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HANNOVER. Guelfen Order with swords


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Hello all.

This badge of the Hannoverian Order of the Guelphs with swords is rather flat. I wonder if its style could help date it ?

Every bit of information will be gratefully received

All the best

Veteran

Hi Veteran

You can date it from the reverse. The Roman numerals will either be MDCCCXXXIX EAR initials in center reverse Hannover award or MDCCCXV GR initials in center reverse for English/Hannover award. Very seldom knights they can be found dated by the actual year when manufactured. Nice badge ;) I can't clearly make out your reverse with date, perhaps a larger scan would help.

Sincerely

Brian

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Hi Veteran

You can date it from the reverse. The Roman numerals will either be MDCCCXXXIX EAR initials in center reverse Hannover award or MDCCCXV GR initials in center reverse for English/Hannover award. Very seldom knights they can be found dated by the actual year when manufactured. Nice badge ;) I can't clearly make out your reverse with date, perhaps a larger scan would help.

Sincerely

Brian

I am sorry, but I can not completely agree with your information. In twenty some odd years of concentrating on this order, I have never been able to find evidence of a change of the reverse cypher from ?GR? to ?EAR?.

The confusion on this issue mainly stems from two sources. First, when the fourth class (sometimes referred to incorrectly as knight 2nd class) was created by King Ernst August in 1841, it bore the ?EAR? cypher and ?MDXXXIX? date. It was assumed by some that this reverse medallion was applied to the other classes as well; but such was not the case. Statutes published into the 11860?s confirm this. Except for a commander?s badge with an ?EAR? medallion which was floating around about ten years ago, which was, at best, a French made privately commissioned piece, I have never seen a grand cross, collar badge, commander?s cross or knight?s badge with an EAR cypher. It would seem that, considering the number of knight?s crosses awarded from Ernst August on (819) compared to those awarded previously (41) that, had there been a change, they would be very common.

The second source of this confusion unfortunately stems from the OEK and magnum opus by J?rg Nimmergut. While the OEK lists the knight?s cross with ?EAR MDCCCXXXIX? (#709/3) reverses, there is no mention of it in the magnum opus. When it comes to the fourth class, the OEK lists civil (#711) and military (#712) badges with ?GR MDCXV? and the magnum opus lists them as #901 and #903. These are, simply wrong. The only possible explanation that I have been able to come up with is that when the fourth class was introduced, some jewelers simply used old (knight?s badge) dies and medallions to produce fourth class badges in silver, of course, rather than gold. Don't forget, the corpus of the fourth class has some subtle differences from the knight?s badge aside from the different dates, which would have necessitated retooling, the crown on the fourth class is the heraldic Hannoverian crown, as opposed to the English Coronation crown which is found on the knight?s badge.

I hope that this information is helpful,

Wild Card

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Hi Veteran

disregard a closer foto, it is an 1815 type. Just curious what are the measurements in mm, these early badges are smaller then the 1839 type.

Yes. Disregarding ?1815? and ?1839? types, see post #5, as time went on, they grew from about 35.80 x 25.25 mm to around 45.4 x 30.00 mm or more. See below.

Please keep in mind that probably no other Imperial German order reflects, or suffers, more artistic license than the Order of the Guelphs. During it?s ?British? era at least half a dozen Jewelers were producing insignia; and things seem to have improved very little during the ?German? era; and each was pretty much left to their own interpretation. In my little collection alone, I have, or have had, pieces identified to J.J. Edwards, ?HLD?, Rentzsch, Rundell Bridge & Co. ..., E.V.W. Smith, Hamlet., P. Willet, Godet , Carl B?sch and others.

Another thing, but keep the artistic license in mind. Generally, with regard to the blue background in the motto ring, the ?British? pieces tend to be a light or sky blue while the ?German? pieces tend to be dark blue. So as the knight?s crosses grew, the blue got darker.

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Yes. Disregarding ?1815? and ?1839? types, see post #5, as time went on, they grew from about 35.80 x 25.25 mm to around 45.4 x 30.00 mm or more. See below.

Please keep in mind that probably no other Imperial German order reflects, or suffers, more artistic license than the Order of the Guelphs. During it?s ?British? era at least half a dozen Jewelers were producing insignia; and things seem to have improved very little during the ?German? era; and each was pretty much left to their own interpretation. In my little collection alone, I have, or have had, pieces identified to J.J. Edwards, ?HLD?, Rentzsch, Rundell Bridge & Co. ..., E.V.W. Smith, Hamlet., P. Willet, Godet , Carl B?sch and others.

Another thing, but keep the artistic license in mind. Generally, with regard to the blue background in the motto ring, the ?British? pieces tend to be a light or sky blue while the ?German? pieces tend to be dark blue. So as the knight?s crosses grew, the blue got darker.

Hi Wild Card

Many thanks for posting both fine examples of a British and German made one to compare. I always knew the size and the Roman numerals was a factor in dating the era but never realized the blue enamel in the background of the motto was also key :cheers: It a very old order and as you rightly point out there were many jewelers and I supppose many local ones as well producing their own taste & interpreatation of design which would explain all the slight variations. I assume many were reissued since it was cheaper then making a new batch of insignia. Thanks again

Sincerely

Brian

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Yes. Disregarding ?1815? and ?1839? types, see post #5, as time went on, they grew from about 35.80 x 25.25 mm to around 45.4 x 30.00 mm or more. See below.

Please keep in mind that probably no other Imperial German order reflects, or suffers, more artistic license than the Order of the Guelphs. During it?s ?British? era at least half a dozen Jewelers were producing insignia; and things seem to have improved very little during the ?German? era; and each was pretty much left to their own interpretation. In my little collection alone, I have, or have had, pieces identified to J.J. Edwards, ?HLD?, Rentzsch, Rundell Bridge & Co. ..., E.V.W. Smith, Hamlet., P. Willet, Godet , Carl B?sch and others.

Another thing, but keep the artistic license in mind. Generally, with regard to the blue background in the motto ring, the ?British? pieces tend to be a light or sky blue while the ?German? pieces tend to be dark blue. So as the knight?s crosses grew, the blue got darker.

Hi Wild Card

Many thanks for posting both fine examples of a British and German made one to compare. I always knew the size and the Roman numerals was a factor in dating the era but never realized the blue enamel in the background of the motto was also key :cheers: It a very old order and as you rightly point out there were many jewelers and I supppose many local ones as well producing their own taste & interpreatation of design which would explain all the slight variations. I assume many were reissued since it was cheaper then making a new batch of insignia. Thanks again

Sincerely

Brian

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Thank you Yankee.

I just want to emphasize my statement ?...while the ?German? pieces tend to be dark blue.? Note ?tend to be?. Nine times out of ten, this applies; but thanks to that artistic license business, very little with this order is iron clad, except one thing that immediately comes to mind. With regard to all classes except the fourth class, if it is not gold, look elsewhere. Oh yes, good collars come in gold, silver/gold-plate and bronze/gold-plate.

This brings up something else regarding this order which perhaps I should not mention. Probably because of the complexity of it?s design and required finishing workmanship, or that ?if it isn?t gold, it isn?t good? or the relative lack of collecting interest, so far, this order is quite immune from fakes and forgeries.

Best wishes,

Wild Card

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Thank you Yankee.

I just want to emphasize my statement ?...while the ?German? pieces tend to be dark blue.? Note ?tend to be?. Nine times out of ten, this applies; but thanks to that artistic license business, very little with this order is iron clad, except one thing that immediately comes to mind. With regard to all classes except the fourth class, if it is not gold, look elsewhere. Oh yes, good collars come in gold, silver/gold-plate and bronze/gold-plate.

This brings up something else regarding this order which perhaps I should not mention. Probably because of the complexity of it?s design and required finishing workmanship, or that ?if it isn?t gold, it isn?t good? or the relative lack of collecting interest, so far, this order is quite immune from fakes and forgeries.

Best wishes,

Wild Card

Hi Wild Card

Will keep that in mind thanks for that. I agree all badges except the 4th class should be in gold not silver-gilt even the exiled examples. I came across only one copy in gold of a commander grade and it was rather crude as you pointed out rightly the intricate design would be a stumbling block to the vast majority of forgers. Strange that there would be not much interest for it is a most beautifully designed order, perhaps most collectors aim for the Empire era. Still they are hard to come by in any class..

Sincerely

Brian

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Hello Yankee and Wild Card

I have carefully read your exchange of well informed messages, and I am very impressed. Sorry I could not come up earlier on the forum.

The additionnal info I can supply is this : the badge is larger than the types you described - (54 x 33 mm). The date is clearly MDCCCXV. and the cypher GR. No hallmark or other markings.

Your debate about British and German makers is facinating. I am sorry I cannot bring any further information about this particular badge, except that it was bought from a then very young dealer in London, John Hayward (he has certainly made his own way since those days ....in 1971).

I therefore assumed that it was a British-made cross. The blue ribbon is venerable, but nothing proves it is original, of course.

Thank you for your further learned comments

Veteran

Edited by Veteran
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Hello Yankee and Wild Card

I have carefully read your exchange of well informed messages, and I am very impressed. Sorry I could not come up earlier on the forum.

The additionnal info I can supply is this : the badge is larger than the types you described - (54 x 33 mm). The date is clearly MDCCCXV. and the cypher GR. No hallmark or other markings.

Your debate about British and German makers is facinating. I am sorry I cannot bring any further information about this particular badge, except that it was bought from a then very young dealer in London, John Hayward (he has certainly made his own way since those days ....in 1968).

I therefore assumed that it was a British-made cross. The blue ribbon is venerable, but nothing proves it is original, of course.

Thank you for your further learned comments

Veteran

Hi Veteran

Thanks for your kind comment. I must say your measurements are a surprise. You might just have a commander grade. Perhaps Wild Card can comment on that, he might have a much clearer answer.

Sincerely

Brian

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The additionnal info I can supply is this : the badge is larger than the types you described - (54 x 33 mm). The date is clearly MDCCCXV. and the cypher GR. No hallmark or other markings.

Well, the "GR" cypher and the MDCCCXV date are absolutely correct; but the measurements (54 x 33 mm) are a real shock. This has to be the the largest Guelphic knight's badge that I have ever seen or heard of; but I am not going to condemn it on these grounds because this opens up another area of discussion which we have only touched upon - size.

While the size of the grand crosses seems to vary little, if at all, (and they are big!), and fourth class crosses tend to be fairly uniform, we have seen that knight?s badges cover quite a range; but commander?s badges are all over the place. If you would like, I will get my crosses back home and take some measurements; this will take a few days.

Meanwhile, especially in view of this range of measurements in the commander?s class, Yankee?s speculation that this could be a commander?s cross is not far off the mark except for one thing. The suspension ring on the commander?s cross is 90 degrees to the plane of the cross (see below) and the suspension on the badge shown in post #1 appears to be untouched. Incidentally, the badge pictured measures 84 x 48.8 mm. Of course the swords extend the height.

I would like to mention here that a number of years ago I was offered a ?grand cross? by a well known source. Unfortunately, it was a very large commander?s cross (the suspension was the clue); and despite considerable indignation by the offeror, I declined. About a year later, it was publicly offered as a commander?s cross.

Stay tuned.

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Thank you both for your considered opinions.

The pictures shown and the comments exchanged suggest the cross I have shown might have been custom made... or could it be an outright copy ?

The look of its metal is quite different from the obvious gold of badges illustrating your messages. I now have a hunch it might well be gilt silver.

Incidentally, it was bought in 1971 and not 1968 as first mentioned. But its was bought in London as stated from the shop in Piccadilly Arcades.

This exchange is very interesting; as a old salt in the collecting fraternity I am open to truly expert advice, and I am very grateful when it comes. I sincerely hope you will please let me benefit further from your fine knowledge of this order.

The badge, as it is, remains a question mark.

Best regards

Veteran

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Thank you both for your considered opinions.

The pictures shown and the comments exchanged suggest the cross I have shown might have been custom made... or could it be an outright copy ?

The look of its metal is quite different from the obvious gold of badges illustrating your messages. I now have a hunch it might well be gilt silver.

Incidentally, it was bought in 1971 and not 1968 as first mentioned. But its was bought in London as stated from the shop in Piccadilly Arcades.

This exchange is very interesting; as a old salt in the collecting fraternity I am open to truly expert advice, and I am very grateful when it comes. I sincerely hope you will please let me benefit further from your fine knowledge of this order.

The badge, as it is, remains a question mark.

Best regards

Veteran

Hi Guys

At first I thought the badge might have been converted to breast wear, it would not be the first time. Not too long ago I picked up a Greek Redeemer commander ( Otto 1 ) and it was hung from a officers ribbon w/rosette. It was only the size that led me to know what class it was truely, for the officer & knight are fairly small. I see your point about the ribbon ring not turned, perhaps this particular jeweler made a mistake. After learning the badge might be a silver-gilt example instaed of gold, I now think it is a knight that was manufactured post 1866 in exile. It could very well be a Rothe made example, there quality was superb in the post 1866 and it would explain the size and not being gold. What I can't explain is the date on the reverse, for the jeweler did not do his homework or he just had a ton of spare parts.... The quality is certainly there so you have a good Guelph not to worry about a copy. Unfortunately I have not handled enough Guelphs to give you a better answer. Beautiful :jumping::jumping: badges Wild Card & Veteran, you never get bored looking at them.

Sincerely

Brian

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Yankee

I am very interested by your idea that this might be a badge made in Vienna, possibly after Sadowa. It is quite new to me.

How could this be documented ? Frankly, my knowledge of this Order is very slim.

Would Wild Card be prepared to agree ? I cannot say how much I am grateful for your careful analysis of this unusual badge.

Thank you very much

Veteran

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Yankee

I am very interested by your idea that this might be a badge made in Vienna, possibly after Sadowa. It is quite new to me.

How could this be documented ? Frankly, my knowledge of this Order is very slim.

Would Wild Card be prepared to agree ? I cannot say how much I am grateful for your careful analysis of this unusual badge.

Thank you very much

Veteran

Hi Veteran

Rothe produced a great many foreign pieces, for how many other European Nations I'm not sure. It is known that the King of Hannover in exile ( post 1866 ) had Rothe produce the orders. Grand Duke of Tuscany too had his orders manufactured by Rothe also in exile. I have not seen a case by Rothe for a Guelph so I have no physical proof. However have seen a case for the Ernst August knight with Rothe stamped inside. If any member has a cased Guelph made by Rothe please scan to this topic :D

Sincerely

Brian

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Gentlemen,

I have taken a couple of days to think this situation over and I must admit, and I am truly sorry to have to say it, that I am beginning to have some serious doubts about this piece. First, as I indicated before, the size is, in my opinion, beyond reasonable proportions. My second reason goes back to my previous statement in post #9 that ?if it isn't gold, it isn?t good? which was made before the statement ?I now have a hunch it might well be gilt silver? was posted. These two points, when put together, are good cause for much concern.

Does anyone out there have a copy of the ?Czar Ferdinand? Auction catalog in 1989? I cannot seem to find mine. The reason I ask is that in a separate section, there were some Guelph pieces that were copies; and the more that I look at this piece, the more I think back to them.

Moving on, as noted in post #17 it is accepted that Rothe produced insignia for the Hannoverian Ernst August Order as well as stars (I am not sure about badges) for the Hannoverian Order of St. George. Since the Hannoverian royal family pretty much relocated to Vienna when they went into exile in 1866, their eventual tie to Rothe was almost inevitable. While it is probable that during that era, Rothe may have made some ?special? Guelphic pieces, I personally do not think that any insignia were made for regular award purposes. If none were available Ernst August Order insignia were given instead. After all, they were in exile (times are not as easy, nor money as available) and Ernst August insignia were much cheaper to produce.

If I can locate my copy of ?Thies/Hapke? and that 1989 catalog, I may be able to shed some more light on this question.

Regards,

Wild Card

Edited by Wild Card
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Following up on my inquiry about a copy of the 1989 ?Czar Ferdinand? Auction catalog, I found my copy and can definitely say that the subject piece of this thread is not related to the copies (fakes) illustrated in that catalog.

Thies/Hapke (found that one too) does list Rothe und Neff as suppliers of Guelphic Order insignia; and interestingly, they also recognize Chabot of Paris.

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Thank you both, very much, for this in-depth investigation on this Hannoverian cross.

I am not surprised it is difficult to clearly pin-down. The regular period awards shown are obviously different. On the other hand the cross I am trying to understand has a "true" look (for what that can be worth !).

The ribbon is really quite old and has been sown with the cross for a long time, no doubt. I would also say that it shows traces of wear. If the piece is not silver gilt, it is base gold alloy.

Has anyone heard of replacement pieces ?

From the superb pieces shown, I fully understand how and why this cross is very puzzling. Since Wild Card mentions the fact that "silver keep away" pieces are known to exist, does one know where and when they originated ? Were they outright fakes for collectors to be fooled by ?

As this most interesting debate devellops, I am reminded of the "replacement " Napoleonic orders manufactured in the mid XIXth century when veterans were allowed for the firist time in decades to wear imperial uniforms, on the occasion of the return of Napoleon's ashes from Saint Helena. Could the same kind of manufacturing have existed some time in the XIXth century for Hannoverian orders ?

Thank you again for sharing such outstanding expertise. I greatly appreciate your kindness.

Veteran

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Hello there Gentlemen

A very pleasant military badge has just appeared in DNW's latest (March 19/20) auction sale catalogue - n?514 - in London. It seems to be one of the early gold crosses.

Thought you might like to know about it if you have not received it. Estimate is ? 2000/2500. It will be interesting to see how far it goes.

Regards

Veteran

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Veteran, thank you for bringing this to our attention.

I think that the knight?s cross which is being offered here is formerly from my collection. If so, can verify that it is a beautiful example which, being hallmarked ?1815? is as as early as you can get. Further, the hallmarking on the ball points is an interesting feature.

Below (I hope) is a copy of a file photo of this piece.

Best wishes,

Wild Card

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