A classical Maltese cross blends harmoniously with elements of Byzantine-style heraldry on the obverse side of this Order of Saint Sava, III class, in its later version with the saint depicted in blue robes. One of the most celebrated Yugoslav orders, it was instituted in 1883 in the Kingdom of Serbia and carried over to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, having been originally awarded for "merit in the areas of education, literature and fine arts"; after November 1914 it was broadened to cover also certain military achievements. This exemplifies the high end of our limited selection of Orders, medals and decorations (OMD) and militaria collectibles. Our focus is on the Balkan area and pre-World War II timeframe; however, not all stock is listed here and we do cover some other geographic areas as well as more recent times, so please feel free to inquire via e-mail for specific requests.  

  • KINGDOM OF SERBIA - Commemorative medal for the First Balkan War (1912) , gilt bronze, 36mm. By Huguenin Frere and Co., Le Locle, Switzerland.

    Obv.: Rising sun with year "1912" inside, Serbian legend OSVECENO KOSOVO ("Kosovo avenged") around, view of the Field of Kosovo with trophy arms and cannon in the foreground, Gracanica Monastery in the distance, all in partial laurel wreath; engraver signature "Huguenin F e C", at the lower right edge.

    Rev.: Serbian coat of arms (double-headed eagle), within full laurel wreath of 20 leaves, each inscribed with sites of victories of Serbian arms: KUMANOVO, SKOPLJE, PRILEP, JEDRENE, VELES, N. PAZAR, DEBAR, STIP, PRIZREN, MRDARE, BITOLJ, SKADAR, OHRID, SJENICA, DOJRAN, LJES, TETOVO, DRAC, ELBASAN, PRISTINA.

    Superb state - excellent detail, intact gilding and proof-like surfaces, though without ribbon. The medal was instituted in 1913 for participation or contributions in the First Balkan War of the previous year. This conflict was a showdown between Serbian-led Balkan allies and Ottoman Turkey, and ended in the latter's withdrawal from of most its European possessions. The key event of the war was the Battle of Kumanovo, which, having reversed the results of the famous Battle of Kosovo (1389), was often referred to as "Kosovo avenged"; thus the medal's legend and popular denomination.

    Order info: D9002, $85

  • KINGDOM OF SERBIA - Commemorative medal for the War of 1914-8 (World War I), patinated bronze, 34mm

    Obv.: Cruciform circular medal with four globules and two crossed swords, head of King Petar I with Serbian legend PETAR I KRALJ SRBIJE ("Peter I, King of Serbia"), all in laurel-oak wreath, years 1914 and 1918 above and below.

    Rev.: Same outline, Serbian coat of arms (double-headed eagle), years 1915, 1916 and 1917 to sides and below.

    Without ribbon, but in relatively good overall shape. The medal was instituted ion December 1, 1920, by Prince-regent Aleksandar I for participation in combat or the rear during the Serbia's war against the Central powers. Certain foreigners were awarded the medal as well, most notably Allied French troops that participated in operations in the Balkans.

    Order info: D9003, $30

  • KINGDOM OF YUGOSLAVIA - Commemorative medal for the blessing of the foundation of St. Sava Temple in Belgrade, 1939, Brass, 27 mm.

    Obv.: Facing bust of St. Sava in vestments of Archbishop, Cyrillic "Sv. Sava"

    Rev.: Perspective view of the temple, Serbian legend: "OSVECENJE TEMELJA HRAMA SV. SAVE NA VRACARU / 1939".

    VF by wear, with light brown patina; repaired loop, with small new bow ribbon in colors of the Serbian flag included. The monumental church, dominating the Belgrade skyline with its 70 meter cupola and perched on the hill of highest elevation within the city - the site of the burning of St. Sava's relics by Sinan-pasha in 1595. The original design from the 1930s by architects Bogdan Nestorovic and Aleksandar Deroko, reflected on the medal, survived the multi-decade hiatus in its building caused by WW II and the post-war government's ban. Work resumed in the late 1980s, and with the exterior completed in 1995, the painstaking task of illuminating its interior still continues.

    Order info: D9006, $20

  • SFR YUGOSLAVIA - Order of the National Hero Gilded bronze, "Museum copy" issued by the regular producer of the order, "IKOM"-Zagreb

    Obv.: Oval medallion depicting a soldier holding a flag and a rifle, superimposed on a star with rays, all within a laurel wreath

    Rev.: Same

    AU. With a long new neck ribbon, red with narrow white side strips. Instated in 1943 as initially the highest order of the new state, throughout most of socialist Yugoslavia's tenure it was the third ranking order that retained the aura of a symbol of legendary bravery and valor in the new society and its system of values. Indeed, less than 1400 were awarded, most posthumously and in relation to the Partisan anti-fascist struggle in Yugoslavia in Worlds War II.

    Order info: D9009, $95

  • FRANCE - "Journée Serbe" oval medal by S. M. Lordonnois, 1916. Patinated brass, 32-45mm

    Obv.: Double-headed Serbian eagle filling the oval, with French legend JOURNEE SERBE below; central medallion containing conjoined busts of King Peter I and prince-regent Alexander I, French legends PIERRE I and ALEXANDRE to side, bilingual 6-line French and Serbian incscription below ( "Glorious defenders of Serbian freedom, 1914 - 1915" ) signature "T. S. M. LORDONNOIS - GRAVEUR EDIT" along lower medallion edge

    Rev.: Same layout as obverse, but with "1916" at the bottom, SECOURS NATIONAL on the ribbon through the crown, and the medallion contains misc. allied coats-of-arms topped by Gallic cock and surrounded by French legend GLORIE AUX INTREPIDES HEROS SERBES

    EF, patinated tanned brass surface, no ribbon. This medal was one of the types issued in conjunction with the "Journée Serbe" Day - commemorated on June 25, 1916 in France, to raise funds for the Serbian refugees from the Central Powers (German, Austrian and Bulgarian) invasion of late 1915. France played a major role in the rehabilitation of the retreated Serbian Army, which took the field once again on the newly opened Southern (Salonika) Front that year, and following the victory at Kajmakcalan began the arduous task of liberating the land. Numerous posters - artistically valuable and with powerful images - created to support the Journée Serbe event survive to this day. Similar efforts existed at the time in other countries, e.g. in Britain through the Serbian Relief Fund, as well as the US. (For an American medal - issued later the same year in conjunction with an analogous fundraising effort held in Boston, please see our item D3151.)

    Order info: D9014, $50

  • MONTENEGRO - Commemorative medal of the 50th anniversary of Prince Nikola's reign, 1910. Gilded bronze, 34mm

    Obv.: Laureate head of King Nikola I Petrovic (Nicholas) left, Serbian legend U SPOMEN PROSLAVE PEDESETE GODISNJICE VLADAVINE / 1910 ("Commemorating the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the reign"); signature "ST. SCHWARTZ" below neck

    Rev.: Cross with laurel branches between its arms; Crowned initials "N.I." in central medallion with Cyrillic inscription ZA PRIJESTO I OTADZBINU ("FOR THE THRONE AND THE FATHERLAND") and dates ( "1st AUG. / 1860 / 1910") on three arms of the cross; signature "PRINZ" along the lower left edge

    AEF, attractive and generally well preserved, no ribbon (should be triangular red-blue-white) but with gilding and loop intact; a few surface nicks. Produced in Vienna and engraved by Viennese masters Stefan Schwartz and Josef Prinz, whose signatures appear as noted above. The medal was awarded to dignitaries (including some foreign) in attendance at the grand festivities that took place on Aug. 28, 1910, at the capital Cetinje on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the reign of Prince Nikola. His long tenure saw many significant advances for the principality once known as "Serbian Sparta", including the liberation of much territory from Ottoman rule and international recognition of a long-standing de facto independence - leading to the elevation of the state to the rank of Kingdom that same year. Reference: Piletic 597-604; NMB 761-2.

    Order info: D3128, $75

  • IMPERIAL RUSSIA - Medal for Zeal, white metal, 30mm

    Obv.: Bust of czar Nicholas II to left, circular Russian legend: "By the Grace of God, Nicholas II Emperor and autocrator of all Russia".

    Rev.: Branch on left, on right Russian inscription "ZA USERDIE" (For zeal).

    Toned white metal, bit grainy surface, 30 mm. With long original ring and with original pentagonal silk ribbon, red with white strips towards edges.

    Order info: D3153, $75

  • IMPERIAL RUSSIA - Commemorative medal of the Russo-Turkish war 1877-8, bronze, 26mm

    Obv.: Patriarchal cross on top of crescent, rays behind, years "1877 - 1878" around.

    Rev.: 4-line invocative Russian legend in wreath "NE NAM, NE NAM, A IMENI TVOEMU" ("Not to us, not to us, but to Thy name").

    AEF, patinated brown-tan surface, with ribbon of original colors: half orange and black stripes, half light blue-green. The medal was awarded to Serbian, Montenegrin and Bulgarian soldiers that participated in the Balkan fronts of the Russo-Turkish war (Eastern Crisis) of 1877-8. The conflict was ignited by a Serbian insurrection in 1875 against Ottoman rule in Herzegovina and Bosnia, turned to war in 1876 by pitting Serbia and Montenegro against Turkey, sucked in Russia the following year, and finally ended with the Berlin Congress of 1878 that redrew the map of the Balkans and the balance of great powers around it.

    Order info: D447, $55

  • AUSTRO-HUNGARY (SERBIAN) - Medal commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sava Tekelija (1761-1842), 1861. Tin, 50mm

    Obv.: Three-quarter right facing bust of Tekelija, Serbian legend in pre-reform (Slavjanoserbski) orthography: "SAVA TEKELIJA VIZESKIJ I KEVERMESKIJ / 17. Aug. 1861 - 21. Sept 1842.

    Rev.: Large central circle with 7-line commemorative legend in old-style Serbian: "U SPOMEN 17. AVGUSTA 1861. GODINE KAO STOGODISNJICE SAVE TEKELIJE BLAGODARNA MATICA SRBSKA U PESTI", surrounded by motto in outer band: "SVE ZA VERU I NARODNOST" ("All for the faith and nation")

    VF, several light nicks and scratches, toned tin. This medal shares - along with the medal of Patriarch Rajacic, issued the same year - the distinction of being the second oldest Serbian medal. It was minted on behalf of the Matica Srpska literary society in Pest (Budapest), to celebrate the centenial of the noted aristocratic politician, cultural activist and philantropist Sava Tekelija (founder of the Tekelijana scholarship foundation in Pest). In a broader sense, it is a tribute to all the efforts at cultural and spiritual revival that took place in the "Serbian Athens" (Vojvodina and other lands under Austro-Hungarian administration) during the 18th and 19th centuries. Reference: NMB 766-8.

    Order info: D3150, $135

  • SERBIA and AUSTRO-HUNGARY - Table medal commemorating the 64th birthday of famous industrialist and brewer Ignjat Vajfert (Ignaz Weifert) and the 20th anniversary of his company, 1870. Brass, 56mm, 62.72g

    Obv.: Slightly right facing bust of Weifert with decorations around neck and on lapel, Latin legend IGNATIVS WEIFERT around, and AETAT LXIV to sides (64th birthday), signature 'A. Scharff' at lower right

    Rev.: Two oval medallions, separated by rectangular central plaque and surrounded by vines and ribbon, with panoramic views of the two Weifert breweries in Belgrade and Pancevo, respectively. The plaque contains two-line Latin legend PARENTI OPTIMO FILIVS / GRATISSIMVS DEDICAVIT, the ribbon city names PANCSOVA and BEOGRAD (Cyrillic), Latin dates for factory commemoration (1850/1870) at the bottom.

    About uncirculated, minor bump to tip of nose, couple of light contact marks in the fields, great style and stunning high relief obverse, patinated tanned brass surface, wrapped in original wax paper, scarce. Designed by Anton Scharff of Vienna. An attractive and rarely seen medal that was first offered for sale in 1897 at the Vienna auction of the TEODORA UNGER collection, as described in German: "WEIFERT IGNAZ, Fabriksbesitzer u. Numismatiker in Pancsova. Bronzmed. a.d. 20 jahr. Bestand der industriallen Anlagen 1870 von A. Scharf. Av. Brustb. 3/4 r. Rv. Ansichten der Fabriks-Etablissement in 2 querovalen Cartouchen. 56 Mm. H. CUBASCH - Wien, Auction 26. April bis 5 Mai 1897: Sammlung Theodor Unger in Graz. Lot 4613. Stgl."; sold for twice the estimate of 10 imperial florins. In more modern times, a specimen appeared at H. D. RAUCH, AUKTION 60, Wien 1997 (Lot. 2378. vzgl. ATS 700.-) and at Serbian Numismatic Society auction 3 (1999, lot 288, high grade, est. DM 200, sold for DM 245 hammer plus fees.)

    Order info: D444, $145

  • KINGDOM OF ROMANIA - Aeronautical commemorative medal, 1933, bronze, 35 mm.

    Obv.: Head of king Carol II to r., legend "M. S. REGELE CAROL II AL ROMANIEI", signature at edge "R. Tassler".

    Rev.: Stylized eagle with wings spread, large legend ARPA / 1927-1933, circular legend SASE ANI DE MUNCA - PENTRUFLOTA NATIONALA AERIANA.

    With original thread-through ribbon in the colors of Romanian flag - blue, yellow and red. Some nicks and scratches. Issued in 1933 to commemorate the 6th Anniversary of the Romanian Aviation

    Order info: D740, $20

  • POLAND - Medal for 20 years of service in the Armed Forces

    Uniface design: silver Polish eagle on central red-white enameled medallion with circular Polish legend "Armed forces in the service of the Fatherland", all on brass background of wreath and crossed swords, Roman numeral XX at bottom.

    Order info: D241, $10

  • UNITED STATES - "SERBIA SURRENDERS ONLY TO GOD" Medal, 1916 Bronze, 24mm, minted by Gorham Co.

    Obv.: Bust left of personification of Serbia ("Vila Ravijojla") with long hair under closed crown and double-headed eagle medallion on breast garment, holding inverse sword, circular legend "SERBIA SURRENDERS ONLY TO GOD", signature of artist LADD along lower right edge

    Rev.: Blank, stamped label "GORHAM Co."

    AEF, slight surface roughness. Now a scarce medal that first appeared in public during the Dec. 1916 fundraiser in Boston in support of the Allies in World War I. It was minted by the private Gorham Manufacturing Co. (New York and Providence, RI) and designed by Anna C. Ladd of Boston, who wrote about it several months later in The Numismatist: "The personification of Serbia is of the Greek type. She holds a sword with a cruciform handle and wears the crown of Czar Lazar, the hero of Kosovo that died there in 1389. Although the patron saint of Serbia is the bearded bishop St. Sava, I have rather chosen the martial maiden that appeared before Marko and other heroes before battle. She is a kind of Valkyrie, a guardian angel. The Serbian fairy, present in folk poetry and stories, stressed her faith in God and St. John, and always stimulated resistance against Turkish conquerors." Serbian-American volunteers and US aid played an important role in the revitalization of the retreated Serbian Army, which took the field once again on the newly opened Southern (Salonika) Front that year, and following the victory at Kajmakcalan began the arduous task of liberating the land. Similar efforts existed at the time in other allied countries, primarily and France and Great Britain. (For a French medal - "Journee Serbe" - issued earlier the same year in conjunction with an analogous fundraising effort held in France, please see our item D9014.) References: Dinar (Serbian Num. Soc., No. 1, June 1996), The Numismatist (ANA, Vol. 30, No. 2, 1917)

    Order info: D3151, $70

  • UNITED STATES - SLOGA SOCIETY BADGE, 1945 Gilt brass and enamel, 15mm

    Obv.: Modified Serbian coat-of-arms with crowned double-headed eagle on Cyrillic legend "SSSS" on blue enamel, Serbian legend on outer red enamel circle SAVEZ SJEDINJENIH SRBA SLOGA, "USA" below

    Rev.: Fastening screw (intact)

    Order info: D3152, $50

  • UNITED STATES - 1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt Official 4th Inauguration Medal, 1945 Bronze 45mm

    Obv.: Bust of FDR right, legend FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT - FOURTH INAUGURATION 1945, signature of artist in left field


    About uncirculated, light brown patina, scarce. Designed by Jo Davidson (1883-1952) and produced at the United States Mint. Though there is a number of trial and unofficial versions of the 4th inaugural medal, this is the only official version, made with a very limited mintage of 3,500 and quite scarce on the market today. References: OIM 11B45 (Dusterberg: The Official Inaugural Medals); FDR 1945-3 (MacNeil: The President's Medal 1789 - 1977).

    Order info: D9012, $210


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