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German colonial award (Elephant order) Please help

Article about: Hi all, I saw this piece today and am considering purchasing it as I find it very unusual. I unfortunatley do not know much about this award. Can anyone shed some light? When, where and why

  1. #1

    Default German colonial award (Elephant order) Please help

    Hi all,

    I saw this piece today and am considering purchasing it as I find it very unusual.
    I unfortunatley do not know much about this award.
    Can anyone shed some light?
    When, where and why was it issued?
    How common is it?
    What is an average asking price?
    Is this one shown the real thing or a copy?

    Any feedback is most welcome.
    Thanking you all in advance,
    Have a great day
    adrianb
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  2. #2

    Default Re: German colonial award (Elephant order) Please help

    adrian,Das Kolonialabzeichen (The Colonial Badge) also refered to as the Elephantenorden (Elephant's Order). Awarded to all German who, during WW1, in the former German colonies, were acting or serving on behalf of those colonies.
    This silvered badge made of copper or aluminium has on the obverse a palm tree and an elephant. The lower part of the badge is covered with oak leaves and around the upper rim are the place names "SÜDSEE * AFRIKA * KIAUTSCHOU" referring to the larger areas where German colonies were situated. The pin backed reverse has only the text "GES. GESCHÜTZT NR. 33992" (Legally protected Nr. 33992). It weighed around 30 gr and was approximatly 32mm wide by 40mm high, including the ribbon. This Order was a semi-official award and although it was often worn on post-war army ("Reichsheer") uniforms it was not listed in their rank lists. It was however curiously listed in the rank lists of the navy ("Reichsmarine") of the period. This decoration was instituted in October 1921 and was to be purchased by the recipient. By 21 November 1936 some 8,000 were issued and it is believed that a few later awards took place. Beware there are many copies.......This one looks IMO to be O.K. a dealer price would be around $250. Prost 1 Steve.
    "The German Army is the perfectly adapted, perfectly running Machine. The difference is that the Germans are organised with a view to War...with the cold, hard, practical and business-like purpose of winning victories."
    G.W. Steevens - The Daily Mail (1897)

  3. #3

    Default Re: German colonial award (Elephant order) Please help

    Allow me to add that the story of the institution of this award is actually quite interesting. Officially, the Weimar republic did not award any orders and decorations; this was even laid down in the state's constitution.

    This legal problem was worked around by changing the originally proposed inscription "Für Verdienst um die deutschen Kolonien" ["For merit for the German Colonies"] into "Südsee - Afrika - Kiautschou", adapting the originally drafted award criteria (omitting the possibility of awarding it to Germans not actually present in the colonies but merely working in their interest while in the homeland) and declaring it an Erinnerungsabzeichen [Commemorative Badge] instead of an Ehrenzeichen [decoration].

    (The same legal argument applied to the badges for ex-airship and ex-tank crew members from WW1. These two were also classified as mere commemorative badges and thus not in violation of the constitution.)

  4. #4

    Default Re: German colonial award (Elephant order) Please help

    Hi all,
    Thank you so much for the well needed education!
    Anyone else have opinions to whether it is good or bad?
    Thanks in advance have a great day.
    adrianb

  5. #5

    Default Re: German colonial award (Elephant order) Please help

    Hi HPL2008!

    Thank you so vey much for reply, the information you shared is fantastic. Unfortunately I cannot get much more information from the net.
    I have been researching for a couple of days now but alas, nothing more has popped up.
    What do you think of this piece? Is it an original or a copy? I believe that they are rare and fairly often copied.
    How much could an original go for? Are they really that hard to come by? any more info would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks so much and have a great day!
    adrianb

  6. #6

    Default Re: German colonial award (Elephant order) Please help

    Quote by adrianb2000 View Post
    What do you think of this piece? Is it an original or a copy? How much could an original go for? adrianb
    I have already answered this question !....so, you either, 1) did not read post #2, or 2) you did not believe me !... see here for the second time.....[/QUOTE]This one looks IMO to be O.K. a dealer price would be around $250. Prost ! Steve.[/QUOTE]

    Just in case you did not understand me...."IMO" means "In my opinion" and "O.K." means "correct" and "$250" means, well, $250 or £170 or 185 Euro (Approximatly)
    Prost ! Steve.
    "The German Army is the perfectly adapted, perfectly running Machine. The difference is that the Germans are organised with a view to War...with the cold, hard, practical and business-like purpose of winning victories."
    G.W. Steevens - The Daily Mail (1897)

  7. #7

    Default Re: German colonial award (Elephant order) Please help

    Hello Oradour,

    Firstly let me thank you for the wealth of information you shared with me.
    Your post was read and your opinion was duly taken in.
    However, from the tone of your reply, it seems as though I have offended you.
    No offence was meant and everything you wrote was appreciated.

    Let me clarify:
    My reply was directly aimed at HPL2008.
    He also brought forward some amazing information but alas no opinions. Perhaps I should have sent him a message directly but I wanted to get as many opinions as possible. As you probably know with collecting, an opinion is well, just an opinion. More than one gives you power to make decisions based upon a broader base of knowledge. Now be it 5 pounds or 1000 Pounds, before I part with my very hard earned cash, I want to know as much about a piece as I can. This piece would be available to me at a ridiculously low price and that makes me nervous as to wether the person knows what he has or if it is in fact an original piece. You yourself wrote: "Beware, there are many copies..."
    Thank you so much for explaining your abbreviations, in todays computer literate world it is often hard to keep up with all the nuances of the keyboard. Thank you for the conversion rates, it saved me some time.

    Now that all sensibilities, emotions, opinions, positions, abbreviations, and hopefully anything else have been clarified, lets get down to the business of examining pieces!
    Anyone else have anything to add?

    Thanking you all in advance for any information you share!
    "Prost"
    adrianb

  8. #8

    Default Re: German colonial award (Elephant order) Please help

    I'm sure that neither of you meant to offend the other one and that it's all sorted out now.

    Still, I'm afraid that I am in no way better qualified to assess the badge than Steve is and cannot add anything to his observations on the item.

  9. #9

    Default

    What characteristics do fake elephant order badges have? Anything in particular to look out for?

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote by JamesWatson View Post
    What characteristics do fake elephant order badges have? Anything in particular to look out for?
    If the elephant's got a mouse in a tiny bandsman's uniform sitting in his hat, then it's generally considered a fake.

    Name:  timothy mouse.jpg
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    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

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