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Mystery Aluminium Heer Buckle

Article about: I'm having trouble identifying the maker of this buckle. There is a very faint oval cartouche on the tab but it is illegible, even with talc rubbed over it. I can't find any maker's mark on

  1. #1

    Default Mystery Aluminium Heer Buckle

    I'm having trouble identifying the maker of this buckle. There is a very faint oval cartouche on the tab but it is illegible, even with talc rubbed over it. I can't find any maker's mark on the buckle itself.

    I have trawled through the threads on M4 and non-M4 makers but, although I have ruled out some makers, quite a few are left. Can anybody help?

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Mystery Aluminium Heer Buckle

    I will have a look but I doubt you will find the maker, if the eagle was not worn I might have stood a chance at identification but dont hold your breath, sorry mate but its hard on buckles like these
    Ben

  4. #3

    Default Re: Mystery Aluminium Heer Buckle

    I agree...very hard to tell. Ben - when you look at the reverse of the buckle....does the outline of the eagle help you there at all?? Hard call indeed!

    Rob

  5. #4

    Default Re: Mystery Aluminium Heer Buckle

    Thanks, Ben and Rob.

    I knew this would be a long shot when I asked! It may even be that the maker isnít one illustrated in the M4 and non-M4 threads.

    The closest match I can find (of the makers illustrated on this forum) is M4/57 Julius Maurer, Oberstein. The oak leaf wreath in particular looks an almost perfect match.

    The buckle Iím looking at is this one - http://warrelics.eu/forum/military_p...1937-front.jpg

    But Iím not too sure about the rear view Ė the eagle on my buckle seems to have a more tapered body that the one on the Maurer buckle. And, of course, I can find no makerís mark on my buckle.

    The next closest match I can find (again, concentrating on a comparison of the oak leaves and the lettering in the wreath) is M4/115 Klein & Quenzer.

    This is the picture Iím comparing my buckle with - http://warrelics.eu/forum/military_p...s-dscf0032.jpg

    Again, however, there is no makerís mark on my buckle as there is on this one.

    The oak leaf wreaths on both buckles look almost identical although the eagles are slightly different. That made me think about the dies used for making the buckles.

    Iím no expert on buckles but I do know a little about ancient Roman coins. They were generally die-struck by hand. Millions were produced, so there were often hundreds of dies. All were hand cut and so all were subtly (sometimes not so subtly!) different. Numismatists have done ďdie link studiesĒ, comparing hundreds of coins to work out which were produced from the same dies in order to put together chronologies for the production of specific coin types based on the mix of obverse and reverse dies and on die wear. Coin evidence can be a very important tool for dating archaeological finds.

    Has anything similar ever been done for the dies used to make buckles?

    Iím assuming the dies for making buckles were machine made and not hand cut. So there is likely to be less variation across the dies used by a single maker. Iím also assuming the dies were made from harder, more durable material than the dies used for Roman coins, and so lasted a lot longer. But a maker would still need dozens of dies: otherwise it would take a heck of a long time to produce buckles in any quantity.

    Where am I going with this, you may ask?

    The short answer is: Iím not sure.

    Reading around the threads on this forum, it is clear that, while many makersí buckles have distinctive features which can be used to tell them apart from other makersí buckles, some makersí buckles seem to have been made for them by someone else as they have the features of that other makerís buckles.

    The oak leaves and ďGott Mit UnsĒ lettering on the Maurer and the Klein buckles looks the same, although the eagles are different. The wreath on my buckle again looks the same but the eagle (allowing for possible distortion due to the denazification and, of course, wear) differs from the eagles on both those buckles.

    Could it be possible that dies with the centre blank were common to a number of makers but that they cut their own eagles to make their buckles distinctive?

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