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Laurence Strong

belgian Order of Leopold l

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Hello Farmer,

I'm very impressed when looking to your Leopold Order collection. Thanks for sharing.

Happy Newyear,

Jef

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Hello Farmer,

what a nice "eye candy".

Thanks for sharing

Elvis

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Thank you all,

I'll see what can be done about posting individual items but I am heading back to work tomorrow so my time will be limited. Many of my Orders have never been posted or featured in mainstream publications (not to my knowledge anyway). I am a little apprehensive about some of them (like the Grand Cross star and commander's cross in cloth/bullion - I know of only one other in museum in Brussels).

Elvis - I certainly wish these were priced as 'candy'. Some of those were quite expensive - often limiting my spending to one item per year. Certainly, I am not alone in that regard.

Some of here members collections are incredible - I was checking those in the Collection section the other night.

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In my endeavor to identify a particular maker's mark on a Belgian Military Cross today, I happened upon this mark on my Leopold I. Could it be a stray mark or perhaps another mark of Wolfers?

Tim

post-548-029690100 1294013242_thumb.jpg

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In my endeavor to identify a particular maker's mark on a Belgian Military Cross today, I happened upon this mark on my Leopold I. Could it be a stray mark or perhaps another mark of Wolfers?

Tim

Tim,

Very hard to tell based on what is visible.

To my (limited) knowledge, Wolfers registered only 2 marks and both rather early. One used on smaller items was in form of intricate interlaced initial WF, the other one (head) was used on much larger objects. I have only seen the small (WG) punch mark on one L1, Officer from 1890's or so. Otherwise, Wolfers's markings on Orders were pretty much limited to plaques on the stars. I'd love to be proven wrong here.

There was yet another mark that Wolfers used but only on foreign pieces - this was in rectangular form of man's head within a circle - letters GW on either side of the circle. I saw that mark on one Order from Vatican and another one from Persia.

I have my doubts as far as your piece coming out of Wolfers's shop - details are just so different.

Never the less, it certainly looks like something there. See if you can get a better close up of it.

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Best I Can do until the PIC breaks down.

Tim

Tim,

Unfortunately I cannot make this out. Needs much higher level of magnification but I am afraid even then there is not enough detail to 'decipher' it.

After 1869 (until 1942) Belgian silver marks were simply letters A or A with 2 small slashes (depending on silver content), gold marks were simple gothic style letters. During 1930's some firms used the 800 or 900 or AR even though it was not official or approved by the administration). From 1942 on the mark of A 925/835 within oval was used but for short period. Later on mark in style of a four-petalled flower with 1 or 11 (for .925 and .835 silver) was used. Maker marks were never regulated so it was up to each firm to do whatever they wanted in that regard. Silver/gold marks were required but not always struck.

In reality and in our realm of interest many marks are just not noticed or so obscured that even if you know what you're looking for - often identification is hard.

French marks were observed to much higher degree and most pieces made in France are marked. Items in bronze or other (non precious metal) were rarely marked at all.

All of L1 Order older pieces were marked nicely and first 3 Belgian makers always used the master mark along side of silver/gold mark. Often these are very hard to find and only partial but all of my early badges have those marks present in some capacity.

Oh, I have just noticed a typo in my previous post (but I cannot edit it now). In the line: "interlaced initial WF" it should read 'WG' instead. Sorry.

Take care.

Edited by farmer

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Here is my L1 collection case. Missing several things but who knows - in time some may show up.

Congratulations in putting such a fine collection together from the beginning of its inception :jumping::jumping: On your officer row is tha a Espgnol type :speechless1: ?The order looks very similar to the Legion Of Honor in design and class structure. Have the badges stayed fairly the same size in the last century and half or have they become larger? It is rare to come across the badges with the espagnol, bombe etroit & large bombe crowns. When I do come across such examples I see them to be small as 30mm and wide as 44mm. If the Begians did copy the French award system and stayed true to the French measurements , then the smaller early examples would be reduced sizes or by private jewelers to their interpretation or am I wrong. I assume the very early ones with the Espagnol Crown were made by French jewelers or were the Belgian firms such as Wolfers already in exstence?

Thanks for sharing

Sincerely

Brian

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Congratulations in putting such a fine collection together from the beginning of its inception :jumping::jumping: On your officer row is tha a Espgnol type :speechless1: ?The order looks very similar to the Legion Of Honor in design and class structure. Have the badges stayed fairly the same size in the last century and half or have they become larger? It is rare to come across the badges with the espagnol, bombe etroit & large bombe crowns. When I do come across such examples I see them to be small as 30mm and wide as 44mm. If the Begians did copy the French award system and stayed true to the French measurements , then the smaller early examples would be reduced sizes or by private jewelers to their interpretation or am I wrong. I assume the very early ones with the Espagnol Crown were made by French jewelers or were the Belgian firms such as Wolfers already in exstence?

Thanks for sharing

Sincerely

Brian

Brian,

Thank you. Yes, there are couple of 'Spanish crown' Officer crosses in my display case. LOH was certainly an influence with L1 Order's design and structure. Also, Dutch Miltary Order of Willem along with Royal Guelphic Order and even Order of the Bath (spanish crown - look at pre 1817 design of that Order and compare the crowns - many believe King wanted that particular crown on 'his' L1 Order).

I don't think Belgians simply copied LOH award system. 1832-1839 Commander class was different; 1839 Grand Officer was also unique (only breast star - no neck badge). More like LOH/Willem combination if anything. Swords were featured right from the beginning and many believe this was probably influenced by Guelphic Order. LOH did not use swords.

Size wise (for Knight/Officer) - Dutalis's (1st crown type) crosses were pretty much around 39-40mm. Allard's (2nd crown type) were mostly 40mm. Buls's earlier crosses - I have 2 as large as 43mm, his later (Buls's 2nd crown type) examples are for the most part around 40mm.

Some examples had been made to model French reduced-size crosses for wear. Those were mostly French-manufactured for the French recipients (probably as additional insignia). I have 2 early (french hallmarked for pre 1838) crosses that are 32/33mm.

Chancery awarded Belgian-made crosses so anything made in France or England is unlikely an issued piece; rather privately purchased second. This is of course in the realm of the earlier awards, say until 1880's or so. There were some early Commander's breast crosses (tinsel/bullion) made in France. I think Dutalis's examples were all in metal but those are super rare in any form as no longer issued after 1839.

'Spanish' crown type was manufactured solely by Dutalis. I have not seen a full sized French-made example with this exact crown.

Wolfers; Guillame came to Brussels in 1836 and did some work as jeweller, however I am yet to see a L1 Order from that time period by him. His son (Gustav) was born in 1846 - this is the name you will see most often on cases/plaques. It is not known if he produced any L1O insignia prior to Buls's death in 1878 (Buls had the contract). It is most likely that only around 1885 Gustave Wolfers got part of the contract to become supplier to the chancery of the Order.

Hope this helps.

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Brian,

Thank you. Yes, there are couple of 'Spanish crown' Officer crosses in my display case. LOH was certainly an influence with L1 Order's design and structure. Also, Dutch Miltary Order of Willem along with Royal Guelphic Order and even Order of the Bath (spanish crown - look at pre 1817 design of that Order and compare the crowns - many believe King wanted that particular crown on 'his' L1 Order).

I don't think Belgians simply copied LOH award system. 1832-1839 Commander class was different; 1839 Grand Officer was also unique (only breast star - no neck badge). More like LOH/Willem combination if anything. Swords were featured right from the beginning and many believe this was probably influenced by Guelphic Order. LOH did not use swords.

Size wise (for Knight/Officer) - Dutalis's (1st crown type) crosses were pretty much around 39-40mm. Allard's (2nd crown type) were mostly 40mm. Buls's earlier crosses - I have 2 as large as 43mm, his later (Buls's 2nd crown type) examples are for the most part around 40mm.

Some examples had been made to model French reduced-size crosses for wear. Those were mostly French-manufactured for the French recipients (probably as additional insignia). I have 2 early (french hallmarked for pre 1838) crosses that are 32/33mm.

Chancery awarded Belgian-made crosses so anything made in France or England is unlikely an issued piece; rather privately purchased second. This is of course in the realm of the earlier awards, say until 1880's or so. There were some early Commander's breast crosses (tinsel/bullion) made in France. I think Dutalis's examples were all in metal but those are super rare in any form as no longer issued after 1839.

'Spanish' crown type was manufactured solely by Dutalis. I have not seen a full sized French-made example with this exact crown.

Wolfers; Guillame came to Brussels in 1836 and did some work as jeweller, however I am yet to see a L1 Order from that time period by him. His son (Gustav) was born in 1846 - this is the name you will see most often on cases/plaques. It is not known if he produced any L1O insignia prior to Buls's death in 1878 (Buls had the contract). It is most likely that only around 1885 Gustave Wolfers got part of the contract to become supplier to the chancery of the Order.

Hope this helps.

Hi Kris

Thanks ever so much for your informative answers :cheers:. Clearly there is a lot to digest on the individual jewelers. Interesting to note the measurements stayed nearly the same amongst the jewelers and the life of the order. Are their any (obvious or minute) differences in your Spainish officer examples that set them apart? I know from experience that no two examples are ever identical from the first few years of an orders creation. Surprised that English firms had manufactured the order. The examples must have been of very high quality. I agree with those that believe in the Guelph influence. The only order that comes to my mind at the time that used swords between the crown & cross.

Sincerely

Brian

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Hello,

This is my first post on this site. Enclosed 2 civilian version for wartime efforts, one with the black attribute for mothers wearing the Order of their sons.

Any comment is more than welcome.

Best regards

GM1

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Enclosed 2 civilian version for wartime efforts, one with the black attribute for mothers wearing the Order of their sons.

Any comment is more than welcome.

Best regards

GM1

Wow, you learn something new every day here! I had no idea about the black attribute! Thanks for sharing! Looks great.

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Thanks, TacHel!

Here's another version, made by BULS.

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Hello,

the black stripe means posthumous award, members of the family are not allowed to wear this order for their sons, fathers, etc.

Anyway - really nice pieces. Leopold with 2 golden stripes is rarely seen ;)

Do you know who is the manufacturer of the order with 2 golden stripes? The first one is Wolfers and the second possible Fonson?

Bagramjan

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Hello,

the black stripe means posthumous award, members of the family are not allowed to wear this order for their sons, fathers, etc.

Anyway - really nice pieces. Leopold with 2 golden stripes is rarely seen ;)

Do you know who is the manufacturer of the order with 2 golden stripes? The first one is Wolfers and the second possible Fonson?

Bagramjan

If I'm not mistaken, according to Act of May 17th 1920, mothers were allowed to to wear the distinctions of their sons who where killed, placing this attibrute, but any other distinction had to be removed. When the mother died, heritage comes into play, but nobody could wear the distinctions anymore. Is this correct?

I'm sorry but I don't know the manufacture of the second medal. I'll look for some marks.

Best regards,

GM1

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I really don't know - no doubt, that you are right if it's wtitten in this act, but It's very uncommnon to wear somebody's order or medal officialy. Even if it's a mother of fallen soldier. I have no idea if such a thing is possible in some other Europian country (I mean old classic orders). Thank you for your explanation ;)

Old Leopold I orders are really nice :)

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I really don't know - no doubt, that you are right if it's wtitten in this act, but It's very uncommnon to wear somebody's order or medal officialy. Even if it's a mother of fallen soldier. I have no idea if such a thing is possible in some other Europian country (I mean old classic orders). Thank you for your explanation ;)

Old Leopold I orders are really nice :)

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That's also a very nice one :) ! Officer model. Sometimes the rozette has also the golden line woven in it.

2 Military versions of my collection: 1 with "A"-palm and another with crossed swords for veterans, both of WW1. Note that the crossed swords version is only French, while most of them are bilingual (because most of them were at lease second promotion, conceded after 1952).

Can anybody identify the manufactures?

Best regards,

GM1

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Both of them are a little bit more uncommon, becouse of the size of the swords under the crown - they are a bit smaller. I have got several pieces of a militry branch in my collection; this attached photo is for comparsion the size of the swords.

Your Leopold with small "I" on the reverse is a beautiful and rare piece ;) It has an unusual shape of the crown also.

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Very nive pieces. In fact, the swords are smaller than usual. Difficult to date anyhow.

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