rflory Posted 27 November , 2004 Share Posted 27 November , 2004 In the May-June 2003 issue of JOMSA: Journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America pages 23-28, I published an article entitled: "Naming and Suspension Rings on British 1914-1915 Stars - A Preliminary Analysis." On another topic of this forum I was asked to post the article. It is not possible to post the article completely because of the large number of photos (28) but in this and the next six pages I will try to summarize the article and indicate the two suspension types and six major naming varieties. Please recognize: (1) that I have not attempted a posting of this type before; (2) that the photos were originally in color and hopefully will be satisfactory in grayscale; and (3) that many of the naming variety has a number of subtypes that it is not possible to illustrate here. I welcome any comment that forum members may have. Naming and Suspension Rings on British 1914-1915 Stars - A Preliminary Analysis During the last few months a large number of unnamed British 1914-1915 Stars have been offered for sale on Internet auction sites and at various medal fairs in the United Kingdom. A number of correspondents on Internet discussion lists have indicated that these are fake 1914-1915 Stars that can be identified by the reverse of the suspension ring that is flat, rather than rounded. In late January a fellow collector sent me one of the allegedly fake 1914-1915 Stars that he had recently purchased on an Internet auction site. This star looks very good on the obverse except that the cross at the top of the crown is not as detailed as in the original stars and the scroll containing the dates 1914-1915 is not as deeply incised as on the originals. The reverse of the suspension ring of the fake 1914-1915 Star is much flatter than the reverse of the suspension ring of many genuine 1914-1915 Stars. Some of the fake stars also appear to have a lighter colored metal than the originals, although attempts have been made to “age” and darken some fake stars by adding a material that simulates dirt. Shortly after I received the fake star, a correspondent on the OMRS Internet discussion list opined that genuine 1914-1915 Stars to Indian Army officers had flat suspension rings on the reverse that were similar to those on the fake star. At this point I decided to examine the 1914-1915 Stars in my collection of medals to Royal Artillery officers who served in World War I. To my surprise I found that 23% of the 1914-1915 Stars in my collection had flat suspension rings on the reverse. Finding it hard to believe that all of these stars were fakes I decided to closely examine the naming on the stars to determine if the naming on the stars with flat suspension rings on the reverse was in any way different than the naming on the stars with the rounded suspension ring on the reverse. During my comparative evaluation of the naming on 1914-1915 Stars to Royal Artillery officers I examined the following characteristics: the width of the letters in the rank notation in mm. measured from the left-most point of the first letter or number to the right edge of the stop at the end of the rank notation; the height of the letters of the rank notation in mm.; the type of stops in, and at the end of, the rank notation; the width of the regimental notation (R. F. A. or R. A.); the type of stops between the letters in the regimental notation; how regular or irregular the naming is; the depth of strike of the naming; and whether the reverse of the suspension ring is flat or rounded. Based on the examination of 77 examples of 1914-1915 Stars to Royal Artillery officers, six distinct types of naming were found. The next question was whether there was any possibility of establishing a chronology for the various types of naming. This was facilitated by the fact that WW1 Medal Index Cards available at the Public Record Office at Kew in Great Britain indicate the dates on which medals were dispatched to officers. By using the dispatch dates on these cards I was able to establish that each type of naming appears to have been issued during distinct date blocks. Further, it was possible to establish that all the 1914-1915 Stars with the first three types of naming, except one, were issued prior to the end of January 1923 and that all of these stars have reverse suspension rings that are rounded (left-hand photo below). The later three types of naming were all issued after the beginning of 1923 and are characterized by reverse suspension rings that are flat-backed (right-hand photo below). (Continued on next page) Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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