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Dear collectors, is there a manufacturer’s mark on the ring of the military priest’s medal? If not, will it be fake?

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I want to buy without any mark. I wonder if it was after the First World War? Please give me some advice. Thank you

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Graham is right - please post pics. A good friend of mine who is very knowledgable on these says unmarked good grosses exist, but to be sure we (he) would need to see it.

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3 hours ago, graham said:

I think the manufacturing mark is 'Vince Mayer & Sons from Vienna', but seeing the medal will help.

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That is of course correct Graham - but overture1812's question is about one without markings, which do exist, I gather, but pics will be needed to confirm authenticity or otherwise.

 

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1 hour ago, graham said:

1812 Overture, 

Some great information on these websites, unfortunately nothing about unmarked pieces though:

https://www.omsa.org/ecclesiastic-merit-cross-1859-1918-part-i/

https://www.omsa.org/ecclesiastic-merit-cross-part-ii-1859-1917/

Dear Sir, thank you for your help, although I also know this website and have seen it. .:cheers:

I just want to know if a medal without a manufacturing mark is fake. .?

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I'll ask my friend to comment by reference to the pics you posted. As noted, he earlier told me that good, unmarked crosses do exist, but he asked for pics which you now have posted.

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Hello,

I need to thank Sandro for having told me about this discussion.

Lately, I'm often away and without the necessary time to talk about Austro-Hungarian awards.

The piece shown is a 2nd type, 2nd Class "Geistliches Verdienstkreuz" or "Piis Meritis" cross, made by Messrs. Mayer's Söhne of Vienna, that at a certain moment was gilt and fitted with white enameled centre medallions, to look like a 1st Class cross.

The 1st Class cross, that is an extremely rare (if not scarce) decoration, was awarded in gold only and never in any gilt version, unless privately acquired.

So, the piece shown in the provided pictures has to be considered as an unofficial, or privately-made/purchased piece, where it's impossible to say where and when it was made.

In my opinion, it would be much better to look for a silver (hallmarked or not) 2nd Class cross, that would certainly be an original, award piece, whose price is usually much cheaper than its real rarity.

All the best,

Enzo (E.L.)

Edited by Elmar Lang
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Hi,

 

Everything what Elmar/Enzo stated it´s very much true. I would just maybe to rank 1st Class up into  “non plus ultra rare” category, with just 11 pieces awarded (mostly on high Catholic clergy like bishops) and 9 pieces returned and melted after 1918. Even if financial means to purchase 1st Class wouldn’t be problem then to find one would be the bigger one.

 

Back to your decoration “1812 Overture”. VM maker´s mark…it´s just picture but I don’t like it. General finish of the cross…once again, just the image but I don’t like it either.  Central white enameled medallion of the 1st Class…99,99% (it’s always good to leave 0,01% margin…just in case) that´s  modern copy.

 

Piis Meritis 1st Class was made always of solid, 18k gold as Enzo wrote above. As such it was quite heavy and of course pricey. That was a reason why awardees often privately purchased gilded silver 1st class, so called "second piece" for everyday´s wear. Such piece is also rare now, not easy to find. In the past, collectors (and “dealers”) just gilded 2nd class cross and replaced often broken blue enameled central medallions of 2nd class by white enameled medallions of the 1st Class, but those ones were just later reproductions. Original white enameled medallion of pre-1918 period has certain finesse, which until now nobody was able to replicate in all details (at least I am not aware of it).  Now many “dealers” are even more “creative” and they are “reproducing” the whole “ensemble”…cross and white central medallions. So your cross might be either combination of gilded (original) 2nd class with modern central medallions (if my eyes and displayed pictures are tricking me totally) or just complete modern copy.  

Best,

Tifes    

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Tifes, the VM mark is not on the cros shown by 1812 Overture: that cross, as he stated, is unmarked, which is the very reason he posted it here for review.

Edited by GdC26
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Thank you for a note, CdC. I didn’t get it from 1812 Overture´s post. It doesn’t change a situation very much. Maker´s mark of V. Mayer´s and Soehne on the first picture is dubious (wherever it comes from) but maybe it´ just a photo that is giving deceiving image. Inspection on the place would be necessary. Unfortunately we are living in the period when new and much better fakes are popping up on the market, many of them with faked hallmarks and maker’s marks. In the eyes of many junior collectors is the presence of hallmark/maker’s mark some kind of “proof” that decoration is alright. Fakers know about it and they try to exploit a situation. As Enzo stated above, there are nice and in all parts original Piis Meritis 2nd Class crosses without any hallmarks and maker’s marks, made in 1917/1918 period of silvered brass alloy or low quality silver.

So by other words and answering 1812 Overture question: unmarked cross might be absolutly OK but unfortunatly this wouldn´t be the case. The finish of the cross and modern central white enameled medallion on the cross of 1st class as displayed by 1812 Overture are signs of a modern copy.

 

Best,

 

T.  

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On 13/08/2020 at 08:26, 1812 Overture said:

Hello,

I've better examined the picture of this "Geistliches Verdienstkreuz I Klasse" and, after having enlarged the image enough, I can say, without doubt, that this piece comes from a batch of copies appeared in the early 2000s.

At first, they've been sold as "pre-1918 private purchase pieces" or, with the hilarious descriprion as pre-1918 "Spangenstück". Soon, it became clear that they came from the workshop of a now late, german faker.

Best wishes,

E.L.

 

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23 hours ago, Elmar Lang said:

Hello,

I've better examined the picture of this "Geistliches Verdienstkreuz I Klasse" and, after having enlarged the image enough, I can say, without doubt, that this piece comes from a batch of copies appeared in the early 2000s.

At first, they've been sold as "pre-1918 private purchase pieces" or, with the hilarious descriprion as pre-1918 "Spangenstück". Soon, it became clear that they came from the workshop of a now late, german faker.

Best wishes,

E.L.

 

Thank you Mr. Enzo, I did not buy it, I bought a breast star order from another country

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You're welcome. I'm glad if I've been of any help.

Since the 1st class is very hard to find, a nice 2nd class cross would be a nice addition to any collection.

The price for a Geistliches Verdienstkreuz 2. Klasse, although not cheap, is usually lower than its actual rarity.

Best wishes,

Enzo (E.L.)

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