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Original USMC M1892 Officer's Helmet Insignia


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#1 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 10:30 AM

All, frankly I am dubious of the claim made here. I for one do not share the same sediments of the seller as to the originality of this emblem. Aside from never seeing or hearing reference to this design in a 3” x3” dimensions, there is simply no historical mention in the context outside of the well-known shako helmet EGA. Aside from this, the “design shown simply fails to exhibit any similarities to known stamped pieces of the period – in fact, this piece is in fact devoid of any of the detailing known to exist on “die-stamps” EGA’s of the period. And the excessive flash about the perimeter contradicts the seller’s reference to being worked upon by a jeweler, as well as the crudely done screwpost arrangement with nut. How ironic... the screwpost most closely associated with emblems of the 20/30’s ends up on the back of this and how ironic a cut-down screw is used on the back of the eagle. Well in turning attention to the front we see a period design of lat/longs and molded continents as prescribed – but – were is the detail – and that is the issue throughout the stamped piece, very light and soft details. The metal descibed with this piece ought to have sharp and defined lat/longs! Anyone knows that in observing EGA’s the front details are sharp – strong and when the eblem is used, shoul depict highlight wear only unless its been polished and polished, but again, detail would remain untouched in the recessed areas of the anchor and eagle. The overall appearence of the front is "soft" and thoughout the pattern. Look at the reverse of this eagle – no details whatsoever in the individual feathers – the place it should show the strongest. Look closely how the “hawser” AKA – anchor rope – crosses the anchor in this stamped piece, one area was missed entirely and across the top barely stamped. And as for “its patina” I see some very strange discolorations in areas were it does not belong as well as in places were typical wear would never allow this to occur – even in instances were discontinued use would allow patina to develop. All in all, its my two cents this emblem falls into the category of “fantasy”

From the seller (turnlin's) listing:

Original, scarce variant pattern of the USMC officer’s M1892 dress helmet frontplate. While conforming in concept and size (3 ¼ in. [8 cm.] tall; 3 1/8 in. [7.8 cm. wide]) to regulation insignia, this version differs from the standard in several respects. Compared to the issue varieties, the sheet stock from which this piece was stamped is relatively light, and is copper rather than brass. As can be seen from the photos, the eagle’s configuration is distinctly different, while the designs of the globe and anchor vary slightly from the norm. Initially die-stamped, this frontplate was further defined with jeweler’s hand-chasing on the details of the eagle’s talons, andwing and breast feathers; the anchor’s hawser; the outlines of the continents; and the longitude and latitude lines. Highly-polished, the insignia was then gilded and silvered in the regulation locations for an officer’s frontplate, resulting in a truly handsome piece. Most of the plating is now gone, and high points have been polished down to the copper base metal. The affixing hardware on the frontplate’s reverse is unusual too, consisting of two beefy brass machine screws soldered in place and fitted with square-cut nuts. I have shown this example to several collectors and dealers, and while nobody can state with certainty its exact provenenance, nor cite a reference for its unusual configuration, none has ever seen anything like it, and most believe that it was crafted by a highly skilled Chinese jeweler, ca. 1905-1910. (I know there are some extraordinarily knowledgeable collectors of Marine EGAs out there, so if anybody has anything more difinitive, please share.)

Rest of the description here: http://cgi.ebay.com/...I...A:IT&ih=013

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  • phoney_ega1.jpg


#2 bobgee

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 11:25 AM

Darrell - I agree with your observations exactly. Don't know what it is - - - but it's not anything I've ever seen or heard of.. Meets no known USMC Regulation standard......as we used to say back in my TR days, "Late war? Theatre made? Might be real?" Not something I need in my collection. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbdown.gif
Semper Fi....Bobgee

#3 KurtA

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 12:08 PM

Insignia "crafted by a skilled Chinese Jewler" (or any other "skilled" jeweler") wouldn't be stamped-out. It would have a solid back.
Kurt

#4 Jeremiah

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 12:23 PM

I've been looking for an image of it for a little bit, but this piece is clearly based on a WW1 to the '30s era sweetheart piece. It's usually seen in sterling with a vertical pin. Maybe Brig has one of the sweethearts he can post for comparison?

#5 Brig

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 02:02 PM

is this the one you refer to?

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#6 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 02:39 AM

Tim, I think Jeremiah is referring the similarities of this pin more often than not called a "sweetheart": (from Bobgee collection)

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#7 Brig

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 01:13 PM

I think they're based off the same thing, the one you posted is just larger and better detailed. but it shows better comparrison

#8 Jeremiah

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 04:21 PM

Bingo! The big one is it! I've also seen it in sterling with the pin type I mentioned earlier.

#9 usmcaviator

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 06:38 PM

In my opinion, this emblem never existed and was "dreamed up" by a creative person. Having 6 original 1892 helmet EGAs (officer, enlisted and Band versions) in my collection and having sold about the same amount, it exhibits none of the characteristics of an old original 1892 spiked helmet plate. The seller does sell a fair amount of self described put-together items as well as a lot of parts items. He has a white spiked helmet with a repo officer's 1876 shield that he has been trying to sell for a while. This one is a no brainer.
Mike

#10 USMCRaiderGirl

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 06:57 PM

Interesting information. Came upon this post while searching for info on a spiked helmet I am looking to get. Seems recently a spike helmet sold on ebay by the same seller and for $750!!! He claims it was a legit helmet but fake/repro EGA. I assume this one is more of the same that you guys mentioned about fantasy helmets?

At least the seller says it is such a good repro it may take on a "life of its own" later as an original. Sounds kind of shady to me though.

http://cgi.ebay.com/...em=230291472211

Original USMC M1892 enlisted fulldress spiked helmet, complete, totally regulation, and in near-mint condition. It is also all-original, with the exception of the frontplate. However, the latter—which started life as an excellent reproduction—has been improved by conversion to “open-beaked,” “Type II” (wire-fastened) configuration, with a real gilded surface. It is now indistinguishable from an original—and may take on the proverbial “life of its own” as a result, some time in the future.

The helmet body is of pressed felt, per Marine Uniform Regulations, and was manufactured in 1902. Three ink stampings on the sweatband’s reverse give plenty of manufacture and inspection information (see photo): “Wm. Horstmann Co. / Philadelphia / Contract of Feb. 10, 1902;” “Chas. F. Sackett / Inspector;” “QMD Phila / [illegible].” This shell is in near-new condition, with no cracks, dents, mothing, fading, soiling, or other damage. Its leather components—the “helmet band,” sweatband, visor and cape linings, and edge trimming are all in excellent shape. The sweatband shows very minor wear (like one or two times out), and still exhibits its original paper size tag—a “7”. The enameled leathers do exhibit the minor crazing typical of vintage finishes, but show no chipping or other deterioration.

Trimmings are similarly superb. The original sidebuttons are a fine unissued matched pair, screwed to the helmet body via the correct (and rare) brass “T-nuts” (see photo). Spike and spike base have never seen service, and--like the sidebuttons and chinchain-- exhibit 99% original fire gilding. The chain chinstrap has been recently, professional rebacked with fine leather.

These helmets were introduced for fulldress wear by Marines in 1892, and saw service on land and sea through the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, and the Boxer Rebellion, until replaced in 1904 by the equally iconic “bell crowned” dress cap. Never common, these Leatherneck Spikes have gotten exceedingly difficult to find in recent years. The frontplates do, however, surface with some regularity (four in the last month on eBay), so the reproduction frontplate on this helmet could be replaced with little trouble, rendering this piece 100% original. Either way, this piece of USMC history would be a credit to any collection, and would be near-impossible to find a finer example.


Auction pics


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#11 USMCRaiderGirl

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 06:57 PM

Too big to fit above...

6.gif

#12 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 09:40 AM

Fellow forum members:

You are in the EGA "reference section". This area is were posts from the EGA "discussion section" are moved for permanent retention and education about the history of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. As time moves forward there maybe additional information the EGA Moderators wish to add or will add to this specific post. We ask for your input as well.

We encourage further comments about this post and its content. In order to do so, you will need to start a new post in the "EGA discussion area" which is listed in the main page under insignia. And as needed we will be pleased to move any new and or valued information that is derived from your post (and subsequent comments) into this reference area as its own standing post.

Please be advised; posting and or editing is restricted on this post to moderator's and forum staff.


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