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SS EM Visor for Review

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  1. #11
    ?

    Default Re: a black SS officer's cap of early make

    Quote by Friedrich-Berthold View Post
    In fact, I have seen several of these well made fakes. I am mystified that the thing is such an issue among you and you are just catching on..
    I am most definitely just catching on with this particular example. I've never seen another one and to my shame, didn't realise that such good copies existed. It's in a different league to any other copy of a black cap I have seen to date.

    As I said on the other site, it's the authenticity or perceived authenticity of the component parts such as the sweat leather that really surprised me. Now that we have much better images to study, I'm beginning to see details in the construction that aren't quite right.

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  3. #12
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    Default Re: SS EM Visor for Review

    Quote by Friedrich-Berthold View Post
    Any collector who proposes to spend several thousand dollars on this item or one similar has the responsibility to inform himself through his own effort versus the seeking of alibis with others. Surely the resources we have put in the internet beggar the imagination when I consider that for years I had virtually no visual aids other than period photographs of lousy quality in order to make my way as a young collector. The expectation that a beginner can blunder around and then be rescued by someone from behind the screen does a disservice to himself and also to those of us who have as volunteers taken on the imperfect and unregulated role of offering some guide from our own limited experience.
    This is a very thought provoking paragraph and I thank you dear friend for writing it. I was very distressed yesterday at the thought that I had most definitely contributed to the buyers decision to purchase this cap. It's not a pleasant feeling to have steered someone in the wrong direction. We are imperfect beings however and this is an imperfect science.

    I know now that I have become much too complacent and this whole episode has made me realise that. I have also realised that the onus is not with the collectors who have knowledge of such fakes to publicaly warn others, it's with the individual collector to seek out the truth and educate himself. That's something I have always believed in for myself but somewhere down the line, I had forgotten that it should apply to others in equal measure. In other words, I have answered too many "is this a fake?" emails and internet posts in the missguided belief that it was doing some good. In hindsight, all that does is teach people that all they have to do is post some images and the answers to all their questions will land at their door without ever having to learn for themselves.

    I direct this comment not at any individual and certainly not at the buyers of the black hat in question here though. It fooled plenty of educated collector at the time and without the intervention of people like FB, would have fooled plenty more yet again.

  4. #13

    Default Re: SS EM Visor for Review

    I can only endorse both FB's and your own comments Ben.

    Fair play to you.

    I have been there myself. I don't mind helping people and giving my 2p worth where I can. But if someone wishes to part with hard earned money, they need to satisfy themselves and not just take someone elses word alone.

    Cheers, Ade.

  5. #14

    Default Re: SS EM Visor for Review

    Quote by BenVK View Post
    This is a very thought provoking paragraph and I thank you dear friend for writing it. I was very distressed yesterday at the thought that I had most definitely contributed to the buyers decision to purchase this cap. It's not a pleasant feeling to have steered someone in the wrong direction. We are imperfect beings however and this is an imperfect science.

    I know now that I have become much too complacent and this whole episode has made me realise that. I have also realised that the onus is not with the collectors who have knowledge of such fakes to publicaly warn others, it's with the individual collector to seek out the truth and educate himself. That's something I have always believed in for myself but somewhere down the line, I had forgotten that it should apply to others in equal measure. In other words, I have answered too many "is this a fake?" emails and internet posts in the missguided belief that it was doing some good. In hindsight, all that does is teach people that all they have to do is post some images and the answers to all their questions will land at their door without ever having to learn for themselves.

    I direct this comment not at any individual and certainly not at the buyers of the black hat in question here though. It fooled plenty of educated collector at the time and without the intervention of people like FB, would have fooled plenty more yet again.
    Is this really the way to go? Surely by not sharing a wealth of knowledge gathered by a small group of dedicated collectors over many, many years is going to end up being detrimental to this specific type of collecting for all who are new to it?

    This appears to be turning into something along the lines of the Freemasons or Corpus Dei, such secrets that must not be uttered in a forum that is designed to be for collectors, by collectors for the purposes of learning.

    By the suggestion that persons who wish to start in this field should learn it the hard way for themselves smacks of selfishness and elitism. I agree, a thorough grounding in the subject is essential, and shows that the would be collector has a genuine interest in these caps, their history, variations and manufacturing methods. If they are only in it for the purposes of purely monetary investment, then I could think of a lot more safer and more lucrative options.

    It could be said I suppose, and has been here, that by discussing the minutae of the construction of these caps, it only serves to aid the forger. I disagree, the forger who produced the above cap is very, very good. Good enough to have fooled a lot of senior collectors in this field is he not? The time, effort, sourcing of materials and the correct type of machinery to construct a monster like that is not the work of some tuppenny ha'penny outfit, but that of a clever deciever, (I hate to say expert.) He doesn't need to know much more than he already does.

    On the other hand, it is certainly detrimental to the average collector who may wish to learn more. Gone will be the fountain of knowledge that is here, that cannot be learned in books alone. It will make the oppurtunity of perhaps owning one of these iconic pieces of history one day an increasingly unlikely prospect, and only cause the sale of good quality fakes to increase, thus lining the pockets of these forgers. It will always be for the poorer if this is the way those in the position to have this knowledge choose to keep it Sub Rosa amongst themselves.

    I also understand that another reason, perhaps in some cases THE reason, to choose to withhold this information, is that when someone does get burned, the person who may have advised them that an item was good when in fact it was not, feels partially responsible for their misfortune. Well, we're all adults and we make our own decisions regardless of good or bad advice, such is life. Perhaps a word of caution, a disclaimer if you like, in future may go someway in allaying any feelings of guilt, without damaging the reputation of the advanced collectors concerned, eveveryone is fallible sometimes, make this clear, and then everyone knows where they stand.

    I honestly hope that for the greater good of militaria collecting, the available knowledge of you few true experts, is not lost to the genuine collector.

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  6. #15

    Default Re: SS EM Visor for Review

    Quote by BenVK View Post
    This is a very thought provoking paragraph and I thank you dear friend for writing it. I was very distressed yesterday at the thought that I had most definitely contributed to the buyers decision to purchase this cap. It's not a pleasant feeling to have steered someone in the wrong direction. We are imperfect beings however and this is an imperfect science.

    I know now that I have become much too complacent and this whole episode has made me realise that. I have also realised that the onus is not with the collectors who have knowledge of such fakes to publicaly warn others, it's with the individual collector to seek out the truth and educate himself. That's something I have always believed in for myself but somewhere down the line, I had forgotten that it should apply to others in equal measure. In other words, I have answered too many "is this a fake?" emails and internet posts in the missguided belief that it was doing some good. In hindsight, all that does is teach people that all they have to do is post some images and the answers to all their questions will land at their door without ever having to learn for themselves.

    I direct this comment not at any individual and certainly not at the buyers of the black hat in question here though. It fooled plenty of educated collector at the time and without the intervention of people like FB, would have fooled plenty more yet again.
    The answer to all of this is a grading system of dealers and also collectors, a certification with rigid exams so that people would be qualified to buy this regalia. I can well imagine different levels of expertise, with a brutal exam to pass.
    That is my answer to this mess. The comments on the other site are the paranoid, lynch mob psyche that reigns there, and which uses conspiracy theories and and resentment as the universal explanation for all conflict.
    The people on the other site have made it their sport to lynch others, to hector, to denigrate, and chivy endlessly, so that the result is that the truth suffers,--whereby the range of expertise declines or collapses--- and then the uninformed collector shifts the burden yet again on which ever scape goat. It is sort of like Nazism, itself, when you reflect on it. No wonder.

    In any case, Ben, you have no need to reproach yourself. You are surely not responsible. Nor am I, even more so, since granted the treatment one normally gets on these sites, I am not enjoined to take endless risks, absorb abuse and vitriol from ungrateful people who cannot educate themselves and who, over and over again, show that they do not have the mental acuity and curiosity to collect this regalia successfully. Pfui. Nor did anyone here deliberately cause someone to buy a fake. In fact, our good work has made the fakes better, and we are a significant part of the problem. One of the persons on the other website pointed this fact out that the fakers are among us (little wonder...) and we aid them. In this case, when these things began to emerge, I warned acquaintances of mine who asked me, but I did not rush to the tocsin here, not the least because that is not my style. It offends me, since my goal is not check list making and dealer burning to make myself look like a hero, but the thorough examination of many originals. So bin ich und so bleibe ich.... As to the others, I say: Goetz von Berlichingen!


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    Or, one can engage more in the Atlas Shrugged/ libertarian kind of moment, and abandon the whole thing so that the self righteous, who would not know a set of runic stampings in the lining of a cap from the back side of a mule, can rule themselves in anarchy, which is presently the case.
    damit, basta.

  7. #16

    Default Re: SS EM Visor for Review

    Hi Ned, you bring up some good points.

    It is a thought provoking subject.

    It is certainly possible to help to average collector without helping the fakers perfect their wares.

    The Internet is indeed a twin edged sword. Very good information is now freely available, I wish it could have been around 30 odd years ago. I know I would have saved some cash. I am sure that we have unwittingly helped the con men. But such is life.

    We must also remember that the real high end fakers reverse engineer caps uniforms etc. They will buy an original and take it to bits. They don't need forums etc help all the time. Big money is involved here!

    I can recount one item I have in my collection which I would not post. It is a label, which so far, the fakers have not reproduced correctly. So I would not post it in an open forum. That would be pointless. So at times, it does mean we need to play our cards close to our chests.

    Cheers, Ade.

  8. #17

    Default Re: SS EM Visor for Review

    Thanks for all the above reasoned and thoughtful posts. You know, one has only to look at Mollo's books of yore, which got many of us into all of this, wherein he also held back data so as to thwart the faker. He deliberately did not include certain details that would have been a boon to the faker. Ergo, there is a custom here to which I adhere without apology. I am grateful to colleague Big Ned for his fine intervention, but I accept the label of elitist, not the least because on the other website the Jacobin mob (which is unfair to the Jacobins...) can't have it both ways, really. You cannot guillotine knowledge in a blood bath as transpires there every day, and then turn around and demand management and leadership that by its very nature is had by a few. Niemand muss muessen, as it stands in Lessing, and that is also true here. Many experts here also have retreated in the face of all the nonsense that especially afflicts my friend Ben, and of which I am also quite fed up and tired.
    I live in a society that is paranoid, expects to be taking care of, and takes no responsibility for its fate in such a way that education in the classical sense is seen only as a means to secure wealth. Wikipedia offers the answer to every question, and no question should require more effort than the time to click on same.
    We are the Wikipedia for the hat collectors, and we are damned if we do, and most especially in this case damned if we don't

    I know teachers who do not like their students, and who disdain them. Such a teacher am I not, because I found learning difficult as a child and a young person. My posts here stand for my own commitment to help others, for which I have not received any material benefit, and, granted the time necessary, small thanks.
    In view of this, I have striven here to engage people, but my inclination to do so has collapsed recently, not the least because of the sum of these episodes and the odd response especially of the paranoid and immature on the other site.
    Obvious, too, is the quiet retreat of others who once posted on these sites, and now refrain from doing so. This is so, of course, because they have no wish to absorb the guff that goes with all of this each day, and I am sloping towards the same view that it is all much more trouble than it is worth. Three or more persons I respect and from whom I have learned come to mind, but I fully respect their posture and refusal to join this melee.
    Likely in the study of an elite and the ownership of more than one piece of the foetid woolens of said organization, its bad habits have rubbed off on me.Click image for larger version. 

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    damit, basta.

  9. #18

    Default Re: SS EM Visor for Review

    I commend to the reflection of others the essay recently in Der Spiegel on the crisis of middle class virtues that has begun to operate in my adopted country of Germany. Such has been especially noteworthy in the case of the ex BMVg zu Guttenberg and the scandal over the plagiarism in his doctoral dissertation. I was there among my colleagues for this episode, and it has increased my impatience overall with the posture of many that knowledge can somehow be had for a marked down price, and is someone's right and not somehow a privilege.
    Dear readers, you may damn me for writing the above, but such is the case with me and likely so with others here, who had not internet audience to play to in the decades of suffering and sacrifice necessary to acquire a fine collection, or to figure out the obscure details of this regalia.
    I have posted on various websites for about a decade, and cannot say that the sum of it all has rewarded the effort, which is scarcely matched especially by the uninformed and immature collector who, without mutual aid and self help, usually fails to write "thank you" when one helps them.
    Anyone doubting this generalization can read here to see same.

    Also, I answer emails daily on fakes and frauds, even from world renowned experts, and, with a handful of exceptions, have never received any significant compensation for same.
    After awhile, this ingratitude becomes really very irritating.
    Thanks again for thoughtful posts and let us strive to keep the stupid antics as on the other site away from here.Click image for larger version. 

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    damit, basta.

  10. #19
    ?

    Default Re: SS EM Visor for Review

    Quote by big ned View Post
    Is this really the way to go? Surely by not sharing a wealth of knowledge gathered by a small group of dedicated collectors over many, many years is going to end up being detrimental to this specific type of collecting for all who are new to it?

    This appears to be turning into something along the lines of the Freemasons or Corpus Dei, such secrets that must not be uttered in a forum that is designed to be for collectors, by collectors for the purposes of learning.

    By the suggestion that persons who wish to start in this field should learn it the hard way for themselves smacks of selfishness and elitism. I agree, a thorough grounding in the subject is essential, and shows that the would be collector has a genuine interest in these caps, their history, variations and manufacturing methods.
    There is no simple answer to this.

    Collectors can choose to be transparent and be criticised for providing too much information or choose to withhold much of what they know and be accused of being selfish and elitist. As FB mentioned, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. As he also mentions, a thank you is a rare thing to hear these days so there has to come a point in everyone's mind when they question is it really worth all the time, trouble and aggravation trying to help others navigate this hobby. It's not about being selfish, it's about being tired and worn out by it all. FB's been posting online for over ten years, myself 7 years. No one remembers all the countless times that good advice was handed out free of charge, they only remember episodes like this black hat.

  11. #20

    Default Re: SS EM Visor for Review

    Quote by BenVK View Post
    There is no simple answer to this.

    Collectors can choose to be transparent and be criticised for providing too much information or choose to withhold much of what they know and be accused of being selfish and elitist. As FB mentioned, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. As he also mentions, a thank you is a rare thing to hear these days so there has to come a point in everyone's mind when they question is it really worth all the time, trouble and aggravation trying to help others navigate this hobby. It's not about being selfish, it's about being tired and worn out by it all. FB's been posting online for over ten years, myself 7 years. No one remembers all the countless times that good advice was handed out free of charge, they only remember episodes like this black hat.
    Well said, indeed. I, for one, am tired and worn out, while being neither a Mason nor a Catholic. My grand father was a Mason, but he died in 1958, and I never knew him as I should have; many of my friends are Catholic priests of high rank and great learning, and the prejudice against both groups in the relevant post is inappropriate here. The German military manuals remind us that the joy in taking responsibility is the most important feature of command. In this instance, neither Ben nor I have have stinted at all in our taking a role in the generous enlightenment of persons bent of foetid headwear. Many of these persons, however, have taken no ownership of the need for education in the classical sense. They have taken without giving to those who have helped them. That the upshot in human terms is thus can be no surprise. The "take away" as such is called in the ugly argot of the moment from this stupid episode is that some of us will do even less. But do let me make this point (but not to Mr. Big Ned's post, which is reasoned) in the clearest terms possible: if your game is to provoke contention in bad English and with little brains, then the maroon whacko site is the place for you. You can have lots of company, who will share your resentment that heaven and hell are less than fair, and you can nurture your fear of black helicopters, the Trilateral Commission, and people in tunnels laying mines under the cities of Europe to your heart's content while misspelling words or taking pride in digging in cold, central European bogs for fun to unveil cap badges made last week.
    Last edited by Friedrich-Berthold; 07-09-2011 at 08:18 PM.
    damit, basta.

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