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Elmar Lang

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Everything posted by Elmar Lang

  1. and... what happened to President G.W. Bush's wristwatch?... Excuse me the off-topic question! Best wishes, Enzo
  2. Yes, it's a full-size Milit?rverdienstkreuz mit der Kriegsdekoration (Cross for Military Merit with War Decoration). The decoration, instituted in 1849 (in one class) lasted until the fall of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1918. the first type was red enamelled only and made in one piece (variations exist!); in 1860, the Kriegsdekoration was instituted (the laurel wreath between the cross' arms, to let well-visible the difference between crosses awarded in time of peace or war); in the same period it was decided to add the white enamelled fields (the first pieces were "updated" 1849-type crosses) then, from 1867 they were hallmarked on the cross' loop (manufacturer's and silver content marks). In 1914, the decoration was divided in three classes and in 1916, the swords were also instituted: 1st Class: a large, pin-back decoration, with/without war decoration; with/without swords; 2nd Class: neck decoration, with/without war decoration; with/without swords (the repeated award of this class was represented with a green-enamelled laurel wreath as a link between the cross' loop and the ribbon ring) 3rd Class: breast decoration, suspended to the typical triangular ribbon; with/without war decoration; with/without swords. The Milit?rverdienstkreuz was an important decoration to be awarded to officers only, for outstanding achievements in time of peace and war; the higher classes were reserved to high-ranking officers only. Best wishes, Enzo
  3. Hello Brian, the museum close to the S?dbahnhof in Vienna is the "Heeresgeschichtliches-Museum"! The place where any collector of Imperial Austrian Orders, Decorations & Militaria can dream about "what I would like to have...". Now, the Museum has been re-orderd in a more modern way, but in the past there were many carved wood showcases, all full of crosses of the MMThO in its 3 classes... besides other orders, medals, uniforms, flags, etc. It's still and always a must for us collectors and enthusiasts. The Iron Crown III Class of your friend, can be a very interesting piece (would it be possible to see a scan of it?). I'm not sure if the first Kriegsdekoration to be added to the Iron Crown should have been without enamel (this was for sure to the Leopold Orden, where the first KD's were wreaths made of a green-toned gold alloy, although exceptions exist...). Anyways, I suspect that yes, it should be a piece from 1866 (but, I repeat, to see a picture would allow to give a final response). Best wishes, Enzo
  4. Hello, actually, it's quite difficult to find any type of original MMThO crosses... I'm feeling a lucky collector, for having had the chance to put a very old Commander's Cross in my collection. I know that all the original crosses have to be in gold, also the pieces awarded late in the 1st World War. The Ordenskanzlei ordered new crosses to Rothe & Neffe and ordered in the same time to let older pieces from the Order's treasure to be repaired and/or adapted. Not all the silver-gilt and bronze-gilt crosses are to be considered as fakes, because Rothe and Mayer (and possibly, also Rozet & Fischmeister) made Order's crosses for private purchase. Many years ago, I've seen a bronze-gilt Knight's Cross with the "star" mark struck on the loop and its quality was the same of a gold piece. In the later years, some Austrian "creative" people has put on the market gold knight's crosses of the MMThO: such pieces are of fairly good quality but quite different from the original: in any case, many collectors have been deceived and spent a lot of money for a "late XX Century" piece. It's important to keep in mind that also during WW1 the MMThO was always made with the highest jeweller's quality. The same for the St. Stephen's Order: yes, this one also was awarded in gold only, until the end of the A-H Monarchy (silver-gilt pieces were also available for private purchase). Best wishes, Enzo
  5. Hello, in reply to ekhunter, I would like to remember what I've written in one of my preceeeding posts: the two pieces from my collection illustrated at the beginning of this thread, were bought from me directly at the shop of Rothe & Neffe in Kohlmarkt, Vienna in the 70's. I found strange the iron core's finish (blued, instead of black lacquer) and Mrs. Rothe explained me that they were two pieces produced by their firm in the period 1914-1918. One of the two pieces bears the Austrian "star" mark to signify the use of non-precious metal. This mark was struck on Austrian-made decorations only. Another thing is that Rothe never sold orders or decorations of other manufacturers in cases with their hallmark (unless with time, f.e. a Mayer's S?hne-made order would have been put in an empty Rothe-signed case found at a flea market...). Best wishes, Enzo
  6. Hello Christian, Any visit to Vienna is always a happy return to one of the cities I like most. So, I hope to be able to organize a trip and enjoy the MMThO exhibition. On the first weekend of May, I've celebrated the 250th anniversary organizing a "mini-exhibition" dedicated to the Milith?r Maria Theresien Orden at the "Militalia" show. In November (the next edition of "Militalia") it'll be the turn of the Leopold Orden. Best wishes, Enzo
  7. I know... I'll organize a trip to Vienna and visit the exhibition. I can't miss it! Best wishes, Enzo
  8. Yes, I've already seen the Meybauer mark as attributed to C.F. Rothe & Neffe... Their monarchy-time marks (I'll try to take good photos of them today) are usually "F.R." in an horizontal lozenge (rhombus), or "F.R" in a rectangle. One can see Austrian Orders or Pilot's badges struck with "CFR" in a rectangle: this mark was used after WW1 only, especially on recently made (until the late 70's) copies. The "Sternpunze" is not necessarily of Rothe: it is a generally used Austrian mark to indicate that a decoration wasn't made of precious metal. In the case of the pictured EK, that mark was stamped because the cross' frame is made of silver-plated brass. On Previtera's book (page 171) there's a Prinzengr??e identical to my piece (except for the ribbon: my piece is a "Nichtk?mpfer" one), in its regular Austrian case with maker's logo of Rothe on the silk of the lid's inside. In Austria it still happens to find cased EK's (in Rothe-hallmarked cases) and all of them are of the type with blued iron core. This can confirm what I've been told from Mrs. Rothe many years ago... Best wishes for a nice Sunday, Enzo
  9. I understand... yes, actually, it's quite difficult to find austrian-made original EK-ribbons... kind regards, Enzo
  10. Hello, I've attributed this type of EK2 to Rothe & Neffe, Wien for two reasons: the first and most important is that Mrs. Rothe explained me that in the 70's, when I've bought the two pieces directly at their shop in Kohlmarkt (they still had a "stock" of original pieces for sale, besides the series of reproductions of orders). After WW1 the production of this type discontinued, being less expensive to re-sell german-produced pieces. A second reason is that if one's lucky enough to find such crosses in the Austrian-type case, it is always with the maker's mark of Rothe. A question to Greg: why do you say that the "the full sized cross looks to have the correct "wide" ribbon"? As I can see, both pieces have their typical, original triangular ribbon. Best wishes, Enzo
  11. and, last but not least, the typical Austrian marking for non-precious metal; a "star" or, better an "asterisk", usually called "Sternchen-Punze" or "Stern-Punze", as struck on the full size cross' ring: Best wishes, Enzo
  12. Hello, I think that it could be interesting to describe the most typical Prussian award of WW1, in the version produced in Austria. They were closely similar to the "original" ones, with the difference in the iron centre that was "blued" with the same procedure used for firearms, instead of the typical black lacquer/enamel finish. The manufacturer was the well-known firm Rothe & Neffe of Vienna I provide the pictures of two pieces: a full-size and a "Prinzengr??e", resp. with the Austrian triangular ribbon for combatants and non-combatants. Obverse:
  13. Hello, I would like to give some further details to this discussion about the MMThO, posting the pictures of a Commander's Cross from my collection. It's a piece in gold, of the type awarded in 1790-1812 approx.; the ribbon is from WW1; there is also the original case of issue from the same time of the ribbon: a typical re-issue of a decoration of earlier manufacture. Obverse: ...
  14. Thank you very much for the kind words. I'll take a good photo of the badge's reverse as soon as possible. Best wishes, Enzo
  15. Hello, besides my specific collecting interest on the Austro-Hungarian Orders & Decorations, I like the phaleristic of the former Socialist countries. Of course, the honours of the small and rather isolated (in the "Socialist" community) People's Republic of Albania are very interesting to me, for that Country is very close to Italy and some of its past (and present) have something in common. Since the fall of the Socialist r?gime, I've started to build up a collection of Albanian Orders & Medals. I would like to post here one of the first pieces found: a badge for Member of Parliament, clearly inspirated from those of the Soviet Union. Kind regards, Enzo Calabresi (Elmar Lang)
  16. (Cut-and-paste of my reply posted in the German Empire Room): Hello, in my opinion it should be an old piece made for private purchase. The current copies made in Hungary (f.e. from Horvath) seem quite different. There exist pieces made in the time of issue, where the eagle is secured to the wreath by means of bent wire, instead of the typical (official) riveted mount, as it appears on any piece made from Zimbler. In any case, a definitive response cannot be given on pictures only: I think that any piece needs a thorough, direct study. The piece here illustrated looks quite damaged (cut-away wings' tips; chipped enamel etc.). In any case, collectors should be VERY careful with all types of Feldpilotenabzeichen, Luftfahrerabzeichen, etc. I think it should be better to wait and buy a piece of official type and manufacture. Best wishes, Elmar Lang
  17. Hello, in my opinion it should be an old piece made for private purchase. The current copies made in Hungary (f.e. from Horvath) seem quite different. There exist pieces made in the time of issue, where the eagle is secured to the wreath by means of bent wire, instead of the typical (official) riveted mount, as it appears on any piece made from Zimbler. In any case, a definitive response cannot be given on pictures only: I think that any piece needs a thorough, direct study. The piece here illustrated looks quite damaged (cut-away wings' tips; chipped enamel etc.). In any case, collectors should be VERY careful with all types of Feldpilotenabzeichen, Luftfahrerabzeichen, etc. I think it should be better to wait and buy a piece of official type and manufacture. Best wishes, Elmar Lang
  18. Hello, in my opinion, there are differences between a Knight's Cross of the MMThO made during WW1 and one made, let's say in 1930. The original crosses (I mean those made for the Order's Chancellery in the late XIX - early XX Century) were all made of gold and (most of them) hallmarked with maker's mark ("F.R." in a rhombus for C.F. Rothe & Neffe, Wien, official suppliers of the Order) and gold content's mark: both marks struck on the ornamental loop soldered to the upper arm. There is also evidence of original Grand Crosses (also made of gold), not being hallmarked: the difference between an original piece and a post-war one is in the extremely high quality and other well-visible differences, especially to the centre medallion of the sash badge. After WW1 and until the early 80s, Rothe regularly sold reproductions of almost all Imperial Austrian orders (and some decorations, like the Honour Medal for Arts and Sciences, the Golden Jubilee Medal 1898, etc.): all pieces were made from the original dies, but their quality -although very good- was quite far from a piece made before 1918. Now, Rothe-made repros are widely collected (there exist also fakes of Rothe copies...). Now, messrs. Horvath of Budapest sell copies of all classes of the MMThO (the breast star is a cast from a Rothe-copy) of a relatively good quality. Best wishes, Elmar Lang
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