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WING COLLECTION


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#26 Gary Cain

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 03:12 PM

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#27 Gary Cain

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 03:13 PM

The major difference between this wing and the known fakes is the dished tips of the wing tips. The fakes are basically solid backed.

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Edited by Gary Cain, 12 September 2007 - 03:14 PM.


#28 pfrost

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 04:09 PM

OK may as well start the ball rolling. I will try to adress the issues as they come up.

First, I actually went to the Flayderman auction and previewed all the wings in person. I didn't see LOTS of fakes, but I did see 2-3 that I thought may have been suspect. Not sure if that was before or after some of the wings were pulled. Also, I focused on the US wings, so can't say one way or the other about the other wings from other countries that were put up for sale. I saw ONE wing at Bob Chatt's show, and was standing there when it was sold for big bucks to a well known and well respected militaria dealer (I will keep the names and price private).

Second. I never said these 1920's observer wings were not made. I have said that I have only seen and handled one that was the same as the one shown in Campbell's book...which by the way is a photo. As to your other point that Campbell's book shows drawings, that is true...but they are drawings of real wings that he had in his collection. I think that Mr. Campbell may be in very poor health, but for many years, we would answer questions for people who contacted him. Somewhere, I have come correspondence that I had with him concerning a number of wings in my collection. However, I am hesitant to rely on some distant phone converstations and maybe lost correspondence that I had with that fine gentleman many years ago. I do think that while it is true he did not show EVERY wing sytle or pattern ever made in his book, all the wings he presents are 100% legit. That is why I believe that the wing shown here (http://www.ww2wings....sobserver.shtml) and which is a match for the one illustrated in Campbell's book is a legitimate wing. HOWEVER, that pattern wing is also faked. When I get home tonight I will scan the fakes of this wing in both full and 1/2 wing that I bought as fakes many years ago. They are also die struck, but are 100% no good.

Third, when I was describing the wing I saw at Bob Chat's show, I was providing information that I thought people would like to know. THAT wing was exquisite, and did not look anything like wing shown here. One problem with many collectors is that they do not have a chance to see a legitimate wing and thus have nothing to really compare it with. If it would make you feel better, simply ignore that part of the discussion.

Fourth, I dont recall what was posted at the WAF forum (I will try to recapture that thread and refresh my memory). However, I dont recall that any solid evidence was every presented, that one pattern shield(?) was anymore legit than another. A couple of points:

Saying "this wing is in my collection and is good" and because yours is similar (or differant) it is good (or bad) is NOT proof of anything. But, if you want to believe that, then be my guest--I don't think that there is anything that can be said further. If you had a dated catalog showing this wing in this pattern from NS Meyers, then that is proof. If you had a photograph of a man wearing that wing then that is proof. The best proof, is of course, to measure and weigh these wings and compare them to know originals. However, we have yet to see any known originals presented on this thread.

Finally, as to your wing, I still dont like it. First, both the sterling stamps and the Meyer and Wenthe are clearly not part of the back die, but were added after the wing was struck. Why do I think that, because the depth of the strike is unequal. Sure, it doesnt mean that Meyer and Wenthe didnt make this wing, but it also doesnt preclude someone with a Meyer and Wenthe and sterling stamp from adding this mark to a restrike. Second, the quality of the stamping is horrible. The detail is soft and fuzzy, the lines are blurry, and the edges are indistinct. Notice the wear in the US. How does a wing that was authorized for only 11 months. Assuming some time in which dies had to be made, likely even less than that. Finally, even Weingart galleries has copies of the Meyer and Wenthe hallmarked WWI wing fake that is relatively common. So, I think this wing that you show actually makes my point that this pattern wing is being faked.

Look, you guys are welcome to believe that YOUR particular version of these well known fakes and restrikes are the rare and real deals lurking in admist the thousands of other examples floating around on ebay and militaria shows. I agee, my arguements are circular....I say they are fake because their is no proof and because they are fake, no proof exists that they were made. But, what else can I say.

Edited by pfrost, 12 September 2007 - 04:12 PM.


#29 John Cooper

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 06:16 PM

I knew this was going to be an interesting thread... GAry thanks for the additional photos. Is it possible to have you provide a close-up of the center front of the wing in a high res photo? I would like to see if how well defined that area is.

Thanks

John

#30 Gary Cain

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:39 PM

Hi Patrick,

Yes I was at the Flayderman auction as well and along with some other collectors and dealers was responsible for a great amount of bogus material being pulled. I don't remember the amount but it was over 50 lots. I refer to the statement you made in the original WAF thread where you categorically stated that this particular pattern was never produced and then you let slip in this thread the comment "' May I ask what known original? '" then go on with your other comments, some of which are totally legitimate.

A drawing of a wing is in no way a legitimate source for authenticating anything. And if you look at the drawing it is a ONE piece construction, it is not multi piece.

As for the observation of the wing sold at the Chatt show, that's nice but not pertinent to our discussion here as the wing you so glowingly described does not conform to the official pattern any more than the platinum set of colonels eagles I described do. And if you want to get right down to it I know two jewelers(one gentleman is named Chris Croissant and his work is exquisite, he also makes third reich awards and uses the original tombak alloy, he does mark them as repro's as well! the other I only know as Peter and his fakes are also exquisite, I have been trying to find his real identity for a couple of years now) who have made extraordinarily nice fakes (much better than were actually made during the period) just to show off their skill!

I have never said that my wing is good, in fact I have done tons of research to prove it is not real, hence the two plus years of digging through the Meyer & Wenthe records, what have you done? I really do suggest you review the WAF thread and pull up the Verkuilen pictures as they were very intereting in proving the fact that there are at least three sets of dies out there and once again I ask you to think logically. A die set costs $10,000 to produce, what faker is going to shell out $30,000 for three sets and then only produce one wing of each of the two sets? The reason why the Meyer wing is the one we see all the time is because those dies were still in existence and were cheap enough for the faker to just buy and start production.

Please note again, I do not claim that the wing in my collection is good. But I am doing the research to at least find out if it is. I have learned a ton about the insignia manufactured by Meyer & Wenthe and that will make a great ASMIC article in the future. There are certainly parts of my wing I don't like but most of the muddy details are due to my poor picture taking As far as the Weingart Gallery, why don't you post some pictures of the Meyer & Wenthe fake they have as I have never seen that one and am very interseted to see it.

And once again my primary concern with how you react to these things is your immediate response that all are fake. I have been collecting wings for many, many years and to date have never seen a Meyer & Wenthe stamp(hence my interest) nor a Reininger stamp (from the original WAF thread), please be so kind to show us all some of those as well.
As you say that would be real evidence. So far all you have produced is your opinion based on conversations that you have had with people the vast majority of collectors have never heard of. If they are the same as your "Dog tag expert" who tried to convince you that the Baloon Co. dog tag you had was legit, then I have concerns with the experts you are talking to.
I too have all of the Wing Ding magazines and they were far more an avenue for Huff to sell his wares then they were a useful source of information. Far better is Cross & Cockade and I have all of those as well. Those magazines are fantastic for the wealth of information they contain.

So to reiterate, I don't know whether my wing is good or not, nor have I ever said it was! I do know that there are at least three sets of dies out there (thanks to Verkuilen Ager). I do know that there were more than the three you claim to have seen (or is it none?) made in the 9 months that it was an official pattern. I do know that Meyer & Wenthe made this type of wing, I just don't know how many nor do I know if the wing in my collection is one of theirs or a fake. I do know that you seem to place a lot of faith in an un-official (anathema to the vast majority of collectors who are allways looking for the "Official Pattern") wing that was sold at a Bob Chatt show. I do know that you seem to think that drawings are useable to identify wing patterns (once again anathema to collectors) and I also know that you have a very nice collection of wings and have a nice web site to show them off. But counting against you, you reference out of date and functionally unusable books and magazines and old time collectors (we all know how reliable some of those "Experts" are) as your source of information. I have all of those books and magazines you reference and they were great 20 years ago, but now they are next to useless in comparison to the newer books that have come out like the Schiffer books Wings of Honor, Silver Wings etc. etc. And finally I know that you can't seem to make up your mind about whether these wings were ever made or not

....I say they are fake because their is no proof and because they are fake, no proof exists that they were made. But, what else can I say.

I did not write that you did, and yet we know through attributed groups that these wings did exist, (I am currently reasearching three that were sold to a F. Williams in Flint Michigan, he later bought three standard pilots wings in 1923 as well) you are very quick to discount anything that runs counter to your pre concieved ideas and are a tad arrogant in the way you do it especially in the light that you have no real information, just "I don't think they existed because some old collectors don't think so but if you want to see what a real one looks like then take a look at this obscure book that most people have never heard of and Oh by the way it's a drawing"


C'mon Patrick you're smarter than that!

Gary








quote name='pfrost' date='Sep 12 2007, 05:09 PM' post='60585']
OK may as well start the ball rolling. I will try to adress the issues as they come up.

First, I actually went to the Flayderman auction and previewed all the wings in person. I didn't see LOTS of fakes, but I did see 2-3 that I thought may have been suspect. Not sure if that was before or after some of the wings were pulled. Also, I focused on the US wings, so can't say one way or the other about the other wings from other countries that were put up for sale. I saw ONE wing at Bob Chatt's show, and was standing there when it was sold for big bucks to a well known and well respected militaria dealer (I will keep the names and price private).

Second. I never said these 1920's observer wings were not made. I have said that I have only seen and handled one that was the same as the one shown in Campbell's book...which by the way is a photo. As to your other point that Campbell's book shows drawings, that is true...but they are drawings of real wings that he had in his collection. I think that Mr. Campbell may be in very poor health, but for many years, we would answer questions for people who contacted him. Somewhere, I have come correspondence that I had with him concerning a number of wings in my collection. However, I am hesitant to rely on some distant phone converstations and maybe lost correspondence that I had with that fine gentleman many years ago. I do think that while it is true he did not show EVERY wing sytle or pattern ever made in his book, all the wings he presents are 100% legit. That is why I believe that the wing shown here (http://www.ww2wings....sobserver.shtml) and which is a match for the one illustrated in Campbell's book is a legitimate wing. HOWEVER, that pattern wing is also faked. When I get home tonight I will scan the fakes of this wing in both full and 1/2 wing that I bought as fakes many years ago. They are also die struck, but are 100% no good.

Third, when I was describing the wing I saw at Bob Chat's show, I was providing information that I thought people would like to know. THAT wing was exquisite, and did not look anything like wing shown here. One problem with many collectors is that they do not have a chance to see a legitimate wing and thus have nothing to really compare it with. If it would make you feel better, simply ignore that part of the discussion.

Fourth, I dont recall what was posted at the WAF forum (I will try to recapture that thread and refresh my memory). However, I dont recall that any solid evidence was every presented, that one pattern shield(?) was anymore legit than another. A couple of points:

Saying "this wing is in my collection and is good" and because yours is similar (or differant) it is good (or bad) is NOT proof of anything. But, if you want to believe that, then be my guest--I don't think that there is anything that can be said further. If you had a dated catalog showing this wing in this pattern from NS Meyers, then that is proof. If you had a photograph of a man wearing that wing then that is proof. The best proof, is of course, to measure and weigh these wings and compare them to know originals. However, we have yet to see any known originals presented on this thread.

Finally, as to your wing, I still dont like it. First, both the sterling stamps and the Meyer and Wenthe are clearly not part of the back die, but were added after the wing was struck. Why do I think that, because the depth of the strike is unequal. Sure, it doesnt mean that Meyer and Wenthe didnt make this wing, but it also doesnt preclude someone with a Meyer and Wenthe and sterling stamp from adding this mark to a restrike. Second, the quality of the stamping is horrible. The detail is soft and fuzzy, the lines are blurry, and the edges are indistinct. Notice the wear in the US. How does a wing that was authorized for only 11 months. Assuming some time in which dies had to be made, likely even less than that. Finally, even Weingart galleries has copies of the Meyer and Wenthe hallmarked WWI wing fake that is relatively common. So, I think this wing that you show actually makes my point that this pattern wing is being faked.

Look, you guys are welcome to believe that YOUR particular version of these well known fakes and restrikes are the rare and real deals lurking in admist the thousands of other examples floating around on ebay and militaria shows. I agee, my arguements are circular....I say they are fake because their is no proof and because they are fake, no proof exists that they were made. But, what else can I say.
[/quote]

#31 Gary Cain

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:42 PM

Hi John,

I will try but the fuzzy look to the wing is more attributable to my poor skills with the camera than with the wing itself. But to reiterate I don't know if it is real or not I just know that it is not the same pattern as the known fakes.


Gary

I knew this was going to be an interesting thread... GAry thanks for the additional photos. Is it possible to have you provide a close-up of the center front of the wing in a high res photo? I would like to see if how well defined that area is.

Thanks

John



#32 John Cooper

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 08:30 PM

Hi John,

I will try but the fuzzy look to the wing is more attributable to my poor skills with the camera than with the wing itself. But to reiterate I don't know if it is real or not I just know that it is not the same pattern as the known fakes.


Gary



Thanks for the reply Gary and trust me I know! In fact I just bought a new camera and a tri-pod to I can take better photos. Anyway please do try if you please as I think much can be shared \ learned by close analysis and thoughtful and "friendly" discussion. In fact I hope to see more folks discussing their wings and expanding there circle of fellow collectors. I would love to see US wing collectors reach at least as far as those who collect German pilots badges in their level of knowledge and depth of discussion.

I think this forum and the internet has opened up so much to so many with the only drawback being that you are not face to face can lend itself to some tension developing when none needs to. anyway I am off topic...

Regards,

John

#33 Gary Cain

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 08:54 PM

Hello again,

I will try and get it tomorrow. I agree the net is a big help for the newer collectors(hell I am an "advanced" collector and I discover new stuff all the time! As far as Patrick and I getting heated think he knows its all in good fun! I certainly am not madat him or anything like that. My problem is I am a scientist (geologist) and "circular" arguments with no facts in support annoy me!


Cheers!
Gary

Thanks for the reply Gary and trust me I know! In fact I just bought a new camera and a tri-pod to I can take better photos. Anyway please do try if you please as I think much can be shared \ learned by close analysis and thoughtful and "friendly" discussion. In fact I hope to see more folks discussing their wings and expanding there circle of fellow collectors. I would love to see US wing collectors reach at least as far as those who collect German pilots badges in their level of knowledge and depth of discussion.

I think this forum and the internet has opened up so much to so many with the only drawback being that you are not face to face can lend itself to some tension developing when none needs to. anyway I am off topic...

Regards,

John



#34 John Cooper

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 08:58 PM

You two sound a bit like an old married couple ;) :lol:

Hey patrick - I posted that MAAF for you... patch section.

#35 pfrost

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 09:12 PM

First, here is the thread on WAF. http://www.wehrmacht...t=observer wing

Verkulkian never proved anything. He took two different scans of two similar wings and said he sees differences. I dont see those differences being anything else than different lighting and angles, but if you want to believe that based on those two scans that he PROVED different dies, then I am not going to waste my time arguing with you. Also, his "third" example was from Campbell's book and that is a totally different pattern to begin with, so it is moot to include it in this discussion.

To be fair, if you do think that there are differences, then I would also point you to the similarities (identical wear, wing and feather detail, catch and hinge assembly, hand stamped hallmarks, etc).

Also, note that in that WAF thread your wing and a wing marked REININGER & Co S.F. CAL were discussed. At that time, I spent 5 minutes on ebay and found a THIRD wing auction of the same 1920s pattern wing that was marked Robbins Co, but didnt bother to capture or post an image. I have also shown on ebay that this same wing exists without a hallmark and on this thread, we see the same wing with a NS Meyer hallmark. So, that means at least 5 identical wings with 4 different hallmarks.

All of these wings have poor detail, hand stamped hallmarks and sterling marks, and unnatural wear.

In any case, irrespective of a year old discussion on WAF, I honestly think you can look at this thing in two ways.

1) At least 5 different companies (Reininger & Co, San Francisco, Meyer and Wenthe, Chicago, NS Meyer, New York, Robbins Co, Mass., and some unmarked wings) were all making this same wing during the 9 months of 1920-1921, using the same die, with incised, hand stamped hallmarks, with lots of wear, and poor detail. These wings were made in sufficient quantities that they show up on ebay and ASMIC shows and militria shows (and for discussion on WAF and USMILITARIA forums) on near regular basis, yet no one seems to have a single photo or catalog or document showing that this particular wing was every made between Oct 1920 and Nov 1921--by anyone, much less these 4 companies.

OR....

2) Someone made a fake die (or had some restrikes made) of these wings, churned out a batch of them, and when they stopped selling, began adding fake hallmarks to them to catch the unwary and novice collector.

I will be straight up and say, I believe that these wings (the ones under discussion on this thread) are fakes. Because, as any serious wing or militaria collector will tell you, a cheaply made, poor detailed wing that is showing up all over ebay and militaria shows (but should be one of the rarest US-made wings available), that has hallmarks that look like they were added by hand, and being sold by some of the more sleazy militaria dealers as "the real deal" are LIKELY fake.

So, maybe what we should really be telling novice collectors, is not to suspend belief, and dont drop the 100-200$ these wings typically sell for and add this wing to your collection, with out asking yourself some very hard questions or you may as will start buying up Luft badges, and get use to the feel of that nasty burning.

Finally, simply because Verkulkian did some photo shop comparisons on two scanned wings on WAF doesnt prove a damn thing. Put these two or three or 500 wings side by side, with measures and weights, and then maybe you can have some real proof.

Anyway, I really have nothing more to add to this thread. So, I humbly bow out.

Patrick


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