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Tank Crew Face Mask

Article about: I have a First World War British Tank Crew Face Mask which I am considering selling. Has anyone seen one for sale recently and can confirm an approximate value?

  1. #1
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    Default Tank Crew Face Mask

    I have a First World War British Tank Crew Face Mask which I am considering selling.
    Has anyone seen one for sale recently and can confirm an approximate value?

  2. #2

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    Assuming it's the leather mask with eye slits and mail fitted to the lower part and both tie tapes still intact, you'll be looking at around 450-550 depending on condition. The price of these has risen rapidly with the 100 year anniversary coming up.
    '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.

  3. #3

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    Hi, presume by now you got your answer and sold the mask?

  4. #4

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    Quote by Truebrit View Post
    Hi, presume by now you got your answer and sold the mask?
    Not that he said please, thank you or kiss my ars*!....

  5. #5
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    Of course it could have been a repro. Fishing perhaps.
    Pete

  6. #6

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    Folks, I have been researching these masks for a long time now. I have two, one I am absolutely certain is genuine, The other is very unusual and from what I have seen, fairly unique (in collecting circles unique is often spelt 'f-a-k-e') but I don't think so in this case...

    Sadly I have seen a number of these masks for sale on eBay over the past year, and many of those differ from what I think could be described as the 'genuine standard'. It took me long Years of searching to find my own masks, but now they seem to appear worryingly regularly?!

    Note: there is actually a guy in U.K. who manufactures these masks to original standard, and openly (and I believe honestly) sells them as re-enactor items. However, who knows what his buyers do with them beyond that?!

    But since they are very close to the originals in design, and of course material, without destroying a mask to examine the internal individual component parts, it is virtually impossible to tell the difference... And of course an item like this, left outside in the elements for 6 months, and then 'touched up' for sale, will produce a remarkably genuine looking item... Personally as a long time militaria collector, I think "replica items" should be Mandated to be marked as such - by law... but that seems like quite a burden on our already burdened law enforcement agencies, so more and more unlikely...

    Some of my own 'telltale signs':

    If you get to handle a mask before buying, Smell It! Does it smell 100 years old, or does it smell of new leather or modern materials? Look especially at the tapes to secure it to the users head, look closely at the weave. Does it look 100 years old? Is it washed out, faded, moth nipped, torn short, open ended - or is it like the one recently sold as Original on eBay - looking brand New...

    So no one is an expert at everything, and to date, I have seen no definitive or Authoritative information on these masks - even the Tank Museum seems to lack the information- or the effort necessary to pass it on... as I asked... But a good point of reference, are masks in National museums, such as the British Imperial War Museum, the Tank Museum etc. as these are likely to have come from official sources, and likely a long time ago...

    Anyway, hope that helps?

    But Buyer Beware!

  7. #7
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    Truebrit, Would you mind posting a pic of your's? I know I and maybe other would love to see a pic of one.

    Semper Fi

    Phil

  8. #8
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    Here's mine. Not pristine but I borough it around 1980 so should be 100%.

    I am about to sell it after saying the same 3 years ago. If anyone want to make me an offer send me a message.

    The one I saw on e-bay recently with other TC badges etc needed closer examination before buying.
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  9. #9

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    Hi Phil,

    Yes, I will post pix of mine, but I have not got any on file, so need to take them. Bear with me and I will get there when I am able... The two I have differ in that one has mica eye 'lenses' inside the steel slitted standard eye pieces. I have never seen this before and quite frankly, the vision out of them must have been terrible - so hopefully not used by a gunner or driver...

    Regards
    TB

  10. #10

    Default My WWI Tank Crew Spall Masks

    Phil,
    See below some photos of my Tank Crew masks. One is pretty standard and similar to most other masks. The other is quite different. It has the remains of protective 'lenses' inside the fragment eye shields, which are most definitely period, but I have never seen a set like this before... it also has an additional metal loop at the top, the same as the two the head straps are fixed to. The mask is noticeably thicker and heavier than the standard mask, and the inner chamois lining is raised in a sealing rim around 3/4 of the inside...

    The photos show both masks for comparison at the top, the inside of the unusual mask, with the internal 'lenses', the front of that mask, then front and back of the 'standard' mask...

    If anyone has seen or heard of a mask like this, I'd be very interested in hearing.

    Many thanks
    Phil
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