Well, It is possible to make a very good copy of any award. But what is the point? Original Mutterkreuzes are so cheap that if You have a good silversmith, good machinery, somebody who can engrave the dies to struck the badges, glass enamel and an owen to make the award copy will cost much more than 20-30 euros for what we can buy original award. The other problem is that there is nothing to do with 1000-2000 Mutterkreuzes because it will take years to sell them - if someone will sell them for a bargin prices, prices will fall all over the world. And there is no point to fake just several hundreds awards.
So I personally do not see any point why someone wants to make a superb copy of the Mutterkreuz. Technically ot is possible but why?
09-22-2013 04:35 PM
I am talking about fakes made by original makers, or people with good tooling, from 1945-1965, or the first 10-20 years after the war. And not talking about making 1000 MCs today. The items that have long since found their way into Collectors Guides to... and that we all blindly accept are good. The fakes that were sold en mass, to the USA, Canada, the UK and throughout Germany and Europe. Although yes, i do know a way that i could sell 2000 and more of them now. I would invent a "hoard" story, a hoard of mint items, because a hoard find, is in essence nothing more that an open window to an endless supply of mint condition items that all look the same, and that are all automatically accepted as genuine based on one dealers reputation, and naturally supported across the board on every forum, simply because most of the users own a piece from that particular hoard, and would never even question it. Not out of fear, but for the same reasons that we have lapped up the rubbish that post war authors have printed, and dictated to us is "genuine" for decades, because we are lazy and have never gone looking for the answers ourselves.
Even without a hoard story, still very easy to sell, if you had your own website, and set up at all the shows each year, (around the world) and have a "reputation" then you have a potentially unlimited supply of customers. Although, you have to have some knowledge of how the Military hobby works backstage, and cannot pass judgment or even have a semi-correct opinion based on a few online internet sites, forums and what people tell you alone. For a few people, the hobby is exactly this, a hobby, a passion, a past time. For the majority though, it is ca$h, ca$h and more ca$h, with as little history or facts as possible.
For this reason, fake $50,000 daggers pass hands, fake $70,000 Hitler rings exchange owners, or, complete fantasy Adolf Hitler diaries get sold to newspapers for a paultry 5 million German Marks
Well, still Mutterkreuz is a very cheap award (and the prices were cheap also after WWII) but it takes a lot of work to make it properly. And it is not a very popular award and never was. But in the 1950-60-ies there were much more skilled silversmiths and so the production process was of course much easier and also cheaper.
But this also means that there was a huge market for fake Mutterkreuzes in 1950-60-ies. Today we have internet etc. and yes, maybe it is possible to sell within 1 year 1000-2000 Mutterkreuzes worldwide but then You have to be a good salesman and during next years you will not sell almost anything because the market is full and prices will fall.
Anway, Your project is very interesting! Thanks a lot.
Unfortunately, what is seen and perceived as cheap and plentiful Today will Not be so 100 years from now. Many examples can be pointed out-WWI Iron Crosses, Spiked Helmets, or in My younger days, Civil War artifacts, just to name a few. Now, the prices and availability of such items has become much scarcer and pricier, but nontheless, they are still avidly collected. Imagine then, finding a book on, say Civil War badges just for an example. The book was printed in the 1950's when things were, as I said, much cheaper and easy to find. You read the book-which is a study of research done on the Civil War badges. In it, you read Very Thorough and minutely exact information on how they were manufactured, engraved, etc. You own the book and from it, you are now able to become a near expert on the badges Yourself. You can tell the tiniest differences in the fake pieces to the genuine ones. Then, you turn to the research section itself and see photos of Piles of the badges that you collect and are drawn to-piles of them being irrevocably destroyed and mutilated. Hundreds upon Hundreds of what You would now consider valuable and highly collectable badges-being pried apart, cut into pieces, peered at under microscopes and ultimately thrown into the garbage.
Substitute Any collectable for "Civil War Badges" that you wish. SS Daggers, perhaps. Antique Furniture, Vintage Jewelry, Postage Stamps-you name it. Do that, and, hopefully, you'll see the point that I'm trying to make. Wasn't it always fun to watch the old movies and see them smash up and blow up beautiful vintage cars? Why not? They were plentiful and cheap at the time-they made Millions of them-everyone had one or more. Today? Not so. Make No Mistake of it-I am Not against researching TR artifacts. It is a Needed and Very necessary information. It is the destructive Method that I object to. The Permanent Destruction and Loss of artifacts that I am aghast at.
"Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."
Valid point William. What is common today, may become rare tomorrow. I've heard several collectors complain about the personalizing and breaking down of relics that collectors did in the past.
Now why did those collectors do that all those many years ago? Disrespect, carelessness, even hatred? No, they did it because there were thousands of examples available on the market. They had the same logic as some do today, don't do it to the rare medals like a Knight's Cross, but a MC is just fine to rip apart because, hey, there are thousands of examples. Yet, 50 years later, and that same objects have now become quite rare, and the future collectors are frustrated to see the destruction of so many items in the past they consider to be precious, and would never think of tampering with.
Also, whatever information is gained about what's underneath the roundel, especially anything relating to its authenticity, will only invite others in the future to do so themselves, as the only way to tell on their example is to take it off, too. Where does the cycle end? When it becomes to rare and valuable to do so?
So, if I read the thread and the findings contained within, one of these Mutterkreuz is fake and one is original because of the differences seen in the patina and the overall appearance of the base metal under high magnification?
Looking for LDO marked EK2s and items relating to U-406.....
Adrian, once you start looking at certain aspects of "an award/badge etc" under high magnification, you will see a pattern. Once you understand what you are looking at, you do the same test on more items. You do it on fakes, that you know are fakes, and on items you know are original. Once you have done this a thousand times and more, you will understand it, and be able to correctly interpret what you are seeing. You will note what you want to see on originals, and you will note what you dont want to see - meaning that the item is ringing a large alarm bell.
The "honest patina" under magnification is pure forensics, and nothing else, like the traces left on a bullet after it is fired, making it possible to link it to a certain gun, with no room for debate or opinion.
There are many other aspects as well, but to cover them here, is simply impossible, a book on this subject alone is needed. But to sum it up for those who are lost (most of you i know, i was too when i first used it) Under high magnification, the item will tell you if it is original or not.
Once you are well versed in doing this, and in correctly interpreting the images, then you dont need to spend hours trying to find a patina, or trying to find something under magnification that will support your opinion of whether it is good or not, with forensics, there is no room for opinions. And in time you will need only one or two minutes, because you will know what you are looking at.
The same applies to post war made badges. Once you have built up a library (and knowledge) of what they show you under magnification, you will know instantly when something is wrong.
The large images i pieced together of the number 3, were to give those who are lost, a general big picture, because when you look through the scope, all you are seeing at any one time is this:
Mothers Cross N°1
Mothers Cross N°2
Now for me, because i have been doing this since 2006, all i need, are the above 2 images, to say with 100% certainly, Mothers Cross N°1 YES, Mothers Cross N°2 = NO WAY. But i do realize that the subject of forensics is very complicated, and will take time to understand, that is why i tried to give you all the big picture by joining all the images together, otherwise you would have no idea what i am on about.
It took a long time to accept "fingerprinting" but it now is, and used every minute of the day, worldwide. Others have been using forensics to detect forged banknotes, faked artwork, much more complicated subjects that small awards and badges, for decades. So it is about time that we wake up, and start using some proper, reliable tools of the 21st century to assist us, without bickering and flashing our opinions all over the show. Any clown can write a few books today and claim whatever he wants. I could have listed badge after badge in my book, with stupid assumptions, and most would believe me simply because i am known as a small badge geek, and a serious enthusiast. But when you bring forensic evidence into your evaluation, you are using a tool that is conclusive, a tool that cannot be challenged by anyone, and a tool that outweighs anything ever printed, said or claimed by anyone. That, is the simple reality.
There will of course be those who wont accept it, and those that attempt to derail threads in order to shut anyone up who is in support of using forensics. They are the same people who are screaming to the judge that just because their fingerprints are on the murder weapon, does not necessarily mean that they held it....
For the layman in metallurgy such as myself and I suspect many others here I think it may take a little more to convince us that the patina/surface fingerprints under high magnification is a deciding factor in determining originality to a certain period of time.
There are too many variables to consider. The timeline of the awards being produced, the quality of the base metal, tool wear, the environmental conditions the piece/s in question have been stored in over the years, the other substances which may have come into contact with the metal, whether or not the piece has been worn or not to name but a few.
It is hard to read and understand that two medals, in this case Mutterkreuz can be judged to be fake or original based solely on this high magnification. No two pieces can be alike to the extent these minute differences are replicated perfectly to judge it one way or another.
For example, an original Eisernes Kreuz which has been worn, exposed to elements, kept in a shoe box in a damp garage since the war will have different characteristics in patina, metal surface texture than one which was made, kept in it's case and stored in perfect environmental conditions since the war and is 'factory fresh' today.
Under this high magnification these pieces will not exhibit similar features yet they are still both original.
Looking for LDO marked EK2s and items relating to U-406.....
Adrian, i dont need to convince you of anything, forensics is, what it is. I do realize that it is new to you now, so in time we`ll come back to it.
If you are even going to attempt to challenge forensics, then you will need a lot more than your opinion, and to be honest with you, you do not have that right because you dont know anything about it, other than what you have seen me post here. You first need to let it sink in, then you need to see many items analyzed in this manner. After that, you will concur, that your above comment is void.
There is no point really in getting into any debate as such, about the forensic issue right now. There is no place for personal wants, feelings, opinions or assumptions when it comes to forensics. You are not allowed to interpret certain aspects in the way you see fit, that is nothing short of tampering with the evidence. But like i said, you and most others dont know what that "evidence" really is right now, and you certainly do not have any real understanding of it, because it`s new to our hobby. You all need time to understand it before we start adding what we think, because forensics superceeds what we think, or what we would like to think.
Adrian, there are no variables to consider. If any item has been there and done it, it will tell you. If it was made out of period materials, it will tell you. It is so simple that i can see why people will be wanting to add their own salt to it, but you cant do that. That bullet i mentioned, that left distinct trace marks on it after it was fired, can ONLY, be traced back to the very same weapon that fired it. You may not, stand up in court and tell the judge that "there are variables to consider" and that maybe the bullet brushed a tree first and the tree left those marks, or they are actually factory marks. You could try, but you`d still get locked up
Neither myself, nor anyone else, needs to even bother arguing about forensics, because we simply cannot! and that is really all there is to say about it.