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Bulgaria Cyril and Methodius church awarded order

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Not the official high-level Monarchy awarded type, but the Bulgarian Orthodox Church award - order of Saints Cyril and Methodius.

2nd class. Made in Viena by V Mayer.

Quite rare as a set, normally you see only crosses offered for sale, stars are scarce. Comes in the box, not sure if this is correct box though - that crest on the box does not look Bulgarian.

Lovely set nevertheless!








Edited by new world

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New World--simply a fantastic and extremely rare set!!   

Absolutely correct case for this award.  The outer lid bears the arms of Archbishop Roberto Menini, O.F.M. Apostolic Vicar of Sofia and Plovdiv [1885-1916], who founded this Order in February, 1905 to recognize contributions to the Roman Catholic Church in Bulgaria.   Pope Pius X sanctioned the Order later that same year.   Men and women, Bulgarians and foreigners, all could qualify for this honor.

Supposedly organized into 3 classes with First Class being a badge, sash & star; Second class, 1st division, being a neck badge & star; Second class, 2nd division, neck badge only; Third class breast badge worn on trifold ribbon.   All insignia known made in Vienna by Meyer and so marked.  First and Second class cases most often[3 of 4 I’ve seen!] have Menini’s arms on the outer lid but none of the five third class cases I’ve seen display the arms on the lid.   

Tsar Ferdinand tried to 'influence' abolition of this Order to pave the way for his own Order of Cyril & Methodius through many stratagems--all of which failed.  When Menini died in 1916, however, this Order became 'obsolete'.

Insignia of the higher grades is quite difficult to find, especially cased sets.  I know [1959 to present] of only one cased First Class set plus 2 uncased sets, two cased Second Class with star [New World's, likely ex-Klenau auction ex-Robert McNamara collection] and one uncased set.   Badges for Second Class with star insignia usually seem to be the same size as First Class sash badges while Second Class [without star] badges seem to be the same size as Third Class badges but fitted with a cravat loop.    I recall seeing maybe 10-12 Third Class badges being offered for sale over the years but do not know how many were the same items being resold.

Several articles on this Order describe it in more detail but none to my hand at present.   

Again, New World, what a wonderful and rare set!!!

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922F - excellent follow-up, I didn't expect so much information on this award!

So, this is from Bulgarian Catholic Church, not Bulgarian Orthodox Church? I wasn't award Catholic Church had any significant influence in Bulgaria, as Bulgarians are mostly Orthodox. SS Cyril and Methodius are also orthodox saints, curious to see how they are connected to Catholics? 

Unfortunately the set is not mine, another collector showed me the photos. 

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The Set is very rare and nice especially with original box

There are few makers -even french ones

Here is a Star from Kretly


...plus more pictures of different Stars, Crosses and Breast badge








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Graf, thanks!

I remember seeing Kretly star.

I've noticed that star in pic #4 has a motto on the circle, while other stars don't. I am curious to know if that's a period variation or later modification.




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The Kretly stars seem a real curiosity.   At one point they were posited as trial pieces for the Catholic Order and again as trials [with the motto ring] for the alleged 1920's Russian exile Order  {see FAKE BULGARIAN ORDERS ON THE MARKET, post 193.  Liverpool listed a star of this Kretly type with the "K" and Byzantine/Russian crown center].   One expert suggested that they were Second Class First Division stars.      

Note that they have a 'rounder' outer circumfrence than Meyer stars. 

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Hi 992 F,


I am not quite sure that the Kretly Star is a trial It is properly marked for French Silver on the pin plus the Kretly mark plus the proper Kretly Plate, The Quality is typical Kretly Firm.  I am not defending it simply because i own this Star Simply I analyze the facts.

It is contrary to the unmarked Stars and Crosses sold recently on different Auctions and Dealers Sites

BTW The Cross on Liverpool site, discussed in other thread,  is sold.

Unless there is a Vatican Document stating that the Austrian Firm Mayer was the sole designated maker of this decoration we have to accept that there could be other makers who gives their own Variation Depending od the materials they use

The Mayer Star is typical Austrian type

I can not remember where i saved the Star with the motto from. However I will try to trace the site.

The Set i listed was sold on 259 Kuenker Auction in 2015

The badge is being on sale for a while on La Galerie Numismatique Supposedly it was already "sold' twice on two of theirs previous Auctions ??!!






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I found better picture on the reverse site of the Star with the motto


I remember now  it was sold on the Hemman Historica a year ago


It was stated that it is 1st Class Star - Breite 90 mm. Gewicht 76,2 g. Seltene







Edited by Graf

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