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Ritterkreuz Mappe with background research
Old 07-31-2019, 03:42 PM   #1
Frances B
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Default Ritterkreuz Mappe with background research

I originally posted a few years ago asking for views and information on a Ritterkreuz left to me by my late father with a view to selling. I've researched and sat on it for a while because, to be honest, it was a bit painful to sell, however, dad's been gone 5 years now and I've completed our research so the time has come to move on. I thought I'd add an information update before listing it in the E-Stand. I hope someone else finds the research interesting-it's not complete or perfect but a pretty good start and not easily googlable unlike some.

Our story
Firstly, my late father was a WO1 conductor in Bomb Disposal in the British army for 25 years ('74-99) and received this RK during the mid-90s. He was present at some point when the military museum at Shoeburyness was closed (now reopened years later at Foulness island) and was given this during a clearout. I couldn't tell you who by though, I was only about 7 at the time and he was quite well connected so could have been lots of people! We've had it for about 25 years and I believe it has never been commercially available.
I'm not a collector myself and not versed in authentication, so I spoke to some people back then at virtualgrenadier, e-medals and trave-militaria alongside another German auction house, a local militaria auction house 'Arms and Armour Auctions' UK and Bonhams who all said they think it is genuine but have never had a formal certificate of authenticity (is this a thing?) produced. Afraid I don't know any better method for authentication but would be happy to take it somewhere in the UK for this if there is such a service?

The Mappe:
Knights cross of the Iron cross for Wilhelm Crisolli, in Red Leather case. Tooled in gold and marked Frieda Thiersch on the inner cover. Inside is vellum, with raised gold hand lettering and autopen Hitler signature. On the inner left are residual marks from the museum. Damage to the leather is fairly minimal with the corners being in good condition along with the tooling, some minor marking and rippling of the vellum.

The Person
Really interesting research project! Hopefully, I've put together hopefully one of the more complete records for someone interesting and involved in a lot of important incidents but is also quite shadowy.

Wilhelm Crisolli, born in 1895 in Berlin of Italian descent first joined the Imperial Army in 1914 mostly with the 5th horse Jäger-Regiment (but several others; 4th, 15th etc). There is a mention of an award of both iron crosses (Ek1 &2) at this point, the original Prussian version alongside the wound badge (Verwundetenabzeichen). This regiment then transferred to the Reichswher after WW1, and Crisolli to the cavalry division of the Rider Regiment (mostly 5th) where he rose steadily before becoming a teacher of tactics at Potsdam Military Academy in the interwar period.

In 1938, he was appointed Commander of the 1st Division of the Cavalry Rifle Regiment 9. He then led the department into battle first in the Polish campaign and was awarded the Sudetenland Medal in 1938 during the annexation of the Sudetenand from Czechoslovakia. In the Polish campaign, in September 1939 he was also awarded both (1st and 2nd) Iron Crosses (wehrmacht version) - so was an active part in the beginning of WW2 but not a big name.

From there he was a part of the Battle of France and the invasion of Yugoslavia (with the Panzer division).

In 1940, he became commander of the 8th Rifles, 8th Panzer Division (Schützen-Regiment 8) which he led under Erich von Manstein during operation Barbarossa. He was awarded the Knights Cross on 15th July 1941 for his part in the operation. He also has the Pazerbadge (panzerkampfabzeichen) andEastern Front medal (winterschlacht im osten) from this time. On January 31, 1942 on the Russian Front, he was badly wounded and had to give up his command.

In 1942 he was commissioned Generalmajor of the 13th Panzer division and later assigned leadership of the 16th Infantry (motorised) and Panzer divisions in the offensive to the Caucasus and briefly colonel of 333rd infantry division and also 6th Panzer Division during July 1943 and the battle of Kursk.

In November 1943 he was dispatched to become Major General of 20. Luftwaffen-Sturm-Division in Italy after landing at Sicily to become part of the Gothic Line Defensive.
Crisolli was assassinated on 12 September 1944 during an ambush by Italian partisans whilst on the move in Modena. NB: This is during the period of where the SS are involved in multiple atrocities against partisans -there is some evidence of his involvement which may have led to his murder but nothing very concrete. Immediately afterwards the Germans launched a massive anti-partisan assault in the Bologna area, which became known as the Monte Sole massacre or the Massacre of Marzabotta, in retribution for the killing of a Luftwaffe officer. It became known as the worst massacre of civilians committed by the Waffen SS in Western Europe during the war.

He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Generalleutnant in March 1945.

Should you wish to read about him, his grandson, Thomas Medicus has written a book exploring his grandfathers time in Italy after finding the cross itself alongside some photographs after his grandmother died.

Photographs
Attached , for more pictures please see my Ritterkreuz album via my profile, these same photos are also available in a larger resolution here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pp21i3nuk...AZxyfd0Va?dl=0
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RK1.jpg (33.0 KB, 591 views)
File Type: jpg rk3.jpg (39.3 KB, 594 views)
File Type: jpg rk9.jpg (52.0 KB, 597 views)
File Type: jpg Wilhelm-Crisolli.jpg (7.4 KB, 594 views)
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:03 PM   #2
VtwinVince
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Now that is a beauty.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:47 AM   #3
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Fantastic & beautiful Document !!!!! Tom
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:09 AM   #4
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Outstanding document from an interesting soldier! Just stunning
Hope you find a new good home for it.
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:28 AM   #5
Frances B
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Thanks, guys We really enjoyed researching it

We're actually looking for around £10 500 from it (roughly EUR 11300, $12600) as we were told $14-16k hammer price before the commission which works out similarly for us ex fees.

I put it up at slightly more on the E-stand so we can take offers but to be honest I'm not much of a regular (since I'm not a collector myself). Is this the custom? Or should I just be frank at our minimum?

I'd like it to go to a collector who will appreciate it given that its an oddly sentimental thing I started with my dad, but we're tight for time on paying for some building work so I'm not sure if it's better to just sell to a reseller- it just seems like both us and the collector lose out this way though?
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Lovely document
Old 08-09-2019, 12:16 PM   #6
Kyle Harrington
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Default Lovely document

Hi Frank,

The problem with auction houses you never can tell so to speak. The right auction will always run however you hit a damper and whoosh a disaster.Your best bet is to go below dealer prices and get the hard cash early without the hassle of auction house comission. Similar mappes can be bought for around 10k.I know this is sentimental however if you need the cash set a price that realistically a collector will pay.You offer this to a dealer and you can be assured you would not get anywhere near 12k.It is none of my business but I have seen these mappes sitting on sites for years because of the price.

Regards Kyle
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:51 PM   #7
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It is a nice KC Map, but it is only the Map with Document nothing else is there. And to me, it is simple Overpriced for what it is. Thats right around what a Dealer ask for it, if not a bit more, and there are not that much Collectors who would put that Money only for the Map on the Table. A nice Group yes, then a Price like this is ok but not for the Doc alone what is not from any important Person.
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Old 08-10-2019, 04:04 AM   #8
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Single kc mappen are currently only about the price for sale, here was a worse condition in the auction : https://www.ratisbons.com/Auctions-a...g-Abt-244.html
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:02 AM   #9
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Exactly, and that Price in that Auction is about that what it is worth and not much more

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Originally Posted by Mücke View Post
Single kc mappen are currently only about the price for sale, here was a worse condition in the auction : https://www.ratisbons.com/Auctions-a...g-Abt-244.html
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:31 AM   #10
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You might be able to find someone to purchase at that price, but they'd really want to have it at your asking price. You can probably find any number of these for sale online for this price, but how long have they been available at that price and NOT selling.

As someone mentioned, you could probably unload this reasonably quickly to several high-end dealers, but you would not get anywhere near what you are asking for it. You could put it on the estand and gradually reduce the price over time until you sell it, but again, it would be (probably) several thousand under your asking price.

There are plenty of collectors that would have thousands of dollars to pay on a piece like this without batting an eye. That being said, usually people have some sort of focus that they have in their collection. You would have to find that collector that has the cash, wants this, and is willing to spend this cash on this piece. You have just weeded out 90% of collectors at this point.

Good luck. It looks like a nice piece.
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