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Boris

Austrian WWI Long Service Awards

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Well, while we're all here...2014.gif

First, I wanted to say thanks to Boris for starting a great thread! I am learning a lot in just three pages of discussions and have had a couple of PM's from others offering more information as well, so..THANKS to all!cheers.gif

Second, my apologies for sort of hi-jacking the thread from what it may have originally been set for and hope it didn't get too far off-track.

Now, while we're discussing these long service awards, I know a fellow collector that had some issues on knowing the authenticity of this 50-year service cross below and thought it might serve some purpose here as well as to him. With his permission, I'm posting this one for review. He has been told it's good and fake, so any knowledgeable thoughts would be great. I like it but the ribbon does look newer in my eyes and may be a replacement(?).

Tim

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One close-up of the front. That's all I have on it.

Tim

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Hello,

the discussion is not at all off-track if we talk also about copies, fakes and forgeries: this would be helpful to the majority of us.

The 50 years service here shown, is in fact a copy. Such pieces were made by Rothe of Vienna until the late 70s, when their production of copies discontinued and sold at their shop in Kohlmarkt until the mid-80s, when they went out-of-stock.

Typical, is the attachment of the loop to the crown's "Pendilien" and the fact that the cross' reverse is plain, without the typical, engraved border.

The ribbon is new, although this isn't exactly a sign of a copy...

Best wishes,

Enzo (Elmar Lang)

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This is from Liverpool Medals (they have kindly given me the run of their catalogue for my site!) and is being offered as "Military L.S.Cross enlisted men VI years 1890-1913" - any comments?

Obverse:

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Hello Megan,

it's a "Kriegsmetall"-made piece: it can be dated around 1916-18.

Best wishes,

Enzo

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Hello Enzo,

Thanks for the info on my friends 50 yr cross, I'll pass on the information to him today!

Tim

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Gents,

Let me join this interesting thread with sharing with you this first type (1849-1867) Long Service Medal 1st class for officers after 25 years of service.

Regards,

cimbineus

image-9750_4C7F4E60.jpg

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Hello

Congratulations to the owners of the decorations! :cheers: , (even the fake is really a jewel). I thought I was not an envious, but maybe I was in a mistake. :speechless1: Anyway I'm learning very much with your comments. Thanks to all.

Edited by Boris

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Agree, some really beautiful pieces being shown! cheers.gif

I know the collector of that Rothe copy (50 yr service cross) was trying to sell the piece sometime back. If anyone is interested, I can ask the guy if he still wishes to sell it and connect interested parties. Let me know.

Tim

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I'm bringing this question up on two different threads relating to the Austrian Long-Service awards for continuity purposes and in case some see one thread and not the other.

In the other thread, Dave Danner had posted this information:

Posted 12 October 2005 - 12:00

The Milit?rdienstzeichen was established on 19 September 1849 by Franz Joseph I. It is still used in roughly the same form today.

1. When founded, there were two categories, one for officers and one for enlisted. For officers, the 1st Class was for 25 years and the 2nd Class for 50 years. For enlisted, 1st Class was 8 years and 2nd Class was 16 years.

  • The Officer's 1st Class had the silver crowned double-headed eagle device in the center of the cross. The 2nd Class differed only by having a gilt double-headed eagle suspension.
  • The enlisted versions had the Roman numerals VIII and XVI on a 15mm wide center medallion with a raised edge. The edge of the medallion for the XVI version was a wreath of oakleaves.

2. In 1867, the enlisted crosses were changed to 12 years (XII) and 18 years (XVIII). The center medallion was 17mm wide. The edge of the medallion for both was now a wreath of oakleaves.

3. In 1869, the enlisted crosses were changed again, to 12 years (XII) and 24 years (XXIV). Both went to having just a raised edge, no wreath.

4. In 1890, the crosses were changed again. The classes were renumbered so that the higher class corresponded to the higher number of years. The officers' crosses were divided into three classes: 1st Class for 50 years, 2nd Class for 40 years and 3rd Class for 25 years. The enlisted versions remained 24 and 12, but as noted, the 1st Class was now the XXIV and the 2nd Class was now the XII.
  • The Milit?rdienstzeichen 1. Klasse f?r Offiziere was 35mm wide, and the edges of the cross were enameled in black. In the center was the golden crowned double-headed eagle device. The suspension was a golden crown, 20mm high (including the orb and cross), as seen in the Niemann pic you posted. The pebbly line on the rear is correct, too.
  • The Milit?rdienstzeichen 2. Klasse f?r Offiziere was the same as the 1. Klasse, including the black edge, only without the suspension crown.
  • The Milit?rdienstzeichen 3. Klasse f?r Offiziere was the same style as the original officer's 25, and the eagle device was silver. The reverse was flat.

The enlisted crosses were little changed, except the higher class went back to having a wreath. The 2. Klasse had an XII on a round medallion with a raised edge and the 1. Klasse had a XXIV on a round medallion edged with a wreath.

5. In 1911, the enlisted crosses were changed yet again. The enlisted crosses were now divided into 3 classes as well:

  • 1. Klasse - XXIV - wreath on edge of medallion
  • 2. Klasse - XII - no wreath
  • 3. Klasse - VI - no wreath

6. Not again! In 1913, the Milit?rdienstzeichen 2. Klasse f?r Offiziere was changed to 35 years. The enlisted crosses were changed to XX, X and VI years. The 1. Klasse had an XX on a silver medallion (with wreath), the 2. Klasse a X on a silver medallion (no wreath) and the 3. Klasse a VI on a bronze medallion (no wreath).

7. In 1934, the Milit?rdienstzeichen was resurrected in the Austrian Republic. For officers, it was for 35 years and 25 years, and for enlisted it was for 12 years and 5 years. They were not Roman numerals, as you can see by the images from Bert's Sammlerecke.

8. The current republic versions are for 25, 15 and 5 years:

So in summary, for enlisted, Imperial Milit?rdienstzeichen could have the following numbers: XXIV, XX, XVIII, XVI, XII, X, VIII and VI.

  • XXIV - 1869-90 (no wreath); 1890-1913 (wreath)
  • XX - 1913-1918 (wreath on silver medallion)
  • XVIII: 1867-69 (wreath)
  • XVI: 1849-67 (wreath)
  • XII: 1867-69 (wreath); 1869-1913 (no wreath)
  • X: 1913-18 (no wreath, silver medallion)
  • VIII: 1849-67 (no wreath)
  • VI: 1911-18 (no wreath)

I will leave figuring out officers' crosses to you.

As for what you posted:
  • Post #1: Fantasy. There was no Imperial XXV for enlisted, and officers' crosses never had numerals.
  • Post #2: A standard enlisted XII from 1869-1913.
  • Post #3: Milit?rdienstzeichen 2. Klasse f?r Offiziere, 40 years if 1890-1913, 35 years if after 1913.
  • Post #4: Milit?rdienstzeichen 1. Klasse f?r Offiziere (1890-1918)
  • Post #5: A 25, not a 40/35. The mother-of-pearl and the odd eagle make me think provate purchase. This could be a pre-1890 1. Klasse or a post-1890 3. Klasse.
  • Post #6: Another 25.

Bert's Sammlerecke has a fair number of different varieties, showing differences in the eagles, the styles of the crosses and the mother-of-pearl background.

My question is; exactly where do these examples fall in? I understand the left example is shown on an incorrect ribbon (1912 Mobilization Cross).

Tim

post-548-041691900 1289288537_thumb.jpg

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Hello Tim B

Thanks to refloat the 2005 thread.

I Think the two crosses are differents variantes of the 4 Ausgabe 1913 - 1918 for six years of seniority (third class).

The first one is in gilded bronze, and kugelöse. The other is maybe in zinc. I wonder how many variantes of this issue there is. Even could be a hungarian one with double wreath as I have seen in Sammlerecke.

Regards

Edited by Boris

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Hello Boris,

Yes, I am beginning to wonder as well. Certainly contrary to what I read on various sites and to what Dave Danner has previously posted on what to expect. For the six year cross, I only expected to see the plain stepped ring with no wreath.

Anyone else? :speechless:

Tim

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Thought I would bump this thread back up to keep it going if possible. Picked up a couple of additions; here's another 25 Year Service Cross. This one has the larger pattern eagles and the plain back.

Tim

post-548-033292900 1293356762_thumb.jpg

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Here's a rather nice looking 12 Year Service Cross for NCO's. I'm not certain exactly what dates this one was issued as I see conflicting information. Dave Danner's information above leads me to believe the 12 yr ones with the wreath were issued 1867-1869. However, here's one source that is contrary and puts it at 1890-1913; http://www.rainerregiment.at/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56&Itemid=64

Either way, a nice looking award in decent condition. Cheers! :cheers:

Tim

post-548-003152100 1293357823_thumb.jpg

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Hello

I have been working in a sketch of your last image.

Two questions: The wreath is made of laurel or oak-leaf and the medaillon metal, that maybe is zinc.

29e53614.png

Regards

Edited by Boris

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Hello Boris!

Well, in my opinion, the wreath is made of oak leaves. Clearly an oak leaf style and not that of a laurel leaf.

As far as metal material, I do not think this is zinc but maybe it is. I would say the material is of the same as that used on the 25 YR Service Cross eagles shown above. In hand, they appear to be identical in color and tone. There is absolutely no sign of zincpest or other indications of the finish being absorbed as we would normally see on period zinc items.

Here's a couple of closer shots showing the wreath better.

Tim :cheers:

post-548-013144600 1293762697_thumb.jpg

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This is the best I can do before the pixels break down anymore. Hope that helps and if you need more or larger PIC's, send me a PM and I can email you larger format PIC's if you want any.

Best,

Tim

post-548-048651600 1293763299_thumb.jpg

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Hi Dan,

They certainly are a very striking design and ironically, rate low on the order of precedence. We definately do not see this level of quality or design in today's awards.

Tim :beer:

post-548-048298500 1293774014_thumb.jpg

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Hello Tim B

Thanks to answer the three questions.

No, it is not necessary an enlargement, I can see now the acorns.

Happy New Year :cheers:

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Hi Boris,

Very happy to help you in any way!

Happy New Year to all as well! :beer:

Tim

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..from my collection... cross for 25 years with mother - of - pearls on reverse side, 2. edition...

post-5806-002159600 1293959703_thumb.jpg

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