Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Baffled by Splitting of Medal Groups !?


ianw

Recommended Posts

Medal collectors please help !! I am still confused by the practice on eBay of sellers splitting groups. There is currently a 18 Hussar group with 14 Star and BWM as one lot and Vic. and Long service as another . Currently 2 separate bidders(apparently) are winning both these groups.

Finding the practice of splitting groups obnoxious, I am at a loss why this represents the best way of a seller maximising income from the sale. Why would anyone want half a group ? Is this just a spurious way of creating artificial scarcity during the sale or an attempt to strong arm people wanting to keep the group together ,into paying more for it . Repulsive behaviour no matter what the motivation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you, this way of selling is absolute madness, for a group to have been kept together for the last 80 odd years to be split by a dealer who has a only one interest, profit, and none in the actual group. I have seen an auction house put a man's medal group up as two lots, I think on that occassion it was probably an error, however, the group still got sold as two lots and will no doubt be split for ever, or a long time at least till one half of the group comes back on the market. I have no time for dealers who split groups for sale and I think there is nothing we can do about it, except that is not to buy medals from those particular dealers. Best wishes Neil.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's usually done in ignorance. But possibly some dealers are doing it hoping that people will bid over the odds, as happened recently in an effort to reunite the group.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes groups do get split accidently. I have come across several cases where a family has split a group on their relatives death, one each of the medals going to different a parts of the family.

Having looked at the ebay group, it seems to me that the vendor knows exactly what he is doing. The group is a trio with an LSGC. The group has been split in two ensuring that that the trio is incomplete as well. As irritating as it is, the vendor has every right to do it. As has already been mentioned the best way is not to buy them.

Terry Reeves

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a thought, as we all find the practice of splitting medal groups abhorant, it might make sense to complain to EBAY about the practice. Now I understand that the seller has the right to dispose of there property in a way they see fit, however if public opinion is against certain practices it is not unkown for EBAY to take action. Ok they could still sell them in other places but its a start.

JOhn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think that Ebay would be able to police such a thing even if they agreed that splitting groups is reprehensible.

I think I will send an email to the vendor alerting him to the fact that his behaviour might be taken to indicate that he has masturbatory tendencies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think that Ebay would be able to police such a thing even if they agreed that splitting groups is reprehensible.

Ah but if they change there policy, then if somebody complains the auction is taken down

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Hill 60

It's not just dealers who want to split groups.

A few years ago I was offered, by a collector of Fire Brigade LSGC medals, a London Fire Brigade 'Blitz' gallantry group in exchange for a very rare (1 of 7) 'Village Fire Brigade' LSGC medal, he didn't want the other 3 medals awarded to the same man! Needless to say, I still have the complete group.

I also have a BWM & VM to a member of the Household Bn along with an unnamed Household Battalion Medal (believed to be for the Bn Sports Day). I had an individual who was offering the moon for that medal but was not interested in the other 2! Again, it remained in my collection!

I really cannot see any reason to split groups, although I have been told by other collectors that if they only collect 'War' medals then they will remove from the group any MSM & LSGC medals as they don't fit in with their collection!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Ian Bowbrick

Ian,

There is another side to the coin used by medal dealers:

1. The brother-in-law groups - The putting together of two groups from either the RA/RE/ASC or AOC and calling them brothers-in-law. Or with medals of the same name, Smith. Jones, Edwards, Simmons are common examples and calling them brothers or cousins!

2. The Dads Army add-on - Or better known as adding a WW2 Defence Medal for home guard service (man the home guard must have been bursting to the seams). In addition other add ons include 1935 Jubilee Medal, sports medals or NRA shooting medals.

At the end of the day it is always 'Buyer Beware'.

Ian

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ebay are unlikely to do anything if anyone complains. As already stated the seller is quite within his rights and not everyone (me included) finds it all that abhorent a thing to do. It's also totally legal.

Much worse is the common practise amongst dealers of selling so called "family groups" when there is no proof at all that Dave Smith of the Yorkshires and Fred Smith of the KRRC were actually related.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guys cool down: I agree it is a pity to split up this kind of heritage (I had seen this so many times, sadly), but everybody is free to do with his belongings what he/she thinks is in his/her best interest. This is capitalism pure. We all are part of it, so is Ebay. Nobody can prevent people from doing with their possessions whatever they like to do. That's a part of our lifestyle - which we all have chosen to be the best.

Sorry for not being on your arguing side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't worry Egbert , I am not going to upset myself too much about this and broadly agree that anyone can do want they want with their own property. However , ownership of another man's very personal possessions carries with it a certain responsibility. I suppose this is a very small act of vandalism in the great scheme of things but it just seems to me stupid , thoughtless ,uncaring and rather spiteful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw this on eBay and was so annoyed I mailed the seller asking why?

His reply was because he did not have the space to photograph all of the medals together!!!

The old smell of B*******!

It is sad that he has had bids.

"We will remember them"

Shame he did not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My most precious possessions are my father's and grandfather's medals along with their discharge papers. The thought of them going out of the family is not a thought I like to contemplate. I've impressed on my daughter, that they are to be kept in the family, never to be sold, split up or given away, with the same instructions being passed on to future generations. I've added a codicil of the above to my will, which hopefully will set a precedent in the family.

Ronnie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Hill 60
I've impressed on my daughter, that they are to be kept in the family, never to be sold, split up or given away, with the same instructions being passed on to future generations.

I was horrified that when my Grandfather died a few years ago my Aunt wanted to split his Defence Medal & his Father's 1915 Trio and give one to each of his grandchildren! Fortunately he had already envisaged that this might happen and hid the medals, only my Nan and I knew where they were.

I don't blame my Aunt for what she wanted to do, she just wanted each of us to have something to remember our Grandfather by.

I don't have any children of my own, but I have stated in my will that ALL my family's medals will go to my eldest step-daughter, I know she will cherish them as much as I do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Ian Bowbrick

Egbert,

You are right - people can dispose of their property as they see fit.

BUT the number of requests I have had either enquiring or asking me for medals that belonged to Grandad I have lost count of.....

Families can't have it both ways.

Once they have gone, that's it.......kaput!

Ian

:ph34r:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, you only protect a homogenous collection if you know about its value- be it as an expert or be it as preserver of family heritage. But the point is: most ebayers who do split up such a collection don't have a clue about it= nor the value, nor the former bearers background, sometimes they don't know that there was a Great War..... Actually you cannot blame them. That's life, that's fact. It happened to me as an absolute non expert in stamps, that I offered stamps on ebay in two batches. Not realizing that the set belongs together (actually I deliberately diminished the value of total set), I received a naughty email why I do such a horrible thing. If I'd known better....but I just know how to spell stamp. Well, you got my point? On the other side, I am very much interested in my Grandfathers WW1 heritage: when I told distant family members about my research, they realized that my father passed all Granddads belongings exclusively to me. Suddenly I was confronted with requests to split up the precious box full of field letters, artifacts, medals, maps etc = they all have a right to possess their share, they argued. My reaction: no way buddies, only over my dead body!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ian B,

I see our friend the medal spliter is back on ebay with more medals.

(Pairs of WW1 medals are becoming more scarce and these are sold together to keep them intact as a collection)

Looks like he has had a change of heart.

garyem1 :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like he has had a change of heart.

That's the best news I've heard today! (See quote)

The news of this other snake who's splitting the 1914 Trio LSGC (on ebay) has me simply enraged! I know this sort of thing has been happening for generations, but to see it occurring before ones eyes is maddening. This group is one of those that would hold considerably more value as a completed group. I HOPE it goes to the same buyer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Ian Bowbrick

David,

I am going to write off to the Oxford English Dictionary:

Snakes: 1. A reptile with no legs some poisonous . 2. Medal 'dealers' who split medal groups.......

I like it!

Nice one

I can think of another adjective but probably not allowed on the Forum! :lol:

Ian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree totally that to 'split' a group is probably the most abhorent action carried out, however on reflection groups were broken in the past by the 'proud' receipients or sometimes their destitute widow/family, when it became apparent what the 'value' as a base metal it was worth.

I refer to the British war medal being made of silver was capable of being exchange for several WEEKS pay. In an ideal world these proud British Subjects should have been able to retain their awards and be LOOKED AFTER!!!

Think back to the era that we all are currently researching, historically if unemployed 'The Parish' or a pawnbroker was your only means of making ends meet.

What LUCKY PEOPLE we all are!!! Yet again a fantastic sacrifice our forefathers made.

Selfishly as a collector of campaign medals I derive tremendous pleasure in being able to track down ' split groups' and reuniting them.

Market forces have always dictated how goods are disposed of, and as has already been quoted its governed by the freedom WON by others to make our own decisions.

Time to get off my high horse.

HELP HAS ANYONE GOT A LADDER!!!!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure economic and social issues of the past, I.e. the great depression, silver prices of the mid 70's contributed to the melting and splitting of groups on a massive scale. The generations saw families splitting trio's, so each child could have a memento of fathers or brothers war. There are all kinds of reasons medals have been split over the years.

HOWEVER I believe there is an important ethical and moral question to be asked by a dealer or 'owner' of a medal group before they move to sell. They need to understand: That medals are not stamps, coins or action figures! They are NAMED memorials that bare testament to unequalled courage, blood and death, for thousands of soldiers. Medals hold a great more value then its dollar figure, they hold the memory of a man, and his sacrifice and service. The Splitting of a group by unscrupulous sellers to me, is the WORST form of disrespect that can be bestowed on the soldier that medal group commemorates.

NO, I will NOT get down off my horse.

That memory, represented on the rim of a medal, is what I deem to be SO important, and I will continue to do what ever I can, though small to protect and honour that soldier.

Respectfully

David

Sorry to rant, this is a subject that hits very close to home. My great uncles 1914-15 Trio (Pte. S. Bluestein Lond. Regt. Killed at the Somme) is LONG lost. All that we have is his Victory medal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, that it in a nutshell, these medals are indeed memorials and as such should be sacrosanct.

Yes, we know BWM's were sold many years ago for their scrap silver value , no doubt with deep regret by the soldiers themselves ,and their widows and families. Well that's excusable and understandable - after all need prompts very poor people today to sell their own kidneys - but there is no excuse today for group splitting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I apologise profusely if my previous post caused any offence.

The point I wished to make was whilst people are prepared to place bids on split groups via eBay etc, dealers will continue this practice. I personally email these offending dealers and the bidders to explain the error of their ways.

Occasionally I receive a response, after stating I will pay a premium rate only if I can purchase the complete group, can only do this so often or the bank balance suffers. Try negative feedback and they usually 'toe the line' the only problem is, recently eBay restrict access to this action, to those who have placed bids on the respective item!!!!

The answer is in our own hands, out of respect for our forefathers be proactive and become a thorn in their side, or purchase said items, thus preserving their 'historical value'.

The only positive ( tongue in cheek) thing to come out of splitting groups is that a WW1 trio could provide three memorials to three different people, a fact already stated.

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...