” was replaced by the ring. This is the indication that this badge was placed on the “Kollane” – large gold ceremonial chain. As I wrote above – very fine piece.  

Regards,

Tifes     

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Hi Tifes,

Thanks for replying. I got this picture from another forum. Easier to see with the loupe when you know what you are looking at. Yes, it's a shame about the "emeralds" and a couple of the "pearls". Does this effect the desirability much?

Best regards

Christian

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Well Christian, the simple answer on your question would be yes; it does influence the price and hence also desirability however EKO I from Golden Chain is not a piece that you can find everyday just like that. As I wrote before it´s still very valuable decoration which is rare but you have to count with some lower price when compared to identical intact piece if you decide to sell it.       

Regards,

Tifes

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Hi Tifes,

the suspension ring could also indicate it was the pendant for the grand cross of The Iron Crown. However, I don't know if the size for both pendants are the same. Anyway, as you wrote already, a very nice piece. For comparisson I have include pictures of the Iron Crown First class I have, which has the same hallmarks as that of Christian.

regards, Pieter

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Hi Pieter,

officially it´s EKO I. Class (Orden der Eisernen Krone I. Klasse) which is the equivalent of the Grand Cross in case of other Austrian Orders like FJO or  LO. Big suspension ring could be also sewed into sash as you have presented however more often it was on ellipse ring with enamel pearls. It depended pretty much on personal taste of awardee. Ring was however inevitable if the badge was worn on collane. This also doesn’t exclude some other atypical form of attachment. As I wrote above the taste was quite important element and there was always some “space for manoeuvre” when necessary. Austrian protocol was quite versatile in this respect in contrary to Prussian one for instance. By the way you have really beautiful complete set in superb state, congrats and happy that you have shared it with us.

Regards,

Tifes   

      

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hi Tifes,

thank you for your valuable comments. As with the third class (commander) an eclipse ring was used to hang the order on a ribbon around the neck, could it be that the neckbadge had the same size as the sashbadge of the first class?                             Yes, I am very happy with the set I have, it is a beauty to look at.

Regards, Pieter

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You welcome Christian. Just short comment to Pieter´s inquiry. According to its legal status the Order of Iron Crown is divided into three classes – first, second and third one and all recipients are „knights“. There is no Grand Cross and Commander however I perfectly see Pieter´s point. Knight of the I. Class is equal to Grand Cross, 2nd Class to Commander and 3rd Class is just the Knight. All there classes differ in size. 1st class – 76mm, 2nd Class – 66mm and 3rd Class – 55mm. Neckband is also smaller compared to sash, having just 52mm in width compared to sash´s 102mm. Sash is worn on the breast with exception of the high clergy like bishops, cardinals  and other prelates who wore 1st Class sash round the upper chest as upper-body band (in a style of golden chain). In the attachment pls find 2nd class and 3rd class in gold and in boxes with original ribbons. “Commander” is issue about 1900 and “knight” is bit older, about 1875.

Regards,

Tifes/Tomas         

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Hi Tifes,

thanks for giving the sizes of the different classes of the Iron Crown, and the orders you show are beautiful. The third class looks especially finely made.

regards, Pieter

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As I am not an expert on AH decorations, I will ask fellow members of this forum to say something more about those photos. 

They were posted few days ago, and the price of the order went to the sky, even though I presume that this is modern strike.

 

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Thank you Christian for this prompt answer. I have found it on French EBay, and the price is now more than 150 EUR and still going up, very fast.

I just don't know why somebody bids for this lousy piece if he can obviously suspect that it's a fake.

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Hello,

I see this curious Order of the Iron Crown: obviously, it's a copy/toy order.

An identical piece appeared at newsstands as part of an "Orders of the World Encyclopaedia": I've bought it some years ago and the EKO became one of the favourite toys of my then 3 years old son. The accompanying booklet, contained some hilarious mistakes, both technical and historical.

Just to educate me a little more, how much that toy's price went to sky? Where was it for sale/sold?

Re. the suspension ring of the collar's badge of the Iron Crown, if compared to the sash badge's one, it was of a smaller diameter and the gold wire had a thicker section, as visible on a detail from my own collar in gold of the Order.

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One collar was sold some years ago for 90.000 (incl. all) at Dorotheum Wien. It was gold.

You have to be careful, there are semi-copies made from original parts combined with fake parts. They are of modern hungarian origin. They produce two collars out of one with casted elements.

Kindest

Christian

 

 

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Hello,

thank you for the kind information.

I would like to reassure you: my collar is an original piece, complete and homogeneous, with no defects, excepts some minor wear to a few white enamelled "pearls". Its original case of issue is also present.

The collar sold at the Dorotheum some years ago, if I correctly remember, had the centre link (that to which the badge is suspended), changed with a new part and the badge was also missing. Besides that, a very fine piece.

Recently, another beautiful, cased collar, was sold at Künker: this piece had its numbers erased, the closure-piece missing and a restoration to the badge.

I know the mentioned copies, that can be dangerous to an unexperienced eye. Some are made with cast parts, but sometimes I see also other collars, actually being the well-known, beautiful copies produced by Rothe & Neffe, Vienna, in the '60s, then "upgraded" with fake marks.

I have already seen some of the fine copies, once in the collection of the late Prof. Giovanni Fattovich of Venice, Italy, auctioned in 2015/'16, now re-appearing, with fake marks and other treatments to give them a "venerable" appearance.

Best wishes,

E.L.

Edited by Elmar Lang

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I remember the Fattovich collection all too well.  Never did I see so much A-H material being auctioned off from one collection.  When I read the description of a good many lots being of later manufacture but of excellent quality gave me a moment to pause in being careful what to bid on.  I knew right away that a lot of these fantastic copies would reappear on unsuspecting dealer lists and auction sites.  I recall those fantastic gold collars being sold off dirt cheap.  There is nothing to stop an expert jeweler/engraver to make official markings prior to 1918 on them.  Have seen some very rare combinations myself recently not being labeled as copies.  Basically a lot of collectors are going to get burnt:mad: As for myself I did purchase one item & I can only hope the other bidders who participated were in the auction room itself having already examined it.  So basically took a chance & hope the dedication is genuine and not something of a 1960's or 70's collectors paid order.

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