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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. #61

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

    Can you tell me when the small pattern Knedler was produced and issued. Does anyone have a picture of one on an original ribbon?



    Thank-you gentlemen.

  2. #62

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

    Quote by robert odulinski View Post
    Can you tell me when the small pattern Knedler was produced and issued. Does anyone have a picture of one on an original ribbon?

    Thank-you gentlemen.
    The smaller Type 2 Knedler government issue numbered crosses were made in 1922-23.

    As far as ribbons go, your question is a good one. Several types of ribbons were used for teh crosses in the early 20’s. Below is an excerpt from the Krogulec reference that shows these types in use at the time of manufacture of the serial numbered crosses. The top one is the Swiss made “paper” type. I don’t recall ever seeing the narrow type on a full size cross. The bottom is the most commonly seen, and is the one that accompanies a Type 1 Knedler in my collection that I obtained with the matching award document. I believe this to be the original issue ribbon for that cross, and I expect it would have been used for the Type 2 crosses as well. I’ve posted pictures of this cross earlier, but here it is again

    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. #63
    3mk
    3mk is offline
    ?

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

    Heres a rare varient.
    krzy? walecznych M. Delande (984640126) - Aukcje internetowe Allegro
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  4. #64
    ?

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

    I thought I would keep this thread alive with a post of my own. I received a 36mm Cross of Valor a few years ago and thought it was a modern version. However, after doing some research, I think this can be a pre-war version produced by Huguenin Freres.

    The story goes that Huguenin produced a set of dies and a sample version for the Polish government in 1921; this smaller version (i.e., 36mm) was "observed" by Knedler who produced the well-known third official version.

    I have never seen an original 1920 Huguenin KW, but this seems to match up with what is shown in Krogulec's book (see photo below). In particular, note the match in lettering, thin border around the shield, and the eagle with upswept wing tips. Very high quality product, with a soldered on suspender.

    Any thoughts about my theory would be much appreciated. If it is produced by Huguenin, I would suspect it's pretty rare.

    Cheers,

    Brandon





  5. #65

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

    Hello LwowAK,

    Good to hear from you again. You are correct, the Huguenin Valour crosses are rare. The one that most collectors are familiar with is the 1940 dated version awarded to interned soldiers of the Polish 2nd Rifles Division interned in Switzerland following the collapse of France in WW2.

    The 1920 version is not well known and largely shrouded in mystery. According to the Krogulec reference, a sample was sent to Warsaw by Huguenin. This prototype no longer exists. As noted in the caption to the B&W picture, this is a surviving example stored in the Huguenin factory museum. There were dies prepared, so perhaps more were stamped at the time? If the dies survived then were later re-strikes made?

    Your cross does possess the distinct Huguenin characteristics. There seems to be some slight differences in the font used for the date (yours appears slightly narrower; lower portion of the “9”, etc ), but it’s difficult to rule out lighting as being responsible for some distortion. Also, the weak B&W picture doesn’t help.

    Complicating matters is that the 1940 Huguenin crosses have been widely copied, and some of these copies are extremely deceptive. Having reproduced the most minute details exactly (such as the unique suspension ring ‘ear’) they are almost impossible to distinguish from the genuine article. Yours truly has been burned twice! It is said that the most recent known copies were machine stamped from dies that were supposedly made with the aid of laser engraving. Welcome to the brave new world of counterfeiting.

    I have not heard that the 1920 dated crosses have been copied, but surely the lure would be tempting.

    To briefly revisit the topic of Huguenin re-strikes, there is some evidence suggesting that the 2DSP eagles have been re-struck. This open the possibility that other Huguenin products may have also been.

    Sorry that we cannot come to any conclusive decision on authenticity. Either way yours appears to be a very nice representative example of a very rare piece. Thanks for sharing these pictures with us, and keeping this thread alive!

    Cheers,
    Tony
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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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

  6. #66
    ?

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

    Hello Tony,

    Thanks for the response and input. It may very well be a copy, but it is from a collection that has been around for 30 years or more (same one you got your PSZnZ rog from).

    What surprised me about this cross was how immaculate it is; die stamped, but it still appears to have the suspension ring soldered on. Same with the ribbon ring...silver solder. Also, it is not the typical dark bronze that you would normally see used for the KW.

    Any way of authenticating either way?

    Cheers,

    Brandon

  7. #67

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

    Hi again Brandon,

    Yes, the cross does look to be in pristine condition. As you know, this can be interpreted various ways, and not always favourably. I’d like to see better pictures of it from all angles and of all elements (suspension included), crisply focused and taken under natural light.

    So out into the chilly December Krakow air you go!

    Quote by LwowAK View Post
    . . . but it still appears to have the suspension ring soldered on. Same with the ribbon ring...silver solder.
    Do you mean the “ear” that the ribbon ring passes through? On the 1940 Huguenin crosses this part was not soldered on, but was stamped as one piece with the cross. Are you sure it is soldered on?

    The soldered ring is a good sign.

    Quote by LwowAK View Post
    Any way of authenticating either way?
    Well, that’s the big question. And with the history of this cross you can well imagine that this will not be an easy task. Are you planning a trip to Switzerland anytime soon?

    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. #68
    ?

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

    Hello All,

    As this is my favorite decoration, I feel it is my obligation to keep this thread alive. First of all, any news on the possible Hugeunin??? I'm expecting to buy my new Ferrari with that KW!

    Now on to the real topic. Below are pictures of a KW I picked up about two years ago at the Kolo Market in Warsaw. It was purchased after my companion at the time (a very knowledgeable collector) informed me it was good.

    However, in checking the sources, there appear to be some slight differences to the first run of large crosses by Knedler. The font and eagle have some different characteristics, however small they may be, to what I've seen and what is in the literature. However, the cross is struck and has some of the correct nuances (i.e., the ear as per Krogulec page 182). It also has the correct second award bar.

    I know that Knedler subcontracted to Gontarczyk so I was thinking this may be one of them. In addition, it is a very early one as per the low serial number, so the dies could have been different to later pressings. Any thoughts?

    Also, I know that Rozycki produced 5,499 crosses, but the serial number on this one is 4351. However, these low serial numbers are also evident in the Knedler produced KWs on page 132 and 133 in Krogulec. Any info on how the serial numbers were done?

    Cheers,

    Brandon






  9. #69

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

    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Hi again Brandon,

    Yes, the cross does look to be in pristine condition. As you know, this can be interpreted various ways, and not always favourably. I’d like to see better pictures of it from all angles and of all elements (suspension included), crisply focused and taken under natural light.

    So out into the chilly December Krakow air you go!


    Do you mean the “ear” that the ribbon ring passes through? On the 1940 Huguenin crosses this part was not soldered on, but was stamped as one piece with the cross. Are you sure it is soldered on?

    The soldered ring is a good sign.


    Well, that’s the big question. And with the history of this cross you can well imagine that this will not be an easy task. Are you planning a trip to Switzerland anytime soon?

    Regards,
    Tony
    Tony. Can you help please.
    I have this KV in my collection and I'm not sure if this cross is genuine?
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  10. #70

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

    Hi Brandon,

    No word on your Huguenin 1920 as of yet. Be forewarned that some of these mysteries remain unsolved for a very long time, if ever, so if you want that Ferrari sooner than later you’ll need to visit your banker . . .

    There were about 3000 Rozycki first type “no date” serial numbered crosses produced. The balance of the total you mention may be the 2nd Type with date, although as discussed previously there is some uncertainty that these are even Rozycki products. I certainly have my doubts.

    You’ve correctly identified your cross as a Knedler Type 1. The history of these is covered earlier on this thread so I won’t repeat myself, but your serial number is OK as these were numbered starting in the 3000’s.

    Yes, there are some strange little deviations in your cross. One of the more troubling ones is the word “NA” located on the upper obverse cross arm. It looks very poorly stamped and rather deformed. The same general weakness of detail is evident elsewhere as well. I’d like to see some well focused pictures of this cross taken under natural light before commenting any further.

    Kristof, you have cross from French maker Arthus Bertrand. This is a seldom seen variant of the Betrand with the ball suspension. Rare cross!

    Regards,
    Tony
    Last edited by A.J. Zawadzki; 03-19-2012 at 05:42 AM. 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

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