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Polish Hat Eagles

Article about: In my opinion this particular cap eagle was made by G.J. Garratt Toronto. Very unique, hard to find.

  1. #491
    ?

    Default re: Polish Hat Eagles

    Quote by 4thskorpion View Post
    Hi Pit,
    I think you might need to upload the photos via the forum picture upload tools because your links don't work for me... and maybe others too!
    Your post links generate an error message; "Invalid Attachment specified"
    Hi there,

    Kind of strange. I uploaded them via warrelics. Let me try again.

    Attachment 267379Attachment 267380


  2. #492
    ?

    Default re: Polish Hat Eagles

    Another photo of a Polish hat badge before cleaning.



    It was sitting in a drawer in Austria for over 60 years. After cleaning it is a grade A museum object.

    Regards,

    Pit

  3. #493

    Default re: Polish Hat Eagles

    Hi Pit,

    Thanks for your additional comments.

    The only time I clean badges is to carefully remove verdigris deposits, which will over time act in a corrosive manner. Also in one case I chose to remove some adhesive, evidently from having been glued onto a display of some sort. I was able to carefully ‘peel’ off the epoxy type glue without any alteration of the surface.

    Quote by Taurus View Post
    Another photo of a Polish hat badge before cleaning. . . It was sitting in a drawer in Austria for over 60 years. After cleaning it is a grade A museum object.
    What you effectively accomplished here was the removal of the original oxidized finish that was applied when the badge was made. This “antiquing” was a regulation of the Polish military enacted in the latter half of the 1930’s for all metal fittings applied to uniforms such as buttons, rank stars, belt buckles, and also the hat eagle badges. Pictured below is a beautiful surviving example of a hat eagle in compliance with wz.36 uniform regulations.

    Quote by Taurus View Post
    . . . Now, after I have cleaned it with special liquids and tools it looks like a museum object. . . What people believe, think or like, and what is right is 2 different stories.
    Your eagle, before it was cleaned, still retained a good amount of its original antiqued finish, and had a lot of character I might add. I’m sorry, but in my opinion the cleaning damaged it, and in the process took a heavy toll on its value to collectors. Some good news is that in another 70 years it may naturally regain some of the patina that was lost in a few minutes of soaking in a chemical bath!

    Let’s just agree to disagree on the topic of cleaning badges. To each his own!

    Best,
    Tony
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    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  4. #494
    ?

    Default re: Polish Hat Eagles

    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Hi Pit,

    Thanks for your additional comments.

    The only time I clean badges is to carefully remove verdigris deposits, which will over time act in a corrosive manner. Also in one case I chose to remove some adhesive, evidently from having been glued onto a display of some sort. I was able to carefully ‘peel’ off the epoxy type glue without any alteration of the surface.


    What you effectively accomplished here was the removal of the original oxidized finish that was applied when the badge was made. This “antiquing” was a regulation of the Polish military enacted in the latter half of the 1930’s for all metal fittings applied to uniforms such as buttons, rank stars, belt buckles, and also the hat eagle badges. Pictured below is a beautiful surviving example of a hat eagle in compliance with wz.36 uniform regulations.


    Your eagle, before it was cleaned, still retained a good amount of its original antiqued finish, and had a lot of character I might add. I’m sorry, but in my opinion the cleaning damaged it, and in the process took a heavy toll on its value to collectors. Some good news is that in another 70 years it may naturally regain some of the patina that was lost in a few minutes of soaking in a chemical bath!

    Let’s just agree to disagree on the topic of cleaning badges. To each his own!

    Best,
    Tony
    Hi Tony,

    Thanks a lot for you comments. Heritage conservation has been my job for over 20 years. Anyway, I like to listen to what other people say they think is right.

    If you looked at the Polish hat eagle above carefully you would see it is wz. 19 not wz. 33. A fundametal differnce, isn't it.
    If you have time read "Korpus Ochrony Pogranicza 1924 - 1939" by J.Prochowicz and "Warunki techniczne materiałów wojskowych - Orzełek" - MsWojsk. Dep.Intendentury, 1933 rok to learn more about what you call “antiquing” and when it became a regulatiom. Good luck!

    Cheers,

    Pit

  5. #495

    Default re: Polish Hat Eagles

    Hi again Pit,

    Good conversation underway.

    Quote by Taurus View Post
    . . . If you looked at the Polish hat eagle above carefully you would see it is wz. 19 not wz. 33. A fundametal differnce, isn't it. . . .
    ? - I never stated that it is a “wz.33” eagle.

    It is quite obviously a wz.19 pattern, which remained in use throughout the Polish 2nd Republic era right up to WW2.

    Once again, in 1935 there was an extensive revision of uniform regulations. Hat eagle badges (among other metal uniform components) were required to be of white metal with an oxidized finish. These are sometimes informally referred to as the ‘wz.36 regulations’.

    Quote by Taurus View Post
    . . . read "Korpus Ochrony Pogranicza 1924 - 1939" by J.Prochowicz and "Warunki techniczne materiałów wojskowych - Orzełek" - MsWojsk. Dep.Intendentury, 1933 rok to learn more about what you call “antiquing” and when it became a regulatiom. Good luck!
    The following is an excerpt from „Polski Mundur Wojskowy 1918-1939”, the standard reference on Polish 2nd Republic military uniforms (Henryk Wielecki. Publisher: Bellona, 1995, ISBN: 8311085102) Pages 62 and 63:

    Translation of the pertinent text:

    UNIFORM REFORMS IN THE YEARS 1935 – 1937

    In September 1935 the Garment Commission received instructions from the Ministry of Military Affairs for the implementation of the new service uniform . . .

    . . . all (bullion thread) embroidery, stripes, rank insignia, initials, numbers, eagles, collar adornment, officer hat piping, arm aiguillettes, and saber portepees are to be oxidized to the appearance of old silver . . .


    This also applied to buttons, belt buckles, and even army dagger components (hence the wz.24/37 dagger).

    Regards,
    Tony
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    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  6. #496

    Default re: Polish Hat Eagles

    To carry on the discussion about the ‘oxidized’ eagles, this practice was continued with some of the eagle badges produced for the Polish Armed Forces in the West. It is reasonable to conclude that these manufacturers were adhering to the pre-WW2 Polish regulations.

    Here are three examples of ‘unissued’ eagle badges that have not sustained appreciable wear. All three have been “antiqued” from the factory. I took these pictures moments ago under fluorescent light, so the pictures aren’t quite as good as under natural light, but they do clearly show the applied oxidation.

    One is a familiar Gaunt (UK) product with what appears very much like it has undergone gun bluing treatment.

    The Garratt (Canada) eagle is an ‘issued’ eagle, although was never used. It was one of several recently discovered amongst the items of an officer involved in the North American recruitment effort during the early years of WW2. This eagle also has a gun blue appearance, which is very prominent over a remarkable satin white silver finish that is unique to these Garratt eagles. The oxidized effect is very well executed with these.

    The Lorioli (Italy) eagle was purchased in its original paper issue packet, and is ‘as new’. In contrast to the other two badges, this one is silver plated over brass. The oxidation is decidedly black, and evidently a different process is used. The oxidation remains most pronounced in the feathering and deeper recesses and is not as prominent in the shield area as with the other two producers.

    Regards,
    Tony
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    All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own and should not be mistaken for medical and/or legal advice.

    "Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday." - John Wayne

  7. #497

    Default re: Polish Hat Eagles

    Whatever you did differently uploading the images worked this time... thanks for sharing

    I must admit when I see a badge with IMO excessive patina I am always sorely tempted to clean away, because like you I would love to see the insignia in all their true pristine glory just like they came out of the jewellers workshops.

    BUT as I don't have the conservation skills I personally would never do it. A dry cotton-bud is as much as I have ever dared!

    Of course opinions vary, but for me if professionally handled it would be no different than the work done to 'Old Master' paintings etc to restore these artworks and artifacts back to their original splendour by stripping off the old varnish layers, repairing, re-touching where required... but it is all about the restorers skill, sensitivity and deep knowledge of the original and that comes with the trained conservationist never the unskilled amateur ... those like me
    Last edited by StefanM; 11-20-2011 at 05:44 PM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  8. #498

    Default re: Polish Hat Eagles

    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Here are three examples of ‘unissued’ eagle badges
    Three of the finest! The Gaunt eagle design detail makes it my favourite
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  9. #499
    ?

    Default re: Polish Hat Eagles

    Quote by A.J. Zawadzki View Post
    Hi again Pit,

    Good conversation underway.


    ? - I never stated that it is a “wz.33” eagle.

    It is quite obviously a wz.19 pattern, which remained in use throughout the Polish 2nd Republic era right up to WW2.

    Once again, in 1935 there was an extensive revision of uniform regulations. Hat eagle badges (among other metal uniform components) were required to be of white metal with an oxidized finish. These are sometimes informally referred to as the ‘wz.36 regulations’.

    The following is an excerpt from „Polski Mundur Wojskowy 1918-1939”, the standard reference on Polish 2nd Republic military uniforms (Henryk Wielecki. Publisher: Bellona, 1995, ISBN: 8311085102) Pages 62 and 63:

    Translation of the pertinent text:

    UNIFORM REFORMS IN THE YEARS 1935 – 1937

    In September 1935 the Garment Commission received instructions from the Ministry of Military Affairs for the implementation of the new service uniform . . .

    . . . all (bullion thread) embroidery, stripes, rank insignia, initials, numbers, eagles, collar adornment, officer hat piping, arm aiguillettes, and saber portepees are to be oxidized to the appearance of old silver . . .

    This also applied to buttons, belt buckles, and even army dagger components (hence the wz.24/37 dagger).

    Regards,
    Tony
    Hi Tony,

    I do not quite follow you. How come you apply a late 30s regulation to a badge made in early 20s? The Polish hat badge in my photo was made around 1925. You can judge the production date by many indicators including the signature, the shape of the washer, the shape of nut and the post to name just a few.
    Honestly, I do not wish to continue this. You may do with your badges whatever you wish to but I need to stick to professional standards to keep my job.

    Again I recommend Sekowski’s book. Among others it will help you learn how to determine what is needed to take the right care of a museum object made of metal, and how to separate dirt from patina which is fundamental in the art of conservation.

    When I get a badge I first gather all relevant info on it. It includes but is not limited to the date of production, alloy, coating and finish. Then I assess its technical condition to apply the first bath, which is the most important step. This is how we handle metal objects at museum metal conservation labs.

    The Polsih hat badge wz. 19 you can see in the photo had no patina but harmful oxidation, and dirt which for many people may look like patina indeed. Oxidation kills the surface. I agree the photo is low quality and may give an impression of excessive gloss but I can't help it.

    On another subject. The Polish hat badge on the left (#163) which you suppose to be a French variant of Alavoine production is actually a Palestine stamped brass plated eagle.
    The main difference between the French and the Palestine plated badges is not only the shape of the eagle but the coating as well. Fixing is another story. Alavoine used to coat eagles with silver while Palestine badges have zinc coating.

    Have a look at an example of genuine patina below. A badge of many that I have restored to date.


    Cheers,

    Pit

  10. #500

    Default re: Polish Hat Eagles

    Another finely sculpted eagle
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

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