This is a gathered together links topic for the process and results that can be obtained from "reading" original ribbon bars.
Remember: ribbon bars and medal bars were not simply sparkly things lying around waiting to be bestowed as clumps of decorations. They were EARNED... ONE at a time.
A REAL ribbon bar is like a book: every piece tells the life story of its wearer's career. When you know how to "read" a ribbon bar, the fakes scream "FICTION" from 10 feet away!
This is a good example of how TOUGH it can be to get results, but having detailed knowledge and experience will pay off in the end... thanks to our international community!
Here's one where an unpublished original photograph-- itself leaving as many questions unanswered as answered, shows the sort of adventures that those brightly colored ribbons represent:
And here we have the nitty-gritty of "research forensics," weighing and balancing the data available from a variety of period sources and newly printed award rolls, to come up with evidence for the "jury"--
Hmm. "forensics" leads to the "bones" of ribbon bars-- their metal parts:
Much more detailed (as well as Ralph-free
) information can be found in The Ribbon Bar Article
Though that can seem overwhelming at first
if you divide it down into the shorter chapters (Third Reich is SO much easier than Imperial
) it is easier to follow, construction, how to spot fakes, what the ribbons are, and Rules And Regulations.
If you remember that there had to be REASONS why awards were made, and RULES for what went where, it DOES become easier with time and familiarity to pick out the glaring mistakes of the worst sort of fakes:
is being faked. Add to that unfortunate fact the number of pieces ruined by so-called collectors altering original poeces to "improve" them, and it can sometimes get depressing real fast. One of the most common dodges we see in Imperial are "retrofitted" 1930s medal bars with the dirt-common EK2 1914 and Hindenburg Cross X pair swapped out to make a Franco-Prussian war pair with an 1870 EK and the 1870 war medal-- despite the fact that the types of bars were not made the same 60 years apart. Here's another case of an idiot messing with something-- in this case taking an extremely (EXTREMELY) rare Imperial piece virtually unobtainable and trying to "improve" on it... by ruining a good original piece obviously not belonging to it
While it IS quite amusing to see a bar purporting say (from what's on it) to have belonged to a female 1900 Boxer Rebellion firefighter who won the EK2 in Russia in WW2, there is nothing
"funny" about being ripped off by an expensive, grotesque--and easily spotted-- parts fraud bar. One that does NOT "look great," but that would have gotten any Allied agent wearing such inaccurate monstrosities shot on sight.
It's YOUR hard earned money-- don't waste it on junk!