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tifes

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  1. "HMA 1918" and "GW 18" are absolutely war-time pieces, so I subscribe to the previous request for clarification...why "1918"/"18" medals should be post-1918 ones...
  2. At the Dorotheum`s auction back in 2015 there was MVK III. Class in diamonds and rubies, but without case. It was Koechert production. Altogether there were 9 pieces made, 5 by Koechert and 4 by Rothe and I can’t say whether in Tallinn there is Count Montecuccoli´s MVK. All originals were cased in boxes, wearing the mark of particular company, either Koechert or Rothe on the inner side of the lid. Franz Thili's Neffe company was never producer of any A-H orders and decoration. They produced military equipment (also boxes for decorations) but also chamberlain’s keys (k.u.k. Kämmererschlüsseln).
  3. It depends on what you are looking for. There aren’t any original “medal bars” of Austrian-Hungarian Empire till 1918 because they just simple didn’t exist in this form. All medals had triangle ribbons and were directly attached to the uniform. This looks like medal bar made in late 1930s/1940s. I don’t find it anyhow weird. Precedence of the medals is correct. It (probably) belonged to low ranked officer (2nd lieutenant – 1st lieutenant) who started his battlefield career in late years of WWI (I would say first part of 1917) as Reserve Officer Cadet (One Year Volunteer) which was basically NCO who became officer later. As NCO he has got Large Silver Bravery Medal and then as an officer Bronze Military Merit Medal (Signum Laudis) with swords and Silver Military Medal twice and also with swords. Then it´s classic – KTK and Wound Medal and after WWI he has also got Hungarian Commemorative Medal and then Bulgarian Commemorative Medal (which is missing). No Hindenburg Cross or Tyrolean Commemorative Medal so he probably wasn’t Austrian. All medals are very common and of course, they could be made/privately purchased after 1918 in lower quality but I wouldn’t say it´s fake directly. On the other side to be honest it´s nothing to stand for if not priced cheap.
  4. Very nice original badge in superb condition. Regards, T.
  5. Hi, these are pilot badges of Austro-Hungarian Air Force dated to the period WWI and to keep this story short - none of them is original from the period of A-H Empire. On the first picture, there is Naval Pilot's Badge 1915. It was made of silver, hallmarked. It´s extremely rare and pricey. Just 50 pieces had been struck and only 23 awarded. This is just a copy. On the second pic you have there 3 Field Pilot's Badges 1913 and 1 Aircrew/Observer Badge 1917. The badge on the very left is private version, which means that this form was never officially recognised and awarded but some pilots liked it and they purchased it privately. It wasn’t officially allowed but tolerated. There is only one picture but green enamel doesn’t look very crispy and it has very simple look. There is also some soldering of hooks on the reverse, which I don’t like. I would need some better close-up images to be sure. However, I would say that best what you can hope for is some version from 1930s, probably for reactivated officer, maybe after Anschluss (Austria´s occupation by Nazi Germany in March 1938). Other two pilot badges of 1913 version pretend to be originally awarded pieces from WWI, even with producer´s mark (Zimbler) on the reverse, but they are just cheap reproductions. The same for Aircrew/Observer Badge 1917 version (white wreath) – just copy, nothing else. Regards, Tifes P.S. Some chat about A-H pilot badges in different section of GMIC forum: http://gmic.co.uk/topic/5741-id-weird-a-h-flying-badges/
  6. To 1812 Overture pics showing some small decorations: FJO grand-cross – it´s late collector´s copy of small decoration. In my opinion not worth of money at all. LO grand-cross or probably I. class/EKOI – those two are not small decorations but miniatures for ribbons on the field uniform bar. They are smaller in diameter but they seem to be original pieces. Price is always decision made by the buyer but at least it’s not some modern crap. Tifes
  7. It has started since the very beginning. It´s regulated by the Status of each Austrian/A-H Order, which in case of St. Stephan´s Order as an oldest merit order, means year 1764. Then it was repeated in Statutes of Leopold, Iron Crown and Franz Joseph Orders. In case of clergy, the sash designated for Grand Cross/I. Class (EKO) always kept the same attributes as colours, width etc. but it was placed round the neck. As I see it continued beyond 1918 into the 1st Austrian republic (which I didn’t know). Definitely it wasn’t some “fancy manner” of clergy but strict regulation. Tifes
  8. I would not think so because the owner of a lower grade had to return his earlier decoration when he received a higher one. I meant it that way that somebody got knight cross of FJO in 1900 that person died and family returned his award in the box to Order´s Chancellery when it was embossed for „small decoration“ and consequently re-used. Of course, I might be wrong but etui looks correct to me, at least on the picture. Concerning small decoration I wanted to be more diplomatic, but it´s out so I can only support Christian´s opinion…it´s after-1918 production or collector´s copy. This particular FJO-GK small decoration could be made by two producers - Rothe or Mayers and this one is none of them. Rothe used perforated corpus as it can be seen by EKOI small decoration and Mayers had it full one without small holes in corpus but there were short, thick rays between tips of the stars on the avers. Of course, there might be issue, which we can’t exclude that the small decoration was privately made by some jewellery company. However, this would be terrible result while overall finish of the double-headed eagle and red enamels in the cross are shabby. All this points out that it´s after-1918 copy.
  9. Original small decorations of Military Merit Cross (whatever grade) were introduced only in late April 1918, which means very few pieces made before end of WWI and collapse of the Empire. I have never seen any embossed box for any Military Merit Cross´s small decoration either. I have only seen boxes with inscription of small decoration on the lid for LO-GK, LO-1. Class, EKOI and FJO-GK. I assume that there must be also one for St. Stephan Order-GK small decoration however, I didn’t have the pleasure to see one in person yet. Concerning originally it’s quite challenging. One of the sign of originality is “Flinkierung” of the enamel (fine under-texture of the enamel) however, general rule is that it should look good That small decoration of 2nd class MVK on 2 pics from Christian1962 looks like good 1918 original for me.
  10. Well, discrepancy between „1900“ on the bottom of the box and 1908 as a year of introduction of small decorations of grand crosses for four A-H orders (St. Stephan, Leopold, Iron Crown and Franz Joseph) might be explained by obligation of the family to return original FJO knight cross with the box after decease of the awardee. Consequently box was “modified” by stamping small decoration inscription on the lid of the box. It looks OK for me, at least on the picture. However, I would be much more careful concerning small decoration itself…
  11. Well, to find Military Service Cross for Officers for 35/40 years shouldn’t be so hard task to accomplish. Finger crossed. One small addition to the quite complex information. Military Service Cross for NCOs for 18 years (2nd issue 1867-1890) existed only till 1869 then it was discontinued, which makes it most valuable collector´s item among Military Service Crosses for NCOs as it was awarded only for very short period of time.
  12. Dear Tony, I speak several languages but unfortunately not Hungarian. I know like 20, maybe 30 words and that´s pretty much all. However, there is always a system. Orders and decorations are in ranking, highest one at the 1st position then going down to the last one. I am 100% positive about No.3 and No.4. Why?...these symbols were used already in A-H methodology. Empty circle with "2" equals "Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaille 2te Klasse" (Silver Bravery medal 2nd class), then No3 (empty circle with "1") is "Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaille 1ste Klasse" (Silver Bravery medal 2nd class). He had got them obviously as ensign. No2 must be something higher. There is clearly word "Bronz" and "Karol". It´s pretty much obvious, but for being sure I put to google "Militär" (Military) and "Verdienstmedaille" (Medal for Merit) and it´s "katonai" and " Érdemes érdemek " and in the document there is "kant-é-é". So it is Bronze Military Merit Medal (Signum Laudis) - issue Karl. No1 must be something even higher. What did A-H officers usually get as the first officer´s decoration after Signum Laudis? - Military Merit Cross 3rd class. I have put to google these three words and I have got "katonai" then " érdem " then " kereszt". Whats can you see in the document? - "Kék" and then "3" and "O" which is for " osztály" - "class" and in the brackets you have symbol for war decoration and swords, exactly like in A-H records. No5 - it´s sure that he saw real warfare so there must be somewhere Karl-Truppen Kreuz - ranking below all bravery medals. Once again you put it to google and you find that acronym "K-ésk" pretty much corresponds to it. No6 must be something ranking below KTK. What can it be in case of young 2nd lieutenant/1st lieutenant? There is very little left in real life. He never saw action before WWI. He wasn't even in military before autumn 1914. In A-H records the Medal for Wound (Verwundetenmedaille) was marked by capital letter "V" and there was number for how many times it was awarded, each time for a wound, going from 1 to 5. "Wound" in Hungarian is "Seb" and then all commemorative medals starting with Hungary as his own motherland, then Austria, Bulgaria and the last one it´s Germany. Here we go...
  13. Franz Joseph Order - Officer´s Cross with War Decoration and Swords Iron Crown Order 3rd Class with War Decoration and Swords Military Merit Cross 3rd Class with War Decoration and Swords Bronze Military Merit Medal Karl Army Cross Commemorative Medal 1898 for Military Commemorative Cross 1908 for Military Balkan Mobilisation Cross 1912-1913
  14. ...just my 2cents 1. Military Merit Cross 3rd Class with WD and Swords 2. Bronze Military Merit Medal (Signum Laudis) - issue Karl 3. Silver Bravery Medal 1st Class 4. Silver Bravery Medals 2nd Class 5. KTK - Karl Army Cross 6. Medal for Injury - for one time 7. Commemorative Hungarian Medal 8. Commemorative Austrian Medal 9. Commemorative Bulgarian Medal 10. Commemorative German Medal
  15. I subscribe to E.L. note (pics of hinge and silver marks) however, looking at the execution of the red enamel or more concretely at its zig-zag pattern (called Flinkierung in German) on the upper arm, it doesn't look good to me at all. I am sorry if I am right. What were the conditions of purchase/bidding at that auction house? Did you check them beforehand?
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