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About utopis

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    Europe: German states, Republic of Weimar, Third Reich, GDR, Fascist Italy, KuK, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech, Slovakia, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Albania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Soviet Union
    Asia: Japan, Mongolia, China, Thailand, Soviet successor states in Central Asia
    Special Interests: Ukraine, Ukrainian Cossacks, Cossacks in WW2, 1. Galician-SS, ROA

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  1. No, it's silver gilt. 750 silver wasn't uncommon in Romania at that time. The crown is the silver hallmark. Letter below the crown indicates city of manufacture, number of notches the actual composition. It's also too light to be gold. I don't have the weight for the commander's cross, but the grand cross weighs approx 36gr, bit over an ounce and is +1cm in diameter. Gold should be nearly twice as heavy.
  2. The above picture of the award ceremony for the Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria is very interesting. Clearly the sash has already been tailored to the archbishop before being handed to him. So it would seem that this is indeed official practice. I always assumed that this form of wear is based on the liturgical stole which would explain why it is usually encountered on catholic clergymen or those belonging to the eastern denominations.
  3. Like I said, these are fairly well made fakes. Still there are some inconsistencies which give them away. Don't worry about the fakers, I'm sure they reap a handsome profit margin by selling them. I recommend you study textbook authentic pieces and compare them closely. Feel free to dm me if you need any additional pointers.
  4. The order shown in post #7 is a fake. Seemingly originating from Eastern Europe, these relatively well made pieces appeared fairly recently on the market together with a number of other rare awards (Sukhe, Red Banner for Military Valour, Civil/Industrial Valour).
  5. Considering that this award was only awarded 2 times, one of them to Mannerheim himself, I doubt there even are any in private collections. About two year ago a Swedish auction house offered a cased near mint 2nd class for sale. The asking price was about €30,000 however I don't recall what the result was.
  6. No, it's the real deal. It's part of the Royal Collection See here: https://www.rct.uk/collection/441498/order-of-the-black-eagle-prussia-george-vs-star-with-garter
  7. Both the star in #66 and the set in #76 are Rothe pieces. However, the question to be answered is when these pieces were manufactured. The first star is lacking any marks and the second doesn't bear the typical "C.F.Rothe" "Wien" hallmarks. The star's overall quality also seems a little lower than what one would expect from Rothe pieces. An expert on Austrian decorations should be easily able to tell whether these pieces were made pre or post 1945.
  8. Great Images, are the whereabouts of the king's bejeweled insignia known? In addition, if this is not the king's insignia, whose is it then? Where such badges awarded to high Bulgarian/ foreign nobility or are these simply later manufactured pieces for the royal family? Obviously a variation of the Maltese order comes to mind, I suggested the Tuscan decoration, mainly, because of the central stone which I only recall on this decoration and not on any other. In addition there where a few special made pieces with a white surface. However, as said before the Tuscan breast star h
  9. Besides the Bulgarian decorations (and the Golden Fleece) only Italian decorations can be seen in the photo. In it's design the star reminds me very much of the Tuscan Order of Saint Stephen's badge, although it's breast stars had a slightly different appearance. The cross, the fleur de lis and the stone in the center are identical, however.
  10. This is a very interesting photo. Not only does it show the previously unseen (?) bejeweled breast star of the St. Cyril and Methodius Order but it also serves as photographic evidence for the sash/collar badge currently on sale. Having never seen period pictures depicting such a badge in wear but instead only rather recent pictures of similar badges worn by the royal family, I had my doubts.
  11. Well, let's take a closer look at it, shall we: The selling price was 13K, Rauch's fee + vat is 18.3 %, So Weitze paid roughly €15,400 (not counting shipping). I don't know how much Weitze makes a year, but making an educated guess here, I would say that when you count in all the costs (staff, business premises, tax subtractions for all the money spent on future merchandise) and subtract it from his revenue, his total tax rate is probably not that high I'd say something in the mid 30% range. Meaning that he made a profit of roughly 8K. Now keep in mind that the turnaround for that was u
  12. utopis


    Künker is not just a regular seller of orders and medals, it is among the top four (by number of sales and customers) auction houses on this topic in Germany. The other three being Zeige, Thies and Hermann Historica. Künker is regularly selling fakes, not only Russian ones though these seem to be the most prominent. To be honest, I don't believe that they don't know what they are selling - from what I've seen they have considerable knowledge on the topic of orders and medals... but ... ya know, they get 40% of every sold item. Zeige is also selling quite a lot of fakes on a regular basis, last
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