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Dutch orders, medals, decorations and medalsets


Hermann
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Hello forumites,

 

As it is not possible to post non US items in the US Militaria Forum i will start this topic as Dutch awards reflects my main interest. I encourage everybody to post Dutch awards (even in a non Dutch group) in this topic so that it will grow into something interesting for all.

 

I will start with a small Dutch medal group i currently own. The group of two consist of a Military Order of William 4th class (Militaire Willems Orde 4e klasse) and a Dutch Expedition Cross (Kruis voor Krijgsverrichtingen) with two bars 'ATJEH 1873-1896 and ATJEH 1896 -1900'.

 

The recipiënt who earned both decorations during the long struggle the Dutch had in Aceh is sadly unknown. My research narrowed it down to two possibles but it is likely that there are more candidates.

 

The Military Order of William is fabricated around 1900. The Expedition Cross is a type 1, 2nd emission which were produced from 1873 to around 1900.

 

post-185468-0-18547800-1546249142.jpg

 

Regards

Herman

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I enclose a picture of a medal set to Dutch Vice Admiral Isaac van den Bosch (1852 - 1932).

 

I do not own this group. I believe it is in a museum.

 

The nice thing about this set is that it shows almost all Dutch orders and valor awards before WW2. The set is made in the Dutch military style called the 'Prussian' style. This style was officially accepted in the Netherlands in 1913 and was introduced by the German Prins Heinrich who maried Queen Wilhelmina in 1902 sametime accepting the Dutch sounding name Prins Hendrik. He was wearing his medals in this Prussian style et voila eleven years later....

Before 1913 the Dutch medal group style was the hanging 'swing' style as shown in post #1.

 

Back to the medal set. It consist of the Military Order of William 4th class, a Knight class in the Order of the Dutch Lion, an Officer grade in the Order of Orange-Nassau with the swords (Military division of this order), an Expedition Cross with the clasp "ATJEH 1873-1874" with an added gilded crown for honourable mention, the Atjeh medal 1873-1874 and a Dutch Officers Cross with numeral XXX.

 

The MWO4 was awarded to him by Royal Decree no 41 of March 9, 1908 and was for his efforts during the Bali expedition of October 1906 as a Navy Captain. The honourable mention was awarded to him by Royal Decree no 10 of October 6, 1874 as an Ensign in the 2nd Atjeh Expedition in 1874.

 

Isaac van den Bosch was born on september 11, 1852. Joined the Dutch Navy in 1868. He was promoted to Ensign in 1871.

He was commander of the Dutch Navy squadron Netherlands East Indies from June 1906 to July 1907. He was promoted to Rear Admiral on august, 30 1907 and got the job of commander of all Navy forces at Den Helder, the biggest Navy harbour in the Netherlands. He was promoted to Vice Admiral november, 1 1909 and retired on november 16, 1910.

From 1927 to his death in The Hague on september 30, 1932 he had the honourable function of Chancellor of the Dutch Orders.

 

post-185468-0-15132300-1546531255_thumb.jpg

 

That's all for today.

 

Regards

Herman

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Thanks for the detail shots! I have an Expedition Cross in a box. How can you tell repros of those?

 

-Ski

Hi Ski,

 

Good question. You must know that the Expedition Cross is one of my favorite medals. I have a nice collection of almost all different types. In all my years of collecting this cross I was never confronted with a reproduction. I don't want to give somebody an idea, but so far I think it never happened. They were produced from 1873 to 1948 in large quantities. In the late 1980-ties, early 1990-ties a large official stock was discovered in the attic of an official government warehouse. They were sold to the commercial market and I think you have one of those. I know of 2 different boxed Expedition Crosses. One in a little black box of C.J. Begeer and one in a little black box of van Wielik.

 

Till today the Expedition Cross is easily available for a small amount.

 

I'm playing with the idea to create a separate topic about this cross and it's 33 different battle clasps.

 

Regards

Herman

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captainofthe7th

Absolutely stunning. The pair you have is very nice and I enjoy seeing anything with a bar on it such as the expedition cross. Nice set!

 

Rob

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Ski, yes that is one of the attic discoveries. They were found without any clasp. An honest example with the van Wielik pricelist.

 

And sorry earlymb, it seems that last summer van Wielik closed it's shop in The Hague. They started 140 ish years ago. The competition of some new medal mounters was too much I guess.

 

Herman

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Thanks Herman! Any idea on age?

 

-Ski

Good question Ski.

 

The first Expedition Cross I bought in the early 90-ties was exactly the same you showed. I don't have it anymore, but the oily van Wielik leaflet is still in my posession. Today i checked the content and also the used old Dutch grammar and spelling. Based on that I would say 1920-ties, 1930-ties.

 

Let me elaborate my answer a bit. Van Wielik was a demand driven commercial firm selling medals were there was a market for. They did this with official approvement by the government. Even Dutch royalty used their services. On the leaflet some interesting medals are stated. The Lombok cross (Lombok kruis) was instituted on April 13, 1895. In the twenties and early thirties some recepients were still serving in the military and much more retired veterans were still alive. The Atjeh medaille (Aceh/Atjeh medal) was instituted on May 12, 1874 so perhaps some old veterans were also still alive and in need for a replacement. Much less though I guess.

 

Furthermore the actions for which masses Expedition Crosses were granted were over in the early thirties. The two later issues of this cross, the 1942 and 1948 batch (of several hundreds) were manufactured by Stokes in Australia (1942 version) and Koninklijke Begeer (1948 version). In 1948 nobody knew or realised that an old stock, bought much earlier by the government was still around, so Koninklijke Begeer (Royal Begeer) got an additional official contract.

 

All these facts lead me in the direction that a large number of crosses produced in the late 20-ties /early 30-ties were shelved and forgotten.

 

Untill new information comes available this is my best guess.

 

Herman

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Awesome! Thanks for the history! So the Dutch did the same thing that the Belgians and French did by allowing private purchase of medals and orders from commercial sources then? I really appreciate the insight.

 

-Ski

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Yes they did but only granted this to a very small group of jewellers and medal mounters. In the van Wielik leaflet a real silver Expedition Cross is offered. The standard Expedition Cross was made of so called 'Berlin' silver of a lower grade. No idea why it was called Berlin silver. Contrary to Berlin silver real silver items (medals, jewelry, vases etc.) were obliged by Dutch law to be marked as such. The real silver crosses sold by van Wielik (and others) were therefore marked. I enclose a picture of such a cross. Even the accompanying real silver battle clasps were marked.

 

There is a story here in the Netherlands that some Dutch Officers disappointed by the quality of the official issued Berlin silver crosses changed them to the private purchased real silver ones.

 

post-185468-0-59033000-1546639636_thumb.jpg

 

The cross is marked in the bottom and right arm.

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And sorry earlymb, it seems that last summer van Wielik closed it's shop in The Hague. They started 140 ish years ago. The competition of some new medal mounters was too much I guess.

 

Herman

 

What a shame :(

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