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Planning to start collect german imperial militaria


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Hi,

I'm new on the forum so I don't know if this is the right area for this thread. In case not please move the thread to where it belongs.

 

I've been collecting mostly Third Reich Heer/SS-items for about seven years now and want to change my area of collecting for a while. I can't afford any of the RKs or any items in that pricerange for the moment so I'm pretty stuck due to economic reasons. So meanwhile I focus on upgrades to my more common TR items I'm planning on starting a new collection of german imperial awards. I've always had an eye for these items but my father brought me into the Third Reich collectingarea as a teenager so that's the way it has been until now. It's not that I expect these kind of items to be any cheaper but I thought it would be interesting and motivating to switch collectingarea for a while and, as I said, these items really interest me.

So, this area is totally new for me and as I understand It's pretty wide so I'll start with focusing on Prussian and Saxon awards. What I need from you experts is: 

What litterature should I buy before I get started?

Are there as many copies on the market as the third reich militaria? If so how do I avoid them?

Then I would appreciate if you guys could recomend some awards to get started with and some serious dealers from where I can get my first items.

Thanks in advance!

Best regards

 

Ökenräven

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Hello Ökenräven;

As Chris said, welcome to Imperial German collecting!  I copied your specific questions and have the temerity to answer them below.  These are only MY opinions on the best way to proceed.  Nearly every member on this site would have their own suggestions, but this may serve as a discussion starting point.

So, this area is totally new for me and as I understand It's pretty wide so I'll start with focusing on Prussian and Saxon awards. What I need from you experts is: 

What literature should I buy before I get started?

-"Aviation Awards of Imperial Germany an World War I and the Men Who Earned Them - Volume III - the Aviation Awards of Prussia" by O'Connor

-"Aviation Awards of Imperial Germany an World War I and the Men Who Earned Them - Volume III - the Aviation Awards of Saxony" by O'Connor

(The two above books appear to be only Aviation related, however there are great photos and descriptions of the leading WWI awards from these Kingdoms.

-a copy of "Die Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Reiches" by Dr. von Hessenthal /Schreiber (this is the "bible" of German awards and medals.  Mind you, I said copy, the originals are very expensive)

-a current issue of "Deutsche Orden Und Ehrenzeichen 1800-1945" by Nimmergut (this will also have some color photos of the awards along with values.  The values are not perfect as prices for medals can fluctuate, however it will give you an idea of award prices.)

Are there as many copies on the market as the third reich militaria? If so how do I avoid them?

-YES, there are fakes.  It will take a long time to discuss all the ways to avoid them, but if I had to say in one sentence about how to avoid them I would say;

"Buy from trustworthy dealers." 

Trustworthy dealers are ones that have been around for several years AND have repurchase guarantees if an item they sell turns out to be fake.

Then I would appreciate if you guys could recomend some awards to get started with and some serious dealers from where I can get my first items.

-There are several online dealers that consistently have quality items for sale, however I would not want to mention some of them and give you the illusion that these were the ONLY good dealers out there.  A little searching through this forum and online and you will find some dealers.  At first, I would avoid eBay...completely.

I would suggest that with anything you find for sale that you post photos and price on this forum asking for opinions if the piece is good and if the price is reasonable.  I think you will find that members here a very willing to give you reliable opinions and it will keep you from having "buyer's regret". 

Good hunting!

 

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On 28.06.2016. at 14:12, Paul C said:

I have the Hessenthal and Schreiber in PDF format will mail a CD free to this new collector for only the price of postage

Here is a link to reprint of this famous book: 

 

http://www.naval-military-press.com/honours-and-awards-of-the-german-states.-die-ehrenzeichen-des-deutschen-reiches.html

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You've been given recommendations to some of the old classic books. O'Connor's books discuss in some detail the people who earned the awards; H&S has great info (in German) about institution dates, history, ribbons, etc.; and the OEK will give you a rough idea of prices. I'd also add Eric Ludvigsen's Prussian and other Imperial German Award Statistics. But nothing on the list so far will help you with the different makers and types of awards, or distinguishing fakes from authentic pieces

There is a whole new generation of books that is more focused on the awards themselves: Who made them? How to tell an award piece from a duplicate piece? How did the awards evolve over time with respect to materials and design? What do the originals look like? These are beautifully illustrated books.

For recommendations on these titles, it would be helpful to know what you plan to collect because there are a few too many to list for every single German award. But the best place to start is Karsten Klingbeil's books, Orden 1700-2000. Prussia is Vol. 3 and Saxony is (I think) Vol. 4. Steve Previtera's book on the Pour Le Mérite (Prussian Blue) is also terrific. For the Iron Cross, Dr. Frank Wernitz's books are the best.

All of these books have flaws but are pretty great anyway.

 

Edited by Streptile
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Hi,

 

thanks for your great answers! I'll definately take a look on the books mentioned and get a better idea of what I'll focus on in my collecting. My idea so far is wartime prussian and saxon orders and medals but as you might understand I don't got so much knowledge in this area of collecting. I'll try to be more specific, I've started with the 1914 EK1 and 2 and want to move on with the "must have" items for the beginner. Is there some kind of "starter packs" of orders for example I could focus on? Like the Red eagle orders and house of Hohenzollern orders?

 

My answer here might be a bit blurred but as I said, I got minimal knowledge so at the moment It's pretty difficult.

 

Best regards

 

Ökenräven

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11 hours ago, Ökenräven said:

Hi,

Is there some kind of "starter packs" of orders for example I could focus on? Like the Red eagle orders and house of Hohenzollern orders?

Ökenräven

Well, Red Eagle Orders and Hohenzollern House Orders are only "starter" awards if you have a decent budget, but they're definitely very nice. There are a lot of very beautiful medals under those high orders that would qualify as "starter" awards for a more modest budget.

Have look through these web pages:

Saxony

Prussia

They will give you an idea of what's out there to collect, some history and some pricing. This is beginner information, but you are a beginner, so it should be valuable. Not every award is listed but many are. The webmaster there does a very good job on his site. It's in German but it readily understandable with a rudimentary knowledge of the language.

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On 6/30/2016 at 23:00, Streptile said:

I'd also add Eric Ludvigsen's Prussian and other Imperial German Award Statistics.

Hi Streptile, 

Do you know were you can purchase Ludvigsen's book??

Chuck

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9 hours ago, chuck said:

Hi Streptile, 

Do you know were you can purchase Ludvigsen's book??

Chuck

GMIC member Paul C. published the book so I bet he can help you. I got mine on abebooks.com. They're not that easy to find.

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All of the above are very good tips, but I would like to add a couple more...

1) - Reference books are very important, and in some cases very expensive, especially so if you buy them and find out they are in a collecting field in which you have no interest.

2) - In a mid term - long term time span, you will end up needing the books, but at entry level while you are dabbling, finding your feet.... a forum should suffice

3) - Imperial is a very wide field indeed, are you going to start collecting medals but also land up with uniforms? Are you going to start collecting documents and land up with a Minenwerfer in the basement? All been seem and done.

4) - My guess is that the average collector shuffles into Imperial for a look. Starts dabbling.... as he dabbles his intrests begin to crystallize.... maybe he decides to collect medals for all the german states that were awarded at Company level and avoid the really high stuff, maybe he decides to collect Saxon and Bavarian Medals. maybe he decides to collect saxon awards AND documents, maybe he decides to collect only complete groups to Hessen...... there are many ways of approaching it.

5) - My suggestion would be, swim in the shallow end for a while... do not yet spend BIG money on items or books that may end up having nothing to do with what you end up collecting. Get some cheaper general books and dabble in the more comman items until the lightning bolt strikes and shows you the way you want to go.... it may be collecting the highest orders of all the states, and you will need the most expensive medals and all the books.... or maybe you decide to collect small groups to the Hanseatic states and it will be cheaper and you can avoid the huge money books.

6) - for a dabbler in the shallow end trying to decide his way, I think the forums and collectors groups are the best way to go. There are a number of good forums out there, most people gravitate to the one that suites their needs best, Hopefully you will choose ours, if not, at least come back and visit and show where the road led you.

 

All thebest

Chris

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