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Discussion: US WWI Bullion Wing - Real~or~Fake?

Article about: Thanks for the thoughts and opinions so far guys! I must say that there are definitely some great comments and serious study of the piece here so far by all. "Ain't" this fun...

  1. #11

    Default Re: Discussion: US WWI Bullion Wing - Real~or~Fake?

    Thanks for the thoughts and opinions so far guys! I must say that there are definitely some great comments and serious study of the piece here so far by all.

    "Ain't" this fun...
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  2. #12

    Default Re: Discussion: US WWI Bullion Wing - Real~or~Fake?

    I guess no one else wants to play...
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  3. #13

    Default Re: Discussion: US WWI Bullion Wing - Real~or~Fake?

    Thanks to the few who posted opinions, much appreciated. I had hoped for more input, but as they say..."oh well".

    My opinion on this wing is also that it is a bad one. This is most probably of Pakistani origin, and I have noticed lately that their fakes are getting better' Chinese fakes are mostly laughable in design and "quality". Perhaps the fakers read information on forums for hints. Education the collector also can have the negative result of also educating the very people that we are trying to protect ourselves from. All of you have pointed out elements that give me serious doubts.



    Backing (obverse)

    The irregular cut of the backing is indeed sloppy and not proportional to the outline of the bullion. As far as this having been cut after being removed from a uniform, I would say no. There is no evidence of any thread being passed through the outer edges, and IF that evidence were cut away, the outer edge would have had to be very large. Most (not ALL), but most wings that are affixed to a tunic have a very narrow evenly cut border. I have however seen some American made wings with wide backing border but the backing usually doesn't follow every turn in the piece. There are no absolutes in design when it comes to WWI wings, however, I strongly feel the biggest giveaway on these being fake, is the backing...

    Backing (Reverse)

    The black grid style thread support is not something I would expect to see on a period wing. It reminds me very much of the type of item you find at a craft store for threading or beading fine work. It appears to be pressed fiberboard or type of plastic material coated with a stiffener. This strikes me as trying to imitate tan/cream-colored burlap material which was used on period wings as the support for the thread work. Also, it appears that the faker attempted to detail the reverse as much as the front. Often on originals, there is much crisscrossing to ensure that the thread remains strong to support bullion. As Gary pointed out, there is no age to the backing at all.

    Bullion

    I dare say that if this wing was sewn to a period uniform, many would be fooled. The work on this wing is of extremely high quality and the original type of bullion was used to create this wing (which by the way is in the style of one made stateside). As far as the aging on the wing, I have seen period wings on tunics with period photographic evidence that the wing as seen now is without a doubt the same one that appears in the period photo. I have seen these turn to a slight gold appearance. However, the other elements of interest cast doubt on the "aging" being legitimate. This bullion could quite possibly have been aged with an acid solution to dull the overall brightness of the bullion - perhaps even before it was assembled.

    For these reasons, I would not want this wing in my house...
    Last edited by Steven M; 03-05-2010 at 03:24 AM.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  4. #14

    Default Re: Discussion: US WWI Bullion Wing - Real~or~Fake?

    Quote by SADolch View Post
    I just noticed this thread and i have an item similar to this bullion wing....what do you think about mine??????
    Thanks....dave h
    Hi Dave,

    I must say that I don't get a warm and fuzzy about this one. When you look at enough original attributed wings over time, you get a "feel" for how they should look, this one does not strike me as being of the period. I do not like the gray backing material that was used, as it is not common to see this used as backing material from the period. The bullion work is good, however, unless it has been sealed away from any contact with air, there should be tarnish, dirt, and more discoloration on the piece. Although this observation shouldn't be used as a stand alone indicator when determining originality, with something this rare that is supposed to be original, I think it does carry some weight.

    Since you have it in your possession, you may want to snip off a couple of loose threads from the gray material, the black and the white and expose it to a flame. The thread should be cotton on originals. If the thread crumples into a hard plastic-like ball that cannot be crushed, it is made of **polyester and that will seal its fate. If the thread disintegrates into ash when exposed to a flame, that indicates cotton. Also, you might want to black light the back to see if there is any indication of a bluish glow. Period white material which contains no polyester (and had not been treated with a whitening substance found in detergent) should appear as a dull white, almost dingy in appearance.

    **Polyester was invented in Britain in the 1940's and contains a petroleum content which is s form of plastic. The substance did not become common in textiles until the 1950's.
    Last edited by Steven M; 03-08-2010 at 06:05 AM.
    [B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]

    [CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
    [/I][/CENTER]
    [B]
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]
    [/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]

  5. #15

    Default Re: Discussion: US WWI Bullion Wing - Real~or~Fake?

    Steve,
    sorry it took so long to respond,thanks for your input,,the thread burns into nothing,but the thread lights up under black light....dave h

  6. #16
    ?

    Default Re: Discussion: US WWI Bullion Wing - Real~or~Fake?

    Hello Gentlemen,

    Just found this site, was lurking, and then found this thread (and I hope you don't mind me resurrecting it?). Of interest, I bought this wing off of eBay when it was offered. I have to say, having had it in hand and having some small experience with WWI wings, I think this one is actually a good one. What you can't see from the pictures is the high quality of the workmanship. The center shield has a very nice "pillow" effect due to the padding. The bullion work is very nice and the backing is actually spot on to other WWI-vintage bullion wings. I would agree, the trimming of the wing is rather sloppy.

    The wing was never sewn onto a uniform, the best I can tell. I assume who ever made it, simply roughly trimmed off the excess fabric and left it to the seamstress to clean it up if/when it was to be sewn on the uniform.

    To address some other questions. In natural light the aging of the bullion is fine--as is the backing. Sometimes taking pictures under a flash gives the bullion/threads a funky look, but this one is fine (IMHO).

    Still, many of the concerns raised in this thread are valid, but are not really true for this wing.

    Best regards
    PFrost

    Quote by Steven M View Post
    Thanks to the few who posted opinions, much appreciated. I had hoped for more input, but as they say..."oh well".

    My opinion on this wing is also that it is a bad one. This is most probably of Pakistani origin, and I have noticed lately that their fakes are getting better' Chinese fakes are mostly laughable in design and "quality". Perhaps the fakers read information on forums for hints. Education the collector also can have the negative result of also educating the very people that we are trying to protect ourselves from. All of you have pointed out elements that give me serious doubts.



    Backing (obverse)

    The irregular cut of the backing is indeed sloppy and not proportional to the outline of the bullion. As far as this having been cut after being removed from a uniform, I would say no. There is no evidence of any thread being passed through the outer edges, and IF that evidence were cut away, the outer edge would have had to be very large. Most (not ALL), but most wings that are affixed to a tunic have a very narrow evenly cut border. I have however seen some American made wings with wide backing border but the backing usually doesn't follow every turn in the piece. There are no absolutes in design when it comes to WWI wings, however, I strongly feel the biggest giveaway on these being fake, is the backing...

    Backing (Reverse)

    The black grid style thread support is not something I would expect to see on a period wing. It reminds me very much of the type of item you find at a craft store for threading or beading fine work. It appears to be pressed fiberboard or type of plastic material coated with a stiffener. This strikes me as trying to imitate tan/cream-colored burlap material which was used on period wings as the support for the thread work. Also, it appears that the faker attempted to detail the reverse as much as the front. Often on originals, there is much crisscrossing to ensure that the thread remains strong to support bullion. As Gary pointed out, there is no age to the backing at all.

    Bullion

    I dare say that if this wing was sewn to a period uniform, many would be fooled. The work on this wing is of extremely high quality and the original type of bullion was used to create this wing (which by the way is in the style of one made stateside). As far as the aging on the wing, I have seen period wings on tunics with period photographic evidence that the wing as seen now is without a doubt the same one that appears in the period photo. I have seen these turn to a slight gold appearance. However, the other elements of interest cast doubt on the "aging" being legitimate. This bullion could quite possibly have been aged with an acid solution to dull the overall brightness of the bullion - perhaps even before it was assembled.

    For these reasons, I would not want this wing in my house...

  7. #17

    Default Re: Discussion: US WWI Bullion Wing - Real~or~Fake?

    I would love to see some detailed pictures of the wing.


    Cheers
    Quote by pfrost View Post
    Hello Gentlemen,

    Just found this site, was lurking, and then found this thread (and I hope you don't mind me resurrecting it?). Of interest, I bought this wing off of eBay when it was offered. I have to say, having had it in hand and having some small experience with WWI wings, I think this one is actually a good one. What you can't see from the pictures is the high quality of the workmanship. The center shield has a very nice "pillow" effect due to the padding. The bullion work is very nice and the backing is actually spot on to other WWI-vintage bullion wings. I would agree, the trimming of the wing is rather sloppy.

    The wing was never sewn onto a uniform, the best I can tell. I assume who ever made it, simply roughly trimmed off the excess fabric and left it to the seamstress to clean it up if/when it was to be sewn on the uniform.

    To address some other questions. In natural light the aging of the bullion is fine--as is the backing. Sometimes taking pictures under a flash gives the bullion/threads a funky look, but this one is fine (IMHO).

    Still, many of the concerns raised in this thread are valid, but are not really true for this wing.

    Best regards
    PFrost

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