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Fake Uniforms and Hats to Patton, Eaker, Pyle, Stewart, and more.


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I saw this, I'm sure that the actual cap was authenticated by the original auction house. So "real" , IMA seems to be hedging their bets on the stars, which do not look to be the one in the period photo . I certainly wouldn't pay 8K for it ! :blink:

Paul Conrad
Still looking for quality wings!

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I am bored prefixing everything I say with "I think" or "in my opinion".
Everything I say is my opinion; the only thing of which I am certain is that there is very little of which one can be certain.

 


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I would need more than a receipt from Steffen to convince me its real.Plus the poor photo of Patton as a two star if using it to document the cap are not the same stars.Names can be imprinted or embossed and did Patton use the G S PATTON OR JUST G PATTON on his markings.

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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Sad to say that I don't feel warm and fuzzy with the provenance on the hat. I wish there was something better...but I can't put my finger on what I'd want that to be. We've all seen too many "named" items in embossed leather to know that's not a true indicator of it being real. In fact, I'd be more comfortable with his initials "GSP" embossed in it, rather than "G PATTON". Maybe someone can shed some more light on it...who knows, it could be completely legit, but I don't have the dough to lay out on something with provenance that looks like Swiss cheese...

 

As an aside, did Steffen's invoices look like that for real? Looks like a shoddy photo copy to me. Even in 1998, all of the Manions Auctions invoices I received were all computer printed instead of typed...so it's hard for me to imagine a high-end auction using an old photocopy and a typewriter for an invoice. Once again, I could be very, very wrong about that. But would love to be enlightened!

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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My issue with it is that there is ZERO provenance. An auction receipt is not provenance. Who is to say the cap did not belong to Col. Gregory Patton? The stars are obviously not the ones in the photo they provide, which lends more suspicion to their claim.

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Roger Steffen had a fairly decent reputation as a dealer in 1980's-90's. I suspect he would not put his reputation on the line for a reproduction of a piece of this price and quality.

How did the law suit turn out where he was being sued for $ 52 grand for not paying or returning items to consignors.I recall other issues as well.

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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How did the law suit turn out where he was being sued for $ 52 grand for not paying or returning items to consignors.I recall other issues as well.

From a 2002 article in The Cincinnati Enquirer:

"Roger Steffen has a business in Newport called Historic Militaria, through which he sells antique military equipment on consignment.

Campbell County court records show Mr. Steffen has been sued at least three times since 1997 by consigners who claim he failed to return items to them or failed to pay them after sales. The amounts in dispute totaled at least $52,000, court records show.

Some of the suits were settled and others were dismissed because process servers could not locate Mr. Steffen, records show."

http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2002/05/29/loc_divorce_granted_to.html

~ In Memory Of ~
Donald Earl Boston, IC3 - KILO PLT, SEAL TEAM ONE, TF 116, USNAVFORV - KIA 07 April 1967, Vietnam
David Rolland Jackson, CWO - 71ST AHC, 14TH AVN BN
, 16TH AVN GROUP, AMERICAL - KIA 25 September 1969, Vietnam

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Saw the same article.

Just curious as there was a collectors estate here that was handed over to him as I recall after the death of the individual to be sold.

 

Heard he disappeared and always was curious if he had been found.

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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For those of you that know me, you know I have spent hours, and hours, and hours, ( you get the picture) researching the U.S. WWII General Officers. I have handled several Patton items and have never seen that naming pattern (style). So red flag number one. However, the real problem comes with the auction documentation. Years ago I was offered a high ranking general's uniform from the same auction house and same catalog 217S. I was able to located the actual sale catalog only to discover the uniform was not listed in the catalog. Long story short a complete fake sale receipt and once I saw the uniform a fake uniform as well.

I still have the Steffens 217s catalog and looked up the item number listed on the sale receipt for the Patton hat. No listing of the Patton O/S hat! Red flag number two. So my humble opinion...buyer beware!!

Etousa

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I still have the Steffens 217s catalog and looked up the item number listed on the sale receipt for the Patton hat. No listing of the Patton O/S hat! Red flag number two. So my humble opinion...buyer beware!!

Etousa

 

And that, my friends, is "the rest of the story..." :)

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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For those of you that know me, you know I have spent hours, and hours, and hours, ( you get the picture) researching the U.S. WWII General Officers. I have handled several Patton items and have never seen that naming pattern (style). So red flag number one. However, the real problem comes with the auction documentation. Years ago I was offered a high ranking general's uniform from the same auction house and same catalog 217S. I was able to located the actual sale catalog only to discover the uniform was not listed in the catalog. Long story short a complete fake sale receipt and once I saw the uniform a fake uniform as well.

I still have the Steffens 217s catalog and looked up the item number listed on the sale receipt for the Patton hat. No listing of the Patton O/S hat! Red flag number two. So my humble opinion...buyer beware!!

Etousa

 

Great detective work Mark!

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So who wants to break the news to IMA......lol

 

Also like the "not available" listed after the phone number on the invoice

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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One other thing to note is why would a Patton 2 star cap exist? In the middle of the war, it is far more likely that he would add a third star not get a whole new cap. I have Mark Clark's 2 star and one of his many 4 star caps. His MG cap is the one he got as a BG and then just added a second BG star when he made MG. The day after he landed in Morrocco, he got his LG rank. The MG cap is blood stained, probably from visiting wounded men post invasion, so it probably got replaced as a result. It still has both BG stars as the rank. Conversely, the 4 star is less interesting and shows little use. He held that rank for longer and likely had several.

 

Regarding provenance, these have multiple documents finishing with the deaccension letters from the Citadel from when they cleaned house. Incidentally, these and many other of his items as well as many from BG LaDue, also from the 5th Army, are featured items in a Heritage Auction on June 14. I am cleaning house a bit!

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is an interesting topic and one that plagues us collectors of military memorabilia all the time. Is it real? How do we really know for sure? There are obvious fakes, such as the hat that is claimed to be from General Wainright. Neither the hat nor the name appear authentic. But the Eaker hat is clearly a real Luxenberg hat and the stamping of the name shows honest age and wear. I had the opportunity to actually inspect this hat at an antiques militaria show using a magnifier to inspect the name stamp in good light. The dealer selling it claimed that the hat was one of three hats and two uniforms from Eaker's estate. The other items were allegedly sold to a museum and this one hat remained to sell. I got it for a good price, far less than what it had listed on ebay. So one wonders? Is the name real and how to ever tell for sure. I have been a collector for decades and know what to look for in a fake, even know what artificial aging looks like when chemicals are applied to various materials. To me it looked right and I am happy with the hat. I guess in the end, a lot of this material is a leap of faith to some extent, even when there is a letter or certificate accompanying the item. By the way, this hat is not the one that Eaker is wearing in the few photos I have found where he has on a crusher hat. That hat features a 2 inch hat eagle emblem and no back strap. So if you feel that a general officer would only own one hat or have multiple versions of only one specific hat, then by default, this one could not be his. The joy and curse of collecting military antiques. :unsure:

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Funny how with all the WW2 visor caps I've seen over the years, I've never seen this type of name stamping on the sweat bands. Now recently, I've been seeing them for all sorts of famous WW2 personalities. I guess only famous generals did this, not Lt's and Captains. And apparently, only now are these "rare" items being made available to collectors.

Reminds me of all the WW2 M1 helmets I've seen over the years where very very few had a division patch painted on them. Now all of the sudden, I see LOTS of them.

Hmmm...

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It is interesting how the font is the same as in "Patton's" hat...and that one was proven to be a fake. Look at the "A"...it's the same character from the same stamping set...

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Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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I think this could easily be done with a brass stamp set on leather. Seems like a high ranking officer in WW2 would either 1) not need to mark his hat or 2) would find a more dignified manner in doing so that wouldn't come out crooked. Just my opinion.

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Thanks for the comparison photos of the stampings. I enlarged it quite a bit on my computer and respectfully beg to differ.The A is surely very similar but I did not find them to be identical. The A in Patton looks more symmetrical in both legs while the A in the Eaker hat is wider in the right leg with a longer foot going to the right. Of course that proves nothing either way and it could just be the way the photos are distorting the comparison since the Eaker photo is straight on while Patton's is at a slight angle. The Eaker letters are green with varied fading and stamped deeper while the Patton letters are shallow and look to be a black stamp. I guess if you conclude that this font of stamped letters makes the name a fake in all cases then you would also need to conclude that Ernie Pyle's crusher hat, currently for sale on a very high end militaria dealer's site is also a fake since it carries a near identical font stamping in the sweatband. If you do a Google search for Pyle's service hat you will find a photo of it that will bring you to that dealer's page. I have never known anyone to accuse him of selling fakes. He is highly regarded as a top end dealer of original military antiques that are highly sought after. But that brings me to the original premise of my posting to begin with. I have seen at military shows two very experienced dealers argue between themselves over whether an item was real or not. For instance, one commonly faked Confederate sword was made by Nashville Plow Works. Some of the fakes are obvious while others are spot on to the original and one dealer said that he judged authenticity by how it balanced in his hand. Can you imagine the leap of faith in spending $20K on a sword based on how it balances in your hand? I love the quote of one dealer of Civil War artifacts who says that the only real experts died over 100 years ago. The rest of us are left to compare known examples of originals to the items we have or are contemplating to purchase. Is the stamp on my hat a fake? Who really knows 100%? I am happy with the hat either way. Got it for a price I can live with. It is a Luxenberg for sure and those are not cheap crushers to come by. Thanks for this lively discussion.

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I searched-out and found the above referenced website. I saw two "sweatband named" caps. Both very famous individuals. It doesn't matter to me that the font is different. If someone was creating these, he would probably be smart enough to vary the stamping styles.

 

I don't see how that dealer can just throw up these 4 figure-priced caps without offering some sort of provenance. The dealer doesn't even address originality anywhere that I could see on the site. Just a 7 day return. The site states all items are on consignment. Even though the dealer owning the site may be the greatest guy ever, we have no idea who his consignors are

 

 

Until I recently started seeing these sweatband-stamped caps, all named caps I have seen either had calling cards or just the name inked on the underside of the visor.

 

At this point, it would make sense to see a cap named-stamped to "P.T. Barnum"

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Kurt I couldn't agree more.

 

After years of buying from vets and their families all I have ever seen are calling cards or mostly inked in by the vet themselves.

 

The "A" in Patton is at a different angle and looks the same to me.

 

Any time I have found myself in a "leap of faith" position I have considered it a red flag that says do not buy.

 

A "leap of faith" means that the price is higher than the provenance can prove.

 

In other words the price is too high.

 

If the price is too high do not buy

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Yeah, I've got to admit that I'm not comfortable with Pyle's hat either. Have a look: http://www.garyhendershott.net/online-catalogs/world-war-ii-catalog

 

I don't know Gary nor do I see any need to be smoke and mirrors about whose site it's on. If he'd like to come on here, post openly, PM me, or send me an e-mail with provenance about the items in question, I'd be happy to have a gentlemanly conversation about it. Who knows...maybe there's a good story there and documented provenance he's not giving out...

 

But in the meantime...about the other items in the sale...I've never once, ever, seen a WW2 general or flag officer's flag that has had said officer's name stamped on it. And he has three? Maybe Gil, etousa, or one of the long-time FOGO collectors can enlighten me...just because I've not see one before doesn't mean they don't exist...though to have three show up at the same time from the same collection, all without provenance, along with a bunch of other dubious stuff??? (Not even noting the incorrect ribbon sets on several of the uniforms, but I don't want to spend all day nitpicking stuff...I'm supposed to be hiding Easter eggs right now...) ;) But in the end...yeah...my gut doesn't like them at all.

 

 

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Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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And for reference's sake...here are the names on the flags. I've owned a lot of FOGO stuff over the years, and worked on a FO's personal staff...and I can't see why someone would need to stamp their name on their flag. It's not like it's going to get lost or something! :D (Talk about a great way to get fired as a staffer...lose the general's or admiral's personal flag!) :)

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Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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