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Vaulted Silber Mutterkreuz and all the research that goes with it!

Article about: Hello All, I considered going down the route of doing an in depth study of the 2nd Pattern German Mothers Cross with a view to determining the maker by the construction of the cross using in

  1. #51

    Default Gebrüder Gloerfeld KG, Lüdenscheid- Silber Ehrenkreuze der Deutschen Mutter

    Hello All,
    I am still accumulating and here is one for the MK collectors that I came across.
    It is the first time that I have come across this maker/retailer and it is the 83 entry that I have identified.

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    Now here is the BUT within a matter of a few hours another silver cross in the same maker marked packet was offered for sale .

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    So the question to myself is this a newly made packet that has been aged or it really is it a coincidence that two of the crosses would surface almost simultaneously!

    Anyway I have purchased both and await their arrival so I can compare the crosses to see if they are a perfect match.



    All the best
    Doug

    P.S. As a matter of interest has anybody got a Gloerfeld catalogue?
    Reason I ask is I see that there is a 'rare' RAD buckle marked up for the same manufacturer recently posted...located here:
    RAD Buckles opinion

    D

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  3. #52

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    Saladin,

    How are you spotting for fantasy/fakes and reproductions?

    In reading other threads, I've come to think that two signs of a bad Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter are 1) Thick white border, and 2) Blunted spikes on the rays, mostly visible by viewing the reverse view.

    For example, in the first post (OP) of this thread, in the third photo, there are two sleeves marked 554. The one on the left has a small white border compared to the one just below and to the right of it.

  4. #53

    Default

    Quote by Retsiger View Post
    Saladin,

    How are you spotting for fantasy/fakes and reproductions?

    In reading other threads, I've come to think that two signs of a bad Ehrenkreuz der Deutschen Mutter are 1) Thick white border, and 2) Blunted spikes on the rays, mostly visible by viewing the reverse view.

    For example, in the first post (OP) of this thread, in the third photo, there are two sleeves marked 554. The one on the left has a small white border compared to the one just below and to the right of it.
    You had me wondering what you were talking about Retsiger but I understand now.

    Let me clear up my numbering system first.
    If I buy one item it gets it's own number but if I buy a collection of items they all get the same number. Some numbers have large quantities of items.

    Okay reproduction crosses:
    You are correct
    Bad signs:
    Large white border.
    Sunken enamel on the white border...even if it is a narrow border
    Opaque Blue enamel.
    Sunken black enamel on the swastika.
    Raised lettering on the back
    Made in zinc or other pot metal
    Makers mark/stamps (No original has a stamp on it unless applied at a later date)
    Misaligned central disc (There are a couple of originals I have seen where the disc has slipped but few and far between. Ralph posted one earlier in the thread)
    Stunted rays in conjunction with any of the above (A couple of 'original' makers have short rays)

    What you need to consider:
    There are as far as I have identified to date 83 different manufacturers or sellers of these crosses in various grades.
    I have to put this statement in as I do not know if one manufacturer was making crosses for other retail outlets which happened often and the retail outlet bagged or boxed up the crosses with their own names on.
    I have names of 4 other makers of miniatures that I have not seen any evidence that they produced the large cross.
    So in theory there would be at least 83 different moulds/variations of an original cross

    So the variations are what I am studying in the hope that one day I will be able to identify the maker of a cross just by their own attributes.
    The problems that commonly occur are for example the Reischauer crosses. I have 3 boxed examples in gold. Two have exactly the same pattern below the blue enamel whilst the 3rd is quite different.
    The questions I have to ask are:
    1 Are the 2 examples real Reischauer made crosses?
    2 Is the odd cross a Reischauer?
    3 Are any of them Reischauer crosses?
    So to at least partly answer any of the questions I would need several other crosses boxed or in packets by Reischauer to do a comparison. Even if I can conclude that the 'majority' of crosses were made by them it would only be pure conjecture.

    You have to remember that in the last 77 years odd crosses and packets would have been married together to form a set to increase their 'buyability' so it is difficult to say that a particular cross has been with that particular box/packet all it's life.

    As I mention the study goes on!

    All the best
    Doug

  5. #54

    Default

    By the way, there's a Reischauer on Hiscoll right now.

    Thank you for the info.

    Will you post the list of all the makers?
    Last edited by Retsiger; 09-02-2016 at 01:29 PM.

  6. #55

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    Here's a reproduction I just found. The reasons why it might be a reproduction: It claims to be a repro, the blue isn't deep enough, it's an opaque substance, it has inconsistent lines, and there is a general lack of quality on the obverse. The reverse looks to be OK to me, but the color is a little light.

    I'm also wondering if there is enough knowledge base yet to rule out pieces with certain features? I read one of the posts in this thread and it said the person knew of a manufacturer that was still making these crosses into the 70s. If so, how can we possibly know which ones are period pieces?

    The repro:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Update: Here is a thread that talks about the difficulties with in starting a catalog. GCA Forum | Mother Cross catalog

    I am now of the opinion that unless a piece specifically states that it is a reproduction, there just isn't a way to know with a great degree of certainty that it is genuine or not, as compared with Parteiabzeichen or similar medals. The strength of the Mother's Cross is that because of its intricacies, it is cost prohibitive to reproduce with a great degree of consistency.

    Open to thoughts...
    Last edited by Retsiger; 09-02-2016 at 10:52 AM. Reason: Typos

  7. #56

    Default

    [QUOTE=Retsiger;1662113]

    I'm also wondering if there is enough knowledge base yet to rule out pieces with certain features? I read one of the posts in this thread and it said the person knew of a manufacturer that was still making these crosses into the 70s. If so, how can we possibly know which ones are period pieces?
    [QUOTE]

    Hello Retsiger,
    that was me who mentioned that crosses were made (and perhaps still are) up until the 1970s.
    I have a pdf file of an interview with Souval who boasts how he was still making TR awards for general sale and ‘specials’ for selected clients but I could ramble on about the evidence that points to wholesale reproduction manufacturing of high and lower end stuff.

    Anyway back to your observations.
    I personally have no doubt that Mothers crosses are still being made today by some original manufacturers or descendants.
    How to spot a good from a dud will always be the collectors dilemma.
    The picture you posted of the reproduction is a new one on me so here are a few others for you to put in your files.

    First up is a gold made in Thailand and shows all the attributes that I mentioned earlier. This piece will never pass for a genuine article.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next up are a couple of crosses in bronze and silver. Currently knocked out over in Eastern Europe and as you can see they are getting better.
    No stunted rays, fairly thin white border, acceptable dedication on the reverse, reasonable and well positioned central disc but fortunately for us absolutely lousy sunken opaque enamel. The ribbon is completely the wrong structure and looks to be made from polyester thread.

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    As computer technology improves we will find it harder to spot fakes except by using our knowledge of what to look for


    We’ll have a look at manufacture of originals in my next post

    All the best
    Doug

  8. #57

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    Mothers Cross Production.
    According to the source below up until Dec’41 estimated 4,700,000 crosses awarded;
    Break this down to the known manufacturers and it equates to around 56600 crosses each needed to be supplied!
    This works out at around 80 crosses per day.

    Here is a good piece of writing on Wikipedia and is quite informative.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_..._German_Mother

    So let’s take a closer look at the manufacturing process of a Mothers Cross.
    The cross was introduced in December 1938 and was shown to the world around about January 1939.
    Below is the press release picture.


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    Now a series of pictures that need little explanation.


    The roughly struck blank:

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    Next up is the final trimming after being dipped to remove any oxidisation. It was at this point the rear dedication was applied.

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    The blue glass enamel was then applied. (Blue glass has a higher melting point than white glass so would remain stable for the next phase but note how high the blue enamel is. This will be polished down on the final stage)

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    The white enamel application.

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    Now it is at this point I am unsure as to when the cross went for its final finish. Was it before or after the central disc was soldered on? (I will know for certain once I start dismantling some of these crosses)


    And of course below are the finished crosses as we know them.

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    Okay so that is the production line.
    We know what to be looking for to declare a cross good or dud but I don’t think we will be able to say for sure whether it was made pre or post ‘45
    Personally I try to collect items that have seen very little daylight since 1945
    I enjoy collecting these crosses for exactly what they are which is sadly a totally under rated honour award.

    I bet that a good majority of collectors have had one in their collection at one time.

    All the best
    Doug

  9. #58

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    That was an excellent post. Thank you. Exactly what my brain was looking for along this line. Keep it coming if you can.

    I agree with you about the attractiveness of the medal. It's entrancing.

  10. #59

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    The Mothers Cross Medal Ribbon.

    As with the medal I would assume that the medal ribbon was manufactured all to the same specification.
    Of all the ribbons that I have they all without exception have the same make up.

    The photos below may help in distinguishing good from bad.
    First picture is of a 'mint' ribbon the very white section and the more familiar toned down one due to wear.

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    The ribbon always has a silky soft feel to it(...less so if it is old and has deteriorated). This is because it was manufactured using a layered rayon thread.
    It was produced on a small shuttle loom which resulted in the scalloped edge appearance. Now this detail is critical.
    The scallop effect is produced by the weft as it passes on alternate runs through the warp.

    Take a very close look at the detail. The outer stripe of white is wider than the next blue stripe. This is because the warp/weft effect gives it an extra thickness. Then look at the narrow blue stripe and you will see 3 threads thickness. The next white is 4 threads thick and the wide central blue stripe always has the 12 threads in it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Modern weaving looms have difficulty producing this effect so again is another pointer that you have a genuine cross or at the very least a genuine ribbon


    Doug
    Last edited by Saladin; 09-02-2016 at 08:38 PM.

  11. #60

    Default

    Judging from comments in a different forum, I would not have thought this amount od deduction was possible.

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