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ilieff

King Ferdinand I's decorations

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It's interesting to see how much this topic evolved since my last visit on Monday.
Sounds like the most of his decorations ended up at Sotheby's auction, is there none kept at the National Museum of Military History in Sofia? I was fortunate enough to visit in the past and if I remember well decorations of the Bulgarian heads of state were displayed on the last floor but somehow I forgot were there any that belonged to Ferdinand...

It looks like he's wearing both the star and the "kleine decoration" of Hungarian St. Stephen Grand Cross on the painting above...

White Eagle ribbon looks bright blue to me as well and the order itself Polish. The question is how complete is the list of recipients from the Polish Wikipedia.

Edited by paja

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I don't think the museum has any important decorations which belonged to King Ferdinand. If I remember correctly, they have got a sword and one uniform of His, the latter being shown on the below photo (from my archive). It has got the embroider Maltese cross, I think. 

The museum do have some of Prince Alexander I and King Boris decorations, some unique indeed.

I believe King Simeon II still keeps several decorations of His grandfather, though. Surely, there's at least a diamond set of the Order of SS Cyril and Methodius. Possibly some other orders too. Currently, a royal museum is being set up at the Palace of Vrana, near Sofia. I do hope some high decorations will be displayed there.

 

PS: I've determined yet another badge - the Order of the Academic Palms.

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"In decorations’ collection are preserved orders and medals of members of statesmen like Stefan Stambolov, Konstantin Stoilov and others; as well as of the Bulgarian rulers after 1879 – Knyaz (Eng. – prince) Alexander I, Knyaz (since 1908 - Tsar) Ferdinand I and Tsar Boris III."
Information found on the Museum website, perhaps they have some of his decorations but not on display.

I've noticed Academic Palms before but going back and forth all the time I forgot to mention it. It looks like that medal bar consists of both miniatures and full size decorations which is really unusual.
 

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Some time ago there was Karađorđe 1st Class set by Scheid on emedals. Unfortunately I can't remember to whom it belonged but I'm pretty certain the person in question was Bulgarian or Romanian ruler, perhaps Ferdinand of Bulgaria...
Does anyone remember who was the recipient of this order?
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15 hours ago, paja said:

Some time ago there was Karađorđe 1st Class set by Scheid on emedals. Unfortunately I can't remember to whom it belonged but I'm pretty certain the person in question was Bulgarian or Romanian ruler, perhaps Ferdinand of Bulgaria...
Does anyone remember who was the recipient of this order?
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Yes, this Order was sold as Order of Tzar Ferdinand 

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Thanks, I really wasn't sure about the recipient...

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On 22/11/2016 at 21:15, Graf said:

All His Russian Orders on the Catalogue are with red ribbon.

 

Hi @Graf,

Do you have an actual copy of the catalogue? Are there images of all the items or just part of them? As far as I know, it's from 1997, so I assue I cannot purchase it or view it?

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Hi Ilieff

 

Yes I have the Catalogue it is from 7th of July 1998 It has pictures of more important Orders in colour and black and white of less important and some do not have pictures.

The Top cover features Prince/King Ferdinand  Pour Le Merite with Oak leave/Oak leaf

I assume if you do a internet research you can buy it "second hand" one

If you have problems i can list the pictures

 

Best

 

Graf

 

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Edited by Graf

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I am unable to find any second-hand copy being offered on the internet.:(

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Ilieff,

As the cataloguer of collection I can tell you the catalogue is as rare as hen's teeth, I have only my own personal copy and no spares. One of the few catalogues that was basically a sell out.

Paul

 

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Hi Ilieff,

 

I will try to list few pictures of of the Order sold on the Auction

I did not know this catalogue attracted so much interest I did buy it couple of years ago from a French dealer

 

Graf

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Thanks Graf!:thumbup:

Cheers Paul. I can see other Sotheby's catalogues of this period being offered for a few quid, but not this one. It must have been printed in very limited quantities.

Edited by ilieff

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Ilieff it was given the usual production run  and after the sale there were probably a couple of boxes spare but with in a year or two they had all evaporated due to collector's requests. I will keep my eyes peeled in case one turns up, if so I will let you know.

Paul

 

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Many thanks, Graf!
I can't help but notice Karađorđe was not among offered decorations but yet appeared on emedals later. Does anyone know what happened with his Order of the Cross of Takovo?

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Colleagues,

I have the same Sotheby's catalogue as Graf and can second his opinion that it's truly awesome!

One thing to keep in mind - not all orders in this catalogue were awarded to Ferdinand, despite some having precious stones on them. There were many lower class awards which were not suited to King/Knyaz, such as 3rd class crosses, as well as 6th class awards. 36 Bulgarian awards in total - no way he was awarded all of them.

Also, some important awards were not part of catalogue/auction, such as Serbian Karageorge 1st class set and others supposedly his.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There was another auction of Ferdinand's Orders held by Mars and Merkur of Munich a few years earlier. It was material from the Saxe-Coburg side of the family. I have  a severely distressed copy of that catalogue somewhere, Yes there were certain bits of Bulgarian especially that were left overs from 'stock'

Paul

 

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In reference to Hungarian St Stephen set sold by eMedals:

Footnote: This set of insignia belonged to Ferdinand I, Tsar of Bulgaria; the set was sold through auction house “Karlheinz Müller, Limburg”, on 23. September 1989, lot # 063. The lot was purchased by a well-known dealer California based dealer T. Eriksen, for an American client, and eventually, the set was sold to eMedals recently (full name of buyers and provenance will be disclosed to the buyer). 

 

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On 11/19/2016 at 17:56, ilieff said:

Hi all,

I am currently trying to assemble a full list of the decorations received by HM King Ferdinand I of Bulgaria. Unfortunately, my knowledge only covers Bulgarian decorations, so the majority of the 'foreign' ones are very blurry to me.

I'd appreciate your help with identifying more orders/medals which belonged to Him and/or improving the existent info by defining the particular class received.

Regards,

ilieff

 

PS:I've spotted a similar list on Wikipedia.org but I believe it's very inaccurate.

 

 

 

Bulgaria:
- Order of SS Cyril and Methodius
- Military Order "For Bravery"
- Royal Order of St. Alexander
- Order of Civil Metir
- Order of Military Merit
 
German Empire
- Order of the Black eagle
- Order of the Red Eagle
- Imperial Military order of the Iron cross
- Pour le Merite (Military division)
- Order of Saint John (Johanniter Order)
- Saxe-Ernestine House order
- Order of the Wendish Crown
- Military Merit cross (Mecklenburg)

Austro-Hungarian Empire
- Order of the Golden Fleece
- Order of St. Stephan
 
British Empire
- Order of the Bath
- Royal Victorian Order
 
Russian Empire
- Order of St. Andrew
- Order of the White Eagle
- Order of St. Vladimir
- Order of St. Anna
- Order of St. Stanislav
 
France
- Order of the Legion of Honour
 
Ottoman Empire
- Gallipoli star (Iron Crescent)
 
Kingdom of Italy
- Order of the Holy Annunciation
- Order of St Maurice and Lazarus
- Constantine Military order of St George
 
Kingdom of Belgium
- Order of Leopold
 
Kingdom of Portugal
- Order of the Tower and Sword
- Order of Aviz
 
Kingdom of Sweden
- Order of the Seraphim
 
Kingdom of Denmark
- Order of the White Elephant
 
Empire of Brazil
- Order of the Rose
 
Other
- Military order of St John of Jerusalem (Maltese order)
- Order of Pope Pius IX
 
 
 

An image scanned from Schalafoff's book:

King's early bar 

ribbon_ferdinand_2.jpg

And a second scan from that very same album:

Second (later) bar which belonged to the King.

ribbon_ferdinand_1.jpg

Anybody have idea when Southern Cross ( 3rd from last ) was awarded?   Very unusual to see an example with short wide arms & a rather small crown. Have other members seen such design before or possibly one of a kind. On the 2nd bar in last position is the Princess Clementine medal in gold. Are there any numbers in gold silver and bronze awarded. Was it awarded to staff of her household or to a serving regiment named after her?

Thank you

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2 hours ago, Yankee said:

Are there any numbers in gold silver and bronze awarded. Was it awarded to staff of her household or to a serving regiment named after her?

The decoration has been presented to members of the 9th infantry regiment but it's highly possible that a small number has also been presented to the Princess's personal suite and/or Her relatives abroad. Authors on Bulgarian decorations suggest that gold medals (I assume silver gilt) were presented to staff/senior officers of the regiment. Prince Ferdinand has also been enlisted as an officer of this regiment, thus being decorated too. Silver medals were given to the rest of the officers while bronze ones - to NCOs and probably enlisted men.

No known data of actual quantity of medals being awarded. I do believe that the decoration process was not a single act, so numbers might vary. Just to get a general idea, at the start of the Balkan war in 1912, the total number of men enlisted was just over 4 800. Logically, the total number of medals should be less or roughly similar to this. It's a very rare decoration nowadays. As far as I know, even the small museum dedicated to the regiment in Plovdiv do not have it on display.

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53 minutes ago, ilieff said:

The decoration has been presented to members of the 9th infantry regiment but it's highly possible that a small number has also been presented to the Princess's personal suite and/or Her relatives abroad. Authors on Bulgarian decorations suggest that gold medals (I assume silver gilt) were presented to staff/senior officers of the regiment. Prince Ferdinand has also been enlisted as an officer of this regiment, thus being decorated too. Silver medals were given to the rest of the officers while bronze ones - to NCOs and probably enlisted men.

No known data of actual quantity of medals being awarded. I do believe that the decoration process was not a single act, so numbers might vary. Just to get a general idea, at the start of the Balkan war in 1912, the total number of men enlisted was just over 4 800. Logically, the total number of medals should be less or roughly similar to this. It's a very rare decoration nowadays. As far as I know, even the small museum dedicated to the regiment in Plovdiv do not have it on display.

Hi Ilieff

Thank you for confirming it had been awarded to members of IR 9.  Then this was the IR named after the Czar's Mother Clementine.  I have a fine book by Romanff on Bulgaria who states the medals being awarded to her Household and as you pointed out to her staff likely.  I recall the guy who sold me a fine silver medal telling me it was for the officers of the IR and never mentioned Household.  I believe the one on the bar is a solid gold example since that belonged to Ferdinand.  I remember about a decade ago there was a gold wedding medal/crown belonging to Ferdinand or member of royal family going up for Auction in the UK. Never saw another one after that....

Thanks

Yankee

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2

Edited by 922F
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Some sources report that about 150 bronze, 30 silver and 5 gold Princess Clementine 80th Jubilee Decorations were awarded; believe that the actual numbers are somewhat higher.   Cast 80%+ pure silver copies, at least, exist.  First saw these in Sofia about 1997-98 so they have some patina by now.  Would suspect that some of these were gilded as well.   These copies usually sport the ‘alternate’ ribbon [Romanoff, 1991 & others] shown below--maybe fakers had surplus Order of the Star of Anjouan ribbon?     

ClemALTrib.gif   

 

Ilieff--What is the Schalafoff  book with images of these groups and where are copies available?

Edited by 922F
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