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19th Century Polish VM

Article about: Hello Everyone, This is listed on eBay. I was wondering what your opinion is of what appears to be a very nice Napolenic-era Polish VM.

  1. #1
    ?

    Default 19th Century Polish VM

    Hello Everyone,
    This is listed on eBay. I was wondering what your opinion is of what appears to be a very nice Napolenic-era Polish VM.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: 19th Century Polish VM

    This and the other VM listed (pictured below) created quite a stir. The listed price was revised and it was evident that the seller was fielding private messages from interested parties. I posted the one that accompanied this listing, from someone claiming to be a WW2 Polish veteran, who would now be about 90. Hmmm, OK . . . At least he didn't try the angle of claiming that his father served in the Army of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. Anyway, I digress . . .

    The description was amended to include mention of “X-ray” testing to reveal they are made of solid gold, the one you pictured being 16K, and the other 22K.

    As far as authenticity, they do look the part, although I haven’t bothered to pore through references to research them. I don’t collect in this area so am unable to offer much from experience. They could very well be jeweler’s copies. Judging from the closing prices, which seem low for what would be exceedingly rare items if genuine, I suspect that they might just be very nicely crafted old copies. Or maybe two collectors just picked themselves up some real bargains!

    Regards,
    Tony
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    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
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    Default Re: 19th Century Polish VM

    Thanks Tony for your insight. While each VM must be considered individually,are you aware of any general tell tale signs when authenticating these 19th Century VMs?

  4. #4

    Default Re: 19th Century Polish VM

    A rare medal indeed. This looks by all means to be a genuine VM, made in France after shortly the 1831 uprising. It is 4-th class of the Order. The ribbon is for a French Medal for the Expedition to Mexico (Médaille de l’Expédition du Mexique), 1862-1863. The French had lost 7,000 dead, of whom 5,000 were from disease. Many Poles who had participated in the Polish Uprisings served in Mexico under the French banner. It is of course difficult to conclude without a name that this was awarded to a Polish soldier for his service in Mexico, but the period is right. The eagle is from a French Imperial Guard's gorget. A nice specimen.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 19th Century Polish VM

    I wanted to bid on the 1831 type but I did not like the fact the eagle has no crown. When I was in the Krakow museum they types they have all have crowns..

  6. #6

    Default Re: 19th Century Polish VM

    If you take a closer look, you will see it has a crown. Since these were made by jewelers or "warsztaty jubilerskie" there are many variants. Sometimes the crowns are ""bulky" and slightly detached from the ring with laurel leaves, other crowns, as in this case, are smaller and connected with the ring. Agreed, Krakow Museum has gorgeous examples.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 19th Century Polish VM

    Quote by 22Coy View Post
    . . . While each VM must be considered individually,are you aware of any general tell tale signs when authenticating these 19th Century VMs?
    Well, the same old rules apply – look for signs of age, quality, etc. Nothing beats solid provenance to back up the item's history. As Polonus correctly states, there were various makers, each with their own characteristics. So the study of genuine specimens is crucial, and of course, coupled with some ‘book smarts’ to know what to look for. When it comes to the 19th century VM’s I am decidedly deficient in both respects.

    Nonetheless, the two crosses certainly looked the part on casual inspection, and all the more so knowing they were verified as being solid gold. But one red flag was seeing two such crosses listed at once. Not impossible, but considering the rarity it did raise questions.

    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

  8. #8
    3mk
    3mk is offline
    ?

    Default Re: 19th Century Polish VM

    Amazing examples if original

    Were copies of these crosses created during the 2nd RP for museums?

  9. #9

    Default Re: 19th Century Polish VM

    Hi all,
    I am the happy winner of the second virtuti which went for $1.525. I can confirm this is a genuine order. This actual copy is from the Kingdom of Poland period - 1815-1831. They were five manufacturers making Virtuti during this period: Janasch Andrzej, Hildebrandt Henryk, Siennicki Paweł and Russian Mint in Sankt Petersburg and France. This one has been made by Henryk Hildebrandt. Is a genuine masterpiece! Attention to details is tremendous!. I can confirm this is 0.950 gold. I will try to post some high quality pics, but ones posted above shows everything.
    Cheers,
    Michael

  10. #10

    Default Re: 19th Century Polish VM

    Quote by prezesdel View Post
    Hi all,
    I am the happy winner of the second virtuti which went for $1.525. I can confirm this is a genuine order. This actual copy is from the Kingdom of Poland period - 1815-1831. They were five manufacturers making Virtuti during this period: Janasch Andrzej, Hildebrandt Henryk, Siennicki Paweł and Russian Mint in Sankt Petersburg and France. This one has been made by Henryk Hildebrandt. Is a genuine masterpiece! Attention to details is tremendous!. I can confirm this is 0.950 gold. I will try to post some high quality pics, but ones posted above shows everything.
    Cheers,
    Michael
    Congratulations on your new acquisition at what seems a very good purchase price considering how scarce an order of this period must be...you must be very happy indeed

    Look forward to seeing some more detailed close-up photos

    I wonder why the jeweller did not align the design motif on the center of the obverse side of the award perpendicular to the mounting ring? IMO it seems to be offset by 90 degrees to the natural vertical position of the cross. Has it been repaired at some point in its long life?
    Last edited by StefanM; 03-22-2013 at 01:06 PM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

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