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K.G. Luke hallmark


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#26 JLENG

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 08:43 PM

Hi Gary,

I read the thread several times before I posted a reply but I will read again and respond accordingly. In the mean time.

What is your opinion then on the TO wing displayed in "More Silver Wings Pinks and Greens. The wings are identical with the exception of the missing center section which I believe was cut out and the T added to the wing. It seems plausible to me that the missing center of the observers wings might have contained the hallmark in question.

I also believe the seller when he told me it was part of his fathers estate. He did not seem deceptive and was rather inquisitive about the whole deal. This combined with the TO wings construction would lead me to believe that the this hallmark being legitimate is at the very least, plausible. I realize this will probably not change your opion and nothing you have posted will really change mine either and maybe that is where we will have to leave it.

John

#27 Gary Cain

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 09:50 PM

Hi John,

I will take a look at the book tomorrow as I don't recall the TO wing you speak of. As far as changing my opinion goes, all it requires is good evidence. I am a scientist and because of that I have an ethical responsibility to review all evidence and if the evidence says I am wrong then I will be the first one to admit it and in a very public manner because in the long run the truth is what we all should be seeking.


Cheers
Gary


Hi Gary,

I read the thread several times before I posted a reply but I will read again and respond accordingly. In the mean time.

What is your opinion then on the TO wing displayed in "More Silver Wings Pinks and Greens. The wings are identical with the exception of the missing center section which I believe was cut out and the T added to the wing. It seems plausible to me that the missing center of the observers wings might have contained the hallmark in question.

I also believe the seller when he told me it was part of his fathers estate. He did not seem deceptive and was rather inquisitive about the whole deal. This combined with the TO wings construction would lead me to believe that the this hallmark being legitimate is at the very least, plausible. I realize this will probably not change your opion and nothing you have posted will really change mine either and maybe that is where we will have to leave it.

John



#28 Brig

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 06:20 PM

I have seen EGAs with multiple variations of the hallmark. KG Luke Melbourne is the usual, but also KG Luke Melb, and just KG Luke...all I felt comfortable with

#29 Brig

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 06:23 PM

from member teufelhunde.ret's collection...

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#30 horsa

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 07:53 PM

As usual Patrick's reasoning is sound. If I were in the business of buying wings I'd hire him.

I can only speak about this badge in an oblique way, having seen and handled a number of Australian-made Submarine insignia, which carry a similar pin attachment.

Every authentic badge I've seen has the pin entering the hinge going from top to bottom, not bottom to top like the pictured example. Every sub badge...and every set of British-made US wings I had questions about...had a pin placed like the pictured example. I have seen a "no question about it" fake Luke Sub badge too. It might have even been from the same gang that made these wings, maybe a first attempt at faking this company. I don't even like the way the pin wraps at the hinge point.

#31 JLENG

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 08:18 PM

Hi Horsa,

I don't know if you have access to the book I mentioned in my post. If you do please check out the TO wing on page 134. The pin on that wing goes through the bottom and the pattern is exactly the same. I believe that the wings shown in this book have provenance and are authentic. If you would like I could email you the picture. I would add to post but that would probably violate copyrite laws.

John

#32 Gary Cain

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 11:04 AM

Hi John,

I looked at the TO wing on page 134 and while similar it is not the same. First off the pin is steel not brass like yours. Secondly the catch is more tapered than yours and is soldered in a different relative location. Also having a sellor tell you he got it from his dad (especially off of ebay) is not provenance. Provenance is a period photograph of him wearing it.


Cheers
Gary

Hi Horsa,

I don't know if you have access to the book I mentioned in my post. If you do please check out the TO wing on page 134. The pin on that wing goes through the bottom and the pattern is exactly the same. I believe that the wings shown in this book have provenance and are authentic. If you would like I could email you the picture. I would add to post but that would probably violate copyrite laws.

John



#33 JLENG

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 08:52 PM

Hi Gary,

How can you determine the medal content of a pin by looking at a photo in a book? The pin may look like steel but it is probably a silver wash on a brass pin (see photo). The photo in the book also appears to be more brass colored where the plating has probably been worn off beginning about an half inch from the hinge.

When I compare the wing to the photo in the book they look like they are pretty much in the same location (wings next to picture). Also, wouldn't you expect there to be a bit of variance wing to wing as they were probably soldered by hand by different jewelers? Catch is more tapered? You can tell that from a two dimentional photo?

In your other posts you mention the lettering on reproducions being laser cut therefore well defined, the lettering on these are similar to the Angus & Coote wings you approved of on other posts (not well defined).

You stated that to the best of your knowledge Luke, Angus & Coote, ect. did not make two piece wings. Please see post http://www.usmilitar...angus,and,coote of a two piece Angus & Coote TO wing.

I don't think I will be able to provide you with a picture of anyone wearing these wings with the hallmark showing in the picture (or any other wings hallmark for that matter) which would be the only true evidence of the hallmarks existence. Even if I could provide a period photo of him wearing the wings you could argue that they are similar but not the same.

John

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#34 Gary Cain

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 10:47 PM

Hi John,

I will look at the TO wing you reference tomorrow when I have a chance. As regards the pin, why would anyone silver wash a brass pin? You can see the profile of the catch quite well in the picture actually. The first Angus and Coote makers marks to hit the market were laser cut. Who knows what they have done now. The Luke hallmark we are discussing is not laser cut that is true but that is just one of the things that leads me to conclude that this is a later piece.

The first point that you must consider is that for the previous 65 years no other hallmark like this has been seen by anyone. Forget about me, no one has seen another in 65 years, and yet in the last 6 months they have all of a sudden popped up. Doesn't that seem fishy to you? I know you believe the guy you bought it from off of ebay but I am sorry that is not evidence that is a seller selling a product. Also if it truly was his grandfathers wing don't you think he would have tried to maximise the amount of money he got for it? He is allready selling aircraft instruments so he must be somewhat conversant with aviation collectibles (my friend who is the GM for Aviation Classics Ltd. sure is!) so his total lack of even basic knowledge is puzzling to say the least.

There are many cases where a wing is shown in a picture and you can tell from the obverse that it is the same wing that you are now holding in your hand. So while it is indeed uncommon it is not impossible.


Cheers
Gary



Hi Gary,

How can you determine the medal content of a pin by looking at a photo in a book? The pin may look like steel but it is probably a silver wash on a brass pin (see photo). The photo in the book also appears to be more brass colored where the plating has probably been worn off beginning about an half inch from the hinge.

When I compare the wing to the photo in the book they look like they are pretty much in the same location (wings next to picture). Also, wouldn't you expect there to be a bit of variance wing to wing as they were probably soldered by hand by different jewelers? Catch is more tapered? You can tell that from a two dimentional photo?

In your other posts you mention the lettering on reproducions being laser cut therefore well defined, the lettering on these are similar to the Angus & Coote wings you approved of on other posts (not well defined).

You stated that to the best of your knowledge Luke, Angus & Coote, ect. did not make two piece wings. Please see post http://www.usmilitar...angus,and,coote of a two piece Angus & Coote TO wing.

I don't think I will be able to provide you with a picture of anyone wearing these wings with the hallmark showing in the picture (or any other wings hallmark for that matter) which would be the only true evidence of the hallmarks existence. Even if I could provide a period photo of him wearing the wings you could argue that they are similar but not the same.

John

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#35 Gary Cain

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 11:08 AM

Hi John,

I don't think I saw that thread the first time around but the base wing is identical to the one pictured on page 117 of More Silver Wings that is a dead ringer for the back. As far as the TO device on the front I suspect that it is indeed period and was a one off from the company for a TO pilot. There weren't enough TO pilots to warrant making a die so it makes sense to modify a Aircrew wing to do the job. So there you go, now I have seen one! And when I said they didn't make two piece wings I should have specified in the manner that the US makers did. Here is obviously one that is good so I get to add that to the data base but the point still remains that other than one offs (which I think you will grant me this is?) it was not a common process for the Aussie makers. At least to date this is the only one I have seen. Do you know of more that were made this way?

Cheers
Gary

Hi Gary,

How can you determine the medal content of a pin by looking at a photo in a book? The pin may look like steel but it is probably a silver wash on a brass pin (see photo). The photo in the book also appears to be more brass colored where the plating has probably been worn off beginning about an half inch from the hinge.

When I compare the wing to the photo in the book they look like they are pretty much in the same location (wings next to picture). Also, wouldn't you expect there to be a bit of variance wing to wing as they were probably soldered by hand by different jewelers? Catch is more tapered? You can tell that from a two dimentional photo?

In your other posts you mention the lettering on reproducions being laser cut therefore well defined, the lettering on these are similar to the Angus & Coote wings you approved of on other posts (not well defined).

You stated that to the best of your knowledge Luke, Angus & Coote, ect. did not make two piece wings. Please see post http://www.usmilitar...angus,and,coote of a two piece Angus & Coote TO wing.

I don't think I will be able to provide you with a picture of anyone wearing these wings with the hallmark showing in the picture (or any other wings hallmark for that matter) which would be the only true evidence of the hallmarks existence. Even if I could provide a period photo of him wearing the wings you could argue that they are similar but not the same.

John

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#36 rustywings

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:19 PM

Gents, thank you for the opportunity to participate in this unique open discussion. I would like to throw my full support behind Jleng's efforts to validate the authenticity of his K.G. Luke hallmarked U.S. Bombardier's wing. I hope to provide enough fresh information to possibly sway the opinion of those collectors who believe it may be a recently manufactured reproduction. Let me make some statements, then show some images.

1.) John Cooper's first image in this thread portrays the back of a WWII era K.G. Luke made pilot's wing which, I believe, we all agree is authentic. The shield is attached to a generic base wing. I've seen this base wing used with a number of other Army Air Corp qualification badges including an Observer's wing, Air Crew wing and Flight Surgeon's wing. I'm sure there are others, but these can be supported with examples. (See attached images).

2.) The Luke hallmarked "first pattern" Pilot, Observer and Air Crew wings are all two-piece wings. The gilt Flight Surgeon wing is of three piece construction with a caduceus and observer's disc separately applied to the center of the base wing. An example of this early style Luke wing is illustrated and discussed in Russell Huff's 1989 winter edition of "Wings & Things Of The World", Number 6, page #35. I have never seen a Luke hallmarked Aerial Gunner or Bombardier wing made with this "first pattern" solid-back style base wing. If they're out there, please let me know.

3.) John's third image portrays the "wing in question" with large circular K.G. Luke hallmark. I've been wing collecting for many years and can't remember exactly when I picked up my Aerial Gunner wing or Bombardier's wing with this identical hallmark, but I believe I bought them in the late 1970's. If you have Russell Huff's 1981 copyrighted book "Wings Of The World", look at the center photograph on page 203 and you should see the faint image of a Luke made Bombardier's wing with large circular hallmark. If you have a copy of Russell Huff's 1993 edition of "Wings & Things Of The World", Number 23-24, you can see the same Bombardier's wing illustrated on page #51 and #59. Now I realize that just because I've owned a couple of these large hallmarked examples for 30+ years; and Mr. Huff has a similar wing illustrated in his 1981 dated publication, that doesn't guarantee they are WWII era wings. But it should squash the notion these circular hallmarked Luke wings are recent reproductions fabricated through laser technology. Just like Meyer's, Balfour, AMICO, LeVelle and GEMSCO, I believe the K.G. Luke company produced several different wing designs during the war. It appears this second pattern Luke wing may have been used specifically for their Aerial Gunner and Bombardier ratings.

4.) I've posted images of a K.G. Luke hallmarked Royal Australian Air Force Pilot wing, with King's Crown, and dated "1952". Please note the similarities between this circular K.G. Luke hallmark and the circular hallmark of the wing in question. Not only are the circumferences of both hallmarks identical, the font, letter size and surface texture match nicely as well. The RAAF wing was produced seven years after the war, but well before the era of sandcasted reproductions seen in the mid 1960's. Years ago I attempted to buy this same style RAAF wing with a stamped 1948 date, but lost it to a higher bidder. So, I know there are earlier dated examples of this circular hallmark out there.

5.) I'm including a couple of images of an early WWII Netherlands East Indies Army Pilot-Observer's wing with K.G. Luke hallmark. Please compare the similar, if not identical, characteristics of the pin, barrel hinge, and catch of the Dutch wing to the first pattern U.S. Observer's wing and the questioned second pattern U.S. Aerial Gunner's wing. It certainly appears they were all made by the same hands.

6.) To help dispell the rumor that an authentic WWII era Australian-made wing must have a pin on the back which only feeds through the top of the barrel hinge, please look at the back of these wings. It appears the Luke Company produced most of their WWII wings with an open 'C' style catch and fed the pin through the bottom of the barrel hinge. After the war, Luke stopped using the 'C' catch in favor of a heavier rotating catch, however they continued to frequently thread the pin up through the bottom of the hinge. (I included a couple of 1960's era RAAF wings in the group picture for comparison.)

7.) Regarding John Cooper's second image of the one-piece K.G. Luke hallmarked pilot wing, I've never seen that example before and can't offer an opinion without bennifit of a loop inspection. It might very well be another legit Luke pattern. It is certainly common knowledge that someone is restriking or reproducing Angus & Coote wings. The Angus & Coote reproductions are the best I've ever seen and make my knees shake with concern for the hobby's future. It is entirely possible scam artists are currently reproducing and selling K.G. Luke wings for illboding profit, but in my opinion, circular hallmarked K.G. Luke wings were indeed made during WWII.
Thank you,
Russ

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#37 rustywings

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:22 PM

second attachment.
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#38 rustywings

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:25 PM

third attachment.
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#39 rustywings

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:26 PM

forth attachment.
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#40 rustywings

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:28 PM

fifth attachment.WINGS_2009_031.jpg

#41 rustywings

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:29 PM

sixth attachment.
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#42 rustywings

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:32 PM

seventh sttachment.
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#43 rustywings

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:34 PM

8th attachment.
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#44 rustywings

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:38 PM

9th attachment.
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#45 rustywings

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:39 PM

10th attachment.
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#46 rustywings

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:42 PM

11th attachment.
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#47 rustywings

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:43 PM

12th attachment.
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#48 rustywings

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 07:45 PM

13th attachment.
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#49 pfrost

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 07:15 AM

First, I want to welcome Russ's first big post. Russ is a true wing scholar and gentleman of the highest calibre and we are lucky to have him participating in this discussion. While he is to humble to say so, I will say that IMHO he is one of the true titans of wing collecting...and I dont just say such nice things just because I owe him money :rolleyes: No one is perfect, but Russ is one of those fellows who researches, thinks, and listens more than the talks and opines.

Second, the beauty of these posts are the side by side comparisons of a wide range of wings ang wing types made by KG Luke. Clearly, I think Russ makes a very strong argument about the circular hallmarks being used vintage 1940-1950s, and in many ways debunks my concern that these hallmarks are recent "fantasy" fabrications of reproduction artists.

After this fine schooling on Luke hallmarks, one then wonders if the relative influx of wings is due to copies made from extanct wings that were reproduced with great fidelity or are in fact just an anomoly of ebay and militaria shows? I recently started a thread where I recounted a number of different times in my own experiences in which old new stock of previously forgotten stores of wings and insignia became available and flooded the market. With the changes in ebay and economic down turns, it is possible that people are simply moving more merchandise around. Who knows, but the easy answere that they are current fakes based on fantasy wings that were never made during the war, is clearly not the best conclusion.

Thanks and welcome Russ. I hope you continue to share your fine collection and educate us!

Patrick

Edited by pfrost, 15 August 2009 - 07:17 AM.


#50 rustywings

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 08:30 PM

Patrick, thank you for your kind words and friendship. I've noticed there are many advanced and highly respected collectors participating in this Forum. I look forward to exchanging ideas and images of U.S. wings with all.

Regarding these K.G. Luke made wings with circular hallmarks, I noticed '*************** Gallery' is making and selling "museum quality reproductions" of the full-size Bombardier's wing with the identical raised circular Luke hallmark as illustrated above, for $65.00 apiece. I wonder if this is the source of confusion amongst some collectors?

Blue skies,
Russ


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