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tifes last won the day on February 21

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  1. He was also Austrian medalist, but decorations he made just for Bulgaria.
  2. No, never. Always on this one, which is officially named "ribbon of Military Merit Cross" (in case of orders/ decorations awarded to officers)
  3. Hi Graf, Sorry obviously I wasn´t clear enough. I dare to say that I am quite well advanced collector of Austria/ Austria-Hungary till 1918 (Bulgarian order was just "coming by and stayed") and Schwerdtner never produced anything from order/ decoration department in this sector. He was skilled engraver and medalist. Originally he was military cartographer but then he developed an interest in engraving and was student to famous Austrian engraver F. Jauner and medalist W. Seidan. Till 1918 he was active in this field, making plaques and medals but he we was never engaged in phaleristcs, except Bulgaria. Probably he won some contract there, but this I can´t confirm. Regards, tifes
  4. Dear lautentis, never seen Schwerdtner´s made Austrian decoration, just Bulgarian one and always in high-end quality, like Graf mentioned. Your post reminds me that I still have this "renegade" in my Austrian collection. Regards, Tifes
  5. It looks like good, privately purchased piece with dedication to me, certainly not awarded, but fine one. On the reverse "Gut Land" (wish for a pilot for his save return) but I can´t decipher "F" word before 1916. Sorry, maybe somebody else...
  6. When did you acquire this badge? Lately? I am positive that´s fake, however with quite sophisticated hallmarks/maker´s mark, which are improved by fakers as time goes on. As Simius Rex wrote, just 50 badges made and only 23 awarded (fate of the rest 27 unknown). Official maker was company Franz Thill & Neffe. AH War Ministry insisted in its order to the company that pieces must be made of hallmarked silver. Original pieces have normally on the reverse side in the tip of right wing "AZ" for maker´s mark, "A" and "Windhundkopfpunze" for silver. Needle is totally different, as well as the hinge. Argument that´s private piece made by VM (famous Viennese maker of orders and decorations till its bankruptcy in 1922) would be acceptable if the quality of manufacture would correspond to it. Red enamel on the front is "plain", without so-called "Flinkierung" (working technique in enameling; The base is engraved or guilloche and then covered with a transparent enamel), seagull and crown are attached by some strange wire hooks. Hallmarks and maker´s mark look quite good on the first sight (expect that "Dianakopf"), which is the main catch for less advanced collectors, who don't see the hook for the bait.
  7. Obviously I can´t top Enzo´s named piece and "Prototype" but my little contribution to the debate. One of the named pieces of „better people“…Reichsgraf Johann Ernst Hoyos von Sprinzenstein. In 1814 a Lieutenant colonel and deputy commander of Infantry Regiment No. 49 (IR 49) “Baron von Kerpen”. Later very high Imperial Court official (Obersthof- und Oberstjägermeister), FML (1838), knight of Golden Fleece Order (1840) and at the of 70 the first commander of Viennese Militia (Nationalgarde) in revolution year 1848.
  8. 5800 EUR hammer price means 7100 EUR in total (with fees). Now congratulation to the new owner would normally follow but to avoid a sarcasm I would rather skip it...
  9. Hi Igor, are you asking about knight-MMTO on your last pictures? Modern copy from 1990s/early 2000s, probably of Hungarian origin. That first knight-MMTO (sold in Vienna) would be of the same (or similar) provenience. Nothing to do with privately purchased MMTOs in 1920s (awarded after 1918 by MMTO Chapter but without decorations handover; consequently this practice was changed and all after-1918 MMTO recipients were entitles to get their crosses from Arsenal´s deposit). Regards, Tifes
  10. Oh, sorry. I overlooked the number (Georg IV not George V) and you are right! I found on some free sources on Internet that he should have received both, Spanish and Austrian as Prince Regent (since 1810, his father George III was mentally ill) but Austrians were faster and his Spanish Toison d´Or thus became null and void and he never received it. I can only assume that it was the same as in case of Duke of Wellington (first Protestant in Spanish branch) while he was nominated by Chancellor Prince Metternich himself and Emperor Franz I/II was fine with that. I would say that extraordinary times require extraordinary solutions however this should be an exception in Austrian branch, which did not become a usual practice like by the Spanish branch. Nevertheless, it´s very interesting...
  11. No, it´s OK. War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1711) led to the division of the Order. There are 2 branches till today, Spanish and Austrian. First non-Catholic (Protestant) admission to the Spanish branch was Duke of Wellington (as an appreciation of his liberation of Spain but still it required the consent of the pope then). Consequently it took "more liberty" (Protestant, Orthodox) and it ended up by the admission of non-Christian knight to the Order (King of Thailand). Austrian branch remains strictly Catholic. Best, t.
  12. Hi, To some particular points: I see your point about 407 FML now. I didn’t count in FMLs activated for the war period as I’ve mentioned only 119 active general officers (those serving in military duties in the war) as those who were primary considered for German decorations, like both classes of EK. However, it might have happen that some of war-activated FMLs could also receive EK, when they saw battlefield or even for their good conduct in homeland rear service, appreciated by German ally. That´s also true. To the points made by Christian: There is nothing to add. Once again my point about FML von Soretic, because this whole discussion is about EKII on the uniform of still unknown/unconfirmed general officer who might be FML von Soretic. Coming from my phaleristics experience, I have couple of (active) general officers´ estates in my collection and all of them had at least EKII. So I am only repeating myself now: There is very high chance (very much more likely than unlikely) that FML (since June 1918, till then GM) von Soretic as commander of infantry division with very good results on Italian front received EKII. That was my whole point. t.
  13. Dear Ian, About FML: I don’t know exactly where you´ve found information about 407 FMLs but in 1918 (at the end of the war) there were 119 officers in rank of FML (all branches: kuk Heer, kk Landwehr, ku Landwehr/Honvéd, K. K. Gendarmerie), including 4 brevet FML and one on retirement. This is info from official “Schematismus” books from the period. Even with promoted, non-active, out of active duty, on retirement officers this number is too high, in my honest opinion. To the EK awarding to AH military personal as main ally partner (and vice-versa MVKs to German military personal): In this respect I would recommend the book “Heldenwerk 1914-1918” from J.C. Steiner, page 14-15. “Exchange key” was final agreed in April/May 1915. Enlisted personal and NCOs: Silver Bravery Medal 2nd Class for EK II and Silver Bravery Medal 1st Class for EK I, however the soldier/ NCO had to be under direct command of his ally (German soldier under AH commanding officer and AH soldier under German commanding officer), so in reality this basically (almost) never happened. So what was a real exchange key? The problem was on AH side, which insisted that EK (both classes) as primary German bravery award, could be awarded only to AH officers (in German army every soldier was entitled to get both classes, regardless the rank) and so EK II corresponded to MVK 3rd class (with war decoration) and EK I to MVK 2nd Class (with war decoration). There was mockery on both sides. German officers were not happy that they would get “something of 3rd class” (as 2nd class was only for higher ranks - Colonel/GM) and AH officers made jokes that while Germans are getting fancy enameled decorations looking like order they are getting some tinny crosses. Enlisted/NCOs exchange rule was Bravery Medals (usually 1st Class, very scarcely Gold one) for KVM (Kriegsverdienstmedaille). It concerned mostly soldiers/NCOs fighting side by side, mostly on East front and Italian front + famous NCOs like aerial aces and submarines crew members (mostly on AH side, because for instance German flying aces were officers). To the numbers: AH officers received in total 7.478 EK II and 341 EK I. It´s very much true that numbers of awarded EK I is quite low compared to EKII as EK I was kept only for very high commanding officer till end 1917 (numbers: 1914 - 5, 1916 – 49, 1917 – 88 and 1918 – 144), but then to boost morale German command decided to award EK I to AH “Truppenführer”(officers commanding brigade and higher, so basically it could be even a colonel). As you can see numbers of awarded EK I in 1918 is almost doubled to 1917 and tripled to 1916. Conclusion: I do not know where you numbers are coming from but FML without EK II would be very strange (he had to be very disrespectful to German allies, saying something or acting by very improper manner which would offend German officers) as this decoration in AH army (any branch) was normally received since the rank of major, in some cases even captain (like flying aces, submarine commander Ritter von Trap received in such rank even EK I). EK I was varying in the course of the war, but FML, who had been very often commanding the army corps (Soretic was commanding “only” division, that´s true but still) was perfectly eligible to receive such decoration. As I stated above, at the very end phase of the war EKI was given even to some brave colonels and GMs. I don’t have any info about German decorations of FML von Soretic but coming from these facts I would say EK II for sure and EK I maybe. I am sorry if I was too long… t.
  14. Gentlemen, first picture in better resolution (I hope). It shows GdI Kraliček as commander of XVI Corps and GM von Soretic as commander of 63 Infantry Division by opening of "Soldatenheim" (soldiers´recreation/aftercare center on occupied territory) of 1st Landsturm brigade in "Vlk zable" (sic!), followed by the holy mass (other 2 pics). I do not understand "Vlk zable" (it doesn't ring a bell, somewhere in nowadays Slovenia maybe?) but definitely Italian front between march 1917 and the bitter end of November 1918. Taking into consideration his rank (FML) I would say it´s almost sure that he got EK and in my honest opinion 2nd Class is pretty low for general rank. Most AH generals were also awarded by EK 1st class. Best, t.
  15. Hi Ian, as good as it gets, but I would say it might be him. However, I do not see his ears properly...😉 t. The first picture (I tried to put an inscription on the picture but it´s barely visible), on the left GdI Kraliček (in the coat) and in the right (tall guy) GM von Soretic.
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