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Austrian medal bar good ?


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Dear Scottplen,

this is a bad bar, even with the mediocre pictures you can see the terrible quality of the ribbon and of the sowing on the back. I hope a collector of Austrian awards can join in, it wouldn't surprise me if a number of the decorations also turn out to be fake.

Kind regards, Laurentius

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It depends on what you are looking for. There aren’t any original “medal bars” of Austrian-Hungarian Empire till 1918 because they just simple didn’t exist in this form. All medals had triangle ribbons and were directly attached to the uniform.  This looks like medal bar made in late 1930s/1940s. I don’t find it anyhow weird. Precedence of the medals is correct. It (probably) belonged to low ranked officer (2nd lieutenant – 1st lieutenant) who started his battlefield career in late years of WWI (I would say first part of 1917) as Reserve Officer Cadet (One Year Volunteer) which was basically NCO who became officer later. As NCO he has got Large Silver Bravery Medal and then as an officer Bronze Military Merit Medal (Signum Laudis) with swords and Silver Military Medal twice and also with swords. Then it´s classic – KTK and Wound Medal and after WWI he has also got  Hungarian Commemorative Medal and then Bulgarian Commemorative Medal (which is missing). No Hindenburg Cross or Tyrolean Commemorative Medal so he probably wasn’t Austrian. All medals are very common and of course, they could be made/privately purchased after 1918 in lower quality but I wouldn’t say it´s fake directly. On the other side to be honest it´s nothing to stand for if not priced cheap.    

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I agree with tifes in terms of its age, perhaps just prior to 1934 when the Hindenburg cross was issued. Or, as tifes suggests a non-german, though that looks to be the South German style of ribbon mounting. The medals themselves appear, from what I can see, to be good.

Most of the dodgy Austrian medal bars I see tend to be mounted in the conventional German style which I think is perhaps a more saleable look than the Southern style but also much easier to fabricate from a few rolls of ribbon. Whereas the Southern style ribbon has that creased overlap going on that makes it less straightforward to replicate, though existing old stock could be used. That makes your example less likely to be bad. I also like the consistent colour fade of the first three ribbons. Just my initial thoughts.

Have you checked the rims of the medals to see if there any maker marks/marks? The Pro deo medal should be marked 'Bronz' either on the reverse or on the rim. The Karl Troop cross may also have the same  with the wound medal also. The large silver bravery may also have an 'A' on the rim. Not all of the above were marked but I always consider it a bonus if they are!

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