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PRL fake medals

Article about: Hi again "Tom", Thanks for the scans. Clearly the author is identifying copies here. In the case of the communist era VM medal on page 334 he identifies this as a copy made by &quo

  1. #1

    Default PRL fake medals

    Good night friends,
    I´m into PRL medals as some can know, and I have a great problem in mind: Fakes and how to discover them.
    I´m going to buy "better" medals so that´s why i´m starting to find copies, for example: Merit in field of glory, rodlo medal, silesian, warsaw, great poland uprising medal, virtuti military...this kind of medals, not the most exclusive, but no so easy to find.
    How can I find pics or information about this medals? Sometimes I see some great offers for medals that i´m sure it´s good but afraid to buy fakes...
    Thanks in advise!

  2. #2

    Default Re: PRL fake medals

    Unfortunately there’s no quick and easy solution. It will take time and effort in study. I strongly recommend that you invest in good books devoted to the items you wish to collect. Because of the increasing interest in post WW2 badges and decorations books covering this topic are now being published. Of course, the increase in interest also means that counterfeits have become a problem.

    Here’s a site to keep an eye on. They are a reputable seller, and it is highly unlikely they will unknowingly list a copy as being a genuine item, especially with the PRL era.

    Odznaczenia, odznaki, bro? bia?a: PRL i III RP - Antykwariat Numizmatyczny

    Save images from this site and also those available on auction sites such as ebay and and Allegro. Start archiving them for future reference.

    The site lists two books. The one devoted to the Cross of Valour by Zbigniew Krotke is superb and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It covers all variants of this decoration in detail. The Wojciech Stela book also appears worthwhile. Some of the contents are visible here:

    Polskie ordery i odznaczenia vol. 1 1943 1946 (2928369319) - Allegro.pl - Wi

    I also recommend you check Stefan Oberleitner’s offerings. He has recently completely revised and updated his IIRP/PSZ decorations catalogue, and it is a very useful handbook. He may very well have done the same with his PRL volume.

    Last bit of advice – do not buy anything if you are not thoroughly familiar with the genuine article. If there’s any doubt please post here for the opinion of the members.

    Regards,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  3. #3

    Default Re: PRL fake medals

    Thank you very much Tony,
    I asked because I found lot of information for Cross of Valour and Auschwitz Cross fakes, but for other...nothing! jajaja
    Also thank you for the books and the webpage (i knew them from allegro )
    The problem I find in books in polish...hard to find them in english, so really hard to understand things
    About books, what do you think of this one?

    Polish Orders, Medals, Badges and Insignia Military and Civilian Decorations 1705-1985 by Prof. Dr. Zdzislaw P. Wesolowski
    &
    Polskie ordery i odznaczenia Bigoszewska E1

    Again, thank you very much for your help!

  4. #4

    Default Re: PRL fake medals

    Yes, while books geared towards collectors are seeing a welcome increase most are Polish language only. Nonetheless, they are of a high quality and typically well illustrated clearly picturing genuine decorations, so still worth acquiring for their photographic content. In a pinch you can always type any Polish text into one of the free internet translation sites.

    Re. the books you are asking about, Wesolowski’s “Polish Orders, Medals, Badges . . .” was a landmark volume published in 1985 that introduced the entire field of Polish badges and decorations to an English audience. It was very influential in my early days in the hobby, and is still widely referenced by retailers and auction houses when identifying Polish items by their “Wes” catalogue number.

    Unfortunately it is plagued by errors. Fantasy badges are pictured giving tacit endorsement of authenticity, badges are mis-labeled, there’s even a foreign badge listed as being Polish. Other than a small introductory section it consists of small black and white snapshots and drawings of badges and decorations, many weak and out of focus. The book is of absolutely no use as a guide for authenticity, and it never really was intended for that purpose anyway.

    I had heard some years back that that a new revised issue would be forthcoming, although nothing has materialized thus far.

    Bigoszewska’s “Polskie ordery i odznaczenia” is also not of much use for authenticating decorations. It contains only ‘artists renditions’, no actual photographs. It is more of an academic treatment of the topic, but if you do not read Polish it would be not be very useful.

    The hobby remains in need of good solid English language references, although it would be better served by detailed studies focusing on specific decorations or groups of badges along the lines of the superb Krotke effort on the Cross of Merit. The problem is that while there is a great interest on the part of hobbyists the English language market does not justify the expense of publishing such books.

    So for the time being, the War Relics Forum will have to suffice!

    Regards,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  5. #5

    Default Re: PRL fake medals

    Thank you very much Tony!
    I think i´ll try to save money to buy the book you told me (which is better, vol I or II?) and use it like my bible
    While I do it, i´ll be using War Relics Forum
    Thanks for all!!!

  6. #6

    Default Re: PRL fake medals

    Hi again,

    If you’re asking for a recommendation as to which of the Wojciech Stela volumes on communist era decorations to purchase, I say buy both. I don’t collect PRL/LWP, so don’t own these, but Mr. Stela is a well respected authority in the field and you cannot go wrong buying his publications. And don’t stop there. Continue to remain on the lookout for any books or other printed information on the area of your collecting interest. Knowledge is power, and the money you put into a reference library (and even some Polish language lessons!) will be well invested.

    Cheers,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  7. #7

    Default Re: PRL fake medals

    Hi again!
    Sorry for the delay, but thank you again for all the information you brought me!

  8. #8

    Default

    Hi again!
    At last I have the Wojciech Stela of PRL era, now I´m trying to understand the book and start translating the polish sentences.
    But I have a doubt, there, in some of them existe a "Copy" medal, so I understand is fake, no?
    I mean, bad medal, not official, a piece of junk, isn´t like this?
    Thanks!

  9. #9

    Default

    In order to answer I'd need to see the context in which the term copy is being used. Are you able to post an image from the book?

    Regards,
    Tony
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  10. #10

    Default

    Hi Tony,
    I give you a couple of examples:






    Thanks!

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