Nor do I advocate the kind of doctrine, dogma, check list approach one suffers with on the other website, or do I espouse anything that encourages mental sloppiness
or sloth. We just answer the same question several times a day, and it takes a lot of time from people who are, in fact, professionals with real responsibilities.
I know Mr. Mint to be a person with a real job, and we cannot over burden his time and energy.
10-19-2015 10:17 PM
I agree, but even then I'm not sure I'd ever be authorized to tell whether things like this are good or bad.
We need some mechanism for the beginner with the clear, step-by-step practikum of how to get to the trove of the real caps.
Just got through the stonemint thread on these, they are all different, different makers, all top examples I'm sure. Most of them and F-B's caps look like they sat things out inside a closet somewhere, but somehow it's not explaining to me why this particular one was junk, is it too saggy, build construction issues, wrong piping material, not the right wool, I can't figure it out. I'm afraid I'll never be able to learn this from any books, or by any other methods. It wasn't that long ago I went to look at a cap "straight from the estate of a vet", from a long time local collector, "genuine beyond the shadow of a doubt", however the cap (infantry) was a shoddy piece of work, nothing pleasing or looking like quality about it, I walked away.
I'd like to see something like the second pic I posted dissected, with notes showing what is wrong, where the material is wrong, the shape, the chinstrap, the button, the piping, the wool? If course it would be a huge waste of somebody's time over an item that is so clearly a repro.
As much as I want a cap I'm resigning myself to just stick with more common items, even helmets are less complicated than this. Even paying full bore through a dealer doesn't guarantee anything to me, when you can't make a decision for yourself, but instead at the mercy of others who deem it good, or bad. I'm not finding it appealing to collect anything in this manner.
Last edited by Larboard; 10-20-2015 at 03:17 AM.
F-B, I admire your hats, and your expertise, and I understand your frustration. Maybe I'll just print a picture of this one and put it with my things, it's so magnificent... I find it much more relaxing to admire something like this, rather than to try to find an everyday common piece.
Thanks. The picture is yours. The cap is from Dresden and of a high quality. I do not mean to crush your spirit, but these pictures are actually very misleading, especially
for those of us who could only learn from the real thing.
The data you see is all here. It is not all that easy to use, and it assumes more than the beginner's level of knowledge.
My time is too dear other than my 19,000 posts to address the issue. And I judge the actual cap before me, and the pictures are a secondary aspect to the drill.
For instance, the fake caps are usually rendered in the Einheitstuch and or Eskimo (for cold weather) in a weight that was not used for headwear in the period.
Material for tunics, trousers was one weight; that for an overcoat was another, still; that for caps was lighter than these two and is plainly seen.
The fakes do not get this fact right at all, usually.
Yes, I like to sniff too, not possible over the computer. I think a lot of modern people have forgotten how to appreciate the smell of old things... things you get in the mail smell like household cleaners and laundry soap ;-( I did learn something from your post, the weight of the material, got it.
I thinks stonemint's work is great, if you find a triple Erel or other well known cap, great reference pics, but I must be missing the primer on caps here. The caps posted in all most of these stickies have no text. I don't know how to describe this any other way... I could go through a hundred cap pictures without seeing any words of praise, particular details about a make over another, etc. Great reference pics for the advanced collector looking to compare something against a well known example, doesn't do much for someone trying to learn.
This is the cap authentication forum, where novice collectors will have stupid questions about obviously bad caps... Maybe this little slice of the forum could benefit from something aimed at people who don't know anything about caps, as you were suggesting, a prakticum for novice collectors.
Do buy the Wilkins book from Schiffer, as well as the several other books on caps in their variety, one of which is French, I think.
There is also a sticky on the literature for the beginner, too.
My concept of knowledge is too tied up with the mid 20th century such that I really cannot fathom how a younger person, with no actual contact to the regalia,
beings to understand the challenge. If the whole thing is bound up in electric pictures, I cannot get there from here. I must tell you that the overwhelming first
sensation for me in 1961 of the first objects of this kind was two things: a.) the smell of the red dye in the NSDAP brassard and b.) the smell of the tanning acids
or whatever in the Luftwaffe EM belt....the aroma of these was akin to some scent of lust, truth be told. How the tactile aspect is rendered in its proper dimension here, I do not know. Someone asked me in Germany just now that I tell them everything I know about black SS regalia. My nineteen thousand posts have been an attempt, but
I am not up to the task. I am a professional historian, with decades of experience, in addition to being a trained archivist, and museum specialist.
My advice to anyone is go and see real items, and to handle them, as much as you can. These pictures and the little essays about them are never enough.
We here who do the work do so based on the 20th century experience of a long, long and painful apprenticeship.
I have also written this essay five times a year for about fifteen years.