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Bulgarian Order of St Alexander -Two Variatians?

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The seller who sold the Luxury St Alexander Star  pictured in #66 and #67 has listed even rare Grand Cross Set with swords in the middle.

According to some sources only 5 of those sets were ever awarded, yet this luxury Set appear on the market  for sale less then two months after the sale of the other Star

I have few reservation regarding this Set

1 The Cross looks much more worn comparing to the Star

2 The Star has few, in my opinion problems - residual glue on the central medallion, The swords look are added later on because they are cut off and attached to the body of the Star with prongs/pins Usually the swords go through the central medallion I cannot see how they are attached to the Cross. When you look the bottom parts of the swords especially the one on the right it looks like the cut off edge is very fresh It is not typical for a luxury Grand Cross Star to have those problems Compare with the other Luxury Star with the Swords above  That was is called a luxury finish

I do not mind the fact that the swords are not the standard shape as we have seen few stars and crosses with slightly different shapes i have in my collection grand Cross Star with different shape ( from   German States Order used by Godet), however the swords are correctly assembled (picture provided)


When i look the marks on the pin of the new Star something is bothering me, however i am not sure what


I might be wrong however i will not bid on this Set BTW it is on Ebay.de ( Germany)


I will be invite you for your comments










Medals 485.jpg

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Both the star in #66 and the set in #76 are Rothe pieces. However, the question to be answered is when these pieces were manufactured.

The first star is lacking any marks and the second doesn't bear the typical "C.F.Rothe" "Wien" hallmarks. The star's overall quality also seems a little lower than what one would expect from Rothe pieces.

An expert on Austrian decorations should be easily able to tell whether these pieces were made pre or post 1945. 

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Hi Utopis,


Your remarks are correct


That was my point  i suspect late production even recent one using spare or left over parts This seller has listed recently  very rare Sets of different order from Europe  mainly Austrian made ones with very similar features  They are usually  listed on ebay Germany for a very short time Auction style The auctions are private No PayPal accepted No returns Some Set have been sold on very good price Well bellow wht you expect for such rare period items It does not make sense to me


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Supporting Graf's insights, I discussed liquidation of Rothe assets on this Forum several years ago.  Remember that Rothe made and sold imperial Austrian and imperial Mexican, Italian and German State, Turkish and fantasy Order insignia using original matrixs through the early 1970's.   For an additional fee, one could get items made in silver or silver gilt, sometimes even with pre-WW I stamps!   

Besides order, medal and insignia matrixs sold off, remaining ribbon stock [including to my personal knowledge silk Military Bravery, St. Alexander, Civil Merit, Military Merit, Long Service Cross, WW I Commerative Medal, Arts and Sciences Medal, and Clementine black/blue Bulgarian material] went on the block.  Not hard to imagine that other things including any in stock, spare or unfinished items got sold too.    

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Hi 922F,


Thank you for the information It helps to solve the burning question about the time of those items production

Such thing happened with the left overs of other Orders and Decoration makers Even the original matrixs have been sold as well Then the new owners need skillful jewelers to get the desired results

Unfortunately, such items have been presented as"Original"  and many new collectors with some good initial budget get stung

I have been following this seller for a while and i suspect he has on his dispose a handsome quantity of left overs or more over he has bee involved in selling items that could be made by using old matrixs Most of his items were rare and unusual in nature

For this particular Set of St Alexander mine main question is why if it is Original and made in the early 1900  the swords are wrong  Rothe was very strict with his Orders especially if this set is the highest Class

Also the different condition of the Star and the Cross The Cross is very worn while the Star is nearly mint..plus the other issues I mentioned  earlier.



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I assume the auction has ended by now, as I cannot find it on ebay.de. I was wondering whether there were any images of the sides of the badge and the swords in particular? i.e. that is to see how those bizarre swords are attached to the cross itself or were they a single unit (as it should be).

And yes, I agree with you all. One positive thing I can see about this set is that the sash appears to be genuine.

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Sorry, a bit off topic but related to machinations of old stock parts.

,While on German ebxay, look at the rare Bulgarian star body version of the St Tamara Order, Georgien Orden der Heiligen Tamara, Bruststern 1.Klasse in übergroßer Ausführung für Generäle, 132559811653!! Alle von uns angebotenen Artikel sind zeitgenössische Originale, 100% Garantie!!   Surely one of the most rare types!!!  





Edited by 922F
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Hi Ilieff,

The seller of the Set does not show any side pictures of the cross He knows something it does not like to share with many others --only the buyer will know


The Item Number on eBay.de is

Hi 992F,
Yes this is  a "Real Gem"   I am not surprised  The Seller perhaps knows, however he is after the $$$$$ He is an old experienced seller
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Seller of these supposedly Rothe stars is based in Austria, which could mean something if these awards were manufactured post-war.

One factor in favor of this theory is lack of proper F Rothe stamps, as finished awards were all endorsed with such stamps.

One of the main mysteries are enamels. Enamels on these awards seem to be real hard baked type enamel, which are extremely difficult to replicate. It's possible though that someone found supply of already made parts (center of the star) with enamels already applied, but never assembled.


Edited by new world
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  • 1 month later...

Hello. First, I want to say that I am very happy and thankful to be with all of you in this community.

I own a diamont breast star. Without swords. I already have a lot of information about it. But I also miss a lot of information since it is very rare and most likely completely unique. I am not sure to whom it belonged exactly. Here are some pictures, maybe some of you can help me with your profund knowledge. 



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Yes the maker is indeed C.F. Zimmermann, Pforzheim. But he used to produce orders mostly in 20th century. I have seen stars produced by Rothe but never by C.F. Zimmermann. The diamond issues were being ordered separately from the generic ones, as they were produced in very limited numbers. 

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I am a bit puzzled by this stamp, as CF Zimmermann did not put full name of their firm on German awards, normally it's a number 20 as I recall. On WWII German (DKIG, various badges, etc) awards you can see underside of the pin marked "20" which is the code number for C.F. Zimmermann, Pforzheim.

On the other hand, here's similar St Alexander star with diamonds with same stamp, sold by Spink. No photo of the stamp, but description mentions same stamp to the pin:

A spectacular diamond-set star of the Bulgarian Military Division of the Order of St. Alexander

Bulgaria, Principality, Order of St. Alexander, Military Division, Star, by C. F. Zimmermann, Pforzheim, 84mm, gold, silver-gilt, siver and enamel, enhanced with approximately 848 'diamonds', maker's name to retaining pin, nearly extremely fine and of the finest quality

The overall quality of this Star illustrates the supreme experience and detail undertaken by the craftsmen in the workshops of Zimmermann. Each stone upon the rays is individually set into a pierced silver frame; in this material to accentuate the natural colour of the stones. Besides this a sliver-thin pierced gold plate is painstakingly affixed and pierced to align with the pierced silver plate, allowing light to the stones whilst ensuring the reverse of the Star is as attractive as possible at the same time alleviating any tarnish being transferred to the uniform of the recipient in time.




Zimmermann markings on German Iron Crosses:

C.F. Zimmermann / Pforzheim

20 & 800


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2 hours ago, new world said:

I am a bit puzzled by this stamp, as CF Zimmermann did not put full name of their firm on German awards, normally it's a number 20 as I recall. On WWII German (DKIG, various badges, etc) awards you can see underside of the pin marked "20" which is the code number for C.F. Zimmermann, Pforzheim.

Romanian orders manufactured by C. F. Zimmermann during WWII had a "CFZ" mark.

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First a small information about the C.F Zimmermann marks The mark 20  of this Firm was mainly used on the German awards till the LDO was introduced in1941. After that the mark L/52 was used.

The silver content was marked 800 or others depending of the quality of the Silver

The Firm C>Zimmermann was known and was used by German Court  and in WW2 Stages by Hitler to produce a very limited number of luxury top awards with  or without Diamonds

This Firm was used also by other Royal Courts around EUROPE for the same reasons

 The Bulgarian Royal Court of King Ferdinand and His son King Boris also used the Firm for the same reason.

On those awards the Firm did not use the 20 and L/52 marks and instead used the mark with its name.

Few of those Bulgarian Awards have been sold on the market in the last few years including the Sotherby's Auction in London on 7th of July 1998 where a significant part of Prince/King  Ferdinand awards were sold

I cannot judge the Star presented  the member pettypirate without having a very close look of some details  and/or hold the Star

On first glance it looks Great, however on close inspection  there are few points that puzzled me

1. The Condition of the Star  There are only handful  of those Stars  awarded as Sets by the Bulgarian Monarchs to themselves and to other Royals and Dignities in Bulgaria and around the Europe. All of such Stars and Sets sold were in pristine condition because of the high value and the rareness of them Why this Star is in such bad condition??

2. The central medallion must be in gold as of the other Stars If I am pettypirate I will check the quality of the Diamonds(if not already done} Those Stars had the highest quality of old rose cut Diamonds  My major point is that I have seen few luxury Stars produced in Turkey using very poor quality stones

3. I also share the point of the other members regarding the Name, however the Firm could have used this name for its luxury models


My question to pettypirate, if not secret, the Origin of the Star.  If the Star was obtained within Serbia and is 100% Original then the VIP awarded it could be Serbian Royal or Dignity and his research has to be focused there.





Edited by Graf
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Thank you for the analysis!

Response to Garf:

It is not a secret. So the origin of the star remains unknown. My family inherited it from my great-great grandmother who was not by any means a royal. She was commoner in central/eastern Serbia at the time (Very beginning of 20th century).  We assume she found it somewhere or it fell off of someone like that. We have no supporting documentation, no box, anything else. Since than, star has been in our family for 3-4 generations as our "little treasure". That's everyting we know about the origin (we know nothing about how it landed in my family's hands since my family was never a part of any royalty.)

Hopefully we will continue researching together. 

Good day!

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Hi Pettypirate,


Thank you for sharing this information.

This can explain few things


First that the Star is Original

Second -The origin is most likely within  the Kingdom of Serbia.

The Model of the Star suggests that it was made during Prince/King Ferdinand period that mean in the period of around 1900 -1918 Your research has to be focused around your grandmother Did she or someone from the family work for someone who was an important person

If not then the damaged pin system  on the back can point to the theory that the Star must have beeen lost and she founded it

That is more likely event, because it is very unlikely if she worked for someone who was of such rank to give his Star as a gift to her

If The Star belonged to a Serbian VIP then information from archives in Serbia and Bulgaria  can give you a clue

I am not sure, however the Military  Museum in Sofia might hold some information about the people awarded with this high level Orders

The other direction is to research the High profile Serbians of this period and eventually identify the one/s awarded this rare Order

Other option could be the Star belonged to a Non Serbian Dignity who visited the area your grandmother lived and lost it during the visit

The research could be long and it is a good idea you decided to solve the story of this Star




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  • 11 months later...

I recently saw this Serbian medal bar with strange St Alexander with swords. St Alexander is in wrong position, it looks like it's on the ribbon for Romanian order.

In addition, awards itself is quite unusual.

My guess is this is privately made order. 









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Hi Igor ,


Did you manage to open the links

It looks like the site is protected

I got this Order  and it is on the way to Australia

If you were not  able to open the links , once I got the Order i will  list pictures of it

It is the same as per the  Lamaitre Catalogue  with out the crown. I assumed the crown on the officer, as i discussed somewhere in the thread, was added to match with the new rules  One thing is for sure this is a very old model and is marked

BTW The  Ivan Osipov Orders are very nice  Are they yours?



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