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Bracelets Made from Wings


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#26 John Cooper

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 09:00 PM

Paul,

Very nice FS bracelet! maybe it is some lucky charm..? BTW what did you think of the AMICO WASP that just sold on Ebay?

John

Edited by John Cooper, 23 May 2009 - 09:11 PM.


#27 Paul S

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 05:51 AM

John,

That AMICO WASP went for more than a clean, straight WASP wing will usually bring...amazing. However, it was an interesting piece in several respects. Although marked AMICO and in my opinion absolutely correct, the obverse die used was similar to or the same as the Josten die, except not hollowed out on the reverse.

The mark was interesting, too. Similar layout to the earlier AMICO incised marks, yet raised in the manner of the later AMCIO marks...don't recall seeing another AMCIO wing marked like that.

I'm delighted with the FS bracelet...actually it's the first one of its type I've seen offered. As often happens, though...another seller put a second piece up at the same time which consisted of two FS wings, a 2" and a 3" using the smaller wing as the back of the bracelet. It brought quite a bit more, but this gold wash one, to me, was more interesting as it can be attributed to a fairly narrow time frame.

Paul S.

#28 none

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 02:23 PM

John,

That AMICO WASP went for more than a clean, straight WASP wing will usually bring...amazing. However, it was an interesting piece in several respects. Although marked AMICO and in my opinion absolutely correct, the obverse die used was similar to or the same as the Josten die, except not hollowed out on the reverse.

The mark was interesting, too. Similar layout to the earlier AMICO incised marks, yet raised in the manner of the later AMCIO marks...don't recall seeing another AMCIO wing marked like that.

I'm delighted with the FS bracelet...actually it's the first one of its type I've seen offered. As often happens, though...another seller put a second piece up at the same time which consisted of two FS wings, a 2" and a 3" using the smaller wing as the back of the bracelet. It brought quite a bit more, but this gold wash one, to me, was more interesting as it can be attributed to a fairly narrow time frame.

Paul S.


I have spoken to Shutsy Reynolds (WASP), she ran the WASP Store for years and designed many of the WASP items as a jeweler and have researched the WASP wings in depth. None of the WASP's got an AMICO wing during the War. This could have been one made after the war. There was another AMICO WASP wing with an oversize lozenge that was never issued or made for the WASPs.

Joe

#29 Paul S

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 05:48 PM

Itís probably worth posting a picture of that WASP bracelet that sold a few days ago.

Information I have from other sources is that starting with class 43-W-9 through the last class in November/December 1944, both AMICO pin backs and Josten clutch backs were supplied to the graduates.

Since the women were scattered around the country to a number of different bases, I have no idea how they might have found additional wings to purchase as needed, but would expect that some kind of accommodation was available to them beyond the graduation wing.

Attached Images

  • Copy_of___1026_AMICO_WASP_Bracelet__3_.jpg

Edited by Paul S, 24 May 2009 - 05:50 PM.


#30 Ricardo

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 02:42 AM

WoW! Pure art!!! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/w00t.gif http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

Great items!!!

#31 John Cooper

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 10:23 AM

Paul,

Your point seems logical to me in that there must have been some outlet for the WASPs to obtain additional insignia both offical and custom made.

This thread reminds me of stopping at an air museum and seeing a a very nice WASP display last summer. I will see if I can find some additional information about the wings in the display.

John

#32 none

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 05:49 PM

The WASP Bracelet is not real. Confirmed with the WASPs today. AMICO never made a WASP wing. If any one is interested in a history of the WASP wings e-mail me and I sent it to you. BTW- no one is known to have the entire set of WASP wings. Also no WASP wings were official.

#33 flyingfortress

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 10:16 AM

I know the individual who bought the WASP wing bracelet. I don't pretend to be a wing expert, but this individual is a serious wing collector and has collected for years. He once told me he was going to write a book about wings. I can't imagine him paying those $$$ for a bogus wing bracelet.

George

#34 88thcollector

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 11:53 AM

Hi,

I have no opinion or real interest in the Josten/Amico Wasp wing issue but this may be of interest:

http://www.wingsacro...ments/index.htm


It supports the Josten only opinion but in my experience, it is best to never say never to much when talking about militaria.

Steve

#35 none

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:58 PM

Itís probably worth posting a picture of that WASP bracelet that sold a few days ago.

Information I have from other sources is that starting with class 43-W-9 through the last class in November/December 1944, both AMICO pin backs and Josten clutch backs were supplied to the graduates.

Since the women were scattered around the country to a number of different bases, I have no idea how they might have found additional wings to purchase as needed, but would expect that some kind of accommodation was available to them beyond the graduation wing.


Look closely at the wing, its a casting. If anyone should know its me. On the top edge is a casting line, an air bubble on the front, the hallmark is grainy. Sorry guys even the best of you can get fooled.

AMICO Pinbacks were never issued to the WASPs. From W-9 on only the Josten was issued.

This goes back to the theory that everyone wants it so bad, so even a fake becomes real.

Edited by weingarten, 27 May 2009 - 04:59 PM.


#36 88thcollector

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 05:51 PM

AMICO Pinbacks were never issued to the WASPs. From W-9 on only the Josten was issued.



Hi,


If W 9 and on were issued Josten wings, what were the earlier groups issued?

Thanks,

Steve

#37 Paul S

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 10:28 AM

Hi,
If W 9 and on were issued Josten wings, what were the earlier groups issued?

Thanks,

Steve


One source Iíve found useful for learning something about unusual marks, including an explanation of the WASP marking sequence can be found at this address:

http://www.wehrmacht...ead.php?t=84409

I donít know the gentleman who put it together, but do recognize that he has done a lot of work and has taken the step to put it forth as his understanding of a body of knowledge and he rightly invites others to submit their suggestions for corrections. There is little doubt that some portions of it could be challenged, just as some information in books written by the few pioneer wing collectors most of us recognize can be challenged.

As Steve points out in post #37 above, one takes a risk of exposing himself to strident opposition when offering opinions as concrete matters of fact in an immature collecting environment where new discoveries are frequently made.

I find the proffering of strident opinions about the legitimacy of one piece or another to be tedious as it tends to stifle free-flowing discussion. However, I am always interested in hearing well reasoned opposing opinions if they include reliable support beyond hearsay, as it can foster learning.

One of the things Iíve liked about collecting a few of these wings bracelets is that they are almost entirely free of the tedious chatter about whether a piece is a fake or not. Think about it for a momentÖif someone went to the trouble to make a credible reproduction or outright fake, would he then cut the pin off, bend it, drill holes in it, and add a chain? Maybe, but doing so would sure defy my sense of practicality.

#38 John Cooper

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 04:32 PM

Well said Paul you are a scholar and a gentlemen and thanks for posting so many nice examples.

John

#39 Paul S

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 07:23 AM

My hair hurts to see such silly stuff like the BIN $550 "priceless" keepsake shown in the recent thread, so I thought I would bring this thread back up with a new arrival.

It's one of those "G" jobs, as I like to call them, that was most likely made by one of the sheetmetal mechanics on one of the WWII airbases. The cuff is usually from .032" +/- aluminum which was the thickness of the skin on B-17's and B-24's. They are far less common than the wing bracelets fitted with chains.

This one is a triangle mark, A.E. Co. pilot...the mark is actually visible after some contortions because the mechanic that made this one apparently forgot his class in BENDING SHEETMETAL 101 which teaches that the two pieces, the wing and the cuff, do not share the same radius when wanting them to lay flat, one on the other.

The result is that he clearly couldn't get the wing to conform to the cuff and tried to draw it down by drilling a couple of extra inboard holes to rivet the thing down tight...didn't work, though...he was still confounded by simple geometry limitations and the result is a rather cobbed-up effort. See post #22 in this thread for a first class job on one of these cuff bracelets.

I find this one kind of amusing and charming nonetheless, but I'm fairly sure that I wouldn't have wanted that guy turned loose to patch up my plane. I guess it wasn't quite such a treasure to the seller as it was something less than 10% of the other rarity.

Attached Images

  • AECo_Pilot__1___Medium_.JPG
  • AECo_Pilot__2___Medium_.JPG

Edited by Paul S, 26 August 2009 - 07:35 AM.


#40 John Cooper

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 01:58 PM

Another interesting find Paul! I am glad I am back from vacation to enjoy it! Every time this thread surfaces it makes me want one lol. I will have to show you a desk name plate made by someome with sheet metal experience and I think did a good job.

Cheers
John

#41 Paul S

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 06:07 PM

Here is one I saw while surfing today. The seller wants $350 for it. I've always struggled a bit with how to value these things...one approach would be to value the underlying wing as if it were severely damaged and add the cost of adding a chain. But that approach fails when some of these bracelets sell for well beyond what a nice straight wing would bring. Odd, isn't it?

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  • _350_aafnurse_1.jpg


#42 John Cooper

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 08:02 PM

Tough call Paul - this seller IMHO just might get it due to some of the crazy prices I have seen lately. In fact I saw a GHQ patch go for $152! I am not patch guy but that is out of control IMHO.

John

#43 DutchInfid3l

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 07:11 PM

This set was my dad's. He was a C-130/C-130 Combat talon I/II loadmaster, they are mini mess dress sized wings.

brac1.jpg

 

brac2.jpg


Edited by JDK, 13 May 2014 - 07:30 AM.


#44 Paul S

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 09:00 PM

Thanks for showing your Dad's bracelet. It's uncommon to find a post WWII wing bracelet...seems to have been more of a WWII era fad, although you do find some made pre-WWII also.

#45 militarymodels

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 04:27 AM

Here is one I saw while surfing today. The seller wants $350 for it. I've always struggled a bit with how to value these things...one approach would be to value the underlying wing as if it were severely damaged and add the cost of adding a chain. But that approach fails when some of these bracelets sell for well beyond what a nice straight wing would bring. Odd, isn't it?


I agree, I've seen quite a few. I guess it just depends how badly people what them. In any case, the wings are gorgeous though!

#46 USAFnav

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 09:45 AM

Thanks for showing your Dad's bracelet. It's uncommon to find a post WWII wing bracelet...seems to have been more of a WWII era fad, although you do find some made pre-WWII also.


A few months ago, I made myself a bracelet from current Master Navigator wings. I have seen other people wearing similar bracelets, but it's not too common.
Pete

Edited by USAFnav, 28 October 2009 - 09:46 AM.


#47 Paul S

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 12:10 PM

A few months ago, I made myself a bracelet from current Master Navigator wings. I have seen other people wearing similar bracelets, but it's not too common.
Pete


Pete,
You can create yourself a real heirloom with that bracelet if you take the time to have a local jeweler engrave your name and s/n on the back--there needn't be any more than that. The wing will outlive you by many decades and there you will still be, on the back of that wing for others to discover and have their wonder stimulated. Cost is nominal, perhaps $5 or $10. Very few WWII generation guys thought to do that, leaving us today to wonder about the former owners and to deal with the latter day frauds who are busy adding bogus information to old wings.

A short story...some years ago I picked up an old silver cup at a local auction. It had 3 English hallmarks on the bottom and no one in the house, including me knew how to read them. When I got it home and took a few days to research those marks, they told me that James Walker had made the cup in Dublin...in 1701 ! Now, that revved up the imagination...think of all that had transpired since that old cup had been hammered out in Mr. Walker's shop so long ago. Where had it been and how had it survived all those years?

A few years after that I told the story to the master silversmith at Colonial Williamsburg. His reaction showed a similar wonder as mine, but with an interesting twist. Having spent his life forming metal into various shapes, he wondered about the metal that went into making that old cup and speculated that it might well have been made from Spanish pieces of eight before they became a silver cup!

Anyway, without those marks the story would be much less interesting.

#48 USAFnav

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 02:44 PM

Paul,
I've been thinking about engraving my name and former rank on the back of the wings. I have my own jewelry business, but the only engraving I've ever done was with using the engraving machine when I worked for a jeweler. I just might bring the bracelet in to have it done by my former bos...
Pete

#49 rustywings

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 06:17 PM

Here's a one piece Command Pilot bracelet with an AECO hallmark. I would have preferred to have found it without holes and the pin and catch still intact...but it still makes for a neat little piece of aviation history.

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  • WINGS_2009_196.jpg


#50 rustywings

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 06:18 PM

The back.

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