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Elmar Lang

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About Elmar Lang

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    Southern Europe
  • Interests
    Orders, Decorations and Medals of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, from Maria Theresia up to 1918;
    Awards of the former socialist countries.

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  1. I can only add, to this interesting discussion, that after the closing of the shop of Cravanzola-Gardino in via del Corso, Rome, many sets of the various classes of this order appeared on the market, coming from the depot of the firm. At the "Militalia" show in Milan, a dealer had some commander's sets and a grand cross set with sash. In my opinion, it is an ephemeral order, "instituted" by some of the "pretendants" to the portuguese throne, whose families flourished in Italy (and legally battled against each other), since shortly after WW2. All the best, Enzo
  2. Hello, from what I've been able to find, Guggenberger received the Silver and Bronze "Al Valore Militare" medals and, unless further evidence, no "Al Valore di Marina" ones. This award has to be considered as a "Lifesaving Medal" (at sea). I fear that this piece is not original and created because of a misunderstanding of the difference between two different italian, "Al Valore" medals (there is a third one, the "Al Valore Civile"). Best wishes, Enzo (E.L.) Just as an example of an original "Al Valore di Marina" medal, I would like to post the pictures of the piece awarded to another U-Boot officer, but Austrian: Egon Lerch, the famous officer who died in the attempt to force Venice's Harbour. His italian award, received some years earlier, for having saved from drowning, the life of an italian worker in Fiume, was found in the wreck of the U-XII, when it was demolished at the Arsenal of Venice. The suspension is broken away, perhaps due to the circumstances of the explosion and sinking.
  3. the "HMA" mark, is that of the Hauptmünzamt, or the State Mint. I'm curious to know more about the opinion that the "1918" medals could be post-war pieces...
  4. Is "significative negative reaction" an understatement to mean "let's catch him and beat him off"? Or, in the colourful South-Tyrolean dialect "schmier' ihm oane heini!"...
  5. I think that the MVK/Brill. Belonged to Gf. Montecuccoli, once reached the museum's showcases, was put in a presentation case of F. Thill's Neffe (made for a 'normal' MVK/FD). It's just my humble opinion, but I think that the "upgrade" made by the museum's experts was a little mistake. The museum's description "(...) only ten such awards with precious stones and case were ever made (...)" is quite curious, especially regarding the case... But we know that the new "trend" is to consider orders and decorations as worth of some interest, only when cased...
  6. Hello, the Skanderbeg Order 1st class in gold, mentioned in this discussion, was lot 681 (page 242, printed catalogue) of the "Asta Rossa - The Red Auction", held in Genoa, Italy, on Nov. 22nd, 2008. The piece, a beautiful one and hallmarked by IKOM, was formerly acquired by Amb.Dr. Spada early in 1994. Best wishes, E.L.
  7. Hello, this is the medal instituted in 1965 by the (Veterans') Command of the Garibaldi Assault Brigades, awarded with a diploma, to the still living veterans and the next-of-kins of fallen partisans who fought in those units, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Libération. Bibliography: C.I.F.R.: "Medaglie e Pagine di Storia nella Lotta di Liberazione in Emilia Romagna", Reggio Emilia, 1990 Franco Scandaluzzi: "Medaglie e Distintivi della Resistenza e della Liberazione" , Milan, 2001, page 136 and plate III. Best wishes, E.L.
  8. Most returned, former imperial orders and decorations made of precious metal have been destroyed for the Republic's need of money, even those being part of the "treasure" of the former orders. Those surviving, were just the pieces destined to museums. It needs to be remembered that even after the Anschluß of 1938, the "new" authorities tried to search and collect at least the collars of Imperial Austrian orders all around Europe. I've been told by the heirs of the former owner of my collar of the Iron Crown (the family resided in Meran, Alto Adige - South Tyrol, Italy, after 1918), that immediately after the death, their family was pressured to give the collar back, but they replied with a declaration that the collar was lost in the closing days of the hostilities (gold was precious also to people!). Further attempts were made after 1938 and, in 1944, their home was searched by the Gestapo, with orders given by Gauleiter Hofer in the hope to find the collar, not believing the declaration of loss, would have been true. The piece was very well hidden elsewhere and survived the war, until arriving into my hands. Thanks to the interesting document posted above, I think that many of such letters have been sent to next-of-kins or heirs of late persons awarded with orders. I can imagine that some could have tried their best to "save" their family treasures. Best wishes, E.L. P.S.: the von Rinaldini were from Trieste, since november 1918 part of the Italian Kingdom. It would be interesting to know whether the letter was sent to Italy...
  9. Hello Bob, I've sent you a PM. I quit working at the San Giorgio early in 2013, leaving that "ship" going full steam and hit its iceberg... As a general information, after the San Giorgio closed at the end of 2018, I've been told that all the remaining catalogues from past auctions have been sent to a recycling centre. It's possible that some survived. The catalogue of the "Red Auction" is now something collectors like to have. All the best, Enzo (E.L.)
  10. Try "collector's items of extraterrestrial interest" and enjoy what the clerk will say...
  11. Hello, besides phaleristic, I like to study old photographies and the ancient, photographic techniques. The images shown in this thread are most interesting. I'm also surprised to see the picture of that very, very old veteran wearing, besides two commemorative medals, the EK-II, Austria's Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaille (that could be either the Franz-II or the Franz-I type) and the Russian St. George Cross IV Class! It would be great, if one day he will be identified. Best wishes, Enzo (E.L.)
  12. You're right Paul, but I think that a ferocious "foreign fighter" risks much less than an openly recognized owner of an US Medal of Honor, as soon as he would be showing his "mens rea", trying to sell his piece. Now, I begin to fear any flying drone (although no mens rea, yet…). Enzo
  13. I agree that orange is a delightful colour, but the large, black inscriptions printed on the back of those overalls, are disgracefully without any taste. Back to the topic, I've read about a relatively recent fact, where a person from Canada, sold a MoH on eBay (or a similar web-based place). The buyer, who actually was a Federal agent, asked the seller to personally take the piece to the US. The seller, aware of the law, was reluctant, but at the end accepted, after the insistence of the supposedly real buyer. Once entered in the US, at the meeting place, he was immediately arrested; the piece (another 27th Maine medal…) confiscated, etc. etc. I don't know anything about the fate of that gentleman. In my case -would I decide to part with one or both my medals, I will take as an alarming sign, if the "collector" would kindly ask to consign the piece at an US Consulate... Enzo (E.L.)
  14. Thank you for the kind, interesting replies. Now, I assume I'd better avoid to go to a militaria show in the US, with my MsoH in the pocket. But I'm feeling much better, because I could pretend to be a Civil War veteran, decorated with the Medal of Honor. Interesting, Paul's remark on the "perfectly disguised" Federals mixed in the crowd... I'm also feeling much safe now, not existing the risk to see out of home a Chevrolet van of some "Acme plumbing Co." (with a tall antenna on top), black dressed gentlemen casually reading newspapers and me being their objective for an 'extraordinary rendition' (codename: "Wentworth's Barn"). Actually, I wouldn't like to live in Ft. Leavenworth, dressed in some orange overall...
  15. Hello, thanks to a kind, fellow collector, I've been able to acquire two early Medals of Honor, one unnamed (with the 1896 ribbon) and one named, from the Civil War, with its proper ribbon. The second one, was not awarded to a hero of Bull Run, Shiloh, or Gettysburg, but to a soldier of the 27th Maine Vols.: at least a piece with a curious history behind it. Both pieces, with the engraver's signature of Paquet. The man whose name is engraved on the reverse, is Samuel S. Smith, from the "E" Company. He isn't in Col. Wentworth's list so I assume that this medal is from the group the late regiment's commander preserved in his barn, until it was plundered and the medals dispersed. We know that in 1917, all the awards to the 27th have been withdrawn and the names, canceled from the Roll of Honor. My collecting interest is centered on the Austrian monarchy, but I find fascinating certain awards for valour and gallantry from other countries too: the early, US Medal of Honor is to me highly attractive for its beautiful design, and its "low-profile" appearance, in my opinion not far from the British Victoria Cross. I've read about the law forbidding in the USA the trade and limiting the property of the MoH, the Purple Heart and other federal awards. My concern is about possible problems -as a collector- possessing these two pieces. By the way, I see that a well-known dealer from Canada has sold and is selling beautiful pieces of this medal. One, shall also be for sale at Hermann Historica… All the best, Enzo (E.L.)
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