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oamotme

Kingdom of Romania - Order of Cultural Merit

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Gentlemen,

Somewhat out of my field of Arabian awards and I am trying to research this order  - see attached miniature - and the most concise online source (wawards.org) I have found states:

Order instituted on 19 July 1931.

  • Order awarded to Romanian citizens and foreigners for outstanding achievements in the field of culture, art and science.
  • Order have 4 grades: Commander, Officer, Knight 1st Class, and Knight 2nd Class.
  • Order divided into eight categories: literature; science; arts, music and theatre; general culture; religion; education; sports and scouting; civil guard. Each category have individual ribbon.

On line I have seen blue/purple or red crosses (breast badges) with our without crowns and I have also seen gilt and silver medals - are these the knight grades? Is there list of the different ribbons applicable to each category? Is the Commander a neck badge? How scarce are these awards?

Many thanks,

Owain

P.S. I had posted this in the Southern Europe and Balkans section - I have been too long in Arabia and I have forgotten my geography! Thanks to Paja for showing me the error of my way.

Romania Miniature Obverse.jpg

Romania Miniature Reverse.jpg

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36 minutes ago, oamotme said:

On line I have seen blue/purple or red crosses (breast badges) with our without crowns and I have also seen gilt and silver medals - are these the knight grades? Is there list of the different ribbons applicable to each category? Is the Commander a neck badge? How scarce are these awards?

This is indeed a rather scarce order. It was established in 1931 to reward achievements in various fields of culture, arts and science. The cross of the knight 2nd class was silver without crown and worn on the chest, the cross of the knight 1st class was silver with crown and worn on the chest, the officer's cross was gold with crown and worn on the chest and finally the commander's cross was worn on the neck. The cross of the order was enamelled purple irrespective of category. Two versions exist with respect to the effigy of the monarch in the centre, Carol II (1931-1940) and Mihai (1940-1947). The order had indeed different ribbons according to category, but I do not have my references at hand for further details. The order was disbanded after the fall of monarchy in 1947. An order with the same name was established in 1961 during communist time and disbanded with the fall of the communist regime.

The old order was revived in 2000 in the current national system of orders, with a similar purple badge and the organisation in categories identified by different ribbons.

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I have found some further details. The number of categories was not the same throughout the history of the order. At establishment it had only 8 categories, but between 1937 and 1940(1) it had one extra category for activities in Straja Tarii. The ribbons were:

Category A, literature: white ribbon with purple edges

Category B, science: white ribbon with green edges

Category C, arts, music and theatre: white ribbon with orange edges

Category D, general culture: white ribbon with blue edges and a thin green stripe in the middle

Category E, religion: red-blue-red ribbon (equal widths)

Category F, school: white ribbon with thin red stripes on edges and in the middle

Category G, scouting and sport: light blue ribbon with black edges

Category H, social works: purple ribbon with green edges

Category I, Straja Tarii: white ribbon with blue edges

In 1937, scouting was taken out of category G and included in the new category I.

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Carol,

This is most informative and interesting - thank you. The designation of category by ribbon must be fairly unique. I now know that the miniature is a Knight 2nd Class for Literature. I suspect the answer is 'no' but I must ask, are there lists of the recipients of this award?  I believe the recipient of this particular award was a French national and he also received the Order of the Star of Rumania. Again many thanks.

Owain

 

Romania Order Miniature Obverse.jpg

Romania Order Miniature Reverse.jpg

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Owain,

Royal Romanian medals for cultural achievement existed before establishment of the Order.  Usually known as  "Bene Merenti" Medals for Sciences and Arts (1876-1931) they are sometimes confused with being part of the Order.  My understanding is that the Order replaced the medals so that the medals were not awarded after 1931.   The medals are reported in both silver and gold [gilt] possibly indicating degrees of merit.

Edited by 922F
spelchek

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Medal of Cultural Merit also existed, if I remember well in two classes. They were also being worn on different types of ribbons depending on the category and have two types with Carol II or Mihai on the front side.

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2 hours ago, oamotme said:

This is most informative and interesting - thank you. The designation of category by ribbon must be fairly unique. I now know that the miniature is a Knight 2nd Class for Literature. I suspect the answer is 'no' but I must ask, are there lists of the recipients of this award?  I believe the recipient of this particular award was a French national and he also received the Order of the Star of Rumania. Again many thanks.

I do not know of any published lists. However, the Chancellery of Orders was at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during that period, so I suspect some lists could exist in their archives.

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Carol,

As I suspected, an 'easy' research of a recipients list will not be possible. However my thanks to you, Paja and 922F for your assistance. Once final query - you note "two versions exist with respect to the effigy of the monarch in the centre, Carol II (1931-1940) and Mihai (1940-1947)". Which version is the miniature?

Thanks,

Owain

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Thanks - research done thanks to the collective knowledge of fellow GMIC members. Regards, Owain

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Hello,

any chance to see  the whole medal bar, please?

The Belgian medal made me curious.

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Here is the full size example on a medal bar.

From R to L: EK2, Braunschweig War Service Cross, HK, Sweden: Vasa Order -Knights class, Sweden: Gustaf V Medal for the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, Romania: Order of Cultural Merit for Sports and Scouting -2nd class

P1070574.JPG

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On 2017-6-4 at 21:11, paja said:

Medal of Cultural Merit also existed, if I remember well in two classes. They were also being worn on different types of ribbons depending on the category and have two types with Carol II or Mihai on the front side.

Indeed, the medal was established together with the order and was awarded in two classes, 1st (in gold) and 2nd (in silver).

On 2017-6-4 at 20:35, 922F said:

Owain,

Royal Romanian medals for cultural achievement existed before establishment of the Order.  Usually known as  "Bene Merenti" Medals for Sciences and Arts (1876-1931) they are sometimes confused with being part of the Order.  My understanding is that the Order replaced the medals so that the medals were not awarded after 1931.   The medals are reported in both silver and gold [gilt] possibly indicating degrees of merit.

Three medals were superseded in 1931 by the Order and Medal for Cultural Merit: Bene Merenti, Rewarding the Works for Education and Rewarding the Works for the Church. 

On 2017-6-5 at 11:41, paja said:

Miniature is Carol II type.

Paja is right, the miniature is Carol II type.

Actually there is an easy way to distinguish the models: Carol II wears a hat and Mihai is bareheaded.

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14 hours ago, oamotme said:

Stuka, Will do once I have completed my research. Regards, Owain

Thank you.

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Gentlemen,

I attach images of the obverse and reverse of the set of miniatures.

 

  1. France - Order of the Legion of Honour, Commander, 3rd Class.

  2. France - Order of Public Instruction, Officer of the Academy, 2nd Class.

  3. Spain – Order of Isabella the Catholic, Grand Cordon, 1st Class.

  4. Egypt – Order of the Nile, Grand Officer, 2nd Class.

  5. Yugoslavia - Order of St. Sava, Grand Cordon, 1st Class.

  6. Sovereign Military Order of Malta - Pro Merito Melitensi, Grand Cordon, 1st Class.

  7. Italy – Order of the Crown, Grand Officer, 2nd Class.

  8. Tunisia – Order of Glory, Commander, 3rd Class.

  9. Rumania – Order of the Star of Rumania, Commander, 3rd Class.

  10. Belgium – Order of Leopold, Knight, 5th Class.

  11. Rumania –Order of Cultural Merit, Knight 2nd Class.

     

With kind regards,

Owain

France Miniatures Eleven Obverse A Edit.jpg

France Miniatures Eleven Reverse B Edit.jpg

Edited by oamotme

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On 2017-6-17 at 07:32, oamotme said:

9. Rumania – Order of the Crown of Rumania, Grand Officer, 2nd Class.

Thanks for posting the images of the miniature chain. Please note however that award no. 9 is in fact the Order of the Star of Romania in Commander class. It is also interesting to note that it is a type I badge with a type II ribbon. I wonder what might have caused the confusion. Maybe the manufacturer found in a haste only the description of the old type I of the award?

Edited by Carol I
Typo corrections

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Carol,

Thanks - I appear to have mis-graded the Italian, Tunisian and Romanian badges. Your suggestion as to why a Type 1 badge is with a Type 2 ribbon is feasible. Sadly with no way of identifying the recipient the chain remains but an example, albeit to my mind a superb one, of the miniature jewelers art.

Kind regards,

Owain

 

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Owain,

Appears that you have the Italian Crown graded correctly as a Grand Officer and the Tunisia Iftikhir rightly as a Commander.   Italian practice would have been to have small crowns on the ribbon to indicate grade but since this seems to be mounted French style, the rosette + gold/silver 'wing' likely stands in for Grand Officer aka 2nd class miniature crowns.   Regarding the Iftikhir, rosette + silver 'wing' indicates Commander aka 3rd class across the French system, as you know.     

Cheers, EJ

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