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Elmar Lang

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Everything posted by Elmar Lang

  1. Hello, my research is going on, and, thanks to the highly informative website of the London Gazette, I've found the .pdf files of all gazettes where the fact of Villiers-en-Couch? (there simply indicated as Cambray); and the award -both of the medal and the Maria Theresia Order- are quoted. To Ed: any trace of the old Spink Catalogue? I think that in the old Numismatic Circular there was a picture (and group description) of the medal with chain and the MMThO Knight's Cross. Best wishes, Enzo
  2. I think that the missing medallion should bear the portrait of Hsu Shuzang, president of China after 1918, and this should be a merit medal awarded during the 1st Chinese Republic. Best wishes, Enzo
  3. Hello, I didn't see this thread, I apologize. In my opinion, the best literature on the Italian Decorations and medals are the two volumes of A. Brambilla "200 Anni di Medaglie", where all official and semi-official decorations are completely described (also if there are variations, etc.). Now, these two books are out-of-print, but in these last three years, Brambilla is working on the 2nd edition, one single volume, fully revised and illustrated with colour photographs. An English resum?e is also planned, as an appendix. Anyways, if there would be questions about Italian orders, decorations & medals, where possible, I'll be glad to be of help. Best wishes, Enzo
  4. Hello, it is an unofficial medal, usually bought from soldiers at the end of their active duty. Until recently, the Italian Armed forces had compulsory draft. The piece shown should be from the 60s. Best wishes, Enzo
  5. Hello Kevin, the piece seems to slightly differ from the design of the official Kautsch-engraved bravery medals, although bearing his signature. Is the piece struck or cast? If it's a wartime piece, it could be one of the various, then unauthorized, privately made medals. Best wishes, Enzo
  6. Hello, I must say that the "update" of Rothe copies with fake 1867-1922 silver marks happens in these last years too... and the MMThO-Star is one of most "updated" pieces. Enzo
  7. Hello, Paul touched an important point about Austrian Orders and Decorations: Rothe copies, "updated" from some "creative" dealer. It would be extremely interesting to see the faked hallmarks struck on that MMThO star. Best wishes, Enzo
  8. Hello, yes, austrian marks are sometimes a difficult topic... The diamond-shaped mark "FR" for Rothe was never found on copies as well as the "FR" in a rectangle (unless they could have been faked... but that's another story. The post-1918 hallmark of Rothe is "CFR" in a rectangle The marks "C.F. ROTHE"; "WIEN" we see on breast stars' pins were used earlier and later than 1918, although the difference between an old piece and a copy is evident. Best wishes, Enzo
  9. Hello, Speedytop gave all the further answers you were waiting from me... Nice to see so many people interested in the A-H Orders & Decorations! Best wishes, Enzo
  10. Hello, the stars of the "old type" were in use until the '70s of 19th Century (many pieces are struck with the post-1867 gold and silver control and assay marks). I think that the "change" happened gradually. The Kriegsdekoration to the Fanz Josef Orden was introduced in a later time than to the other Orders of the A-H Monarchy. This happened at the end of 1914-early 1915 for the lower classes of the order, while the KD to the Star was instituted on August 13th, 1916. The Swords were instituted (for all classes of the FJO) with Imperial Decree of December 13th, 1916. Best wishes, Enzo
  11. Both medals are original. The crudely finished one looks like a piece from the latest wartime period. Never forget that most awards of the Verwundetenmedaille took place after the end of the war. Best wishes, Enzo
  12. Yes, the piece shown by Hipnos shows a very fine quality, although I'm not sure that it is made by Rothe & Neffe. In any case, it's a very well made copy, worth to "fill a gap" in any good collection... until an original piece would "emerge"! Best wishes, Enzo
  13. Hello, I think that the velcro-tape was put on the group from a collector, not at a museum. Although important, I think that until the recent past, this was just a very interesting group and no National Treasure. Under my point of view (as a collector of Austrian orders and decorations), the top would be to find a set of the "Villiers-en-Couch?" medal. Such a medal (possibly with the subsequently awarded Maria Theresia Order), compared to this russian duo, would be like putting on a same level resp. the Koh-I-Noor and an industrial sapphire. Still, with the highest respect and the most sincere consideration to all collectors of Russian awards. Enzo
  14. I think that for this price, one could buy an original collar (in gold, 2nd half 19th Century) of the Austrian Golden Fleece, and there would still remain some money in the pocket to go to the cinema... Enzo
  15. Well, I don't remember if Widhoek ("Windhuk"?) is in the German East Africa (or in the German South-West Africa). I'm out of home, without my pocket atlas. I see that the seller guarantees that the EK and case are original (no words about a guarantee on the badly, pantograph-engrawed, dedication...): so, I assume that he's selling the EK veeery honestly. The usual eBay story... Enzo
  16. Hello, in the Austro-Hungarian discussion room ( http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=25886 ), I've started a research about the "Villiers-en-Couch?" gold Medal, 1794; the only Austrian Medal expressely instituted as a reward for personal valour to foreign military personnel. I consider it, as the most rare Austrian Military medal, and I would like to know how many of the 8 awarded pieces still exist. Many thanks in advance for the help in my study, best wishes, Enzo
  17. Most probably, that wonderful piece of velcro was put on the bar's reverse from the original owner of the piece, who acquired it at a flea market in the mid '90s for the equivalent of 100,- Euro, not knowing that he was going to buy a Russian National Treasure... E.L.
  18. Hello, searching through my library, I've found some more info about the "Medal for 8 British Officers" in 4 old British books. The first is: Charles Morton ELVIN: "A Handbook of the Orders of Chivalry, War Medals & Crosses with their clasps and ribbons..." London, Dean & Son, 1893, where, searching alphabetically at the word "CAMBRAY", we can read: "CAMBRAY. Gold Medal. Conferred by the Emperor of Germany Francis II. upom eight Officers of the 15th Light Dragons (sic!) for their gallant conduct on the 24th., Aril 1794, in defeating the French at Villiers-en-Couche near Cambray known by the name of Caesar's Camp, and preventing the Emperor from being taken prisoner. Lieutenant Colonel William Aylett, and seven other surviving officers received their Sovereign's permission to wear the same. The Royal Licence was officially notified in the London Gazette, on the 2nd., June 1801." (a mistake: actually, the Austrian Medal was "gazetted" on May 30th 1801; Numb. 15370, page 607). A description of the medal follows. Then, in Thomas Carter: "British War Medals and how they were won"; London, Norie and Wilson, 1893, pages 642-643, we find: "A large and handsome gold medal and chain was presented by the emperor of Germany, Francis II., on mAy 1st., 1798 (correctly, 1794), to eight officers of the 15th. Light Dragoons, for the gallant conduct of the regiment at the action of Villiers-en-Couch?, near Cambray, April 24th., 1894 (correctly, 1794); by which the Emperor was preserved from being taken prisoner by the French. There were but two squadrons of the 15th. Engaged, but they, with a small body of German Cavalry, attacked and routed several thousands of the enemy, and captured three guns. The medal weighs 4 ozs. 7dwts., with a gold chain of the same weight. On the obverse is a laureated head of the Emperor, with the words "Imp. Caes. Franciscus. II., P. F. Aug."; beneath the head is the name of the engraver, J.N. Wirt, F. On the reverse "Forti Britanno in Exercitu. Foed. Ad Cameracum, XXIV Apr., MDCCXCIV.," with laurel branches beneath. The officers who received the medal were, Major William Aylett; Captains Edward Pocklington, and Edward M. Ryan; Lieutenants Thomas G. Calcraft, Wm. G. Keir, and Thomas B. Blount; Cornets Edward G. Butler, and Robert Wilson. Only nine medals were struck in gold, and one of these was deposited in the Imperial cabinet at Vienna." A note, in the same page, says: "Two years afterwards, in November, 1800, the Emperor further rewarded the eight officers of the 15th., by conferring on each of them the Cross of the Order of Maria Theresa, permission to accept and wear the insignia being granted by George III. At the Greg sale, May 16, 1887, the medal and chain, with the cross of Maria Theresa, given to Cornet E.G. Butler, were sold for ? 240." In Stanley C. Johnson: "Chats on Military Curios"; London, T. Fisher Unwin, 1915, pages 121-122 we can read: "In the Year 1794, another case of British soldiers receiving a foreign decoration occurred. In this instance, Emperor Francis II of Germany was the donor of a gold medal and a chain pendant to each of eight officers of the 15th Light Dragoons. The Emperor had fallen into a precarious position at Villiers-en-Crouch?, a small settlement near Cambray, and, had it not been for the heroic and persistent efforts of the English, he would certainly have been captured by the French, who were massed in great numbers. The awards were made as a thank-offering for his lucky escape. Unlike the Pope's decorations, those of Francis II were recognized by the English Army Authorities, and the recipients were allowed to wear them when parading in full dress. The following letter may be quoted in reference to the matter: To Lord Dorchester, Colonel of the 15th Dragoons.May 1st 1798. My Lord, The Emperor of Germany having been pleased to present each of the officers of the 15th Regiment under your Lordship's command, who distinguished themselves in so gallant a manner by their spirited attack upon the enemy, with a very inferior force, on the 24th April, 1794, near Cambray, a gold medal has been struck by his Imperial Majesty's orders, on the occasion, as a particular mark of the sense he entertained of the signal service thereby rendered to the Allied Army. I have therefore the honour, by order of his Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief to signify to your Lordship his Majesty's pleasure that the abovementioned officers shall be permitted to wear the said medals constantly with their uniforms, as an honorary badge of their bravery in the field of action, and an inducement to all others to imitate, on every favourable occasion, their glorious example. I have, etc. Wm. Fawcett, Adjutant General" Last but not least, in W. Augustus Steward: "War Medals and their history", London, Stanley Paul & Co., 1915, at page 399, in the chapter "Sale Prices", I've found: "Gold Medal and Chain given by the German Emperor to eight officers of the 15th Light Dragoons, for "brilliant and important services" at Villiers-en-Couche (near Cambrai), April 24th, 1794; ? 260 s.0 d.0". I think that this medal could be considered very close to a "Holy Grail", from any collector of Austrian decorations ... Best wishes, Enzo
  19. The best would be to visit the Stuttgart Militaria show, and be present at the auction in person... I'll be there for sure! Enzo
  20. Hello, I don't think that these Austrian decorations could be considered as a group (belonged to a single person, I mean). They count some pieces from the 1st Republic and the Hungarian Regency, plus a cross that's unknown to me (that silver/white enamelled cross with the eagle's head), possibly a private decoration. Best wishes, Enzo
  21. Hello, The medal is illustrated on Mericka's Book "Orden und Ehrenzeichen der Oesterrechisch-Ungarischen Monarchie", Vienna, 1974; on Proch?zka's "Oesterreichisches Ordenshandbuch", Munich, 1976, on Joseph v. Falkenstien (Dan Ragsdale): "Imperial Austrian Medals and Decorations", Tucson, Arizona, 1972, etc. (on "Oesterreichs Orden", Graz, 1997 there's illustrated a later striking in gold). Its measures are 60 mm. diam. and 280 grams; on the obverse the laureated head of the emperor facing right, with the inscription "IMP. CAES. FRANCISCVS. II. P. F. AVG."; on the reverse, the inscription "FORTI. BRITANNO. IN EXERCITV. FOED. AD. CAMERACVM. XXIV. APR. MDCCXCIV." ("To the courageous Briton in the Allied Army, near Cambrai, 24th April 1794"). The medal was suspended to the elaborate, typical gold chain made of round, flat S-shaped rings. In my opinion, it's the rarest Austrian military medal and the only one of its kind to expressely have an "international" meaning. I don't know if all medals survived (except the two I know that passed through the market), but it would be great to locate the other 6 pieces. Best wishes, Enzo
  22. Hello, Among the Austrian medals, there is one that is strictly connected to Great Britain: the Golden Medal for the battle of Villiers-en-Crouche, 1794, where 8 British cavalry officers were firstly rewarded from Emperor Francis II with an especially-made large gold medal to be worn at the neck by means of a golden chain; later, these officers were created knights of the Military Maria Theresia Order, still retaining the right to wear the medal as a visible sign of distinction and personal appreciation of the Emperor. To my knowledge, two of these medals appeared on the market, both sold by Spink's in the '60s; the first, offered for sale on the October 1966 issue of the Numismatic Circular and immediately sold; the second, sold to a famous collector in 1967. Are there any further awarded pieces known, in private hands or museums? Many thanks in advance, Enzo
  23. I agree: Glenn's site is the best resource available on Austro-Hungarian military history. Elmar Lang
  24. Hello, This time I would like to post the pictures -obverse and reverse- of a decoration or badge referred to Dagestan. The material is silver-plated brass or copper with gilt hammer & sickle and enamels. The reverse is engraved with the number "5". It measures 47 x 39 mm. Does anyone know more about this piece? Best wishes, Enzo
  25. Hi Jani, I've just seen your post on the Polish White Eagle Order. I have an identical piece, bought at Panasiuk's shop in Warsaw, in 1985. I think your piece too, was made by this firm. Kind regards, Enzo
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