Romanian Military History Forum - Part of Romanian Army in the Second World War Website



Pages: (5) [1] 2 3 ... Last »  ( Go to first unread post ) Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

> Virtutea Aeronautica
Carol I
Posted: November 08, 2003 01:57 am
Quote Post


General de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2250
Member No.: 136
Joined: November 06, 2003



What do you know about this variation of the officer's badge of this rare order? The central shield with monogram is white instead of blue.

(IMG:http://img69.exs.cx/img69/6158/ova.jpg)

Is it real or just a fake?

Carol I
PM
Top
Dénes
Posted: November 08, 2003 02:46 am
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 4341
Member No.: 4
Joined: June 17, 2003



The inside shield was indeed white (at least that's how it appears on b/w photos).
This particular order appears to be 'Virtutea Aeronautica', Knight Grade, with Swords.
However, the pristine look is suspicious to me.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Geto-Dacul
Posted: November 08, 2003 03:15 am
Quote Post


Plutonier adjutant
*

Group: Members
Posts: 383
Member No.: 9
Joined: June 18, 2003



You can compare Carol I's image with this one, taken from Victor's and C-2's site arr.go.ro :

(IMG:http://www.arr.go.ro/aeroorderobv+19.jpg)

Getu'
PMUsers Website
Top
Geto-Dacul
Posted: November 08, 2003 03:25 am
Quote Post


Plutonier adjutant
*

Group: Members
Posts: 383
Member No.: 9
Joined: June 18, 2003



In the book DECORATII ROMANESTI DE RAZBOI 1860-1947, I don't see any pic with an Aeronautical Virtue having the central shield of white colour...
It could be a variety, but the swords are a little bit dubious (not so sharp, and too shiny). And I don't think that there's any marking on it... :roll:

Getu'
PMUsers Website
Top
Carol I
Posted: November 08, 2003 10:51 am
Quote Post


General de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2250
Member No.: 136
Joined: November 06, 2003



Thank you for your replies.

This is indeed an officer's badge with swords (the knight grade did not have the laurel reef between the arms of the cross). There are many things that speak against its authenticity, but unfortunately they are not absolute truths.

First the colour of the central shield is white, while in the 1993 book by Safta, Jipa, Velter and Marinescu it is described as being blue. Indeed, all the photos they have on plates 31 and 32 (pp. 82-83) show badges with an inner blue shield.

Second, the badge I showed in my original message has equal arms. The book quoted above states that the officer and knight grades had the vertical arm of the cross of 44 mm, while the horizontal arm had only 40 mm. Unfortunately this is in contrast to the images they show in plates 31 and 32 where the arms are equal for all the crosses.

The badge I showed has hilts with a horizontal pattern (like that of the second badge in the photo from C. H. Pankey’s collection posted by Geto-Dacul), while most of the war badges have a tilted pattern (like that in the first and third badge in the same photo).

The swords of the badge do not look very sharp indeed, but the same can be said about the bottom right one on plate 32 in the book by Safta et al and by the second badge in the photo mentioned above. It is surprising that both the bottom right badge in the book and the badge I showed have the upper left tip of the sword sharp while the upper right one is somewhat rounded.

The pristine appearance might also be suspicious but on the other hand the badge may have been cleaned.

Do you know if there were any markings or hallmarks on the badges of the Aeronautical Virtue Order? In the article from Victor's and C-2's site Charles H. Pankey states that he hasn’t seen any. Do you know how I may contact him?

Do you have any badges in your collections that I can compare with this badge? Would it be possible to send me images with good resolution? Thank you very much in advance.
PM
Top
Dénes
Posted: November 08, 2003 03:37 pm
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 4341
Member No.: 4
Joined: June 17, 2003



First, let me state that I am a novice in the field of decorations, badges, medals, etc. I have only a few such original items in my personal collection. But I am quite interested in learning about the topic.

I used the book of David Littlejohn, Foreign Legions of the Third Reich, vol. 4, as reference. Unfortunately, there are only b/w photos of various medals in the book. That's why I mentioned in my reply that the colour of the central shield is only a guess, based on b/w photos.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Dénes
Posted: November 08, 2003 03:39 pm
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 4341
Member No.: 4
Joined: June 17, 2003



First, let me state that I am a novice in the field of decorations, badges, medals, etc. I have only a few such original items in my personal collection. But I am quite interested in learning about the topic.

I used the book of David Littlejohn, Foreign Legions of the Third Reich, vol. 4, as reference. Unfortunately, there are only b/w photos of various medals in the book. That's why I mentioned in my reply that the colour of the central shield is only a guess, based on b/w photos. Also, the name of the medal was given as Knight Grade in the aforementioned book.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Carol I
Posted: November 08, 2003 09:43 pm
Quote Post


General de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2250
Member No.: 136
Joined: November 06, 2003



Thank you very much for your reply. I am also far from being an expert in orders and this is why I have asked for your help in identifying this badge. My only experience in this order comes from the book I mentioned and from the very few images seen on the net (it may seem surprising, but this far I did not see any other real-life badge of this order). Therefore I am trying to put together the very scarce information I can get hold of in the attempt to identify the real value of this item.

The fact is that the same dealer that is now offering this badge has also offered an identical one about a year ago (image below). I have therefore started to wonder if this is a true variety or if I should suspect some foul play. If the white shield variety is (quite) common, some of you might also have it in your collections or at least you saw it in some museum(s). If the variety is not common, what would the chances be that the same dealer is offering two identical badges in such a short time interval?

(IMG:http://img69.exs.cx/img69/2064/va.jpg)

Did I understand right that you have several Aeronautical Virtue badges in your collection? I would be most interested in obtaining their images if possible.

According to the sources I have, the Order of Aeronautical Virtue comes in four classes that are differentiated in size, shape and enamel. Thus, the Gold Cross is a yellow metal cross without enamel (the badges were supposed to be made in gilt silver, but as far as I know this was not put into practice; thus I may venture to say that the badges were made in bronze). The Knight’s badge has the same size and shape as the Gold Cross, but it is enamelled in blue (the cross and the shield with the monogram) and white (the larger central shield). The Officer’s badge has the same size and enamel as the Knight’s badge, with an added green enamelled laurel reef between the arms of the cross. Finally the Commander’s cross has the same shape and enamel as the Officer’s badge, but it is somewhat larger. All these classes received crossed swords between the arms of the cross during wartime.

This being said, I could think of only one reason why the foreign sources might consider the Officer’s cross as a Knight’s war badge. Some countries had purely military orders that were awarded with crossed swords between the arms of the cross even in peacetime. In consequence, the badges awarded in wartime received a laurel reef (usually called “war decoration”) similar to that in the Officer’s and Commander’s badges of the Aeronautical Virtue order. The fact that this Romanian order was quite different from the other Romanian orders both in organisation and in statute probably increased the confusion.

Carol I
PM
Top
Carol I
Posted: November 09, 2003 12:50 pm
Quote Post


General de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2250
Member No.: 136
Joined: November 06, 2003



I have a new hypothesis regarding the white shield variety of the Aeronautical Virtue order.

Could it be possible that this particular variety was awarded only to Germans?
PM
Top
Geto-Dacul
Posted: November 09, 2003 08:44 pm
Quote Post


Plutonier adjutant
*

Group: Members
Posts: 383
Member No.: 9
Joined: June 18, 2003



Carol I wrote :

QUOTE
I have a new hypothesis regarding the white shield variety of the Aeronautical Virtue order.  

Could it be possible that this particular variety was awarded only to Germans?


The Aeronautical Virtue order is a kind of Michael the Brave order, but for aviators. I just looked in the German book on Romanian awards PHALERISTIC RUMANIEN and i didn't saw any pictures with a white central shield version of this award (the pics in the German book are black and white). And if that special "variation" was to be awarded "to Germans only", than be sure that it would have been proudely stated in the German reference... But why only to Germans? Why not to Russians too, or other strangers...?

Again, I'm looking to your two pics and I found the award to shiny, to "newly gilded"... When you look closer to it, you begin to see the imperfections ; the "1930" is pretty poorly executed, the gold tone is to artificial, synthetic...

That's my opinion...

Getu'
PMUsers Website
Top
Victor
Posted: November 09, 2003 09:15 pm
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 4330
Member No.: 3
Joined: February 11, 2003



According to the Royal Decree of 1930, the smaller central shield (the one on the eagle's chest) should be blue, not white.

Btw, the Aeronautical Virtue was awarded with swords also during peacetime, in the inter-war period.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Carol I
Posted: November 09, 2003 11:44 pm
Quote Post


General de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2250
Member No.: 136
Joined: November 06, 2003



Thank you for your replies.

QUOTE
The Aeronautical Virtue order is a kind of Michael the Brave order, but for aviators.


I would not agree entirely with this statement. According to F. Marinescu, one very strong reason (if not the main one) to establish the Aeronautical Virtue order was to reward the pilots who “smuggled” Carol II in Romania on 30 June 1930. The official establishing of the order only one month after this event, on 31 July 1930, strongly supports his hypothesis (it seems that the drafting of the statute has been a main priority for Carol II in the first month of his reign). Thus it does not seem that the order was intended as an aviation replacement for Michael the Brave. I wonder what would have happened if Carol II remained on the throne? There were speculations that he intended to replace the traditional decorations with his own. However, even during the war more pilots received the Aeronautical Virtue order than Michael the Brave. My impression is that Aeronautical Virtue was more of a long service order, while Michael the Brave was a pure bravery order that allowed an easy comparison with other branches of the armed forces (this is why I do not quite like the contemporary idea of creating different decorations for Army, Navy and Air Forces).

QUOTE
But why only to Germans? Why not to Russians too, or other strangers...?


I considered that these badges may have been awarded to Germans only because they are a 1938 model with Carol II’s monogram. This badge has been produced only between 1938 and 1941 and this model was the most likely to be awarded in the first days of the war. I assumed that in those days the Germans may have been the first foreigners to receive it, but of course other Axis nationalities are not excluded. As for the Russians or other Allies it is most likely that they received the 1941 model of the order with Mihai’s monogram. Anyhow, the only reason for advancing the “Germans only” hypothesis was Dénes’ message saying that he has seen photos of pilots wearing badges with white centres. I have assumed that those pilots were Germans, even though he did not mention it explicitly.

QUOTE
Btw, the Aeronautical Virtue was awarded with swords also during peacetime, in the inter-war period.


This sounds very interesting. Could you please give me details? According to the information I have, the Aeronautical Virtue order received swords only in 1938 together with the other Romanian orders. Do you have information of anyone who received a war badge between 1938 and 1941?

However, I understand that you incline to consider the white shield badge as fakes. Rather good, but still fakes. And the reasons that led you to this decision are the details in manufacturing, rather than other details as the “producers” showed very good knowledge about the originals. The funny thing is that a numismatics expert (though not an order expert) form the National History Museum of Romania considered them as originals even when I pointed out the white shield.

What do you say then about the badges that have the central shield in a darker shade of blue than the cross? I have seen photos of several such badges, one of them being the second badge from the left in the image posted by Geto-Dacul.

Returning now to the real badges, Charles H. Pankey states that there were two producers for this order: Rudolf Souval of Vienna and Fa. Karnet of Prague. I wonder if it is possible to distinguish between the badges coming from these two makers. Did one of them produce the badges with a rounded top of 3 and the other the badges with a straight top of 3? Did one produce the badges with the tilted pattern on the hilts and the other those with a horizontal pattern? Is there any chance that any of these characteristics or both indicate(s) fakes? Was there a third producer in Germany as other Romanian orders were produced by German manufacturers?

Also regarding the various models, do you know if there are any peace badges with Mihai’s monogram?
PM
Top
Geto-Dacul
Posted: November 10, 2003 02:11 am
Quote Post


Plutonier adjutant
*

Group: Members
Posts: 383
Member No.: 9
Joined: June 18, 2003



Carol I wrote :

QUOTE
I would not agree entirely with this statement. According to F. Marinescu, one very strong reason (if not the main one) to establish the Aeronautical Virtue order was to reward the pilots who “smuggled” Carol II in Romania on 30 June 1930.


"Physically", the award resembles very much to the Michael the Brave order.


QUOTE
I considered that these badges may have been awarded to Germans only because they are a 1938 model with Carol II’s monogram. This badge has been produced only between 1938 and 1941 and this model was the most likely to be awarded in the first days of the war.


Are you sure that it was really produced until 1941 (the Carol type)? Considering that Carol became widely un-popular by the fall of 1940, I don't think that the awards with his cypher were very popular, and also among Germans.

Best regards,

Getu'
PMUsers Website
Top
Carol I
Posted: November 10, 2003 03:30 pm
Quote Post


General de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2250
Member No.: 136
Joined: November 06, 2003



QUOTE
Are you sure that it was really produced until 1941 (the Carol type)?


Actually I am quite interested in finding the answer to this question. From the information available, I assume that the production of the war versions for all the Romanian orders started in the end of 1938 or most probably in the beginning of 1939 and continued until at least 6 September 1940. It is therefore reasonable to assume further that war badges of the Aeronautical Virtue order were produced in this period and that they had Carol II’s monogram (it would be indeed interesting to find out how many have been produced). Then, after 30 June 1941 when the restructuring of the wartime system of decorations took place, the badges had Mihai’s monogram. The question now is what has happened between these two dates.

Did the Romanian government manage to send an order to stop the production of this type of badges or it had other things to deal with (e.g. consolidating the power and negotiating its sharing/distribution, the fascist rebellion etc.)? I therefore guess that the production continued in 1941 from lack of further orders.

When the decision to stop the production of the old badges was taken, what has happened with the badges that were already produced? Did the government have both the time and the money to melt the old badges and produce new ones only because of Carol II’s monogram? Obviously, the badges without Carol II’s monogram (the Order of the Star and the Order of the Crown) were used without problems. The question is what has happened with the items with the old monogram. There are some boxes for the war badges of the Order of the Star and the Order of the Crown that have Carol’s monogram on the lid. If they are not fakes, this means that they were not destroyed and that they were probably awarded in the first days of the war as such.

On the other hand, to my knowledge no Michael the Brave order model 1938 with swords was awarded. Should we assume that the same is true for the Aeronautical Virtue order? Are then all except very few of the war badges with Carol II’s monogram fakes? The difference in the shade of the inner shield and the cross and also the pattern on the hilts suggests this, but is it really so?

A further question about the various models is if there are any peace time badges of the Aeronautical Virtue order with Mihai’s monogram.
PM
Top
Victor
Posted: November 10, 2003 03:48 pm
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 4330
Member No.: 3
Joined: February 11, 2003



The Virtutea Aeronautica Order was, at its creation, second in importance after the Mihai Viteazul Order. It was not made to replace it, just to add a special award for the aviators (not only for officers, like the MV Order). Any aviator, who received the MV Order, also received automatically the VA Order Knight class. In 1938, the order was officially downgraded to a modest position no. 9.

The Germans were not the first foreign citizens who received the award with swords. There were several French officers who did (their awards were for WWI, just like some Romanian WWI veterans were awarded the wartime version during the inter-war period).

The swords were not added in 1938, but from the initial decree.

Between September 1940 and June 1941, no peacetime VA Orders were awarded. I do not know however if after the end of the war, some of them were issued until 1948.

PS: You can find mr. Pakey's e-mail address here: http://www.arr.go/credits.htm
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

Topic Options Pages: (5) [1] 2 3 ... Last » Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

 






[ Script Execution time: 0.0432 ]   [ 14 queries used ]   [ GZIP Enabled ]