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Rick Research Speaks:

So many people have interests far beyond what Yrs Truly always refers to as the "Actually Possible for Mere Mortals" that I finally asked far more senior offline members of the Traveling Museum to bring along their collective Pour le Merites for Theme Day scanning at our most recent pre-turista season Island gathering of Magic Epson worshippers and aficionados of fine food, wine, and cigars. Herewith, for those of you who are interested in such unobtainable items, four different examples spanning over a century of wear of the Prussian Order Pour le Merite.

Obverse of a gold 19th century example

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This charmingly chubby little foreign made replacement from the mid-19th century bears an official Prussian-issue 50th jubilee Crown. Because this one no longer has a ribbon, will just post close-up sizes

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Thanks to all members of the Traveling Museum involved for bringing these along to share with you all, and to Evil Ricky for posting these since I am offline. We all hope that those of you interested in insanely rare and hideously expensive exotica will be interested in seeing such nicely varied types.

These crosses have all, alas, come and gone again, so I have no other magic Epson scans to share. In the general festivation, I cannot recall seeing any maker marks, probably because my hands were shaking… pawing them. Then again, the entire non-PLM-owning throng’s hands were shaking…. pawing these. After all, how the bleep often do FOUR Blue Maxes grace anyone’s Humble Abode from the four quarters of any particular quadrant of the globe?

Speckles sprinkled on some of the scans are from our superabundant pine pollen and not IN any enamel. Can’t keep it from every surface here currently.

Should there be any questions regarding further points of theoretical interest in these four treasures, post away and can get relevant replies back eventually through Evil Ricky. Rick Research

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stogieman editorial comments:

It's not often in life that one has a great dinner, washes up, sits down to relax with some really good friends and start's to have PLM's passed around the room. I had a wonderful working-meeting with Steve Previtera a few weeks back and of the many subjects we touched on, one was PLM's. I confessed that unlike flight badges, the characteristics of the PLM are just lost in translation/viewing images to me. I'm sorry, I just don't get them; just as I find it impossible to "see" what Rick, Daniel, Paul, et. al. "see" in the rank lists.

After this meeting I don't think there will be too many authenticity questions for me if I am ever fortunate enough to actually hold a real PLM in my (too flabergasted to be sweaty) hands....

As is so often the case in this hobby of ours; there is simply no substitute for handling known originals. Quality simply cannot be duplicated in an image, no matter how well the scan or photo may be. The "feel" of piece cannot be replicated, no matter how clever a fake.

This was one of the most special nights of collecting I have had in a very long time and I am grateful to all the participants. Thank you for your time, your efforts and for sharing your collective experience(s) and knowledge.

PS: Did I mention the ca. 1866 and the ca. 1870 St. Henry RK's I was able to lovingly hold again?

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One of these pieces has been posted on the forum before by a forum member who didn't own it but posted it for someone else. The damage to the enamel is very specific and identical to the posted photos. The piece was attributed to a very well-known recipient. At the time it was posted here, some might remember there were questions raised regarding provenance and so on.

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Hi Les, nice of you to weigh in. Perhaps you could help us all out by referring to the specific thread and/or your specific questions/concerns regarding the piece.

Thanks!

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Thanks to all members of the Traveling Museum involved for bringing these along to share with you all, and to Evil Ricky for posting these since I am offline. We all hope that those of you interested in insanely rare and hideously expensive exotica will be interested in seeing such nicely varied types.

These crosses have all, alas, come and gone again, so I have no other magic Epson scans to share. In the general festivation, I cannot recall seeing any maker marks, probably because my hands were shaking… pawing them. Then again, the entire non-PLM-owning throng’s hands were shaking…. pawing these. After all, how the bleep often do FOUR Blue Maxes grace anyone’s Humble Abode from the four quarters of any particular quadrant of the globe?

Speckles sprinkled on some of the scans are from our superabundant pine pollen and not IN any enamel. Can’t keep it from every surface here currently.

Should there be any questions regarding further points of theoretical interest in these four treasures, post away and can get relevant replies back eventually through Evil Ricky. Rick Research

Thank you for posting them all here at one time. They are wonderful to look at. I thoroughly understand how having them in your hands provides a greater degree of knowledge. Weight, color, and details are revealed to the first-person observer like nothing else can. It would have been nice to hold each one in turn and view it with my own eyes (even if I was wearing my thin cotton gloves).

At your last point, you invite posts for questions. I would have like to have seen some oblique angle photos. Barring that, what would be the first-person observers’ comments on the thicknesses of the PLMs? Is there a seam, or file marks? Do the cross corners get polished or buffed from wear, or are they as clean as the rest of the piece? Not asking for a precise weight, but what is the "heft" of these pieces? In terms of weight/density, what other award do they compare to? -in your opinion.

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Hi Les, nice of you to weigh in. Perhaps you could help us all out by referring to the specific thread and/or your specific questions/concerns regarding the piece.

Thanks!

Rick,

I didn't want to be too specific because there are little things that could give the ownership of this (and one other piece) away.

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=7456

The thread dates back a few years and the question of whether the silver gilt piece with the crown in particular was solid or hollow construction. Dan never got back to providing an answer to that question, and someone who actually handled that specific piece and remembers it well, might be able to provide an accurate answer.

I agree with you completely on the limitations of photography with regards to these, and many other pieces.

Thanks,

Les

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Magnificent opportunity to compare these, with the added benefit of the relatively uniform lighting and magnification afforded by the scans. Any chance one could obtain a copy of the scans by PM for higher res inspection than is possible on the forum, Rick?

Will just scroll down and gaze some more...

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  • 3 weeks later...

stogieman editorial comments:

It's not often in life that one has a great dinner, washes up, sits down to relax with some really good friends and start's to have PLM's passed around the room. I had a wonderful working-meeting with Steve Previtera a few weeks back and of the many subjects we touched on, one was PLM's. I confessed that unlike flight badges, the characteristics of the PLM are just lost in translation/viewing images to me. I'm sorry, I just don't get them; just as I find it impossible to "see" what Rick, Daniel, Paul, et. al. "see" in the rank lists.

After this meeting I don't think there will be too many authenticity questions for me if I am ever fortunate enough to actually hold a real PLM in my (too flabergasted to be sweaty) hands....

As is so often the case in this hobby of ours; there is simply no substitute for handling known originals. Quality simply cannot be duplicated in an image, no matter how well the scan or photo may be. The "feel" of piece cannot be replicated, no matter how clever a fake.

This was one of the most special nights of collecting I have had in a very long time and I am grateful to all the participants. Thank you for your time, your efforts and for sharing your collective experience(s) and knowledge.

PS: Did I mention the ca. 1866 and the ca. 1870 St. Henry RK's I was able to lovingly hold again?

Perfectly stated. The one thing I can't explain to non collectors about this hobby is the experience you describe that you can only get from the personal interaction and sharing with friends. I had the same type experience with my dear friend Allan Henderson at the SOS. He brought some items to the show just so I could see and handle them in person....and it was amazing, like you said, ain't nothing like the real thing baby.

Thanks so much for sharing and reminding us the importance of the hobby beyond the pieces we collect.

Tony

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  • 1 year later...

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