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Elmar Lang

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Everything posted by Elmar Lang

  1. Hello, I would like to remember that the Grand Cross star with KD and swords of the St. Stephen's Order was awarded to Archduke Joseph during WW1 from Emperor Charles I. More, it is interesting to note that the Order's Treasure re-issued older pieces, for example "adapting" the crown once attached to the sash into the later suspension type (they appear as hollow on the reverse, sometimes with traces of the old ribbon-loop). All the decorations of this order were officially awarded in gold only. Any gilt insignia should be considered as a privately purchased piece (or a later copy). Not forgetting that messrs. Rothe & Neffe of Vienna re-produced this order in its various classes until the late 70s in gold also, from the original dies. In my opinion all current copies can't deceive collectors, because of their poor quality. Best wishes, Enzo
  2. Hello, thank you for the information. I can imagine that few medals would have been awarded to the Maltese Pioneers (I don't think that it was a huge unit...). As a matter of interest, I've seen a very old photo (from the era of the "calotype" process) of the Cheops' Pyramid and on one stone block there's a large inscription "CAMILLERI". Who knows, perhaps it was my medal's owner... Best wishes, Enzo
  3. Hello, I would add this book: Friedhelm Heyde: "Das Eiserne Kreuz 1813. 1870. 1914 (Preu?en-Sammlung Max Aurich)"; Osnabr?ck, Biblio-Verlag, 1980. It's a good reference book although illustrated in b/w only. Now it's out-of-print, but it happens to find it at collectors shows. Best wishes, Enzo
  4. Hello Johnsy, please excuse me for the lack of details: the medal is the GSM 1793-1814. The inscription on the rim is exactly as transcribed. Thank you and best wishes, Enzo
  5. Hello, in my collection I have a General Service Medal with single bar "EGYPT" named (officially impressed) for "LORENZO CAMILLERI MALTESE PIONEERS". May I have more informations about the unit and the medals awarded to it for the Egyptian Campaign? Best wishes, Enzo
  6. Hello, rergarding Razputin's EK2-1914 with Austrian-type ribbon, I would like to remember my post about Austrian-made EKs ( http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=19046 ), where I've shown the two pieces from my collection: a full-size and a "Prinzengr??e" one. From the picture, one can have an idea of the proportions between the two crosses. Austrian-made pieces have the iron core blued, instead of being black-lacquered. Best wishes, Enzo
  7. Hello, the original name for this medal is: "Verwundetenmedaille"; the class indicated with the differently "striped" ribbon is "...f?r einmalige Verwundung", then "Zweimalige", "Dreimalige" and "Viermalige". These medals were struck in "Kriegsmetall" or Zinc, but the medal that Riley posted seems the rarer version in silvered Bronze or Silver. Just check the medal's rim and look for one of the usual Austrian marks like "BRONZE"; "SILBER" or "UNECHT". Best wishes, Enzo
  8. Hello, yes, the Mericka was an expensive book since when it was normally available at bookstores. Anyways, I think that $400.- should be considered a "top price" for it now. I think that the cheaper (in price, but with very fine text and plates) "Oesterreichs Orden" would be ok also. Sometimes, the Mericka appears for sale on the austrian branch of eBay. Best wishes, Enzo
  9. Hello, I don't think that there would exist a reference book covering the whole period from the Holy Roman Empire until the Anschlu?, except some price-catalogues: the old Neubecker-Nimmergut: "Oesterreich Katalog - Orden und Ehrenzeichen ab 1430 bis zur Gegenwart" (1978); the Steiner: "Orden und Ehrenzeichen der ?sterreichisch-ungarischen Monarchie" (1992; no Austrian Republic, though) and the Marko: "Auszeichnungen der Oesterreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie und der Zwischenkriegszeit" (1997). The first one gives a simple listing-prices-b/w-illustrations, while the other two, besides the of course out-of-date "market prices" give some useful details about ribbons, number awarded, variations, etc.; in any case, none of the three volumes can be considered as "reference books". As mentioned in my preceeding post, a good thing is to pay a visit to the webpage of the "Oesterreichische Gesellschaft f?r Ordenskunde" ( www.ordenskunde.at ) and search through the publications' page. It is also a good idea to search through the websites of bookstores and numismatists. Best wishes, Enzo
  10. Hello, yes, I've forgotten to mention that the Michetschl?ger exists as a reprint, although reduced in size. Many years ago, I've dangerously damaged my student's bank account, buying the original edition at an auction in Vienna... but it was worth the fear!... Best wishes, Enzo
  11. Hello, the Mericka is still the most beautiful post-WW2 book on the Austro-Hungarian orders and decorations. Some details are now out-of-date in spite of recent researches but the late dr. Mericka remains one of the greatest experts on the subject, that's perfectly reflected in the text. The splendid illustrations are mostly from the wonderful and huge collection of the late prof. dr. G.Fattovich from Venice, Italy, who was, from the '50s until 1986 when he died, a great collector and a connoisseur. Another very fine book is the more recent "Oesterreichs Orden", Graz, ADEVA, 1996, with very good texts and illustrations; In English there is Jos. von Falkenstien (Dan Ragsdale): "Imperial Austrian Medals and Decorations", Tucson, 1972: it is now rare to find (in Europe...) and there are some technical and historical mistakes, but it remains a fine reference book. About the 1st Republic and other faleristical topics you can visit the library page of the OeGO at http://www.ordenskunde.at/publikationen.html . Besides the mentioned books and those listed at the webpage, a collector should look for some "classics" like the "von Heyden" or the lavishly illustrated (and expensive, besides rare) huge book of Michetschl?ger: "Das Ordensbuch der gewesenen Oesterreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie", Vienna, 1919. Best wishes, Enzo
  12. Hello, it is nice to know that the quality of Albanian orders is improving. Anyways, I think that besides the aesthetical point of view and the jewellers' craftsmanship, what matters to us collectors should be the historical point of view. Of course, if on a dealer's table I see an Austrian knight's cross of the Leopold Orden and an Albanian Urdh?ri i Flammurit, both in gold, I'm naturally "attracted" from the first one, although the second is rarer. I can say that collecting non-USSR orders and decorations from the eastern countries is a very interesting and relatively non-expensive field of interest. Excellent for beginners, especially because the risk of buying fakes is lower than, for instance, the ancient German states and, last but not least, the III Reich. Best wishes, Enzo
  13. Hi, to see how the original Austrian-type EK trifold ribbon looks like, please go to http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=19046 In that topic I've shown two EK2 of Austrian manufacture, with their regular ribbons. Best wishes, Enzo
  14. and... what happened to President G.W. Bush's wristwatch?... Excuse me the off-topic question! Best wishes, Enzo
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. I know... I'll organize a trip to Vienna and visit the exhibition. I can't miss it! Best wishes, Enzo
  21. 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
  22. I understand... yes, actually, it's quite difficult to find austrian-made original EK-ribbons... kind regards, Enzo
  23. 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
  24. 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
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