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Old 12-27-2005, 04:19 AM   #1
Tal Inbar
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Collecting East European awards - WHY?

In light of the increases of prices for USSR awards, I see more and more members of the forum that "converted" their interest to DDR, Yugoslav, Romanian, Bulgarian awards.

My simple question is WHY?

Do you see the historical importance of these awards as equal to USSR awards?

Do you think that QUALITY and esthetic value is the same?

Or, are you thinking just as a collector in the field of militaria, and if you can't buy USSR awards you just switch to other East European countries?

If that is the case for some of you, what will happen when simple DDR pins and badges will be too expensive?

Will you search the globe for a country with cheap awards? Will you STOP collecting awards?


Tal
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Old 12-27-2005, 05:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tal Inbar
My simple question is WHY?
Do you see the historical importance of these awards as equal to USSR awards?
Do you think that QUALITY and esthetic value is the same?
Or, are you thinking just as a collector in the field of militaria, and if you can't buy USSR awards you just switch to other East European countries?
If that is the case for some of you, what will happen when simple DDR pins and badges will be too expensive?
Will you search the globe for a country with cheap awards? Will you STOP collecting awards?
Tal
hello Tal! to answer you:
1/ I always bougth from time to time "brother" countries awards because I think they belong to a same cultural, or better, political and easthetical field.
2/ Yes I see an equal historical importance, seeking a national interpretation (free interpretation for Poland, copying for Bulgaria for example) of soviet communism by each of these brother countries.
3/ Quality is rarely the same (one brilliant exception is the rare czesch order of White Lion) , but I believe esthetic value are. Design are extremly different, and one of the most curious is the sober DDR design...One have to know and appreciate the cultural context of DDR to appreciate its awards. Yougoslavia and Romania offer high design and almost a very different approach of awards.
4/ When, my money allowed it to me, I always bought in parallel ways, see my answer 1.
5/ I really don't believe all fields will become high, at least for DDR whose market has been closed by German collectors since 1990-1991. Rare pieces are expenseive, the other stuff has been minted in such quantities...Romania and Bulgaria should grow, but what will be the global interest from world's collectors? What will be the interest about Hungary for example? As third reich since 60 years, I believe Soviet Union will remain a "must" because of the historical "prestige"...so fakers have long long years of work ahead of them...
6/ I'll continue to seek awards financially affordable for me, and it will remain always some, it is a question of quantity now...communist awards and badges field is quite HUGE...And French history is still a known and interesting field for me (as Dave who never quit US History field )
but everybody should keep in mind that we live a period of inflation caused by new russian high-classes, but almost the times of facility are over...times where soviet awards flooded for few dozen dollars were a huge and unique historical anomality...
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Last edited by charlet; 12-27-2005 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 12-27-2005, 08:37 AM   #3
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Tal,

You asked a great question and raised several great points.
In my mind the awards from Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia and Mongolia are a continuation on the same theme. I only collect awards from communist era countries and that list includes Cuban awards!

I agree, quality is not there most of the time but there are pieces that come close and some that even surpass the Soviet stuff. I would recommend handling a nice Yugoslavian award from silver. Besides, some of these awards were made in Soviet Union so it's natural to add these pieces to the collection!

There is so much to collect from Eastern Block countries. So far there's minimal interest and for the rarity of some of these pieces the price is just laughable to me. I spent less that $600 for a Yugoslavian Flag 1st class! There were only 1,421 awarded and compared to Soviet stuff this set would run me $100,000!!! I'm sure it will get more expensive but for now I'm content with almost 90% of the awards being under $1,000

For advanced collectors it's tough. For me to fill some of my few missing holes I need to spend over $1,000 Soviet awards are great but it's tough justifying $7,500 for a Kutuzov 2 so it will remain a hole in my collection.

Rusty.
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Old 12-27-2005, 08:50 AM   #4
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Tal,

it's not that I'm "coverted" to other countries, as I had interest in them for a long time. I've been buying Bulgarian, Romanian, Yugoslavian and Mongolian awards for almost 6 yrs, even at times before prices for Soviet stuff went through the roof.

From investment point of view - sometimes I think that I should have bought some Soviet orders instead, as their prices multiplied several times since and for Bulgarian increased just a bit.

This is probably true for common items, but for rare stuff that I managed to buy - such as Yugoslavian documented and cased Hero set and Yugoslavian Order of Flag sets and some documented Bulgarian and Romanian high awards - I've never seen another one for sale...

William

Last edited by new world; 12-27-2005 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 12-27-2005, 09:47 AM   #5
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Why buy eastern bloc stuff?

I own several high Bulgarian items like the Hero of Labour star and a distinguished pilot's badge, and they just look great! I also have some East German stuff with large documents (gramotas) and they look really cool in a display case. Yugoslavian stuff also looks great and has nice history to the pieces, and just look at my avatar and tell me you don't want to collect Mongolian stuff!!

The fact that they look great on display is all the reason I need to buy them...isn't that the point for most of us? Even if they are not the same quality sometimes as Soviet stuff (and sometimes they are), they still look great and tell a great story.
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Old 12-27-2005, 10:21 AM   #6
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I just started with collecting Yugoslavian awards. I started with them becouse of my geographical position and becouse all of my relatives which were in war were Partisans. The prizes are also pretty low.
 
Old 12-27-2005, 11:36 AM   #7
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Awards of other countries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tal Inbar
In light of the increases of prices for USSR awards, I see more and more members of the forum that "converted" their interest to DDR, Yugoslav, Romanian, Bulgarian awards.

My simple question is WHY?

Do you see the historical importance of these awards as equal to USSR awards?

Do you think that QUALITY and esthetic value is the same?

Or, are you thinking just as a collector in the field of militaria, and if you can't buy USSR awards you just switch to other East European countries?

If that is the case for some of you, what will happen when simple DDR pins and badges will be too expensive?

Will you search the globe for a country with cheap awards? Will you STOP collecting awards?


Tal
I purchased several awards of other countries only because they are interesting for me.
For example: Awards of Israel to WWII veterans; Polish awards dedicated to Political Prisoners, Concentration Camps and Holocaust; Mongolian awards (they are just beautiful), etc.
Buying Soviet awards became very expensive. I might expend my collection buying awards of another countries, did not decide yet. I try to collect specific topics, but not all awards of the country (I am not talking about CCCP)
Eric
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Old 12-27-2005, 02:29 PM   #8
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I am one that hasn't converted to "other" communist awards yet. I'm not saying they're bad by any means... I had a beautiful Bulgarian group that was about as complete and nice as anything I've had Soviet (save for my HSU groups) but it just wasn't the same for me as Soviet awards. I think much of it has to do with the history of the USSR that I've been fascinated with for years, from the Revolution onwards. Additionally, I never really have summoned the interest in "other" awards just as I was never that attracted to WW2 German awards - they aren't researchable, whereas Soviet awards are.

SO, for me, I can't afford the kind of groups that I used to buy and sell regularly anymore, but I can afford single small pieces to research and I enjoy the Soviet awards that way.

Just my two cents...

Dave
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Old 12-27-2005, 04:49 PM   #9
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Besides adding a few Mongol items to my collection, I too have not branched out into other communist bloc awards. For me though, its not that those items are not cool, it's because I am already buying a fair amount of Soviet cloth items, and don't have any $ left over. I guess I need to be paid more
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Old 12-27-2005, 05:25 PM   #10
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I like to add an example of medals and badges of the Warsaw Pact countries to my Soviet collection. For the most part, they are cheaper for the most part when compared to their Soviet counterparts.

Other than the Soviet Union, the next Communist Bloc country that I focus on is East Germany. I really like DDR awards, especially the eariler issued pieces.
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