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Fallschirmjager Bullion Cloth Qualification Abzeichen (Badge)

Article about: Hello All, NOTE: I own no versions of this qualification badge. Stated below are my oberservations and opinions based upon actual experience. Photos are of a Fallshcirmjager Bullion Cloth Qu

  1. #1
    Luther
    ?

    Default Fallschirmjager Bullion Cloth Qualification Abzeichen (Badge)

    Hello All,

    NOTE: I own no versions of this qualification badge. Stated below are my oberservations and opinions based upon actual experience.

    Photos are of a Fallshcirmjager Bullion Cloth Qualification Badge.

    This example must have been purchased for dress. The wearing of the plain gold/blue cloth version of the qualification badge is very well confirmed from photographic evidence. It appears to have been quite popular.

    On the other hand, I think the Lutftwaffe Fallschirmjager bullion versions are rare. How rare I can't state precisely, but the frequency of appearance on the market suggests rare to very rare. There is no arguing that they are many, many times more rare than the metal versions. A Heer-Fallschirmjager cloth bullion qualification badge is an extreme rarity - if one exists at all.

    In fact, a the Luftwaffe version of the Fallschirmjager cloth bullion badge of the vey high quality of the one illustrated is, in all likelihood, very rare - if not extremely rare. One of such quality will appear on the market perhaps once every 5 to 10 years or so. Of those bullion cloth examples that I've seen, virtually all of them are quite beat-up/tattered/with significant problems such as fraying, moth damage, bullion loss, heavy bullion corrosion, etc.

    There are those that state that these are "non-regulation." That is not true. Cloth qualification badges were authorized specifically for the Fallschirmjager because the wearing of the metal abzeichen presented problems in the field.

    The original cost of these cloth bullion badges was approximately 6.5 Pf. This has been ascertained by original price tags found on similar cloth bullion qualification badges. For example, the Pilot's Badge and the Combined Pilot-Observer's badge. As far as I know, no Fallschirmjager cloth bullion badge has been found with the original price tag or RZM label affixed.

    There are also those that will say this example is not real. There too, it is the Real McCoy. It's a "text-book" example of the Type 2 cloth bullion Fallschirmjager qualification badge. It is correctly composed of five different types of material; cloth back-ground, three types of wire and cellon (the swastika). It shows natural aging ("toning") to the gold wire of the eagle, that, at least to this collector, adds quite a bit of "character." Overall, it is a very "tight" example.

    Fallschirmjager cloth bullion badges should be viewed as offering the best possible combination of rarity, popularity (desirability), and attractiveness to militaria collectors. (See photos on immediately next post).

    Best Regards,

    Luther
    Third.Reich.Researcher

  2. # ADS
     

  3. #2
    Luther
    ?

    Default Fallschirmjager Bullion Cloth Qualification Abzeichen (Badge) Photo

    Hello All,

    Here are the high-resolution photos. Click on photos to enlarge. Then click again with the cursor magnifying glass (+) to enlarge again. This should enlarge full-screen with extreme close-up.

    Best Regards,

    Luther
    Third.Reich.Researcher

    "Photos Courtesy of MD Militaria"
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    Last edited by rbminis; 01-01-2016 at 02:57 AM.

  4. #3
    Luther
    ?

    Default Re: Fallschirmjager Bullion Cloth Qualification Abzeichen (Badge)

    Hello All,

    I'm sure if Ade chimes-in on this discussion he will point out that the cloth versions of the Fallschirmjager qualification badge have been widely copied. They are also a study in themselves.

    The plain cloth version has been so widely copied that one must be very careful. The bullion version less so, but nevertheless, every example must be carefully analyzed.

    It is not known how many manufacturers produced the plain cloth versions. Many subtle versions of this badge have been seen. Even much less is known about the bullion versions.

    The bullion versions should really be considered a custom item. Their manufacture was very likely subcontracted-out to experienced crafts-people. Where cloth bullion badges and insignia are concerned, it very likely they were produced by a "cottage industry" as opposed to by large-scale factory operations.

    Remember, the cloth bullion qualification badges were, for all practical purposes, a special order item; their manufacture was very limited.

    Best Regards,

    Luther
    Third.Reich.Researcher

  5. #4

    Default Re: Fallschirmjager Bullion Cloth Qualification Abzeichen (Badge)

    Hi Luther, I can agree with all the points you raise. However, there is one little mistake in your text: these badges never came under the control of the RZM, so no original would ever be found with such a label affixed.

    I have never seen or heard of a bullion version of the Heer Para badge? The regular cloth versions of these are rare enough in their own right and seldom come up for sale.

    Regular Luftwaffe cloth FJ badges are now very well reproduced. It has now got to the stage that you need to see the back to confirm if original or not. If one of these is sewn to a tunic and aged it can be very tricky to determine if original or not.

    Bullion badges are indeed "one off's". The one shown looks convincing to me.

    Cheers, Ade.

  6. #5
    Luther
    ?

    Default Re: RZM Tage & Fallschirmjager Bullion Cloth Qualification Abzeichen (Badge)

    Hello All,

    Ade is completely correct on the RZM tag. Only manufactured for organizations under the auspices of the NSDAP and SS were affixed with an RZM tag. More correctly, it is only NSDAP-influeced and guided organizations - which the SS certainly was.

    Damn, I must be getting old to let something like that enter the fray. One off-hand remark lke that (about the RZM tag) can create a real "hormet's nest."

    Best Regards,

    Luther
    Third.Reich.Researcher

  7. #6
    Luther
    ?

    Default Fallschirmjager Bullion Cloth Qualification Abzeichen (Badge) "Market"

    Hello All,

    I failed to point out that the "market" for these qualification badges is rarified.

    This is because, firstly they are seen so infrequently, and secondly, there is only a relatively small community of potential buyers.

    Few (the exact number can't be accurately determined) are willing to pay over $1000 for cloth items. The average collector is much more inclined or determined to spend that amount on a metal qualification badge.

    Consequently, it could reasonably be stated that cloth-bullion qualification badges, in general, are underappreciated and undervalued. This is only relative to other collecting areas of Third Reich militaria.

    Who knows where prices would head if even a 100 collectors started to seiously pursue them. However, the likelihood of this ever happening is extremely unlikely.

    Best Regards,

    Luther
    Third.Reich.Researcher

  8. #7

    Default Re: Fallschirmjager Bullion Cloth Qualification Abzeichen (Badge)

    gorgeous example of a extremely rare badge,,,

  9. #8
    Luther
    ?

    Default Analysis of the Fallschirmjager Bullion Cloth Qualification Abzeichen (Badge)

    There are two versions of cloth bullion Fallschirmjager qualification badge:

    1. Heer (H) Manufactured pre-war (1936 – 1938)
    2. Luftwaffe (L) Manufactured throughout war (1939 – 1944)

    The Heer version, if one exists, is an extreme rarity; only “plain” or non-bullion cloth versions of the Heer Fallschirmjager qualification badge are know. Consequently, only the Luftwaffe (L) versions of this cloth bullion qualification badge are covered here.

    There are two sub-types of the Luftwaffe version:

    1. Type A (L-A) Manufactured early-war (1939 – 1940)
    2. Type B (L-B) Manufactured mid to late war (1941 – 1944)

    It is very probable that the Type L-B version was first produced when the Army's elite Fallschirm-Infanterie-Bataillon, or Parachute Infantry Battalion, was transferred to the Luftwaffe at the beginning of 1939, becoming II./ Fallschirmjäger Regiment 1.

    The wool background on authentic examples is either Luftwaffe blue-grey or tropical tan-olive drab. Sizes (width x height) will vary, but have been observed to fall within a tight range. Size alone can not established authenticity. An average size is 4.9 cm wide x 5.9 cm height x 6 mm thickness.

    [Photos attached are of one tropical Type L-A and two blue-grey Type L-B examples.]

    NOTE: It is almost a certainty that the same manufacturer produced each of the three examples illustrated. The tropical Type L-A example was removed from a tunic – notice the remaining “attachment threads.” Both of the blue-grey examples, while “issued,” were never uniform worn.

    I have observed that the details of all Type L-A examples are more finely executed.

    A proper analysis of a cloth bullion Fallschirmjager qualification badge will involve careful study of the fine details as follows:

    A. the construction of the eagle’s feathers (“tight” heavy gold bullion thread)
    B. the shape and direction, or orientation, of the eagle’s feathers (head, body, feathers)
    C. the eagle’s eye “pip” (finely executed examples have a distinct eye “pip”)
    D. the eagle’s beak
    E. the eagle’s claws
    F. the length of the eagle’s feathers
    G. the vertical (from top to bottom) number of feathers
    H. the position, or orientation, of the diving eagle relative to the wreath
    I. the bottom point of the swatiska lines up with the wreath “bow” at 6 o’clock bottom
    J. the number of acorns (ten [10] each side; two [2] per oakleaf)
    K. the shape and width of the oak leaves
    L. “veins” of the oak leaves (three [3] per oakleaf)
    M. the shape of the wreath (“open” or “closed” top; opening should not be too wide)
    N. the number of types of material used to construct the badge (five [5]; gold bullion thread of the eagle, gold celleon of the swastika, silver bullion thread of the wreath, a finer silver bullion thread for the oakleaf veins, and the wool felt "base" material)
    O. the threading on the reverse
    P. the presence or absence of a paper covering on the reverse to "bind" or "anchor" the thread-work (this is a minor detail that, in and of itself, can not establish authenticity)

    Some of the fine details, especially those of the eagle’s feathers, will be slightly different between the Type L-A and L-B versions. If you carefully study and compare the photos of the blue-cloth (Type L-B) and tropical tan-olive drab (Type L-A) versions you will immediately see the differences.

    For example, on both of the Luftwaffe types note how the bullion thread of the feathers are oriented along the leading edge of the rear feather. On Type L-A they “curve” with the leading edge whereas on Type L-B they are parallel.

    Do you also see the differences in the head and body bullion thread? I’ll leave it to the reader to discern the differences so that they will learn. If you can not make out the differences, then send me an e-mail and I will point them out.

    Knowledge is power.

    Best Regards,

    Luther
    Third.Reich.Researcher

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  10. #9
    Luther
    ?

    Default FAKE Examples of the Fallschirmjager Bullion Cloth Qualification Abzeichen (Badge)

    Hello All,

    Attached photos are of FAKE/Counterfeit examples of the cloth bullion Fallschirmjager qualification badge.

    The photos tell the whole story - poor workmanship, wrong construction, lack of fine details, incorrect details, etc., etc.

    Best Regards,

    Luther
    Third.Reich.Researcher
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  11. #10
    ?

    Default Re: Fallschirmjager Bullion Cloth Qualification Abzeichen (Badge)

    interesting patches. i never got into the cloth badges my self. i cant tell good from bad. unless its really bad.
    under the fakes pictures , the first one is really interesting to me. one that would almost get past me. it looks to have been sewn on. i find the detail of the bullion to be fantastic. the wreath looks a bit crude but plausable (to me mind you ). but what got my attention was the gold coloring in the low areas of the bullion. as if it had been painted. could be just crud? but to consistant and just looks gold to me. i would expect to see it clean in there, as far as not all filled in between the bullion threads. the pics of the original show nice clean detail between the threads.
    but other than that its a beauty of a fake. i dont know enough about how the backs should look to even comment on that part.
    andrew

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