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Unique WW1 Bley and Hornstein Wing


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#51 John Cooper

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 11:02 PM

Hi Horsa - points taken... I have been doing some research on another forum and they have been provioding me some good information on engraving... as soon as I have a chance i will post some additional thoughts and provide the link. I think at the very least you will find it interesting.

The short answer is that the skill at engraving the name when compared to the skill that produced the wing is not inconsistant. This information is from folks that have the skills and the background. I am actually leanring a bit fabraction, tools, and even picked up some good info on the emamel process which was very interesting.

Cheers

John

#52 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 09:50 AM

Something triggered my memory about the star arrangement/number on the original drawings of the aviator wing while re-reading the postings here. The drawings made by Gen. (then Maj. Arnold), shows 17 stars on the field, which by the way do not even follow the same off-set pattern/arrangement that is almost always encountered on WWI wings that are considered to be original and period...just saying.

#53 pfrost

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 10:20 AM

Something triggered my memory about the star arrangement/number on the original drawings of the aviator wing while re-reading the postings here. The drawings made by Gen. (then Maj. Arnold), shows 17 stars on the field, which by the way do not even follow the same off-set pattern/arrangement that is almost always encountered on WWI wings that are considered to be original and period...just saying.


I suspect that the 17 vs 13 stars was just an error in the drawing. The 13 stars in the US shield stands for the original 13 colonies and as such is not just decoration or artistic whimsy. Because it is such an iconic heraldic symbol of the US Seal, that is why the 3 stars in this shield bother me so much. Of course, on bullion wings, it is likely rather difficult to sew 13 little bullion stars, so sometimes they seem to have been a bit less specific in how they represented the stars.

On this wing, it looks to me that they just added 3 stars to the shield, it doesn't look like they actually tried to carve them out of the original bit of metal. Considering that they could just have easily incised 13 stars or have made 13 smaller stars, I wonder why they took this particular tack. This makes me wonder if they only had 2 sizes of stars, or just took a quick shortcut when putting together the piece?

My feeling is that this wing was likely never actually worn by anyone, but may have represented a salesman sample or prototype.

Patrick

#54 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 10:35 AM

I suspect that the 17 vs 13 stars was just an error in the drawing. The 13 stars in the US shield stands for the original 13 colonies and as such is not just decoration or artistic whimsy. Because it is such an iconic heraldic symbol of the US Seal, that is why the 3 stars in this shield bother me so much. Of course, on bullion wings, it is likely rather difficult to sew 13 little bullion stars, so sometimes they seem to have been a bit less specific in how they represented the stars.

Patrick



Hi Patrick,

I know the significance of the 13 stars :) ...that is kind of where I was going...17, 13, 3...one would think that an Army officer designing a brand new badge would have been more deliberate in drawing in 13 stars in drawings submitted for the design...

Edited by IMPERIAL QUEST, 17 December 2008 - 10:37 AM.


#55 pfrost

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 10:45 AM

Hi Patrick,
I know the significance of the 13 stars :) ...that is kind of where I was going...17, 13, 3...one would think that an Army officer designing a brand new badge would have been more deliberate in drawing in 13 stars in drawings submitted for the design...


Hey Steve

I don't know? I assume you have been referring to the drawing shown in Campbell's book? To me, that always looked like it was drawn on a napkin during happy hour as part of a bet ("dude, I can so better design a pilots badge than what we have to wear now..and the chicks will dig it!") opposed to being an actual serious attempt to design a new insignia. :lol:

Still, outside of bullion wings, other than slight variations in spacing and orientation, I can not find any other legitimate WWI wing that has more or less than 13 stars in the field. Its almost like the wing having the US misspelled.

Patrick

Edited by pfrost, 17 December 2008 - 10:47 AM.


#56 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 10:52 AM

Hey Steve

I don't know? I assume you have been referring to the drawing shown in Campbell's book? To me, that always looked like it was drawn on a napkin during happy hour as part of a bet ("dude, I can so better design a pilots badge than what we have to wear now..and the chicks will dig it!") opposed to being an actual serious attempt to design a new insignia. :lol:

Still, outside of bullion wings, other than slight variations in spacing and orientation, I can not find any other legitimate WWI wing that has more or less than 13 stars in the field. Its almost like the wing having the US misspelled.

Patrick


Yea, that is the one, the "napkin drawing". :lol: I have searched high and low for a final or "approved" set of drawings that are more refined, but can't find a good lead. Any ideas if there is such a version of the drawing or is this pretty much it?


EDIT: I am slow today..."US" misspelled.............listen to this guy everybody, he knows wings AND is a funny guy as well http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/lol.gif .

Edited by IMPERIAL QUEST, 17 December 2008 - 10:56 AM.


#57 CliffP

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 05:24 PM

.
Patrick Frost:

(1) I can not find any other legitimate WWI wing that has more or less than 13 stars in the field

... 13 stars in the US shield stands for the original 13 colonies and as such is not just decoration or artistic whimsy. Because it is such an iconic heraldic symbol of the US Seal, that is why the 3 stars in this shield bother me so much.

On this wing, it looks to me that they just added 3 stars to the shield; it doesn't look like they actually tried to carve them out of the original bit of metal. Considering that they could just have easily incised 13 stars or have made 13 smaller stars, I wonder why they took this particular tack. This makes me wonder if they only had 2 sizes of stars, or just took a quick shortcut when putting together the piece?

(2) My feeling is that this wing was likely never actually worn by anyone ...............
.

In the beginning there was no doubt in my mind that the badge was an imitation; however, this thread has become one of continuing interest in which many excellent view points, both pro and con, have been openly expressed and freely discussed without fear of contradiction. The result is that I’ve enjoyed the thread immensely and have given other points of view more consideration, and to such an extent that I am now second guessing a few of my original concerns about the badge. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif

Be that as it may, up above I have singled out some of Patrick’s reservations which are especially noteworthy and would like to try expanding the topic of legitimate silver wing badges one more degree:

Over the years I've seen a great number of legitimate silver wing badges that were also biographical, and just as Patrick pointed out, all had 13 stars in the shield. While not necessarily so for other readers, I also think the overall design of this one badge does not project a high level of style, grace and/or dignity of any biographical silver wing badge I've ever seen. Putting it another way, it reminds me of a Sherman tank rather than a sleek sedan, and the 3 large stars were not added to conform with tradition but to shout, "Hey look at me!"

Now no one will disagree that all military pilots, regardless from which era, have an ego. They earned the rating and in some fashion want others to know it; however, while not exactly similar to Patrick's last view point, in this case I suspect that in 1918 if a pilot walked into the officers' mess or pilot lounge wearing that particular badge it would have become an instant topic of amused conversation rather than one of envy ... and the poor fellow would have never worn it again.

:(

#58 cwnorma

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 09:12 PM

First of all, I want to thank all of you for the civil tone of this discourse. I know WW1 wings can be an emotional field of collecting but it is a pleasure to moderate for such an august group.

I have put a lot of thought into these wings, and as a matter of choice, have held my opinions back until the auction was finished. Clearly this unique wing badge has captured the imagination of many, and at least two people (bidders on ebay) thought it was worth at least $1700.

Like many on here, I have my own thoughts about this wing. Let me begin by saying one thing: I am not an expert. I do know a few people I would consider experts though, and I have shared my thoughts with them, and they with me. Although as much as I have managed to learn, in the relatively short time I have been seriously collecting WW1 wings, I am constantly struck by how little I actually know, so everything I say here should be taken with the requisite grain of salt.

Like some others before; I am struck by several things about this wing. To be certain, this wing is a work of art--far better than average. But to me it is exactly the art of this wing that has become problematic. It is true, as has already been pointed out, that the type of hardware on this wing has remained commercially available since the turn of the century. It is also true that the company name inscribed represents a real company (evidenced by the entry in the Chicago city directory). However, neither of these items indicts nor exonerates this wing. Although still available today, the hardware was also available then. As for Bley and Hornstein, anyone in the last 90 years with access to a 1918 Chicago city directory could have found the name. I checked; there is a microfiche copy in the public library here. Neither one amounts to a smoking gun--one way or the other.

For me, and like so many others, the main issue ends up being the design. I believe the key is in those three stars, but my thinking is perhaps not what you might suspect.

The turn of the Twentieth Century was a tumultuous time in the world of art. Around 1875, Neo-classicism began to give way to Art Nouveau. This transition was complete by the turn of the century. As a bridging movement between Neo Classicism and the first forms of Modernism, Art Nouveau retained elements of the mostly representational nature of Classicism, while simultaneously introducing a more stylized aesthetic. Artists of the Art Nouveau or sometimes "Beaux Arts" movement typically approached their work by recoiling from the more traditional, and rigidly representational art forms of the19th century and re-interpreting those forms by highly embellishing them. Characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly stylized, flowing, curvilinear forms, Art Nouveau is today largely considered to be an anti-expression against the increasing mechanization of the industrial revolution. Whatever you call it; revulsion to the de-humanizing effect of industrialization, or simply an effort to incorporate art into everyday life, Art Nouveau was the predominant school of thought among artisans in the waning years of the 19th, and beginning years of the 20th centuries. Some of the greatest, and best-known, expressions of Art Nouveau are the stained-glass works of Louis Comfort Tiffany, or the paintings of Gustav Klimt.

JEWELER_PLT_004A.JPG
Art Nouveau Wings


The wing in the photograph above, originally posted by Patrick, is a perfect example of a wing that demonstrates the Art Nouveau aesthetic. Note how the wing-tips curve upward at the tips, curve down at the shoulder, and finally re-curve back toward the shield as they drop off. By tracing this curve around the wing, its motif can be compared to the curvilinear way a grape-vine grows--very Art Nouveau. The shield for its part as well is also highly stylized and exhibits interesting curving sides, but at the heart of its design, it retains all of its representational aspects (i.e. 13 stars, and 13 stripes).

Enter the war.

Art did not advance much during or immediately after the war. In fact, the disillusionment of the so-called "lost generation" led to a near lack of art in the early post war period. However, probably as the war became less a traumatic memory, and more tried to put it behind, a new and very distinct style of art emerged: Art Deco. Considered to be many to be the first major modernist movement, Art Deco was the first school of art to begin to abandon the representational nature of earlier movements. For the first time embracing industrialization for the good it could do (as opposed to it's dehumanizing aspects) Art Deco favored man-made materials over natural ones, hard smooth surfaces replaced soft materials, and bold use of stepped forms and sweeping curves took the place of the sinuous, natural curves of Art Nouveau. Other common motifs were celestial in nature; sunbursts, waning moons, and bold stars became very common thematic elements in Art Deco. Embracing advancing man-made industries such as aviation, ballistics, and aerodynamics, Art Deco highly influenced, and likewise was influenced by "Streamlining."

wings001.jpg
1918???


Which brings us to the wing at hand. The first thing that jumps out at you are those stars. Whew! Those stars. They are definitely bold. The artist really wanted to make a statement with those. Or did he? In 1918, those stars would have appeared very stylized, and totally un-representational. After all, the US shield has 13 stars, and 13 stripes. Not two smaller and one LARGE star. Given the sensibilities of the period, as has already been pointed out, that wing would have drawn attention to the wearer, and not in a positive way. But move the calendar forward by about 15 years, and you would have been in the peak of the Art Deco period. As Deco had "broken the mold" so to speak with respect to representational art, the bold, patriotic-stars motif of those wings would not seem out of place at all. Taken in this light, re-examining these wings brings me to several observations. First is the unusual use of enamel work, while not out of the question for 1918, it certainly is outside the norm. However, Art Deco tended to favor hard surfaces over soft. The wings themselves actually are also fairly geometric and straight; to my eye, very Deco. Finally, the overall outline/shape of the wing is made up of long sweeping curves, once again conforming nicely to Art Deco forms and styles.

So what's the point of all this? Well, if you have read down to this far I guess I owe you at least that much. I think this wing is old. I think a jeweler made it. But I do not think it dates to the WW1 period. It is my personal opinion that this wing was either commissioned by a pilot for wear to a reunion or possibly as a piece of military inspired women's jewelry. Either way, the design elements of this badge lead me to believe that it was designed and manufactured in the mid to late 1930s.

Chris

Edited by cwnorma, 17 December 2008 - 09:19 PM.


#59 John Cooper

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 09:17 PM

Hi all there seems to be much ado about the shield design and the number of stars... It seems to me we just need to look at the Great Seal of the US to find some answers.

The "offical" design does not have any stars in the chief so placing any stars there is a matter of taste, style,... the stars are actually seperate from the shield in a constellation above the eagle.

John

#60 John Cooper

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 09:35 PM

Wow Chris that is a mouth full... here is some more information on art styles which I think came from one of the sources I think you used.

John

http://en.wikipedia...._of_Art_Nouveau

Jewelry of the Art Nouveau period revitalised the jeweler's art, with nature as the principal source of inspiration, complemented by new levels of virtuosity in enameling and the introduction of new materials, such as opals and semi-precious stones



#61 horsa

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 03:59 PM

Chris,

I really enjoyed your analysis of this pin from a style perspective. For what it's worth, I agree with your description of the pin as Deco. As your excellent analysis sums up, if it is Deco we are most likely talking about a period later than 1918.

It had crossed my mind that the pin, if original, might be a sweetheart piece. Some sweetheart pieces, at least from the WW2 period, take similar license with regulation designs. What conflicted with my thought of it being a sweetheart piece was its size, which seems large for a woman.

That said, I have two WW2 submarine badges that are sweetheart pieces. One is a rhinestone-studded set of dolphins(but regulation size), the other is a set of Amico dolphins in 14K gold and inscribed to the submariner's wife; they are also regulation size. Both makers also made regulation pieces of similar designs but different materials.

Your points could easily be validated if we could find some listing of Bley & Hornstein from the 1930s.

If someone faked these wings I think they did it more to prove a point than for profit. Would they have picked such an obscure jeweler, when they could have just left them unmarked? On the other hand, maybe they picked an obscure jeweler to make them appear more genuine, since they were "unique."

Given the cottage industry of forgers in the US and abroad, which is much more extensive than most collectors realize, items which may be right as rain are sometimes impugned when they should not be. And what a shame that is. On the other hand, I don't how collectors can ensure the integrity of their collections without being very skeptical.

Edited by John Cooper, 18 December 2008 - 05:49 PM.


#62 John Cooper

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 07:58 PM

Just thinking about the thought on this wing being made in the 30s - the first thing that comes to mind is why someone would spend money during the the economic troubles that began in 1929 and impacted the early 30s... It is also my understanding there was a resession that began in 1937.

I think Horsa is on the right track about the business listing for the 30s if one is available as they may have gone out of business once the depression hit....

John

#63 cwnorma

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 09:03 PM

Just thinking about the thought on this wing being made in the 30s - the first thing that comes to mind is why someone would spend money during the the economic troubles that began in 1929 and impacted the early 30s... It is also my understanding there was a resession that began in 1937.

I think Horsa is on the right track about the business listing for the 30s if one is available as they may have gone out of business once the depression hit....

John

John,

Its not like the country ground to a halt during the depression, to be certain there were bread & soup lines, hard times, and even 19% unemployment, but the reciprocal of that is that 81 percent of the workforce was employed. My own grandfather worked for Coca Cola during the depression as a product quality assurance agent. Then, when WW2 broke out, he went to work for Colonial Radio doing Top Secret work for the War. It is true that with nearly 1 in 5 out of work, most average working people were glad to have a job--any job, but commerce definitely continued during the depression.

In any economy, there are people who have enough resources to weather the storm. There were even a few who made their fortunes during the depression.

Many of the early pilots were from quite wealthy families. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if the ex-aviator scion of a wealthy Chicago family had these made to wear to a re-union. He may have even commissioned them as a form of patronage for the "family jeweler" during the depression to help keep them afloat.

I could also be a bit off on the time span. The Art Deco movement really caught hold in 1928 (about 10 years after the war ended) and lasted through to the start of WW2 so they could easily date from the late 20s. A 10 or 20 year reunion would have been a good reason to have a flashy wing badge made, and a 10 year reunion would have been a year before the 1929 crash. It also occurs to me that the jewelers themselves, Bley and Hornstein, could have made them as a "salesman's sample" to try to drum up business and sell at a re-union. This seems likely to me as if they were specifically commissioned they would probably have had some sort of commemorative engraving. It would be interesting to see how many Quiet Birdmen, or WW Overseas Fliers re-unions were held in or around Chicago during the decades after the war. With so many airmen having taken their initial training at Chanute, this seems like a likely place for a re-union.

Whatever the reason they were made, thematically, they do exhibit what I would consider Art Deco stylistic elements.

Chris

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 03:21 PM

Look at the rivets, they are the key. You can go back and forth about quality, etc. But in any industry you have good and you have bad manufacturers. You can say what ever you want about the jeweler was not high quality, he use the wrong number of stars, etc. The rivets are the key of the manufacturer of that era. After WWI you will not find them. If someone wanted to make this wing today, they for certain would not use 3 stars. The wing is real.

Edited by weingarten, 27 December 2008 - 03:21 PM.


#65 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 03:36 PM

Look at the rivets, they are the key. You can go back and forth about quality, etc. But in any industry you have good and you have bad manufacturers. You can say what ever you want about the jeweler was not high quality, he use the wrong number of stars, etc. The rivets are the key of the manufacturer of that era. After WWI you will not find them. If someone wanted to make this wing today, they for certain would not use 3 stars. The wing is real.


Joe,

Would the rivets have been in the form of prongs soldered to the reverse of the wings/shield and then pushed through existing holes on the backing plate, or would holes have been drilled through the wing/shield and back plate, the rivets applied securely, then followed by hand-chasing on the front by adding/working additional silver to conceal the access points through the front?

Edited by IMPERIAL QUEST, 27 December 2008 - 03:41 PM.


#66 none

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:05 AM


Joe,

Would the rivets have been in the form of prongs soldered to the reverse of the wings/shield and then pushed through existing holes on the backing plate, or would holes have been drilled through the wing/shield and back plate, the rivets applied securely, then followed by hand-chasing on the front by adding/working additional silver to conceal the access points through the front?


A few things to think about. First the rivets, silver wires would have been soldered to the front items and then holes drilled into the bacl plate. Notice the holes are exact, that means the maker had to have had a template. An extra step that many reproduction makers would never make. It takes too much time unless you are going to make a lot of the wing. The rivets are hand chased, they are not even. This was hand made and the odds are a one of a kind. The pilot who had it made wanted it this way. Maybe he was home on leave and had a local jeweler make it who was not a wing maker.

Concerning the three stars. I had an idea about that the other day. Many WWI and some WWII Colonel Eagles only had three arrows. Why? I have no clue, but maybe for the same reason this onyl has three stars. Anyone know why early Colonel insignia only had three arrows, today they have 13?

#67 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:10 AM

A few things to think about. First the rivets, silver wires would have been soldered to the front items and then holes drilled into the bacl plate. Notice the holes are exact, that means the maker had to have had a template. An extra step that many reproduction makers would never make. It takes too much time unless you are going to make a lot of the wing. The rivets are hand chased, they are not even. This was hand made and the odds are a one of a kind. The pilot who had it made wanted it this way. Maybe he was home on leave and had a local jeweler make it who was not a wing maker.

Concerning the three stars. I had an idea about that the other day. Many WWI and some WWII Colonel Eagles only had three arrows. Why? I have no clue, but maybe for the same reason this onyl has three stars. Anyone know why early Colonel insignia only had three arrows, today they have 13?



Thanks for the explanation Joe. On the number of stars, that is a very interesting point indeed...

#68 CliffP

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:56 AM

On the number of stars, that is a very interesting point indeed...


Agreed, also a bit of a stretch. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif

#69 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 10:41 AM

I have been trying to think of the significance of the three stars. For the life of me, I can't think of anything in aviation that has a significance relating to the number 3 or having three stars. The only thing I can think of government/military-related are the three branches of government, but I don't think a pilot would give a hoot about paying homage to that on his badge, so I don't know. I guess it could have meant something significant to the pilot, but as to what, we will never know. Perhaps we may just have to be satisfied to accept that it was probably done for artistic balance /aesthetics...the more I consider that this piece is more artistic expression than an attempt to conform to the format seen in other wings, it just makes sense to me.

#70 pfrost

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 11:30 AM

Steve,

I think you are over thinking this thing.

If you look at how the wing was made, they first cut and engraved the shield out of a bit of silver. They added a bit of braided wire to separate the shield and the field and then added the US. Since the shield isnt die stamped with the pattern, the only had a few options for finishing it up. Either incise some stars using a punch OR add some stars.

So figure, you either cut out 13 itty-bitty little stars and solder each one into its appropriate position (you can imagine what a pain in the arse that would be), or you cut out 2 or 3 larger stars and add them. 1 star isn't enough, 2 looks silly, but 3 (a big one and 2 smaller ones) has some balance, so I suspect that is what they did. Then finish up the whole thing by riveting the parts to the backing plate and off it goes.

Just my opinion that this is simply a time saving device for making the wing. But I really kind of doubt that the artistissan who made this was thinking about what three vs 13 stars would convey.
;)

Patrick

#71 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 11:47 AM

Steve,

I think you are over thinking this thing.

If you look at how the wing was made, they first cut and engraved the shield out of a bit of silver. They added a bit of braided wire to separate the shield and the field and then added the US. Since the shield isnt die stamped with the pattern, the only had a few options for finishing it up. Either incise some stars using a punch OR add some stars.

So figure, you either cut out 13 itty-bitty little stars and solder each one into its appropriate position (you can imagine what a pain in the arse that would be), or you cut out 2 or 3 larger stars and add them. 1 star isn't enough, 2 looks silly, but 3 (a big one and 2 smaller ones) has some balance, so I suspect that is what they did. Then finish up the whole thing by riveting the parts to the backing plate and off it goes.

Just my opinion that this is simply a time saving device for making the wing. But I really kind of doubt that the artistissan who made this was thinking about what three vs 13 stars would convey.


Patrick



Patrick,

I understand what you are saying about the construction, I was just trying to figure out what method of riveting was used. Since this wing has novice and experienced collectors alike so interested, I think it deserves some delving into to try and examine what will probably be the only example we will ever see like this. You and I are basically saying the same thing on the stars as that was my conclusion in my last sentence. As stated, I think they are the result of aesthetics/balance.

#72 pfrost

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 12:14 PM

Steve,

Check out this picture of the front of the wing. You can see where the rivet goes through (circled in red). Because the pattern overlays the rivet, it suggests that the rivet was added first, then the wing was carved and then mounted. I kind of see other indications of the other rivets, but can't be 100% sure based on the pictures.

Attached Images

  • rivetfront.jpg


#73 IMPERIAL QUEST

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 12:37 PM

Steve,

Check out this picture of the front of the wing. You can see where the rivet goes through (circled in red). Because the pattern overlays the rivet, it suggests that the rivet was added first, then the wing was carved and then mounted. I kind of see other indications of the other rivets, but can't be 100% sure based on the pictures.


Good eye Patrick, I Guess I missed that in one of my "eye-fondeling" sessions.

#74 John Cooper

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 08:09 PM

Happy new year all!

Joe you make some interesting points! Thanks for sharing some of your expertise and insight on this wing. While I am on the topic I wanted to comment specifically on the wings design.

t has been mentioned that this wing does not fall within the norm of the massed produced wings by well known makers. This has been an area of concern for some but not all. In addition to the overall design, there appears to be some focus on the shield design with the 3 stars vs. 13 seen on those made by the big name makers.

It has also been mentioned that the overall look of the shield appears to be plain when compared to the wings. I think it has also been said that the wing does not conform to the regulations with some references made too what the National Shield is supposed to look like.

I addressed the National Shield design in an earlier post… suffice it to say the national Shield does not have stars in the chief… As far as I know the overall design was based upon the Hap Arnold drawings and made official with special regulation #41 Aug, 15th 1917.

"Military aviator, a silver-embroidered, double-wing shield on the

left breast, above the line prescribed for badges and medals."

I know there are other regulations and some updates for adding the Balloon Corps which are listed in Richard DesChenes new book on the balloon corps, but I am not sure if there are any other regulations that impact design specifics. If someone here has that information please share it with me. (Thanks in advance)

My point is the official regulation quoted above does not provide specifics as to the number of stars or the shape of the shield. To my knowledge the regulations were not strictly enforced which is why some many non embroidered wings exist.

Here are a few examples of wings from W&T number 9

http://img53.imageshack.us/img53/6952/wing2zy7.jpg

http://img53.imageshack.us/img53/2143/wing3ur1.jpg



Here are two examples wings do not follow what some might consider the standard design of the embroidered wings which are the most common. The reason I am posting these is to illustrate the intricate design of the wings which I feel fall into the same category as the Bley & Hornstein wing. Overall the design of wings like the two above and the B&H wing are mostly likely the result of the desire of the person who commissioned the wing and the artistic talents and skills of the maker or makers. I use the plural since it is possible wings like these could have had more than one Jeweler and or apprentice involved in its production.

I think when looking at the B&H wing you have to look beyond the common and look at the unique to appreciate them and maybe even accept them as what I feel they are… custom made likely one of a kind WW1 wings.

Regards,
John

Edited by John Cooper, 01 January 2009 - 08:11 PM.


#75 John Cooper

John Cooper
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Posted 03 January 2009 - 04:27 PM

I was looking at the following photo and was thinking about all the hand work it took to not only make the wing but the other details like the beveled edge of the shield. I like the fact the inner edge of the wing follows the curve of the shield.

John



http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/7716/hireswingfq6.jpg


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