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Elmar Lang

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Everything posted by Elmar Lang

  1. Actually, Italy is obsessed by bureaucracy; better, by a picturesque bureaucracy. A brand new "pearl": a few days ago, a decree was published, concerning any owner of a car (private or a society): if any car could be driven by a person different from the owner, this name/s has to be registered on the car's papers. To accomplish this, one has to fill an orientally complicated form; enclose the (authenticated) copies of the owner's and the possible other driver/s ID documents and driver's licenses; enclose the receipts of payment of two different registration taxes; send the whole in an envelope as registered mail to the Ministry of Public Transports and wait for the arrival of a nice sticker to apply on the car's papers. Once the further driver/s cease to use the car/s, the owner has to repeat the procedure, asking to cancel the names of the "temporary drivers" and obtain new car's papers in their original edition. Who, from November 3rd 2014 after an administrative control is found to allow his car to be used by other people, not having the name/s registered, shall receive a 750,- Euro fine, plus the car can't be used, until the new, updated car's papers are ready. Everybody knows that very few people, in Italy do own a car... Please excuse me for the off-topic...
  2. The Medals for Valour awarded to native troops weren't recorded in the "Bollettino Ufficiale"; they were simply recorded at the Ministry of Colonies in special registers. Until now, those papers haven't been found anywhere. I've been told that the registers for the Erithrean and Somali troops were preserved at the Governatorate of Asmara: the whereabouts of those Archives (except some yet unexplored crates of documents sent to Italy in the late '50s), are unknown. Best wishes, Enzo
  3. Yes, the "Al Valore" medals awarded to an unit were regularly "named" to it and suspended to the flag's staff by means of a long ribbon of its proper colour. Zanussi was the family, owner of the "REX" brand of washmachines and other home equipment. Now, the former Zanussi/REX industries are property of the swedish Electrolux company: most of the plants in Italy are now closed and the workers, jobless. But that's another story...
  4. Hello, the Colonial "Al Valore Militare" medals were awarded to native troops only and this piece awarded to Barachi Cassa (the italian more-or-less phonetical transliteration, of an somali/Arab name) for the battle of Zuetina is also engraved exactly as it should be, with its cursive font. I can say that it's an extremely fine piece, to be considered as very rare, in the italian collecting community. I'm still laughing, thinking at a possible Lybian origin of the Zanussi family... Best wishes, Enzo (E.L.)
  5. Hello, I would like to note that these fine badges were not the military wound badges, but those indicating that a soldier was mutilated or remained invalid as a consequence of an injury received during a war. The royal italian armed forces' wound badges were gold and silver strips worn diagonally on the upper left arm of the tunic, resp. for wounds received in wartime or during active service/peacetime. E.L.
  6. No idea, I'm sorry. But on Saturday 4th, there will be the auction at Künker's in Osnabrück and in the following weekend, the annual Sammlertreffen in Gunzenhausen. E.L.
  7. Thank you for the interesting note. Actually, the Virtuti Militari was awarded in a very limited number of cases, especially in its higher classes. In my opinion, it's one of the most beautiful orders, besides its historical importance and significance. Best wishes, E.L.
  8. You're welcome! A good thing is that most of the numbered crosses can easily be attributed, thanks to this invaluable book and the following, most precious researches. E.L.
  9. On Wesolowski's book on the Virtuti Militari, the cross's number matches to Casimiro Buttini's one. Best wishes, E.L.
  10. A very fine specimen indeed, although I'm not sure whether the piece would have been made by Rothe or not. The ribbon, besides the Kleindekoration,, looks like a pre-1918 one! E.L.
  11. Hello, a branch of my collection is devoted to the Polish Military Order "Virtuti Militari". Among the pieces I've been lucky enough to find, one is -in my opinion- very interesting: the "Gold Cross" or IV Class awarded to Lt. Casimiro Buttini. (Born in Saluzzo, Piedmont, on Oct. 29th 1887, died in Saluzzo, on Febr. 23rd, 1959). He reached the rank of Colonel in the newborn "Regia Aeronautica" (Royal Military Air Force). He was a bomber pilot, flying on the famous "Caproni" machines, one of the best "heavy bomber" airplanes of its time. This officer, during WW1 was decorated with a Silver and a Gold Medal for Military Valour. The latter, for an action on Tarnova, in 1917 where, while bombing the Austrian lines, his airplane was target of intense fire from the enemy and a shell lirerally beheaded his 2nd pilot. Buttini, although wounded to the head and an arm, calmly kept the airplane in flight, continuing the bombing. The plane was severely damaged by the enemy fire, but the pilot kept the machine in flight, and the crew in order. When the plane, due to the damages started to fall, he succeeded to avoid crashing on the enemy position, until a safe landing behind the Italian lines. After the war, some Italians received a proper class of the "Virtuti Militari", from the new Polish Republic. A necessary condition to receive the Polish Order, was to be already decorated with the Gold Medal for Military Valour or at least 4 Silver Medals for Military Valour. I have a list, compiled by the Office of the Chief of the General Staff at the Ministry of War, addressed to Colonel Ivaldi, Italy's military attaché to the Royal Italian Legation in Warsaw with the names of the men, worth of the award of the Virtuti Militari. In this list, Casimiro Buttini results as having been proposed for the V Class (the Silver Cross), but the Polish Authorities, actually awarded the higher IV Class, as recorded in the official list of the Order. The cross was found at antique fair in Parma, back in 1993. The whereabouts of Buttini's other medals and decorations are to me unknown. Following, the pictures of the obverse and reverse of the cross, struck with the number "528" and of the letter with attached list from Italy's General Staff Office. Best wishes, Enzo (E.L.)
  12. Corporal Pietro Laugero, received a Bronze "Al Valore Militare" medal for an action in Sop (Serbian Macedonia), on Sept. 29th, 1918. He remained the only survivor of his machine-gun section and continued to fire his weapon, facing the overwhelming enemy, keeping his position, although the order to retreat was given. Only when the retreat was completed, he went back to the new position, not abandoning his arms, and carrying them in safe. Actually, a brave soldier indeed. E.L.
  13. A few years ago a Grand Cross badge of this same order (and manufacture), mounted on a sash of the Order of the Crown of Italy, appeared on eBay; then sold before the "auction"'s end. By the way, it's typical, on eBay, to read remarks like "I'm not an expert, etc.etc.", after an apparently so-so scientifical or überdetaillierte description... Best wishes, E.L.
  14. Very interesting indeed: this is the italian award document for the British Crimea medal. Best wishes, E.L.
  15. Hello, the badges of early manufacture (like those pictured above), were made of solid gold. Later ones, let's say from 1880/90 onwards, were usually hollow. Best wishes, E.L.
  16. The Silver Red Cross Medal without Kriegsdekoration is a rare piece indeed. The medal in this discussion is a Kriegsmetall-made piece with enamelled centre medallion. In order to ascertain whether the piece was originally a silver or bronze one, it needs to thoroughly examine the ring to see if any trace of silver plating would have remained or not. To the right of "AC" in the motto, I see some brown-reddish colour, that could be either a trace of the original bronze finish, or just an effect in the picture. I can say too, that the Red Cross medals made in Kriegsmetall, are always less common than their "precious" counterparts. Best wishes, Enzo (E.L.)
  17. I'm not much into miniatures, but sometimes I can't miss to acquire certain pieces... E.L.
  18. Dear Glenn, your reply arrived while I was typing my post. Yes, a perhaps is necessary, since the engraving on my medal refers to the 1914-1916 campaign. Farkas's Goldene Tapferkeitsmedaille was awarded in Oct. 1917, when the type of medal should have been with Emperor Karl's portrait. If my medal actually belonged to Farkas, it could have been gilt after the war, for unknown reasons and having been his Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaille 1.Klasse. Or one of the Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaillen 1. Klasse awarded until the early 1917 to a junior officer of the JR 33. All the best, Enzo
  19. Hello again, a more patient research in the 1918 Rang-Liste, helped me to see that all the 10 officers were still on duty in the JR 33. Géza Olajos was then Leutnant (and not anymore in der Reserve); Johann Léger and Karl Kurtag appear as promoted to Oberleutnants. One name: Josef Farkas, Leutnant der Reserve, appears as having been decorated with the Goldene Tapferkeitsmedaille along with the MVK III Kl. KD u. Schw.; the Bronzenes "Signum Laudis" am Kriegsband m. Schw.; the Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaille 1. Klasse; the Silberne Tapferkeitsmedaille 2. Klasse and the Karl Truppenkreuz. There's a chance that the gilding could be old and the medal could have been a present to that brave, young officer. With my gratitude for the precious help, Enzo
  20. That's excellent; a warm thank you to both Ian and Glenn, replying to my enquiry. I will look through the 1918 Rang-Liste and see whether any of the mentioned officers were still attached to the JR 33. Curious, is the fact of the medal's gilding, but this could have happened anytime after WW1... Best wishes, Enzo
  21. That's very interesting, thank you! I think I should try to put together a complete series of the k.u.k. Schematisma and Rang-Listen from 1914 to the end of the war: they are more important than a single, fine decoration. Enzo
  22. Hello, Yesterday, I've visited an old friend of mine in Cortina d'Ampezzo. He showed to me some pieces and discussed about some of them. Later, I've been able to acquire from him a Tapferkeitsmedaille: its an usual 1st Class medal in silver type 1914-1916 (struck with the "A" mark on the rim): curiously it has an old, partially worn gilding and its reverse is engraved "OFFIZIERSKORPS DES J.B. IV/33" on top and below, "FELDZUG 1914-1916". The engraving is very well made, I need to say. It is complete with a fine, original ribbon (removed by me, to better allow the scans). The text allows me to think that it refers to a present from the Officers of the 4th Battalion of the Infantry Regiment nr. 33 "Kaiser Leopold". Searching through the Rang-Liste of 1918 (I haven't earlier ones from WW1) I haven't found any junior officer from the mentioned regiment, with either the Goldene or the Silberne 1. Klasse Medal. Any further info, would most appreciated, Enzo (E.L.)
  23. Hello, to add some further details, I would like to post the pictures -obverse and reverse- of the Large Silver Medal for Lower Austria, 1797:
  24. Here's my gold Medal for Lower Austria: as it can be seen, it's struck from a different die than the "Thaler"-like one of the normal silver Medal. I apologize for the low-quality scan...
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