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British para beret- Real of fake?

Article about: Hi everyboby. No my area of collecting, but a friend has asked me to post this WWII para beret to get some opinions. I think the badge might be repro, but from reading about the actual beret

  1. #1

    Default British para beret- Real of fake?

    Hi everyboby. No my area of collecting, but a friend has asked me to post this WWII para beret to get some opinions. I think the badge might be repro, but from reading about the actual beret, I think that stands a chance of being pre-1945. I can't make out the manufacturer, but it's not Kangol. What do others think about its authenticity?
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture British para beret- Real of fake?   British para beret- Real of fake?  

    British para beret- Real of fake?   British para beret- Real of fake?  

    British para beret- Real of fake?   British para beret- Real of fake?  

    British para beret- Real of fake?  

  2. #2

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    I like the spiral weave but the markings look odd, particularly the wd arrow and also the grommet cover looks wrong.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for that. I know kangol berets were heavily faked, but I have not read about any of this type being faked. any comments on the cap badge?

  4. #4

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    Quote by Jerry B View Post
    I like the spiral weave but the markings look odd, particularly the wd arrow and also the grommet cover looks wrong.
    I agree that the beret itself looks ok but the marking is odd. I can't make out the full name but it seems to include the word "headress" and the only maker I can recall using the word is Compton Webb who are still in business and have used several permutations of the name over decades some of which included the word "headress" but I am not sure they made war-time airborne berets?

    Also, as Jerry noted the Broad Arrow in particular looks very unconventional. As for the grommet patch I would expect it to be hand stiched rather than machined.

    I gave up trying to decide on the cap badge because it seems to be curved out of the correct flat shape which makes it very difficult to guage in two dimensions. It does have some good features and to have someone well versed in these inspect it "in hand" may be a good idea. The main problem here is that the Kings' Crown pattern continued until the Queens Crown version was issued circa 1953 and of course there were manufacturing differences over this time. So, there are many genuine badges written off as fakes when they are real but just not war-time. The fact that yours has lugs rather than a slider tends to suggest war-time but the change to slider seems a little hard to date precisely beyond it indicating a post-war badge. Of course the lack of certainty means that more than likely some badges with lugs might be post-war!

    If, for sake of argument and notwithstanding the dodgy looking Broad arrow we say the whole thing is genuine I would be inclined to say it is early post-war.

    This of course is only an opinion and I stand to be corrected as I claim only basic knowlege rather than expertise in these items!

    I hope this helps.

    Regards

    Mark
    Last edited by Watchdog; 06-30-2019 at 04:41 PM. Reason: typo
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  5. #5

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    I don’t like the WD arrow, I don’t like the 1944 date stamp and the wear to the leather is not consistent with the wear on the top of the beret.

  6. #6

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    As mark said, the macine stitching on the grommet cover is wrong, and his point about compton webb headress is spot on and they did not make para berets until the 70's I think. Whatever it is, it ain't WWII.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  7. #7

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    Hi guys, thanks for that. After my friend did some further research, he also came to the conclusion that it was made by Compton Webb Headress. His own research showed that they have been in existence since about (1909 I think) but wasn't aware that they did not make these berets during the war.

  8. #8

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    Quote by thecyclist64 View Post
    Hi guys, thanks for that. After my friend did some further research, he also came to the conclusion that it was made by Compton Webb Headress. His own research showed that they have been in existence since about (1909 I think) but wasn't aware that they did not make these berets during the war.

    It would be down to when the company received a government contract.
    It is of course conceivable the CW did make airborne berets during the war but without a contract these would have been private purchase items which back then would almost certainly mean officer quality and this in turn would mean the lining in particular would be different and of course the marking of such would be in a commercial style. The one you post here is in the government issue configuration which is why it can't be war-time made.

    All this said I haven't seen a CW commercial pattern either (though that doesn't mean they don't exist)!

    Regards

    Mark
    Last edited by Watchdog; 07-01-2019 at 08:39 PM. Reason: typo
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  9. #9

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    They did not use the word headdress until 1960's
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

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