1919 Balloon Wings
Posted 18 April 2008 - 05:49 PM
I need some quick education!
I have a line on what are supposed to be two pairs of 1919 Military Aeronaut wings, and one pair of 1921-22 Balloon Observer wings.
How can you tell each variation apart, and assuming that they all have the early type thick pins that only open 45-90 degrees, and large barrel safety catches; 1) How do you tell the 1919 version from the 1922 version? and 2) what are fair prices for these early wings both with, and without the gold "US"?
Thanks in advance!
Posted 18 April 2008 - 09:25 PM
Not sure how much I can help without photos. As you can imagine, these wings are frequently faked, but some patterns seem to be less faked than others. I have two in my collection, one I am 100% sure of, the other...I have some doubts.
I would suggest you avoid anything with the NS Meyer mark. Josten made some nice wings in the WWII time period. Recently, some Firman wings were on Ebay that were very nice. I like this LGB pattern like the ones I show below.
As for price, a vintage 1919 wing with the US I would expect to sell from 800-1200$ (a bit less than what a good WWI wing is selling for). I post WWI-1940 wing, around 350-800 depending on hallmark, etc.
One of the typical NS Meyer style restrikes, I dont know that they actually sell, but in the 100-350 range, but IMHO, you will have big trouble every moving them along. They seem to be novice traps.
Hope that helps.
Posted 18 April 2008 - 09:30 PM
One thing to avoid is any wing with a "US" that seem to have come from a collar insignia. That, I was told, is a sure sign of a fake.
One last thing, there are some nice photos of the balloon wings in the Pinks and Greens books. Some less useful drawings of these wings in Campbell's book. Do your homework!--but I suspect you have.
Posted 19 April 2008 - 09:48 AM
Thanks for replying.
Turns out, that all three were what I would consider 1930-1940 vintage, based on construction, pin-catch etc--none had the US. Nice wings and I think the price was reasonable (low retail)--but they strictly would not fit in my WW1 collection.
He also had a set of 1920 Pilot-Observer wings, but the front had been heavily polished, and when turned over they had the dread hallmark: N.S. Meyer (stamped not raised).
They could have been good, but with all the Meyer fakes out there, I just didn't want to take the chance as they weren't cheap, and my knowledge of Post WW1 wings drops off sharply.
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