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WWI Observer wing


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#1 rustywings

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 09:32 AM

What do you think of the WWI Observer 1/2 wing illustrated in this current ebay listing? Item #151908273416 is described as a WWI Officer's uniform belonging to "Charles Eccles" with this Observer's badge attached. 

 

I understand more and better images would be helpful...but what are your first impressions? (By the way, I have no connection or relationship with this listing.)

 

  

Attached Images

  • WWI Observer #2.jpg
  • WWI Observer #1.jpg


#2 rustywings

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 09:33 AM

Reverse.

 

 

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  • WWI Observer reverse.jpg


#3 hawk3370

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 09:41 AM

I personally don't like it, would not put out any money on the wing. Checked my records, can't find this guy listed as an observer or pilot during the war.

 

Terry



#4 Paul C.

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 10:31 AM

The feathering looks "weak" and edges of the backing look really "sharp" ( sharp = new) , The findings in the "zoomed" view look wrong and chemically aged, I personally would pass. i don't even like the looks of the collar insignia in the auction listing.


Edited by Paul C., 08 December 2015 - 10:35 AM.


#5 pfrost

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 11:13 AM

I'm am leaning towards the other way on these wings.  They have lots of details that fall into the styles made by Homorichus (sp??).

 

I'd want to see better pictures as well, but my first impression is good.



#6 Paul C.

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 11:36 AM

 Patrick - now dare you disagree squirrel.jpg seriously - did you check the "zoomed" pic on the actual listing?  Of course this kind of thing is why I stopped collecting WWI wings....

 



#7 TheMariner

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 11:50 AM

Nice looking uniform and wings!! This is why i could never get into WW1 wings every time it seems somebody posts one you have 50% saying its real and 50% saying its not. How do you collect something were no one ever seems to know if its real or not !! Sorry just noticed this pattern and had to post it !!



#8 BEAST

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 01:15 PM

I looked at this uniform at a local show. There is no name in the uniform and the dealer has had some "iffy" material before. I've bought some good stuff from him though.

The story on the uniform is that he bought it from a local sale where Eccles lived. I wish I could give you a good opinion on the wing, but without solid documentation on the uniform, I had to pass. He has a shop in Bloomington, IN if you want to see it in person.

#9 Paul C.

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 01:29 PM

Where in Bloomington ??



#10 pfrost

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 01:32 PM

Its actually closer to 4:1 or 5:1 against.  :lol: I seem to be the lone person who may like this wing.  Of course, all the caveats of having it in hand, etc.... I can only go on what I see and what I have handled from other people's collections of these types of wings.

 

Still, the feathering and hand chasing so look a lot like the Homorichus wings (check out Bob's site to see a number of examples). 

 

The uniform is pretty ratty and not worth much.  The wing, if real, is probably overpriced by a goodly amount.  Still, I stand by my initial impression that this wing may be ok.



#11 rustywings

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 01:50 PM

Thank you all for sharing your views and opinions. Now, in an effort to ramp it up a bit, please take a look at a similar (not identical) WWI Observers badge with impeccable provenance and illustrated on Bob's website (www.ww2wings.com) and see if this reinforces or sways your initial opinion of the badge currently listed on ebay?

 

    

Attached Images

  • presleywheatobserverfrtlg1a.jpg
  • WWI Observer #1.jpg

Edited by rustywings, 08 December 2015 - 01:58 PM.


#12 pfrost

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 01:57 PM

Thanks Russ, that is what I'm saying.  I think they look a lot alike.  Note the same "O" with similar outlines and the hand chasing. 

 

P



#13 cwnorma

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 03:10 PM

Its actually closer to 4:1 or 5:1 against.  :lol:

 

Make it 5:2.  

 

I'm with Patrick on this one, with the standard caveats--yada, yada, yada.  

 

Like Russ, I think it compares favorably with the two on Bob's site.  I have handled a few badges that seem to have been made by this maker.  I would lean toward one of the artisan's at Eisenstadt and not Humrichous, but I still tentatively like it.

 

That said, some thoughts:

 

At the opening price, there isn't a lot of room for a mistake if the wing ends up not being good.  The uniform is basically a rag, so all the money is in the wing.  

 

On the other hand, I don't care for the design flair of the wing, but that only means it is outside the norm for this maker.  I also note that of all the hand made wings, this style would be the easiest for a talented faker to reproduce.  Consequently, at the opening bid, I would like a lot of better and more close up photos of the wing.

 

Chris



#14 pfrost

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 03:25 PM

I always get Eisenstadt and Homorichus confused in my head.  I think Chris is correct, it is more in the style of Eisenstadt than the other.



#15 BEAST

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 04:01 PM

Where in Bloomington ??


Paul,

IIRC, he is on 17th st. Lost Empires or something like that.

#16 Paul C.

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Posted 08 December 2015 - 05:36 PM

Paul,

IIRC, he is on 17th st. Lost Empires or something like that.


I'll have to check it out next time I'm down there.

#17 BEAST

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 10:58 AM

Here is something else that bothered me;If he was an observer, shouldn't his collar brass be artillery? Granted, I've only researched a few, but all wore crossed cannons.

#18 cthomas

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 11:25 AM

Here is something else that bothered me;If he was an observer, shouldn't his collar brass be artillery? Granted, I've only researched a few, but all wore crossed cannons.

 

 

I don't think there was any rhyme/reason to the wearing of aviation collar insignia for observers. I have pics of that (above uniform) collar configuration, along with crossed arty & even infantry (I think...) in other Observer portraits.   



#19 hawk3370

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 05:33 AM

Here is something else that bothered me;If he was an observer, shouldn't his collar brass be artillery? Granted, I've only researched a few, but all wore crossed cannons.

 

Records indicate that there were approximately 1620 Observers serving during WW1

907 Infantry and Artillery

296 Air Service and

417 Bombing Military Aviators that were crossed trained as Observers.

 

As for this particular wing, in my opinion it in no way compares with the quality of an Eisenstadt.

This type of cast wing with this style feathering started showing up in the mid 80's as I recall. They were being made by an individual in Florida. Until I see a picture of an observer or pilot wearing this style of wing with the crude cast feathers I am inclined to shy away from them. And as I stated earlier this particular officer does not show up on any roster that I can find that list Air Service Observers or pilots.

 

Terry
 



#20 BEAST

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 06:40 AM

Records indicate that there were approximately 1620 Observers serving during WW1
907 Infantry and Artillery
296 Air Service and
417 Bombing Military Aviators that were crossed trained as Observers.

 
As for this particular wing, in my opinion it in no way compares with the quality of an Eisenstadt.
This type of cast wing with this style feathering started showing up in the mid 80's as I recall. They were being made by an individual in Florida. Until I see a picture of an observer or pilot wearing this style of wing with the crude cast feathers I am inclined to shy away from them. And as I stated earlier this particular officer does not show up on any roster that I can find that list Air Service Observers or pilots.
 
Terry


Terry, Thanks for the information! That is really good to know.



#21 njaviators

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 02:40 PM

The name sounds familiar... but unfortunately, I came up with only the following...

 

According to "The History of the Ohio State University, The University in the Great War, Pt II Our Men in Military and Naval Service" - the only serviceman with the family name Eccles was Miles Austin Eccles, Engineering 1922 joined the NA on 11 Oct 1918, discharged 11 Dec 1918...

 

Not only is the wings slightly suspect, so is the bio information.

 

A Charles M Eccles, long time resident of Connersville, Ind as the listing suggests our aviator was, is found in the 1930 census. He registered for the draft in 1917applying for an exemption.  On the 1930 census under the column for "Veteran of US Military or Naval forces" he indicated "No". 

 

It's possible OSU missed him in their records and it's possible the census for 1930 is wrong, but I'd ask for something more than a family story - if I even thought the wing was genuine... 



#22 hawk3370

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 08:14 PM

The name sounds familiar... but unfortunately, I came up with only the following...

 

According to "The History of the Ohio State University, The University in the Great War, Pt II Our Men in Military and Naval Service" - the only serviceman with the family name Eccles was Miles Austin Eccles, Engineering 1922 joined the NA on 11 Oct 1918, discharged 11 Dec 1918...

 

Not only is the wings slightly suspect, so is the bio information.

 

A Charles M Eccles, long time resident of Connersville, Ind as the listing suggests our aviator was, is found in the 1930 census. He registered for the draft in 1917applying for an exemption.  On the 1930 census under the column for "Veteran of US Military or Naval forces" he indicated "No". 

 

It's possible OSU missed him in their records and it's possible the census for 1930 is wrong, but I'd ask for something more than a family story - if I even thought the wing was genuine... 

 

The only Eccles that is listed among the more than 9500 names I have of pilots and observers that served in WW1 was a Lt. D.R. Eccles  RMA who flew with 62nd Squadron RFC. No home of record found.  That includes rosters of both Air Service and Balloon Corps. I have to agree that I would have to have more than just a hear say from the man who picked it up from an estate sale.



#23 njaviators

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 04:54 PM

Terry -

 

The DR Eccles with 62 was David Roderick Eccles, born 31 Dec 1899.  His family was originally from Canada, but he enlisted in the USN from Brooklyn on 18 April 1917. His home address was listed as 916 52nd St.   He was dischared on the 26th of April "to enlist in the Coast Guard", but he obviously never made it that far.  He was only 17 when he enlisted in the Navy...

 

I suspect he went to Canada to enlist in the RFC, but I cannot find a record of his border crossing.

 

His parents were Samuel G and Margaret A Eccles, also Canadian nationals.

 

Eccles was with 62 Squadron in England at Rendcombe Aerodrome while they were still working up to deploy to France.  He was killed in a training crash in a Bristol fighter (A'7197)  after a low level stall. His observer Lt. JL Sutherland was injured.

 

He was ultimately buried in England  at North Cerney (All Saints) churchyard in Gloustershire on 8 Dec 1917. 

 

Not related to the wing or tunic, but perhaps useful for your files...



#24 hawk3370

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 06:58 PM

Terry -

 

The DR Eccles with 62 was David Roderick Eccles, born 31 Dec 1899.  His family was originally from Canada, but he enlisted in the USN from Brooklyn on 18 April 1917. His home address was listed as 916 52nd St.   He was dischared on the 26th of April "to enlist in the Coast Guard", but he obviously never made it that far.  He was only 17 when he enlisted in the Navy...

 

I suspect he went to Canada to enlist in the RFC, but I cannot find a record of his border crossing.

 

His parents were Samuel G and Margaret A Eccles, also Canadian nationals.

 

Eccles was with 62 Squadron in England at Rendcombe Aerodrome while they were still working up to deploy to France.  He was killed in a training crash in a Bristol fighter (A'7197)  after a low level stall. His observer Lt. JL Sutherland was injured.

 

He was ultimately buried in England  at North Cerney (All Saints) churchyard in Gloustershire on 8 Dec 1917. 

 

Not related to the wing or tunic, but perhaps useful for your files...

 

Great info, thanks, will add it to my files.
 



#25 rustywings

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 12:07 PM

The seller may not agree, but I was relieved to see no one pursued the purchase of this very questionable WWI Observer badge...




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