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Dear fellow collectors

Recently, after seeing a few examples of the MMJO on WAF I wondered, have there been attempts to fake, or copy the bavarian Military Max Joseph-order? There are a lot of fakes when it comes to high-end orders (fake PLM's and the Oldenburg fakes come to mind) but I can't recall ever seeing a fake MMJO? Are there fakes out there, and if there are, is there info and are there pictures of those?

Kind regards and thanks in advance, Laurentius

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Uncle Ernst certainly manufactured a few with the aid of his skilled South Asian workforce. Around 25 years ago Spinj sold the Alexander Patterson collection of German orders. All  of which, barring  a couple of pieces were the handiwork of Ernst Blass. I spent two whole  days viewing it. If only Spink had done detailed photos of the collection. I for one would have paid a princely sum for such a publication. Ifit was worth faking then Blass would make it. 99.99% of all German orders with Garter surround were of his handiwork. He started his artistic works in the 70s and succeeded in infiltrating  many dealers, auction houses, some with connivance  others through ignorance and into a large number of collections to the point where it almost destroyed the German market. If someone could produce a catalogue raisonee of his handiwork it would be worth its weight in gold.

Paul

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I agree, I study of reproduction orders and decorations would be great.post war wearing copies, museum replicas, fakes, etc.

 

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What he said, the fakes of Blass were frequently in evidence with such dealers as Graf Klenau back in the day. These things are of very high quality, and need to be catalogued in their own right. Regarding the MMJO, I have seen a few wearer's copies over the years. They are usually gilded bronze and lack the quality of award pieces.

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On 07/01/2019 at 03:52, laurentius said:

Dear fellow collectors

Recently, after seeing a few examples of the MMJO on WAF I wondered, have there been attempts to fake, or copy the bavarian Military Max Joseph-order? There are a lot of fakes when it comes to high-end orders (fake PLM's and the Oldenburg fakes come to mind) but I can't recall ever seeing a fake MMJO? Are there fakes out there, and if there are, is there info and are there pictures of those?

Kind regards and thanks in advance, Laurentius

420795977_psb(2).jpg.22641b53bc892e2eeb45cbebb32564cf.jpg2142205857_psb(3).jpg.ff5333b7c2ef327b7cb2f64d1cb85168.jpgpsb.png.f45204ef8a45c729af15e0b72636a711.png

I have seen this auction. . I actually want to send it to you by email. . Because I feel that you Europeans are always too concerned about "copyright" but I don't find the button that sent you, my English is very bad.

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That’s beautiful

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Dear ccj

Beautiful for sure, but I rather question the originality of the piece. the star looks okay, although I don't have a perfect knowledge when it comes to that, but the enamel garter is most certainly fake. The way the different pieces are attached to eachother, the lettering, the way the belt is wrapped at the bottom, it just looks bad in general, nothing like the originals which can be viewed in Coburg castle.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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I suspect the Black Eagle is also EB, He had a great fondness for resurrecting the work of Godet.

Paul

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It’s definitely a lovely well crafted decoration. Even though not original it’s still nice enough for display. 

Im not too interested in this type of decoration but it’s still very nice. 

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6 hours ago, paul wood said:

I suspect the Black Eagle is also EB, He had a great fondness for resurrecting the work of Godet.

Paul

Didn't Blass have a strong connection with Klietmann which is why he had access to Godet material?

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Yes, along with access to 'spare' parts from Hemmerle & Rothe [at least] plus excellent Spanish and later Thai, craftsmen in addition to original ribbon stocksi

Edited by 922F
spelchek

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Hello,

I've seen this interesting discussion and I can add that this breast star of the Black Eagle enriched with the Garter, is a copy or, better, a fake.

It starts from a copy of the Prussian order, made by Rothe & Neffe, Vienna, then fitted with a Garter, coming from one of the Blass-connected manufacturers; changed, "German"-style pin and, as a final touch, the "Godet" escutcheon.

A work depicting the production of Mr. Blass, could be quite useful, because it seems that his masterpieces are now more often appearing again on the market. A good guide though, are the catalogues of the Munich-based auction house, ruled by the late gentleman from Hamburg.

We can prepare a lavishly illustrated book on Blass's fakes (and I'd love to have a copy of it!), but never forget that it will help us about THOSE fakes only. Let's never forget that the forgerer's workshop is never closed...

In my opinion, the study of originals is the best way to avoid fakes.

All the best,

E.L.

Edited by Elmar Lang

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I agree, when one has the genuine article next to an EB offering one can see the difference and why the EB piece is not genuine, although many dealers and auction houses who should know better still offer them as the real McCOy. If one were ever to produce a definitive catalogue of the works of the late master it would be even more useful to have good illustrations of the original pieces along side. 

Many years ago EB tried to marry one of the Rothe daughters,without success however, had he succeeded imagine the beautiful "babies" created from the union.

Paul

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Interesting: I've never known, that EB tried to marry a Rothe, but I think that both the two kind ladies, showed good taste.

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Indeed, my friend!! 

Ernst could be very pleasant, urbane, and a good host or he could present as a cold b*stard.  Most confidence men have Machiavellian ways!

He involved himself in other phaleristic concerns [including non-Germanic research] too.   Ernst never admitted it but likely got connected to his Thai ‘producers’ when in Bangkok compiling his Thai opus.   

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Let's say that a manual, illustrating the copies made on behalf of EB, could be very useful.

I would like to remember that it wasn't this late gentleman only, involved in the creation of "imperial" fakes.

Now, regretfully, a new generation of fakes (not copies, just fakes) are coming on the market, but that's another story...

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Dear Elmar lang

Would I be correct in saying that most of the fakes made by EB were created using malls from Rothe?

Kind regards, Laurentius

 

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On 17/01/2019 at 10:31, 922F said:

Ernst never admitted it but likely got connected to his Thai ‘producers’ when in Bangkok compiling his Thai opus.   

Not necessarily in a business sense?

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Paul's droll comments always welcome and usually on TARGET!!

 

Laurentius,  In my experience, the Rothe firm exclusively made and sold copies that bear their stamps and/or characteristic details themselves.  "Job-lotters" could & did buy 10 to 25 exemplars of the same insignia at a discount and then trickle those onto the collector market.  These might be somewhat altered by having a different producer’s name or marks [definitely including V. Mayer’s Söhne and Rozet & Fischmeister] engraved or stamped into them, notably Iron Crown and Maria Theresa badges.  I do not know whether Ernst secured 'loans' of Rothe dies but would tend to doubt it. 

Some items credited to him appear to be mules, meaning assembled from either spare parts [of Godet & a few believed Hemmerle and Souval origin, at least] or spare parts married with newly made elements sometimes created from original dies.  Outright completely new fabrications attributed to Ernst include Saxon Sidonia, Bavarian Saint Hubert & Maximilian [solid, not hollow, 14k gold] and other insignia supposedly made in Spain, Thailand or elsewhere in Southeast Asia.  At one time specialists claimed that he provided the glut of high Thai Orders [Nine Gems, Chula Chom Klao] on the market & indistinguishable from awarded sets in the late 1970’s-early’80’s plus fake first type Thai Orders. 

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EB would also acquire damaged or incomplete  original orders in which parts would be added to his creations in order to give them a veneer  of respecability a bit like antique furniture forgers.

Paul

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Speaking of fakes, I think China's fakes are not worse than Europe (I even have a little pride, although this is not a good thing) If you say that the company is doing fakes, will they send a killer to kill me?:violent:

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Dear 1812 overture

Despite the fact that this hobby sometimes might be dangerous, I highly doubt the will send a killer to your house.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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I had a well known forger of early Portuguese awards challenge me to a duel after I cast doubts on the authenticity of his handiwork.

Paul 

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On 18/01/2019 at 12:41, 922F said:

Paul's droll comments always welcome and usually on TARGET!!

 

Laurentius,  In my experience, the Rothe firm exclusively made and sold copies that bear their stamps and/or characteristic details themselves.  "Job-lotters" could & did buy 10 to 25 exemplars of the same insignia at a discount and then trickle those onto the collector market.  These might be somewhat altered by having a different producer’s name or marks [definitely including V. Mayer’s Söhne and Rozet & Fischmeister] engraved or stamped into them, notably Iron Crown and Maria Theresa badges.  I do not know whether Ernst secured 'loans' of Rothe dies but would tend to doubt it. 

Some items credited to him appear to be mules, meaning assembled from either spare parts [of Godet & a few believed Hemmerle and Souval origin, at least] or spare parts married with newly made elements sometimes created from original dies.  Outright completely new fabrications attributed to Ernst include Saxon Sidonia, Bavarian Saint Hubert & Maximilian [solid, not hollow, 14k gold] and other insignia supposedly made in Spain, Thailand or elsewhere in Southeast Asia.  At one time specialists claimed that he provided the glut of high Thai Orders [Nine Gems, Chula Chom Klao] on the market & indistinguishable from awarded sets in the late 1970’s-early’80’s plus fake first type Thai Orders. 

Hi 922F

That is fascinating that your term job lots ( job lotters)would be applicable to our hobby.  As you explain it makes total sence for the manufacturer of fakes. I just didn’t realize our hobby was that big, but as you wisely stated having the forgers only release a few so not to flood the market. I didn’t know about Frankenstein parts being put together on such a large scale. What is worse is the taking of a genuine star such as a Black Eagle or Red Eagle which is than destroyed by putting a fraudulent belt  around it.  I never knew that Rothe would put a different jewelers name to their work. Luckily the other jewelers had their own variations but only a seasoned A-H collector would be able to sort it out. These days I see many A-H pieces stamped CF ROTHE  as being placed to the time of the Monarchy when clearly they are not. I don’t think these were intended to be fakes just replacement copies in the  post war.  I don’t even know if the quality is the same as a war or pre war issue...Thanks

 

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Hi Yankee,

Yes, sadly the phaleristic enhancer’s or forger’s art is/was widespread and has been documented in 1890’s sales/auction catalogs and probably before.  Some copies may truly be replacements for original recipients' lost awards.  Others seem clearly made for more or less legitimate purposes, like the Imperial Haitian Order insignia made in the 1950’s by Bertrand to illustrate Major Francis Etienne’s book, Decorations haitiennes a travers l'histoire Port-au-Prince (1954), and the French Three Golden Fleeces examples.  Others….[1974] well do you really want that Berthold collar for 90,000DM?  

To my knowledge Rothe never put other than their marks [if any] on their ‘collector copy’ work.  This was done by 'job lotters' or individuals.  Tells include Rozet & Fischmeister’s name/logo engraved on Iron Crown reverse banderolls [aka lappets or infulae], something never seen on original R & F work which have the names in relief or raised letters.   Other give-aways include bungled letter, trapezoid & and star punches suggesting Meyer origin on Leopold or Maria Theresa badge ribbon loops.

However, Rothe certainly made copies of their work well into the 1960’s and early '70's at least.  Even as late as the late '80's they did special commission work, mainly on A-H orders but also Mexican Eagle badges, a couple of Italian States Orders and Bavarian Crown stars among others.  These were on display for sale in vitrines to the right of the shop entry door and in counter cases along with genuine items.   One could specify bronze-gilt or silver-gilt varities--not sure about gold.  

While the metal stamping work of those is often hard to differentiate from original work, the enamel work and enamel detail fall short of originals.  The very heavy crosshatching on Bavarian Crown star centers is a give-away for example…and whether Rothe ever was an official supplier of that order insignia remains an open topic.

Again to my understanding, Rothe did make 'replacement' and collector pieces through the '20's-'50's.  Maybe up to the early ‘60’s they might have put A-H or Austrian tax release stamps on these but they seem to have stopped applying tax stamps around that time. 

Someone one this forum mentioned that Rothe dies were sold –2007-14?  Possibly those now enjoy reuse?    

Edited by 922F
spelchek

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