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Cross of Valour (Krzyż Walecznych) – Pre-WW2 Types

Article about: by IvanPutski Here's another little tidbit on that cross.... It was awarded to a fighter pilot. Hello Ivan, OK, the suspense builds . . . so now how about giving us the name? The award lists

  1. #161

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    Thanks Kosa. Również życzę wszystkiego najlepszego oraz szczęśliwego Nowego Roku (also wishing all the best and a happy New Year)!



    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

  2. #162

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    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    ... For the longest time I had assumed that the KW did not have any issue packaging, due to never having seen any nor there being any mention in the limited literature devoted to this decoration. However, packaging did exist in the form of these small envelopes embossed with a leatherette texture and the letters “K.W.” along with the image of the small pattern Type 2 36mmm cross ....

    .... Of course, anyone that can offer any more information or show any more example is more than welcome to chime in.

    Cheers,
    Tony
    Great job Tony !!! and wonderful collection !!!

    I saw KW with such a issue packaging about one month ago in France.... moreover I could buy it but the price was too high for me despite its rarity

    Please look at the pictures of this set of items:

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    It contained non-serial numbered envelope with a cardboard.

    Cheers,
    Jacek

  3. #163

    Default The “mosiadzowany” variant

    Hi Jacek, this is the one I pictured. An early Christmas present for yours truly, and yes, you're quite right, price was steeper than you or I had expected.

    As mentioned in my post, it came with a non-numbered cross, minus ribbon, so I could not demonstrate how the holder functioned.

    *** update ***

    This is quite likely an example of the unusual “mosiadzowany” plated cross identified by Krogulec as variant # 4b.a. While plating the KW seems to push the boundaries established by the government where the finish of the cross is clearly specified, apparently a quantity of newly minted crosses were plated by Knedler (or perhaps sub-contract producer Gontarczyk) using a lighter coloured metal. I have seen an example that borders on silver, and both numbered and unnumbered large and small pattern crosses that have been plated. Exactly why this was done is unknown and one could speculate possible special order request by the recipient - ?? A recognized variant of the PSZ issue cross (# 24) also underwent a similar plating with the light bronze coloured finish being quite similar to that on this cross. Another mystery to ponder . . .

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    Cheers,
    Tony
    Last edited by A.J. Zawadzki; 03-03-2015 at 08:29 PM. Reason: updated information
    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

  4. #164

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    Hi Tony,

    I suspected that it could be the same issue packaging for KW but I was not sure. Congratulations once again. Fortunately, I had at that time some other expenses and I did not bid this item, because the price coud be even higher. I am glad that it is in good hands

    Cheers,
    Jacek

  5. #165

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    Thanks Jacek. I promise to be a good custodian before it passes into other hands.

    Post #157 shows envelope / cross set 31865. You may remember this set up for auction two years ago. The owner put profit ahead of preserving history and split up the set to auction separately . I bid strong for both to try to keep the set together. However, another collector had the same idea. The net result was I won the envelope, the cross went to another bidder, and the seller had a nice payday. I managed to obtain the name of the other party, as it turns out someone whom I knew. In the end I relented and let him have the envelope in order to preserve the matching set. Watch for this set to appear in a book being prepared about our beloved Krzyż Walecznych.

    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

  6. #166

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    A newly acquired KW allows me to cover two topics that have been on the backburner.

    First off is the earliest ribbon type issued with the KW. Ribbon types are touched on briefly in post #62, although the topic should be explored further, and hopefully we can do so here sometime down the road.

    In the autumn of 1920 the Ministry of Military Affairs placed an initial order for the production of ribbons with the Bogusław Herse House of Fashion in Warsaw. Herse was a well-known clothing importer and producer, sometimes considered Poland’s Christian Dior.

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    The Herse ribbon is characterized by its unique multi-part construction, the only such construction for an official issue KW ribbon. It consisted of two white bands sewn onto an amaranth backing. These ribbons accompanied the initial government issue Rozycki crosses, consisting of a total of 3000 units. Until encountering the cross pictured in post #152 (KW#18154) I had only seen the Herse ribbon with the earliest of the second series of government issue crosses made by Knedler. These crosses were serial numbered below 3500. Is the ribbon on cross #18154 original to this cross, or added afterwards ?? Impossible to say with any certainty.

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    Regardless, the Herse ribbons are by far the scarcest of the lot, and it’s unlikely that the entire series of ~42500 Type 1 Knedler crosses were supplied with them. Otherwise we’d likely be seeing more survivors than we do. More probably, at some point in the issuing process (1921 according to Krogulec) less costly one piece ribbons were substituted once a supplier was found.

    Stay tuned for part 2 where a newly discovered variation of the Type 1 government issue Knedler KW will be unveiled.

    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. #167
    ?

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    I'm tuned in... :-)

  8. #168

    Default The ”unknown” Knedler Type 1 variant

    Several years back I became aware of a variation in the first pattern large Knedler KW that was not covered in the ‘Krogulec Bible’, which otherwise does a commendable job of identifying sub-variants. As mentioned previously, I am aware of no other sources of information that cover this important Polish decoration, and it’s not reasonable to expect that absolutely everything to know about the KW would be contained in that one volume. There remain uncharted waters to navigate, such as this excursion we’re embarking on.

    The hint of a possible legitimate variant was contained in an internet sales listing. It briefly mentioned that the lower serif of the “M” in the word WALECZNYM on the reverse side of this particular cross does not touch the raised perimeter edge, a characteristic presumably not common to the Knedler Type 1.

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    This was a very low number cross, within the first several dozen stamped, and this seemingly minor detail could possibly be attributed to the fresh stamping dies. They would end up cranking out over 40,000 crosses and the wear over the course of their use did in fact result in a recognized variant. See post #133 for coverage of this variant.

    It was only after acquiring one of these early crosses that I was able to examine it further, here comparing to the low number Herse ribbon cross in my prior post:

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    Although there are numerous small differences, it is the grip of the sword where the biggest deviation is apparent. And this legitimizes this KW as a bona fide variant that has not yet been formally identified, until perhaps now. The “common” Knedler Type 1 contains eight distinct segments to the grip, versus the seven segments in the newly found variant:

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    I’ve looked over the large Type 1 crosses in my picture archive and elsewhere, both serial numbered and not, and all are the 8-segment grip crosses save one serial numbered one (the internet sale mentioned above) and also a non-numbered cross. This raises some questions, with the obvious one being why were so few of these 7-segment grip crosses produced? Die failure early in the production run? The journey continues . . .

    There you go boys and girls, you read it here first.

    Cheers,
    Tony
    Last edited by A.J. Zawadzki; 02-20-2015 at 08:48 PM.
    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

  9. #169
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    Hello Tony,

    I was quick to notice that if you look at post #73 by me and #141 by Emil, the "copy" Knedler Type 1 has the same features you are mentioning above. 7 segments to the grip? Check. M not touching the frame? Check.

    This raises the interesting question of whether those two "copy" crosses are in fact struck using the same variant of die and the NA lettering was affected, the copy was made using a cross you reference, or is in fact the one you have a copy? Or it all could be a coincidence.

    Just some food for thought!

    Cheers,

    Brandon

  10. #170

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    Hi Brandon. I also noted this detail in those two "copies" you point out when scanning over all of the KW examples I could find images of. Perhaps I'm just hasty in dismissing these as copies (and it's not only me by the way), not having ever examined them in hand. However, it's not just the NA lettering that is different, but all details on these crosses are weak, from the shaping of 'suspension ear', to the sword, to the perimeter frame. Even the numbering is distorted as though having been stamped into soft alloy, and the "5" numeral differs from those used on genuine crosses.

    The lettering on genuine crosses is crisp and well defined. See the side by side comparison of reverse below. I've only shown the reverse, but the obverse side is every bit as soft. The overall appearance is very much like a cast replica, and a weak one at that. Or are these restrikes from refurbished dies? More food for thought!

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    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

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