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While adding a Bronz Order of Labour to my inventory list today I spent some time comparing the cased ones I have and I would like to discuss them here. There are four main categories of The Order of Labour listed in the Large Medals Book; the 1953, 1954, 1964 and the 1985 issues. I have decided to follow the authors years of issue although what I will post differs slightly from these years. As the topic description says, I am going to review the Order of Labour in Bronz for the years 1964 and 1985. The Large Medals Book states that 51,462 of the Order of Labour in Bronz were issued but does not break it down into separate years. Therefore, while this fairly large figure covers (possibly) all the issues of this grade there would be fewer of each different main category as well as those listed by year because of major changes in design or construction.

First we will start with the 1964 issue;

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A close up of the front of the medal. The centre is done in cold enamel. The hammer and torch are in relief above the country colours. The red star is slightly crooked as it is riveted to the body of the award.

Edited by Gordon Craig

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The obverse of the award. It is flat and only the rivet holding the red star in place on the front is visible to mar the plain surface. Note that the ribbon has the 1980s type of pin attached to it.

Edited by Gordon Craig

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The case is made of wood and cover with dark red, almost maroon, imitation leather.

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A closeup of the medal portion. The hammer and torch are not in relief but at the same hight as the national colours.

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The reverse of the award. The back is now dished instead of flat but still shows the rivet for the attachment of the red star on the front.

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The case is still made of wood but instead of imitation leather the cases for these awards was painted the same colour as the 1964 issue. This paint melts in any heat at all and the cases always feel tacky and still togther when closed. The two halves need to be pried apart to open it.

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Next is the award document and cover for the 1985 award. You will no doubt notice that the award document is dated 1984. Obviously this type of award was being given out before the 1985 year used in the Large Medals book. First the front of the document cover. The covers are also painted in the same manner as the medal case.

Edited by Gordon Craig

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The left hand side, as viewed, of the document showing the award.

Edited by Gordon Craig

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Nice, nice awards. In going a Google search of Hungarian medals I note that many people still put these awards on their on-line resumes (notably engineers, scientists and scholars)! So it was an award with real prestige.

I remember reading in the JOMSA that Prof. Rubik earned the gold version for inventing his cube.

Edited by Ulsterman

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For someone working hard to "learn" Hungarian awards, a nice, nice post. Thanks!

:cheers:

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Ulsterman,

You can always tell the awards that were highly regarded because no matter how they cut corners in their medal production high end awards always had a case made of wood. I learned a lot today in studying these two medals. More inventory work tomorrow and more new info for me I am sure!

Regards,

Gordon

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Good stuff!

An article perhaps?

by the way, any chance you can track down who/what made these? The factory might still be in the neighborhood-as well as the craftsfolk who made these.

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From what I have seen these one piece flat 1964 types probably began appearing in the late 1970's and early 1980's - hence the 1980's pin opn the back (overstock) These one piece flat are actualy not that often encountered.

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Though its not a bronze class, but a gold..Here is a cased 1964 two piece type for comparison to the others. This one is in the earlier case (blood red) - probably from the 1960's - early 1970's

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This is the reverse - three piece construction. Wreath - center enameled section - and the star.

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Charles,

Thanks for your input and the pictures of the early red case and the three piece construction example. Since we started using the Large Medal Book dates of 64 and 85 to diferentiate between the two examples I posted to start the thread I would like to continue in this manner and refer to the multiconstruction ones as the 1954 model. My reasoning for this is that the Large Medals Book refers to the 64 and 85 issues as solid construction with the star rivetted into place but refers to the 53 and 54 issues as multipiece construction. The book does not specify what is meant by multipiece construction. Since the picture you posted has 32 "rays" versus the 16 "rays" of the 53 isssue this type would become the 1954 issue. Here are three uncased examples; Gold, Silver and Bronze of the 1954 issue starting with the obverse. Interesting to note the "striped" red ribbon on the Bronze version and the almost "orange" colour of the ribbons on the Silver and Gold versions. There is a picture in the Large Medals Book which shows the "striped" ribbon in use with the Order of Labour.

Edited by Gordon Craig

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Here are the miniatures, in Gold, for the Order of Labour. On your left the ribbon bar miniature. On your right a complete medal as a miniature. On the ribbon bar miniature the star is flat. On the medal miniature, the star is raised above the suface as in the full sized medal. To start with, the obverse.

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The reverse showing the method of attaching the miniature to the ribbon bar.

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These things are confusing to say the least - here is what I can decipher.

1) 1953 version "type I" was a continuation of the Order of Labor from 1953 which was in essence just the 1948 Hungarian Order of Labor. Both of these have the 16 rays from the star. "Type II" introduced in 1954 was a production change over to the 32 rays with the enameled national colors at the bottom. But these came in one "class" - Gold. So in essence - the gold ones can be 1954 Type II issues, but hard to prove.

2) The Order of Labor Type II was issued until 1964 when in 1963 the decision was made to break it up into three classes (Gold, Silver, Bronze) The design reamined the same (3 piece construction, 32 rays, 3 rivets, etc...) as the 1954 Type II so its nearly impossible to determine if a gold class would have been made prior to 1964. This type remianed until at some point (probably in late 70's early 80's to a 'varaiation' of the one piece flat back. But still conisdered the 1964 type

3) Order of Labor of 1985 then was made into the concave one piece type.

Trust me - its a confusing subject....

BTW - your Order of Labor in the Bronze (uncased in post 9 & 10) has the ribbon variant - the threads were white and then dyed to make the interesting pattern. I have one that was at one point the ribbon for the Distinguished Service Medal, but was dyed at the factory.

Ulstermann - according to the National Museum and the Military Museum all medals were manufactured at the Hungarian Mint, which to this day still is in operation and is the sole governing authority to manufactue medals and currency.

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Charles,

Thanks for clearing up my misunderstanding. I either missed what you said when I read the Large Medals Book or it didn't cover all of these issues. Great for reference purposes. I'll have to print it out and stick it in the translation of the Large Medals Book.

Cheers,

Gordon

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Since I don't have a bronze class (yet), I am glad to see this thread expand.

Also, sonce I don't have the Big Book (yet), I shall need expert guidance.

A silver:

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