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Author Topic: Is it the same or not?  (Read 2904 times)

Offline emccomas

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Is it the same or not?
« on: June 07, 2016, 10:08:49 AM »
Here are two side by side photos of the Tiffany Cross Medal of Honor awarded to John Otto Siegel.  We know that Siegel received a replacement Medal of Honor in 1941.

Now, looking at ALL aspects of this decoration, are they two different decorations or two different photos of the same decoration.

Divide them up by ribbon and pendant (and ignore the ascension marking from the museum on the one photo).

Is the ribbon the same or different between the two medals?  Why?

Is the pendant the same or different between the two medals?  Why?

I'll tell you "the rest of the story" after I get some replies.

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Offline Kohima

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Re: Is it the same or not?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2016, 10:12:53 AM »
Pendant the same.


K
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Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Re: Is it the same or not?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2016, 11:10:52 AM »
The different colouration and shadows on the pendants make it difficult to compare them...but, if they aren't identical the engraving on one of them is a pretty darned close copy!! As for the ribbons, again, the way the light falls on the water marks makes it kinda difficult to say "yea" or "nay"...but I'm going with the latter!
 
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 11:12:14 AM by Tom E. Gunn »
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Offline emccomas

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Re: Is it the same or not?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2016, 12:09:55 PM »
Don't just focus on the engraving on the pendant, look at all aspects of the pendant, including the lug at the top, and the words that were embossed (raised above the surface) into the pendant.

Offline Kohima

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Re: Is it the same or not?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2016, 03:12:31 PM »
First one looks like "Awarded To" is impressed, not raised.


K
On the edge of a tennis court far, far from home, the Sgt. shouted: Son, pass me a grenade !  The Battle of Kohima. Naga Hills, 1944.

Valhalla I am coming !........Led Zeppelin

Offline emccomas

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Re: Is it the same or not?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2016, 08:07:46 AM »
OK, here is the rest of the story....

Siegel said that his original MOH was destroyed in a fire in 1934, and he asked for a replacement.  A replacement was issued in 1941.

Siegel's Tiffany Cross ultimately ended up in collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History (and that is also a long story).

Siegel's Tiffany Cross photo with the ascension number on the pendant is the one that is in the LA County Museum of Natural History.

The other picture of Siegel's Tiffany Cross (the sort of colored one) is an illustration in "The Call of Duty" book by John E. Strandberg. That is the medal reference book that many of us medal collectors use.

The ribbon on the two medals is definitely in a different position (look at the location of the sewn edge).  I "think" I see enough differences in the ribbon to say that the ribbons are two different ribbons.  OK, that could be, ribbons get replaced.

Now, when I look at the two pendants, I "think" I see minor differences in the embossed words "AWARDED" and "TO".  Also, the pendant "pyramid" lug at the top seems to be shaped slightly different between the two pictures.

So, we can draw one of two conclusions:

1.  They are different photos of the same medal, and the quality of the photos is misleading us into suspecting that they are not the same medal.

2.  They are two different medals.  That would mean that Siegel's original Tiffany Cross did not disappear in a fire, or was rescued, or something like that.

If they are two different medals, one is known to be in a museum in Los Angeles.  The other one, the one depicted in the book "The Call of Duty" is somewhere else.  The author of The Call of Duty said that he cannot recall where the photo in his book came from.

I am an author as well, and I know exactly where everything in my publications comes from.  You absolutely have to do that to protect yourself.

Now, if there is a seconds (the original Siegel medal), and it is in a private collection, but the owner allowed the author to photograph it for his book, and the owner does not want the location disclosed....

Yes, I know, the simplest answer is usually the correct answer, but ....

Offline Tom E. Gunn

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Re: Is it the same or not?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2016, 08:36:35 AM »
It never ceases to amaze me just how much hassle possession...or alleged possession... of an MOH causes in your country! ( Just a neutral observation you understand?)   ;)
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Offline Masonk

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Re: Is it the same or not?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2016, 08:37:03 AM »
I've blown the right photo up to even out the scale. While I know you said don't look at the engraving, I believe this to be the only way to confirm if the same medal.

Unfortunately, the style of photo on both is misleading, making it appear as though "Awarded To" differs on both. I think it's just the photo itself.

The way the photo has been cropped isn't very helpful either, as it's hard to match up any details in either pendant that may differ or be the same.

As for the ribbon, there are obvious differences, however with that, it's also likely the ribbon was replaced.

Looking at the engraving, again the photos are misleading, but focusing on placement using the letters in "Awarded To" as the constant, I think the pendant is the same in both photos.

Specifically, I see no difference in the placement of the letters in "Otto" in reference to "To" on either pendant.

Going down each line, the placement of the lettering remains the same on both, as does the spacing between lines.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 12:31:04 PM by Masonk »
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Offline emccomas

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Re: Is it the same or not?
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2016, 06:02:54 AM »
I hear you K, and I cannot make a definitive answer based on these crummy pictures.

I wish we had better photos period.

Assuming the pendant is the same, it is also possible that the ribbon has just be relocated / adjusted on the pendant.  So, it may be the same medal all together, but if not.....

Offline Masonk

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Re: Is it the same or not?
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2016, 06:37:15 AM »
Another item to point out, it's clearly the same hand that engraved both medals.

That said, I assume the first medal was issued 1918-1919. Would the same engraver, engrave the replacement 22-23 years later in 1941?

I know it's a possibility, but I'm leaning heavily (99.9%) towards them being the exact same medal. I think it would be hard for the engraver to place the lettering in the exact same spots, using the exact same script, 20 some years later. Looking at the photos, I see no obvious differences in the engraving or it's placement on the medal.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 07:03:10 AM by Masonk »
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Offline emccomas

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Re: Is it the same or not?
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2016, 12:15:47 PM »
Very good point K.  Had not considered that.

 

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