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HOW TO SPOT ANGUS AND COOTE TRUE WINGS


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#51 MikeK

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 10:32 AM

Too late to edit the above post - obviously it's another Bombardier! It currently lives next to an A&C Navigator though!

 

Regards

Mike



#52 mtnman

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Posted 01 May 2015 - 06:12 AM

OK Gentlemen, here is an interesting variation on the typical RIVETED Lettered Angus & Coote Wings. The USUAL/TYPICAL design of the Counterfeit A&C lettered wing is likely modeled after the riveted "G" on the A&C Glider in MSWPG, but the counterfeiters/thieves did not stop their, they stamped out versions of AT LEAST the "S" (Service Pilot) as seen here and likely ALL the Lettered A&C Wings ("S", "G", "L") WITHOUT THE RIVETS, JUST LIKE THE ACTUAL WINGS DESIGN as Mike has so Astutely Discerned and so Kindly Shared with us to further protect us from these thieves OR those who sell in ignorance of the counterfeit nature of their wings, which this thread you have all created, will certainly help with rectifying.

Below we have a wing being offered right now by a Canadian militaria store site which has much good in his inventory, but is NOT perfect, as none of us are. That is why we must always be very discerning and never buy with emotion but with disciplined consideration and research. Remember the old adage, if you see something that is too good to be true, it most likely is. Slow down and verify, and this will bring not just a fine collection of authentic wings, but discipline into other areas of your life as well.

Now to the wing.... Note immediately the "S" on the shield and the typical A&C design of the obverse and then look at the reverse and WOW! NO RIVETS! Do not get excited if you see no rivets on A&C Lettered Wings because the authentication process has JUST begun. Once you verify there are no rivets THEN put your experience regarding the rear of the A & C pilot wings, as delineated on this thread, to work and you will see clearly that these are by no means authentic A & C wings of a Service Pilot or any other pilot. This puts a little more ammunition in our belt to take down these not so masterful reproductions of one of the most unique, finest, most masculine, strength projecting designs of Army Air Force wings during World War II. Blessings as always in your quest to compile collections which reflect the most poignant times in our nation's history.

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#53 pfrost

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 12:12 PM

Here is another AC pilot wing that I picked up a few months ago.  It is very dirty and grungy and pretty well worn.  I couldn't get a good picture in good light, so it is hard to see some of the detail.  Clearly not one of the recent reproductions.

 

It has a number of the flaws that one looks for on an AC wing.  The details look softer than they are because of the lighting problems and because of the grime and dirt.

 

Notice that there is something missing.... the hallmark!

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#54 pfrost

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 12:16 PM

For some reason, someone carefully defaced the hallmark.  It was done a long time ago, I think.  Not sure why they would do this? 

 

In fact, in hand, it is very hard to even see that the hallmark was actually removed.  Go figure--just something different to look at.

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#55 mtnman

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 02:12 PM

Now Patrick, that is something to see!! Thanks!

#56 MikeK

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 06:52 AM

Hi Patrick,

 

Definitely an interesting variation!

 

The only time I have seen maker markings removed (period done) was when an item was believed to have been onsold to another retailer. Eg in this case, a small firm may have bought a few from A&C and removed the A&C logo before selling them. I'm not sure why they'd have removed the STG. SIL. though (maybe too hard to remove one without removing the other?). The obverse pic does seem to indicate strike marks from the reverse affecting the fine line details. One other possibility (remote I think) is that this example was struck before the A&C/Silver wording was worked into the die.

 

Regards

Mike



#57 Patchcollector

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 08:51 AM

Now that is interesting!The pin and catches look pretty massive too.Looks like it was worn though.



#58 BROBS

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 10:48 AM

It looks like a very cleanly cast and then cleaned-up even more casting of an original?

 

-Brian



#59 rustywings

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 02:59 PM

In keeping with Angus & Coote authentic badges vs reproduction badges, here's an expensive cast stinker currently listed on ebay (#311357535608) looking for an unsuspecting buyer... 

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#60 BROBS

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 03:05 PM

did they even make USN wings at all RC?

 

and Patrick.. do you think yours minus hallmark could be a very well made CBI wing modeled from an original A&C???

The more I look at it and the more I think about it... I have postulated this theory. : )

 

-Brian



#61 pfrost

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 03:57 PM

You never want to say never, but I don't think this wing is cast.  I think it is exactly what it appears to be, a grubby Angus and Coote wing that someone defaced the hallmark off of for some reason.  I don't actually have in it with me right now, otherwise I would take some better pictures.  I paid very little for it, and don't have any worries with it being in my collection.  It is what it is.
 
I hear what you are saing BROBs, as someone else once said to me that they thought the wing was an attempt to counteract the "too good" reproductions by making a cast wing that "was too bad" in order to fool collectors anew.  So, they made a cast wing that was good enough not to appear cast, but bad enought no to be perfect, and then took off the hallmark so well that you can't really tell it had a hallmark, so that people wouldn't think the hallmark was too perfect...I don't buy into that theory for a second, myself.
 
Ironicially enough, I have 2 other AC wings, a pilot wing that someone clipped off the catch and hinge so that they could epoxy a couple of thumb tacks on the back in order to facilitate it being put up on a bulletin board at a VFW hall and an aircrew wing that some chowder head started to saw down the middle (I assume to was their plane to make jewelry) and just stopped before they cut the darn thing in half! I seem to be destined to never have an undamaged AC wing in my collection.
 
As for defaced hallmarks, I have found more than a few wings like that.  I have a S.E. Eby wing that has had the whole hallmark removed for some reason (you can JUSSSTTTT barly make out the remenants), and I had a nice AECo gilt flight surgeon wing whose hallmark was also defaced.  I have no idea why these things happened.  Everyone is familiar with Orber wings, of course.

Edited by pfrost, 11 May 2015 - 03:59 PM.


#62 Patchcollector

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 06:08 PM

When I saw Patricks Wing I felt that it had enough of the "tells" on it to be real.The A-C Wings are not known for their "quality control" and their overall less than perfect appearance is viewed as a positive indicator of their authenticity when inspecting them.Why the hallmark is missing may remain a mystery forever.If more turned up,then it would seem that some were made intentionally without the marks,but if this example is singular,it probably was done by(or for) the owner,for whatever reason,IMO.



#63 BROBS

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 06:11 AM

You never want to say never, but I don't think this wing is cast.  I think it is exactly what it appears to be, a grubby Angus and Coote wing that someone defaced the hallmark off of for some reason.  I don't actually have in it with me right now, otherwise I would take some better pictures.  I paid very little for it, and don't have any worries with it being in my collection.  It is what it is.
 
I hear what you are saing BROBs, as someone else once said to me that they thought the wing was an attempt to counteract the "too good" reproductions by making a cast wing that "was too bad" in order to fool collectors anew.  So, they made a cast wing that was good enough not to appear cast, but bad enought no to be perfect, and then took off the hallmark so well that you can't really tell it had a hallmark, so that people wouldn't think the hallmark was too perfect...I don't buy into that theory for a second, myself.

 

Patrick,

I don't mean to say it's a fake made to fool at all.  But a maybe a wing made by a CBI craftsman modeled after another guy's A&C wings.

From the back it looks much softer on the strike than the other maker marked A&C wings.. and has an interesting pebbling to it.

 

It could very well be an A&C wing with a removed mark.. but how was the mark removed?  You can still see the rectangle where it should be but it looks soft edged.

This could be from buffing it but I don't see any marks to suggest that.

 

Regardless of what it is it's a very nice wing and I feel for sure from the WW2 period as either A&C wings or CBI modeled after A&C.

 

Just the opinion and ponderings of an inexperienced wing collector.  :)

-Brian



#64 pfrost

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 07:44 AM

I didn't think you thought it was fake, so no worries my friend.

 

What it appears to be is that someone carefully scrapped and gouged the hallmark off and then worked over the rest of the area with a small chisel or gouge, giving it a "stippled" look.  When I first found the wing, I could't tell if it had a hallmark or not and initially thought it may have been a variation of a non-hallmarked AC wing.  However, if the angle of the light is right, you can see the work that they did.

 

I think in this view, you can see what they did a bit better.

 

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#65 pfrost

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 07:52 AM

Maybe this one is even better.  You can see the uneven aspects of where the hallmark was originally located.  I think they first gouged the hallmark out (rather than trying to buff it out), which is why it looks kind of uneven and "wavy".  Then, they apparently used a small pick or chisel to cut away the hallmark even more, giving it a stippled effect.  At a couple of places, you can see where the even hit the edge of the raised section.  I think that is what gives this section a less sharp relief.  You can also see sections where they didn't do work on the area, especially in the upper left corners.

 

Again, I have no idea why they would have done this :unsure: .

 

It seems that it was done by someone who knew what he was doing.  One idea that comes to mind is that the wing may not be sterling silver and they defaced it for that reason.  I had read that AECo had a problem with sterling marked wings that weren't in fact sterling silver.  They (apparently) were fined and had to remove or deface the incorrectly marked wings).  I suspect that my gilt filght surgeon wing was defaced for that reason as I was clearly not sterling silver (It looked like brass to me). 

 

Again, who knows.....

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Edited by pfrost, 12 May 2015 - 07:55 AM.


#66 CliffP

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 05:39 PM

:huh:

Here is another interesting example of an Angus & Coote hallmarked pilot wing.  Can it be trusted?

                                             

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#67 MikeK

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 06:37 PM

:huh:

Here is another interesting example of an Angus & Coote hallmarked pilot wing.  Can it be trusted?

                                             

 

Aside from the grainy pics, I'm not really seeing any difference between this example and the recent fakes throughout the thread.

 

Regards

Mike
 



#68 mtnman

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 05:08 PM

The absence of all notable characteristics confirming the identity of an authentic Angus and Coote World War 2 period manufactured set of pilot wings is patently evident.

#69 CliffP

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 06:31 AM

:unsure:

The well known dealer who knows better has just posted on his website that it's ON HOLD for $250.

 

The absence of all notable characteristics confirming the identity of an authentic Angus and Coote World War 2 period manufactured set of pilot wings is patently evident.

 



#70 aclfan

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 09:34 AM

I know this post is quite old, but I recently came across this set of pilot wings, that I am 90% sure they are fake, but wanted to run the images by the forum for confirmation.187-1.jpg 187-2.jpg 187-4 resized.jpg



#71 pfrost

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 09:38 AM

I would agree that these are reproductions.  I don't see the "tells" at first glance. This is/was a great thread and should be pinned I think?  It probably saved many hundreds of $$$ for many collectors.

 

Patrick



#72 tarbridge

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 09:59 AM

Pinned.

#73 Flightpath

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Posted 06 October 2018 - 02:57 PM

Just for your information...

at least 35 years ago I purchased an Angus & Coote AAF pilot wing from a collectors store in Melbourne, Australia where I lived.

I kept it with my small collection of 5th AF items. Not long after, on a visit to a friend near Melbourne, her father (WW2 Australian Army medic in New Guinea) pulled out a box of badges, in it was an Angus & Coote Technical Observer wing (how rare could that be?). He picked it out and gave it to me..... these were the only two AAF wings I owned for many years.

In 2000 I moved to Norway and married, in need of funds I put both sets of Angus & Coote wings on a website for sale, I received a call from John Vargas wanting to buy both wings, and so he did.

So if anyone wants to see a set of Angus & Coote Technical Observer wings they can ask John to post here or email some photos to them....
I wish I had some decent photos of them but I've only very bad quality old photos of them within my collection.

cheers, John

#74 pfrost

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 12:16 PM

I wanted to add a recent pick up.. a A&G service pilot wing that I picked up a bit ago (thanks to mghcal for the tip!).  This is a very nice thread and it would behoove anyone who wants to buy an A&G wing to study this discussion carefully.

 

The base is a good A&G pilot wing, with a soldered on "S" in a shield.

 

I suppose it is always possible that someone tried to jazz up a good A&G pilot wing to a service pilot rating.  But I don't think that is the case here.

 

P

 

 

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#75 Glider-borne

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 05:47 PM

Hello, 

 

I don't understand, all A&G hallmarked wings are counterfeit ?

I start a glider wings collection, mainly for the name of the first owner and his history.  

But collect original variants is nice, as well copies. Just want to know the true about each piece for share correctly informations.

 

I bought this A&G to a professional (and friend) who I know since many years.

So I need to put this wings in the counterfeit wings box ? ( "&" on the counterfeit wings is vertically set to perfection)

 

 

P1047436-copie.jpg

 

P1047439-copie.jpg


Edited by Glider-borne, 06 August 2019 - 05:47 PM.



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