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“Virtuti Militari” 1795 date?

Article about: Any idea what date this early V.M. would have been produced.. 1795 ??? Seller is looking for a price between 5-7,000 Euros... a good investment??? I am looking in my piggy bank

  1. #1

    Default “Virtuti Militari” 1795 date?

    Any idea what date this early V.M. would have been produced.. 1795 ???
    Seller is looking for a price between 5-7,000 Euros... a good investment???
    I am looking in my piggy bank
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  2. #2

    Default Re: “Virtuti Militari” 1795 date?

    Hi Stefan,

    I cannot say exactly when the example you have pictured was made, but if it is a genuine piece it is a rarity in the truest sense of the word.

    The earliest records of the Virtuti Militari’s production date to exactly 219 years ago today - June 15, 1792, when King Stanisław II August Poniatowski issued a production order to the mint for 10 gold and 50 silver medals. The medals were evidently produced quickly as ten days later the inaugural awarding of the Virtuti Militari took place for the victory against the invading Russians at the Battle of Zieleńce of June 18, 1792. It appears that more of the gold medals must have been made as 20 were awarded to officers and 40 silver medals to other ranks.

    Another record exists that the last of the medals were made at the mint on August 30, 1792, with the final awards taking place on February 21, 1793. The political situation of the time was complicated as the ultimately victorious Russian powers banned the wearing of the order twice in 1792 only to have it lifted by the last Polish parliament on November 23, 1793. The ban was reintroduced in early 1794.

    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: “Virtuti Militari” 1795 date?

    Hi Tony, many thanks for the V.M. info
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  4. #4

    Default Re: “Virtuti Militari” 1795 date?

    You’re most welcome. I forgot to mention that the medal was revised to the cross pattern somewhere during this turbulent time, with both apparently being awarded concurrently. So the medal motif was actually very short lived.

    Please keep us posted on the details regarding your possible purchase. Has the seller provided any past history on it?

    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: “Virtuti Militari” 1795 date?

    I picked up a booklet a few months ago titled "Order-L'Ordre Virtuti Militari" by the Zaklady Graficzne Ministerstwa Spraw Wojskowych that was published in 1920. This was mainly published to provide guidelines for the new Virtuti Militari, including physical description and requirements for the award.

    In addition, it provides a history of the decoration in French and Polish. To get to the point, it says there were a total of 526 awards made by King Stanislaw August in 1792:

    Commandor's Cross: 1 (Prince Jozef Poniatowski)
    Gold Cross: 85
    Silver Medal: 440

    I would trust these statistics much more than say the ones from the "Professor". A very rare decoration given the age and time they were awarded. However, there are a lot fakes of this type...tread carefully.

  6. #6

    Default Re: “Virtuti Militari” 1795 date?

    Thanks for the added info Brandon. I would also tend to trust the information contained in that booklet. As we all know, info on the early period is scant. For that matter – the record up to and including the WW2 period is porous. The material I posted was largely gleaned from the 1992 museum catalogue for an exposition of the order being held on its 200th anniversary. Even within that book there are inconsistencies and contradictions.

    Back to your booklet, sounds like a good scoop there. Is it an original issue or a reprint?

    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

  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: “Virtuti Militari” 1795 date?

    Appears to be the original. I can post pics of it over the weekend.

    Cheers,

    Brandon

  8. #8

    Default Re: “Virtuti Militari” 1795 date?

    Nice find! I look forward to seeing pics.

    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

  9. #9
    ?

    Default Re: “Virtuti Militari” 1795 date?

    Hello Tony,

    As promised, please find pics of the booklet attached. It is in Polish and French, but I only included the bulk of the Polish pages.

    Cheers,

    BrandonClick image for larger version. 

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  10. #10

    Default Re: “Virtuti Militari” 1795 date?

    The short bibliography in the booklet is particularly fascinating for the early reference works!
    Thanks for posting
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

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