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Red Cross - Men's Silver Order of Merit


Dieter3
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O.K., this is for Nick! So, you remember that "problematic" lady's medal? Well, here's the man's version - Bakelite case, same mildly-crude construction, but unlike the woman's, this one's rosette is the "standard" button. No other identifying marks whatsoever. Simply fascinated by these.

Edited by Dieter3
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Well, sure thing this box came from same workshop as previous one for the lady's.

No doubt about it.

Same everything.

Same terrible spacing, same terrible carvings...

Are you sure this is another box? :lol:

Congrats on this one!

Still have my doubts about precise dating of these boxes.

I don't think that actual economic conditions were behind their creation (well, boxes from 1946 are excellent and have golden kanji on them - I just couldn't believe that 1956-1960 period was worse than 1945-1946 ;))

Workshop specific work style maybe.

Cheers,

Nick

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Well, sure thing this box came from same workshop as previous one for the lady's.

No doubt about it.

Same everything.

Same terrible spacing, same terrible carvings...

Are you sure this is another box? :lol:

Must be the same, no doubt! Every impression is there!!

Still have my doubts about precise dating of these boxes.

I don't think that actual economic conditions were behind their creation (well, boxes from 1946 are excellent and have golden kanji on them - I just couldn't believe that 1956-1960 period was worse than 1945-1946 ;))

Workshop specific work style maybe.

Cheers,

Nick

No, I think the 1956+ period was getting better by that time. This thing is pre-56. Remember, the medal is still a nice piece - but why the cheap cases? Well, not being government issued might have something to do with it? Let's face it, the war and post-war periods were not good times, so maybe the Red Cross was trying to save some money - or perhaps thaey had to? Resources (like labor) may have been stretched thinner so the good stuff/fabricators/parts, etc., went to government stuff and everybody else got the "scraps" so to say.

As to other cases being nice - perhaps there was a large stock of them that had already been made up well in advance??

Just theorizing!

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I believe the medals were still made by Japan Mint (if they were able to manufacture high quality orders even in 1946, then they shouldn't had any problems with that in late 40s or early 50s (if not by Japan Mint then by the same private manufacturer as before war). At least this is standard very high quality - that's for sure.

And boxes, buttons and ribbons were made by private workshops.

And this type of box were made in small numbers by some workshop.

As to the 1946 boxes - they have usual pre and post war superb quality and they are not from war stock, because they have gold kanji on the cover ;) However, we don't know when and why these changes (from gold to silver and then back to gold kanji) occurred!

The earliest estimate for silver kanji pieces is 1941 and the later one 1944 (1945?). And another thing - back in early 40s there could be a few different manufacturers of boxes - one of them used silver kanji and the other gold kanji.

As for the date of creation of these boxes... 100% authentic documented group is still in great demand.

Cheers,

Nick

P.S. Still amazed by the similarity between these two boxes!

Edited by JapanX
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Yes - the great silver & gold kanji mystery!! I wonder - can we learn anything about this from the China Incident Medal with silver kanji in the late 30s as for a time table? Not an absolute one of course, but I wonder if box makers began to tinker with the silver with the orders at that time?

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As for the date of creation of these boxes... 100% authentic documented group is still in great demand.

Cheers,

Nick

P.S. Still amazed by the similarity between these two boxes!

And forgot to mention - considering how many of these merit medals are out there, I am really surprised at the apparent lack of documents on the market! And yes, the similarity of the two cases is very obvious! Can't say 100%, but I'd agree - same maker!

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And forgot to mention - considering how many of these merit medals are out there, I am really surprised at the apparent lack of documents on the market! And yes, the similarity of the two cases is very obvious! Can't say 100%, but I'd agree - same maker!

I agree. This is strange. This shortage of red cross documents.

Edited by JapanX
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Another small tidbit of information, this time from my 90-Year History of the Japan Mint (pub. 1963). This is an interesting volume, because, of the four volumes (70-, 80-, 90-, and 100-Year Histories), it is the only one that does not attempt a full history. It is explicitly about the ten years from the end of the 80-Year history, with only a few introductory chapters about the longer history. Anyway, I ran across this sentence, talking about the resurgent popularity of commemorative items ordered from the Japan Mint:

'And in 1960, more than a decade since any orders were placed, the Japan Red Cross ordered 20,000 Special Member Medals.'

(35年には、10数年来注文のなかった日本赤十字社特別社員章2万個の注文があった。)

That is all about the RC; the other info was about different table medals etc. But can we assume that no RC medals were made between the end of the war and 1960? Is that possible? The sentence seems clear that no orders were placed by the RC during this time. Of course, one could imagine that they had a surplus and awarded those, but I think the general practice was to order as needed.

Thoughts?

Edited by fukuoka
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I suspect the RC ordered them from a number of different makers. It is possible that they switched back to the Mint at that time since it was cost effective or they needed a higher volume since they were awarding more. It is a pity that it does not say anything about the material used, ie silver or aluminum.

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Without RC documentation of awards made in the years 1945-1960 (given that a few may have been surplus orders from earlier), how can one discount a statement from the Japan MInt? Certainly it is possible that orders were made from a private manufacturer, but without evidence it is hard to claim this is true. Thinking about the history of immediate post-war Japan, one would think that new members of the RC would have been scarce, and donations to that organization may have been few in number. Of course, all of this can be cleared up with some concrete figures. But just suspecting something isn't a strong argument.

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Well, given that the RC instituted changes in 1956 that created the separate silver and gold classes for Special Membership and Orders, does it make sense there'd be a 4-year delay in rolling any of these medals out? I suppose it is not too far fetched to have waited until 1960 to begin reissue. I'd imagine anything in between the late 40s and 1956 though could have been surplus stock. The one thing that makes me think orders were NOT ordered from private makers is that they lack makers' marks. I mean, why would the Red Cross mark every other kind of medal they issues, but NOT the orders? That said - you'd think you'd see at least a few that popped up with an "M" from the priod where we KNOW the mark occurs. But I've not seen one to date on any Red Cross medal. Has anyone?

I agree too - right after the war, I think membership would have seen a decline as Rich stated.

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I mean, why would the Red Cross mark every other kind of medal they issues, but NOT the orders? That said - you'd think you'd see at least a few that popped up with an "M" from the priod where we KNOW the mark occurs. But I've not seen one to date on any Red Cross medal. Has anyone?

I think nobody ;)

At least nobody I know :lol:

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