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Polishboys virtuti-militari collection - grand cross & 3rd class

Article about: POLISHBOYS VIRTUTI-MILITARI GRAND CROSS & 3RD Class COLLECTION This Grand Cross set is 1 of 10 sets ordered by the Polish Exile Government from Spink & Son in 1944/45 to be awarded t

  1. #1

    Default Polishboys virtuti-militari collection - grand cross & 3rd class

    POLISHBOYS VIRTUTI-MILITARI GRAND CROSS & 3RD Class COLLECTIONPolishboys virtuti-militari collection - grand cross & 3rd classPolishboys virtuti-militari collection - grand cross & 3rd classPolishboys virtuti-militari collection - grand cross & 3rd classPolishboys virtuti-militari collection - grand cross & 3rd classPolishboys virtuti-militari collection - grand cross & 3rd classPolishboys virtuti-militari collection - grand cross & 3rd classPolishboys virtuti-militari collection - grand cross & 3rd classPolishboys virtuti-militari collection - grand cross & 3rd class
    This Grand Cross set is 1 of 10 sets ordered by the Polish Exile Government from Spink & Son in 1944/45 to be awarded to the Allied Commanders at the end of the war. Sadly, the allies sold Poland out and ceded it to Stalin.
    Further, the Polish soldiers were prohibited from marching in the Allied Victory parade in London for fear of agitating Stalin. As a result of this action the Polish government decided to cancel the awards and did not take possession or paid for them. The 10 sets sat in the Spink vaults until the 80's, when it was decided to auction them off.
    I assume they were all sold to dealers and other interested parties for a pittance. I bought my set from a dealer in PA and paid a goodly sum for it. I think most if not all of the rest were sold to other collectors. There were many sets on the market, ranging from the 20's thru the 80's. Initially, there were only 6 sets awarded, one set is buried
    with Marshall Pilsudski the only Pole to receive the Order. The others were awarded to high ranking government
    officials and kings. So one has to ask where all the other sets came from ? were they all official govt issue or are there collectors copies ?? The 10 sets officially ordered by the Government in Exile are legitimate even though they were never awarded and as such have Provenance. The reverse of the Star has a oval plate indicating a Spink
    product and hallmark which shows "TO THE KING" which verifies the date of manufacture. I recently came across
    a set made by Spink that had "To The Queen" on the back plate, indicating a date in the 1950's.

    The remaining 2 sets of 3rd Class V-M's , numbered 31 & 157 were made in the 1920's by Krupski & Matulewicz
    and were brought to London by the Government in Exile but never awarded and were auctioned or sold off dates unknown.
    # 157 has the original Swiss ribbon and attachments. #31 Has a replaced ribbon
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Polishboys virtuti-militari collection - grand cross & 3rd class   Polishboys virtuti-militari collection - grand cross & 3rd class  

    Last edited by Polishboy; 05-30-2017 at 08:49 PM.

  2. #2

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    Hello Polishboy,

    A nice collection well done, the Grand Cross of the Virtuti Militari were awarded to the following people:

    Nr 1 : Marshal Jozef Pilsudski

    Nr 2 : Marshal Ferdinand Foch (France)

    Nr 3 : King Ferdinand of Romania

    Nr 4 : King Albert 1 of Belgium

    Nr 5 : King Alexander 1 of Yugoslavia

    Nr 6 : King Victor Emanuel III of Italy

    Marshal Pilsudski was buried wearing the Grand Cross Virtuti Militari, the Pilsudski Museum in London had on display in the Museum the Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle, the Grand Cross of the Order Virtuti Militari, the Grand Cross of the Order Polonia Restituta and the Commanders Cross of the Order Virtuti Militari.

    Unfortunately when I viewed them in the 1980's they were behind Perspex and I was unable to view the reverse of the Crosses or there Star's.

    The Polish Institute and General Sikorski Museum in London have one of the Grand Cross sets produced by Spink and Son on display, I first viewed this in the late 1970's.

    I know that Professor Wesolowski has a set for sale, the other 8 sets I have no idea where they are or who owns them.

    Best wishes

    Andrzej

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