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Fake AAS Junior Pilots Wings?


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#1 aff96

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:34 AM

Hey again guys,

I picked this up awhile ago, pre-forum & after studying/learning from previous posted beauties, sadly believe it's a faker. But before tossing it in my over filled repo-bin thought I'd post & confirm.

Thanks a ton!

Greg

 

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#2 aff96

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:34 AM

Reverse

 

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#3 doinworkinvans

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:43 AM

I dont know how you guys do these wings...so many fakes!  :blink:

 

I sure hope they arent as they are beautiful!



#4 hawk3370

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:55 AM

Hey again guys,

I picked this up awhile ago, pre-forum & after studying/learning from previous posted beauties, sadly believe it's a faker. But before tossing it in my over filled repo-bin thought I'd post & confirm.

Thanks a ton!

Greg

 

 

This is a variation "Dunham". Duncan Campbell had the original dies to this wing and one is pictured in his book. I personally have not had one in hand but I don't see any glaring problems with it. Cliff may have more info. I wouldn't toss it into your repo-bin just yet. If original and I feel it well may be, it is a very scarce wing, especially in the Jr. Military version.

Terry



#5 aff96

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 12:59 PM

 

This is a variation "Dunham". Duncan Campbell had the original dies to this wing and one is pictured in his book. I personally have not had one in hand but I don't see any glaring problems with it. Cliff may have more info. I wouldn't toss it into your repo-bin just yet. If original and I feel it well may be, it is a very scarce wing, especially in the Jr. Military version.

Terry

 

Holy smokes, I'll certainly not toss it in the repo-bin.....yet!

Thanks!!



#6 aff96

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 08:18 AM

Hi Terry!

Thanks again, I just looked in Duncan Campbell's book & sure enough on page 13, wing #8 is this junior pilot wing. I just wish the pic was a photo though. If there's any other reference books/sources out there would love to hear about them. I looked on the Wings website & there wasn't an example, darn. Very frustrating ;)

From my notes when I acquired it the seller swore it was good, sadly I only wrote his 1st name & price I paid.

Can't wait for Cliff et al's thoughts!

Thanks!

Greg



#7 hawk3370

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 04:32 AM

Hi Terry!

Thanks again, I just looked in Duncan Campbell's book & sure enough on page 13, wing #8 is this junior pilot wing. I just wish the pic was a photo though. If there's any other reference books/sources out there would love to hear about them. I looked on the Wings website & there wasn't an example, darn. Very frustrating ;)

From my notes when I acquired it the seller swore it was good, sadly I only wrote his 1st name & price I paid.

Can't wait for Cliff et al's thoughts!

Thanks!

Greg

 

Greg,

The only decent ref to WW1wings that I am aware of other than Duncan's wonderful book is an edition of Jon Maguire's "Silver Wings Pinks and Greens" and "United Stares Army Air Service Wing Badges-Uniforms and Insignia 1913-1918" Terry Morris. These sometimes show up on e-bay but I am sure you can find copies on Amazon.  I have been told both are good companions to Duncan's book.



#8 aff96

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:41 AM

 

Greg,

The only decent ref to WW1wings that I am aware of other than Duncan's wonderful book is an edition of Jon Maguire's "Silver Wings Pinks and Greens" and "United Stares Army Air Service Wing Badges-Uniforms and Insignia 1913-1918" Terry Morris. These sometimes show up on e-bay but I am sure you can find copies on Amazon.  I have been told both are good companions to Duncan's book.

Thanks! Off I go to Ebay & Amazon!!

Really appreciate all of the help!

Greg



#9 firefighter

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 12:49 PM

I dont collect WW1 era wings.But the patina looks good on the front and pin.Hope it turns out to be original.Those older wings are beautiful.As i said before, I wish the AF could go back to that style wing.The feathering is amazing.


Edited by firefighter, 19 September 2013 - 12:49 PM.


#10 aff96

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 08:03 AM

I dont collect WW1 era wings.But the patina looks good on the front and pin.Hope it turns out to be original.Those older wings are beautiful.As i said before, I wish the AF could go back to that style wing.The feathering is amazing.

I can only agree, just checked & apparently the AAC made the switch (which according to what I read was unpopular) to the new style wings in September 1919. I imagine that all aircrew today would enjoy going to "retro" wings.

Greg



#11 pfrost

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 08:23 AM

Art Grigg, One of the old time wing collectors told me that Duncan Campbell had the dies for these wings.  He had a few made up and gave them to his friends.  The story I heard from Art was that Mr. Campbell made them on his kitchen table by pouring molten lead into the molds and then glued the pieces to a backing (true or not?  I don't know, but that is what I was told).  

 

The suggestion was also that the pictures used in the Campbell book were not vintage badges (as Duncan Cambell supposedly didn't have vintage examples), but were from his experiments using the dies (again, I cannot verify this, it was just what was told to me).

 

I don't know who Mr Campbell provided the wings to, but apparently at least some of  these wings ended up in the Norm Flayderman's auction.

 

This thread (starting at post #54 talks a bit about that)  http://www.usmilitar...on-wings/page-3

 

Although your wing seems to be one of the Dunham variations and isn't the same as the ones in the Flayderman auction.

 

I had a chance to visit the preview of that auction and those wings were pulled before I got there (IIRC), but according to what I understand, the wings were simply glued to the back.

 

As to your wing, maybe you want to carefully use a small pin and see if you can tell how the wings are attached to the backing plate.  Are they glued or are the attached with small "staples" that pass through the backing and are cinched down?  

 

Patrick



#12 hawk3370

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 09:15 AM

Art Grigg, One of the old time wing collectors told me that Duncan Campbell had the dies for these wings.  He had a few made up and gave them to his friends.  The story I heard from Art was that Mr. Campbell made them on his kitchen table by pouring molten lead into the molds and then glued the pieces to a backing (true or not?  I don't know, but that is what I was told).  

 

The suggestion was also that the pictures used in the Campbell book were not vintage badges (as Duncan Cambell supposedly didn't have vintage examples), but were from his experiments using the dies (again, I cannot verify this, it was just what was told to me).

 

I don't know who Mr Campbell provided the wings to, but apparently at least some of  these wings ended up in the Norm Flayderman's auction.

 

This thread (starting at post #54 talks a bit about that)  http://www.usmilitar...on-wings/page-3

 

Although your wing seems to be one of the Dunham variations and isn't the same as the ones in the Flayderman auction.

 

I had a chance to visit the preview of that auction and those wings were pulled before I got there (IIRC), but according to what I understand, the wings were simply glued to the back.

 

As to your wing, maybe you want to carefully use a small pin and see if you can tell how the wings are attached to the backing plate.  Are they glued or are the attached with small "staples" that pass through the backing and are cinched down?  

 

Patrick

 

Patrick is correct in that Duncan never had an original of this badge. He had a couple struck from the dies by a local machine shop but each was marked on the back with the date and identifying it as a repro. and they were glued to a wool backing. I don't know who ended up with the dies after his passing but I haven't seen any of this style showing up on the market. If you can get a look at the back of the wing to see if it has the inscription and date or appears to have been erased that would certainly answer one question.

 

Terry



#13 aff96

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 10:02 AM

I was able to gently peel back the backing, but my lousy camera doesn't seem to have a very good macro setting.

The plate is copper & with a loop couldn't see any letters at all. There are to bases built into the plate that the hardware is soldered on.

Sure hope these 4 (for some reason a couple won't attach to big?)  photos help.

Thanks again for all the help...super-duper forum...great fun!

Greg

 

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#14 aff96

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 10:03 AM

Pic 2

 

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#15 aff96

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 10:03 AM

Pic 3

 

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#16 pfrost

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 02:28 PM

Actually, I meant is the metal part of the wing glued to the fabric?  Most of these Dallas wings were made by soldering a small staple, prong or clip to the back of the wing.  The ends of the prong were then passed through a hole in the fabric and then the backing plate and cinched down.  This held the wing to the plate.  What I was told is that the fakes made by simply glueing the wings to the fabric.

 

Frankly, it almost looks like the wing is glued, as I don't see the end of the little prongs (but that just may be the pictures).

 

Can you carefully look between the wing and the fabric on the front?  Don't do anything to damage the wing, but I think that is where you may find what you are looking for, rather than the back of the wing.

 

Patrick



#17 hawk3370

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 06:32 AM

I was able to gently peel back the backing, but my lousy camera doesn't seem to have a very good macro setting.

The plate is copper & with a loop couldn't see any letters at all. There are to bases built into the plate that the hardware is soldered on.

Sure hope these 4 (for some reason a couple won't attach to big?)  photos help.

Thanks again for all the help...super-duper forum...great fun!

Greg

 

 

Greg
The copper plate is correct for the period, they mostly used copper sometimes zink. Dunham attached its wings to the copper plate by pushing prongs that were attached to the back of the metal wing through the wool covered copper plate and bending them over. Can you see any prongs or small metal wires laying on the back of the copper plate? Also the acid in the thread usually left a black line across the copper where it laid against it. Does this have those lines. this is not fool proof depends on the amount of acid in the thread. One other thing is the solder at the base of the pin and catch bright silver or a dark gray/black. This is always a give away to a recent piece. It takes years for the solder to turn dark and I am told that they cannot fake this process. Solder should be dark.
One final thing, the leather backing on the wing is not what Dunham would have done. They would have had a small piece of leather just covering the stitching which would be much more precise than this is. But it is not uncommon for the wool to have been replaced as moth damage and wear took its toll and usually when recovered the stitching was not perfect as the originals were.

 

Terry



#18 CliffP

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:57 AM

:unsure:

 

There is absolutely no question this particular half-wing badge was made by J. Duncan Campbell for his own personal satisfaction and/or curiosity.  Whether he gave it to someone else may remain unknown but it is definitely his handy work. 

 

Aside from the theories already expressed in this thread, there are two major clues that confirm the badge was made by Duncan.

 

The first is the special black polycoated paper (unique only to Duncan) applied to the back of the badge.  This paper was a classic Duncan Campbell signature technique which he applied to a good number of the authentic badges in his personal collection to keep the delicate 95-year old threads stitched to the fabric from unraveling due to over handling or misuse. Duncan also applied this paper to the back of the Dunham recreations he kept in his collection that were made using the original set of dies he acquired from the son of Dan Dunham back in the 1970s.   Some of those recreations were given to his special friends such as Norm Flayderman

 

The other clue is the amount of nap or fuzz sticking out along the rim of the flawless wool fabric (which shows no trace of visible wear) that Duncan stitched to the back plate.  You won't see this much nap sticking out of any original fabric applied to the back plate of a badge made 95-years ago. 

 

While not an original badge, it is a nice memento made by a wonderful man who did much for the hobby so if you don't have much money invested in it you may want to consider keeping it.

 

Cliff

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Edited by CliffP, 22 September 2013 - 07:59 AM.


#19 aff96

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 08:46 AM

:unsure:

 

There is absolutely no question this particular half-wing badge was made by J. Duncan Campbell for his own personal satisfaction and/or curiosity.  Whether he gave it to someone else may remain unknown but it is definitely his handy work. 

 

Aside from the theories already expressed in this thread, there are two major clues that confirm the badge was made by Duncan.

 

The first is the special black polycoated paper (unique only to Duncan) applied to the back of the badge.  This paper was a classic Duncan Campbell signature technique which he applied to a good number of the authentic badges in his personal collection to keep the delicate 95-year old threads stitched to the fabric from unraveling due to over handling or misuse. Duncan also applied this paper to the back of the Dunham recreations he kept in his collection that were made using the original set of dies he acquired from the son of Dan Dunham back in the 1970s.   Some of those recreations were given to his special friends such as Norm Flayderman

 

The other clue is the amount of nap or fuzz sticking out along the rim of the flawless wool fabric (which shows no trace of visible wear) that Duncan stitched to the back plate.  You won't see this much nap sticking out of any original fabric applied to the back plate of a badge made 95-years ago. 

 

While not an original badge, it is a nice memento made by a wonderful man who did much for the hobby so if you don't have much money invested in it you may want to consider keeping it.

 

Cliff

Thanks Terry!

 

Thanks so much Cliff!

I was also able to determine that the wings/shield were clued on which is not so important now that Terry so kindly identified the genesis of the wing.

Although not an original period piece, this cool wing will not find a home in my ever filled repro-bin, but will remain in the collection as if anything a very nice conversation piece.

Really thank you for the wonderful learning experience.....fun!

Have a great week!

Greg



#20 aff96

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 09:03 AM

Sorry, 1 more question just popped into my noggin.

 

Is it know or guesstimate on how many were made? My guess is not, but....   ;)

 

Welp, off on my hunt for a couple of Junior Pilot Wings!

 

Learning sure is fun!

 

Thanks again!!

 

Greg



#21 pfrost

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:18 AM

Really... REALLY!  I point you in the right direction as to this being something made by Duncan Campbell and you end up thanking Terry and Cliff when they confirm it for you (but not me)?!   :) What am I, Rodney Dangerfield?

 

Sheesh!  :P

 

But seriously, just kidding of course.  Sorry, it didn't turn out to be an original.

 

I do recall hearing that there was some doubt that ANY originals in this pattern were actually ever made.  Some people think that the war ended before they got around to making any badges for sale using this die.

 

Patrick 


Edited by pfrost, 22 September 2013 - 10:19 AM.


#22 aff96

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:30 AM

Hi Patrick,

I humbly apologize for my oversight of not properly thanking you & showing my appreciating thanks for all of your kind assistance. I am forever your servant. :)

Sadly due to my, at times, feeble mental capacity, deteriorating eyesight (I'm blind in 1 eye & can't see out of the other) & due to a brain f*rt, I missed the opportunity to express my thanks, I now thank you with everlasting gratitude!

Greg

 

PS although it's not an original piece this little beauty will find a home in my small & hopefully growing collection.



#23 pfrost

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:51 AM

Seriously, I was just kidding.  

 

 

 

Frankly, I think it is a super cool piece myself.  Just the fact that it came from Duncan Campbell is pretty cool.  I didn't know him nearly as well as some others on this forum, but I did talk to him a couple-3 times on the phone when I was starting out as a collector.  He was a very helpful and kind mentor, always willing to provide any thoughts and advice that he had to give.

 

After all these years, I have yet to hear one disparaging comment about him from anyone--and wing collectors can be notorious for the amount of gossip and lies we spread about each other.

 

P



#24 aff96

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 12:34 PM

Seriously, I was just kidding.  

 

 

 

Frankly, I think it is a super cool piece myself.  Just the fact that it came from Duncan Campbell is pretty cool.  I didn't know him nearly as well as some others on this forum, but I did talk to him a couple-3 times on the phone when I was starting out as a collector.  He was a very helpful and kind mentor, always willing to provide any thoughts and advice that he had to give.

 

After all these years, I have yet to hear one disparaging comment about him from anyone--and wing collectors can be notorious for the amount of gossip and lies we spread about each other.

 

P

Of course all is in good spirits in the band of collectorhood :)

 

I agree 100% about this little jewel & it will sit proudly in my humble beginner's collection as an honor of having belong to one of the masters in the field. I too wish to have known him as in my primary collecting focus, I lucky to know and call many friends, experts in their related fields of expertise. I truly hope for the same opportunities in the AAS/C wing collecting community.

Have a super week P, I look forward to further conversations.

Best,

Greg




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