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old German badge & ring - what do I have here?

Article about: found a couple of items on ebay I couldn't resist ..... first is a badge I can't find anything about aside from a couple of old pictures of German pilots wearing one I've found a few in the

  1. #11

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    Quote by Rob M View Post
    my father's estate is kinda screwed up at the moment with a executor / trustee that isn't worth a pinch of you know what and a second name on the box who refused to play along with them ..so between them and me the "trustee" has no keys and was from out of town and out of time when here ..

    and , still lookin for the pics , when time permits, I didn't buy the badge on the spur of the moment and considering it's "oddness" I wouldn't have if I hadn't seen the pic first
    I spent 4 or 5 months looking for something like it to confirm it may be for real

    for the reason of the one or two pictures I found ,out of what felt like 100's I decided to take the chance on it

    I should add the wreath looks like it's stamped out of a sheet piece of silver , not cast as the veins in the leaves go right through the piece from back to front

    the detail in the wreath is really nice , if stamped I'd have to doubt anyone made a die to stamp one or a few fakes..

    and that pic definitely was not anything like these . currently on ebay

    that pic showed a badge with the same design , proportions and cut out center ..pined to a jacket on someone standing beside an in the day airplane

    finding that pic said , grab it.. you can find out why it's different from everything else after (lol)

    like someone posted above "i'd like to see the picture because"
    yeah , because..
    then it's not about it being "real" ...it' becomes a matter of "what the hell is it?"
    - I'd still be content even if it turned out to be a "museum copy"
    and if the wreath is pressed metal it's not likely something out of "Jimmy's basement hobby shop" ...
    Sorry, but it is definately not die stamped. The detail is far too weak (even allowing for erosion) for that and there are clear signs of a cast item in the quality of the surface both front and back.
    That there is detail on the reverse that corresponds to that on the obverse is indicative of a closed casting mold rather than a one sided "open mold". I very much doubt that the material has any silver content at all let alone that it is stamped from silver sheet but you can't really be sure from a photograph.
    Badges of the period do exist in cast silver from many nations but that is a different subject and this is not one of them.

    It is perfectly appropriate to be asking about period photographs of an item in use / in wear because that can be some of the best evidence of authenticity.

    I do hope you didn't pay "top dollar" for this or that you can return it because as already stated it is not an original piece. Likewise the ring.

    Regards

    Mark

    PS It is not at all unusual for fakers to create a fake die in order to make stamped copies of expensive and rare original items.
    Last edited by Watchdog; 04-04-2021 at 01:11 PM. Reason: Typo
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  2. #12
    CBH
    CBH is online now
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    I agree with Mark, wholeheartedly.
    The skull and wreath don’t even look like the same metal.
    The membership of this forum have looked at more wartime photos, then is possible for any one individual. No one remembers seeing this badge, we have Skull Collectors here who collect skulls or more appropriate Totenkopfs. If such a badge existed, someone here would have heard of it.
    Cheers Chris

  3. #13

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    "museum copy" I love that.
    It's a term usually used by ebay sellers trying to pawn off something that they
    know is fake.
    Last edited by Chopperman; 04-04-2021 at 04:48 PM.
    gregM
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

  4. #14
    MAP
    MAP is online now
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    Quote by Rob M View Post

    like someone posted above "i'd like to see the picture because"
    yeah , because..
    then it's not about it being "real" ...it' becomes a matter of "what the hell is it?"
    As I noted in my first post, as far as I am concerned these are Fantasy awards and never existed.

    Period photos can be very deceiving, especially with awards. My gut leads me to believe it was not what you think it might be. Hence my curiosity in seeing these period photos. Keep on searching and please post these photos if you can find them again.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  5. #15

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    Quote by MAP View Post
    As I noted in my first post, as far as I am concerned these are Fantasy awards and never existed.

    Period photos can be very deceiving, especially with awards. My gut leads me to believe it was not what you think it might be. Hence my curiosity in seeing these period photos. Keep on searching and please post these photos if you can find them again.
    As most of us know, a period photo will not in most cases prove the authenticity of an individual item. Photography, even today is not that good in an "in wear" setting.

    What period photograph do is provide "type" evidence" and context.

    If one cites period imagery as authentication evidence of something more than run of the mill commonality I would expect not only a willingness but an ability and enthusiasm to show it in order to vindicate ones assertions.

    A position of "I saw a picture but I can't find it anymore" does not inspire confidence in the evidence.

    To be boorishly technical; evidence includes all legal means, exclusive of mere argument, which tend to prove or disprove any matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to judicial investigation.

    So take out the words "Legal" and "Judicial" and you kind of get the idea of what we are talking about!

    I would still like to see the pictures?

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  6. #16

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    Quote by Chopperman View Post
    "museum copy" I love that.
    It's a term usually used by ebay sellers trying to pawn off something that they
    know is fake.
    A true "museum copy" is exactly that; a copy of an original that is so scarce that the museum does not have an original but requires a representation to avoid gaps in a display context when such "gaps" or missing items would be detrimental to said display or where the display of the original item is deemed inappropriate eg; Crown Jewels etc.

    It does not apply to commercial copies such as fantasy pieces or petrol station giveaway sets of anything from historic coins to gallantry medals given away in "Luxury Presentation Case" with 10 gallons of 95 Octane!

    It is a phrase designed to convince the foolish that whilst it is a copy it is of such high quality as to be indistinguishable from the original or that originality does not really matter. These are two words that tell a whole story!

    Regards

    Mark.
    Last edited by Watchdog; 04-05-2021 at 09:27 AM. Reason: Typo
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  7. #17
    MAP
    MAP is online now
    ?

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    Quote by Watchdog View Post
    As most of us know, a period photo will not in most cases prove the authenticity of an individual item. Photography, even today is not that good in an "in wear" setting.

    What period photograph do is provide "type" evidence" and context.

    If one cites period imagery as authentication evidence of something more than run of the mill commonality I would expect not only a willingness but an ability and enthusiasm to show it in order to vindicate ones assertions.

    A position of "I saw a picture but I can't find it anymore" does not inspire confidence in the evidence.

    To be boorishly technical; evidence includes all legal means, exclusive of mere argument, which tend to prove or disprove any matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to judicial investigation.

    So take out the words "Legal" and "Judicial" and you kind of get the idea of what we are talking about!

    I would still like to see the pictures?

    Regards

    Mark
    Agree. Mark. I highlighted your sentence above. Well said. This is what I was getting at. It won't prove "this" item but it will at least give us an indication if these really did exist.

    I for one still think that any photo will be vague and inconclusive and more open to interpretation based on the angle, lighting and clarity. And I still believe that this is Fantasy based on everything that I have read, seen and learned so far.

    But stranger things have happened. So waiting to see what photos are dug up and what they can tell us.
    "Please", Thank You" and proper manners appreciated

    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

    "Don't tell me these are investments if you never intend to sell anything" (Quote: Wife)

  8. #18

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    Quote by MAP View Post
    Agree. Mark. I highlighted your sentence above. Well said. This is what I was getting at. It won't prove "this" item but it will at least give us an indication if these really did exist.

    I for one still think that any photo will be vague and inconclusive and more open to interpretation based on the angle, lighting and clarity. And I still believe that this is Fantasy based on everything that I have read, seen and learned so far.

    But stranger things have happened. So waiting to see what photos are dug up and what they can tell us.
    I agree that the photo will not suppport this item but all the "evidence" must be presented to ensure a "fair trial"

    I'm just playing "Devils Advocate" (see what I did there?)

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  9. #19
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    thanks for all the input guys .. I'm still looking for the pics .. (sigh) I have months of saved stuff to go through

    and yeah .. I know what museum copy means lol..

    as I said in my first post the badge is made of two main parts . what does appear to be a silver wreath and a presumably brass skull & bones soldered to the wreath at the four ends of the bones

    skull is definitely cast .. veins in the leaves of the wreath appear to have been pressed right through the metal to create the raised ridges of the veins on the front side

    a little test spot I cleaned ..slightly seems to go dull again in short order so I believe the wreath is a low grade silver alloy
    like I said , it's non magnetic

    dad sold nonferrous metals and jewelry alloys for 60 years so I have a bit of an eye? or understanding of metals ..
    (if you have a 70's-90's ford electronic part that says made in Canada .. my dad sold the solder holding it together)

    and yep "I saw a picture of..." means nothing until you guys see it too .. still diggin'

    out of hundreds .. feels like, pictures I saw all with the traditional pilots badge I only saw this the one or two times .. on a jacket , on a man standing next to the fuselage of what looked like an early / mid war airplane

    I don't expect it to denote a pilot .. but I know many air service men came from other parts of the service , often .. so I figure it probably had more to do with that mans service history than the airplane beside him..
    ???

    I've also stumbled across a few badges that were also refereed to as German pilot badges .. but digging showed they were more likely from some German airplane modeling society group - post war..

    I've learned they originally issued badges but soon left the new pilots to squire one on their own..

    - makes me question if the ones without a maker's mark were the government dissed ones (?)

    which then brings up the idea of German jewelry shops with a few pilot badges along with other things a like minded person would be interested in .. again likely a serviceman with little money to spend

    so , like the phrase museum copy .. the term pilot ring , may or may not .. mean something

    like the commemorative air service rings I've seen, the little pilot badge ring & the original dead aviator ring..
    I'm sure there would be other "like minded" customer orientated items in the random jeweler's display
    - along with the mountain of cheap junk that would go on to become treasured heirlooms after being sent home to mom , the wife or the girlfriend...
    - either during or post war .. it's merchandise .. with a targeted consumer or market in mind

    the ring is hollow and the strap is so thin it's almost dangerously so ..it's more a strip of sheet metal at that point
    that tells me it was made to sell "at a price" - that and it's brass

    although well worn, surprisingly the strap is still detailed enough to have a shape & bands formed in it that kinda give it a wooden barrel shape

    it's slightly thinner than my great grandfather's ring I wear beside it which is slightly post WWI

    "affordable" and cast brass , nickel / gold (used to be) plated

    the sharpness of execution in both rings make me think they are of a similar era ..along with some other early 1900"s rings I have that share the "sharpness" or "crispness"in overall look

    IF I dropped in my grandmother's jewelry box & set on the table for one of you guys to open .. it wouldn't look like it didn't belong there is what I'm trying to say .. nineteen - teens through early thirties

    I'm going to have to research the "RD" maker's mark on the eagle head ring to really learn anything specific
    that was the hope in my original post
    and although cheap to produce , I'd have to say the person who made the original piece the molds for it came off of..that guy was no slouch

    there is a modern one that looks very much like it on ebay .. it has a similar execution at the head to neck area but the beak is done completely differently as well as the tongue being reversed in position in the mouth .. and that one has a silly looking "iron cross" on each side of the head/shoulder

    I bought the ring solely because I liked it .. and for my own commiserative reason

    first pic below.. from the photographer's position , some time ago ,, early hours of the morning .. if you turned around and looked up... there would be a pair of golden eagles sitting on a branch over the road watchin you... like every other morning ..their spot

    the Bailey Bridge was built four days after Hurricane Hazel went through Toronto in '54
    - rickety old thing is still there today just behind the Toronto Zoo - I still drive over it almost every day along with probably 1000 other people ..no kidding it's a very busy road

    second pic is the remaining engineers who built it back in '79
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture old German badge & ring - what do I have here?   old German badge & ring - what do I have here?  


  10. #20

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    Here is another one that I found while searching old threads over at the WAF forum.
    The post was dated 2009 in a thread titled " Imperial Fantasy Badges "

    the picture has the ebay watermark on it.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture old German badge & ring - what do I have here?  
    gregM
    Live to ride -- Ride to live

    I was addicted to the "Hokey-Pokey" but I've turned
    myself around.

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