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USMC Bullion Bugle Insignia


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#1 Brig

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 12:32 PM

Posting this for an associate of mine

while not an EGA, I figured this was the suitable sub-forum. This one has me stumped. VERY old, musty smelling, and does not glow under the UV light. Bullion is highly oxidized, the 'M' looks quality. The only thing that's throwing me for a loop are the plastic looking 'washers'. While I'm aware that plastic was invented in 1856, it wasn't unveiled until 1962 and the attempt at mass production was 1866 by the Parkesine Company, and the endeavor failed. I don't know if plastic would have made it onto period insignia. Regardless, this is a very old piece. If a repro, due to lack of UV reaction, I'd have to say it's at least 50 years old. Any opinions would be more than welcome

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#2 Brig

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 12:32 PM

reverse

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#3 Bagman

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 01:01 PM

Brig-

This is just a wild-a$$ guess, but there was a material used in the mid-19th century for a variety of purposes called gutta-percha. It could look like "plastic" in some of its uses. Various Civil War era items were made from it. Here's a link from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Gutta-percha

I have no idea if that's what your "washers" are made from or not. Just an idea...

That insignia does look pretty old to my untrained eye.

Respectfully

Terry ("Bagman")

#4 Brig

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 01:04 PM

I have no idea what this plastic actually is, you may be right. I am not going to grab the tweezers and pop one off for testing, I'd suffer his wrath!

#5 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:10 AM

I dare say its period original, has all the traits as shown on page 233 of Cureton / Sullivans book on the Civil War era. Gutta-Percha was very widely used during the era, from pipes, jewelry, buttons, and most Ambrotype photo cases were made w/ the materials. Impressive relic!

#6 usmcaviator

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 01:37 PM

Have seen these over the years, they look great, but have seen no less than 20 sell on E-bay over the past 5 years or so. They appear to be made the same, look anywhere from brand new to aged like this one (this one looks like a piss job to me). They are hand done, nicely, but I highly suspect them as not being original.

There just was not that many Civil War Marine officers around and surviving pieces are extremely rare. I suspect that these were made some time ago, or are Paki made within the last 40 years. The little things that you say look like plastic, are just that, plastic pieces that have had the gold come off. Gutta Percha is stretching it big time IMHO. Pretty sure at the time of the Civil War the best and most intricate they could get with it was buttons and Dag/CDV cases. Normally, I think these little discs were thinly flattened discs made of metal.

My take.

S/F,
Mike

#7 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 08:37 AM

Fellow forum members:

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