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Wilson Center on line headwear extravaganza

Article about: Feeling a bit mischievous today so... Here's a scary thought, in the light of your honesty Ben, perhaps we should start a " I can't believe I bought this" thread....that'll sort ou

  1. #1

    Default Wilson Center on line headwear extravaganza

    The Wilson center is an on line cornucopia of head wear with some noteworthy German objects.

    Ben VK posed a question about said site and its pillars, some of whom post on the other site or perhaps also here.

    Perhaps Ben will dilate on his thoughts as concern this site and certain objects there.

    Here is one of them, a very early black SS cap of very senior rank. Click image for larger version. 

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    damit, basta.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Wilson Center on line headwear extravaganza

    Well dear friend, wasn't expecting to be put on the spot like this in regards to this website!

    But ok, I'll voice my thoughts for what their worth.

    Every other day I search the internet for any new TR caps that might be for sale etc and this website always appears in the listing.
    I just wonder what the aim is? A virtual museum is all very well and good but like every museum, there are bad things mixed with the good.
    What I like most about forums is the ability to question items that we know in our hearts are not what they claim to be. I especially like our forum because we all manage to, for the most part, impart our knowledge with very little bad feelings on everyone's part.

    In the case of this Wilson centre thing however, they are posting items on the internet that no one has the ability to question and IMO, that's a dangerous, elitist and to be frank, quite arrogant thing to do. Then again, anyone can do what the hell they like on the internet!
    I feel no ill will to any of the people involved, it just feels wrong to me and that's all I can say.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Wilson Center on line headwear extravaganza

    Here's an example of what I'm talking about. This appeared on their website quite recently.
    There are lots of things to be concerned about regarding this cap and I just worry that young collectors like our new friend Pat will see this and take it for granted that their is nothing to question or be dubious about here. IMO, it doesn't matter whether you've never owned an SS cap before, you should never be afraid to question one just because the potential value is so high. A hat is a hat and the same rules apply whether it be worth $200 or $20,000.
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    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Wilson Center on line headwear extravaganza

    I believe the items that interest you and me are from significant collections in the U.S., i.e. Paul Sacks and Kelly Hicks, for instance.
    As concerns SS field caps, they make me totally neurotic.
    In any case, such a virtual museum surely has merit, but it also exists in a hyper critical and very chaotic environment of give and take.
    Our site is much better, but then it is a fairly open place conceived as such.
    I have the sense with the Wilson undertaking that they are adapting the modus of the Schiffer books (which also showcase in effect a handful of north American collections of those more or less linked to the MAX and SOS biotopes) to the 21st century.
    I do not mean to put you on the spot, Ben, but surely there is value in an open debate and reflection on all the things we see, and this place has noteworthy material.
    The Paul Sack collection is supposed to be a leader, and he posts on the wehrmacht awards forum.
    Perhaps one of these persons can offer their statement of mission here.
    I see no particular harm in displaying one's collection before the eyes of millions, as I do that here, but I am not part of some tax free entity or on line research institution. I am familiar with conventional university and government research institutions by dint of decades of experience.
    damit, basta.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Wilson Center on line headwear extravaganza

    The thing is, these names you mention who have perhaps published books on the subject have no meaning to me other than I respect the effort it has taken them to get said books into print.

    Our own research work posted on the muetzenfabrik thread surpases anything I've read in print and is organic, growing everytime one of us learns something new.

    They cannot compete with that. All of us that are interested in the TR are constantly learning every day. A book is already out of date as soon as it's on the shelf,

  7. #6

    Default Re: Wilson Center on line headwear extravaganza


    If I may add.....I have been on the site quite a few times and have seen some superb items on show.

    I do agree that the unquestioned acceptance that because it is on a well presented site and offered by experienced and established collectors make it original, is a dangerous assumption. That said this site (and others) offers anyone the chance to ask the right questions to get an informed or well rounded opinion.

    The book Paul Sack et al published called Exotische has some superb examples of caps that as a small time collector i would never see in my life time. So for this I thank them.

    Again taken out of context the site can be seen as somewhat elitist but in the bigger picture I feel it makes a much valued and positive contribution to what is in effect our hobby.

    Hope that helps the debate, it is only my opinion.



  8. #7

    Default Re: Wilson Center on line headwear extravaganza


    I will have to disagree on your view of books being out of date when they are published.

    The power of a well researched and well argued piece of work is in my view always worthy of remaining on a shelf and being a constant source of knowledge and enjoyment. I have reference books from the 1980's that have yet to be surpassed in their content, written long before the digital age.

    I feel both mediums have a place in our hobby and can work together in a way that gets the collector maximum advantage. A synergy if you like.

    Just a view from an unrepentant book worm...........



  9. #8

    Default Re: Wilson Center on line headwear extravaganza

    Quote by spandau View Post
    I feel both mediums have a place in our hobby and can work together in a way that gets the collector maximum advantage. A synergy if you like.
    I agree, synergy is a very good analogy.

    However, we all make mistakes whether in books, forums or virtual museums.

    To proove my point, I'm willing to take a hit and look like a fool.

    Some of you might remember this SS Alter Art Feldmuetze I posted a year or 2 ago?

    I had studied it and thought it to be legit and when I posted it here, no one argued against that verdict.

    However, this cap wasn't all it appeared to be. In fact, it was a very well made frankenstein. It's embarrasing to admit, but we all can make mistakes. In this case, it was a reminder to me to not get too confident in my ablilities.

    How many authors of these books or Wilson websites would admit to that?
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    Last edited by BenVK; 06-08-2012 at 11:05 PM.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Wilson Center on line headwear extravaganza

    Hey Ben

    I would not say that being caught out with a well made fake/franky is a bad thing. I doubt you are alone, the trick is to accept every one as a learning opportunity. all my main learning about caps came from buying rubbish !! Still doing it in fact.

    Ages ago on the antiques roadshow one of the experts was asked if he had ever made a mistake when buying. his answer " i have a whole cupboard of mistakes".

    No one is infallible and pride comes before a fall as the old saying goes.

    personally i think that the enquiring mind coupled to an open approach should stand us all in good stead............



  11. #10

    Default Re: Wilson Center on line headwear extravaganza

    I write books for a living, but as I spend a lot of time with young people and the study of history, there is an impatience with convention and tradition that I note, but cannot wholly endorse.
    Every book has flaws, to be sure, but the editorial process is there to winnow them out more or less.
    I have been the beneficiary of this process and I adhere to it.
    In this undertaking, there is little structure, a lot of noise, and in a few lucky cases, real knowledge.
    I have a very large library and am a man of the 20th century.
    However, knowledge is changing plainly, and the parameters of same are in flux too.
    What I would say in all candor is there is far less knowledge in many of these sites than appearances would indicate, and much of what wraps itself in the mantle of knowledge is fraud and affect.
    I am sorry that Ben's field cap turned out to be a fraud, but I noted that these caps make me very neurotic. I do not collect them.
    All the same, I have looked at the caps on the Wilson site and those in my expertise look as good as most.
    I believe in the linearity as well as the patience accumulation of knowledge. Some books plainly have merit, and some books on military regalia are vehicles to sell frauds and provide a cover for larceny.
    My knowledge employed on this site is the result of conventional historical study supplemented by the nice data of this medium, but the bulk of what I know is conventional.
    The aspects of power, the friend/foe principle of Schmitt, as well as greed and envy operate as readily as not, and the combined effect of these forces is destructive.
    damit, basta.

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