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Imperial Austrian Long Service Awards

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Can anyone sort out the differences between an Austrian 1., 2., 3. Klasse Long Service Award for "Other Ranks"??? As an example, here's a (purported) example of a higher class award. Is this distinction reality? or is it a "fabricated" market for collectors? Thanks! Rick

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And while we're on the subject, can someone please post examples and explain the distinctions between the various grades of the Imperial Austrian Officer's Long Service Crosses. I believe this one is 40-Years. (??)

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I believe this one is 50-Years for an Officer.

(photo courtesy of Niemann-Hamburg)

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And for that matter.... why do some 40-Year crosses have Mother of Pearl Backs and others do not?

(photo courtesy of Niemann-Hamburg)

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See, here's another example... but this one is a 25 year one, right?

(photo courtesy of Niemann-Hamburg)

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The Milit?rdienstzeichen was established on 19 September 1849 by Franz Joseph I. It is still used in roughly the same form today.

1. When founded, there were two categories, one for officers and one for enlisted. For officers, the 1st Class was for 25 years and the 2nd Class for 50 years. For enlisted, 1st Class was 8 years and 2nd Class was 16 years.

  • The Officer's 1st Class had the silver crowned double-headed eagle device in the center of the cross. The 2nd Class differed only by having a gilt double-headed eagle suspension.
  • The enlisted versions had the Roman numerals VIII and XVI on a 15mm wide center medallion with a raised edge. The edge of the medallion for the XVI version was a wreath of oakleaves.

2. In 1867, the enlisted crosses were changed to 12 years (XII) and 18 years (XVIII). The center medallion was 17mm wide. The edge of the medallion for both was now a wreath of oakleaves.

3. In 1869, the enlisted crosses were changed again, to 12 years (XII) and 24 years (XXIV). Both went to having just a raised edge, no wreath.

4. In 1890, the crosses were changed again. The classes were renumbered so that the higher class corresponded to the higher number of years. The officers' crosses were divided into three classes: 1st Class for 50 years, 2nd Class for 40 years and 3rd Class for 25 years. The enlisted versions remained 24 and 12, but as noted, the 1st Class was now the XXIV and the 2nd Class was now the XII.

  • The Milit?rdienstzeichen 1. Klasse f?r Offiziere was 35mm wide, and the edges of the cross were enameled in black. In the center was the golden crowned double-headed eagle device. The suspension was a golden crown, 20mm high (including the orb and cross), as seen in the Niemann pic you posted. The pebbly line on the rear is correct, too.
  • The Milit?rdienstzeichen 2. Klasse f?r Offiziere was the same as the 1. Klasse, including the black edge, only without the suspension crown.
  • The Milit?rdienstzeichen 3. Klasse f?r Offiziere was the same style as the original officer's 25, and the eagle device was silver. The reverse was flat.
The enlisted crosses were little changed, except the higher class went back to having a wreath. The 2. Klasse had an XII on a round medallion with a raised edge and the 1. Klasse had a XXIV on a round medallion edged with a wreath.

5. In 1911, the enlisted crosses were changed yet again. The enlisted crosses were now divided into 3 classes as well:

  • 1. Klasse - XXIV - wreath on edge of medallion
  • 2. Klasse - XII - no wreath
  • 3. Klasse - VI - no wreath

6. Not again! In 1913, the Milit?rdienstzeichen 2. Klasse f?r Offiziere was changed to 35 years. The enlisted crosses were changed to XX, X and VI years. The 1. Klasse had an XX on a silver medallion (with wreath), the 2. Klasse a X on a silver medallion (no wreath) and the 3. Klasse a VI on a bronze medallion (no wreath).

7. In 1934, the Milit?rdienstzeichen was resurrected in the Austrian Republic. For officers, it was for 35 years and 25 years, and for enlisted it was for 12 years and 5 years. They were not Roman numerals, as you can see by the images from Bert's Sammlerecke.

8. The current republic versions are for 25, 15 and 5 years:

So in summary, for enlisted, Imperial Milit?rdienstzeichen could have the following numbers: XXIV, XX, XVIII, XVI, XII, X, VIII and VI.

  • XXIV - 1869-90 (no wreath); 1890-1913 (wreath)
  • XX - 1913-1918 (wreath on silver medallion)
  • XVIII: 1867-69 (wreath)
  • XVI: 1849-67 (wreath)
  • XII: 1867-69 (wreath); 1869-1913 (no wreath)
  • X: 1913-18 (no wreath, silver medallion)
  • VIII: 1849-67 (no wreath)
  • VI: 1911-18 (no wreath)

I will leave figuring out officers' crosses to you.

As for what you posted:

  • Post #1: Fantasy. There was no Imperial XXV for enlisted, and officers' crosses never had numerals.
  • Post #2: A standard enlisted XII from 1869-1913.
  • Post #3: Milit?rdienstzeichen 2. Klasse f?r Offiziere, 40 years if 1890-1913, 35 years if after 1913.
  • Post #4: Milit?rdienstzeichen 1. Klasse f?r Offiziere (1890-1918)
  • Post #5: A 25, not a 40/35. The mother-of-pearl and the odd eagle make me think provate purchase. This could be a pre-1890 1. Klasse or a post-1890 3. Klasse.
  • Post #6: Another 25.

Bert's Sammlerecke has a fair number of different varieties, showing differences in the eagles, the styles of the crosses and the mother-of-pearl background.

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Wow Dave, thanks for the generous and educational reply. That certainly clears up much of my confusion. thanks also for the link!!

Now you know.............

Ask, and ye shall receive.......

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@Dave thanks to your detailed reply. There is one thing i want to add. The older 25-Years-Type before 1867 has some small differences to the 25-years-distinction after. the types before 1867 have a crown above but NO crowns on the eagles heads.

the type after 1867 have a crown above AND crowned eagles aswell.

see the pictures and have a look at the eagles heads

regards haynau

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pic of the before 1867-type. Pics from berts sammlerecke aswell.

All backsides with mother of pearl are private purchased pieces. many austrian officers wore white blouses at this era. the crosses, worn of the uniform, without mother of pearl could cause ugly spots.

haynau

Edited by haynau

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dave and haynau!

i've been "schooled"!

great body of information, and many thanks

to rick for the pictures to put the information

in perspective..

great thread!

joe :D

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Mother of pearl, that's sweet :love: . Why not throw in one with black enamel.

Is it fair to assume this is a private purchase as well?

KR

Peter

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Mother of pearl, that's sweet :love: . Why not throw in one with black enamel.

Is it fair to assume this is a private purchase as well?

KR

Peter

Hi Peter, beautifull piece. Private Purchased by the officer-comrades of Infantery Regiment Number 11, says the dedication on the backside.

Infanterieregiment Johann Georg Prinz von Sachsen Nr.11 was foundes 1629 and had garrison in Prague

haynau

PS: I also know pieces with tortoise shell on the backside

Edited by haynau

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Greetings Haynau, excellent details and information. I had not realized the differences on the eagles. I was always just looking at the suspensions! Thanks!!

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Here you have a 1st class, for 12 years in service, cross for NCO's and fighting men. It's the third Model (1890 - 1913) and has a case made out of carton. It was purchased privately and was non official.

It is part of the estate of an Austrian Sicherheitswache Beamter (Part of the Police), named Engelbert Aschenbrenner.

-Johannes

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Can someone "sticky" this thread? There is a lot of good information here and I have a heck of a time searching for it whenever I need to refresh myself on the various versions of the long service crosses.

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Hello All

Any member have info on line regiment No 71 Galgotzy they can share please.

Thanks

Yankee

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Ah, that's the sort of piece that with 1905, 1906, and 1907 Schematismus-es, should be possible to identify who the recipient was. There can't have been more than one recipient of a 25 in 1906?

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