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James Hoard

Albania- Wied era medals

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Dear All,

Here's a picture I found of Prince Vidit I (Wilhelm zu Weid), Sovereign Prince of Albania for six months in 1914.

He wears an interesting array of medals on his upper chest. One of these is obviously the Medal of the Order of the Black Eagle, but what is the cross and the second medal.

The upper breast star appeared to be the Turkish Order of Osmanieh at first glance, but then I noticed that his has too many points. Doesnt the Osmanieh only have eight?

The lower star appears to be the Swedish Order of the Polar Star, which he received in 1896.

Any identifications and/or comments very welcome.

Cheers,

James

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It looks like almost everything was added or heavily retouched after the image was taken, so identification is tough.

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Dear All,

Here's a picture I found of Prince Vidit I (Wilhelm zu Weid), Sovereign Prince of Albania for six months in 1914.

He wears an interesting array of medals on his upper chest. One of these is obviously the Medal of the Order of the Black Eagle, but what is the cross and the second medal.

The upper breast star appeared to be the Turkish Order of Osmanieh at first glance, but then I noticed that his has too many points. Doesnt the Osmanieh only have eight?

The lower star appears to be the Swedish Order of the Polar Star, which he received in 1896.

Any identifications and/or comments very welcome.

Cheers,

James

I hope no one will consider me to be a pedant, but - please - the princely title is WIED, not WEID.

Dragomir

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Jeff and Dragomir are correct---this heavily retouched photo is incorrect (except for the face) in all respects--even the uniform collar. The original photo this "was enhanced" from shows him wearing a Johanniter at throat & cloth star. Other awards are simply negative retouches. Check the royalty website for an incomplete list of Wilhelm's awards.

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Jeff and Dragomir are correct---this heavily retouched photo is incorrect (except for the face) in all respects--even the uniform collar. The original photo this "was enhanced" from shows him wearing a Johanniter at throat & cloth star. Other awards are simply negative retouches. Check the royalty website for an incomplete list of Wilhelm's awards.

Can you say where the original untouched version of the photograph may be seen? Is it on the web or in a book? Either way, could you please be kind enough to state the reference.

Thanks everyone for all the comments so far.

Cheers,

James

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You may visit:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt...l%3Den%26sa%3DN

Here you will see many useful Wied images, including several seldom seen very clear images of him wearing the Black Eagle Order sash and star. I do not remember if that site has an unretouched version of the one you originally displayed but, if not, do other Google image searchs and you wil see it--this image also appears on several postcard sites and the New Contemporary Magazine, May 1914 issue.

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You may visit:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt...l%3Den%26sa%3DN

Here you will see many useful Wied images, including several seldom seen very clear images of him wearing the Black Eagle Order sash and star. I do not remember if that site has an unretouched version of the one you originally displayed but, if not, do other Google image searchs and you wil see it--this image also appears on several postcard sites and the New Contemporary Magazine, May 1914 issue.

Alas, that site does not tell me anything more either.

In none of the pictures does he seem to be wearing the Black Eagle. The arms of the first class star and badge were fully enamelled in white (unlike the lower classes which were enamelled red) and the ribbon was either black (or a very dark blue) with scarlet stripes towards the edge.

Cheers,

James

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Alas, that site does not tell me anything more either.

In none of the pictures does he seem to be wearing the Black Eagle. The arms of the first class star and badge were fully enamelled in white (unlike the lower classes which were enamelled red) and the ribbon was either black (or a very dark blue) with scarlet stripes towards the edge.

Cheers,

James

Look at the images in the 5th post on that page: the Black Eagle star is Wilhelm's topmost left star & the 2nd image clearly shows the BE sash. Klietmann's Ordens Lexicon Band II illustrates all insignia: all classes have obverse badge centers fully enameled & for reverse badge centers only the motto ring enameled---then white enamel for I class badge & obverse star corpus; reddish brown for II & III class badge & II class star obverse corpus; and --except centers--no enamel for IV & V class. Ribbon black with 1/5 red side stripes.

What information are you seeking exactly? If you seek ID for the retouched awards depicted on your original post they are either completely hand drawn or hand drawn over W's Johanniter awards or over his medal bar shown in various postcards like the one in the 4th post of the page I refer to. Thus, they are a fabrication of whoever retouched the photo.

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Look at the images in the 5th post on that page: the Black Eagle star is Wilhelm's topmost left star & the 2nd image clearly shows the BE sash. Klietmann's Ordens Lexicon Band II illustrates all insignia: all classes have obverse badge centers fully enameled & for reverse badge centers only the motto ring enameled---then white enamel for I class badge & obverse star corpus; reddish brown for II & III class badge & II class star obverse corpus; and --except centers--no enamel for IV & V class. Ribbon black with 1/5 red side stripes.

What information are you seeking exactly? If you seek ID for the retouched awards depicted on your original post they are either completely hand drawn or hand drawn over W's Johanniter awards or over his medal bar shown in various postcards like the one in the 4th post of the page I refer to. Thus, they are a fabrication of whoever retouched the photo.

I find it impossible to follow what you are saying.

The fifth post has no picture whatever. The fifth picture is a hand coloured postcard of marching soldiers and officers, one of which could be the prince but too small to make anything out.

You may mean the sixth post, a postcard print of a photograph of the prince with three stamps. If so, the top left star he is wearing has no similarity to the 1st class breast star of the Albanian Order of the Black Eagle. Neither is the sash, since the dark coloured edge stripes are themselves edged with white or light colour.

If my posting is of a re-touched photograph then I would be grateful for an identification of the actual orders and decorations in the untouched version.

If you do not know what they are. Fine. Say so and we need not trouble eachother any more. This game of cat and mouse where one is perpetually trying to squeeze blood out of a stone is not for me.

Thank you.

James.

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I find it impossible to follow what you are saying.

The fifth post has no picture whatever. The fifth picture is a hand coloured postcard of marching soldiers and officers, one of which could be the prince but too small to make anything out.

You may mean the sixth post, a postcard print of a photograph of the prince with three stamps. If so, the top left star he is wearing has no similarity to the 1st class breast star of the Albanian Order of the Black Eagle. Neither is the sash, since the dark coloured edge stripes are themselves edged with white or light colour.

If my posting is of a re-touched photograph then I would be grateful for an identification of the actual orders and decorations in the untouched version.

If you do not know what they are. Fine. Say so and we need not trouble eachother any more. This game of cat and mouse where one is perpetually trying to squeeze blood out of a stone is not for me.

Thank you.

James.

The postcard images in the post under the postcard print of a photograph of the prince with three stamps are the ones depicting him wearing the BE star [upper image--top left star] and sash [lower image]. As I opined in my first response, before retouching the image you posted shows him wearing a Johanniter badge (note eagles in cross angles) at throat & Johanniter cloth star on his lower chest. The neck badge was retouched and additional 'awards' added to the negative.

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922F

I am sorry to say that I am still confused.

Here are a couple of pictures which may explain what I mean.

The Albanian Order of the Black Eagle, Grand Cross breast star as given to Khedive Abbas Hilmi II of Egypt.

A larger version of the picture of Prince Wilhelm of Albania mentioned in the post (with three stamps)

The badge worn on the necklet is clearly the Johanniter Order.

The first small badge on the medal bar appears to be the Prussian Order of the Crown.

The second breast star, upper right, is clearly the Cdr GC of the Swedish Order of the North Star.

Which breast star are you saying is the Albanian Black Eagle?

Cheera,

James

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922F

I am sorry to say that I am still confused.

Here are a couple of pictures which may explain what I mean.

The Albanian Order of the Black Eagle, Grand Cross breast star as given to Khedive Abbas Hilmi II of Egypt.

A larger version of the picture of Prince Wilhelm of Albania mentioned in the post (with three stamps)

The badge worn on the necklet is clearly the Johanniter Order.

The first small badge on the medal bar appears to be the Prussian Order of the Crown.

The second breast star, upper right, is clearly the Cdr GC of the Swedish Order of the North Star.

Which breast star are you saying is the Albanian Black Eagle?

It seems that the first breast star, upper left, and the sash belong to the Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Rumania. This order had been conferred on the prince in late 1913, shortly before he accepted the sovereignty of Albania. Since he had close connections to Rumania through his wife, eventually settled there and became a Rumanian national, it seems appropriate.

I suspect that the Black Eagle insignia were probably not available by 7th March 1914, when the picture was taken on his arrival at Durazzo.

Now, I wonder what the unusual third breast star at the bottom is?

Cheers,

James

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It seems that the first breast star, upper left, and the sash belong to the Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Rumania. This order had been conferred on the prince in late 1913, shortly before he accepted the sovereignty of Albania. Since he had close connections to Rumania through his wife, eventually settled there and became a Rumanian national, it seems appropriate.

I suspect that the Black Eagle insignia were probably not available by 7th March 1914, when the picture was taken on his arrival at Durazzo.

Now, I wonder what the unusual third breast star at the bottom is?

Cheers,

James

James,

You are correct regarding the Romanian Star and other insignia in the photo just posted. The 3rd star in your most recently posted photo of Wilhem is a W?rttemberg Friedrichs-Orden. His four badge ordenspange is a Prussian Crown (3rd?) followed by ? but usually described as a Zentar medal, followed by a Bulgarian Military Merit Order 5th class then a Romanian Carol 40th Jubilee Medal of 1906. A somewhat atypical group with no Albanian national honor. Nonetheless, this is the most generally reproduced illustration of Wilhelm.

For the illustration of Wilhelm wearing the BE, refer to the 7th post in the http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt...l%3Den%26sa%3DN series; I miscounted the position in my earlier post by two positions. This is the one with two b/w photos [one above the other; first titled "Einzug des Fursten Wilhelm. von Albanien"--second titled "Einzug des Furstenpaares von Albanien"] just under the post containing the card with 3 Albanian stamps on the card face similar to the one you've just posted . If you enlarge the first image the star is quite clear. Enlarge the 2nd and the sash becomes clear.

For a hand drawn illo and incomplete list of Wilhelm's personal awards, see also http://www.royalark.net/Albania/wied.htm. Wilhelm's baggage actually included Black Eagle Order insignia when he traveled to Albania; he also took uniforms to be distributed to high rank Albanian officials waiting for his arrival in Durazzo (Essad Pasha, for example). Several sources report this story, most recently The Six Month Kingdom.

Edited by 922F

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922F

Many thanks for the informative posting.

Cheers,

James

Hi all,

The first picture is the untouched photo of Prince Wied in german imperial uniform.

The second photo, was realized in 20.02.1914 in Neuwied, Germany (not in Albania as mr. Hoard told). You can see Prince Wied wearing the new uniform of Albanian general. He is w/o the star of Black Eagle, because this order was producted only on the first days of Mars.

The third photo, is dated 07.03.1914, when the Prince arrived a Durr?s, Albania. You can see the white enamel star of Black Eagle in his breast.

Regards,

Artan

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Hello Artan

Thank you so much for your kind post of the pictures and of the comments.

All very useful indeed.

Can anyone identify the orders he is wearing in the last picture, in addition to the Black Eagle breast star?

I can identify the two bottom most stars as the Italian SS Maurice & Lazarus and the British GCVO. The top far-right badge may be the Austrian Order of Leopold. But what is the star in the middle? Russian perhaps?

The badge worn on the necklet looks very curious and interesting also.

Cheers

James

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Artan----Sincere thanks to you for posting the last Wilhelm photo (dated 7.03.14) in your series!!!!! I have a nearly illegible xerox of it made 40 years ago but have been unable to rediscover a clear copy of it until you posted this one! Is it taken from the "Einzug des Fursten Wilhelm. von Albanien" and "Einzug des Furstenpaares von Albanien" postcard series?

James-----Wilhelm received a Russian Alex Nevski GC on 27 Feb 1914. This is mentioned in the royalark website as well as the Almanach de Gotha. I suspect the neckbadge is a Romanian Carol I Commander, yet another Romanian link. Albanian historian Hussien Kuptai reported that Wilhelm had received the Grand Commander of this Order in 1911 or 1912----but his statement is not confirmed. Here we see him possibly wearing at least the neckbadge. He is not wearing several other Grand Cross/lst class stars he had received before landing in Albania (Legion of Honor, Prussian Red Eagle, etc.) so it may not be surprising that he would not have worn a Carol I Grand Commander star if he actually had been awarded one.

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Artan----Sincere thanks to you for posting the last Wilhelm photo (dated 7.03.14) in your series!!!!! I have a nearly illegible xerox of it made 40 years ago but have been unable to rediscover a clear copy of it until you posted this one! Is it taken from the "Einzug des Fursten Wilhelm. von Albanien" and "Einzug des Furstenpaares von Albanien" postcard series?

James-----Wilhelm received a Russian Alex Nevski GC on 27 Feb 1914. This is mentioned in the royalark website as well as the Almanach de Gotha. I suspect the neckbadge is a Romanian Carol I Commander, yet another Romanian link. Albanian historian Hussien Kuptai reported that Wilhelm had received the Grand Commander of this Order in 1911 or 1912----but his statement is not confirmed. Here we see him possibly wearing at least the neckbadge. He is not wearing several other Grand Cross/lst class stars he had received before landing in Albania (Legion of Honor, Prussian Red Eagle, etc.) so it may not be surprising that he would not have worn a Carol I Grand Commander star if he actually had been awarded one.

Yes Sir,

I have an original of these postcards. Attach another picture of the Prince with the Black Eagle Star, in Durres, june 1914.

Regards,

Artan

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Artan----WONDERFUL!!! It is the first time I have seen photo! Many thanks for posting this!! Have you any illustrations of other people wearing Black Eagle insignia? Best regards!!

Yes Sir,

I have an original of these postcards. Attach another picture of the Prince with the Black Eagle Star, in Durres, june 1914.

Regards,

Artan

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I must second 922F in his vote of thanks for the publication of the last picture. I too have not seen it before.

As regards the orders being worn by the Prince in the last but one, perhaps you are right about the badge of the Order of Carol I. I guess by "Grand Commander" is meant the second class?

About the other orders, my guess is that he is wearing the orders of the principal guaranteeing powers.

Cheers

James

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Artan----WONDERFUL!!! It is the first time I have seen photo! Many thanks for posting this!! Have you any illustrations of other people wearing Black Eagle insignia? Best regards!!

Dear Sir,

The photos of the persons awarded with the Black Eagle, are perhaps the rarest of the world.

Regards,

Artan

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Dear Sir,

The photos of the persons awarded with the Black Eagle, are perhaps the rarest of the world.

Regards,

Artan

I apologize. I forgot. The officer is an albanian major wearing mod.1920 uniform, in a photo of 1921.

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I apologize. I forgot. The officer is an albanian major wearing mod.1920 uniform, in a photo of 1921.

Artan,

A little strange that if he was an officer, he did not receive the military division of the order with 'crossed sword'.

The impression I got from reading Heaton-Armstrong was that military officers received the military division.

James

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Artan,

A little strange that if he was an officer, he did not receive the military division of the order with 'crossed sword'.

The impression I got from reading Heaton-Armstrong was that military officers received the military division.

James

I am curious now, there is a military version of the Black Eagle? Everything I have read about the order was that there was only the one version and have never run across a photo of an example with swords.

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Artan!!! Again, FANTASTIC PHOTO!! THANK YOU!! Do you know anything about the officer wearing the Black Eagle Order? Very few Albanians received the Order, according to Klietmann. This photo could reconfirm that Klietmann's tabulation of awards is not entirely correct. [His Ordens-Lexicon article was earlier known not to include the names of several Dutch individuals decorated by Wilhelm.] Heaton-Armstrong certainly suggests that Wilhelm awarded Black Eagle insignia, especially the medals, more freely than Klietmann states.

Artan & James: The Black Eagle Order military division was distinguished from the civil division for knights [and likely, officers] by the addition of crossed swords to the ribbon, not the badge. [illustrated in J. Jacob's Court Jewelers of the World.] This officer may have received a civil division badge or the swords may have fallen off of the ribbon. Klietmann reports an award of just one commander with swords but does not describe the insignia.

James----you are correct, concerning the stars Wilhelm wears being related to the powers interested in promoting Albanian independence. Austria-Hungary, Italy, Russia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom were the six powers guaranteeing Albanian independence and the Albanian state. Austria-Hungary and Italy were the 'most concerned' and actually supplied most resources [funds, arms, advisors, etc.] other than the Dutch officers serving in the Gendarmerie available to Wilhelm. Perhaps lack of space explains absence of his Legion of Honor and Red Eagle stars.

Artan, again most sincere thanks for sharing your wonderful photo archive!! Absolutely terrific!! ! WONDERFUL!!!

Edited by 922F

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