BF -- Applied Arts


Deutsche Orden und Ehrenzeichen: bis 1945 [German Medals and Decorations: to 1945]. Jörg Nimmergut. München: Zentralstelle für Wissenschaftliche Ordenskunde. 29 cm. ISBN 3-00-001396-2 (Jörg Nimmergut, Eversbuschstr. 108, 80999 D-München, fax [49 89] 89/813 15 41)

Vol 1. Anhalt-Hohenzollern. 1997. xx, 588, xi p. ill. DM 490.00, DM 420.00

Vol. 2. Limburg-Reuss. 1997. xvi p., p. 589-1152 p. ill. DM 490.00, DM 420.00

Scholarly preoccupation with medals and decorations is primarily the domain of collectors and dealers, to whom we owe thanks for the relatively small number of reference works covering this area, including the Die tragbaren Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Reiches [1940], previously the most important work covering Germany. Aside from the fact that the work is outdated, it covers only medals of honor, and ignores dynastic and knightly medals, and medals of merit. Thus this new comprehensive work, which strives for completeness and incorporates the latest scholarly literature, is highly welcome. That it took twenty years to be published speaks to the exacting standards of its compiler, who made an effort to visually inspect every medal. The information gleaned from these visual inspections, recorded on over 8,700 data forms, forms the basis for the work. It is arranged alphabetically according to historical territory, imperial city, or bishopric, each entry including a reproduction and description of the state seal, a brief description of the ruling family and the genealogical lines, and the corresponding territorial development. Though this information can be found elsewhere, it is useful to have it all gathered in one source. This is followed by a history and description of dynastic honors by type, which is followed by the main section on individual medals, divided into civil and military, each arranged chronologically by year of introduction. The entries for individual decorations contain information concerning their creation. Each decoration is displayed from the front and back, with detailed physical descriptions and information concerning its provenance, etc., with bibliographical references. Considering the high quality of the first two volumes, one hopes the work will be complete by 1999, as promised in the publisher's promotional flyer. Despite its price, this work belongs in every academic library with significant history holdings. [sh/sbd]


Deutsche Orden und Ehrenzeichen: Kommentar zum Gesetz über Titel, Orden und Ehrenzeichen und eine Darstellung deutscher Orden und Ehrenzeichen von der Kaiserzeit bis zur Gegenwart [German Medals and Decorations: Commentary on the Law regarding Titles, Medals, and Decorations, and a History of German Medals and Decorations from Imperial Times to the Present]. Founded by Hans Karl Geeb and Heinz Kirchner. Ed. Heinz Kirchner and Birgit Laitenberger. 5th rev. ed. Köln [et al.]: Heymanns, 1997. xxiv, 457, xv p. ill. 22 cm. ISBN 3-452-23210-7: DM 168.00

The present fifth edition of this trusty work, in print since 1957, gives rise to mixed emotions. The reviewer is himself a collector of contemporary German medals and has thus concentrated on Section D of Part 2, which deals with this topic. The introduction and first section have been brought up to date (twelve years have elapsed since the previous edition), and the changes brought about by German unification in the laws relating to the awarding of medals are now incorporated. The bibliography has also been significantly expanded and made more current. Although the foreword is dated June 1997, no closing editorial date is given, and inconsistencies in currency are evident. It is disappointing that the work can only partially serve as a current guide, especially for the new German states. In general Part 2, Section D, could stand a thorough revision. A new edition should also include illustrations of present-day medals and decorations. Printing errors present since the first edition have been perpetuated down into the fifth. According to the publisher, the next edition will appear within a shorter span of time. Despite the deficiencies mentioned above, this work is essential for collectors and those officially concerned with the awarding of decorations and medals. [hvh/sbd]

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