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Interesting photographs of decorated people

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One thing is for sure -It is very interesting display.

We can make our interpretations, however only the Shipkoff &Co Firm archives will have the correct answers

The ribbons ( the black and white picture does not help us) could be some indications, however not always. I have seen Orders and decorations with "adapted" ribbons For example i have a French made Bulgarian Order of St Alexander with very unusual crown and came with a Legion of Honour style ribbon


Here is an interesting photo i found on internet


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Highly decorated Soviet Admiral Holostyakov, wearing two Bulgarian transitional Republican period awards:

1. Order of Military Merit 2nd class with war distinction (cross on the left and star on the right side),

2. Order of Military Merit 3rd class (cross on the left side). 




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22 hours ago, ilieff said:

The King in hussar uniform.

Note the Constantinian order of St. George with the 'Bulgarian' type of jewelled crown - something we discussed in another thread.


Hussar uniform he's wearing in this photo was recently for sale:


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Graf's collar image illustrates insignia of one of the ephemeral or, less kindly, often completely bogus organizations established to reward vanity for a price.  Such organizations may use funds obtained for genuine charities while others simply supply their ‘Prince Grand Master’s’ livelihood.  In this example we see a usual Constantinian Order cross embellished with a Bulgarian style suspension crown and a central eagle of the type used for the Albanian BESA Order star.   Collar elements repurpose Constantinian miniatures without even suggesting the Albanian eagle component!  Likely this collar was made in Italy from stock parts originating from other commissions.

Some well-known ‘international’ Orders besides the Order of Saint John seem to especially attract fraudsters or imitators including the Bourbon-Two Sicilies’ Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George as this collar exemplifies.  One reason, I suspect, is the relative ease of assembling insignia that closely resembles the actual Order.   This physical resemblance may confuse potential candidates as well as reduce insignia manufacturing costs.  Web search reveals at least five different organizations using modified Constantinian Order insignia.  

Questionable organizations seem to have appropriated general Constantinian symbols or format since the 1880's with some persisting to present days.   Besides description in written material like Ordres et Contre-Ordres de Chevalerie by Arnaud Chaffanjon, Mercure de France, Paris 1982, Faux Chevaliers Vrais Gogos by Patrice Chairoff & Jean Cyrile Godefroy, Paris 1985 and The Knightly Twilight by Robert Gayre of Gayre, Lochore Enterprises, Valletta 1973, websites offer information on these organizations.

Variously identified as the Byzantine Order of Constantine the Great, the Orthodox Order of Constantine, The Occidental Orthodox Order of Constantine the Great, the Order of St. Constantine & St. George, the Imperial and Sovereign Order of St. Constantine the Great and other permutations, this ‘creature’ seems to mirror the many schisms and outright fakery associated with the Order of St. John and it’s mimics.

Among other design 'tweaks', insignia for this ‘Order’ and equivalents utilize a Bulgarian suspension crown as well as a Danilo model crown.  Other varieties use a generic [enamel lined or not] royal crown or a mural crown for suspensions while a few appear with a trophy of arms or a laurel/oak wreath suspension.   Whether these differing suspensions indicate differing 'Orders' or grades or subdivision within them or simply what the insignia manufacturer had on hand remains unknown to me. 

The Order of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem [badge image below] also known as the Melkite Order of the Cross, et al., exemplifies another Bulgarian crown hijacking example.    I do not have images handy but at a minimum insignia for the Orthodox Order of Varna and the Ecumenical Order of St. Basil also employ Bulgarian czarist crown suspensions. 

Order of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem.jpg

Edited by 922F
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During the period of 1878-1885 many Bulgarians were presented with the Order of Takovo. I cannot quote any number, but it was large enough for the Ministry of War to issue official documents outlining who, how and when can wear their foreign awards, the Takovo order being one of the prime awards mentioned. 

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I visited National Military History Museum in Sofia around 5 years ago and I was quite surprised with the number of exhibited Serbian decorations, especially Takovo. There are probably more of them on display in Sofia than in Belgrade.

General Dragutin Franasović (Драгутин Франасовић), photo from the 1890s. We can see Bulgarian Order for Bravery 4th Class 2nd grade on his medal bar. I presume he was decorated for the actions during 1876-78 Wars even though the order was established in 1880.

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An image from more recent times:

Colonel Nikola Ruhchev - an army engineer, teacher at the military university and its prime historical researcher. Chairman of the Society of graduates of HM Military School (etc.)

Today we mark 2 years since his death.

I am posting the image due to the unfamiliar (for me) commander badge suspended at his neck. 



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Hi Iliev,


Very interesting photo

Yes, this Order is a very interesting as well It is unknown to me

The central medallion resembles, for wht i can see the one of the Madara Horseman However the rest is no close to the design of this Order. apart from the swords of the post 1990 Model

Could be an Order of the Ministry of Defense ??!!

Yes only collectors of the very modern Bulgarian Orders might help



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Perhaps yes, perhaps not.

Either way, it was more of an honorary title in these years, as opposed to WW1 period.

Some old Austro Hungarian Generals received honorary ranks in the German Wehrmacht .for example Eduard von Bohm Ermolli who was granted the rank of German Feldmarschall. anther example was Freiherr von Balldorf promoted first to wehrmacht lieutenant general and then to General der infanterie . King Ferdinand must have received the same recognition .Hitler during his table conversations expressed his high steem for the King.who after WW1 returned to his ancestral home in Germany. Ferdinand was roman catholic . so the cross over his left lower side must be a Maltese Order one and not the Cross of the Johanitter Order common among lutherans.

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 the Madara Horseman



I do believe that this is actually St. George. 

My bet is that this badge has been issued by either the Ministry of Defence or the Society whose chairman he was (less likely)

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As i said from what i can see from the picture You can see better the details in the central medallion.

St George is quite possible and right

It is another possible Decoration- the swords could indicate Military Academic Society


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  • 1 month later...

Serbian Crown prince Alexander in 1912, wearing the Bulgarian St Alexander (Grand Cross)

Our of curiosity, do you know what the last two awards on His bar are?


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Reviving this forgotten thread by sharing an image of King Ferdinand wearing [what appears to be] Prince Alexander's old 1st class breast star of the Bravery order with skulls and bones - the one with the round gilded base. 


Portrait of lieutenant-colonel M. Poshev with a nice pre-war bar (he died on the battlefield in the first month of the Balkan war). Note how the X and XX years crosses are positioned one above the other. Very neat and logical in my opinion. 



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On 10/01/2018 at 12:27, Carol I said:

Can anyone identify this (presumably Finnish) man? Thanks.


Urho Kekkonen

On 08/06/2018 at 18:33, new world said:

Last one looks like medal for the Election of King Peter I.


Petar I Kralja Srbije . and smaller I can read 1903

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