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Tim Brecknock

Medal Collectors

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Terry

I must say that I agree with Lee's comments 100%. As a collectors for some thirty-five years, I have obtained medals through ebay or auction purchase, as gifts from friends and local folk who knew of my interests, and from dealers.

In the past year an old fellow in my village passed away and I received a call from his widow some time later. She had ready for me nearly thirty medals, including a couple of very nice groups, which her late husband had instructed her to pass on to me. He had been a collector (and a WW2 vet), and he knew that they would be safe in my care. She firmly refused any form of payment from me, although I told her that I was happy to pay her for them.

No, I don't consider myself a parasite at all.

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HarryBettsMCDCM
Comparing medal collectors/dealers to 'muggers and drug dealers'........?

I think most right minded people on a Forum such as this would agree that this is a little extreme.

Yes its a long time hence since I recall anyone "Pimpin' their Biatch"** to fund the latest MC & Bar Accqusition,or Housebreaking or Ramraiding Tescos to make enough to buy a couple of Trio & Plaques......... :blink::ph34r: .....

**Mind you on reflection.................. B)

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Guest jonny956

Mind you, I see that HRH The Prince Charles is Patron of the Orders and Medals Research Society.........say no more!!

Made me laugh about "Pimpin' their Biatch".........This discussion was getting a tad too fiesty for this Great War Forum virgin!

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priv

I have to add that some of the comments about collectors and dealers in medals have been way over the top.

People have for many years collected items of interest which were previously owned by other people - we even have a word in the English Langauge for them - Collectables !!

There has no doubt been a huge rise in family research in recent years in particular as a result of the net and all the additional research potential that brings, however, there will always be people who have no interest in something and either wish to cash in on the item or offer it to someone who may appreciate it more.

Am I drug dealer or mugger for purchasing medals researching them, sometimes finding they belonged to a casualty of war and selling them to fund a subsequent purchase ? All I am doing is releasing an item back on the the market for another collector to covet and research or even re-unite - who knows ?

For someone to now demand or expect that they have the right to have an item returned to them or their family that was sold or disposed of in the past is ridiculous. (Obviously in the event of items being the subject of a robbery or burglary then that is different and is not the point in question in this discussion).

I will continue to collect, sell items to fund others and get an awful lot of satisfaction in collecting and researching medals and associated items. If we didn't then these items would in many cases have been thrown away or scrapped.

Opponents to medals collectors should get of their high horses and stop telling others what they should or shouldn't do - there is too much melodramatic behaviour and wailing at the moment in this country without another minortiy being criticised for what they do.

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HarryBettsMCDCM
Obviously in the event of items being the subject of a robbery or burglary then that is different 

Even then there is no automatic right to having Medals{or any thing else for that matter} returned,having had a large chunk of my Northamptonshire Regiment Collection stolen from Peterborough Museum,where;naively; I had left it on display,some 18 odd years ago;I;thanks to the auspices & diligence of an OMRS Member,who had recalled my listing in the OMRS Journal @: the time; some two years later; had seen them on Sale @ Cheltenham Race Course;a series of frantic telephone calls located them;having been innocently purchased{thankfully en bloc} by a Gloucester collector,Even though they had been Stolen & Sold,under the Theft of Property Act;as they had been purchased innocently;it was down to the new owner to decide if he wanted to return them {Rather Catch 22;for him though, as once their provenance as "Stolen Goods" is established,they cannot then be sold on the open Market as they are then acknowledged as Stolen property!}which fortunately,he did,@ Market Price.

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yellow
Yes its a long time hence since I recall anyone "Pimpin' their Biatch"** to fund the latest MC & Bar Accqusition,or Housebreaking or Ramraiding Tescos to make enough to buy a couple of Trio & Plaques......... blink.gif ph34r.gif .....

Ive heard of worse......people who have to venture to Hull to collect rent from students to fund their collection.

Steve.

:lol:

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birkettm
You mean that it was a stroke of luck for you that this man died all those years ago, prematurely, possibly in agony and far, far from home??  No offence intended to Liam as an individual, but this is quite a common idea among medal collectors - the idea of being especially lucky if you get a medal cheap and it turns out that the man named on the medal died. And the less you paid for the medal, the luckier you are.  I must explain that I don't collect medals myself so perhaps this is why I don't understand this part of the hobby, but it seems more to with financial gain than guardianship.

Tom

Hmm. I once paid £15 for a BWM to a chap in the Northumberland Fusiliers from a dealer in Tynemouth. It was on its own and without a ribbon but it was in an ok condition. I checked on the CWGC and it turned out he was a casualty of 1917. After the initial "woohoo", i went and did the research and it turns out he was buried locally. Pictures of his medal, grave and his certificate now reside on my wall. I remember a bloke ive never met where no-one else did - if they had it wouldnt have ended up on a dealers stall. Have a read here..

Ta

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RWFmedals
To me it would feel wrong to want to collect medals from other families.

If i came across any , for any reason , my project would be to try to return them to the rightful family.

Roland.

Roland

Being a member of the Great War Forum I would expect that you have come into contact with many medals on your travels, antique shops, car boot sales etc. . .

Curious to know how many of them have you purchased and traced back to the great grand step daughter of the recipient who sold them 20 years ago to fund a holiday in Disney World ? <_<

Richard

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Guest Hoof Hearted
OK Anthony ( or any medal collector ) a small question.

In your collection you have a very smart MM trio which you brought some years ago.It comes to your attention that the daughter of the said man was still alive but very much down on her luck and unable to afford to make you an offer.She hasn`t seen these medals for many ,many years and would love to have them back in the family before she passed away.

What would you do ?

Always wondered this !

Roland.

Dear Mrs Bloggs,

I recently purchased from an auction house a very smart MM trio which cost me £1500. I have since found out that this group belonged to your father and that he sold them some years ago. I should add that after a great deal of effort and further expense hiring a researcher I have been able to trace his service record through the National Archives and now have a full file on his wartime service. I have heard, however, that you are of ill-health and not in a financial position to recompense me for my expenditure in order to obtain these medals. No matter, please accept them as my gift to you as they did indeed once belong to your father before he sold them. I hope that your descendants will enjoy them after your passing, assuming that they want them? If they do not want them, I shall happily repurchase them when the medals reappear for sale.

Sincerely yours, A. Mugg

PS I shall not miss the medals as I have recently discovered that my great-great-great-great (etc.) grandfather was Leonardo da Vinci so I'm off to Paris to claim what is rightfully mine.

Whilst I hope you will read the above in the humorous light in which it is intended, it does highlight the points I wish to make:

1: Whether you like it or not, medals cost money - FACT So should someone just give them "back" to family regardless? Just because Mrs bloggs can't afford what you've paid, should you end up out of pocket?

2: At what point does one draw the line at a close enough relative?

3: What guarantees does one have that said relative's family will not just sell on the medals again at a later date anyway, starting the debate off all over again?

4: Just because the medals are connected with warfare, does not make them any more or less emotive than a wedding photo, lock of hair, painting etc. but all these things appear on the open market without your complaint? Taking it to extremes, supposing your warrior relative built his own house, with his own sweat and toil after leaving the services. One could argue that a lot more had been physically put into that "item" but I'm sure you wouldn't turn up at the door demanding a set of keys? Why medals over anything else then?

I would like to hear your answer to your own question. A "standard" MM & trio will set you back around £800-1200. Let's just use £1000 as an even number. What you your actions be in the circumstances you have outlined and why?

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Bill Alexander

A short anecdote. A few years ago I was in the situation of being asked to make an offer on a MM and pair, Canadian Engineers. After some discussion, the owner (daughter) of the recipient decided that she would offer them to family first. A few weeks later she called and indicated that she was sorry, but a nephew had expressed interest and was going to take the medals.

About a year later I had a call from a local antique dealer, enquiring as to the value of some medals. Upon my examination of said medals, they were, of course the group that nephew had so cherished.

Upon reflection, I am not sure who the best custodians of historical artefacts are, the family or the individuals who care enough to spend their time and money preserving the artefacts?

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Borderman

Some years ago I was walking down the 'Welly' Road in Northampton with my future wife after a vigorous night out on the beer. In a secondhand shop window I saw a cluster of WW1 medals. I was so appalled to see the most expensive going for as little as 75p, I went in, bought them and one day I will find the graves of their owners and push them into he earth.

Is it sad that so many medals on the market or in ‘collections’ show how many families have forgotten their past; or is it a good thing that the remorse and regret that this country was once soaked in is now itself a thing of the past?

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David_Bluestein
Dear Mrs Bloggs,

I recently purchased from an auction house a very smart MM trio which cost me £1500. I have since found out that this group belonged to your father and that he sold them some years ago. I should add that after a great deal of effort and further expense hiring a researcher I have been able to trace his service record through the National Archives and now have a full file on his wartime service. I have heard, however, that you are of ill-health and not in a financial position to recompense me for my expenditure in order to obtain these medals. No matter, please accept them as my gift to you as they did indeed once belong to your father before he sold them. I hope that your descendants will enjoy them after your passing, assuming that they want them? If they do not want them, I shall happily repurchase them when the medals reappear for sale.

Sincerely yours, A. Mugg

Bloody well said!

There is no way, no how, not even a chance that I would just hand over a group I spent 1500+ GBP on!!!!!

Someone (from this family) at sometime, for some reason, decided he/she would rather have a few bucks in his back pocket then his g-g-grandfathers medals; I will not take the fall for that action.

Dear Mrs. Bloggs,

Find enclosed a very good colour photo of the medals. If you ever care to visit them, I'm happy to oblige.

PS: Maybe you should ask your nephew, 'Sir-sell-a-lot' why these medals are no longer in the drawer upstairs???

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HarryBettsMCDCM
one day I will find the graves of their owners and push them into he earth.

A Tad difficult if they've been cremated! :blink:

......And akin to burning the Mona Lisa,because Da Vinci is dead,I dont understand the logic,had the original owners wanted them buried with them it would have been done @ the time,surely better that someone cares for them,enjoys them,researchs the recipient,thus keeping the memory of his very being & service alive,what is achieved by planting them in a grave site,perhaps never visited,nor remembered? :o

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Mr BJ
OK Anthony ( or any medal collector ) a small question.

In your collection you have a very smart MM trio which you brought some years ago.It comes to your attention that the daughter of the said man was still alive but very much down on her luck and unable to afford to make you an offer.She hasn`t seen these medals for many ,many years and would love to have them back in the family before she passed away.

What would you do ?

Always wondered this !

Roland.

One wonders why the medals were sold in the first place if the daughter oh so wants them to be in the family. Was she down on her luck and sold them back then?

And if I was to give them to her, what guarantee is there that she won't just sell them again? - 1500 pounds is a lot of money.....

Now, I live in an old home. I paid a lot of money for it. It has only ever been held by three owners with the second owner having never lived in it. Let's assume that the family of the original owners (who lived in it for over 100 years) want the house back but they're down on their luck. Roland would suggest to me that I have to give it to them - give me a break. What is the difference? There are legal documents that show the family did own it at some stage and their names do exist on the building. The dollars might be different but the concept is the same.

I would be happy to sell it to them should my wife and I decide to sell but, otherwise, why should I be obliged to sell?

The same would apply to these medals, Roland. They are available for a fair market price when I decide I am prepared to sell them. I have, in the past, offered a group of medals to the recipient's sister. I offered to sell them for the price I paid but, having seen them on the wall of my office, she said that she was happier seeing them there than anywhere else.

As with a previous poster, I would be more than happy to offer a photograph of the medals for the family - at my cost.

cheers,

bj

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Sgt_Hazell_Great_Grandson
Bloody well said!

There is no way, no how, not even a chance that I would just hand over a group I spent 1500+ GBP on!!!!!

Ok then Pals, same lady suddenly comes into some money.She is so desperate to have Dads medals back she is happy to offer £2500 for the group.

What would you do now ?

Roland. :rolleyes:

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terryb95

To me it doesn't change a thing if you are willing to sell them to her you will if not you don't. She does not have any right to them. At this time I have my grandfather, my fathers and my medals but when I dead if my sons sell them good luck to them.

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yellow

Families who want medals back ........

This is nearly insane as the man whos says I want the house back which I sold 10 years ago. The reason why he wants the house back is because its worth five times the amount now than when he sold it.

I dont care what anyone says its in the most part about money. Forget all those morality police issues of trying to get the public on your side making the collectors look like the bad guys. I know what your game is.

YOU DONT NEED MEDALS TO REMEMBER SERVICEMEN.

Anyone who says different deserves a good telling of.

Secondly......

If WW1 medals were of such importance why did many veterans throw their medals away in disgust at the government who used them as cannon fodder? The ones who held onto them pawned them.......that leaves a very small percentage remaining in families hands.

Finally......

DONT criticise someone elses hobby. If you have never taken part you are in no position to criticise.

Steve.

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Sgt_Hazell_Great_Grandson
DONT criticise someone elses hobby. If you have never taken part you are in no position to criticise.

Steve.

This thread is a general discussion on the subject of medal collecting not a trial by jury.You are not being judged fear not ! :)

My own point is if you were offered way over the odds for a set of medals wanted by a family would you then sell them ?

Regards,

Roland.

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CROONAERT
My own point is if you were offered way over the odds for a set of medals wanted by a family would you then sell them ?

Speaking for myself here (and I'm not a medal collector, but have accumulated quite a few over the years), I'll be straight to the point and say "too bloody right , I would!".

I'd also be quite likely to sell them for the same price that I bought them for, but I'd never give them away, nor sell them for less than I obtained them. I'm not a charity and cannot afford to do such things.

Take a look at my website at the "One in a Million" section (HERE) to see what happens with some of the medals that I do have.The Fred Latham section is the only one completed to date but I bought his MM a few years back, did the research on him and then sold on the medal for £150 more than I bought it (at the going rate).

As I made a profit on it, it looks like I must be a "Parasite" too! :( (Well, that must list me alongside Tesco, Asda, WH Smith, Oxfam, Sainsbury's etc. etc. etc. who all by products to sell on for profit - we don't live in some sort of utopian commune out there!!!)

Dave.

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Sgt_Hazell_Great_Grandson
Speaking for myself here (and I'm not a medal collector, but have accumulated quite a few over the years), I'll be straight to the point and say "too bloody right , I would!".

I'd also be quite likely to sell them for the same price that I bought them for, but I'd never give them away, nor sell them for less than I obtained them. I'm not a charity and cannot afford to do such things.

Take a look at my website at the "One in a Million" section (HERE) to see what happens with some of the medals that I do have.The Fred Latham section is the only one completed to date but I bought his MM a few years back, did the research on him and then sold on the medal for £150 more than I bought it (at the going rate).

As I made a profit on it, it looks like I must be a "Parasite" too! :(  (Well, that must list me alongside Tesco, Asda, WH Smith, Oxfam, Sainsbury's etc. etc. etc. who all by products to sell on for profit - we don't live in some sort of utopian commune out there!!!)

Dave.

Thanks Dave.

Interesting website as well , not seen it before , cheers.

Roland.

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neiluwins
Families who want medals back ........

This is nearly insane as the man whos says I want the house back which I sold 10 years ago. The reason why he wants the house back is because its worth five times the amount now than when he sold it.

I dont care what anyone says its in the most part about money. Forget all those morality police issues of trying to get the public on your side making the collectors look like the bad guys. I know what your game is.

YOU DONT NEED MEDALS TO REMEMBER SERVICEMEN.

Anyone who says different deserves a good telling of.

Secondly......

If WW1 medals were of such importance why did many veterans throw their medals away in disgust at the government who used them as cannon fodder? The ones who held onto them pawned them.......that leaves a very small percentage remaining in families hands.

Finally......

DONT criticise someone elses hobby. If you have never taken part you are in no position to criticise.

Steve.

Very well put, the most sensible points made in this thread so far

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Guest Hoof Hearted
Ok then Pals, same  lady suddenly comes into some money.She is so desperate to have Dads medals back she is happy to offer £2500 for the group.

What would you do now ?

Roland. :rolleyes:

Roland, it would appear that you have ignored my question by deftly side-stepping it. Might I suggest that if you want to hear the opinions of others souls laid bare on the subject, you lead by example.

I repeat, what would YOU do in both instances you describe? If you're not willing to publicly answer the question yourself, it would seem a trifle unfair to expect others to do the same thus exposing themselves to your critique.

I also note that my other questions posed to you remain unanswered on my other points. I would hope that you're not so discourteous as to ignore questons put to you in the same way as you would expect your own to be answered?

I am also a little unclear as to what it is you seem to be objecting to or the point you are making? Do you object to family medals being moved outwith the family or is it that people can buy/sell them. Is it the fact that a profit can be made from someone who has passed awa? If so, perhaps all funeral parlours should offer an FOC/non-profit service? My other questions in previous postings remain.

I look forward to your response.

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Sgt_Hazell_Great_Grandson
Roland, it would appear that you have ignored my question by deftly side-stepping it. Might I suggest that if you want to hear the opinions of others souls laid bare on the subject, you lead by example.

I repeat, what would YOU do in both instances you describe? If you're not willing to publicly answer the question yourself, it would seem a trifle unfair to expect others to do the same thus exposing themselves to your critique.

I also note that my other questions posed to you remain unanswered on my other points. I would hope that you're so discourteous as to ignore questons put to you in the same way as you would expect your own to be answered?

Hoof , sorry.

I would never be in that position as the only medals i ever wish to own are my GGF `s pair which will pass on to me one day.

I am sure you can guess i am no collector !

Roland.

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NIGEL

I think most of you are argueing over the wrong points, a medal collector isnt the same as an egg collector, as some have pointed out the medals were sold or thrown out.

I think the people you have a distaste for are medal dealers and the ones who are bad medal dealers, they are the ones who will cause misery for their profit.

Anything LEGALLY owened by another person IS NOT the property of anyone else just cause your grandad was given it 80 years ago.

And if you take part in medal collecting and your get your fingers burnt then i am afraid you only have yourself to blame as YOU put yourself in that situation. If you put your grandads info on a website and someone knocks on your door saying he has the medals and you are stupid enough to part with money then i am afraid it's YOUR fault. The medal dealer may be a nasty man but there you go.

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