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Poland Cross of Grunwald Order 3. Cl ... Order Krzyża Grunwaldu


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Anyone who collects Polish medals will undoubtedly be aware that they are heavily faked (some claim that 90% of what you see on the market is fake...) So, up front, I'm saying that I have no idea if this is genuine or not. I received this as a "gift" from a collector in Slovenia in 2004. At the time, I knew nothing of Polish medals; so, I accepted it without asking any questions.

My feeling, however, is that it's a probably copy ... or fake if you prefer. Less than 8,000 of these were awarded in all three classes, with most of those being 3. Class (5,000-7,000 depending upon your source).

There has already been a lengthy discussion about Grunwald Crosses on GMIC.

Edited by IrishGunner
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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, to make the things clear, and as far as I understand it, a fake is an item sold as the original while it is not; any other non-original one is just a copy. Some collectors insist that even original mint items should be called copies, if they were not awarded - in this sense even genuine mint items can be copies.

I do not want to disappoint you, still the cross on the photos does not look original. And I am not even talking about the details, I am talking about the finish which is very poor - uneven edges and scratches. Also the welding is crude and careless. If it was a mint item, it would certainly not pass quality control.

To be sure, would you provide the exact measures of the cross, best up to half milimeter: overall arm length with and without finials, arm width and, very important, its thickness. A photo of the side would certainly be a bonus.

To compare, here is a photo of an original (left) and a privately made copy (right) - sorry I have only a watermarked photo. Although the resolution is not too big, the differences are clearly seen.

To make you a bit happier, let me say that your Cross of Valor, Greater Poland Uprising Cross and Partisan Cross all look original indeed.


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Now, I must say I feel slightly lost... The dimensions match exactly these of the original items... Reproductions are usually slightly bigger and, first of all, much thicker. When I first had an original cross in hand I was surprised how thin it was. But this poor finish... Perhaps your cross leaked out of the mint before it was properly smoothed up. Well, anyway, you can believe it is the original... ;)

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Now, I must say I feel slightly lost... The dimensions match exactly these of the original items... Reproductions are usually slightly bigger and, first of all, much thicker. When I first had an original cross in hand I was surprised how thin it was. But this poor finish... Perhaps your cross leaked out of the mint before it was properly smoothed up. Well, anyway, you can believe it is the original... ;)

Lukasz, thank you once again for the comments. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to look at my piece.

It's nice to know all my Polish pieces are original. That is not the case, unfortunately, for many collections.

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  • 1 year later...

Gentlemen,

The sizes listed here confuse me somewhat.  Perhaps we are talking about a miniature here and not a full sized cross?  I've attached a picture of Soviet General Mikhail Sergeevich Malinin wearing his Cross of Grunwald 3rd class and it would appear to be much larger than the sizes listed.  Or perhaps I am missing something here?

Regards,

Gordon

Mikhail_Malinin.jpg

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No, it seems ok. The total diameter of the crosses of 2nd and 3rd class was 45 mm, so they could look big, compared to other medals on the uniform. Miniatures did exist but they were only ca. 15 mm of diameter and they could hardly be confused with full size badges. 

BTW, Malinin was awarded the 2nd class, but it does not matter much, as both the 2nd and 3rd class were of the same size. 

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Hi Gordon,

I had the same problem.

It seems, that here is a very special measurement requested.

I take the information from above for my picture, left an original (I hope it), on the right a copy (the dimensions of the copy in brackets):

Polen_Orden_des_Grunwaldkreuzes_3._Klass

greene > overall arm length with finials = 16.4mm (16.8mm)

yellow > overall arm length without finials = very difficult to measure

blue > arm width = 10.9mm (11.7mm)

red > total diameter = 45.0mm (47.0mm)

thickness = 2.3mm (3.5mm)

Uwe

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Uwe,

Thanks for posting the method used to measure this cross.  The comment by Lukasz on diametre confused me a bit.  Your post make this comment clearer.  While this somewhat complex method of measuring the cross may seem useful to some to me I don't think it helps much.  I've spent a few days measuring my cross and I can get different measurements every day.  Since there appears to be only small variations between what is considered an actual cross and a possible copy trying to tell one from the other by using a hand held digital micrometer may not be a totally accurate method of measurement.  Also, there is one major measurement missing and that is the weight of a true cross.  I would consider that a more accurate way of determining a true cross from a copy since a copy is probably not made from the same silver content as a true cross.  Anyway. here are pictures of my cross and what I feel are the most accurate measurements of it that I have taken.

Regards,

Gordon

 

DSCF6080.jpg

DSCF6082.jpg

DSCF6091.jpg

DSCF6092.jpg

DSCF6093.JPG

DSCF6094.jpg

DSCF6100.jpg

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Gordon,

I'm not able to say anything about the originality of such Polish crosses, that must be done by others with real knowledge about Polish decorations.

There are many different pieces as we can see here in this thread.

Measuring two of the pieces in my collection, see above my picture, I find differences, compared with your measured dimensions.

Left one, where I hope, that it is an original: width 43.5mm, height 44.3mm, thickness 2.3mm

Right one, where I think, that it is a copy: width 45.6mm, height 46.0mm, thickness 3.5mm

Your cross seem to be a mixture :(, thickness like an original, but the other dimensions like a copy. Based on my measurementes, your cross should have a diameter of 46.5mm/46.6mm.

Let us hope, that Lukasz is willing, to comment it.

Uwe

Edited by speedytop
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, this is Lukasz,

The dimensions, loop, and finish suggest that Gordon's cross can be original. Paradoxically, even its fairly poor condition speaks for it. Original crosses were susceptible to rust if stored in a humid room. I have seen a few certainly original ones, with even poorer look.

What regards the badge, I have seen one like this before, but as far as I know it does not represent any particular unit - just an eagle sitting on a lance pennant. A befriended officer used to wear it as a lapel pin on his civilian clothes to signal he was military, but it was certainly nothing official. If I find anything more about the badge I will let you know.

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  • 11 months later...
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I have a few original crosses. If needed I will find them and meassure them. I attach a confirmed original with document (only photo from my collection I could locate fast). Besides the official versions there are also two interesting Knedler versions - stamped and non-stamped.

Best regards Aahauge

 

KG Kaminski copyright1.jpg

KG Kaminski copyright2.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Guys

I would be interested in your comments on this one. I have seen and read so much, but I am none the wiser. My thoughts/observations in laymans terms would be that the earlier 3rd Class "originals" should be silver and the rings and attachments as the previous example of a decent thickness. I have also shown the box this came in, whether it's the original I can not be certain but possibly it may help indicate a date.

Happy Easter

Dave

Poland-Order of the Cross of Grunwald 3rd Class(1)-O-E100.JPG

Poland-Order of the Cross of Grunwald 3rd Class(1)-R.JPG

Poland-Order of the Cross of Grunwald 3rd Class(1)-Box.JPG

Edited by Shots Dave
change in wording
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On 10/04/2020 at 03:40, Shots Dave said:

Hi Guys

I would be interested in your comments on this one. I have seen and read so much, but I am none the wiser. My thoughts/observations in laymans terms would be that the earlier 3rd Class "originals" should be silver and the rings and attachments as the previous example of a decent thickness. I have also shown the box this came in, whether it's the original I can not be certain but possibly it may help indicate a date.

Happy Easter

Dave

Poland-Order of the Cross of Grunwald 3rd Class(1)-O-E100.JPG

Poland-Order of the Cross of Grunwald 3rd Class(1)-R.JPG

Poland-Order of the Cross of Grunwald 3rd Class(1)-Box.JPG

Shots Dave,

The eagle on the case appears to be that used post war.  I say "appears" because it looks the same as the eagle on a post war case in my collection.  I don't have a war time, or prewar, case  to compare it to.  These crosses were conferred up until 1992 so this may be a post war cross in its case of issue.  Is the interior of the case fitted for one of these crosses?  I would like to see a picture of the interior of the case.

I am not aware of any discussion on the GMIC comparing war time and post war time crosses so I do not know if there is any difference in the two or not.  It would be an interesting comparison.

Regards,

Gordon

 

Edited by Gordon Craig
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Hi Gordon

I don't have the case readily available but will add it later if I can. I would say though that I have several Polish Cases and they all are similar inside, being an open space with no special cut out for the shape of the specific medal/cross.

Dave

 

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Shots Dave,

Thanks for the response and the email.  Flat interiors seems to be the norm in post war cases.  Don't know about prewar or war time ones.  Red seems to have been issued to military personnel and blue to civilians but I haven't done enough research yet to be 100% sure on that.

Regards,

Gordon

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello gentlemen, does anyone of you have in its possession Wojciech Stella's summ about polish orders?

 

This book is of the greatest help, although it show complexity - not to say havoc- of fabric variations of polish ODM...

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  • 2 weeks later...

What is this medal awarded for?  What makes it so desired that it is so very accurately reproduced in this manner?  Is it like an equivalent to the Order of Lenin, with the VM order akin to the Hero Star?

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  • Gordon Craig changed the title to Poland Cross of Grunwald Order 3. Cl ... Order Krzyża Grunwaldu

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