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What was the first fake you bought?


Austin R
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I bought my first fake when I first started collecting at 14. A surplus vendor at a flea market sold me a "authentic" bomber jacket $40, but it ended up being just a jacket you would buy at the mall in the 70s. What a nice dealer to rip off a 14 year old. :rolleyes: I keep it as a reminder of my stupidity.

 

The next fake I bought was at Aldefer's Auction's militaria auction. The "Military Appraiser" sold a Dutch Civil Defense Helmet as a real British MKII helmet and I have seen a few more fakes come through that auction.

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When I was 12 or 13 I brought a "Vietnam" helmet from a dealer I'm still in contact with. It turned out to be a 1980s helmet, but it had a nice Vietnam covers on it. Good ending though cause I "called him out" so to say, and he gave me a really good deal on other things I've brought from him. As a collecter of everything I think it was an honest mistake on his part, and he did make up for it. So all ended well.

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Bought a pair of WWI trench boots from a guy for a LARGE chunk of money. When it was identified that they were fake, guy claimed he didn't know and I was out that LARGE chunk of money, guess it was my problem after he made up his profit. I recently sold the boots as reproduction and took a %80 loss on them.

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JCFalkenbergIII

Back in the 70s I bought quite a bit of insignia from The Patch King. Some were repros. I was just too young and uniformed to know. Robert

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Back in the 70s I bought quite a bit of insignia from The Patch King. Some were repros. I was just too young and uniformed to know. Robert

Just wondering, what is The Patch King I hear people talking about it?

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The first fakes that I bought was a lot of ten or so "WWII Patches." It says, "WWII Original" so it's gotta be true, right?

 

When I received them, they had the waxy, iron-on backs. After doing my research and found out I got burned, I quickly emailed the seller and got my money back.

 

My first non-militaria fake: I got duped into buying some fake Pokemon cards. I did not get my money back.

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JCFalkenbergIII
Just wondering, what is The Patch King I hear people talking about it?

 

Here you go Austin.These are a few of the threads where the Patch King is discussed. He was a gentleman who ran a insignia company in New York for decades. I bought quite a few of them when I was young. Robert

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...=The+Patch+King

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...=The+Patch+King

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...=The+Patch+King

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Original WWII 101st AB patch which turned out to be a postwar type.

Didn't know it at that time, only found out years later.

I sent it to the sister of a KIA Gliderman as a gift (I did tell her it was postwar, but she still was happy with the little gift).

 

Erwin

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I know it's just a matter of semantics but we need to differentiate between "fakes" and "repros". For example, if you were to buy an M1 helmet under the impression it was a WW2 example, but you later discovered it was of Korean War vintage, strictly speaking it's not a "fake"...the helmet itself is original enough, it's just been misrepresented by an unscrupulous seller. On the other hand, if you were to buy an expensive "WW2 bullion airborne patch" which was actually hand-made in Pakistan just last week, then that's a "fake" in that it was probably deliberately made to deceive. This differs from Patch King patches which are/were just honest reproductions mass-produced for collectors. However, they too can be misrepresented by shady dealers.

 

Another example. About ten years ago in the UK, large numbers of minty leggings began to appear and were usually listed as "US lightweight tropical leggings" (ain't no such thing!) They were, in fact, British Army anti-mosquito leggings...but with the addition of a US stamp were sold to unsuspecting collectors. So again, a genuine item but misrepresented. The fake vs repro thing is a kind of grey area...know what I mean. Just my 2% anyway!

 

PS. I actually bought a pair of those alleged "tropical leggings"! :blush:

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And if that patch was on a WWII shirt?

 

Erwin

 

Then I suppose technically it becomes a put-together? That's another "grey area". For example, if a collector takes a "blank" Ike and adds carefully researched original period insignia/patches to create a display piece for his own consumption, does it constitute a "fake"? Or, does it only become a fake if said collector offers it for sale as an "Original WW2 101st Division Ike" on ebAY or the forum etc?

 

Ian :think:

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Thanks for the explanation.

I just don't make those differences, I guess. :)

I "only" have three categories; original (original mounted patches on uniforms), put together (added war or postwar stuff to have an example of what was worn) and fake (made or put together in order to deceive .... a LARGE category!).

 

Erwin

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If you buy a repro jump-suit from say ATF, add a WW2 patch /flag and wear it for re-enacting etc., it remains what it is...a repro. However, way on down the line when it's maybe a little faded, stained, torn etc., and is subsequently offered for sale as an " original WW2 jumpsuit" it then becomes a fake. Same goes for all of the repro gear in circulation today from HBT caps to musette bags. Some day a percentage of it will be/or is already sold as being "original WW2". Sad but true. This kind of fakery is often enhanced by spurious provenance designed to fool the potential buyer....eg., bought direct from the vet /vet's family in a garage sale / estate sale...found in a barn etc. etc....you know the kind of thing?!

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It was German. I'll let it go at that......

 

After having served in Germany for about 2 and a half years, I finally got around to driving across the border over to the flea market in Metz, France. It was a great market at the time, but it did not have a lot of militaria the day I was there.

 

But, as you would imagine, there were some WWII items there. I thought I was going to collect WWII German stuff at the time. I picked up a really neat Infantry tactics field manual which I could not read as it was in the old style German script, but it was illustrated. I set it down to think about it.

 

I then came across a infantryman's tunic. Perfect souvenir of the day! I snatched it up and paid the vendor. When I went back for the field manual, it was of course gone.

 

I brought the tunic back to my quarters, and thought about the irony of having it hanging in closet on a US base.

 

A few years later, after returning to the states, I pulled it out of storage and decided to research it a bit further. The cut was not quite matching what I had in my reference books. And I could not make sense of the markings on the inside with a triple crown.

 

Of course, for those familiar with this area, the marking was for Sweden. The coat had been resewn with some really beat up Wehrmacht insignia... I had just assumed it was some poorly made late war fabrication.

 

As they say... this was my sign! This was about the time I decided to get out of WWII German stuff. The fact that I had personally brought it all the way from France, through Germany to Hawaii just made it sting all the more.

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It was German. I'll let it go at that......

 

 

Same for me...a cuff title from an antique store. I was under the whole mistaken impression that if I found it in a "box of junk" at an antique store, it MUST be real, and QUITE the find!!! :lol: Turns out it belonged in the "junk box" for a reason........... :pinch:

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Several years back... I was on the "Band of Brothers bandwagon"... I knew NOTHING about militaria. I just really wanted one of those sweet helmets!

 

Long story short: eBay + M1 helmet with a spade on the side = Painted Vietnam lid with a crappy Vietnam liner. Didn't know any better.

 

The paint job was beautifully done though :D Nice subtle camo and detailing. Still disappointing to this day though. However, I'm not sure I'd ever get rid of it since it holds that special place in my collection as my first piece.

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I lost $300.00 on a TR medal and that was enough for me. Thanks to the members of this forum I avoided a repro 8th AAF patch. I think I have a couple of "put together" uniforms but they are well done. The forum has been a GREAT help to me and I have not been burned since leaving the Dark Side..

Thanks to all that have helped me get started in American militaria.

Steve

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When I first began collecting militaria in the 80s Third Reich stuff was considered to be a minefield for collectors due to the number of fakes to be found and the high prices involved..even back then. It didn't bother me at all as I was into GI stuff..."safe" and affordable. Alas, no longer. How things have changed in the space of 25 years! GI stuff is now, sadly, as faked and mis-represented as Nazi stuff used to be! :(

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I can't say I've purchased a fake, necessarily. However, I have purchased a misrepresented item. An Israeli helmet with the three chinstrap bails, advertised as nothin' but "original WW2". I was 9.

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normaninvasion

TR insignia- When I was 12yrs old on a trip to England, wonder what ever happened to those items? Maybe they were real :think:

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was 10 and really wanted a german helmet. swapmeet dealer/collector offered me one for $50 so i bought it. it turned out to be a dolled up Hungarian helmet. confronted him about it and i have gotten great deals on original US pieces he considers to be "us crap" he only collects TR and lighters. so i guess it worked out fine :)

 

Philip

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