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FAKE World War I Allied Forces Bullion & Metal Wings

Article about: by hawk3370 Steve, Where did you find these jewels. Perhaps they would be willing to trade these three fabulous wing badges for lets say my Riable DSC group. What do you think? Thanks for sh

  1. #1

    Default FAKE World War I Allied Forces Bullion & Metal Wings

    I would like to start a thread where we can post examples of fake wings from WWI. Later, I will start a thread for WWII Allied fakes. please don't hesitate to add to this thread so it may serve as a reference guide to fakes.

    This thread is not about trashing the individual who may be selling the wings we post, it is about educating ourselves so when we do see them on sites, we can steer clear of them. There is a lot of deliberate "crookery" that happens - true, however sellers in some cases may really not know that what they are selling is bad. As Oddball would say "Don't hit me with them negative vibes man".

    This particular wing is pretending to be a hand-chased (chiseled) example, however, the detail is crude and very poor. The "gold" US on the shield appears to be brass, gold does not tarnish like this. In fact, there are traces of green verdigris around both the U and the S if you look closely...silver does not turn green either by the way. The shield is poorly detailed behind the US and the design is inconsistent - something you would not find on a period hand chased piece. The piece, in my opinion, looks as if an attempt has been made to artificially age it. Look at the dark spot on the right wing, it appears to have been heated.

    Additionally, the hinge, (tiny) pin, and catch are wrong as well. The hinge is post-war, the anemic pin would never stand up to repeated pinning without being bent, and the catch is feeble and not seen on period wings.

    The backing is mint, with no signs of wear. I won't say that no WWI wing EVER had an OD wool backing, but this is definitely NOT the norm, and with the other red flags, it does not speak well of the rest of the piece. The way that the backing is sewn (very tightly) prohibits the viewer from seeing the details of construction to the back plate...obviously it was done this way for good reason.
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    Last edited by Steven M; 01-27-2010 at 11:48 PM.
    [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. #2

    Default Re: Fake WWI Allied Forces Bullion & Metal Wings

    Thanks for starting this thread, Steven !

    Most wings seen these days from this era are faked.
    Although this one is rather crudely made, most of us would not know
    the difference !

    I've got a few WWII bogus pieces - when the time comes.....






    Regards,




    Steve.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fake WWII Allied Cloth, Bullion & Metal Wings

    This thread is not about trashing the individual who may be selling the wings we post, it is about educating ourselves so when we do see them on sites, we can steer clear of them. There is a lot of deliberate "crookery" that happens - true, however sellers in some cases may really not know that what they are selling is bad. As Oddball would say "Don't hit me with them negative vibes man".


    Please post examples of fakes, and explain the differences to be found in the fake and real example if at all possible. It helps to know why...



    Steve,
    I think that this is a excellent site in which to help educate the collectors of early wing badges and insignia. I agree with you one hundred percent about not trashing individuals. As you stated a lot of them probably do not know what they have and are going strictly on what has been told to them ref that particular piece. Attached are a couple obvious fakes in my humble opinion.

    The first is a WW1 Aeronaut bullion badge. Notice the crude construction especially the placement and attachment of the US on the balloon. One of the quickest and most obvious details that make this a complete fake is the color (tarnish) of the bullion. Bullion embroidery tarnishes at an even rate. On this badge you have a strand of bullion that is dark and right next to it is a strand that is not tarnished at all. This is not consistant with the ageing process. The beaded edge shows the same, a portion that is tarnished next to a bright section.

    The second wing badge is a Reserve Military Aviator Badge (RMA) or Observer Badge in bullion. This wing is even a more obvious fake than the Aeronaut badge. Notice the different colors of bullion throughout. This most likely comes from using bullion taken from a WW2 Navy bullion rate. The badge is very crued in construction. The US is sewn on using black thread (Never done on real wings). No seperation between the feathering on the wing. All in all I would say that this wing should be studied by all WW1 wing collectors as to what to look for in a fake wing.

    A good rule of thumb is to remember WW1 and WW2 Aviators were very proud and considered themselves to be part of an elite organization, just as aviators and special forces soldiers today. No self respecting aviator would wear a badge that would bring criticism from their fellow aviators or in particular non aviators. So if a badge looks crude or outlandish, it is most likely a made up piece to sell on the collector market. Not something that would have been bought by an aviator during the period.

    Terry
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Steven M; 01-27-2010 at 03:31 AM. Reason: Fixed quote link from previous posting

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fake WWI Allied Forces Bullion & Metal Wings

    Major,

    I really do hope this thread will be useful to our fellow collectors. Thanks for the photos and the insight. I must admit that I learned a lot from this about varying shades of bullion, and the aging characteristics concerning bullion. As strange as it may sound, I never really thought of shady individuals using pieces of bullion form other original/period insignia to create a Frankenstein wing. That component of evaluation will definitely be added to my checklist.
    [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. #5

    Default Re: Fake WWI Allied Forces Bullion & Metal Wings

    Here is a wing pretending to be a period Eisenstadt (mustache wing). The overall quality is poor, and appears to be a cheap casting which has been broken and repaired. The feathering highlights are dimpled or tapped in instead of long clean lines giving definition to the feathers. The pin looks like a period type, however the catch is post-1919. The web site selling this one is asking $1200.00, and described as "exceptional definition".
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    [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]

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fake WWI Allied Forces Bullion & Metal Wings

    I believe this to be a fake Aeronaut badge. The ill-proportioned, and lack of detailing in the shoulder area is the first thing that caught my eye. The loosely threaded bullion and deflated look of the balloon do not speak quality to me.

    The reverse is a mess, and there is no way with that much tension on the wool backing, that it would have not stretched or torn over the past 90+ years if it were real. No known examples of this badge w/star were awarded. This example has been for sale for years @ $1499.00. If it were real, it would have been gone within minutes of posting at that price.

    This is another thing to consider when looking for fakes, original period wings rarely last very long on a web site if they are original (provided the asking price isn't astronomical). If a wing badge has been for sale for years with no takers...that should tell you something if you are in doubt.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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Name:	Fake Aeronaut Badge Rev.jpg 
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ID:	79893  

    [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]

  7. #7

    Default Re: Fake WWI Allied Forces Bullion & Metal Wings

    Fake Blackinton Military Aviator Badge. I can say that this badge is a fake with confidence as I know a very knowledgeable individual who actually has an original. The provenance of his badge is rock-solid. The following information was obtained from the owner of an original badge.

    REAL Blackinton badges are marked "V.H.B STERL." on the reverse of the eagle and the suspension bar. They were NOT struck in gold, but were gold plated sterling. Silver was applied to the flags on either side.

    The badge below is currently up for auction on the net. It does not appear to be "unmarked" gold as the ad claims.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Steven M; 01-28-2010 at 03:28 AM. Reason: "Spellun"
    [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]

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fake WWI Allied Forces Bullion & Metal Wings

    Here is a RMA badge that I found on ebay a couple of years ago. If memory serves me correctly, this one sold for $600+. This badge is so beautiful, I am almost hesitant to apply the ugly word "fake" to it. This example demonstrates that not all fakes are crude, in fact, this one looks too good. The quality and finish are superb, but the thick block backing plate is something that appears on high-end as well as crude fakes.

    I believe that this wing was produced modern day with a laser. I can see no evidence of hand finishing anywhere. If there are opposing opinions, by all means, please post your opinions.
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    [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]

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fake WWI Allied Forces Bullion & Metal Wings

    Here is another example of what I would consider to be a bad RMA badge. The backing appears to be felt or velvet. The constructor has over-done the wear around the edges. It is uniformly rubbed all the way around. I don't have a photo of the reverse, however, it has the same thick block padding as the above badge, just not so nicely done.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    [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]

  10. #10

    Default Re: Fake WWI Allied Forces Bullion & Metal Wings

    Quote by Steven M View Post
    I would like to start a thread where we can post examples of fake wings from WWI. Later, I will start a thread for WWII Allied fakes. please don't hesitate to add to this thread so it may serve as a reference guide to fakes.

    This thread is not about trashing the individual who may be selling the wings we post, it is about educating ourselves so when we do see them on sites, we can steer clear of them. There is a lot of deliberate "crookery" that happens - true, however sellers in some cases may really not know that what they are selling is bad. As Oddball would say "Don't hit me with them negative vibes man".

    This particular wing is pretending to be a hand-chased (chiseled) example, however, the detail is crude and very poor. The "gold" US on the shield appears to be brass, gold does not tarnish like this. In fact, there are traces of green verdigris around both the U and the S if you look closely...silver does not turn green either by the way. The shield is poorly detailed behind the US and the design is inconsistent - something you would not find on a period hand chased piece. The piece, in my opinion, looks as if an attempt has been made to artificially age it. Look at the dark spot on the right wing, it appears to have been heated.

    Additionally, the hinge, (tiny) pin, and catch are wrong as well. The hinge is post-war, the anemic pin would never stand up to repeated pinning without being bent, and the catch is feeble and not seen on period wings.

    The backing is mint, with no signs of wear. I won't say that no WWI wing EVER had an OD wool backing, but this is definitely NOT the norm, and with the other red flags, it does not speak well of the rest of the piece. The way that the backing is sewn (very tightly) prohibits the viewer from seeing the details of construction to the back plate...obviously it was done this way for good reason.
    Steve,
    No question in my mind about this piece. Looks like something made in a local garage using the lost wax casting method. This style of wing shows up quite frequently of late. I have seen OD backing on some Brit made bullion wings but never on a metal wing badge. You are absolutely right about the pin and catch. And the wear pattern on the wing does not match the wear on the wool of which there is little or no wear. I know of no original WW1 wing with any US other than gold. Gold was cheap back then and no respectable aviator would have had a brass US on his wings. An average WW2 sterling wing with real gold US sold for about #3.50 in 1918. So why would anyone buy one with a brass US?

    Terry

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