High objects of State (letters patent from Queen Victoria, each w/ Great Seal):
Author of Balfour Declaration - 1898 diplomatic credentials, for talks with Germany |
Chancellor of the Exchequer letters patent of Gladstone, 1873
The (Swedish General) Viktor Balck Olympic Games- Founding Archive
Swedish gold and bronze medals honoring Viktor Balck | Viktor Balck 1912 Stockholm Olympics book Tower and Sword collar of Viktor Balck
Civil War Gillmore Medal to Jewish officer who helped 1863 "Glory" charge toward Ft. Wagner 1863
Statesmen |Koerber - 1920s friend, then foe of Hitler |The Viktor von Koerber WWI Aviation Archive|
Presentation keys, gold medal to major U.K. statesman Award Documents to important 19th century European diplomats
The JFK and staffers convention badges etc. Archive: I.D. Badges to JFK and Secretary Ev Lincoln Mass. Labor Federation badge (major speech) 1960 Democratic Nomination campaign: aide Bob Troutman
Heroines | "Girl who defied Hitler" at 1936 Olympics: biography Inge Sorensen Archive: items First ever (gold NYC) Women's Club Medal of Honor Award Diplomas to great Jewess opera singer
The Poignant Mayer family Jewish Heroism for (in WWI) and Flight from (pre-WWII) Germany Archive
Presentation trowel etc. to president of "philanthropic" society for troubled girls
An award is a object given, usually in public, to a specific person (thus not being transferable to someone else) to represent or commemorate an achievement or career, and which is intended to thereby increase public respect, for the recipient (and only this recipient), and public passion and loyalty, for the institution presenting the award
An award is world-class insofar as its issuance either
(1) is limited to recipients whose stature approach world-class status,
or who are thereby transformed into world class figures
or (2) is, at the time of issuance or later, of interest to high-level officials of states other than those directly involved.
A person is a world-class figure insofar as the person is widely known and respected within the global community, if not generally, then within a specific field of human endeavor. Anyone described in a biographical entry in Encyclopedia Britannica surely qualifies; anyone who is the subject of a biographical book, particularly years after the person's retirement or death, or those who appear in a country's Dictionary of National Biography, possibly qualify.
Diplomatic credentials (incl. Great Seal of Queen Victoria, in..box..of..issue) presented by her to Arthur BALFOUR, empowering him to negotiate on behalf of the U.K. govt. in Aug. 1898. He managed to conclude a secret agreement with Germany regarding the eventual fate of the declining Portuguese Empire. These talks were part of an effort to explore the feasibility of an Anglo-German alliance, a prospect eventually wasted by German blunders; Germany's failure to seize this golden opportunity is wistfully regarded by German scholars as Das Grosse Nein, the Great No which, had it been a Yes, might have turned German history away from WWI, Hitler, and the Holocaust. Balfour was later Prime Minister from 1902 to 1906, and in 1917 as Foreign Minister issued the famous Balfour Declaration granting the Jews a national home in Palestine. (Each year Balfour Day is celebrated by the friends of Israel and mourned by Palestine's Arabs.) He is also considered the father of English golf. Incl. are full length bigraphies of Balfour, and books and dossiers about pre-WWI Anglo-German relations.
What are Awards of Outstanding International Importance?
A Nobel Prize is clearly a world-class award in a (mythic or legendary) class of its own, and so belongs in its own section on this web site; other awards are divided into those to statesmen and those to heroines
Order of Pahlevi of Shah's Iran, Grand Cordon set of badge and star (gold, gilt, and enamel) in 18" x 14" presentation case, awarded to King LEOPOLD III of Belgium; only 35 ever awarded, only to heads of state and Crown Princes
Diploma (signed by Tsar Nicolas II) for the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky, one of the most prestigious awards of the Russian Empire, awarded to German Gen. Colmar VON DER GOLTZ, who would become the only man ever to be made a Field Marshal, with real authority, (as opposed to honorary rank) in two major armies. Germany's most prescient pre-WWI military theoratician, he would be made a Field Marshal in the Ottoman army and would train, among others, Mustafa Kemal (later known as Ataturk). Incl. are books by von der Goltz.
Stalin Prize 1st Class gold medal and impressive diploma, given in 1946 to Agrippina VAGANOVA, who is regarded as one of the greatest ballet theoreticians and teachers ever. Her pre-WWII book on ballet technique is continually reprinted and is available at most large bookstores.
Group includes full length biographies of her, in English and Russian. The regimen of the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg is emulated in Vaganova Schools around the world. Her international reputation was such that she survived the Stalin purges although (or because?) she never joined the Communist Party.
Order of Pahlevi
of Queen Victoria
Group of awards given to Denis Nowell PRITT, K.C. (King's Counselor). Pritt, the William Kunstler of his day, had an international legal career that stretched from the 1920's to the 1960's. This Englishman's greatest claim to fame was his service as chairman of the international Commission of Enquiry into the Reichstag Fire of 1933. The Nazis blamed the fire on Communists, and used this purported Communist conspiracy to justify their suspension of liberties guaranteed in the Constitution of the Weimar Republic; the Pritt Commission found that the Communists could not have started the fire, and that the Nazis probably were the culprits. The Pritt Commission Report (group includes a copy with a forward by Pritt, 1934) was smuggled into Germany in time to thwart the Nazi's effort to frame a group of Communists on charges of having set the fire; the Communists' acquittal in the trial in Leipzig was the last major victory for justice in Germany until Hitler's death. This Commission's report was the first major expose' of Nazi tactics to have a major impact upon public opinion toward the Nazi threat in Western countries.
Apart from this one role, Pritt had the general reputation as an ace lawyer, whose services were provided, often pro bono, to victims of political prosecutions, as when he defended the likes of Kenyatta, Nyerere, and Ho Chi Minh, from prosecution by colonial authorities. The eventual Vietminh leader had faced extradition to French Indochina, where he surely would have been executed. Pritt's services were in the highest demand from business interests, but he would never take a case against "the little guy." Pritt wrote dozens of books, (many incl. in this group, along with numerous books about the Reichstag Fire and an autographed copy of Pritt's Report, in German) capped by a 3-volume set of memoirs.
D.N. PRITT with Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta.
Letters Patent (with Victoria's Great Seal) presented to the Right Honorable Prime Minister Willam GLADSTONE, appointing him U.K Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1873.
Considered one of Britain's greatest P.M.s, (he led four Ministries, intermittently during the period stretching from 1868 to 1894) his intense rivalry with the Conservative Party Leader Benjamin Disraeli culminated in his famous Midlothian Campaign election victory, in 1880, which is often cited as the first modern political campaign.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer (equivalent to Minister of Finance, or Secretary of the Treasury, in other nations) is considered one of the four Great Offices of State, and in recent times has come to be the most powerful office in British politics after the Prime Minister.
Incl. is a study of Gladstone's performance as Chancellor of the Exchequer, written by Sydney Buxton in 1901.
New York City Federation of Women's Clubs, (first of only eight awarded) solid gold (& enamel, great workmanship) Medal of Honor, the design of which was clearly based on the Congressional Medal of Honor. This was given in 1917 to Dame Leila PAGET, whose leadership of a Serbian Relief Fund in WWI made her a world figure. She caught typhus in Serbia, and was given up for dead, but recovered and still managed to save thousands of Bulgars, Serbs, Hungarians etc. Incl. are official Reports filed by this Relief Fund, and books about nursing in WWI Serbia.
C. von der GOLTZ
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Awards of Outstanding International Importance to Statesmen and Heroines
D.N. PRITT announced key anti-Nazi Legal Findings in 1933, thus helping to inspire an international movement of resistance to the Nazi threat to freedom (expressed in art such as this Spanish workers' rights poster at bottom *).
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40 page booklet,
Extremely rare (e.g. gold) Nobel Prize medals
By conspicuously refusing to extend her arm in the "Heil Hitler" salute as she stood on the winners’ podium during the Presentation of Medals ceremony (as was expected of all Aryans, such as the Silver medal winner standing behind her), Inge SORENSEN (girl at left) became a symbol of anti-Nazi steadfastness. Her awards Archive includes her photo and registration document from the 1936 Olympics.
Soviet 1971 Rutherford Centennial medal, 500 issued