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Why so few EK doc collectors?


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I really believe it is a case of "Each to his own" when it comes to collecting. Every collector has the right to decide what turns his particular crank and collecting EKs according to maker mark is just as valid as collecting award documents according to battle.

What often suprises me howeve... is how very few people actually collect iron cross documents from WW1.

They are not those (yawn) boring WW2 ones that all look alike.... they come in all hapes and colors, many print variations, provide endless opportunity for research..... they ARE a central part of the EK theme.... but dont attract neary as many collectors as the crosses themselves.

Is it because of the language barrier? There must be SOME reason why paper leaves so many colletors cold.

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Not so much an answer as a musing, but when I was stationed in Germany 20+ years ago, the only EK document collector I knew was another American. He had a magnificent pile of documents, some keyed by location, some by graphic interest. The location part of the collection held one of the "dog license" types, but was issued in Tientsin. It blew right past the dealer who sold it because it looked so plain and he never bothered to read it. Not a bad purchase for about 30DM, as I recall. I found them interesting and bought a few, but usually just to fill other collectors' needs (like the one with a citation for Western Front and Romanian service).

The EK documents are probably the most varied award documents in the world and that should tickle someone's fancy, but they just seem to be overlooked. Even Hamelman's book on the subject never generated much additional interest.

It's a pity because there's great history there.

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I don't see alot of nice ones for sale. You guys might be able to dig them up over in Europe but hre it's not so easy. The only real nice one I saw i bought. I think it looks great too. It also came with 2 of the ID books for the soldier. A great deal. Here it is. The variety of these is what makes them so unique.

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That is a nice one. There are a number of variations of this one, mainly concerning what is printed as to the level of the award (Division or Armeekorps).

These are also usually bad faders. I have one with vibrant colors, but the rest are faded to light orange.

What unit is your guy?

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The colors on this one are still pretty good. That's what attracted me to it. The stamp reads Konigl Preuss 48 reserve division. The date of action appears to be May22, 1915, but looks like it was signed on April 22, 1916.

The time difference between the award and the signing are sometimes very long with WW1 EK docs, whereas with 1870 and official WW2 ones it is the same date.

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Almost a year! Where is a good sorce for interesting EK docs? I saw that great one you posted and thought it was unreal. The designs and graphics are so interesting. If you have a bit of time I posted my EK2 collection here and have a number of questions about some of them. Haven't had too many responses. Any chance of looking at even one of them. Thanks, Steve

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=13872

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Almost a year! Where is a good sorce for interesting EK docs? I saw that great one you posted and thought it was unreal. The designs and graphics are so interesting. If you have a bit of time I posted my EK2 collection here and have a number of questions about some of them. Haven't had too many responses. Any chance of looking at even one of them. Thanks, Steve

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=13872

Hi,

they are all nice and good crosses.... I like them lil shiny things!!!

I prefer paper though, especially when I can pinpoint the actions...

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Oh, that's a BEAUTY Steve! I am glad to see that ONE has escaped the claws of the Evil Graphics Hog Boonzaier Person!

My nicest one is huge and so much folded, but of a much more muted "Art Deco" style:

And thinking of GRAPHIC--

did you ever get that Saint Barbana artillery one scanned, Chris? Years later and I still sigh over THAT one.

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It might just be cause you've got all the good'uns :cheeky:

Tom is right. I actually sold an EK1/EK2 group to you (Chris) about five years ago that I still regret losing. :banger::lol:

I have a few nice groups and single pieces. Some I have researched, some I haven't. I definitely can't read German and sometimes I can't even read the writing even if it is something I should know. I'm certainly interested in collecting them but I have so many interests and limited funds.

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I don't think there are many who collect items from this period that are not attracted to these documents. Nearly every collector I know has one or more EK documents. Some pick them up in association with their love for the medals. For others it's the wonderful graphic art of the period that displays so well. And there are those that just love the history that they represent or the challenge of finding out more about the award winner. For me, it is a bit of all of the above. I bought my first examples back in the early 1980s on one of my trips to Germany. Even back then I paid nearly $100 for the larger format, color lithograph pieces. My only regret is that I didn't buy more.

My guess is that most collectors would like to have a few very nice examples, but the difficulty (and expense) of displaying these pieces is the limiting factor. To be sure, the majority of collectors cannot decipher S?ttlin, which is also a deterent. On-line competition for nearly any example, be plain or fancy has driven the prices higher than the casual collector wants to pay. I think Chris might agree that acquiring these documents has become an expensive hobby that has left behind all but those most serious collectors.

So that is why I leave the collecting of these documents to others. I suspect many do the same. Of course, if I could ever find that elusive Schmuck EKI document, I would make room for one more! :rolleyes:

Chip

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Tom is right. I actually sold an EK1/EK2 group to you (Chris) about five years ago that I still regret losing. :banger::lol:

I have a few nice groups and single pieces. Some I have researched, some I haven't. I definitely can't read German and sometimes I can't even read the writing even if it is something I should know. I'm certainly interested in collecting them but I have so many interests and limited funds.

Slow but steady is the secret, these things seem to grow by themselves!

With GMIC noone ever has to worry about not being able to read whats on his doc, we will do it for ya :-)

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. I think Chris might agree that acquiring these documents has become an expensive hobby that has left behind all but those most serious collectors.

I am not so sure.... with a bit of luck you may pick up simple prints for EUR25-35, sure some of the nicer ones are at about 100-150, but its still cheaper than collecting Infantry assault badges.

I remember about 10 years ago, I was collecting Iron Crosses and Luftwaffe or something along that line. I started a small side collection of WW1 EK docs, this simply because theay were about EUR10 - 20 a piece... If I could not find a few "Real" things for the collection.... I would grab a pile of these.... it was kind of a "mustard on the side of the plate" thing.

Now, it is my main theme and I have passed the 500 mark.... it was a looooong hard path to get them all.... but some clown who buys 3 cased RKs at the Max has a monetarily more valuable collection than Moi.

I often think WW1 paper is the ONE single field of German militaria that has not spun out of proportion when it comes to price.

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