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EBAY Wasp wings


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#26 pfrost

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 02:59 PM

Last time I recall seeing a WASP wing on ebay (a good one, that is)--it was unattributed and sold for well over $1500.  Last time I recall seeing an attributed WASP wing (and that didn't really have  a great deal of provenance) it sold for over $2000.  It is possible I missed one or two, but I think it is fair to say that the WASP wing is a pretty pricy bird.

 

Here, you have a well documented wing with provenance to a well known WASP AND a chance to interact with her son.  It would be pretty hard to find a better researched wing this this one! Not that I am going to bid, but it seems like a pretty minor faux-pas to snort at this wing because some jeweler fixed the clutch backs and polished them up a bit.  The engraving is a bit much, but hey, they are what they are.

 

Here is a similarly documented wing that was discussed some time ago on this very forum:

 

http://www.usmilitar...?hl=+wasp +wing

 

Considering that only about 1600 women made it through the WASP program and that they weren't really all that active for very long, finding a "good" wing is going to be pretty darn difficult.  Unless you have deep pockets, are very lucky, or rob another collector, the chances of most of us getting a pristine, attributed WASP wing is going to be slim.  Frankly, there isn't a lot of room to be "wing snobs" and hold out for better example, is there!?

 

It will be an interesting auction, but I suspect it will sell well above the reserve--but that is just my guess.

 

Patrick 



#27 Jack's Son

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:20 PM

Patrick, here is one school of thought. After a person buys this wing et.al, who is going to pay the price at sales time. Will this story ever get better then it is in this auction. Every owner is one more step away from the original owner's son. The polished wing might be thought of as worse then, the broken posts of the collar brass may become a larger obstacle as well.
These are thoughts that one may want to consider. (?)

#28 JDK

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:48 PM

I will be watching with interest as I purchased a nice attributed, documented, unmessed with WASP set not long ago.

JD

#29 bschwartz

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 05:26 PM

I bought an attributed Josten WASP wing years ago (almost ten years now) for $1,500 and was taken to task by several experienced collectors for spending way too much and for driving up the price of the market.  My reply at that time was "When am I going to find another one?"  I even had the pleasure of speaking on the phone with the WASP who owned the wing and sent her a copy of the photo that came along with the wing to have her autograph it for me.  Turned out that the photo I had was one her father had tacked up in his locker at work during the war.  That is still one of the best $1,500 deals I've ever had.  It's funny to look at the prices that these are going for now and have a bit of satisfaction at putting up with some ribbing from some seasoned collectors.  I'm not saying people should go crazy on this wing I'm just saying that everyone needs to make up their mind what is a good wing for them and what they're willing to pay for it and sometimes you have to say to hell with the experts.  I don't ever plan on selling any of my wings so I don't look at them as investments and if someone was buying this auction wing as an investment I agree there would be a lot of explaining to do as to why it is the way it is but every wing purchase really should satisfy one person, yourself.



#30 ram957

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 06:52 PM

Well said Bob !!!

#31 CliffP

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 07:59 PM

Well said to both Bob & Robin.  

 

Cliff  ;)



#32 pfrost

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 10:00 PM

I must say I must be exceptionally stupid, because I am not sure what "story" we are talking about.  At the start of this thread, the implication was that something fishy was going on with this auction.  It turns out that the wing was being sold by the son of the woman who owned the wing originally.  It seems that the wing and some of the insignia were sold to George Connell who was a known collector of WASP wings in the 70's and 80's... who also engraved the wings with the woman's name and class once he bought them.  I assume that Robert Acher bought the wings back from Connell and now is trying to sell them again as his family has no interest.  That doesn't seem that hard a "story" to understand.  Heck, I don't collect WASP wings and I knew at least some of the story about Connell's propensity for engraving the wings he bought.  I suspect that just about any serious, high end collector of WASP stuff know this story as well and isn't going to say "Boy, I'd pay good money for Ms Acher's wings, but to bad Connell got to them first 30 years ago and ruined them for me... I'll just wait for the next ID WASP wing to show up on eBay that I can buy real cheap".

 

The negatives (such as they are) is that some jeweler polished them (he obviously didn't use a grind stone--more than likely a light buffing on a wheel--and), and replaced the broken pins on the back (which are just that--small pins, its not like they put in a commonwealth style pin and catch).  Yes, Connell had the wings engraved, but a fair number (if not all) of WASP wings that he bought all seemed to have the same fate.  I don't like that either, but what can you do?  In fact, you can see much of Connell's original collection of WASP wings in Jon Macquire's second wing book (via "Bender", who I assume is the current owner).  I also suspect that the reason that the back of those wings weren't shown is that they are all engraved with the WASP's name and class.  Be that as it may, it is not a "story" that some dealer is making up.  You can probably check each and ever aspect of the wings provenance.  

 

So what you have on this ebay auction is a perfectly legitimate and vintage WASP wing that is coming out of the family and likely has solid provenance.  It has been polished and repaired, and a collector engraved the wings.  Is it worth $1700?  Maybe, watch and see.

 

Frankly, if you get a notarized letter from the son explaining the history of the wing then you are going to have a more solid provenance than just about 100% of the other wings out there.  

 

As for value... Bob's right, you pay what you think its worth.  But I am sorry, I just don't understand the argument that some how this isn't a stunningly cool wing with a pretty neat history.  

 

But, I must just be slow and contrary tonight.

Patrick

 

PS I am also reminded of a few collectors of equally rare wings that likes to have them in their polished state--as opposed to being all grimy and tarnished.  Just saying... 


Edited by pfrost, 10 June 2013 - 10:03 PM.


#33 Patchcollector

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:12 AM

I'm not going to comment on the Wing as I do not feel qualified.But I agree with what bschwartz posted regarding investments.If any collector,in ANY hobby is collecting purely for investment reasons,unless they are buying that 1%,museum grade stuff,they are going to more often than not be disappointed in the end.I'm in the Militaria hobby for the enjoyment,so "values" at times take a back seat to what I want to be in my collection.Having said that,I don't have unlimited funds,so sometimes patience is the key to scoring what I want. :)

 

Here's some info I found online;only 1102 of the original l,830 graduated,so I'm assuming only that number received their wing. :o

 

Here is a link to the site I found the info on:

 

 

http://wings1944.blo...15_archive.html

ZoomButt.gif
 

 

ZoomButt.gif
 

Edited by Patchcollector, 11 June 2013 - 04:17 AM.


#34 Jack's Son

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 06:54 AM

But, I must just be slow and contrary tonight. Patrick


OH.....BUT I LOVE YOUR PASSION!

#35 pfrost

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 07:42 AM

Passion... or affliction?  



#36 Jack's Son

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:27 AM

Passion... or affliction?


:D :D

#37 Patchcollector

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:37 AM

I'm wondering if there are any photos of the wing taken before it was "modified".



#38 Jack's Son

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 11:02 AM

Good question. I hope he did!

#39 firefighter

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 11:12 AM

I agree with PATCHCOLLECTOR 100%.Its like putting a car together.You don't always get out of it what you put into.But you do it because thats what you like to do.I never thought of my collection as an investment, my ex-wife did though.I'll probably never get what I paid for some items, bought them because I wanted it.Some items I will get what I paid for them and some maybe more, if and when I ever sell my stuff.



#40 B-17Guy

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:20 PM

Well said Mr.Schwartz!



#41 cutiger83

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:39 PM

He already sold the class wing but still has the uniform, modified by mom and used in her and husbands flying school post war.

 

 

I admit to knowing very little about WASP wings so I am curious. If he already sold the class wing, then is this a true WWII WASP wing? Would she have had two true WASP wings? Is this what some have called "reunion wings"?

 

 

PS. Sorry for the confusion about the name. The WASP website has a typo where she is listed as Archer. I guess this proves even reputable websites can have typos. ;)

 

...Kat



#42 firefighter

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:55 PM

I think when he is talking about class wings he means these.

 

 

 

 

P-1386.jpg

Edited by firefighter, 11 June 2013 - 12:55 PM.


#43 cutiger83

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:58 PM

 

I think when he is talking about class wings he means these.

 

 

 

Thank you very much! I understand now. I was confused.....Kat



#44 firefighter

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:01 PM

 

 

Thank you very much! I understand now. I was confused.....Kat

 

 

No problem.Happens to me all the time.



#45 Jack's Son

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:15 PM

?.......I guess this proves even reputable websites can have typos. ;)
 ...Kat


This is why I prefer websites that are less reputable, but spell their trash correctly! :D

#46 LuftStalg1

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:32 PM

I would guess once the "official" WASP wing was produced she got one to replace the "Custom" class wing she had.  So in reality she could have both style wings without question.  I asked him about photos before the fix so well see what he says.

 

Mark D



#47 firefighter

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 02:25 PM

If you look at the bidders you will see that there are only 3 bidders.I'm not a collector of these wings but if it was that rare I would think there would be more than 3 bidders.I'm sure there are more watching the auction and there will be a sniper but still seems unusual to me.

 

Bidders:s.gif3Bids:s.gif10Time left:s.gif19 hours 40 mins 47 secsDuration:s.gif7 days


Edited by firefighter, 11 June 2013 - 02:30 PM.


#48 pfrost

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:13 PM

Why bid before the last possible moment?  It only runs the price up for no good reason.    Plus, you know what the reserve bid is, so there is no reason not to hold out for the last second.

 

I suspect that either people won't bid at all, or a few big sniper bombs will be dropped right around 5-10 seconds before the close of the auction.


Edited by pfrost, 11 June 2013 - 04:16 PM.


#49 firefighter

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:31 PM

Why bid before the last possible moment?  It only runs the price up for no good reason.    Plus, you know what the reserve bid is, so there is no reason not to hold out for the last second.

 

I suspect that either people won't bid at all, or a few big sniper bombs will be dropped right around 5-10 seconds before the close of the auction.

 

 

A lot of people don't think about that.But being that it has a reserve maybe they don't care.But like I said i'm sure somebody will snipe, thats what I usually do.



#50 CliffP

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 06:28 AM

" Well said Mr.Schwartz! "

_____________________________________

 

Always the perfect gentleman, as well as being an enormous asset to the hobby, Bob is definitely not a wing snob, "Et tu, - - - - - - -?"

 

Cliff  




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