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Megan

Military Order of Maria Theresa

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Milit?r-Maria-Theresien-Orden

Instituted: 13 May 1757.

Discontinued 1919.

Awarded: To officers for courage in the face of the enemy, or commanders whose actions determine success in battle.

Grand Cross Badge

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I only collect information not 'things'... so no. Collectors are kind enough to give me pictures for the website, though.

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Gentlemen,

you might only find the knight's decoration at the market every now and then - but there are a lot of fakes around :( .

BTW: That's a very rare order ...

Best regards :beer:

Christian

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There are certainly a lot of inter-war and post-WWII "collectors' copies" made by the enterprising jewelers of Vienna. Provenance. Provenance. Provenance.

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There are certainly a lot of inter-war and post-WWII "collectors' copies" made by the enterprising jewelers of Vienna. Provenance. Provenance. Provenance.

Dear Ed,

well, the chancellor's office of that order existed till the end of the 1st Austrian Republic in 1938 and MANY orders had been confered AFTER WW I - but only the Hungarian awardees received an aristocratic rank after 1918, due to the fact, that Austria was republic and Hungary still kingdom with Viceadmiral Horthy as a "Reichsverweser". BTW: The Hungarian head of state had been an Admiral, despite the fact, that Hungary had NO access to the sea ;) . So, there are a large number of catch-up awards.

The jewelers in Vienna partly still exist :D . They didn't only manfacture A&H-Awards, but also Imperial Russian orders, Royal Serbian orders and worked also for some other states in eastern Europe. You still can order original "copies" of all sort of historic awards from the jewelers in Vienna, if you want to spend the money ;) .

Best regards from Vienna :beer:

Christian

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Yes, and most of what came from the recent ANS auction (items acquired in Europe in the late-1920s and early-1930s) were such late copies. Is it possible -- absent provenance -- to distinguish real awarded KuK (or "K-K"?) specimens from post-1918 badges?

While a chancellor's office may have still continued to exist (theoretically, it also does for the Order of the Indian Empire, which died in 1947, though members of the order still live), and jewelers may yet desire maximum profits, what are "legitmate" and what are "fantasy" awards (and badges)? The "King" of Egypt still gives out his "royal" orders, if you have enough money in your bank account. But there are States are there are Pertenders?

The Austro-Hungarian awards are, I think, a special problem area? And especially dangerous for they are so beautiful.

Edited by Ed_Haynes

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Yes, and most of what came from the recent ANS auction (items acquired in Europe in the late-1920s and early-1930s) were such late copies. Is it possible -- absent provenance -- to distinguish real awarded KuK (or "K-K"?) specimens from post-1918 badges?

While a chancellor's office may have still continued to exist (theoretically, it also does for the Order of the Indian Empire, which died in 1947, though members of the order still live), and jewelers may yet desire maximum profits, what are "legitmate" and what are "fantasy" awards (and badges)? The "King" of Egypt still gives out his "royal" orders, if you have enough money in your bank account. But there are States are there are Pertenders?

The Austro-Hungarian awards are, I think, a special problem area? And especially dangerous for they are so beautiful.

Dear Ed,

I think, it is almost impossible distinguish between a "Maria Theresa Order" of 1917 and 1932 :( . Why? - The answer is easy: The same juwelers manufactured the order in 1917 and 1932 :P .

The last surviving bearer of that order, the WW I fighter ace of the K&K Naval Airforce, Linienschiffsleutnant Gottfried Freiherr von Banfield, died 1986 in Trieste almost 100 years of age: http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/austrhun/banfield.php .

There is a comprehensive book (2nd edtion 1944) covering ALL the awardees of WW I with the exact story of their heroic deed: http://www.amazon.de/Milit%C3%A4r-Theresie...8/dp/0656655917 . That's a fantastic book, but it sells now for around USD 400,- :( .

Best regards :beer:

Christian

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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

Edited by Elmar Lang

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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:

...

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I know...

I'll organize a trip to Vienna and visit the exhibition. I can't miss it!

Best wishes,

Enzo

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I know...

I'll organize a trip to Vienna and visit the exhibition. I can't miss it!

Best wishes,

Enzo

Dear Enzo,

please contact me, when you & friends are coming to Vienna.

I can try to organize some meetings with interesting people (in the field of phaleristics & military history of Austria).

Also finding the right accomodation in Vienna, I might help you :D .

Best regards :beer:

Christian

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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

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...and reverse:

Best wishes,

Enzo

Hi Elmar

What a great piece :jumping::jumping: not every day one gets to see a early commander. I do recall that all the orginal exampels were made in gold and the silver gilt were just fakes. Just curious in the later stages of WWl were the badges issued in silver gilt at all, like the other Austrian orders. Does the same rule apply for the St.Stephen as well where only orginals were in gold? Would they be issued toward end of WWl in gold too or are there orginal silver gilt examples?

Sincerely

Yankee

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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

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This article, reproduced for a display in the Hungarian Military Historical Museum in Budapest, is entitled ?New Knight of the Order of Maria Theresa?. It relates to vit?z Oszl?nyi Korn?l being made a Knight (lovag) of the Order of Maria Theresa on 24 January 1944. The date is from another source ? it is not mentioned in the text, which seems mainly to be about his service record. The two smaller blocks of text simply seem to describe what is in the pictures.

I think the top picture relates to Field Marshal Archduke vit?z J?zsef being made a Grand Master (nagymester) of the Order of Maria Theresa.

The article is attributed to the Royal Hungarian Army war correspondence section.

Edited by James Clark

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Detail showing Korn?l wearing the award, above the Iron Cross 2nd Class at his buttonhole.

Hungarians place the family name first. Korn?l is his given name, the Hungarian version of Cornelius. Oszl?nyi is his family name. Oszl?nyi commanded the 9th Light Division from 15 November 1942 to 10 August 1943 in the Battle of Stalingrad and subsequent fighting in Ukraine, and the 10th Infantry Division from 15 June 1944 to 5 December 1944.

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