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3rd Class Order of the Iron Crown


Gordon Craig
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Gents,

In a recent attempt to research my Iron Crown I came across a web site that said there were approximately 7000 Orders of the Iron Crown (I beleive he was referring to all the possible grades) awarded in 1914-1918 during the First World War. He also says that 1236 of these awards went to Hungarians. Does anyone know how many of these would have been Third Class awards and of that, how many would have been with swords? The swords were instituted in 1917 but they could be awarded to those who had received the order before that date. I have only seen two Third Class orders for sale in Budapest over the two plus years that I have lived here, and they both had swords on the ribbon, and I bought one of them. Be really interesting to me to find out how many were actually awarded to Hungarians.

Regards,

Gordon

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Charles,

Good news!

The other thing I would like to know about my Iron Crown is the manufacturer. I know that if the ring is marked with FR it was made by Rothe. My ring is marked "W". Anyone know which maker used this mark? Second question-I have a note in my records that says the asterisc (or star if you prefer) was out on awards made of brass during the First World War and they were marked this way so a gold one could be issued after the war. Unfortuantely, I forgot to list the reference I took this piece of information from. Can anyone confirm this for me?

Regards,

Gordon

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"FR" depends... on what the shape around it was. That is most often simply the "Duty Paid" tax release mark. as shown below after the Vienna "A" Assay Office marks.

Am not aware of any Austrian maker who used a "W"-- they often got quite a lot of lettering around the suspension rings!

Might it not be "VM" ?

Gold will be hallmarked with one of these greyhound or leopard marks:

? James W. Schaaf, "The Serbian White Eagle Order (Conclusion)," page 10 July 1979 "The medal Collector Official Publication of the Orders and Medals Society of America."

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Rick,

Thanks for your input. There only appears to be this one small mark on the ring and the rest of it is smooth. Now that you mention the meaning of FR I remember seeing that discussed somewhere else on he forum What a great place to learn! I'll have to get a better glass to look closer at the mark on the ring.

Regard,

Gordon

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  • 2 weeks later...

"FR" depends... on what the shape around it was. That is most often simply the "Duty Paid" tax release mark. as shown below after the Vienna "A" Assay Office marks.

Am not aware of any Austrian maker who used a "W"-- they often got quite a lot of lettering around the suspension rings!

Might it not be "VM" ?

Gold will be hallmarked with one of these greyhound or leopard marks:

? James W. Schaaf, "The Serbian White Eagle Order (Conclusion)," page 10 July 1979 "The medal Collector Official Publication of the Orders and Medals Society of America."

Rick,

Taking this a step further. I've visited lots of sights on the internet researching the Iron Crown and FR keeps popping up as the maker. You mentioned that it depends on the shape around the FR as to what it is. I haven't found a good photo yet of the FR that would have been stamped on the ring by Rothe. Do you have something you could post so we can see the difference? As for the "W" on the ring of my Iron Crown Third Class, under better magnification it could be "VM" (Vincenz Mayer, Vienna).

Here is one auction now running of an Iron Crown with FR as the maker.

Regards,

Gordon

ORDER OF THE IRON CROWN

Catalog # 4

Category: AUSTRIA - MONARCHY

1st Class Set. Sash badge, gold, partially enamelled, old Austrian hallmarks (chamois head 3 A / Vienna after 1872), maker's marks "F. R." (Rothe, Wien). Iron insert in basement of the crown, movable crown, big suspension ring, 4.5 x 7.8 cm. Breast Star, corpus silver brilliant cut (Austrian style), medallion gold partially enamelled, dia. ca. 8.8 cm; medium pin on reverse with maker's mark "C. F. Rothe, Wien". Long original sash badge. Excellent old Austrian quality in perfect condition!

I RR!

Price $ 10.000,00

Edited by Gordon Craig
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Hello,

I would like to add that the FR mark is the signature of Rothe, Vienna.

Gold is stamped, for example, with the "Gemsenkopf" or chamois' head if the piece was made of .750 gold.

Perhaps, I should read some reference book again, but I don't know what would the "FR" letters mean, if it should represent the "tax-paid" mark.

Thank you for any help and best wishes,

Enzo

P.S.: I think I've missed this interesting Iron Crown for sale!...

Edited by Elmar Lang
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Hi gordon

Rick is absolutely correct in regards to the FR being tax release marks. Unfortunately too many people have it mixed up with the firm Rothe. Never could figure that one out...

FR with a dot in between is the earliest 1866-72

FR without a dot also in a rectangular punch, middle period

FR in a lozenge, late period

This info comes from Mr McNamara who was top expert on Austrian

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I can only say, that I agree with Elmar Lang. FR is really masters mark of firm Rothe!

That is not only my opinion - thats meaning of two great austrian experts - Mr. Tusek and Mr. Kilian.

See in literature: TUSEK,F. - KILIAN, F.: Značky firmy Rothe na ř?dech a etuj?ch ( Marks of firm Rothe on orders and cases), In: SIGNUM, III. řada, Nr.19 - z?ř? 2002, s. 486 - 490.

SIGNUM is czech falerist magazine...

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Hello,

it is sure that one of the two "parties" involved in this topic, is right.

Just asking, I would like to know what should the "FR" mean (if it's a taxation mark), since similar markings are with the "JR" (Josef Resch); "VM" (Vinzenz Mayer's S?hne) etc., usually accompanied with the silver mark (the "Diana's head", "Greyhound", "Chamois' head", etc.) and the "A" (if Vienna).

Best wishes,

Enzo

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Gentlemen

Are there examples of "FR" without the lozenge or rectangular punch? I have seen "Rothe" spelled out ( star ). There are Iron Crown gold examples with other makers mark and the tax release mark on the same badge. You can't possibly have two makers on the same badge. If I am wrong then what does the tax release mark look like? Did the other makers use a lozenge or rectangular punch as well? It would be fascinating to know of anybody has in his collection an "FR" by itself then certainly would support the firm marking the piece. I know all to well that a good amount of German pieces in gold have no markings at all and only with the orginal case one can be 100% certain of the manufacturer. Perhaps Rothe didn't need to mark their badges for they had their logo inside the case. Always eager to learn. If I'm mistaken my apologies to all members.

Sincerely

Yankee

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The marks from the chart above come originally from some sort of "global silver and gold hallmarks" book, I believe. The assay "A" and "FR" tax marks will be found on things like forks and spoons and dinner plates... not just Orders. That is a chart of silver and gold HALLMARKS, not MAKER marks. The numbers next to each mark were explained in whatever the original book was, not in the OMSA article cited. I recognize the format from a similar page on British hallmarks.

I always preferred the work of Rozet & Fischmeister when I collected Austro-Hungarian myself. All Austro-Hungarian items I once had are all gone except ?M3Ks in German medal bar groups.....

:beer:

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Thanks for everyone comments which have really added to this thread. I'd like to go back to the piece I pasted in from an auction house in my earlier post. The pictures in the auction don't show the actual makers marks and if you have ever tried to take legible pictures of these marks you will know it is virtually impossible to do. They do list the makers mark on the Iron Crown as "F.R." which is quite different from the tax paid marks or hallmarks that Rick posted. They also mention that on the brest star pin the markings are "C. F. Rothe, Wien". I am inclinded to believe that pieces marked with F.R. were made by the firm of ROTHE and this is not a hallmark or tax paid mark. Thanks again for all of your comments.

Regards,

Gordon

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Thanks for everyone comments which have really added to this thread. I'd like to go back to the piece I pasted in from an auction house in my earlier post. The pictures in the auction don't show the actual makers marks and if you have ever tried to take legible pictures of these marks you will know it is virtually impossible to do. They do list the makers mark on the Iron Crown as "F.R." which is quite different from the tax paid marks or hallmarks that Rick posted. They also mention that on the brest star pin the markings are "C. F. Rothe, Wien". I am inclinded to believe that pieces marked with F.R. were made by the firm of ROTHE and this is not a hallmark or tax paid mark. Thanks again for all of your comments.

Regards,

Gordon

Hi Gordon

Email the auction firm, certainly they can provide a more desriptive observation of the marking in question in case of typing era.

Any set that is not in its orginal case is suspect in respect of both pieces not being the orginal awards. Possible a collector could have thrown the two pieces together to complete a set regardless of maker. All to often one encounters sets of two different makers for all sorts of reasons. Even one firm would contract another firm to complete orders if there own stock was low. More important show the experts the Iron Crown for Rothe has made a bunch of post war copies, why I like ;) the other makers. Good luck

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The Firm Rothe was a few years befor "hallmark duty" the only supplier of EKO and was him till beginning of WWI. When there was need for more decorations, additional firms were charged of production of EKO. From year 1916 was gold not more used. Orders made of brass from WWI period are marked with makers mark or "star" hallmark (sterchenpunze). but both of them can be absent. When both are missing, it is probably that decoration is made after 1922. Exception is firm Rothe - after end of WWII (!) they still marked made austrian orders with their masters mark. The firm Rothe made austrian orders again after the end of second world war and that till year 1970! (on original maschines)

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Yankee,

You are correct of course in your statement that any set not in the case is suspect of being put together in its past history. That is always a problem with any order like this. I had considered emailing the auction house and asking for pictures of the markings on the pieces but since I am not contemplating the purchase of the order I decided not to do that. Unfair of me to ask under the circumstances. I am only looking for information on the Iron Crown and I have certainly learned a lot with this thread.

Iver,

Thanks for the information you included in your post. Very intersting to know about the differences in the order markings in the different years of manufacture and that they were made for so long after WWI. We have probably exhausted this thread so I'll begin closing it by posting a picture of the order on auction before I head for the Flea Market!

Regards,

Gordon

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Hello,

the mystery about the EKO 1st Class in auction is solved: it will be sold in New York in January, and it's a very fine set indeed.

There's still a "question mark" on top of my head: until now, I can't understand what would the "F.R" code mean ("Fabelhafte.Realit?t"?...); honestly, I don't know.

In my collection, I have many Iron Crowns and, after Christmas I'll go and take them home to thoroughly check again their marks. I am sure that my EKO collar (in gold) has all the links marked with the "F.R" (in the rectangle); the "Gemsenkopf" and the centre link (where the badge is suspended), besides the mentioned marks, is signed per extenso with the name of Rothe in finely engraved capitals.

I've never seen pieces made -for instance- by Mayer's S?hne, with the "F.R" mark, but they are struck with the "V.M" one, same as those made by Rozet & Fischmeister (yes, that firm produced wonderful pieces!) are struck with the "R&F" mark, besides the gold or silver content marks. All of them, don't bear any "F.R" mark.

The copies of Rothe, made after WW1, are well identifiable from many details; and they can very difficultly deceive a collector. Though, I've seen later copies of Rothe, "updated" with fake 1866-1922 marks. Such pieces found their place in collections, in the same years when the market was flooded with fake orders of the old German states.

Best wishes,

Enzo

P.S.: looking at the scan of that marks' page, I've noticed that it shows silver marks (not gold ones): please see the "crescent" on Diana's head; the greyhound's head is for silver too. on the page's left there are some gold marks ("750") etc. In my opinion, that catalogue needs some corrections.

Edited by Elmar Lang
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Hello Gordon,

I'll be glad to inspect my Iron Crowns and I'll try to take good pictures too.

Anyways, I remember that the only "F.R" maks are those in the rectangle and the horizontal lozenge. I am sure that such marks are present on Rothe-made pieces only, and the usual gold marks. The same for pieces in silver.

As said, on those made by other jewellers, like Mayer etc. there are, besides the usual gold and silver marks, the corresponding mark, with the initials, like "V.M", etc.

Why haven't I ever been able to see a piece with the "F.R" mark and a jeweller's name different from Rothe?

This thread is interesting because discussing about marks, can help on any other Austrian order or decoration made of gold or silver.

Best wishes,

Enzo

Edited by Elmar Lang
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Hello,

the mystery about the EKO 1st Class in auction is solved: it will be sold in New York in January, and it's a very fine set indeed.

There's still a "question mark" on top of my head: until now, I can't understand what would the "F.R" code mean ("Fabelhafte.Realit?t"?...); honestly, I don't know.

In my collection, I have many Iron Crowns and, after Christmas I'll go and take them home to thoroughly check again their marks. I am sure that my EKO collar (in gold) has all the links marked with the "F.R" (in the rectangle); the "Gemsenkopf" and the centre link (where the badge is suspended), besides the mentioned marks, is signed per extenso with the name of Rothe in finely engraved capitals.

I've never seen pieces made -for instance- by Mayer's S?hne, with the "F.R" mark, but they are struck with the "V.M" one, same as those made by Rozet & Fischmeister (yes, that firm produced wonderful pieces!) are struck with the "R&F" mark, besides the gold or silver content marks. All of them, don't bear any "F.R" mark.

The copies of Rothe, made after WW1, are well identifiable from many details; and they can very difficultly deceive a collector. Though, I've seen later copies of Rothe, "updated" with fake 1866-1922 marks. Such pieces found their place in collections, in the same years when the market was flooded with fake orders of the old German states.

Best wishes,

Enzo

P.S.: looking at the scan of that marks' page, I've noticed that it shows silver marks (not gold ones): please see the "crescent" on Diana's head; the greyhound's head is for silver too. on the page's left there are some gold marks ("750") etc. In my opinion, that catalogue needs some corrections.

Hi Enzo

The catalog has another page that shows the gold marks of Phoebus whose facing left and for smaller objects in gold such as Orders a chamois facing right & a fox facing left.

I can't imagine any Iron Crown would have been double stamped by Rothe. They would have no need to stamp it twice unless for a very special reason such as a collar. I'm hoping somebody is sitting on a non Rothe made piece with the FR mark in question to solve & put this issue to rest.

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Found Bogdan's auction coming up in Jan, nice Iron Crown selection.

No disputing lot 11, having the Rothe signature on the back. Have not seen enough to make a proper judgement on date of issue. Just maybe an interesting variation having a smooth prop to rest the eagle's bottom feathers that connect to the lower crown.

Only a makers mark that would suggest an old piece yet on the new design ( post1866 ) Perhaps a transition piece. Have seen 3rd class examples in gold with no markings at all in the new design. Just don't know what to make of it.

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