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  1. For nearly 40 years, the question of whether a royal Albanian langue of the Roman Catholic Order of the Knights of Malta ever existed during the Italo-Albanian Kingdom [1939-43] puzzled cognoscenti. Those interested will recall GMIC exchanges on this subject. [ See below, Bob's post of February 15, 2010]. Insignia purporting to be that of this order last appeared, to my knowledge, in a 1980's Graf Klenau auction catalog. Now it appears that a slightly damaged collar and pin back badge identified as this insignia may be located and even purchased!!! Take a look at https://www.audap-associes.com/lot/99922/10897357. I do not know if free use provisions allow reproduction of the images so do not post them here. WOWZA WOWZA Home European States Southern European & Balkan States Albania - Albanian threads index Follow 6 https://www.audap-associes.com/lot/99922/10897357
  2. Morton & Eden sold a Norwegian type several years ago, seem to recall that it was a dot behind enamel pattern variety. That image may be available directly from them or on-line. Don't remember seeing any 'sunray' examples within the past 20-30 years though Kai Meyer may have had one in the 1970's. There are 2 types for Swedes, light blue enamel [and ribbon] and dark blue enamel [and ribbon]. The light blue [typical Swedish color] honored royals attending the celebration and dark blue went mainly to royal household staff. Neither of these have champlevé work under the enamel unlike the Norwegian variety. Notes in the large Swedish book published in the 1950's provide the number of awards--sorry forgot the name of the book and author, it's in storage. There might be about 230 light and 260 dark examples issued.
  3. Civil Division Order of Oman mini. See, among others, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_Oman.
  4. Elaborating on Rusty's above note, this image shows different Grand Cordon suspension swivel devices used by Messrs. Lattes/Bichay. Fahmy Bichay gave me these samples in 1980. The first is a standard device [20 mm overall] which has a spring type closure. The metal loop swivels between the cone beneath the top ring and the 'washer’ at the top of the actual suspension loop. The cone is smooth save for a crimp line at the base. These are heavily gold plated and made in Germany pre-1939. The second slightly larger standard device [25 mm overall] has a spring type closure but does not swivel. A series of rings appears on the cone. It is lighter weight and not as heavily gold plated, made in Germany or France after WW II. The third 28 mm device illustrates those made by Bichay technicians. It is a brass color [and maybe metal] piece of shaped wire [round on the exposed side, flat on the inside] bent to the proper shape on a jig. It was then wrapped in thinner wire to simulate a cone with the added benefit of holding the 'correct' shape and provide additional spring tension for closure. As to use, Fahmy told me that from about 1941-45 Anglo-Egyptian customs regulation defined commercially available closures as manufactured jewelry so they were 'non-essential' for the war effort. And they were 'enemy' sourced. The firm tried to secure these devices from the UK and U.S. but costs were excessive. So the company made the 3rd type 'in-house'. He thought that from 1947-56 2nd type swivels could be imported from Europe. The Suez affair and subsequent Egyptian tariffs disrupted supplies from about 1956-64. So again 'in house' swivels were used. About 1970, an Egyptian firm began making the 2nd type which Bichay used. Fahmy mentioned that some 3rd type without wire wrapping exist [somewhat similar to those used on current Polish sashes] but that those were not secure enough.
  5. Chiefs of protocol generally work out of a nation's foreign ministry. For a Finnish example see https://fi.linkedin.com/in/matti-heimonen-6705082. Usually very senior diplomats, they oversee ceremonial occasion details such as the proper order of receiving lines, seating placements, the formalities of joint press conferences, the proper titles of foreign dignitaries, ensuring that those dignitaries' names are spelled correctly and supplying interpreters. They foster understanding between peoples and governments. As such they often receive awards in the course of international diplomatic and head of state exchanges. Try the Greek Foreign Ministry website for Gregoriady leads.
  6. 2nd type, Red Robe so candidates include at least: pre WWI, Meyer or Scheid (Vienna), WW I & after Arthus Bertrand (Paris) and Huguenin (Le Locle). Sorlini and Griesbach & Knaus work is not often of this quality. But since there are no marks on ring (?) either of the Yugoslav makers might be possible. Some opine that Yugoslav makers did not make minis but retailed French or Swiss origin pieces. Bertrand work often has a maker punch on ring, Huguenin not so much. Meyer and Scheid [pre WW I] minis usually have marks. Lacking ring ID punches, sorry, but no definite answer from me! At least here are
  7. Check OMSA ribbon bank--http://www.omsa.org/omsa-ribbon-bank/, If you are not an OMSA member you must join to access the ribbon bank.
  8. Never saw fakes of this grade - crown enamels [at least] damaged
  9. How about....... 5th class or 6th swords on commander badge with Civil Order of Alfonso X, the Wise, sash?
  10. How does Roberts' receipt of a retirement Legion of Merit to correlate with regulatory description of insignia available to U.S. military personnel? Have the regulations changed? After reviewing all 5 images of Roberts' retirement ceremony that Dave provided above, it certainly seems that Maj. Gen. Kenneth S. Dowd actually pinned a Chief Commander insignia on Roberts! Especially note image 4 at [https://www.dvidshub.net/image/585362/medal-honor-recipient-retires-after-44-years-service] with Dowd standing beside Roberts after the ceremony. If accurate, were did the insignia come from and who authorized it?
  11. Possibly these groups were assembled before institution of Hindenberg Cross in 1934. Yes, Ferdinand abdicated in October 1918. Unclear exactly when issuance of medals with Boris' portrait began. Perhaps these are 'late awards' or what came to hand. If the first group Bulgarian Order of Merit is gold [silver-gilt] rather than bronze, the group makes little sense. This opinion due to gold Order of Merit's extremely limited distribution. It might be swapped out for a Military Merit Order 5th class, with or without crown. Seems to be an impression resembling a suspension crown above the Order ring on the ribbon. If Order of Merit is bronze, pair not as unusual, but still uncommon.
  12. I question Roberts' wear of Chief Commander grade insignia because, according to regulations, U.S. personnel may be granted only insignia equivalent to Legionnaire badges without any reference to award degree. See: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2008-title32-vol3/xml/CFR-2008-title32-vol3-sec578-13.xml A few awards of Officer rank were made to U.S. officers in error early in the North African campaign but none following that "administrative error". The perhaps 60 U.S. officers so decorated were allowed to keep the decoration.
  13. MOH minis, of varying quality, seem to be private purchase. At least Gemsco and BB&B [Gemsco marks on pinback plate, BB&B on the medal reverse] and unmarked minis exist. MOH ribbon should be placed to right of [of wearer's] other award ribbons with exception of above all others if no row of 3. Why does Roberts [image 2 above] wear Chief Commander degree, Legion of Merit?
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