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Alpha Draconis

Franz Joseph Order Grand Cross ?

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Hello Gents

 

I have one nice FJO badge and I need your help about few things. I believe it is Grand Cross badge, but I need your confirmation. It measures 6,8 X 3,7 cm, weight 24 g.

Gold acid tested not only 18k, but up to 22k gold, stamp not fully readable but I believe to be a Chamois mark with number 3, but it could be something else with number 2 when I

turn the photo upside down... I've seen no letters on the mark..

Now, is it possible to find a maker and a year, establish the class( I don't think it is commander or Grand commander class because second loop is small, not long ) and one more curiosity?

I had several FJO-s with "secret locker", but none of those had Roman numeros engraved on the "lid". What does these numeros mean? Probably the number of product, or

something like that? Please Gents, check your beauties at home and see if they had numeros as well....

 

Best regards

 

Joseph A.D.

 

5a6fa1de53cf4_FJOXVII.thumb.jpg.6605b443980db5f7cfad5076f7e3c940.jpg5a6fa1edd6c2a_FJOXVII1.thumb.jpg.403d89cdf79ac78b50a0c3f37097c3c4.jpg5a6fa20165902_FJOXVII2.thumb.jpg.79e1f1ec6094433c6f69c8cf70cf8f01.jpg5a6fa2088f0ec_FJOXVII5.thumb.jpg.63c20df838f73a71175231f11af7b69c.jpg5a6fa20ed60ab_FJOXVII6.thumb.jpg.fe7da6654a449bd58a299be9290bd21b.jpg5a6fa2153c9b0_FJOXVII7.thumb.jpg.5339f4f2551462e1445235387e9ee4a7.jpg

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Hi Alpha Draconis,

It´s simple. There are 5 classes of FJO – knight, officer (since 1901), commander, commander with star and grand cross. Badge for grand cross and commander/ commander with star is the same and has the size of 70mm/38mm. The difference is how it was worn. In case of grand cross it was on sash and commanders were worn on neck ribbon. Grand cross is also having breast star which is larger than breast star of commander with star. “Simple” commander had only that badge worn round the neck.

It´s gold and then it should be 18k and if it´s “head of Chamois” hallmark then number 3 should be present there. Head of Chamois shouldn’t have any other number.  However I am not able to distinguish what I see on the pictures. I am sorry.

There had been two major manufacturers. Gebrueder Resch, active in years 1864-1876 (“GR” as maker´s mark) which is early struck or then Vinzenz Mayer´s Soehne - 1872 till the very end – 1918 (usually “VM” as maker´s mark) …all-time classics for FJO. There were also some other producers but these are rarer (it´s not Rothe for sure). Try to find something on the suspension ring but according my humble opinion it´s VM production. If there is nothing then look once again at the hallmark. According the hallmark it might be distinguished whether the badge is made before 1872 or after this date (hint: before 1872 - “3”+ head of chamois; after 1872 - “3” + head of chamois + “A”). One more thing and hence ellipse suspension loop is missing and it was replaced by another smaller suspension ring, which might indicate that the badge was sewn into sash so it was probably grand cross indeed.

Regards,

TS

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Hello Tifes

Thank you for the elaborate answer. I'm sorry about the photos of the mark, they are faint, I'll try to take a new photo at different angle. 

I taught there were more producers of FJO than just two.

Do you know anything of that Roman numeros on the lid, I know that doesn't have any significance for this order, just to resolve my curiosity :)

Tifes, were there ever the collar of FJO? Maybe for Franz Joseph himself?

Best regards

Joseph

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Hi,

About 90% of all FJO decorations originates from these two producers when majority (period of 1872-1918) comes from VM. Concerning badges of grand cross/commander cross I have also seen Rothe but this is much rarer and it looks different. Of course, there are also some other manufacturers but mostly by other grades like knight crosses (very early version – Kittner, then Boehm, Bachruch) and officer’s crosses (also Rothe, Bachruch, Fischmeister).

I have no idea what that number might be. It´s not very likely that it´s some official “serial number”. Maybe some manufacturer´s mark for its own and for me unknown purpose or collector’s mark?

FJO was lowest of all Imperial orders and it was never connected to ennoblement therefore it was seen, even by better situated bourgeois social class as something not so very prestige, especially the lowest, knight class. Emperor himself never wore it and there wasn’t any collane/ grand chain like by other orders (all others had grand chain though).

Regards,   

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interestingly miniature FJO collars are often encountered.  Maybe bourgeouis wishful thinking

Paul

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I have checked my golden commanders/grand cross insignia. One has a roman "XI" engraved, the second one has a lot of foreign (import) hallmarks and one has just the chamois mark. I own one from Gebrüder Resch with their marks.

Insignia produced before 1872 would not have austrian gold hallmarks because the hallmarking law was installed in 1872.

Regards

Christian

 

1 minute ago, paul wood said:

interestingly miniature FJO collars are often encountered.  Maybe bourgeouis wishful thinking

Paul

No, there were three types of miniature chains which were of different design for knights, commanders and grand crosses.

No bourgeois wishful thinking. Have a look into the "Statutenbuch".

Christian

 

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Actually, the miniature chains existed for the following classes:

Großkreuz

Kommandeur mit dem Stern

Kommandeur

Ritter

Tifes gave all the necessary details to identify the badges of the FJO and their size. Among the manufacturers, I would add Messrs. Resch of Vienna, makers in the relatively "early" period of this order.

That roman numeral, engraved in the inner cylinder of the reverse medallion is just a reference for the mounting of the decoration, at the manufacturer's laboratory, to be sure that each part would perfectly fit to each other. In other words, that decoration in the maker's tray, was no. XVII.

 

All the best,

 

E.L.

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Thanks for the info. I never realised the mini collars were official and had various classes.

 

Paul

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7 hours ago, Christian1962 said:

Insignia produced before 1872 would not have austrian gold hallmarks because the hallmarking law was installed in 1872.

Dear Christian,

I think, and pls correct me if I am wrong, that hallmarking law introducing three hallmarks for gold (head of Apollo, head of Chamois, head of Fox) came into force as of 1. January 1867. There was a slight change in the appearance of these hallmarks (and also other ones for silver and imported goods) to the 1. April 1872. Therefore I was asking whether head of Chamois hallmark is having also letter "A" present inside the hallmark sign (after 1872) or it´s just without it, only with simple number "3" inside (1867-1872). Badge with this older hallmark would be, with quite high degree of probability (but not 100% certain, of course) the product of Gebrueder Resch company. Later struck with after-1872 hallmark would be very probably Vincenz Mayer´s und Soehne struck. Maybe I wasn't accurate enough. I am sorry for this.

Regards,

Tomas 

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20180131_001208.thumb.jpg.14e267a16cd6cf4249ad373c05d11443.jpgHello Gents

Here is another, I believe better photo of the mark, it is definitely a 3 Chamois without a letter A.

Does it mean it is most probably Gebrueder Resch 1867-1872 Order like Thomas said?

Elmar, thank you for clearing out the Roman numeros on the lid, I have suspected this is the case, but it is better to wait for confirmation.

And, why make a mini collars when there ate normal minis of this order? Were there any other collar minis of other Austrian orders like Iron Crown or Leopold? Of course the Golden Fleece had collar minis....

Best regards

Joseph

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Yesterday, when replied, I was very tired, not noticing that Resch was the first manufacturer, correctly quoted by Tifes in his post. 

Re. The miniatures, they actually aren't miniature "collars" but, simply miniature chains, for wear as pinned to the lapel, often with the miniatures of the other orders awarded to the FJO's recipient. 

All the best, 

E. L. 

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Hello E.L., although a little different topic than the original post I'd like to understand the difference between the chain for a "Kommandeur mit dem Stern" and a "Kommandeur", I have allways assumed they were identical.

Given this distinction I assume this set from my collection qualifies as beeing a chain for a "Kommandeur mit dem Stern" but how would a "Kommandeur" look like? I have seen different type were the eagles have a different spread but have assumed this was due to different manufacturers.

/Lars

 

 

FJ-A.jpg

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Hi Lars,

as I know there are 3 different FJO mini-chains and hence knight, commander/commander with star and grand cross. There isn't (at least I am not ware of it) any difference between commander and commander with star mini-chains, just there is a mini of breast star like you have displayed on the image to indicate commander with star.

Regards,

Tomas

P.S. sorry for hijacking the question for E.L., I hope that I was correct ;) 

 

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Actually, I agree with the observation of Tomas: the miniature chains (as different types) are three, where the Commander's one, is updated with the miniature star, to signify the class of "Kommandeur mit dem Stern".

I've just "simplified", considering the Kdr.m.d.St. as a miniature-chain alone, giving the wrong idea that there should be 4 chains of different design.

Enzo (E.L.)

Here, my own FJO miniature chain for a Commander:

 

 

Frackkettchen.jpg

Edited by Elmar Lang

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3 hours ago, Elmar Lang said:

Here, my own FJO miniature chain for a Commander:

Frackkettchen.jpg

A magnificent chain, Enzo!

The round end goes in the button hole, of course, but what happens at the end with the rather long and extended plain chain, please?

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Thank you.

Well, behind the round button, there is a thin hook so, the thin chain, running behind the lapel, can be fixed to it.

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Beautiful chain Enzo

Serbia, Japan, Russia, all civil, this must belong to Austrian Ambassador!

Trooper D, The "plain chain" is in the back of the uniform or suit so it doesn't need to be fancy.:)

Best regards

Joseph

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Gentlemen,

sorry for my delay. Some clarifications:

1. you are right, the hallmarking law was instituted in 1867. 1872 was the year when the stars were changed into a new model. As yo see I am getting old. And have to stand corrected.

2. There were - as stated above - just three different miniature chains.

Kindest

Christian 

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18 hours ago, Alpha Draconis said:

(...)Serbia, Japan, Russia, all civil, this must belong to Austrian Ambassador! (...)

Interesting remark indeed, thank you.

Actually, I don't know who could have been the original owner: this chain was on display in the showcase of one of the many jewellers along "Ponte Vecchio" in Florence, Italy, on the occasion of a visit in that beautiful city with my father, back in 1982. 

The price seemed fair and I bought it (with an important, financial contribution from dad).

Best,

Enzo

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On 01/02/2018 at 14:31, Elmar Lang said:

Well, behind the round button, there is a thin hook so, the thin chain, running behind the lapel, can be fixed to it.

Thank you for that explanation, Enzo. I have a chain configured in this way and I had more or less come to that conclusion, already. I had wanted to try it out in practice but, unfortunately, the button hole on my tailcoat's lapel is too small to allow the round end to pass through it so my understanding will have to stay at the theoretical level, pro tem. 

What I did conclude from my mostly failed experiment is that the chain would hang almost straight down and that the badges would therefore hang off it rather awkwardly. Perhaps I should seek out some contemporary photographs to see how it would have been, in practice.

Edited by Trooper_D

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