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webr55

Unknown ribbon bar - Swedish?

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Recently acquired this ribbon bar of a style I have never seen before. Is this a Swedish bar? The last awards seem Order of Vasa and Order of the Northern Star to me. Any thoughts on this? Anyone seen this type before?

 

Regards

Chris 

bar1.png

bar2.png

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Hello Chris!

I don't think this is a Swedish ribbon bar.

The green ribbon could well be the Order of Vasa, but the last ribbon can't be the Order of the Polar Star. The ribbon of the last was changed from black to blue with yellow borders in the 1970's and this ribbon bar seems a lot older. If it would be Swedish the ribbons you mention would be worn among the very first, not last. Also, I've never seen this style of ribbon bar worn in Sweden.

The crown on the bar could indicate its origin in a monarchy? Maybe the crown indicating some sort of a court official? I would be somewhat surprised if a republic would approve of a crown in a design like that...

/Jonas

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, GRA said:

Hello Chris!

I don't think this is a Swedish ribbon bar.

The green ribbon could well be the Order of Vasa, but the last ribbon can't be the Order of the Polar Star. The ribbon of the last was changed from black to blue with yellow borders in the 1970's and this ribbon bar seems a lot older. If it would be Swedish the ribbons you mention would be worn among the very first, not last. Also, I've never seen this style of ribbon bar worn in Sweden.

The crown on the bar could indicate its origin in a monarchy? Maybe the crown indicating some sort of a court official? I would be somewhat surprised if a republic would approve of a crown in a design like that...

/Jonas

Thanks! Very interesting to hear that you haven't seen this style in Sweden before. It's completely new to me as well.

It is hard to tell how old it is. And it's actually quite big, much bigger than the usual ribbon bars we see.

I had the same ideas as you:

1) Crown indicates monarchy, so which one? If not Sweden, then what?

2) Court official seems also likely to me, given the style.

Actually, I found some Swedish awards that might fit, for example:

#1: the black ribbon for the Gustav V Funeral Medal - or this is just the Order of the Polar Star on the old ribbon. Would make sense in first place as his highest decoration.

#3: light blue for the Gustav V Royal Household Medal

#5: the green one could be the silver medal to the Vasa Order

#6: for the last ribbon, blue with yellow stripes, there are several possibilities for medals, such as the Royal Medal for Zeal and Honor Gustav V

How about that? Are there any Swedish medals on red ribbon?

Edited by webr55

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King Gustaf V died in 1950 and the commemorative medal of his funeral dates from 1951. Now, is that long enough ago to fit the age of the ribbon bar? Is it possible to date the ribbon bar by looking at the metal parts? In that case it might be possible to narrow down the number of monarchies (given that our monarchy theory is correct).

As to Swedish ribbons in red, there's the Order of Carl XIII, a freemasonry-related order. If that is the ribbon concerned here, and the ribbon bar is not Swedish, the recipient has to be a Protestant. I can't find a Swedish ribbon that is light blue with white stripes with high enough precedence to make the green ribbon related to the Order of Vasa.

I'm not an expert, but the precedence seems strange for a Swedish ribbon bar. To make the precedence work, it probably takes some clasps/rosettes on some of the ribbons (if it works at all).

/Jonas

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It's really hard to tell how old the metal parts are. This type of ribbon bar construction I have never seen before, neither in German nor Anglo-Saxon bars. My thought was: maybe it is someone from the household of Gustaf V or Gustaf VI.

The crown has been soldered to it, question is: was it done by the wearer himself? In that case, there would have been other bars of this type (which I have never seen), but he wanted to put a crown on it. Or did the crown break off and was resoldered? In that case, this might be a totally unique construction. 

The Order of Carl XIII is a very interesting idea. That is quite a rare, high-ranking order, am I correct? 

I agree about the claps or rosettes, but maybe they just were not used on this type of bar. 

Regards

Chris

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Could it be from one of the smaller principalities of Europe? I really don't know anything more than that if it would be Swedish, it would be of a very strange construction...

The Order of Carl XIII is probably quite rare. Freemasonry-related, at least 36 years old (unless you happen to be one of the younger generation of Swedish princes!) and of Protestant faith. Total of 50(max) recipients alive?

The fourth ribbon, the light blue with white stripes, what is it? Is it possible that the last ribbon has discoloured white stripes, or is it bleached yellow stripes?

I hope you find out the origin of the bar. I'm sorry I can't help you more...

/Jonas

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The light blue ribbon with lighter blue stripes could be the Greek Order of the Redeemer. In that case the red ribbon could be the Greek Order of George I, but it doesn't explain the remaining ribbons (of which some would have to be Greek to justify the order of mounting).

/Michael

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Greek Order of the Redeemer is an interesting idea. The ribbon fits exactly, yes. And red could be the George I... hm. 

The order of mounting is a key issue here, I agree. I would like to challenge one assumption, though, namely that no one puts foreign awards first. See this 1920s Swedish bar sold a while ago. The medal in first place is the Gustav V 70th Birthday Commem Medal from 1928, followed by French Legion d'Honneur, then Swedish Polar Star and Vasa, then again two French ones. (By the way, actually, four of the ribbons are on my bar, too.)

 

bar3.png

Edited by webr55

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Here is another interesting bar with related ribbons, it was auctioned some time ago. There you have

1) Order of Vasa 

2) Golden Medal of the Pro Patria Society Gustav V 

3) Golden Medal of the Fire Insurance Society 1842 

4) Golden Medal of the Life Insurance Society Victoria (light blue ribbon with white stripes!)

 

I don't know anything about the last three medals nor about the societies which conferred them. Particularly interesting for me is No. 4 - the ribbon looks quite similar to no. 4 on my bar. Could that be a life insurance society medal?

 

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