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Question of Order of Leopold I


Tim B
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I've been offered some pieces and wanted to ask a question pertaining to the center design on the French-only centers.

I'm used to seeing the bottom scroll under the lion like the example on the left, but the one on the right is different and not normally seen. Is there a time period difference on these?

Tim

post-548-028446900 1287364654_thumb.jpg

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One clue that may help analyse your two Leopold I Order varieties is examining the green enamel of the wreath. My very limited experence with WW1 versus WW2 models of this badge has noted two distinct types of "green" enamel. MY WW1 Knight's badge (with a silver "A" palm) has a yellow green enamel. My WW2 Officer's badge (with a gilt "L" palm) has a visibly blue green enamel. Moreover, this blue green enamel fluoresces under a black light, whereas the yellow green enamel does not. Early post-WW2 awards of this order's badge may have been made with the blue green enamel, which may have been corrected later to the traditional yellow green enamel.

Your Officer's Leopold I badge appears to have blue green enamel, while your Knight's badge looks to have yellow green enamel.

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Hi guys!

Thanks for taking a quick look here.

First, these aren't mine yet and I am really only considering the example on the right (middle in the PIC) as I already have a nice Wolfers example similar to the one shown on the left.

Both of these shown are of the Knights Class; neither are Officers. The one on the left is to a civilan, for exceptional services during wartime, hence the gold bands. It does have a mothers (widows) bar as well. The pieces with swords are for the Military Division, while ones without swords are Civil Division.

As far as enamel coloring goes; it may have some points to consider but, here are some of my other examples and clearly they have the bluer-green enamel and show the typical scroll type. So, I don't think that really has anything to do with the difference in the bottom scroll design.

Tim

Officers example-gilt

post-548-024052600 1287374383_thumb.jpg

Edited by Tim B
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Perhaps the coloration is slightly different on all these, depending on the lighting used in the PIC's. I do see a "deeper", less translucent, enamel on the center item in the first post. This is different from the rest of the ones I have.:unsure:

Tim

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  • 1 month later...

the star or palm doesn't have a meaning, it's a fantasy or filling up the gap by the maker of the medal.

the left one is older.

Hi,

Okay, I wasn't sure if the differences indicated any timeline or award period similar to what we see on the French ODM's (I/e: star indicates 4th Republic). Thank you!

Tim

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Hi,

Okay, I wasn't sure if the differences indicated any timeline or award period similar to what we see on the French ODM's (I/e: star indicates 4th Republic). Thank you!

Tim

Tim,

I cannot see your images since I am not a full member (just signed up) but since L1 Order is my main collecting focus I'd like to add to posts above.

There were many manufacturers of the Order of Leopold I. Each finished their badges with different level of detail. Dating pieces by the French/Flemish inscription is only sp accurate. Crown types in use are a better way (there were several types) along with manufacturer's details. Wolfers's pieces are usually easy to spot and are probably some of finest made. Fisch, Heremans and Fonson are probably the most encountered manufacturers from that time period (WW1-WW2) and all have their own subtleties in design/finish. There were of course many more makers. French pieces are typically of finer quality but scarcer. In my collection (nearly 400 in the Knight class) I can tell variances even amongst crosses of same manufacturer. Enamel colour of the wreath (green) can range greatly - even on Wolfers-made Knights of same period - hence this is not a reliable method of dating.

Not a definite method but most of WW1 period pieces would use a 'classic' type crown where as WW2 period saw the 'massive' crown design. Note this is only accurate in the Knight/Officer classes. Higher grades differed considerably.

As a last note, beware of the ribbons with special attributes (gold striping) as majority of those I see in commerce are newer ribbons added to attain higher value. There were (comperatively) very few awards of those made.

Hope this helps.

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