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Turkish Gallipoli Star - Help Spotting The Fakes

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Medaler

I have reached that point where I am seriously considering buying an example of the Turkish "Harp Madalyas" - more familiarly known to many as the Gallipoli Star (not to be confused with the Antipodean variety). The problem I have is that I know that there are a lot of fakes about. In my own mind I differentiate between copies, which are not intended to deceive, and fakes which are. I have seen several obvious copies (advertised as such), but how good are the fakes? Perhaps I should say that it it is an example made by B B & Co that I am particularly looking for.

 

So, the questions are this..............

 

Does anyone have any tips and pointers when it comes to avoiding the "wrong 'uns" ?

Are there any readily available sources that would help?

 

As always, any and all help would be appreciated.

 

Regards,

Mike

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Sepoy

Mike

This is the only publication, I am aware of, which simply covers the "Turkish Gallipoli Star"
https://turkishwarmedal.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/the-turkish-war-medal-harp-madalyasi-by-m-demir-erman/

 

Unfortunately, I have not seen the book so can make no real comment about it. I am also unable to comment about current fakes/reproductions but I would also be most interested to hear about them.

Personally, I was fortunate in picking up examples for my collection, about 40 years ago, when there was limited interest in them. If it helps, here are scans of my examples.

Manufactured by BB & Co

0192.jpg

0191.jpg

J.H.Werner, Berlin

0136.jpg

0137.jpg

Edited by Sepoy

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Sepoy

Turkish Manufactured example

0204.jpg

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Sepoy

Here is the ribbon for the Harp Madalyas, together with Iraq bar, and a photograph of a Turkish Officer showing the award and ribbon with bar being worn.

 

Sepoy

0086.jpg

TURKISH OFFICERA_edited-1.jpg

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Medaler

Hi Sepoy,

 

Sincere thanks for your input. Those 3 types you picture are staggeringly different to each other aren't they? I particularly like the machining under that amber enamel on the Werner made example.

 

As mentioned in my introduction, it is the B B & Co example that particularly interests me. The problem is that I am currently relying on vague principles about the "look" of an object which can be dangerous. Your B B & Co example exhibits all the character traits I have seen on other genuine B B & Co examples....

 

The (as we are looking at it) RHS tip of the crescent does not quite line up with the inner border of the star.

The machining under the enamel has its own character. "Sort of a combined size / shape thing going on" is the best way I can describe it.

The filler in the top point of the star seems more like a rope effect than the top right arm of the star - which looks more "beaded"

The pin design and stamping of the name match what I would expect for style, size and shape.

 

We know yours is a "right 'un" so that all helps to back what I already thought.

 

I am also looking out for those largely undefinable signs of ageing which can not be easily faked, but beyond the things mentioned above I am out on a limb!

 

Warmest regards,

Mike

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trajan
10 hours ago, Sepoy said:

.... a photograph of a Turkish Officer showing the award and ribbon with bar being worn.

 

TURKISH OFFICERA_edited-1.jpg

 

Not my field at all, and so I will be happy to be corrected, but I cannot recall ever seeing an Ottoman officer wearing a 'Gallipoli Star' medal ribbon that way. My understanding was that the ribbon was for use with the smaller 'court' version of the medal, when all medals were worn on the chest. Yes, there is a bar on the ribbon in the photograph, but I cannot help but wonder if in this case it has been attached to an EK ribbon. As I said, happy to be corrected! 

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Medaler
6 hours ago, trajan said:

 

Not my field at all, and so I will be happy to be corrected, but I cannot recall ever seeing an Ottoman officer wearing a 'Gallipoli Star' medal ribbon that way. My understanding was that the ribbon was for use with the smaller 'court' version of the medal, when all medals were worn on the chest. Yes, there is a bar on the ribbon in the photograph, but I cannot help but wonder if in this case it has been attached to an EK ribbon. As I said, happy to be corrected! 

 

Hi Trajan,

 

Pleased to see you are following my quest to obtain examples of WW1 stuff from across the globe!

 

Not the most reliable source in the world perhaps, but this backs the picture..............

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallipoli_Star

 

Cheers,

Mike

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trajan
1 hour ago, Medaler said:

...Not the most reliable source in the world perhaps, but this backs the picture..............

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallipoli_Star

 

Possible, possible, but not yet convinced Mike! One place where you might get a better answer would be the "John P. Sheehan's World War I Militaria And Arms" sub-forum on GBForum - there are a load of WW1 buffs there who might provide more on this.

 

Best wishes,

 

Julian

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Medaler

A further bit of evidence perhaps?. Not officers mind, but still pertinent.

 

Just found this image captioned as "Extracted from a WW1 American Colony photograph of a the Sanjakdar squad from the Turkish 79th Infantry, both soldiers in this formation wear German M1910 Field tunics, with the shoulder boards removed. Turkish 1915 War Medal ribbons through the button holes, as well as Imperial Army head gear, and buckles clearly identify these as Turkish soldiers, not German alotted to the 79th."

 

Regards,

Mike

Turkish 79th infantry.jpg

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Medaler

This example is a known replica which seems to be based on a B B & Co example. The pin at the back is awful, and it all looks far too "new". Not intended to deceive, but perhaps a little too close for comfort. It "fails" all the comparison points I listed in post #5

 

Mike

Replica 1.jpg

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Sepoy
11 hours ago, trajan said:

 

Not my field at all, and so I will be happy to be corrected, but I cannot recall ever seeing an Ottoman officer wearing a 'Gallipoli Star' medal ribbon that way. My understanding was that the ribbon was for use with the smaller 'court' version of the medal, when all medals were worn on the chest. Yes, there is a bar on the ribbon in the photograph, but I cannot help but wonder if in this case it has been attached to an EK ribbon. As I said, happy to be corrected! 

Mike and Julian
A photograph of a wounded Turkish Soldier wearing two "Gallipoli Stars", plus the button hole ribbon, can be found here
http://www.ottoman-uniforms.com/ottoman-turkish-orders-medals-an-overview/


It is my understanding that the WW1 Turkish Army wore the ribbon for the Harp Madalyas in the same manor as the German Iron Cross 2nd class. I am also certain that I have come across a photo (regretfully, I have forgotten where or when) showing a Turkish Soldier wearing both medal ribbons from the same button hole.

Unfortunately, I do not have very many WW1 Turkish related photos in my collection, but I do have a group photograph showing various awards being worn. The Officer wearing the sun helmet appears to be wearing a Harp Madalyas ribbon from his button hole.
It is also interesting to note that three of them appear to be wearing the Stars on the right hand side, without button hole ribbons.

 

I look forward to seeing further comments

Sepoy

TURKISH-OFFICERS.jpg

Edited by Sepoy

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trajan

Thanks Sepoy!

 

Julian

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Medaler
2 hours ago, Bilco said:

Hi Trajan,

There's a pretty comprehenisve thread on the GMIC Forum  http://gmic.co.uk/topic/57871-gallipoli-star-and-campaign-bars/

Bill

 

Hi Bill,

 

Many thanks for that. Some very nice examples to look at. I actually joined that forum a while ago and then promptly forgot all about it.

 

Regards,

Mike

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trajan
9 hours ago, Medaler said:

Many thanks for that. Some very nice examples to look at. I actually joined that forum a while ago and then promptly forgot all about it.

 

I'll second the thanks and note also that while I am a member of GMIC I only look there about every 3 months or so to check on bayonet matters. Having said that, they do have quite a number of interesting threads running on such matters as clothing, helmets, photographs, etc., etc. So, it is well worth having a look at now and again - when time permits!

 

Julian

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Medaler

Many thanks to all who have helped me with this. You will presumably be pleased to know that I am now the owner of one of these medals. A welcome addition to my modest collection of "foreign" awards that aim to tell the story of WW1 as a global conflict.

 

Thanks again,

Mike

Edited by Medaler
Speeling

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trajan
49 minutes ago, Medaler said:

Many thanks to all who have helped me with this. You will presumably be pleased to know that I am now the owner of one of these medals. A welcome addition to my modest collection of "foreign" awards that aim to tell the story of WW1 as a global conflict.

 

Oh, well done!

 

Julian

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Sepoy
On 04/10/2016 at 15:06, Medaler said:

Many thanks to all who have helped me with this. You will presumably be pleased to know that I am now the owner of one of these medals. A welcome addition to my modest collection of "foreign" awards that aim to tell the story of WW1 as a global conflict.

 

Thanks again,

Mike

Is it a BB & Co example?
I have also been collecting Allied Victory Medals, except for Brazil and Siam, which I cannot afford!
Sepoy
 

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Medaler
4 minutes ago, Sepoy said:

Is it a BB & Co example?
I have also been collecting Allied Victory Medals, except for Brazil and Siam, which I cannot afford!
Sepoy
 

 

 

Hi Sepoy,

 

Many thanks for those stunning images you posted up for me earlier. They made things a lot clearer for me. You really have this medal photography all wrapped up!

 

Yes, it is a BB&Co example - and I am very pleased with it. It is the only example of a Turkish award in the collection, so it is quite special to me.

 

Ref allied VM's, I have a few in the collection, but just the more common stuff. British, South African, Belgian, French, Italian, USA and Japanese. The make a nice representative sample at that, but I have a feeling that the Greek one may have to be next - when my funds are "refreshed". Of the examples I do own, I am particularly struck with the Japanese one. Then again, I went through a bit of a Japanese phase about 5 years back. Their medals seem so nicely made in comparison to those of many other nations, and the culture that they come from is so startlingly different. The one that gives me the most pleasure of all is a Meiji era 6th Class Order of the Rising Sun. Its a real stunner IMHO. A 5th class example is on my "wish list" !

 

Warmest regards,

Mike

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Sepoy

The only Japanese Medal in my collection is the Victory Medal and I agree that the Warrior figure makes it stand out from the other Victory Medal variants. I would love to own a "Rising Sun" group, but my current circumstances would have to change first. In the meantime, I will have to put up with just having this Police photo (Gosh, I really like this medal group!) 

Sepoy

RISING SUN.jpg

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Medaler

Hi Sepoy,

 

If I am not mistaken, that is an ORS 4th class - and very nice too! I don't think I have ever seen one court mounted before. It's the beauty of the enamel work that appeals to me. They are very well made, and the green in the leaf has great depth to it in the right light.

 

The one in my collection (6th Cl) came in cheaper than the VM. Imported direct from Japan via Ebay. The odd thing about the Japanese stuff is that it is harder to find them without their boxes than with - and the black laquered boxes are works of art in their own right.

 

Warmest regards,

Mike

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ForeignGong

Hi Sepoy

Any idea who the gent was?

I would  love to add his details to my database. 

That is a fantastic photo. Japanese medals are very rare to Commonwealth troops.

 

Regards

Peter

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Sepoy
8 hours ago, ForeignGong said:

Any idea who the gent was?

I would  love to add his details to my database. 

 

Hi ForeignGong
With thanks to the members of the British Medal Forum, he is believed to be Honorary Major Edmond Cecil Russell, Special List, who was awarded the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun 4th class in the London Gazette 17 May, 1919. He received the Queen's South Africa Medal with 3 clasps for service with the Hampshire Regiment.

 

12 hours ago, Medaler said:

Hi Sepoy,

 

If I am not mistaken, that is an ORS 4th class - and very nice too! I don't think I have ever seen one court mounted before. It's the beauty of the enamel work that appeals to me. They are very well made, and the green in the leaf has great depth to it in the right light.

 

The one in my collection (6th Cl) came in cheaper than the VM. Imported direct from Japan via Ebay. The odd thing about the Japanese stuff is that it is harder to find them without their boxes than with - and the black laquered boxes are works of art in their own right.

 

Warmest regards,

Mike

Mike,
You are certainly correct with the class. I agree with your comments concerning the beauty of the award, they are certainly works of art. May be one day, I can add one to my collection.
Best regards
Trevor (Sepoy)
 

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ForeignGong

Sepoy

many than for the info.

 

Peter

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trajan

I am going medaler's way (well, I am in Turkey - and my wife is Turkish!) and I have just recently signed up for two of these stars, one a Turkish 'simple' version, the other a German BB one: and have fingers crossed as to authenticity of each as it was a 'pig in a poke' buy, in the sense that they were in the UK and I won't see them until I get back there in a month or so... I will let you all know the results, head bowed if necessary.:wacko:

 

That aside, I thought it might be of interest to note a comment by one of my students, that there are, in some towns, something along the lines of a "Sons of the Harp Madalyası" society, where the descendants of the winners of these awards meet and wear them!... This perhaps explains why these items are so rare to see for sale over here... 

 

Julian

 

 

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