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It is on a Commander's badge of the Order of the Crown of Romania that is paired with a J. Resch case. The hallmarks may therefore indicate either a mismatch between the two pieces or a jeweller that worked for Resch.

I have asked the same question in Austria-Hungary: Militaria & History as it is said that some early badges were made by Austrian jewellers.

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Hard to make out but I'm pretty sure its Czech. Should look like a rabbit's head facing your left. The 4 means it's .835 silver content. Sterling is .925 for comparison. These hallmarks are in use today.

Thanks Dave for the ID and for the reply. Based on the image in post #2 I thought it might be a dog's head, but after taking the image in post #8 I was no longer sure.

Can you also decipher the other markings? I presume "AF" is the mark of the jeweller. Do you happen to know who was he? What does "A" stand for? Is it a mark for the location of the jeweller? In front of the rabbit's head there seems to be another letter or figure. What does it mean?

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Don't know AF or A, I can only assume that it is a jeweller's mark. The letter to the left of the rabbit's head is the city that it was made in, for example P would be Prague. Is your medal type 1 or type 2? The type 1 was from 1881 - 1932 and type 2 from 1932 - 1947 when you had to abdicate. Older hallmarks on silver before this time was of different design and only contained .500 - .799 silver. Hope this helps.

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Don't know AF or A, I can only assume that it is a jeweller's mark. The letter to the left of the rabbit's head is the city that it was made in, for example P would be Prague.

Thanks Dave. The letter to the left of the rabbit's head does not seem to be a "P". It looks more like an "A", but as with the head I am not completely sure.

Is your medal type 1 or type 2? The type 1 was from 1881 - 1932 and type 2 from 1932 - 1947 when you had to abdicate. Older hallmarks on silver before this time was of different design and only contained .500 - .799 silver. Hope this helps.

It's a nice type I cross, of a very careful manufacture (the enamel looks rather dark in the photo, but it is the usual red colour).

crownrf5.jpg

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I have just seen Rod's post below from Straighten Me Out:

I have been able to find out that the "A" denotes Vienna and that the place of manufacturer was required after 1876.

Could this mean that the marks on the badge above are in fact Austrian and the badge was made in Vienna? Maybe the Czechs used the general markings of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

I took another look at the marks and the letter to the left of the rabbit's head appears to be an "A" as well (though I am still not 100% sure).

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Carol - Austrian hallmarks before 1886 were of 2 kinds, both had a cross on them, very clear. From 1886 - 1922 they had the head of the goddess Diana. From 1922 - present contains a toucan's head with numbers to the right,(4 = .750 silver) and city letter to the left (W = Wien, Vienna). The earlier hallmarks had A = Wien, Vienna. So if you can squint at the "rabbit's head" and maybe make it seem more like a toucan's head then it was probably made in Austria. Still can't find a maker though.

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Carol - Austrian hallmarks before 1886 were of 2 kinds, both had a cross on them, very clear. From 1886 - 1922 they had the head of the goddess Diana. From 1922 - present contains a toucan's head with numbers to the right,(4 = .750 silver) and city letter to the left (W = Wien, Vienna). The earlier hallmarks had A = Wien, Vienna. So if you can squint at the "rabbit's head" and maybe make it seem more like a toucan's head then it was probably made in Austria. Still can't find a maker though.

Thanks Dave for the details. If the case belongs to the badge, the order is from the period 1881-1914, so we narrowed down the period. However, no matter how hard I try, the mark does not look like a cross or a goddess' head. So it comes down to a Czech mark from a town denoted by "A" or at least something that looks like an "A" ... a tough nut to crack. :unsure:

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By process of elimination : Type 1 1881 - 1932, Rabbits head (hare, actually) 1922 - present. Had to be made between 1922 and 1932. If the box is dated earlier then either it is mismatched or it was in stock by the medal maker. They probably ordered say 100 boxes and stuck them on the shelf and used them as they produced individual medals. I believe there were 29 different versions of this one medal alone!

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By process of elimination : Type 1 1881 - 1932, Rabbits head (hare, actually) 1922 - present. Had to be made between 1922 and 1932. If the box is dated earlier then either it is mismatched or it was in stock by the medal maker. They probably ordered say 100 boxes and stuck them on the shelf and used them as they produced individual medals.

Thanks again Dave. So it was a mismatched set after all. :(

I believe there were 29 different versions of this one medal alone!

Could you please give me more details about this? Were there 29 known manufacturers? Can you please share the information you have on this? Thanks.

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Carol, in Google type in Order of the Crown of Romania and it should give you several websites. Choose marksmedals.com/romanian_medals (it has some other stuff after this) and you will have enough to keep you interested for a while.

I know Mark Piersall's site. It is one of the best on the two oldest Romanian orders (information and images). And I see now what you meant by 29 variations, but I do not regard the various grades of the order as variations.

If you find someting more on these marks, please let me know. This far I managed to find an image of the Czech marks on the Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks. Too bad they do not have real images.

fczechrepew5.jpg

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Looking for the marks of Prague, I stumbled upon an Italian page with the Austrian marks for silver. It seems that up to 1867 the town mark for Prague was "B" and then it was changed to "C". I presume the mark was changed again in 1922 with the introduction of the Czech marks when it became a "P".

TOWN IDENTIFICATION LETTER UP TO 1867:

A=Vienna - B=Prague - C= Salzburg - D=Lwow - E=Cracovia (1807-1809) - E=Hall (1824-1866) - F=Brno - G=Lienz - H= Graz - I = Klagenfurt - K = Lubiana - L = Trieste

TOWN IDENTIFICATION LETTER FROM 1867:

A=Vienna - B=Lienz - C=Prague - D=Brno -E=Cracovia - F=Lwow - G=Graz - H-Hall - H=Bregenz (from 1872)- K=Klagenfurt - L=Lubiana - M=Trieste - N=Zadar - P=Pest - R=Kosice - T=Timisoara - U=Alba Iulia - V=Zagreb

And one more thing from that page. Apparently the Austrians also used a dog head mark from 1867. :unsure:

11118AUSTRIAbis.jpg

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This is an Austrian made piece of the pre-1922 period.

"A" is the Vienna city assay office mark as previously noted.

The snarling creature facing left (a lynx?)

with the "A 4" is the silver designation for Vienna (the "A" indicating that again) and the "4" for .750 silver with the animal's head also indicating the fineness. This was last used in 1921.

"AF" was the unidentified maker.

Somewhere on there should be the "FR" stamp that does NOT as commonly misinterpreted mean the Rothe Company, but indicates luxury tax paid.

There was a series of articles on the Serbian White Eagle Order made by "AF" with these marks, in 1979 in the journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America. I will scan the hallmarks page and post it here.

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Thanks Rick for the reply and the details.

Somewhere on there should be the "FR" stamp that does NOT as commonly misinterpreted mean the Rothe Company, but indicates luxury tax paid.

No "FR" stamp. :(

"AF" was the unidentified maker.

There was a series of articles on the Serbian White Eagle Order made by "AF" with these marks, in 1979 in the journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America. I will scan the hallmarks page and post it here.

Thanks! I am looking forward to seeing the scans.

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? James W. Schaaf, "The Serbian White Eagle Order, Manufacture and Marks (Part IV)," in "The Medal Collector" (Journal of the Orders & Medals Society of America) for July 1979, page 10:

Actually, you are quite lucky the marks are as clear as they are here-- or you have talents as a photographer/scanner beyond my wildest dreams of emulation. I have a Vienna made Ottoman Osmanie Order 4th Class with marks 60 (but in a circle as is most often found circa WW1), 66a and 110 but since the Order is permanently sewn into its trifold I can't get AT them to scan flat. I've seen #107 on Franz Joseph silver Signum Laudis medals.

Schaaf's article shows "AF" marks and the "A" mark and your 111 but does not identify who this maker was.

A thought as far as the mismatch goes:

I do not know what normal Rumanian practice was, but most European Orders had to be returned on the recipient's death. While any jeweller made piece might well have been purchased by the recipient, the insignia might also have been provided to the government on contract. Could it then be possible that a Hapsburg era contract piece was returned and sent out again to a new recipient when Resch was the Official Contractor? I know that in Germany iduring the First World War, orders from Saxony, Bavaria, and Baden dating back to the NAPOLEONIC wars were issued to officers just as if they had been newly made for bestowal. Since Resch would have had to supply new CASES to the Orders Chancery in Bucharest, then possibly they did the same thing

"recycling" turned in pieces.

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Thanks Rick for the scan. The marks look indeed like #60 and #111.

Actually, you are quite lucky the marks are as clear as they are here-- or you have talents as a photographer/scanner beyond my wildest dreams of emulation. I have a Vienna made Ottoman Osmanie Order 4th Class with marks 60 (but in a circle as is most often found circa WW1), 66a and 110 but since the Order is permanently sewn into its trifold I can't get AT them to scan flat.

The scanner did not work, so I turned to the photo camera. I first tried to take photos in macro mode, but the images still did not turn out quite clear. At last I got the idea to use a 10x magnifier placed in front of the camera lens and I took several photos until I got the few I posted. The system is quite cumbersome with one hand holding the magnifier, the other one the camera and both of them trying to get the marks in focus and therefore the rate of success was rather low. :(

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A thought as far as the mismatch goes:

I do not know what normal Rumanian practice was, but most European Orders had to be returned on the recipient's death. While any jeweller made piece might well have been purchased by the recipient, the insignia might also have been provided to the government on contract. Could it then be possible that a Hapsburg era contract piece was returned and sent out again to a new recipient when Resch was the Official Contractor? I know that in Germany iduring the First World War, orders from Saxony, Bavaria, and Baden dating back to the NAPOLEONIC wars were issued to officers just as if they had been newly made for bestowal. Since Resch would have had to supply new CASES to the Orders Chancery in Bucharest, then possibly they did the same thing

"recycling" turned in pieces.

Romanian orders did not have to be returned to the Chancellery of the Orders until King Carol II's reign and even then the rule was not strictly enforced. But if some orders were re-used, I do not think that Resch would allow the use of its cases with any other badge. On the other hand it was possible that other jewellers worked for the official contractors. I have seen one reference to Karl Fischmeister of Vienna who did that with Resch in the end of the 19th century. Then in WWII Zimmermann of Pforzheim worked for the National Mint.

Unfortunately, there is much uncertainty around such details as there is no serious study of the matter. I was kind of hoping that someone knew whether "AF" was a subcontractor or a major order jeweller and could thus tell if the set is genuine or a mismatch (accidental, due to greed etc.).

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