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Bacqueville U Boat aubzeichen

Article about: Hello, I believe this to be an original Bacqueville badge. The dealer wants \\$375 USD. This seems like a great price! That is, for any other maker than Bacqueville! What do you guys think is

  1. #1

    Default Bacqueville U Boat aubzeichen

    Hello,

    I believe this to be an original Bacqueville badge. The dealer wants $375 USD. This seems like a great price! That is, for any other maker than Bacqueville! What do you guys think is $375 USD too good to pass up?

    Bacqueville U Boat aubzeichenBacqueville U Boat aubzeichenBacqueville U Boat aubzeichenBacqueville U Boat aubzeichen

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  3. #2
    ?

    Default

    The trouble is - what exactly is an 'original' Baqueville badge?

    No-one knows for sure because there is no hard evidence when they were made.

    A company in France were apparently contracted to produce Kriegsmarine awards. Why only Kriegsmarine? Why not Luftwaffe and Heer too?

    The other thing that is curious is that this 'company' produced every Kriegsmarine badge except for the most common one of all - the Minesweeper.

    I don't have a Bacqueville badge in my collection and never will unless irrefutable proof is found that places these badges in France before May 1945.

    There are many collectors who believe in these badges and also just as many - possibly more - that don't.

    For me, $375 is not a good price to pay for a badge which may or may not be original. I would put it towards a known and original award. You have to decide if you want to take the risk. It's down to the individual and whether or not they believe in these badges or not.

  4. #3

    Default

    Great insight, Adrian. I was unaware that they were not a proven manufacturer. It would be wise to take your advice and just save the 375 to put towards a known maker. Thank you.

  5. #4

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    Hello, I have the same badge made by Bacqueville(allways in activity), the problem is only : is this badge worn by KM or not...

    I know rhey were in the Marine Minister in 1944.
    The best Militaria forum in France is here : http://deutsch-militaria.forumactif.us/

  6. #5
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    Default

    I can only re-iterate what's been said before over the years.

    The so-called "French-made" zincers (a preferable term to "Bacqueville" in the absence of any known link to that firm as the manufacturer) are an endless source of debate and controversy because of the lack of hard evidence combined with their bizarre styling. There is no hard evidence on either side of the debate so in the end it becomes a poll of faith.

    What we know for sure:
    1) They are old. Current old-time collector anecdotes go back at least to 1970 for picking these up, so we can rule out the zincers being made after that date.
    2) They certainly were against regulation as of 1942 which we know from period published Präsidialkanzlei announcements forbidding even the sale of German military awards by firms of occupied countries, let alone their manufacture.
    3) They are die cast in zinc, and show some similarities in style to some French regimental pins.
    4) They show a production style and consistent packaging that is far more elaborate than any known fake Kriegsmarine badges.
    5) The "classic" ones have in turn been faked (as everything else).

    Beyond that there are various competing anecdotes about 1) a hoard from a Navy office in Paris released slowly after the war, 2) the Bacqueville connection, denied by the company itself and 3) fakes commissioned by an unnamed notorious faker -- none of which have ironclad corroborating proof unfortunately. And we generally toss in the observations that they appear only in U.S vet bring-backs, not in German vet groupings, nor in eastern block nations prior to fall of the wall in 1989.

    The lack of a Minesweeper badge has been noted as well but we can take that off the list since a single example was discovered in an old collection and which I acquired and studied. The Minesweeper, despite a different type of catch, clearly shows the same construction and aging as the usual so-called "French-made" badges.

    Personally I don't believe these badges were made in the early post-war period after May, 1945 for occupied forces. The equivalent process going on in Germany and Vienna at that time was dealing in wartime leftovers and post-war finishing of wartime components, not master die making of completely new designs. Early post-war economies did not favour the manufacture of whole new tool sets.

    For me the two polarized scenarios that remain are:
    1) wartime zinc production by a French company with or without a contract hoping to cash in on the German occupation but failing because they were ultimately deemed to be against regulations and therefore stored away for the duration of the war or
    2) an elaborate post-war hoax from the late 1960's but with an attention to quality, detail and packaging not rivalled since that time.

    The fact is none of the most "famous" KM badge fakes (Cave Creek Specials, "Cyclops", "Frank & Reif", f.o/R.S.S. fake Tombaks, "Schwerin" Blockade Breaker sets, Staegemeirs, etc. etc.) come anywhere near the complexity of producing a unique and complete line of zinc badges with a consistent aesthetic, high quality silvered plating and consistent packaging. This is what sets the "French-made" badges a tier above any known fake.

    As such, I believe they are still collectible but one has to live with that uncertainty which is enough to turn off many collectors, and the prices dealers ask are in many cases ludicrous. At best, they may have been wartime unofficial production but never issued to or worn by KM sailors.

    Best regards,
    ---Norm

  7. #6

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    Norm,

    A wonderful and thought filled answer.. I have one of the Bacqueville E Boat badges, and again amidst all the unknowns I too believe your 1st polarized scenario...

    Never say Never....

    Thank you again for this informative reply

    Smitty

  8. #7

  9. #8

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    Don't know where you found a video like that. A man that does not know anything about these badges....therefore..."Let's bash them". I watched about 3 minutes of the video before turning it off.
    Thanks, D.
    "When 10 men tell you you're drunk, you better lie down."

  10. #9

    Default

    Hehe, nahh.. that's a simplification to say that
    But better imagery of it you won't find so easily, regardless of the opinion of a narrator, if I was really interested in these badges, I would sit back and enjoy the show, maybe even learn something new or see something new. Great in-depth shots, that's all I was referring to, you can even take the sound of.
    But if you know everything then ofc it's useless to you =)

    I personly don't collect, know or care really about KM badges. But I like production methods ect.. Even though they are not the same of what I collect, one often stumbles over info that proofs useful in one form or another.

    NP, your welcome =)

  11. #10
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    Jo Rivett, who makes those videos, is a complex combination of keen intelligence and intolerant curmudgeon. He is a pioneer in the microscopic investigation of awards, his methods are excellent and revealing, and he has ushered in a new era in the critical approach to revealing fakes, but unfortunately his manner and foul language are turnoffs to many and often weaken his message. He wages a laudable one-man crusade against the rampant fakes in the hobby but unfortunately a lot of innocent and well-reasoned collectors are sometimes caught in his indiscriminate crossfire, so that aside from his intended targets he has also alienated a lot of folks on the forums who, in a more diplomatic and civil arena, would actually agree with him and his findings.

    At any rate, he definitively illustrated that the French-made zincers are cast production, as are the main pins used on them as well. Furthermore, the texture under the microscope is coarser than the late wartime German-made cast badges of Lüdenscheid and Vienna, so for all these reasons Jo has concluded they are post-war (which they may be). However, the fact remains that across the entire series of KM badges, these are not cast copies of a pre-existing original design but rather are cast in molds of a unique design which are evocative of but not duplications of the German designs. Since they are French and not German and show some similarities in their crude semi-hollow designs to French-made regimental pins, the one remaining counter argument is that they could still be wartime French cast production and are simply of inferior quality to what we see in German production. In fact, given the bizarre styling of the eagles, one might even speculate they were subtly mocking the German design, which only further justifies their rejection by the authorities.

    There were so many separate U.S vet bring-back accounts from France that it’s been difficult to discount all of them, so that even the microscopic findings have failed to dispel all possible hope of wartime production.

    So for now, this question eludes a definitive universal conclusion, although for sure there are convinced individuals on both sides of the argument.

    But a good followup question one should ask oneself is, how much does it really matter whether it’s a rejected, never-awarded wartime design for the souvenir market versus a post-war design for the souvenir market? That is to say, it’s historical relevance as a Kriegsmarine badge is somewhat limited anyway since there’s no evidence they were ever worn or even acquired by KM sailors.

    The problem mainly arises from the misleading claims of dealers that they are fine and rare wartime Kriegsmarine awards when in fact they were made in large quantities and never qualified to succeed in that arena.

    Best regards,
    —-Norm

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