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I have been hunting through old threads/endless threads for bars which SHOULD be identifiable and have been lost/buried in such threads. A bar like this should be sorted out individually and hopefully at some point All Will Be Revealed.

This one belongs to Sambolini and is buried at post 346, page 18 of the "Noncombatant Medal Bars Thread."

Anyone who has anything remotely similar which has not yet been identified

POST IN ITS OWN INDIVIDUAL NEW THREAD.

I just can not "do" more than one at a time anymore, especially in threads which people keep adding to. Bars like this deserve their own attention.

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Ready for an Epic Narrative... just to get to the point of a POSSIBLE preliminary identification? Here's explaining the PROCESS of getting THERE--

This is a particularly splendid medal bar in immaculate condition. With FIVE Orders from FOUR different states to work from, it should be easy to identify—right?

Wrong.

There is no military long service award on here with at least a 27 year spread from first datable award—the 1870/71 front-line noncombatant War Medal—to the 1897 Kaiser Wilhelm I Centenary Medal. OK, there were lots of pin-back brooch long service awards then, and sometimes those were not medal bar mounted as pendants (have yet to see anything ever authorizing that practice, BTW).

Four of these five Orders were bestowed on people with the status of Lieutenants—whether military or civilian. That is very, very unusual outside a Guards regiment or even among the War Ministry paper shufflers who DID end up with a surprising number of awards for military officials who were virtually never seen... by anybody else but their own co-worker. No goose-stepping jubilee parades for THEM!

Rank Lists have been hunted through for Reserve or Landwehr officers who retired to their day jobs with only a brooch-pin LD2 ad got all that glitter out of uniform. No joy. Military officials have been hunted through for brooch-pin NCO long service awards—ditto.

At this point I began to suspect that the front-line noncombatant 1870/71 Medal was a false clue—something the wearer did THEN, but that had nothing to do with his subsequent career. A medical orderly, perhaps even a draftee, or a civilian Red Cross volunteer. We're back to the Orders (and LACK of military long service award).

That brings us to the civil service. We're out of luck there. While the Prussian Court and State Handbooks exist, and we have quite a few of them, the Corps of Research Gnomes has always centered all our efforts on military groups. The hardier among us (and I am not one of them!) are now working backwards away from 1914 deep deep into the 19th century...for military awards. Nobody has typed out endless tens of thousands (each year for decades!!!!) of civil servants' decorations to come up to what we SEEM to be able to produce here for our fellow GMIC-ers--”instant” answers. Those take YEARS to accumulate.

So what I've been doing is comparing the 1914 (actually 1913) Hessian Orders List with the most recent Baden listing of all award holders that I have—from the Baden 1902 Court and State Handbook. True Orders Lists are hard to find. Most Court and States (hence the date for Baden) simply list natives and completely omit non-natives. BUT... 1902 seems a perfectly good place to focus on... as does 1914.

With a medal bar like this, I generally start with the assumption that the wearer WAS alive in 1914. If he had died before then, returnable Orders were almost always (just not always enough to make our work even tougher) returned. So, ALIVE in 1914... and thus listed most “currently” in Hesse's OL 1913. 1902 would be, after 30 years of whatever, where an Imperial German officer level person's career would have settled in at a pay grade glass ceiling... so he should have held pretty much everything he was GOING to get by then.

While there are indices to the Baden 1902 and the Hesse 1914, alas the awards are listed chronologically. So I still have to go through hundreds and hundreds of individual entries to cross check for who had a BZ3b and an HP3b. Unfortunately there were far more than expected. Fortunately almost all of them—so far—were the massively overdecorated types who can be EXCLUDED as holders of this bar. Identifications usually come down to process of elimination.

At THIS point (still not finished) it seems that the civil service can be eliminated as well. The combination of awards suggests someone stuck at “Lieutenant” status for a very long time, just tipping up into “Captain” status with the career-final Red Eagle Order. A generic “Rechnungsrat” sort of fellow. But so far, no joy.

FOUR different states to one fellow. Highly unusual at this level—too much travel for a civil service career fixed to one place. Which meant the awards came to him—he didn't transfer to them. Railway supervisors come most to mind from this sort of group... but no joy (so far) there either. So?

Sambolini's guy was almost certainly a pure private sector civilian. That makes his awards even more interesting.

My Prime Suspect right now (remembering that I'm not through hunting 'em down yet!) issssssss

“K.P. Hofphotograph zu Berlin” Jakob REICHARD--

KO430.05.92

BZ3b 1892 (no month or day in the listing)

HP3b 04.03.93

That's 3 of the 5 Orders, but maddeningly that is NOT enough at this point to confirm him.

Herr Reichard unfortunately for us was not vain enough to pay to list himself in the 1908/09 German Orders Almanac. For all I currently know, he was born in the 1860s and had bizarre gongs from half a dozen other nations or states whose Rolls no one has yet gotten to—or ever will. Without the vanity listing, we're spinning wheels here.

Our lack of Rolls for pre-Great War Württemberg Friedrich Orders is now a gaping void—particularly when o FEW of the F3bs were handed out compared to WF3as. Again, the lower the person's status, the least likely to get a “breathing on the job” award.

My last trace of Herr Reichard was as a Stellvertreter to the Photographischer Scahverständigen-Verein in the Prussian Court and State Handbook of 1907. But wait a minute! Don't those SHOW awards? You bet!...but NOT for the Professional Photographers Association board members!

So here the process rests. Reichard with 3 of 5 Orders, alive 1913. Onward and onward!

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Yeah. :( I didn't find him to January 1913. Maybe after that in the Staats-Anzeiger. Or maybe it is not Reichard at all. I'm still looking-- but then Claudio got in the way with my Personal Nightmare medal bar. I forgot to eat lunch today....

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Rick,

The 1904/05 DOA list Jakob's awards as BdZL3b HssP4b PrKr4 KSäA3c and OestFJ4. So, looks like the FJ knocks him out of contention.

Andy

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Just remembered that the Württemberg Hof- und Stattshandbuch 1907 lists ALL Orders holders, so checking WF3bs there. Crossed with BZ3b from their HuS HB 1902 and the Hessian OL 1914, and having the Prussian Ordenslisten means ALL FIVE Orders are listed.

But, after hours today going through cross-checking WF3bs... with only about 40 names left, it is NOT looking good for the recipient of this wonderfully intact medal bar having been ALIVE in 1913. The last few names will probably TOTALLY eliminate a "live person" which means short of an accidental finding in the 1908/09 Orders Almanac (IF he was alive THEN, AND vain enough to have paid for his own listing) or some bright future day when ALL awards have been transcribed and can be instantly combined by some Giganto Computero Braino.... merely mortal Research Gnomes have been able (in my case with about 40 hours into this now) to say this guy slid through the gaps 1902/1907/1908-09/1913.

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Wow,

Many thanks for the info gentlemen. The knowledge you gentleman possess of the minutiae of Imperial German regulations and the often eccentric rules of the awarding States always astounds me. It is truly unbelievable.

Kind regards,

Sam K.

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I'm sorry, but I have some severe doubts on this bar.

The ribbons don't look like "immaculate", old silk ribbons to me - but like modern repro ribbons, as does the reverse look like a modern fabric. Not to talk about the shiny brass needle...

Edited by saschaw
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Yeah... I am with Sascha about his comments... also the red flashy backing, like it was put on it yesterday, don't look really it has been in a drawer for 80-90 years. Most bars show moths damage (lightly to very heavy) or at least some wear signs... Of course it would be different if it lied in his original box or case all the time...

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Of course it would be different if it lied in his original box or case all the time...

But then it still looks like modern fabric and modern ribbons to me.

That's very bad guys doing bars like these, driving the honorable research gnomes mad...

:shame:

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That COULD be why I could not find him. Certainly not alive in 1913.

But please--whether THIS bar or "Claudio #9" just because we can't FIND it (yet) does NOT mean it MUST be bad. ("Claudio #4" took YEARS and slaughtered millions of brain cells....).

Looking at scans is not the same as in hand, of course, but appearances can be altered by the scan. I still have my true blue old magic Epson scanner, but when my previous computer died this past winter, I ended up with a completely different image editing program, which in removing background gray tends to over-brighten.

This bar at least is mounted correctly, with awards that are consistent with a career we have yet to find. Maybe for a good reason, maybe for a bad reason.

Bt though I've done everything now available to me for sources, I'm not abandoning this one--just putting it into the "3 AM Folder."

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Hi,

Yes, perhaps the bar is bad. The orders are fine, so I think it would be possible to sell it for the price of the orders in the future, which is about what I paid for it, so not burned too badly. Live and learn. Many thanks for all the good information gentlemen.

Kind regards,

Sam K.

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Are the ribbons new, not silk?

The worst thing that could happen is to jettison something that later turns out to be good, unless those ARE rayon ribbons whose white flashes electric blue under a blacklight.

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Flipping threw Württemberg, I noticed this Friedrichsorden knights cross shown here is one made by the Stuttgart mint, who started doing orders in 1915. However, the suspension isn't the right one, and seems to be replaced.

According to Klein and Raff, the mint delievered 4938 knights crosses 2nd class with swords and only 625 knights crosses 2nd class without swords. The vanishingly low award numbers of "peace time" awards (again, according to Klein and Raff: 79 in (full!-)1914, 8 in 1915 and 4 in 1916, unfortunately no numbers for 1917 and 1918) makes me believe it might be an altered one, that used to have swords... I guess most of the mint made, unawarded "peace time" knights crosses were destroyed after the war, when there was no more use for them.

Could you, Sam, please take a look if there are traces of former swords? Thank you!

Edited by saschaw
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