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Sterling Command Pilot Wings Gemsco


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#1 ehrentitle

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:18 AM

I've accumulated several wings in the last month in the process of acquiring lots of Army insignia. Since I don't collect this area I'd be most appreciative of you comments on age and value of each. First is a Sterling Gemsco Command Pilot Wing which I assume is post WWII but would would like you opinion.

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#2 ehrentitle

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:20 AM

Reverse Command Pilot Wing:

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#3 ehrentitle

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:23 AM

Here are the rest; a crudely cast lead senior Balloon Pilots wings, mini Aircrew Wings and tan cloth Army Air Force Observer wings.

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#4 ehrentitle

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:23 AM

Reverse;

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#5 ehrentitle

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 10:12 AM

Here are a few more that I traded for in the late 70s early 80s; Pilot, Aerial Gunner with the pins clipped off and a small 1" wide set wing which I always assumed was some type of Aviation Cadet collar device:

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#6 ehrentitle

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 10:13 AM

Reverse:

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#7 ehrentitle

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 10:13 AM

Closeup of mark on small wing:

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#8 John Cooper

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:00 AM

Value is tough since there can be wide swings depending on hwo bad someone wants a specifics example. That being said... let me give it a a shot. Starting from the bottom (post #6) The AG wing is common and is generaly in the $30 range which the Pilots wing which is made by FOX will go for at least double the AG wing and even higher i.e upto $80 range.

The embrodiered wings are very inexpensive $1 - 3 dollars... by can been listed for much higher. I think on Epay someone has them listed for $24 each! I recently picked 20+ framed for $29 incl the shipping via UPS in a large box. There does not seem to be much interest in these wings but I like them.... you can expand into the elastique type and collect variations and become an offical WINGNUT! ;)

The Gemsco is tough since recently there seems to be some upward pressure on CP wings some marked with 3 digit codes going for $70+ while yours if on Ebay today I bet you would get $100 +\- with a few bidders.

John

#9 ehrentitle

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:19 AM

John, Thanks much! I know value is subjective, it's driven by demand, but Wow I had no idea these might be beyond the $20-$30 dollar range! Shows just how little I know about wings (other than para and rigger wings).

The cloth observer wing came with a large low cost lot of tan rank and qualification badge insignia. I'm still scratching my head about the Balloon Pilot wing. Why would someone even bother to make such a crude lead wing and not even put a pin on it. As a collection filler?

#10 John Cooper

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 01:50 PM

Kevin you are welcome... Ebay frenzy can work to your advantage sometimes.... but the reverse is also true. I picked up some nice items very cheap since folsk missed them or just did not want them at the time. As for the balloon wings maybe they are just an unfinished set.

#11 ehrentitle

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 02:19 PM

I hear you, it's been a while since I sold on E-bay but I was always amazed that some common piece of insignia would go sky high because 2 or 3 bidders got locked in a bidding war and just had to have it.

#12 brian e

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 10:07 PM

Closeup of mark on small wing:

nice wings can you take a straighter pic of the hallmark thanks brian

#13 ehrentitle

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 06:03 AM

nice wings can you take a straighter pic of the hallmark thanks brian



Brian - I wish I could but the digital camera I have does not do well with photos of this size so this is the best i could do with the scanner. The hallmark appears to be an I inside a vertical diamond.

#14 pfrost

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 09:11 AM

The Gemsco command pilot wing is a nice one!

From what I see, the prices on common wings seem to be falling. In general, the more common the wing, the less chance you will get an ebay bidding war going. That is not to say that it doesn't happen, underestimating the chowderheads on ebay is a silly thing to do, IMHO. In my collecting, I tend not to bother with the more common stuff (aircrew wings, graduation-style pilot wings, the run of the mill gunner wings) unless they are either really cheap or have some other interesting factor. The less common and rarer stuff seem to be holding their own, price wise.

On the other hand, I have seen some insane bidding on stuff occur on ebay over the years. You just never know.

Patrick

#15 ehrentitle

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 10:59 AM

Patrick - Thanks. Does the fact that the Fox wing is not marked Sterling reduce it's value?

#16 pfrost

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 11:53 AM

Patrick - Thanks. Does the fact that the Fox wing is not marked Sterling reduce it's value?


To be honest, I don't think I have ever seen a Fox wing marked sterling or in non-clutch back or in any of the other ratings other than pilot (but I could be wrong). My limit for a Fox wing value is more in the 40$ range, but I do see people trying to get more for them. They aren't that rare, and all in all, not that interesting a pattern.

Still, it is a step above from the normal non-sterling/non-hallmarked/run-of-the-mill, clutch back "issue" pilot wings, so you could do worse. These type of wings are nice to put on a uniform for display, IMHO.

When you look at the gradation of pilot wing values, the lowest values tend to be the non-sterling clutchback "graduation style" wings (`25-50$). Then the non-sterling pin-back wings, with no hallmark (40-80$). Then the non-sterling hallmarked badges of common makers (ie Fox, NS Meyers) (50-100$). The more interesting patterns and hallmarks (AMICO, AMCRAFT, GEMSCO), go up from there (maybe 50-150$ depending on quality, and workmanship). With the theater-made wings or Luxenbergs, Blackinton, etc you start getting into the higher range of values (sometimes upwards of 300-500s of dollars).

Of course, all sorts of other factors come into play.

Patrick

#17 ehrentitle

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 11:04 AM

Patrick - Thanks for all your assistance. I put the Sterling Gemsco Command Pilot Wing on E-bay on Sun but was a bit dismayed when it took about 12 hours to show up in listings. So I assume it had to be reviewed by someone before it was posted. It's listed as US Air Force Sterling COMMAND PILOT WINGS 3-in.


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