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Unique WW1 Bley and Hornstein Wing


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#26 CliffP

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 08:43 AM

BTW I can not take credit for this as I had help... the person who helped me knows who he is and I greatly appreciate the fact he took the time to help.

John


John,

Other than owning a particular badge and/or knowing who the original airman was, one of the rewarding aspects of the hobby for dedicated collectors comes from doing the required research to document its validity. Except for being hidden in a forgotten file or sitting on a dusty shelf somewhere, the evidence is probably still out there … just waiting for someone to find it. You and your friend took the initiative to search out the maker and the credit goes to you both.

Cheers,

Cliff

PS:
While not being one of the professed gurus, experts, or know-it-all's who contacted the seller … I may be a hammerhead who has been known to eat crow. :lol:

Edited by CliffP, 10 December 2008 - 09:03 AM.


#27 Belleauwood

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 03:50 PM

John,

Other than owning a particular badge and/or knowing who the original airman was, one of the rewarding aspects of the hobby for dedicated collectors comes from doing the required research to document its validity. Except for being hidden in a forgotten file or sitting on a dusty shelf somewhere, the evidence is probably still out there … just waiting for someone to find it. You and your friend took the initiative to search out the maker and the credit goes to you both.

Cheers,

Cliff

PS:
While not being one of the professed gurus, experts, or know-it-all's who contacted the seller … I may be a hammerhead who has been known to eat crow. :lo


Cliff, you have contributed greatly to this spirited and educational thread. I look forward to learning more about this really neat aspect of collecting WW1 aviation artifacts.

All the best, Dennis

#28 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:28 PM

PS:
While not being one of the professed gurus, experts, or know-it-all's who contacted the seller … I may be a hammerhead who has been known to eat crow. :lol:


I agree with Dennis. I would also like to add that I like your sense of humor concerning my ebay comments above http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/lol.gif ............... ;). As stated in my PM, I think that you are one of the good guys, you do NOT qualify for the "hammerhead" category, and I would feel quite comfortable asking you questions because of your humility; despite your vast knowledge in this area - a rarity.

Edited by IMPERIAL QUEST, 10 December 2008 - 04:42 PM.


#29 pfrost

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 05:09 PM


I agree with Dennis. I would also like to add that I like your sense of humor concerning my ebay comments above http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/lol.gif ............... ;). As stated in my PM, I think that you are one of the good guys, you do NOT qualify for the "hammerhead" category, and I would feel quite comfortable asking you questions because of your humility; despite your vast knowledge in this area - a rarity.


How can I qualify to be a hammerhead? ;) My girlfriend has some ideas on my "hammerheadedness", especially when she finds out where some of my money has gone. On the other hand, my dog thinks I am just about the most perfect thing around...and if not, I can usually buy his love with a biscuit.

In all seriousness, IMHO not a single thing discussed on this thread was unreasonable or invalid. At the end of the day, you just kind of have to weigh out the pros and cons.

Patrick

#30 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 06:22 PM

How can I qualify to be a hammerhead? ;) My girlfriend has some ideas on my "hammerheadedness", especially when she finds out where some of my money has gone. On the other hand, my dog thinks I am just about the most perfect thing around...and if not, I can usually buy his love with a biscuit.

In all seriousness, IMHO not a single thing discussed on this thread was unreasonable or invalid. At the end of the day, you just kind of have to weigh out the pros and cons.

Patrick


To be a Hammerhead, you have to be pompous, arrogant, pretentious, snobby, have a bit of a god complex, deny all factual and documented evidence presented and sneer at period photographic proof... :unsure: :)

I agree with your latter statement Patrick. I am glad that there is a willingness to explore the fascinating possibilities of this piece.

#31 horsa

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 11:36 PM

My two cents.

Never assume because you haven't seen it before that it's not right.

While that is a generally normal and healthy attitude for collectors(most off the time), being too dogmatic can cause you to miss some really nice pieces.

The artistry on this insignia is outstanding. The fact that it was attributed to an "unknown' maker (now known) lends a great deal of credibility to it being authentic.

As another poster stated, there are those skilled at working metal who like to fool the experts. I have seen this especially with Civil War artifacts...some of the fakes are very good. And they do fool experts.

On the other hand, jewelers of earlier times took extreme pride in their work. Take a look at the engraving on ID pins, rings, etc. from before the 1950s. The engraving in and of itself is often a strong indicator of authenticity; most engravers today just do not have the skill their predecessors did.

There was a large auction of US submarine pins some time back. It included a number of rare specimens. One was a solid gold set of dolphins given to Lord Montbatten by the commander of the sub base at PH. The pattern of dolphins are not in the books, and the maker was an obscure one. The quality was very high, as one would expect from a jeweler of the period.

I don't think it was unusual for jewelers, from the Civil War period on, to fabricate individual pieces or small batches of one pattern or another.

On these wings I'd like to put a high mag loupe on the lettering of the maker, and learn abit more about the company. If that were not possible and I had the bucks, I'd bet they were real.

#32 horsa

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 05:09 PM

I looked at the original listing of the WW1 wings. The seller had posted more pics, including a good one of the maker's mark. Maybe it's a minor point, but the maker's mark seems crude and inconsistent with the quality of the rest of the piece. One would think a jeweler of the period would have a stamp with letters that were uniform.

On the other hand, the seller is not a military dealer, and I'm inclined to believe the story he gave concerning how they were acquired. His description also sounded novice and not "expert' at all, a plus in my book.

Edited by John Cooper, 18 December 2008 - 05:54 PM.


#33 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 06:09 PM

...Maybe it's a minor point, but the maker's mark seems crude and inconsistent with the quality of the rest of the piece. One would think a jeweler of the period would have a stamp with letters that were uniform.



On the other hand, one might expect a hand engraved attribution on what is probably a one of a kind piece made by an artisan. This could be the only wing the fellow ever made...just a thought.

#34 John Cooper

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:01 PM

I looked at the original listing of the WW1 wings. The seller had posted more pics, including a good one of the maker's mark. Maybe it's a minor point, but the maker's mark seems crude and inconsistent with the quality of the rest of the piece. One would think a jeweler of the period would have a stamp with letters that were uniform.


Hi Horsa,

I respectfully disagree with you on this point. I think an artisan would not use pre-made letters that had to be hammered in... I think a true artisan would hand engrave the company name. If you look at the following photo I think you will see my point. This artist shows his style when he engraved the letters. If you think how small the letters are you know it not easy to engrave them in a stylistic manner as is the case.

Regards,
John


http://img159.imageshack.us/img159/7269/bhmakersmark1iq1.jpg

#35 Paul S

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:47 PM

I don't know if this helps or not...but here are some examples of fine quality hand engraving on sterling dating from 1849-1905. Work done in larger cities would have been significantly better than that found in smaller ones, with occasional exceptions. I agree with a previous post that some of this old engraving was a work of art in itself and probably not available anywhere today.

Paul S

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#36 horsa

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 09:57 PM

Hello John,
It's just odd that the quality of the maker's mark does not seem to match the overall construction of the pin. Most of the time jewelry company marks are uniform. I looked at some marks from Tiffany from the same period and they showed uniformity in their font. Wouldn't a jeweler capable of making such a pin be able to engrave in a more professional fashion? As for the smallness of the letters, watchmakers(like jewelers) wear magnifiers and are adept at engraving small letters. Open up an old pocket watch of the period and you'll see what I mean. I also find it a bit odd that being a jeweler-made piece it's not marked sterling and 10K(if the gold portions are indeed gold and not plated brass). I've seen very few post CW military pins that are not marked as to metal content, especially those made of sterling and gold. In any case I suppose it's always possible the wings were made by one person and then engraved with the company name by someone else. The quality of the mark is the first thing I look at when contemplating a purchase of any collectible, and then I work from there.

Edited by John Cooper, 18 December 2008 - 05:56 PM.


#37 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 06:53 AM

Many artists, even today, make it a point to have a distinct style of marking on a piece produced by them. To me, this marking is a further expression of the artists creative style in the fashioning of the letters. The dot above each "i" looks deliberate in being placed high, and also the fancy squiggles/serifs on the "c" and "g" are there not out of necessity or accident, but more out of a sense of flare.

In a way, this reminds me of some of the very different styles of hand engraving we find on Air Medals. Some of these engravers showed their artistic license in engraving in their style of lettering; sometimes not completely connecting a line or engraving the central line on the letter "H" at an angle. Anyhow, just my opinion on the matter.


Edited by IMPERIAL QUEST, 12 December 2008 - 07:08 AM.


#38 Bugme

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 08:03 AM

Well, I don't know a lot about wings but, I have sure learned a boat load on this thread! Thanks guys!!!

#39 pfrost

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 08:30 AM

Many artists, even today, make it a point to have a distinct style of marking on a piece produced by them. To me, this marking is a further expression of the artists creative style in the fashioning of the letters. The dot above each "i" looks deliberate in being placed high, and also the fancy squiggles/serifs on the "c" and "g" are there not out of necessity or accident, but more out of a sense of flare.

In a way, this reminds me of some of the very different styles of hand engraving we find on Air Medals. Some of these engravers showed their artistic license in engraving in their style of lettering; sometimes not completely connecting a line or engraving the central line on the letter "H" at an angle. Anyhow, just my opinion on the matter.


I think in some respects we are overthinking this thing. Assuming this wing is vintage, you can get clues as to how it was put together. First, the backing plate and enamel. I suspect that the backing plate (which doesn't look silver to me) was shaped and then had the enamel added. Once the enamel was set, you obviously couldn't use a stamp to put a hallmark on it, else the glass would shatter. Second, since this was relatively likely one of the first and easiest steps to do, (make the form, add the ground glass and move it to the kiln), it is possible that it was delegated, not to the main craftsman who I imagine was carving the wings, but to an apprentice or lower ranked worker. Third, once the plate was out and passed muster, then I suspect it was assembled with the wings and shield--again, since this likely was not all that skilled a process, likely delegated to someone else. Perhaps the same guy who worked on engraving the lines on the shield then flipped over the wing and quickly engrved the company logo. Likely, the wing then went and got some finishing touches and polishing, and off it went. It is possible that the sterling marks are on the back of the individual pieces. I have Dallas wings that are obviously made up of sterling silver and gold parts, but the backing is not marked. So, that isn't all that surprising.

I can't see engraving a piece with your company logo until the final product is completed (extra work for something that you don't know will be acceptable until the end), and once it is completed, the nature of the product likely demanded a relatively subtle touch to avoid damaging the enamel.

Finally, as I said, this wing has some things not to like. In my opinion, some of the workmanship doesnt match. The extra detail and fine care of the wings (for example) seem to be much more impressive than the workmanship of the shield. To me, it looks like they carved out layers of little winglets and then carefully handchased each feather, but on the shield, they only carved 3 large stars and etched out the pales of the shield. If you look at other WWI wings, the shield is often very carefully crafted and detailed, this one, while not bad, doesnt come up to the level of the detail on the wings. Compared to the detail of the rest, the shield seems rather mundane (IMHO). As I said before, their are things to like and dislike about this wing.

Patrick

#40 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 08:56 AM

Patrick,

You make a good point about the glass/inscription aspect...I hadn't thought of that. Anyhow, I personally am sold on the wing and would be as thrilled as a kid in a candy store to own it. ;)

#41 bobgee

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 10:40 AM

I saw these on ebay and I believe this wing was made in the late 70's by a man in Boca Raton, FL. He had a metal shop and was a master craftsman. He was also a minor level militaria collector/dealer and hand made a few sets of wings just to see if he could fool the experts. He had the place, skill and equiptment to do the job. I knew him fairly well and saw his workmanship. Without actually handling them I'm pretty sure this is one of his sets.
Garth


I believe I know the person to whom Gart refers. I know this fellow produced some Air Service items with the "Haltom" hallmark as well as WWI German Air Service badges. He was very good at what he did. I'm sure some of his stuff resides in "premier" collections of "premier" collectors. While I think it's excellent that the history of the maker has been found that IMHO does not by itself authenicate this wing. And it is a beauty! I think the analysis of how this piece was made is great! Myself, I don't like the 3-star shield variation. But it sure has ginned up a lot of thought! Knowing what I know from the "old days' I'm inclined to go along with Garth's viewpoint!
Bobgee

#42 pfrost

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 03:13 PM

Here is something else to consider.

1) Examination of the back of the wing shows that all the pieces are riveted on to the backing piece, over the enamel. The rivets are all the same, so the most reasonable idea is that the wing was put together at the same time.

2) The shield, looks to have been made by first cutting a flat piece of metal into shape, and then engraving the vertical lines (IIRC called the pales in heraldry). Other than that, it doesnt seem that the shield was further carved. Instead, it LOOKS like 3 stars were directly added (as opposed to cutting them out of the metal, to the field (to me they look like the stars are separate pieces) and the field is delineated from the shield by the addition of a braided bit of wire. Then the US is added to the shield below that.

My point is that (to me) it actually looks like the stars, the braid and the US are added pieces to a simple shield with some lines engraved on it...as opposed to the wings, which were appear to be carved and worked.

3) Compare the shield with these wings (a Haltom, a Shreve, and a Robbins-like pattern).

In two of the three cases (the Haltom and Shreve wings), the stars, pales, and field are integral to the design. The only thing added is the US. The Robbin's style wing is all hand done and chased. While it is not "ruler perfect" it shows some skill in the workmanship and design. (BTW this wing is 100% correct and came right out of the family, and also illustrates that NOT all WWI wings were super perfect master craftsmanship levels of skill and quality). In the ebay wing, I think the shield just doesnt have the level of workmanship as the wings. This makes me wonder if they weren't done by different people. But still, based on the rivets, I think it is clear that the whole thing was assembled together and at the same time. Makes the whole thing interesting.

Patrick

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#43 horsa

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 03:48 PM

Patrick,

I really enjoy your posts. And by the way, your website is a true asset to the hobby. Thank you for providing it.

Though it seems a small point the engraving on the wings just seems like an afterthought. Most jewelers of the period were proud of their name, and their stampings and engravings reflect that. I just have never seen a jeweler-mark of the period evidence such crudeness. And keep in mind this jeweler was located in a building with other jewlers, watchmakers, etc. so competition was keen. Another poster said that it reflected "flair," but to me it just looks amatuerish...even distinctive flair should have a degree of sameness. The maker's mark here reminds me of the fake engraving I've seen on CW swords, Bowie knives, Corps badges, etc. As you point out, it is possible the company engraving may have been done by a helper, but I keep going back to the attention to detail so evident in the era this pin was made in. I collect vintage watches too, and when you handle enough you can spot a redone dial from a mile off...the redialers today just cannot duplicate the quality of the orginal factory dial painters. They cannot get the font right. To my eye, even the dial work on a modern Patek is less than one from the 30s.

My point is I do not think a jeweler would lavish any less care in the engraving of his company's name than in the rest of the piece. Even small pieces from jewelers are marked as a matter of pride, and with pride.

As a number of inconsistencies in the pin's construction have been pointed out, it may be that research into the estate that it came from would be the best means of solving any questions. It should be a simple matter to find out which aviator wore this pin. Perhaps it might tell why there are only three stars in the shield, and if they hold a special meaning. In any event the discussion here has been an education.

Edited by John Cooper, 18 December 2008 - 05:59 PM.


#44 pfrost

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 04:18 PM

Howdy Horsa,

Thanks for the nice words.

You make some nice points and I don't disagree. When I first looked at this wing, the engraved hallmark was the first thing that caught my eye (as I mentioned in the first paragraph of my first post, I believe). So, I clearly think you have a point. On the other hand, most of the hallmarks you do see on insignia are stamped. So, as I thought about that, and it did occur to me that you can't stamp a hallmark on the back of an enameled badge. The more I thought about the question of quality, the more I began to see variations in workmanship. The enamel seems very nice, the work on the wing seems exquisite, the shield seems pedestrian, and the hallmark seems below par. So, you have a mixture of apparent levels of skill and workmanship. On the other hand, I have seen a fair number of wings that have either no hallmark or just some stamping. Eisentadt (sp?) just seemed to us an LE in a box. Most of the Dallas wings don't seem to have any hallmark at all and they were made by very prestigious firms (such as BB&B). NS Meyer and W Link CO used just simple hallmarks as well. So, it doesn't seem that strange to me that the hallmark is less than "presentation grade" engraving, to be honest with you.

Of course, without handling the wing, one has to be cautious in making an analysis. It is possible that some of the sharpness and detail is lost due to wear and tear. It is also possible that the letters have filled with crud and grime and the dirt makes it seem less impressive than it is, it is hard to say without knowing for sure.

Patrick

#45 John Cooper

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 07:50 PM

Hello John,
It's just odd that the quality of the maker's mark does not seem to match the overall construction of the pin. Most of the time jewelry company marks are uniform. I looked at some marks from Tiffany from the same period and they showed uniformity in their font. Wouldn't a jeweler capable of making such a pin be able to engrave in a more professional fashion? As for the smallness of the letters, watchmakers(like jewelers) wear magnifiers and are adept at engraving small letters. Open up an old pocket watch of the period and you'll see what I mean. I also find it a bit odd that being a jeweler-made piece it's not marked sterling and 10K(if the gold portions are indeed gold and not plated brass). I've seen very few post CW military pins that are not marked as to metal content, especially those made of sterling and gold. In any case I suppose it's always possible the wings were made by one person and then engraved with the company name by someone else. The quality of the mark is the first thing I look at when contemplating a purchase of any collectible, and then I work from there.


Hi Horsa,



Your supposition that the makers mark does not match the overall quality is an interesting perspective. You mention that you think it should be more professional… can you share some examples to illustrate your position on this?



Please keep in mind that the specific style in question with the small flourishes may have been the artisan’s specific signature style. If I continue this line of thought I doubt it could be matched to any of the “BIG” name firms because that would be like apples to oranges as a friend recently stated.



I would like you to consider another point. How often do you think someone seeing the wing in wear would see the back of the wing? Just something to consider when thinking about makers marks which would be important to the Tiffany’s and BB&B of the world but not a small outfit like Bley & Hornstein. (If you saw their ad in the paper it is a very small two liner read cheap that is buried in the third column)



Additionally the quality of the makers mark on some items is certainly a factor on many collectables but in the case of this wing which is all probability is a one off commission piece I doubt it.





Regards,



John

#46 Paul S

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 07:04 AM

If this observation has already been made, please forgive the duplication. Perhaps the maker’s mark was added after the piece was made in order to enhance its interest and value—a fantasy mark on an otherwise legitimate piece. Have no idea why they would pick this obscure maker other than to speculate that an obscure mark would be more difficult to disprove. There are plenty of examples of sterling hallmarks dating back 200-300 years that consist of high quality fonts, including script, that are more polished than used on this wing. Maybe best to focus on the construction details and disregard the hallmark in this case.


Paul S

#47 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 08:29 AM

Some further thoughts. If we divulge from my assumption that this was the artists deliberate style, how about this- maybe the assumption that the hands that created the exquisite detail were equally skilled in engraving letters is off the mark. I know this has nothing to do with wings and silver, but on the small local level my Grandmother fashioned unbelievably detailed ceramic pieces that consisted of 30 to 50 separate hand shaped and applied elements for which she won many awards. However, when it came to signing her works, you would never guess that the same person created the work in comparison to the signature. As a comparison on the international scene, Ernest Hemingway couldn't write in a straight line if his life depended on it and his hand was fairly sloppy in comparison to the content of his finished works. However, his novels are....well, you know the rest.

#48 pfrost

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 09:38 AM

Howdy,

Again, a number of thoughts.

Not that I have done any scientific surveys on this, but my impression is that only about 25-50% of WWI wings are actually hallmarked. Of the 5-6 WWI metal wings I have only 2 are actually hallmarked. In other collections I have had the opportunity to study, that is about the general range, with 25-50% actually having a hallmark on them.

Shreve, Haltom, Homorichius, Eisenstad, Tiffany, Johnson Manufacturing Co, Meyers, Link, Gaunt, and I am sure a few others I am forgetting all used hallmarks on their wings. But, I have yet to see a single hallmark on any of the Dallas style wings, for example. Of the hallmarked wings I have seen, not a single one had the manufacturer's name engraved on it, as they are almost always either part of the die or added later with a punch.

Wings that ARE engraved, are usually engraved with some sort of dedication or presentation. The person paid extra for this and as such it was intended to be seen by someone. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that a wing engraved as a presentation piece would have a higher level of skill and workmanship. That is why people tend to use the quality of the engraving on an engraved wing to assay its legitimacy. As to other engravings, such as monograms on silverware, again, that was intended to be seen.

This wing, is not engraved with a presentation or dedication. Just the name of the maker. While it clearly doesn't show all the flourishes and do-dads that one my expect if this was an expensively engraved presentation wing, it does show some skill. The engraving is neat and regular. The "Bley and Hornstein" is on a curve with "Chicago" underneath. Everything is centered and the lettering is very fine. It seems to have aged along with the wing in general.

Finally, I have noticed that their seems to be a consensus that all WWI wings have to achieve some very high level of craftsmanship and workmanship to be considered legitimate. This is partially true because most of the WWI fakes were made by guys with almost no skill or craftmanship and as such stick out like a sore thumb, and the vast majority of the other fakes (those made by castings from original wings) lack the detail of the originals. But, a number of vingate WWI wings were made that lack a great deal of refinement. I think you have to imagine that their exists a grade of workmanship with a low end and a high end. We all love the high end wings and tend to bias ourselves towards that side of the spectrum, but when that bias starts to be used to select against wings that fall on the other end of the spectrum, then you run the risk of making a mistake. I see that especially in WWI bullion wings, were people decide on one or two characteristics that they like in a wing, and tend to select for those characteristics. I also know a number of people who decide on a WWI wing based on the "US"...apparently deciding that the "US" on a good wing is always going to be high quality. But in fact, you see a range of quality in the US. As a scientists by trade, I have to be very careful in seperating assumption and bias away from fact and truth.

I think the discussion about the engravings represents a similar risk. I am not saying that the engraving is good or bad, but to say it doesnt come up to what we expect is should be based on some assumptions we have made (especially in comparing what one expects on a presentation style engraving), represents a logic trap.

Just my musings.

Patrick

Edited by pfrost, 13 December 2008 - 09:44 AM.


#49 John Cooper

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 10:11 PM

Patrick,

As always you have interesting things to add to the discussion! :) Along the lines of this discussion the only other known and similar example mentioned was the wing illistrated on the cover of Duncan Campbell's book (for those who have the book see page 17 photo #27 with Duncan's comments starting on p14)

Mr. Campbell makes some interesting observations about this wing and the fact many small firms produced many wing variations some of which he shows in the book which do not conform to all Army regs.

The question is who has the wing from Duncans book today?

John

#50 horsa

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 10:51 PM

Hello John,

If you look at pocketwatches of the period, many of which were made by small shops, you will find a very high standard of craftsmanship in every detail of the product. Dial,movement, and case are all marked, and in a way that reflects the overall quality of the piece. In other words, every detail is seen as a reflection of the craft. Even those parts inside the watch, which were only seen rarely when the watch was serviced, evidence engraving that is uniform and nicely done.

It just seems to me this piece has some contradictions. As a collector, contradictions give me pause.

I can only speak as someone who looks at engravings and marks first. That is, I think they can tell a great deal about authenticity right off the bat. One would think that a functioning jeweler of the period would have had a stamp to mark any custom work like brooches, watches, etc. Most did. Patrick pointed out that a stamp would endanger the cloisonne on the wings, but cloisonne was a common technique of the period, and I think(maybe incorrectly) that a jeweler would think far enough ahead to anticipate this. Again, most others of the period did.

One other thing: In my experience(and it's only my limited experience) most "one-of-a-kind" pieces are engraved to a particular person, ship, etc. That is, if someone had a piece made for a particular person, it generally carries a sentiment or name on the reverse. Unless the aviator bought the piece for himself(possible), wouldn't the person want the item personalized before it was given to the recipient? Especially if it was "commissioned?"

I think that the jeweler was an obscure one is in favor of the piece. I think that the engraving, and stars, are not.

A check of the estate the pin was from would settle all this quickly...the seller said it was an attic piece , he must know the family name. Or, a check of the company's other pieces(there must be some, perhaps the Chicago Museum would know) could offer a comparison of marks.

Edited by John Cooper, 18 December 2008 - 06:00 PM.



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