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Drugo

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About Drugo

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  1. I found about David's death here, and I am very sorry about it. He wasn't an old man, and I haven't been in touch with him in years now, but we exchanged many many emails back in the days when I was starting my collection, and then again. I remember him as a tall, red haired gentleman and kind person. Perhaps most of you know him only as the "medals dealer", but David was an important figure in Slovenian modern history: Born in 1962 in Kruševac (Serbia, then just another republic of the SFRY), as a student in the 1980s he wrote for the Slovenian magazine Mladina, a left-wing liberal and outspoken Slovenian magazine at the time. In 1988, the magazine published a series of documents from a secret meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist League of Yugoslavia, with an alleged plan to arrest a number of Slovenian journalists and dissidents. At the time, the Yugoslav People's Army (YNA/JNA) was the strong arm charged of protecting and enforcing the socialist regime's grip in Yugoslavia. After the publishing of the article, the army arrested David Tasić, Janez Janša (later to become Slovenian Prime Minister in the 2000s and early 2010s), Ivan Borštner and Franc Zavrl, charging them with "betraying military secrets". As such, they were tried by a military, not civil court, and the trial was held entirely in Serbo-Croatian, despite the four of them were Slovenian. The trial* was held behind closed doors and the alleged secret papers the four were charged for were never disclosed in court. They were all sentenced to prison in October 1988, with 4 months to 5 years sentences. David Tasić got 10 months. All four were later released in August 1989, but the trial sparked such outrage in the Slovenian public opinion that it actually accelerated the struggle for greater freedom and democracy in the country, unifying different opposition streams in the country against the central government of Belgrade and catalysing the fight for independence, which came in 1991. After the independence, David abandoned the political scene, establishing one of the first independent Slovenian publishing houses. Still, he remained a well known public figure in the country, participating to public events commemorating the trial, Slovenian struggle for independence, and warning about the fragility of democratic systems and the need to always stand and defend freedom. May he rest in peace. Filip *More information about the trial can be found on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JBTZ_trial
  2. Hello Eric, This is a spomenica in itself! It was awarded to living relatives of fallen partisans. So it's the spomenica to the dead. It entitled the family to some social benefits as those of the living holders, but there was no award beside this paper. I was discussing precisely this with BalkanCollector just a few days ago, he even showed me one like this with several names on the same document, an entire fallen family!
  3. I just noticed this one. I would not like it in my collection. The full "IKOM Zagreb" hallmark is new to me, and the position of the serial number (with a full stop?) is not correct. Besides, the case doesn't look appropriate, with that blue ribbon.
  4. Hello Dan, regarding the leather, as a friend of mine who is an artisan says, leather is a living thing that should be treated the same way you treat your own skin. So if you put a hand cream of any sort stay reassured that it won't do any harm, it will just be absorbed. 🙂 Then, if you're not satisfied you can still think of alternative solutions... As for the oxalic acid, I don't know how it is regarded in the USA, I can speak for Italy and France, and here you can find it in its purest form in drugstores, DIY stores, cleaning products stores, etc. It's a white powder. Most helmet collectors use it freely to remove the worst rust from their helmets, I did use it in a couple of occasions as well. It is also used to whiten wood and clean hard surfaces. Of course, I wouldn't leave it around kids to play with, as I would not leave them with a box of powder detergent. Use a pair of latex gloves for extra precaution, but beyond that stating that it is "extremely dangerous", is, frankly speaking, nonsense. As far as you don't eat it by the spoon, sniff it in extreme doses, or anything else that I hope you would not do with any cleaning detergent, it's absolutely safe. Just FYI, you can check on Amazon the hundreds of people who used it for the most different purposes. If you are still not comfortable, I would say just check some common degreasers in commerce, and go with one of those, though the result might be a little less effective. Check out the composition, many of them will contain oxalic acid or other similar acids. Here's an Italian M33 that I found in Macedonia and cleaned conservatively with oxalic acid the way I described, just to avoid any further rust formation and remove major dirt:
  5. Hello Dan, please, PLEASE don't do such a thing! 🙄I never understood how this approach would count as "refurbishment". Would you refurbish the Monna Lisa by removing the paint from the canvas and redoing it identical? 😖 As for your questions, I think you found an Italian M33 probably used in the Spanish Civil War. These were usually painted over in darker green, as yours appears to be. Today, many are found in the US after a large stock was shipped to the States now some decades ago, and they are most often in very poor conditions. This one is actually quite right.... As for how to proceed, I would go for a light solution of oxalic acid and water (1/10 or even 1/15 to start with, then you can add depending on the result), passing it gently over the shell with a sponge in order to remove as much rust as possible and bring the remaining colour to the surface. Proceed this way until you're satisfied, in the end you can rinse it with some bicarbonate to be sure to remove all the oxalic acid, since it is a great rust remover, but in time it can confer a greenish patina to the metal, which you want to avoid. If it weren't for the liner, you could have simply immersed the shell in a bucket of water and oxalic acid for an hour or two, but you can't because of the leather. You can't really take off the liner from a M33, especially in these conditions, you risk doing more damage than good. I don't know what you mean by "white leather liner", I've never seen such. What you have there is in my opinion the standard Italian brown leather liner, it's simply very dirty and aged, and therefore looks lighter. I suggest to clean it with simple water and than massage it a few times with a hand cream, trying to soften the leather as much as possible. It will also bring back some of the original tan. If you do, show us the result afterwards! 😊 Best, Drugo
  6. Hello 922F, I feel very lucky indeed. I am only sorry I was not able to recover the missing bits and pieces. As for additional information about Đikić's career, I am sure that digging thoroughly online more could be found. For example, here are the minutes from the XIX Congress of of the International Federation of Film Archives, held in Belgrade in 1963: And more important, a letter proving his residency in New York as Charge d'Affaires of the Permanent Mission of the SFRY to the United Nations, in 1960: Quite a fellow, our Đikić.
  7. I'd like to present you a nominative lot that I just acquired and that belonged to Osman Đikić, a career diplomat of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The biographical information comes mainly from a 2004 online article (and a rather nice one for those of you who speak the local language). Osman Đikić was born in Mostar, Bosnia, on 7 September 1921. His father, Ahmed, was a teacher, and Osman got his first name in remembrance of his uncle, who died of tubercolosis at the age of 33, in 1912. He was a famous poet and dramatist at the time of the occupation of Bosnia by the Hasburgic Empire, and a political activist struggling for an indipendent, multi-ethnical Bosnia. After finishing high school, in 1940, Osman enrolled in the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade, but by April 1941 the country is invaded by the Axes forces and he rushes back to native Mostar. There, he joins the youth antifascist movement and, later in the same year, the partisan movement. During the war he is soon noted as being very smart and knowledgeable, and he gets involved in political and cultural activities in several batallions' headquarters and partisan units. Witnessing this period are the documents for his Spomenica 1941. Unfortunatelly, the original booklet and the decoration are lost, but we have the related transport ID and two later booklets, from 1985 and 1990. It is during the final days of war, on 3 May 1945, that he is awarded with an Order for bravery. Unfortunately, while the box bears his name the serial number on the order is not matching the one on the certificate. Soon after, Đikić starts his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On 15 November 1947, he is awarded with an Order for Brotherhood and Unity II Class and an Order for Merit to the People II Class. Fortunately, this time they are both preserved with their certificates. By 1950 he is finally sent abroad, as a diplomat at the Embassy to Finland. From that period, we have a diplomatic ID issued by the Finnish authorities: Five years later, and he's in Budapest. Again, a diplomatic ID from the Hungarian authorities, from Januar '55 to April '57. He must had been a witness of the Hungarian Revolution and Soviet repression. I shall remind you here that in November of 1956, Imre Nagy spent 18 days at the Yugoslav Embassy in Budapest, in a desperate and unfortunatelly unsuccessful run for his life. At some point, it seems, Osman Đikić was employed also in Paris and New York, but I don't have any documents to support that. No matter what, in 1965 he is back in Yugoslavia, and gets elected as a deputy at the Parliament of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He will again hold this position in the '80s, after definitely retiring from the diplomatic life. On 14 June 1965 he gets another award, an Order of the Republic with Silver Wreath. It is still of the first type, with five torches, while the matching certificate has a 6-torches coat of arms. It is in the 1970s that he reaches the peak of his career. First, he is appointed Ambassador of the SFRY in Algeria, than Ambassador in Finland. A series of diplomatic passports recall his period in Finland, the first one expiring in 1982, then a civilian one, and finally another diplomatic passport when he was already retired, in the early 1990s: In 1979 he got an Order of Brotherhood and Unity with Golden Wreath, which is unfortunatelly missing, except for the box and certificates. Given that this one had no serial number, it should be relatively easy to replace, with no real harm to the integrity of the lot. Osman Đikić was a fine polyglot. Among less spoken languages, he was very fluent in Finnish, up to being the first person to translate some Finnish poems and literature to Serbo-Croatian. Furthermore, he was a fine Albanian speaker, serving in one occasion as interpreter for Tito and Enver Hoxha. Here's a photo portraing Tito, Osman Đikić, Lazar Koliševski (general of the JNA/YPA and National Hero) and Jure Bilić (famous Croat politician at the time): Here's with his wife Vojka Smiljanić-Đikić, also a translator and poetess, in the company of Jovanka Broz and Josip Broz Tito: Osman died somewhere in the mid-90s in Sarajevo. Vojka in 2016.
  8. Thank you, Alpha Draconis. Indeed, it's a bit of an oddity , and as all true collectioners, we love oddities.
  9. Thank you all! The idea that the date might had been mixed with that of a white eagle already came up on another forum, and at this point I think it's the most plausible one.
  10. Dear all, on behalf of an Italian friend, I would like to ask your help in understanding the reason why this miniature of the St. Sava order that he recently found has a wrong date on the reverse, i.e. 1882 instead of 1883. Have you seen this before and do you know the reason why? Many thanks! Drugo
  11. I should apologise and state clearly that what I had in mind when giving my opinion was purely based on considerations regarding orders and medals from Yugoslavia. I have no expertise on other countries and refer to more educated opinions for that, such as the ones from Rusty and Stuka. This is a Slovenian based seller and I am not aware where he sources his more exotic orders from. Obviously, offering a mixture of originals and replicas does not talk in favour of a seller, but in general you should be on the safer side with Falera et Orbis when dealing with Yugo orders. What I would not expect from this website is to order one thing in picture and get another thing in hand, or defected, or not receiving anything at all... As for prices, they are certainly inflated on this website compared to his open auctions on ebay, perhaps by some 20% compared to final auction prices. I've seen worse around in terms of respected selling houses, and with the same composition of originals and fakes that can easily trick some less experienced collectors. Bottom line, you are the kind of customer that would buy here if you're interested in a very specific/fine piece and want to avoid the hustle of an open auction.
  12. Falera-et-Orbis is managed by David Tasic aka emonlaib on ebay. I never placed an order through his website and can't say about responsiveness etc., but in general terms it should be absolutely trustworthy.
  13. That seller is a disaster, it hurts every time I see him splitting documents and orders. Nobody will EVER be able to put those pieces back together once sold to different bidders! I bet he would make the same or more money just selling the entire lots together, but he doesn't hear from that ear...
  14. Nice specimens, BalkanCollector. 50 spomenice in the collection is quite something. I have some of these booklets, but unfortunately not the matching awards. We come back to the old story of our sellers eager to split papers and awards all the time... Eric G, the spomenica you showed is 100% original. I believe the screw was welded at a certain stage for some reason, and those incisions on the left side are the result of a tight bench vise grip.
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