wehrmacht awards

Unusual Baltic Cross
Old 04-18-2012, 06:19 AM   #1
bolewts58
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Default Unusual Baltic Cross

This cross just sold on eBay for $190; rather over-priced, IMO. But, it is an unusual cross in its construction, so perhaps worth that much.

I'm showing it just to get some other opinions, if there are any.

But, in my opinion I think it is not German made, but a piece specifically made for the Russian Westarmee and therefore locally made in Latvia. The pin-style rivets and screw plate are typical of Latvian badges, which were heavily influenced by Imperial Russian badges. The number 1921 is a serial number not a date, as is the number 59 on the lower arm. These are also typical details seen on local Baltic badges.

In any case, it is an interesting variation.
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File Type: jpg Baltic Cross screwback_Russian.jpg (40.5 KB, 241 views)
File Type: jpg Baltic Cross screwback_Russianrev.jpg (41.2 KB, 241 views)
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:31 AM   #2
Don D.
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Interesting. I'm not sure that the screw belongs with this cross.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Don D. View Post
Interesting. I'm not sure that the screw belongs with this cross.
Possibly. But, the lacquered finish is consistent and I've seen this type of screw nut before on a Baltic Cross.

Anyway, it is known that the Baltic Cross was also given to White Russian Forces in the Russian Westarmee and that these tended to follow a more Russian style of manufacture. I had one such cross many years ago that was similar to this, but which had arms that were twice as wide as normal. I bought it at the OMSA show in 1988 from a dealer who specialized in Imperial Russian orders, and who had picked it up in Riga.

In "Russian Orders, Decorations and Medals, Including Those of Imperial Russia, the Provisional Government and the Soviet Union" by Robert Werlich (1968/85) he lists it a an award of the Russian Civil War.

Last edited by bolewts58; 04-18-2012 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:07 PM   #4
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Hi Brian,
Sorry for disappointing you, but this cross is a well-known copy, made by famous Russian guy Alexander Chichikalov. He is making official copies (not fakes) of some rare orders/medals .
Unfortunately, some of his early creatures (made in times when he just started and did not marked them) are sold as originals . Nowadays he's using his maker mark, or R (for replica) with year of production. You can even meet his badges on some serious auctions sometimes.
Here is a twin of your cross, maker marked АЧ, currently on sale through serious dealer's site for 290 usd
Also, I'm not sure about the info regarding BK given to White Russian forces. Did you mean that those Germans from different Freikorps who joined Awaloff army were awarded by BK? Then I will agree, but I never heard about any Russians/Latvians etc awarded.
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File Type: jpg ACRev.jpg (176.4 KB, 232 views)
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destruction View Post
Hi Brian,
Sorry for disappointing you, but this cross is a well-known copy, made by famous Russian guy Alexander Chichikalov. He is making official copies (not fakes) of some rare orders/medals .
Unfortunately, some of his early creatures (made in times when he just started and did not marked them) are sold as originals . Nowadays he's using his maker mark, or R (for replica) with year of production. You can even meet his badges on some serious auctions sometimes.
Here is a twin of your cross, maker marked АЧ, currently on sale through serious dealer's site for 290 usd
Also, I'm not sure about the info regarding BK given to White Russian forces. Did you mean that those Germans from different Freikorps who joined Awaloff army were awarded by BK? Then I will agree, but I never heard about any Russians/Latvians etc awarded.
I appreciate this information as I didn't know about Chichikalov at all. It's quite frightening, actually. It's a well-made cross, considering that it's not genuine.
I accepted it as real, albeit a very wierd variation. As you know, I collect these. But, I didn't bid on it because it was so far outside the norm and something really bothered me about it (the blackened pins for one thing), despite my belief that it was likely ok. I guess my instincts kept me from making a big mistake. Somebody paid a lot of money for a fake.

As far as I know, some Russians in Avalov's army did get the BK, which is why Werlich listed it in his book. I met him in the late 70s at a time when I was just starting to collect these and he confirmed that some Russians received this award. However, I have looked for other information about this since and so far have found nothing definitive.
The cross that I owned that had come out of Riga, which was described as a Russian style version of the BK was a screw-back (missing the fly-wheel nut and plate), but made like the German badges with domed rivets. However, what supposedly pointed to it being Russian or Latvian made was that it followed a design of an Imperial Russian regimental badge with fat arms and a corresponding fatter trefoil cross...kind of a BK on steroids.
Unfortunately, I don't have it anymore. But, it was an odd BK, that's for sure.

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Old 04-19-2012, 04:18 AM   #6
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Hi Brian,
I do understand your feelings, especially because you was right and at least screw back is really made in a way of Latvian unit badges, I've seen this type on some of them, and also on Baltische Landeswehr crosses. As a confirmation that it is well made I can discover that the one I showed is listed on Bill Shea site...and I think Weitze had one for sale some time ago as well.
Still I'm sceptic about anyone awarded by BK except Germans, I'm not too much into White Russian awards but I was told many times that Werlich does have some mistakes in his book (well, who do not have them?).
But yes, I can easily assume that we can see Baltic Crosses produced in Latvia, why not? Some Germans from Baltische Landeswehr stayed here, so it might be a private purchase.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:50 AM   #7
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That rusky dude has all kinds of medals made to copy lots of countries orders and medals. He makes em or has a crew that does...I avoid buying anything from him, and have seen his wares , by the way includes gestapo warrant discs also among other dupes. He's The type that is dodgy , talks about giving time to authenticate when you are hesitant to shell out the jack , then dissappears when he has your cash, and later you find out the truth, and cannot either be reached or is uncooperative(its all YOUR fault you bought it ) . He is good at what he does, but careful discernment of details of his wares ,always betrays his work. Just doesn't ever look right ,comes off as a real expert , till he realizes you may know more than he does, so ... always follow your gut feeling , and the attitude when he gets agitated when quizzed is unfriendly, if you ask too many questions about the inventory . From my experience i have found the russian medals dealers the most difficult to deal with of all countries dealers . They do not adhere to normal protocol one expects when spending the big bucks , they play their own game or take their ball and go home....so intimidation to sell is verbal martial arts, ...And.... anytime this attitude is the general feeling in a deal , or blatently apparent when you nail em down to guaranteeing anything , Just...SMILE , thank em, and walk away, and never look back. There is plenty out there that's original to buy every day....so move to the next deal, just keep on walking , also take a few photos on your cell for future reference . When you see the same type of stuff again, just move by, and buy yourself lunch, for doing the right thing.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:22 PM   #8
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Hi Serg

I suspect that this copy von Randow cross is by the same Russian maker.

Do you agree?
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File Type: jpg vonRandowrev.jpg (105.3 KB, 156 views)
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