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MikeK

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  1. Allan, You've misread my comments. The area you've circled is imo the very weak and partial Meyer maker mark I mentioned. The two raised areas I circled are what appear to me to be the remains of casting sprue, not a maker mark. Regards Mike
  2. That is an unusual wing. The obverse looks good - nice and detailed, pelican beak pattern. The reverse may tell the story though. There appears to be the very weak remnants of a raised N S Meyer Inc New York makers mark. The sterling mark has been stamped in after production. The thing that gets me are the 2 features highlighted - they look like the remnants of sprue from casting. Combined with the weak maker mark and 180 degree opening pin, I think this is probably a really nice casting of a WW2/KW vintage Meyer wing. Regards Mike
  3. I can only agree with the comments above - authentic but pricey. I'm not sure what Amcraft has to do with this thread as the example in question is A.E.Co (American Emblem Company). The reverse is typical for genuine AECo wings, with a cast appearance (same for the front - relatively weak detail). They may even have been die-cast rather than die-struck however, you'll probably find some nice shear marks on the edges indicating they were at least die trimmed. Hardware is correct for an AECo pinback. Regards Mike
  4. From the hardware, markings and finish, I'm thinking it's a restrike. Regards Mike
  5. I replied in the other thread before seeing this thread: For me this set of wings is a cast repro. The obverse detail is very weak, as is the maker mark. Further, they've used an Observer base wing, rather than a Pilot base wing, to attach the crude G shield to. This pattern of Gaunt observer base wing was not typically made from silver, let alone Sterling Silver, so the nice crisp Sterling stamp is another red flag. Regards Mike
  6. For me this set of wings is a cast repro. The obverse detail is very weak, as is the maker mark. Further, they've used an Observer base wing, rather than a Pilot base wing, to attach the crude G shield to. This pattern of Gaunt observer base wing was not typically made from silver, let alone Sterling Silver, so the nice crisp Sterling stamp is another red flag. Regards Mike
  7. Yes, AAF. I don't have my references but it's 1st "something". Originals were CBI made and are rare. Without seeing the reverse I'm thinking this may be a collectors copy. Regards Mike
  8. Hi lavos, I don't have any issues with any of the wings. All appear to be standard graduation pieces. For me, most would date mid/late WW2, with the grey-backed non-Sterling marked Aircrew and Glider more likely late WW2 to KW period. Regards Mike
  9. Wow, not one but 2 rare originals with provenance posted within a few hours! Great wings both, thanks for showing them! Regards Mike
  10. Hi Chris, An interesting topic and I had a similar experience with a local collector very recently (some high end German badges though, some bought from a now defuct US source, others from a still operating UK source, all purchased over 20 years ago). Some collectors take the news well - they just want to know the truth and will trash a repro. Others don't believe you and will try and get rid of it as original because that's what they were told when they bought it (or worse, they do believe you and sell it as an original anyway). So collectors can be just as bad as dodgy sellers when $$ are involved. Having said that, even repros have some value (eg as a cheap display piece or filler) and I have no problems with someone selling a fake as a fake. In the pre-internet/e-mail and pre-digital image days, yes, there are plenty of reasons why collectors pretty much had to trust a dealer's word (or a fellow collector's word) because there was almost no way of validating their assertions. I've been there and been stung along the way like most others. Some of those dealers were stand-up guys and would do the right thing even years later, some would get dirty and put you on their blacklist after reluctantly doing the right thing and the ones who would sell their mother for a loaf of bread would just laugh at you (on a nice day) but all types could talk the leg off a table and sell ice to eskimos. Caveat Emptor was much harder to achieve due to the lack of available references. I really feel for guys who trusted a dealer's word implicitly. Worse, those who stayed loyal to a crook (multiple purchases over years) without knowing it and actually passed over genuine items because they did not look like the fakes they'd been buying as "genuine". That category takes the bad news the hardest because it's a double whammy - misplaced trust and large sums of money lost. These days it's a slightly different story. I am a collector but will sell items to buy others when required - I figured out a long time ago I can't have everything! I guarantee the authenticity of what I pass on based on the research I have done but I don't profess to be an expert in anything - absolutely anyone, including self-professed experts, can make honest mistakes. Having said that, I HAVE used the phrase "Caveat Emptor" because these days these is NO excuse for buying a fake. I always have the phrase in the back of my mind when I'm contemplating buying something as well. Basically, if you don't know EXACTLY what you are buying, you should NOT be buying it. Despite how harsh or heartless it may sound, these days if you don't do you research with the multiple hard-copy and digital sources available (even if it's just another online "it is original" question), you honestly deserve what you get. Happy collecting - not investing! Regards Mike
  11. Good pickup. Looks like someone is either reproducing or re-striking Meyer's earlier "detailed" feather pattern. Decent looking hardware but totally incorrect reverse badge details, finish and markings. The reverse should look more like the following (note this particular one is not sterling); Regards Mike
  12. The Sterling mark is interesting on this type. For the marking to be raised on the badge, it has to be incised into the reverse die (the marking can not "melt" or otherwise move after it's been struck - or cast!). When looked at closely, the "melting" observed appears to be a series of discrete RAISED lines extending from the base of the letters in STERLING towards the lower edge of the badge. These raised features to me clearly indicate micro-cracks in the reverse die. Further, even with the 2 examples posted above (the OP badge photography, combined with the abrasive cleaning, means I have not included it) it is clear to me that there are more and longer "lines" below the STERLING on triplecanopy's example (eg below the R), indicating it was produced after Tonomachi's example (assuming die struck, different strike pressures COULD produce the same apparent effect, but the bottom line is that die damage is present). Overall, to me this indicates a probably damaged and deteriorating die. The hardware and soldering on the badges above look WW2 vintage to me, although the finish on Tonomachi's example reminds me of the greyish finish associated with sterling and non-sterling marked KW vintage wings. Regards Mike
  13. When talking about 2-piece wings, ie those with a separately attached central device; It is common for an Observer base wing to be used for Air Crew, Air Gunner, Navigator, Bombardier and Flight Engineer wings. It is common for the Pilot base wing to be used for the Service/Liason/Glider wings. It is imo very uncommon for a Pilot base wing to be used for an eg Air Crew wing or and Observer base wing to be used for a Pilot/Service/Liason/Glider wing. That's imo a very interesting variation imaged in the 1st post, despite the broken main pin! Regards Mike
  14. The wear on the high points (front and back) appears to show a silver coloured basemetal, so I'd suggest a lower quality silver alloy, somewhere below sterling (.925). A US wing made from copper would be highly suspect. As mentioned, the wings look fine. Good shear marks on the edges indicating die struck, etc. So I don't think it's the basemetal that is causing the strange colour, I think it's something that's happened to the finish that was applied to the basemetal. Yes, silver/sterling wings also had a silver finish applied to them, and sometimes that finish was also lacquered - ie had a protective clear coating applied. Regards Mike
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