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    A number of Imperial awards that are generally accepted as fakes are regularly offered on German eBay by seller raritaetensammlerclub, who also offers his products on his website at http://www.ordensammler.com

    By a strange coincidence, some of his goods have also been bought and sold by German eBay user cetra2003 who is based in T?bingen. The payment details for http://www.ordensammler.com

    give a bank account belonging to Christine Traub of T?bingen. Am I paranoid or is it just a coincidence that cetra2003 (C_TRA___) is also based in T?bingen?

    baff002, a well-known purveyor of fake medal bars, also buys ribbon stock from raritaetensammlerclub. Another coincidence? Perhaps.

    Before they disappear, here are a few of the latest eBay offerings by raritaetensammlerclub and the prices they fetched. They were all offered with a full description of the materials and he even quotes the OEK number. However, the description carefully avoids any mention of originality.

    Bavarian Milit?r-Verdienstkreuz 3. Form 1913 - 1918, 2. Klasse, mit Schwertern und Krone, eBay auction #6221813779, sold for EUR 162.01, described as made of solid silver:



    Bavarian Milit?r-Verdienstkreuz 3. Form 1913 - 1918, 2. Klasse, mit Krone, eBay auction #6221809607, sold for EUR 200, described as made of solid silver:



    Bavarian Milit?r-Verdienst-Kreuz 2. Form 1905 - 1913, 2. Klasse, with swords, eBay auction #6217894041, sold for EUR 685 :speechless1: , described as all parts made of solid silver. Perhaps this scored such a high price due to the lack of enamel, which makes it a little unusual:


    Your thoughts?


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    Verdienstkreuz Kriegshilfe made of aluminium, eBay auction #6207207411, sold for only EUR 40 (he usually sells them for EUR 65):



    Verdienstkreuz Kriegshilfe made of solid silver, eBay auction #6206473187, sold for his usual price of EUR 75:


    The only good crosses I know of are made of finely-cast zink. Are any real ones in aluminium or silver actually known?


    Edited by David Gregory
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    Braunschweig war merit cross 2nd class "An excellent bronze piece in very good condition" sold in eBay auction #6550410632 for EUR 46. This is one the poorer quality examples that he offers regularly:



    Erinnerungskreuz TREUEN KRIEGERN, made of solid bronze, sold in eBay auction #6197657398 for EUR 24.99 (his normal price):


    Migrane-inducing Verwundetenabzeichen in Gold sold in eBay auction #6197654518 for EUR 66:


    He offers all of these items quite regularly.

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    A little less hard on your eyes:

    Bavarian Milit?r-Verdienst-Kreuz 2. Form 1905 - 1913, 2. Klasse. Now on offer, if you dare, for only EUR 400 in eBay auction #6224170924



    Another slow mover, but he does sell a few with monotonous regularity - Milit?rdienstauszeichnung Baden f?r 15 Jahre, Spange for only EUR 180 offered in eBay auction #6224169758. Described as being made of solid silver, marked 800 J.PETRY on the back:


    His fake iron crosses also sell well, but someone else can post images of them. At least he is careful enough to use different images for each EK that he offers.

    He has also offered Hindenburg crosses in the past, but I can't find an image of one for the time being.


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    All those are fakes? What are the give aways one should look for other than a dodgy seller. (hhmm, speaking Brit already)


    Speaking Brit? It's the only way to go Don ;)


    I'd be interested in hearing that too. I can't see anything wrong with the 1866 Erinnerungskreuz and wouldn't know what to look for on the Bavarian awards.

    The EA cross looks quite yucky


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    The seller has been offering these items for over a year now, probably longer in fact, and offers the same awards with the same ageing/finish with monotonous regularity

    Most of the crosses and medals he sells display the same poor casting quality and the same finish, which ranges from a dull silver-grey to a coppery finish, depending on the base metal, usually discoloured by either the casting process or what looks like an acid wash.

    Christian pointed out one of his typical cast fakes at http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=1205

    To be honest, I am not entirely sure about the Bavarian crosses, but I find it impossible not to condemn them by association. They consistently lack the bright finish usually found on the majority of known originals.

    The Iron Crosses have been discussed at WAF before and i see no reason to doubt the conclusions drawn there.

    I know that at least one member here has bought examples of the Verdienstkreuz f?r Kriegshilfe in aluminium and silver, but I will leave it up to him or anyone else who has handled one to comment in detail.

    I posted an example of a Hessen Kriegerehrenzeichen in Eisen he offered a while ago at http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=1073...etensammlerclub

    Watch his auctions for a while and you will see how he keeps offering the same awards with exactly the same finish time after time.

    The Bavarian crosses, if they are also fakes, which I strongly suspect, represent an entirely new and expensive copy that should be treated with caution.

    Perhaps I am paranoid, but there are enough other collectors who consider his goods to be bad.

    Send him a mail and ask him about the originality of his pieces. The reply he sent me was careful and evasive.


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    I think all of the bavarian crosses with swords are made from 3. class crosses. Look carefully and you can see some copper shining through the bad silver plating. The medaillons enamel looks also very strange. The Braunschweig cross looks like a cheap crappy cast copy.

    Its me who bought a real silver and an aluminium Kreuz f?r Kriegshilfsdienst from them a longer time ago. I still think they are ok and these types are also listed in the Nimmergut catalogue.

    Edited by JensF.
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    • 3 weeks later...

    Take a look at the W?rttemberg cross offered by German eBay seller froschhuettl in auction number 6583443608. Before the images disappear, here is what he is offering:

    W?rttemberg 1st WW, Wilhelmskreuz / Charlottenkreuz in Case, 1st class, very rare !!! Case has Makers Mark from Heinrich Schneider Hof ? Juwelier Leipzig !!! No Makers Marke on the Reverse of the badge. Wonderful condition. Please look in my other auction. I ship in the whole world. Shipping to the USA is 8 USD in registered mail. Other countries, please ask for the shipping costs. I accept Paypal with 4 % fee and cash money in Euro or US Dollar. Bidders from Europe although can make a Bank remittance.






    The case marked to a Leipzig manufacturer does not make any sense at all for a W?rtemberg award and the cross itself has been identified as a fake on the WAF forum in the past. Has anyone handled one of these before?

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    Jens identified froschhuettl in connection with a fake Ernst-August Kreuz 1914, Braunschweig 1. Klasse in auction 6214597022.

    The is the cross sold for EUR 82.08:



    Surprisingly, both he and the high-bidder 16erdragoner in the above-mentioned auction for the W?rttemberg cross give their locations as L?neburger Heide. Jens also identified 16erdragoner as the seller of a fake Mecklenburg KVK 1. Klasse in auction 6215097865. Here are the images captured for posterity:



    Equally surprising is the similarity between the backgrounds used for some images posted by both froschhuettl and 16erdragoner. Take a look at their auctions at http://search.ebay.de/_W0QQsassZfroschhuettlQQhtZ-1 and http://search.ebay.de/_W0QQsassZ16erdragonerQQhtZ-1

    Maybe I am paranoid, but there is no denying that a pattern is emerging.

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