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What's In Your Collection?

Article about: Would most of you agree that the majority of German badge (metal and cloth) collectors purchase items on the premise and not knowledge of them being genuine? A considerable number of purchas

  1. #1

    Default What's In Your Collection?

    Would most of you agree that the majority of German badge (metal and cloth) collectors purchase items on the premise and not knowledge of them being genuine? A considerable number of purchases are prefaced by sayings like "It's a veteran bring back" - "It's from an estate sale" - "It's an attic find" - "It's a flea market find". There are times when items are purchased with factual and/or circumstantial evidence of their true source however, these seem to be far or few between.

    Yes, there are true "Veteran bring backs" and yes, there are true "Estate sale finds" and yes, there are true attic finds" and Yes, occasionally you may strike it rich at a flea market or yard sale"

    So, IMHO it does pay to take a chance, provided the asking price is fair, rather than miss the opportunity by waiting for "documented" items to come your way, that is, if you can rely on the documentation and the individual offering it.

    So, which of the above are in your collection?

  2. #2

    Default Re: What's In Your Collection?

    I copied this from another forum and felt that it is something that has to hit home for just about everyone. I feel that it also backs up my opinion that began this thread.

    "Caveat Emptor - Let The Buyer Beware!

    This page isn't here to sell you anything, but perhaps help you make more informed decisions about what you buy. I have put this page up to assist buyers of German Militaria in getting the best value for their money and possibly not get ripped off by the hundreds (or thousands) of people out there just dying to take money from people just like you because you're not as informed as you could be about what you're buying.I'll advise you now that the following information may come across as the ranting of a lunatic (which could be entirely true), so consider yourself warned.Anyway, I'm not just a seller. I'm a buyer too and some of the behaviour and tricks that some sellers use to try to rip you and me off completely baffle me. I'd like to start with some of the most basic guidelines focusing on tricks that people use to sell reproductions as originals. First and foremost: Let's be serious, if there were as many German soldiers in WWII as there are reproductions of German badges on the market, the Allied forces would have been outnumbered 10000 to 1 in every battle they fought and we'd all be wearing leather shorts and speaking German right now. Since that isn't how it happened, it is completely and totally impossible that all of the items that people are describing as real are actually originals.Approximately 60% of ALL of the items described as originals are obvious copies with probably an additional 10% to 20% that are higher quality copies. To explain, there's a small number of reproductions out there that are extremely high quality and almost impossible to tell from the real thing. That leaves about 20% that -might- be real. Always remember, you're better off to complete a sale for an item that you're not sure of than to get ripped off.

    In no particular order, the following are some of the most important things to keep in mind before purchasing ANYTHING described as original :

    1. Quantities for of items sale: One of the main things you should keep in mind is that NO ONE will have 20 or 50 or 100 of exactly the same 'original issue' badges for sale. Watch how many identical items the seller lists over a period of time. If they list the same thing week after week and sells dozens of them, It's pretty conclusive that they're not original.

    1a. "Comes with original paper packet! Never issued!": Mmmmm........ For those people not aware of it, they still make paper. They still make envelopes. They still print words on them

    As you know, German WWII badges are regularly reproduced and the envelopes are 1000 times easier to make. I could go to my local printing shop today and have the exact same envelopes made for about 10 pence an envelope in about 3 days and they would be impossible to tell from the ones that people are offering as 'real'. I would guess that 80% of the items offered as 'never issued with packet' are probably copies. Nothing sits around for 60 years without some effects from passing time.

    2. "Estate sale!": This is one of the most overused and completely untrue terms to describe the origin of an item. People use it because it's practically impossible to refute or disprove and the seller can plead ignorance if the buyer finds out the item is a repro ("I had no idea that it was fake! I didn't know anything about it because it came from an estate sale!"). No less than 85% of these items described with this term are obvious copies to the trained eye or people who just own originals to compare.

    3. "Rare!" (as opposed to medium rare or well done): Repeat after me: 'Rare' is frequently just another way of saying for 'These are hard to find because people usually throw them in the rubbish' and 'No one wants this worthless piece of '. I use this term myself when I know it to be true, BUT ONLY THEN. Not every single item a seller lists can be rare, especially if they're listing 100 of them at the same time (see point #1 above).

    4. "Brought back by my from the war! Absolutely real!": Hard call, however if it was brought back by a relative, they should know details about the relative's service, like where they served, their rank, unit, division, etc. As odd as it may seem, wars usually stand out in people's minds and they don't usually 'forget' the details. More likely, crazy old Uncle Bob has probably bored anyone who would stand still for more than 30 seconds to tears or unconsciousness with every little detail ("We were so hungry we ate our helmets! Helmet soup with dirt sandwiches!"). Now, you don't have to interrogate them, just ask some basic questions and tell them that you're doing so to try to authenticate the item. If they can't tell you anything, it's very possibly a fake being passed off.

    5. "I don't know much about it, but...": Faking ignorance is another popular tactic that people use. They drop some vague nonsense about where it came from and babble about not knowing what it is, etc.

    STAY AWAY FROM THESE PEOPLE!

    5a. Addendum: "German pin??? It was beside a Volkswagen hubcap on the floor of my basement in London !! It must be a World War II German badge that Hitler personally wore!!!": Nothing like wild leaps of logic and improbability to really make for an unlikely and usually pretty obvious attempt at making you think something is authentic when it in reality it has nothing to do with WWII, Germany or anything else . These people are either delusional or just stupid, avoid them. Here's a really big clue for the people that list this stuff: 99.99999% of the items produced by the Germans in WWII didn't have English on them at all (why the hell would it?). Zero, nada, zip, zilch, squat, none. As hard as this may be to comprehend, they do NOT call their country Germany or spell it that way. They have this funny and whimsical method of speaking and spelling. Its called their language and they spell it Deutschland.

    6. "This was just dug up outside of , the site of the famous battle where Field Marshall Kartoffelkopf's (Potatohead's) forces clashed with blah blah blah blah...": The ever popular "Baffle them with Bullshit" tactic. First, the person writing the description forgot to mention that they buried the item there 2 weeks earlier. Second, IT'S BEEN 60 YEARS SINCE THE END OF THE WAR! Anything underground, under water, under a rock, under a house, etc will have significant corrosion and damage to it and it won't just be covered with dirt (see next tactic), it will be practically unidentifiable.

    7. "It's dirty! It's got to be old!": Put some mud and bird poop on it and it's original. See the details about corrosion and age in the previous point. If it's so dirty, where the hell was it? Why wasn't it cleaned? Would YOU keep a badge covered in dirt and bird poop in your collection? Didn't think so, neither would I.

    8. Materials and specifications of manufacture: This is a big one. If you forget everything else I've mentioned, remember this one. Before you buy ANYTHING find out what it was originally made of, how it was originally made and what markings should be on it. It's not that hard to do: Go to the library, buy a decent reference book or at least do a web search.

    Caveat Emptor"

  3. #3

    Default Re: What's In Your Collection?

    Quote by Richard Kimmel View Post
    I copied this from another forum ........

    Caveat Emptor" [/I]
    I tought it was on thise forum as well! I tought it were Brandon's lines!
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
    cheers
    |<ris

  4. #4

    Default Re: What's In Your Collection?

    "Thoughts of Chairman John" I recognise it too Kris It is John's Blog.

    There is a lot of stuff I can agree with there.

    The bottom line is know your subject and buy the item, NOT the story..

    Cheers, Ade.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What's In Your Collection?

    well i sometime rely on the experiance of other freinds and members here at the forum but since joining the forum a while back and a few new books i can now purchess flags pennants banner armbands etc on my own to. but i am new to this game.

    good points in the list

    cheers ewan

  6. #6

    Default Re: What's In Your Collection?

    Yes, I copied this from Brandon's posting here as I felt that It was a great posting and backed up my thoughts. My apologies to Brandon for not mentioning that.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What's In Your Collection?

    Great words of wisdom John

    Nick
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  8. #8

    Default Re: What's In Your Collection?

    Richard,

    Happy new year,

    While I agree whole heartedly with the quote that you have used I'm slightly surprised to see you use it, given your ' A nice aircraft destruction badge' thread on this forum.

    You use several of those techniques yourself in that very thread?

    Did you sell the badge?

    Jock

  9. #9

    Default Re: What's In Your Collection?

    Hi Richard,
    I have a couple of items in the list ie, Vet bring back, and Market finds, first bring back, It is a purse that was taken from a young german soldier, it the contents are 1, ww1 ek2, 1, wilhelm1st,
    commemorative medal, 1, ww1 honor cross and coins from ww1
    and ww2, on the purse is a luftwaffe eagle cap badge. this was given to me by the vet who took it. he was in th Royal Scots Greys.
    I have also had some great swops at my local market late last year. they are 1, 1944 .303 rifle, 1, Fairbarn-Sykes knife some good U.S, badges and some German medals. So last year was good for me.
    dave.,

  10. #10

    Default Re: What's In Your Collection?

    Quote by jock auld View Post
    Richard,

    Happy new year,

    While I agree whole heartedly with the quote that you have used I'm slightly surprised to see you use it, given your ' A nice aircraft destruction badge' thread on this forum.

    You use several of those techniques yourself in that very thread?

    Did you sell the badge?

    Jock
    Jock

    I believe that the following is what you are referring to.

    Originally from an unknown German estate, it signifies a single act of bravery performed by this soldier. Eventually finding its way to the United States into a thirty-year
    collection on the West Coast, this rare cloth sleeve patch has not often been seen since very few had ever been presented or have genuine examples emerged from this wartime period.

    This example was a veteran’s bring-back, where and how he obtained it is not known as the veteran’s estate knew nothing about it.


    As I said in my opening posting: Yes, there are true "Veteran bring backs" and yes, there are true "Estate sale finds" and yes, there are true attic finds" and Yes, occasionally you may strike it rich at a flea market or yard sale"

    This is what makes it difficult in discerning the fine line between truth and fiction. More often than not, when an individual is not telling the truth their story rarely comes out the same each time that it is told.

    No, did not sell the A.D.B. as there were mixed opinions and felt that I should hang onto it. Sometimes it's better to do so than to let something go that you may kick yourself for doing so later.

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