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Bailey Banks and Biddle Officer Hat EGA p1914


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#1 usmcaviator

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 05:49 PM

I haven't seen too many threads dedicated to marked BB&B Marine items. This is a beautiful officer's service cap emblem of very interesting construction and method of attachment. This may date earlier, but I say 1914 based off of the fact that this came from a Marine officer's trunk who entered service in 1917 and got out in 1921. This one belonged to Capt John H. Williamson, member of the 1st Officer Basic Course in Quantico, 1917. He was an intsructor at the Overseas Depot in 1918 and he later served in Santo Domingo from 1919-1920.

Note how the eagle is attached to the globe via two small rings and also note the interesting short pin with catch on the center portion of the anchor. It is marked "B.B.& B. PHILA. BRONZE". I have to check my photos I have of Williamson, he may be wearing it in one of them. The detail and crispness is un-paralleled and shows why BB&B is still top of the line with most collectors.

Mike
(BROKEN LINK REMOVED)


Edited by Brig, 14 May 2014 - 01:50 PM.


#2 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 06:41 AM

Let me say first this stunning piece would be in my personal ranking, one top ten favorite emblems of the WW1 era. It exudes all the jeweler made qualities of this period and reflects the charm and patina of those we refer to as the fire bronze pieces made in the first half of the 20th century. The clasp is very unique to the period of this makers pieces, lovely right down to the dust present in and throughout the crevices and the verdigris forming in locations one would expect to see in this emblem.

I do wonder http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif Mike if you may have dated this emblem a bit early. Prior to 1922, emblems of this period were typically constructed using 7 lines on parallel, for the first time in the '22 uniform reg's, the globe was changed and 9 lines were stipulated. The change also addressed "clearly outlined" continents on officer emblems and changed the wording to use chased vice fretted globe (at which time I believe most makers began using "applied continents). Of course we all realize "some" of these unique characistics were already being seen in various makers emblems of the period and BB&B were certainly considered amoung the finest and leaders in military outfitting of this time. In my view, the words chased and fretted were clearly ambigous, from the standpoint that stempling as this emblem exhibits was a more common practice and continued well past this period.

So, 1914 or 1922... to be determined? Nonetheless this emblem is amoung my top ten favorites. Thank you very much for sharing with us! s/f Darrell

#3 usmcaviator

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 07:57 AM

Darrell,
There was not an item dated past 1921 in the footlocker contents in which this emblem came. The locker was so fresh, I doubt it was opened from the day Williamson hung it up until the day it was auctioned a few years back. In the locker were 3 mint bell crowns (white, service, and blue), 3 dress white coat/pant sets, 3 tropical coat/pant sets, 1 dress blue set, 2 dress hat emblems, 2 sets of dress collar insignia, 2 sets of service collar insignia, one overseas cap, his medals, his ROTC insignia, a 1917 1st Officer Basic Yardlong photo, and a stack of orders, correspondence and photos. The insignia is well worn and was obtained by Williamson, without a doubt, between 1917-1921. He had no other service beyond that timeframe. I will post a photo of him tonight that looks to have this emblem on his campaign hat. I will also post a photo of all insignia that came from the trunk. It is not very often that a time capsule is unsealed, but that is what the trunk was, an untouched Marine Officer's trunk from the WW1 era. I am confident that all of the insignia are at least P1914s and were purchased/obtained no later than 1921.
I believe that the construction of many of the early EGAs dont follow any such pattern delineated in the regs, whether it be fretted or chased, 7 lines or 9, or applied and outlined. From the inception of this insignia, the construction of EGAs has disobeyed all regulations and makers were free, for the most part, to do as they wished in regards to construction, material, design, and method of attachment. The regs were vague, they provided dimensions, and served as a guideline via a hand drawn black outlined diagram from which an artist worked. The regs left room for ambiguity everywhere, and with no Marine Corps quality control system in the realm of private purchased insignia, artists were free to work the canvis differently. I will be posting many more insignia, that buck the regs at every turn. The proof in this piece is in its provenance of having come from such a fine un-touched footlocker.

Mike

#4 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 09:29 AM

Mike, I agree fully with your thoughts. Less some "word-smithing" I could not state your aforementioned comments better. As we travel down this long road to understand the history and development of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, we are going to give way to many accepted thought's, conventional wisdoms and realize... and here is the key, in many instances the reg's that were promulgated were most often a reaction to what changes had already begun in the field. In the case of understanding our EGA's, we need to have samples such as this one (which provide such impeccable provenance) which indicate to us, the newer design spec' contained in each uniform reg publication, were often a reflection on what the uniform boards saw being made and modeled current and future emblem reg's upon them. The leading jewelers & makers of the day such as BB&B, Tiffany & Gaunt were undoubtedly providing to the QM folks samples of product and design... so its only natural the design & development would proceed regulations concerning emblems characteristics.

So, my point is, (and this is for all starting and developing an EGA collection) not every emblem can be attributed to a specific period... just because it fits into the period of design, yours being a perfect example. I choose to draw attention and contradiction of your dating for that purpose and that purpose only, and if it benefits just one new collector, than we have all benefited from the dialog. And if the Dr's book ever gets published, we will all know more http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif Nonetheless I hope you will share more of this trunk

I for one cannot wait to see more of these that defy todays conventional thought, there are allot of gaps in our collective knowledge up to 1955, yet to be filled. s/f Darrell

Edited by teufelhunde.ret, 25 October 2007 - 12:08 PM.
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#5 usmcaviator

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 12:20 PM

Darrell,
Well said. I hope to bring about many more questions and answers as I continue to post some of my collection. I will post the EGA contents of the trunk tonight, I am sure it will bring about some questions as this one guys lot had many different styles.

Mike

#6 GLM *Deceased*

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 12:52 PM

Mike,

Without a doubt, one of the most attractive officer emblems I have seen. A true beauty!

Gary

#7 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 01:02 PM

Thank you. I was tempted to give one of those "old testament" replies, Gary is known for (and yes I lov'em and miss our long winded PM's at the time this forum got started) but feel its best to stay focused on the topic at hand.

Nonetheless, if you were to have posted a "guess what period" (and shown only the front) most would have said early 1920's http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/crying.gif its the back of this emblem which is the dead giveaway. Irrespective, the hallmark intrigues me, simply from the fact that we know so little about the periods certain hallmarks were used and under what circumstances... chapter two? http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

s/f Darrell

#8 usmcaviator

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 04:59 PM

Here is Williamson in 1917, 1919 and 1920. The photos can not be brought up in size to verify the above insignia, but the one on his campaign cover bears a strong resemblance and he obviously wore his campaign hat through 1920 as can be seen in the last photo while in the Dominican Republic (he is on the right with what looks like his brother).

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#9 usmcaviator

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 07:26 AM

Here is what came from the trunk lot that is dated 1917-1921. Take it for what its worth, but these in my opinion are all no later than 1921 based off of the pristine and untouched condition of the trunk. There are stimpled globes, smooth globes, and etched globes, globes with 7 lines, globes with 9 lines, globes with 11 lines, and globes with 12 lines, there are seperately applied continents and one piece stamped with continents.

Mike

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#10 teufelhunde.ret

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 12:11 PM

Fellow forum members:

You are in the "EGA reference section". This area is were posts from the EGA "discussion section" are moved for permanent retention and education about the history of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. As time moves forward there maybe additional information the EGA Moderators wish to add or will add to this specific post. We ask for your input as well.

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