A friend of mine showed me these wings, but I don't know much of anything about WW1 wings. Any thoughts on these? Real? Repro? Don't pull any punches. Thanks ABN
Thoughts on WW1 Bullion Wings
Posted 13 March 2018 - 12:37 PM
In my opinion, the are all good vintage WWI wings.
The middle one is frequently thought of as being "French made". I think the bottom ones are probably US made. The top ones could go either way, although I am not so sure that these particular patterns are all that "rare" as bullion wing patterns go. Still, I think they are very nice, vintage WWI bullion, with a small bit of condition issues (ie loose bullion thread).
Posted 13 March 2018 - 01:15 PM
Mostly concur with Patrick but will say that of the three; I am less comfortable with the top one.
That cord border around the shield and at the top of the wings is somewhat unusual and a little afield from what one would normally expect to see. On a nice attributed uniform, it would likely not draw any questions. However, removed from any context the wing has to stand on its own.
I expect that particular wing will always be straddling the fence: Some collectors will be comfortable with it, and some will be less so. I fall in the latter category.
Posted 14 March 2018 - 10:36 AM
Chris makes an interesting and valid point. What does look like a chord rather than the more typical silver twisted wire, is unusual. But it was not totally unique to have variations in materials used. Some bullion wings used 3-4 (and in one case, I counted 5) different styles of silver wire. Some wings made in France used small sequins.
So (and not to quibble too much with Chris) the use of a chord didn't really bother me too much. Everything else seems right as rain to me--the construction, bullion, aging, wear and tear, backing, etc. To be fair, one other component that I noticed (and didn't like) was that the 3 small bullion wires to outline the shoulders of the wing (the ones that are sort of vertical and cut across the horizontal plane of the wings) are rather crude and don't extend all the way to the bottom. But I don't think that is a sign of a fake, just that the wing isn't the best example of bullion work.
I have seen some bullion wings that were really finely made and others that were really rather crude. That being said, it is what it is, and of course Chris makes a good point. You should always collect what YOU want for YOUR collection.
Posted 14 March 2018 - 03:02 PM
Just to be clear, and to echo Patrick's collegial posting, I am not saying the wing is bad. Rather, my feelings lean more towards the following: If the three wing badges were for sale separately, and all at a fair and reasonable price, I would have no second thoughts purchasing the bottom two; while I would likely leave the top one for someone else. On the other hand if I had to buy the three as a lot, I think enough of the wing that as long as the price was reasonable, I would likely take a chance on the "fence-sitter" to get the two "slam-dunks"--despite my reservations about construction.
This wing is in that respect sort of like the recent mustache wing discussed here on the forum. It is a fence-sitter. That is to say that it has good points and, if not actually bad aspects, points that might give some collectors pause.
One thing I always try to stress to new collectors is the asset-like nature of collectibles. If you are looking for an investment, look elsewhere; the collectibles marketplace is far too unpredictable--frankly, there are much better investments.
Collectibles, on the other hand, are a pretty sound asset. As such, collectors should always try to de-link their emotions from the hobby [hard, I know!] and keep a thought to the eventual liquidity of the asset. That is; how quickly, if required, can the item be turned back into cash--at the same value? Fence-sitters, may be just as real as their slam-dunk counterparts, but because they have lower demand, supply and demand laws kick in and they end up being less liquid; harder to quickly turn into cash--unless sold at a discount price.
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