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New Very Scarce Tri-Tiered Fletching 1939-1940 Wing


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#26 B-17Guy

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 03:28 PM

Wing badge, sterling marked.

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  • First Pat Orber with dress blues 002.jpg
  • First Pat Orber with dress blues 001.jpg


#27 Patchcollector

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 06:55 PM

Good stuff guys!Lot's of excellent info and some great Wings!



#28 mghcal

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 11:39 PM

That's a beautiful dress blue uniform John! The clutchback version has been a lot harder to find than the pinback. I still have yet to find a clutchback.

I'm still curious about the authenticity of a wing of this type which is seldom seen. It's a smooth backed wing that has a feel a lot like that of the LGB wings. The pattern looks identical to all previously posted on this thread at first glance but if you look close it has some unique differences with a square bottom on the shield and some differences in feather lengths. I'm curious what everyone's opinion is on these wings? Are they the fakes everyone keeps avoiding? Sorry for the crap photos. The top wing is the smooth back and the bottom is the pattern posted in this thread that sterling marked.

#29 mghcal

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 11:39 PM

That's a beautiful dress blue uniform John! The clutchback version has been a lot harder to find than the pinback. I still have yet to find a clutchback.

I'm still curious about the authenticity of a wing of this type which is seldom seen. It's a smooth backed wing that has a feel a lot like that of the LGB wings. The pattern looks identical to all previously posted on this thread at first glance but if you look close it has some unique differences with a square bottom on the shield and some differences in feather lengths. I'm curious what everyone's opinion is on these wings? Are they the fakes everyone keeps avoiding? Sorry for the crap photos. The top wing is the smooth back and the bottom is the pattern posted in this thread that sterling marked.

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#30 mghcal

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 11:41 PM

The smooth back. Is this one fake?

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#31 mtnman

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 03:17 AM

GREAT QUESTION! Anyone? it is not the fake type that I encountered. Notice that it does not have the extended flare of the sinister side on this wing as mg pointed out. this is a totally different die. Outstanding inquiry and association mghcal!

#32 rustywings

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 10:47 AM

As a follow-up to Mel's opening comments, pictured below is the wing I have which is commonly referred to as being made by Orber. . .  but there is a theory that it may have also been made at some time later by Amcraft.  Other forum members may wish to post their own view about that but I lean to the theory they were originally made by Orber.

 

The wing in the two photographs is an actual biographical badge, meaning it came directly from its original owner, Col. Charles Polansky, who received it upon graduating on 30 August 1940 with Class 1940-E, Gulf Coast Air Corps Training Center, Advanced Flying School, Kelly Field Texas.  It is made of brass and well plated with Sterling Silver.  Be sure to note it has a snow-flake pattern on the back with no other markings.

 

I have always thought that the designed was first created sometime in 1939 and the USAAC purchased a good number of them to be used as graduation wings since there is no question they was awarded to several flight school graduates during the period between 1940 and 1941.  The design was also available for private purchase in Sterling Silver.  

 

These were handsome badges. . . and similar examples for Senior Pilots have been found including actual photographs of officers wearing them to substantiate how well other pilots liked them. 

 

Cliff

 

I support Cliff's evaluation that Orber was the first company to introduce this deco-pattern Pilot badge in the late 1930's. I also believe Amcraft likely followed suite and produced a very similar badge (if not identical) in the early years of WWII. 

 

After seeing Mike's Pilot badge variation posted above, I wouldn't be surprised to learn a company other than Orber or Amcraft may have also produced a few batches of similar Pilot badges...    
 


Edited by rustywings, 05 June 2015 - 11:16 AM.


#33 rustywings

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 09:12 PM

Here's one currently listed on ebay (#251995979923).  What do you think?  Authentic or reproduction?

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#34 mghcal

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 11:57 PM

I don't like it. There was another one of these posted a few days ago and it sold as a buy it now for $200. What's really concerning is this one had the known fake orber hallmark and the wings with that mark always have a weird texture on the back like a grinder had been taken to it. I think I see the same texture on the one Russ posted as well. I'll note that the one Russ posted is the same exact die used to produce the example I posted on post #29.

http://www.ebay.com/...=p2047675.l2557

#35 CliffP

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 10:34 AM

I agree with Mike.  :dry:     That early "Orber" style wing is a restrike. . . and it is being offered by one of the more notorious sellers of fake badges on eBay. 


Edited by CliffP, 16 June 2015 - 10:36 AM.


#36 rustywings

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 04:39 PM

There's no sneaking anything past Mike or Cliff! We really do have a cadre of intelligent and informed collectors on this Forum! 



#37 mtnman

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 06:08 PM

I have looked at all the picture files I have and have looked throughout the web to ascertain if this type of STAR set atop the authentic wing design in this forum is set atop any other design and I have found no evidence of this. Since the star has not been seen on other wing designs, I posit that the star was designed by the Amcraft or Orber die designers as Cliff has noted to me in the past and Russ noted earlier in this thread. This gives collectors another level of authenticity confirmation, with this factory-specific star as an ID variable. These are spectacular, stand alone, uniquely designed Pilot and Senior Pilot wings, not to mention what looks to me an excellent jeweler modified design of the silver plated brass Senior pilot wing and star, modified with a Wreath behind the star and the standard Pinback replaced with Clutch Pins brazed to the rear to create a one of a kind Command Pilot Badge.

The pilot wings are a very scarce find and carry a fine and striking aesthetic design and the Senior Pilot Wings are Rare indeed and the Unique, Factory Made Star factor adds to the fact that these Senior Pilot wings are a solid identifiable and VERIFIABLE (as authentic) wing.

#38 mtnman

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 03:46 PM

If you would like to see one of the Silver plated Brass Beauties, here it is .......
http://www.ebay.com/...sd=231615037768

#39 rustywings

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 09:52 AM

If you would like to see one of the Silver plated Brass Beauties, here it is .......
http://www.ebay.com/...sd=231615037768

 

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#40 rustywings

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 09:53 AM

If you would like to see one of the Silver plated Brass Beauties, here it is .......
http://www.ebay.com/...sd=231615037768

 

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#41 mtnman

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 01:37 PM

Congratulations to the one who picked up that Beauty!!

I wanted to share with everyone my latest find. As I had mentioned earlier, this has been a wing that from the first, struck me deeply in my appreciation for the aesthetic appearance of the regular pilot wings of both silverplated brass as well as sterling. But what truly stuck in my heart and mind was a wing most spectacular in its design. The wing I prayed I would have the blessing of stewardship over some day, was the Military Airplane Pilot badge which named-pilot photo evidence shows was created shortly after the September 23, 1937 creation of the Military Aviator rating and is actually shown by Duncan as the example of the 1937 Military Airplane Pilot rating wing on page 23 as noted from page 25. These wings had an additional precious element to their construction, precious to the collector who desires authenticity and a discernible path to evidence its creation and duration of use and that was the half-inch star with a standalone unique design specific to the three-tiered fletching wing.

These wings, with the specific star design affixed to the top front region of the shield are one-of-a-kind creations of Air War Art to adorn the Sky Knights; they are of the finest creativity and design. These wings were specifically constructed in the factory for those ordering the Military Aviator or after May 1940, the Senior Pilot designation. It is believed that Orber originated this most excellent design and there are variations regarding the shield and he even between the silver plated brass and the sterling. The silverplated brass has a thicker wing, especially at the shield and the shoulders, with a slight sweep to the ends of each wing. The sterling is a wing constructed flat with a thinner structure of about 15-20% less in thickness. Also at the base of each of the feather structures is something I discovered after cleaning my wing and looking at it under light. At the base of each of the feathers is a slight bevel to the sterling silver just enough to create a small facet of a few millimeters. When the wing is cleaned as the pilot would have worn it, as you move the wing in different directions the light, whether artificial or sunlight catches that facet and fire/light begins to erupt from the wing. It is quite a work of martial art indeed. I've got to go and make my beloved some dinner so blessings in your collecting as always ladies and gentlemen.....

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#42 mtnman

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 01:40 PM

Look for facets at base of fletching....

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#43 mtnman

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 01:41 PM

facets on the sinister (left) side....

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#44 bellasilva

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 01:47 PM

Man I don't even collect wings but that was the most eloquent description I've ever read regarding a piece of militaria. Good on you guys, especially the OP. Nice to see such dedication in all the fields of "stuff" we collect.

#45 mtnman

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 01:47 PM

Look at the thickness relative to the silver plated brass version and the placement of the star at the front of the shield just about parallel with the fess in the chief on the vertical plane and of course the flat nature of the wing itself

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#46 mtnman

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 01:49 PM

Unique angle view

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#47 mtnman

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 01:50 PM

Standing up....wow

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#48 mtnman

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 01:52 PM

Findings shot... Notice the double to 2 1/2 times larger snowflake for starburst pattern then the silver plated brass version

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#49 mtnman

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 01:54 PM

Pin catch shot, notice the difference from the silver plated brass wing.

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#50 mtnman

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 01:57 PM

Notice notice the sterling Mark and its configuration

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