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Serbian Order of Miloš the Great with Brilliants!


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We discussed other Serbian orders with brilliants before, I think this one deserves a separate topic! :speechless1:
It's not my intent to advertise the seller but to show something most of us never saw before.
LINK

 

A Unique Serbian Order of Miloš the Great in Gold and Diamonds (1899-1903)

Special Class of the Order of Miloš the Great, consisting of the badge, in solid 18Kt Gold (unmarked, but tested) and enamels; Badge is set throughout with Genuine Diamonds (approx. 86 diamonds, old European and rose cut, of average quality, total approximate weight 5.0 carats); and also set with 2 sapphires, 2 emeralds and one ruby; badge measures 35.75mm (x65.2mm including crown suspension), and weighs 36.6 grams; Star, in silver, with crown, eagle and "M" in solid 18Kt Gold (unmarked, but tested) and enamels; Star is set throughout with Genuine Diamonds (approx. 72 diamonds, old European and rose cut, of average quality, total approximate weight 3.5 carats); and also set with 2 sapphires, 4 emeralds and 3 rubies; star measures 67.8mm x 80.0mm, and weighs 71.2 grams; of exceptional quality manufacture, unmarked, but textbook example by official Imperial Austrian maker Karl Fleischhacker. Unique.

Footnote: In my opinion (BT), this set most likely belonged to King Aleksandar Obrenović.

Footnote: Badge was examined by Mr Tomislav Muhić (author of the book "Serbian and Yugoslavian Orders and Decorations") who concluded the badge "is a textbook example by official Imperial Austrian maker Karl Fleischhacker, except it is in Gold and Diamonds".

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NO photo, NO portrait, NO information, NOTHING.

Orders and decorations of the King were plundered during two occupations of Belgrade during the First and Second World Wars from the Military Museum.

Order of Miloš the Great existed only for four short years!

Therefore, dear friends, this remains a full and complete mystery!

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Knowing that I'd say it's actually more likely it didn't belong to king Aleksandar Obrenović, perhaps a foreign recipient?
Provenance of a piece is always important, especially when we're dealing with something almost no one in the world knew existed. I really wonder to whom it might have been awarded and how did it end up on emedals today.

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Well,

The only Grand Crosses of Miloš the Great, save for King Aleksandar, that qualify for this exuberance were:

Emperor Franz Joseph I (the only foreign recipient), King Milan I and Queen Natalia! All of them at that time lived abroad (not within Serbian borders).

That is it!

Queen Draga had a set that was not adorned with jewels, which is documented by several contemporary photographs. 

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Is there by any chance possibility to track down this order? It couldn't be done in no time, so there is maybe a chance to find something. Just to remind all that a year ago, two hat badges (kokarde) were sold on ebay with a cypher ,,A" and brilliants.

Maybe there is some connection.

Another hint, do we know anything about the existence od Grand crosses of this order? Anybody seen the one belonged to FJ?

It's a pity that sash is not present. That could be the way to exclude queen Natalija if the sash is normal...

 

I am just thinking, what if this piece was never actually bestowed. Maybe this was prepared for Russian tzar.

King Aleksandar Obrenovic wanted badly to go to Russia, but after that scandal with the Draga fake pregnancy, everything was postponed for good.

 

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I don't know what's the story behind those cockades but I doubt there's some connection. They had Aleksandar Karađorđević's monogram and they were made by different producers or at least packed in their boxes. There was one more strange detail, both of them had Serbian color pattern and AI monogram which was officially introduced in January 1922.
Unfortunately Franz Joseph's Miloš is not exhibited in the Museum of Military History in Vienna next to his other decorations, Takovo among them. Is it's fate perhaps known?
How could we exclude queen Natalija based on the sash alone?

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Well, this Order is not exhibited with other FJ insignia, but his White Eagle is also not in vitrines. The possibility that this was intended for Emperor of Russia is rather logical, and it is the fact that the King never reached Sankt Petersburg. Only, it was not necessary for him to go there in person to present the Emperor with the order, because such task could be performed by a special envoy or diplomatic agent in Russia. Yet, we know that this order was not held by any Russian personage at that time ( the full catalogue of insignia awarded to Russian Emperors was published at the time when the exhibition of Emperors orders was presented in Moscow in 2010. 

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That is true, but Mila Piletić did not possess any direct information regarding that claim, while Muhić/Car clearly state that "it was claimed that Shah of Persia had it". Therefore, Shah of Persia as possible owner of this set is a very, very distant and shadowy possibility, in my opinion almost negligible. 

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I do not claim that Shah of Persia was one of the recipients (especially not this set) but in my (Croatian language) copy of the book the above mentioned authors wrote the following: "Records about the awards given to foreign citizens are not preserved but their number had to be substantial. For example, Shah of Persia is being mentioned as one of the recipients of the highest class."  - original: "Podaci o dodjelama Ordena Miloša Velikog strancima nisu sačuvani, no njihov je broj morao biti znatan. Primjerice, kao jedan od nositelja najvišeg stupnja pominje se perzijski šah." My opinion is that they think Shah received Miloš and they use that claim to support their theory about the "substantial number of foreign recipients". Perhaps they mention Shah because Mila Piletić wrote about him being one of the recipients in her book.
The following sentence is also interesting: "If we take all this into consideration, it is quite certain that the number of made decorations exceeds the number of 255 orders, often speculated about in collecting circles." - original: "Ako sve ovo uzmemo u obzir, sasvim je sigurno da broj izrađenih odlikovanja premašuje broj od 255 ordena, kojim se često spekulira u sakupljačkim krugovima."

Edited by paja
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There is a huge problem with all those numbers. We can speculate, but huge majority of all pieces were actually lower ranks.

Just one step back, in that time Serbia hade a pretty introvert foreign policy, and most important foreign partners were AU monarchy, as well as Russia. Third one was Ottoman empire, a side of all hard times  in bilateral relations.

So we can guess that those were possibilities:

It belonged to king Aleksandar;

It was awarded to ex king Milan, which I personally doubt (newspapers at that time will write something about it)

That this extremely expensive and delicate set was awarded ( or prepared to be awarded) to foreign recipient.

I have to strongly advocate this possibility, but to who?

First guess is FJ, and it's not so hard to check in Austrian archives. 

The other is Russian tzar Nikolai, but due to political reasons ( most probably) he never received it.

Even if it's true that the list of foreign recipients is not concluded, I can't find any suitable recipient of that high status and with that political weight for Serbia to receive that kind of special Order.

Last, but not the least possibility is that some of them ordered on their own a new set with brilliants, but that seems highly unlikely. 

 

Article from today's Serbian Newspaper ,,Novosti"

http://www.novosti.rs/vesti/naslovna/reportaze/aktuelno.293.html:679601-Orden-Milosa-Velikog-nude-za-240000-dolara

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12 hours ago, Daffy Duck said:

Interesting article and even more interesting comments.

They suggest someone with money buys this award and gives it to museum in Serbia. Is there such set in any museum? Serbian or other country?

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Regarding the total number of awards:

Back in 1980, when I published "Royal Serbian Order of Milosh the Great" (OMSA Monograph No. 3), the total number of awards to the nationals of Serbia that could be documented was>

Grand Cross: 9 (of that number 2 ladies)

Grand Commander: 22

Commander: 66 (of that number 1 lady)

Knight: 128

Total: 225

After late Mila Piletic advised me that I omitted one name in the Class of Knights, the total number of national awards amounted to 226. The only foreign recipient (if we discount Baroness Ermila Nikolic, who possessed the Commander Class, and who was distant member of the House, but citizen of Austria-Hungary), as far as I know, was Franz Joseph I.  

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So how did they come up with 255 recipients? Perhaps a typo, two fives instead of two twos, 255 - 225.
One more thing, I think I read somewhere that king Milan was buried with his star of the Miloš Order.

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You are probably right regarding the number confusion. I know of story that King Milan was buried with Milosh the Great. The truth is, lamentably, different. King died in exile, embittered with the comportment of his son, and requested to be interred with just one order> the Cross of the Orthodox Crusaders of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. He explicitly forbade any Serbian order to accompany him to the grave. Franz Joseph approved that the King be buried beyond Serbian frontiers (at that time), and the Monastery of Krushedol, in Frushka Gora was selected. King Aleksandar did not attend the burial of his father, and only some months later paid the visit to his tomb. KIng Milan is still buried there!  

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23 hours ago, new world said:

They suggest someone with money buys this award and gives it to museum in Serbia. Is there such set in any museum? Serbian or other country?

To my knowledge not a single museum has Miloš with brilliants in its collection.
I believe this is the only known example, before seeing it on emedals Instagram page I didn't even know it existed.

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10 minutes ago, paja said:

To my knowledge not a single museum has Miloš with brilliants in its collection.
I believe this is the only known example, before seeing it on emedals Instagram page I didn't even know it existed.

I thought so, thanks for confirming!

I see that some people are considering purchase of this award, eMedals page gives the following status - ' 3 users watching, 6 in another user's cart'. 6 people placed it in their shopping carts! 

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