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Roeland

the ww1 commemorative medal

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Hello gents,

I have a question regarding the well known commemorative medal of the war 1914-1918.

I often see them with ribbons that have an dark, almost red or orange collored stripe in the middle, instead of the official yellow.

I was wondering if there are different kinds of ribbons in use for this medal.

Or perhaps they have just changed collor over time. (but I have noticed it often, and you would also expect a ribbon to

fade, not turn darker).

Perhaps different makers?

I also noticed differences in the quality of the details on the medal and the collors of the medal.

And are there different makers for this medal? (and if so, which ones?)

There is one on Hendrik's site, it looks a lot like an example I'm talking about:

commemorative medal of the war 1914-1918

and here is an example from another collector who gave me permission to use his pictures

veldtocht2.jpgveldtocht1.jpg

thank you for clearing this up for me.

kind regards,

Roeland

Edited by Roeland

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Hi Roeland,

I don't know for the possibilities of several types of ribbon used... I'll let experts as Hendrik answer... ;)

But in the case of yours, and I have seen the same story with French ribbons as well (Croix de guerre des TOE, Croix de la Valeur Militaire, Médailles d'Honneur...), would it be possible the ribbon has stayed a long time in water ? The "strongest" colour (and often the case with red) could have "invaded" the lighter colours... This can be seen in many flea markets stands where basic medals can remain a long time underprotected under rain.

Just my two cents...

Cheers.

Ch.

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unsure.gif

On this medal, the ribbon tends to bleed colors. The ribbon is made from a rough woven material (not silk) that appears oily or waxy. If exposed to the sun, the ribbon tends to dry out and fade. But, I have seen samples that were once framed or stored in indirect sunlight bleed their colors. My feeling is that since so many of these medals were produced, the manufacture use cheep materials for mass production. I have several samples in my collection that have bleeding ribbons. James unsure.gif

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hello gents,

it could indeed well be that they are poorer quality ribbon as found on most medals and that water (or moist) could have changed the collor.

I haven't held one in my hand, only know it from pictures.

Still, anyone any idea about differetn manufacturers of this medal?

kind regards,

Roeland

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Hi Roeland,

Not sure on the different makers, but there appears to be different base metals used. I heard the early ones were more of a bronze, where the later a slightly different mix? Not sure and I don't have good examples for comparison here, but of three Commemorative Medals I have, there are slight differences in finish.

As far as the ribbon goes, all mine are the same. I had to wash one as it was excessively dirty with black grease or dirt marks on it; really detracting. Once I washed it with warm water and a light hand soap, the ribbon is a bit faded in color, but the colors faded equally and I do not see any bleeding of colors into each other. The ribbon is the more coarse type.

Tim

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Hello Tim,

I also noticed the difference in metals.

I've seen them in dark bronze, a somewhat lighter bronze and one that is a little more ''shiny'' (don't know the word, but a collor more going towards a silver blend, but still obvious brown/bronze).

The details on the later ones are often also of a higher quality.

kind regards,

Roeland

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unsure.gif These medals were mass produced, different alloy combinations, and different manufactures. This is no surprise to me. Many countries did it throughout history. Every single one in my collection looks different. Well, this is my take on the subject. unsure.gif

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unsure.gif These medals were mass produced, different alloy combinations, and different manufactures. This is no surprise to me. Many countries did it throughout history. Every single one in my collection looks different. Well, this is my take on the subject. unsure.gif

James,

Yes, certain metals are always in demand in support of the war effort as any war progresses. That's why we often see a clear transition from superior quality materials to those of lessor quality; also seems to apply to overall workmanship or streamlining of the "process" as well.

Tim

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"The details on the later ones are often also of a higher quality."

Hi Roeland,

Really? My experience has always shown that the earlier produced pieces were of better quality; in material used to fabricate the item; the level of details, as the dies were in better shape; and in overall workmanship (i/e: final finishing touches to any details).

In this case, the earlier brass items should be better than the later composite ones, but they may be worn a bit more at this point. I like my early brass pieces!

Tim

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hello gents,

personally, I don't think war has anything to do with the material or quality in this case, as the medal was instituded after the war.

It is clear there are multiple manufacturers, and they probably all made their own ribbons, but I would like to know which companies made them (names).

I can't find it in books anywhere.

the example on the picture is nice, but in my opinion ''flat'''. I'm not very good at English, but I mean that the details, in my opinion, aren't of superb quality.

I have seen examples where the crowns are more ''3d''. The lines between face and ''flat'' part of the medal aren't very ''sharp'', or for the same matter you can hardly make anything of what is on Alberts shoulder, letters like ''de la'' and ''herr(innerings)'' are harder to see etc.

I don't know how to explain in English.

kind regards,

Roeland

Edited by Roeland

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Hi Roeland,

I have seen medals that show sharper details as well, but think a lot of this is attributed to actual wear and not the "coinage" per-se, but you may be correct in that there may be a certain model or maker that had some really great details to their products; I think personally, it's just wear on the die or medal itself. In my example, the light reflects a lot of the detail away; not the best PIC in this case. I have seen those that have a sharp, almost 3D, defined strike and they look great!

As far as available material used; I do understand the medals were made post-war, but material shortages would still be evident for sometime afterward IMO, and rebuilding the countrie's infastructure would seemingly take priority over frivolous items like medals. Again, just my opinion here, but I would rather have the brass, aluminum, steel, and whatever else used to repair and rebuild what got destroyed first. You can't cook or eat on the ODM's. :D

As far as maker's go, you're guess is as good as mine. I am trying to get some of that information as it relates to the different Fire Cross medals and, as you say, there are no books or much information out there to determine who made what. Add to the fact that its been almost 100 years now and most of the related facts probably long gone. I have seen several pieces in a wide variety of cases/boxes and still not sure they actually belong together. A good case in point would be the Order of Leopold I's I've seen.

If Wolfer's is attributed to those Leopold I's that have the "I" on the reverse, then what reference did we use to determine that? I see several that have that "I" and are cased in boxes with every other name out there (i/e: Fonsons; Degreef; unmarked; and even Wolfers). So, at this point, whats to say pieces were not put together for sale? That's exactly the case in Japanese awards where cases from one era are matched up with medals from a later or earlier period in order to sell it as a complete "cased set". I think in some instances, the sellers just don't know or figure its not important. :speechless:

Anyway, any information on maker's and examples of their products would be a great addition to the knowledge base here, hopefully it will eventually come.

Regards,

Tim :beer:

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Hi,

here is a medal ribbon with a middle section in yellow on a basic structure in red, a thin red thread under the yellow thread, yellow partial rubbed off.

The quality of these medals is really not impressive.

Uwe

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Guest Darrell

Nice James. Any significance to the enamel crosses and such attached to the ribbon?

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Nice James. Any significance to the enamel crosses and such attached to the ribbon?

Darrell,

Just larger variations on the red cross for wounded personnel. Interesting that it has five silver bars vice the single bar in gilt.

I have seen examples of this medal that really have sharp details, but the majority of examples are well represented here IMO. Like Uwe stated, most are just not that impressive.

Here's another one of mine and you can see the separation of the ribbon colors towards the very bottom. Still, I don't see any bleeding of colors on these examples.

Regards, :cheers:

Tim

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Actually my sample has one gilt bar and four silver bars. Color fading with age and patina.

Ribbon attachments for this medal include:

- Front Bars were awarded for frontline duty, the first silver bar- one year's service, subsequent bars for each additional 6 months. On gilt bar replaced 5 silver ones,

- Red enamel cross for each wound stripe,

- Black bars for POW's

- Crossed Anchors or Single Anchor for Navy personnel and fishermen (Single Anchor only if they had also received a Maritime Decoration).

- a crown for volunteers

- Members of the Expeditionary Corps to Russia received a bar "1916-R-1917" or "1916-R-1918."

I was told that my sample came from a fisherman who became a gun runner during the German blockade. Should have a POW bar also because he was captured later in the war. I lost the fisherman’s name long ago in my collecting but remember that he had also received a British medal of some type too. Darn, I wish I could have researched this one.

Nice James. Any significance to the enamel crosses and such attached to the ribbon?

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Hi James,

Thought the maximum amount of bars was 1 gilt and three silver for a maximum of 8 bars = 4 1/2 years?

Tim

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Hi James,

Thought the maximum amount of bars was 1 gilt and three silver for a maximum of 8 bars = 4 1/2 years?

Tim

I thought so too but this is the way I received the medal from Belgium many years ago. blush.gif

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hello gents,

I have one from a Belgian general (became general after the war) who served the entire war,

he has 3 silver and 1 gilt.

If the entire ribbon is made of red collored threads, and the middle has been collored yellow, that would be a very good explanation why it would ''bleed'' red

when it is wet or moist instead of just fading collors.

The example from speedytop is already better then others I see, for example look at the text on the front, like the 4 from 1914 is ''thinner'' and ''open'' in the middle).

Wearing could be an explanation why some medals have lost some quality.

I still like them though.

kind regards,

Roeland

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Roeland,

It's been awhile and I think I have found a couple that are more detailed. Here's one that still had the ribbon. Still lost a little in the PIC's but the details are sharp, though worn over time. :cheers:

Tim

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Well, it's been a year and thought I would bump this one up to see if any new revelations came about on this one.

Here's a recent addition. Appears to be the standard issue with the designer's name and E.D.B. on the reverse.

Tim

post-548-090621800 1287461525_thumb.jpg

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One of the things that I've noticed since the original discussion on varieties having more details, is this one:

post-548-011428900 1287461659_thumb.jpg

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