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Examples of Fake Fantasy & Reproduction Wings


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#51 CliffP

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 04:51 PM

Hoping to snag a buyer. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/whistling.gif

eBay Item #110326784842

Need we say more?

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#52 none

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 05:56 PM

I've had this Meyer & Wenthe hallmarked piece for a while and have had different opinions as to its authenticity. It has a ball-type, tuck-in catch and the pin opens a full 180 degrees. If bad I thought it might be one of Mr. ***************'s productions but his remarks suggest otherwise. Comments?
Thanks....Bobgee


This one is real!!!

Joe ***************

#53 none

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 06:00 PM

Here is an interesting WW1 wing badge currently being offer on the Internet for only $1750.00.

At first glance it looks like a Dan Dunham design and is truly inspiring; however, a closer look will reveal many imperfections. Yes, it's sad to say so but this is a cast reproduction which was first offered eight years ago at a large West Coast auction house before being pulled at the last minute.

Caveat Emptor! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/crying.gif


This wing was offered many years ago by the Smithsonian as a fund raiser. A small number were sold by the museum. The three wings are glued to the cloth.

#54 CliffP

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 04:48 AM

Here is an interesting WW1 wing badge currently being offer on the Internet for only $1750.00.

At first glance it looks like a Dan Dunham design and is truly inspiring; however, a closer look will reveal many imperfections. Yes, it's sad to say so but this is a cast reproduction which was first offered eight years ago at a large West Coast auction house before being pulled at the last minute.

Caveat Emptor!

This wing was offered many years ago by the Smithsonian as a fund raiser. A small number were sold by the museum. The three wings are glued to the cloth.


Sorry to disagree with you but the Smithsonian never offered that wing badge as a fund raiser.

In truth, it along with two others made by the same faker re-surfaced once again when "Butterfields" in San Francisco was to auction off The Norm Flayderman Collection of Vintage Aviation Memorabilia on Tuesday, November 14, 2000. Subsequently, the three fake badges (items 4474, 4475 and 4476) were pulled from the auction by Greg Martin, director of Butterfields Arms and Armor department after being informed of the oversight.

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Edited by cwnorma, 18 January 2009 - 10:16 AM.
Removed remark


#55 none

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 07:50 AM

Sorry to disagree with you but the Smithsonian never offered that wing badge as a fund raiser.

In truth, it along with two others made by the same faker re-surfaced once again when "Butterfields" in San Francisco was to auction off The Norm Flayderman Collection of Vintage Aviation Memorabilia on Tuesday, November 14, 2000. Subsequently, the three fake badges (items 4474, 4475 and 4476) were pulled from the auction by Greg Martin, director of Butterfields Arms and Armor department after being informed of the oversight.



I have one of these and took it apart. I was told by Duncan, it was a fund raiser fo the Smithsonian and they had them made. While Butterfield may have pulled it, that does not changed the fact that the Smithsonian had them made and sold them.

Edited by cwnorma, 18 January 2009 - 10:16 AM.
Removed remark


#56 CliffP

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 08:33 AM

I have one of these and took it apart. I was told by Duncan, it was a fund raiser fo the Smithsonian and they had them made. While Butterfield may have pulled it, that does not changed the fact that the Smithsonian had them made and sold them.

Unfortunately Duncan Campbell is no longer with us to defend himself; however, Craig Martin with Butterfields is and it was after a telephone call by me to Duncan that he contacted the auction house to inform them of the oversight. :dry:

The Smithsonian never had the badges made.

#57 graham

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:19 AM

Paul,

Here is something about some fake US Airborne wings posted at the bottom of the website below:

Reproductions & Fakes - U.S. Airborne & Elite Unit Insignia by Les Hughes
http://www.insigne.org/Fakes-I-Abn.htm
http://www.insigne.o.../Gaunt-fake.jpg

I have seen US airborne wings like these appearing in the UK, although I havnt seen them on cards. the ones I have looked at were all badly stamped STERLING usually reading STER or LING. I have seen them marked J R GAUNT. KG LUKE. and BEASLEY. They are all the same pattern para wing. they dont look like silver to me either, more like white metal [nickel] I have also seen them with small bronze EGAs and medical insignias applied to them.

#58 CliffP

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 11:00 AM

In context with posts #26, 27, 28 and 29 in this thread, here is what is claimed to be a U. S. Army Junior and Reserve Aeronaut wing badge similar to one recently seen in a publication dealing with lighter-than-air insignia; however, they are not authentic. Let us hope no member of this forum falls for the charade. :unsure:

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#59 CliffP

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:28 PM

Caveat emptor folks!

Here is a fake (not a reproduction) wire embroidery Airship pilot wing badge to look out for. Examples of this one along with other similar constructed wing badges starting showing up about seven or eight years ago when a dealer out of Oregon started peddling them on eBay. Since then a number of collectors have been fooled into buying this pattern Airship pilot badge.

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Edited by John Cooper, 30 January 2009 - 08:35 PM.


#60 CliffP

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 09:56 AM

http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif
Here is a really wild one to feast your eyes on.

This naughty boy :dry: was offered for sale with a reserve on eBay back in 1999.
Can't say for sure if it sold or not but be forewarned; the mold for another one is
probably still warm and its offspring could hit the market in the near future.

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Edited by CliffP, 28 January 2009 - 10:14 AM.


#61 pfrost

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:11 AM

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/think.gif
Here is a really wild one to feast your eyes on.

This naughty boy :dry: was sold on eBay back in 1999 but be forewarned; the mold for it is probably still warm and one more may hit the market in the near future.


A few years ago, someone sent me a picture of a wings similar to this one and wanted my opinion. It was being sold cheap, and I recall saying that I didn't like the metal it was made out of, as it was some sort of tinny pot metal.

It sounds like that new book on balloon wings isn't really worth the paper it is printed on?

Patrick

#62 John Cooper

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:21 PM

Cliff - did you happen to have a photo of the reverse of the wing? If not but you know what it looks like can you discribe it i.e. material, weave, color... additionally the bullion looks very bright with no evidence of an tarnish real or simulated.

John

#63 CliffP

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 08:17 PM

:unsure:
John, it is not a complete picture of the back; however, the wing badge had two lug nut type posts attached to it. The separate back plate was made of brass rather than silver, with two holes drilled through it for the wing badge posts to passed through before being tighten down by two oval top screw fasteners.

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#64 John Cooper

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:28 PM

Hi Cliff - I actually was speaking about the bullion airship wing ;)

John

#65 John Cooper

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 06:57 PM

I wanted to add a bit of background information I have about the airship wing in question. In the new Balloon book there is a similar wing listed on page 43 WB-42. According to my information the wing is part of a musuem collection and has been there for 20 years from a family who can trace it back to the 1950s.

I do not have the name of the museum yet nor any other facts at this point but I am sure once the name of the museum in San Antonio it would be easy for someone near there to check it out.

Now if examples popped up in the recent past maybe there were copies of this wing http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif

John

#66 CliffP

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 01:47 AM

John, may I make a reasonable suggestion, one that could save time and should remove any doubt or speculation the wing pictured in the book might really be legitimate rather than a fake like most of the others seen in that book?

In post number 59 of this tread I have posted a (color) screenshot of a fake balloon pilot wing. Why donít you post a good screenshot of the wing pictured in the book on page 43, WB-42 Ö the Balloon book you were referring too?

By comparing the outlines and construction of the wing badge in the two pictures our forum members might be able to decide for themselves if the wing seen in post number 59 and the one in the book are really one and the same? I think it would be an interesting and fun exercise in detective work donít you agree? ;)

Now to add some addition mystery to this exercise, should there be an agreement that both are really one and the same, then where did I obtain the (color) picture of the badge seen in post number 59? It must have come from the same source right ... or should I say from that unknown museum in Texas? http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif

Cliff

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Edited by John Cooper, 30 January 2009 - 08:43 PM.


#67 Paul C.

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 06:08 AM

Another wing to be careful of:

d296_1.jpg d2cc_1.jpg

The wing above sold for over $500 on eBay recently. I do NOT know for a fact that THIS particular wing is a re-strike BUT I want everyone to be aware that these were re-stuck, from the original dies in the 1980's and were still being offered at a local show here as of 3 years ago for about $80. I almost bought one (which would have broken my rule about buying fakes :rolleyes: ) because they were almost indistinguishable from the originals, but I decided to pass. I handled one extensively, the restikes looked EXACTLY like the wing pictured above. The wing below was offered for sale by a dealer I know and trust, as part of a named group with provinance

3fec_1.jpg 4024_1.jpg

Very similar! So Be Careful Out There!

Paul

Edited by Paul C., 30 January 2009 - 06:09 AM.


#68 pfrost

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 09:02 AM

Good call Paul, I had heard the same thing. In fact, I had heard from my "sources" that the trick is the center device and how it is made/enameled. I also heard that the hallmarks are a bit different between the two wings. The one sold on EBay is more than likely one of the restrikes (IMHO) and so if someone were interested in adding a wing like this to their collection, they may want to CAREFULLY study the pictures of that particular wing and compare them to others with a more rock solid provenance.

As for the new book on lighter than air wings. It has been my experience that these type of book either fly on their own merits or are relegated to the trash heaps of time.

Both Campbell's and Morris' books suffer from bad pictures with little useful detail (ie pictures of the back, discussion of hallmarks, etc), but they seemed to have been very careful to only show what the could authenticate as good wings, and so have stood up well over time. Some variations of WWI wings are missing, but by the same token, many of the more common fakes that would normally be expected to be in a collection of WWI wings (we all make mistakes) are absent. If any weakness exists on the two WWI books is that they really are kind of thin on the bullion examples of WWI wings. As a blatant attempt to curry favor with the moderators, this forum has perhaps one of the finest reference libraries of spectacular and legitimate WWI bullion wings anywhere. Many of the items have impeccable provenance and research associated with them. Plus, the pictures are much better than anything shown in any other book.

I can not speak to the new Balloon wings book, because I have not seen it yet. Nor can I speak to any specific wing, but I have to say, about 20 years ago, I recall seeing at the Great Western Gun show a fair number of bullion (on black wool as well as the green gaberdine material) airship and balloon wings that were very similar to the one shown by Cliff. Some of the wings were very heavily tarnished by chemical means. The general consensus at the time amongst the "experts" that I knew, was that these were all fakes. At about the same time, I recall that a large number of fake USAAF squadron patches from England were also making their debut on the militaria circuit. Also, twenty years ago, I was just starting out as a collector, and recall being told that many of the fakes had already been around from the previous 20 years or so. So, provenance that goes back 20 or even 40 years may be of little value, since some of these fakes have been around for a rather long time.

As for museum provenance, that is one of those very murky situations. A careful search on USMF site will find at least 2 cases of museum collections being looted. One by an old member here (AKA DevilDan) and the "great" Smithsonian Airborne Collection fiasco. It doesnt take much for a curator or researcher to gain access to items in a museum and steal or trade them out with fake items, often without the original owners ever being the wiser. Again, I have no idea if this is the situation here, but I have always felt that "museum provenance" is the worst type of provenance you can have. Just my 2cents.

Patrick

Edited by pfrost, 30 January 2009 - 09:03 AM.


#69 pfrost

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:02 PM

Howdy John,

Concerning the wings, a couple of things first need to be considered. First, the pictures are rather poor, with little detail, no close up views, and no image of the back. On top of that, bullion work is always a nightmare to consider because of its rather difficult nature to authenticate. Finally, comparisons of "known" originals with current examples are very difficult because of the relative scarcity of the wings.

I have one picture of a bullion airship wing being worn (from this thread http://www.usmilitar...d...&hl=airship )
and from a group of photos, can present this bullion wing. I think the ONLY thing that can be said is that the example in the photo does NOT seem to be the same pattern as the one in the post.

However, having handled some 2o's and 30's vintage bullion pilot wings, and just a few WWI vintage pilot wings, the bullion on the airship wing just doesn't seem to compare that well. Of course, this is purely subjective, but it is the best we can do at this point.

I think that with most bullion wings from the pre-WWII period, you tend to find multiple types of bullion being used (not always, but usually). Jsut some thoughts for now.

P

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Edited by pfrost, 30 January 2009 - 12:06 PM.


#70 CliffP

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:22 PM

John,

So now that the two images have been posted below in exact scale why not continue the discussion with the current badge in question.

Cheers,

Cliff

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Edited by John Cooper, 30 January 2009 - 08:49 PM.


#71 Paul C.

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:57 PM

I don't usually comment on the WWI stuff, but I have to go with Cliff on this one, those wings came off of the same machine. If you look at the "tail-fins" it just jumps out. I have not read the book in question, I don't know any of the "players", but this one seems obvious.
Fakes end up in reference books all the time by mistake, ask Chris Armold author of Steel Pots. Also, I know of a case that happened years ago concerning a well known (at the time) Indiana collector of WWI uniforms know faked up a bunch of WWI patches using period materials put on uniforms and got them published in a reference book unbeknownst to the author. These things happen!

Paul

#72 Gary Cain

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:59 PM

Hi Cliff,

Based on these pictures I believe the wings to be extraordinarily close, but not the same wing but definately from the same hand or machine. There is a semi circle above the front part of the gas bag in the color photo that is not in the B&W. Also the bottom feather on the right side turns up faster in the color photo than in the B&W photo. Finally it looks like the basket of the B&W example is made up of 10 threads while the color version is made up of 11 slightly smaller threads.


Cheers
Gary

Edited by John Cooper, 30 January 2009 - 08:50 PM.


#73 pfrost

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 03:40 PM

The problem with any discussion of airship wings is that so few wings exist. Basically, if you have ever actually seen one in person or been lucky enough to own one, then you are an expert. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/pinch.gif

Outside of that, spending a few moments on examples of the wings shown in only a few resources, makes us all about equal in knowledge.

For example, I would direct people to Bob's wonderful site where at least 2 other examples of bullion airship wings can be seen here: http://www.ww2wings....ipballoon.shtml

I think a third example of bullion airship wings can be seen in the second Pinks and Greens book. Finally, I think Mr. Campbell illustrates one or two bullion airship wings in his book.

Now once everyone has looked at these 5-6 examples, we have likely covered just about the whole range of referenced bullion airship wings in the world! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/w00t.gif AND thus, for just about everyone here (except maybe a few of the lucky ones) we have the same knowledge base. I know that I would have nothing else to offer since my experience comes from those sources alone.

Still, some valid questions could be asked just on the wings themselves. (1) how does the construction of the different wings using bullion compare. (2) are the style of bullion used and the techniques similar or dissimilar. (3) What is the range of the workmanship and quality of bullion between the different examples. (4) Is the aging and patina of the bullion consistent with something of that time period?

IMHO, a fair and accurate analysis of the wings in question do not favor them in comparison with the other examples.

Some other general questions can also be asked pertaining to general bullion work from the 1920's and 1930's. The second Pinks and Greens book has a very nice collection of bullion wings from that era. One could ask, does the wing in question share similar construction traits with these wings? Since the photos are so poor, it is hard to know for sure, but IMHO (again) the wings in question are lacking.

In addition to comparison with known wings of this vintage, one point that sometimes gets forgotten is that bullion insignia (like just about everything else) likely had a range of quality--from very high and very expensive to pedestrian and workman like. I suspect that if you were going to be in a uniform that was going to be exposed to the daily grind and tear of flying, you may not have wanted your most expensive and impressive insignia on it. As collectors, we tend to "self select" what we like and the really good, high quality wings tend to stick around, while the less impressive stuff gets set aside. So, one could ask, is this an example of a poor quality BUT vintage wing, that just doesnt stand up to some of the other stuff around. I cant answer that question, but it is possible, I guess.

Of perhaps less validity, but more interest for its "gossip" factor is the story involved in the wing. How does the provenance hold up to scrutiny? One would like to know what the real story is behind this wing. Heck, we could all end up with egg on our face if the museum actually has rock solid provenance (say a photo of the original owner handing it over to the museum!)

On a related question, are their other examples of this wing in the "fake category" that have already been identified? Sometimes, collectors get into herd mentalities, and lose sight of facts that sometimes an old stock of wings come available. I can tell you guys a couple of stories about that...but lets save that for another thread. Still, when a large number of super rare wings show up in the market and many have been fooled with to make them more acceptable (like chemically aging or putting on uniforms, etc) then the prudent collector may say....wait a moment. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbdown.gif It has been along time since I have seen a bullion airship wing, but I do recall seeing them in excess about 15-20 years ago at the Great Western. Again, I can't say that the wing in this thread is of that same family of those wings that (at the time were accepted as fakes) but it sure does remind me of them. Of course, at that time I was even more ignorant and foolhardy than I am now, so measuring a wing based on my feelings of almost 2 decades ago is not likley a good idea ;) :lol:

This thread has been fun because it gives folks a chance to look at some of the better known fantasy and fake wings that (IMHO yet again) many of the experienced collectors get so upset about-- because we seem to watch a never ending stream of novices getting bitten by them over and over again. My first lesson on fakes was given to me by a kindly dealer who nicely pointed out to me where all the other guys fakes were...then tried to sell me a similar fake off his table. The beauty of this thread is that a good number of experienced collectors can share the information in a non-confrontational manner. But, lets not be naive and think that once you start pointing out what you think are fakes (especially when they are in someone ELSE's collection), you are going to get some hurt feelings. I would urge (humbly yet again) that the moderators let some of the steam blow around the discussions and that people not get to upset. I kind of feel its better to have hard feelings on some posts in this thread than to have some hard blows to the wallet.

Patrick

Edited by pfrost, 30 January 2009 - 03:47 PM.


#74 pfrost

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 05:58 PM

Here is another bullion airship wing of rather "questionable" vintage being offered as "the real deal". The negatives on this wing are rather obvious.

1) This wing seems to have been embroidered on a remanent of an old wool blanket.
2) The bullion work is simple and of only one type.
3) The detail is lacking any real workmanship
4) It depends on the use of heavy black thread to outline feathers, the blimp, etc.
5) The Patina on the front doesn't really look real
6) No wear or tear on the front of the wing, but when one looks at the back, you can see lots of wear.

I don't think that this wing is an especially difficult call, as it likely NOT being from the 1920's or 30's.

Thus, this may serve as a baseline for further discussion. I always like to spend time studying what I consider rock-solid examples of fakes, as in general, they always seem to 1) be more numerous than the real things, and 2) be of lesser quality than the real things.

Patrick

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#75 CliffP

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 07:15 PM

:rolleyes:
Patrick, here is an interesting biographical (authentic) Airship pilot badge similar to the one seen in your post #79. You won't find this one on Bob's website but you might enjoy comparing it to the one in your post #86. Please note that the black wool background material was eaten away by moths exposing the white (linen) buckram but other than that it is intact.

Cliff
;)

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