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Is this wing good? Post you advice requests here!


John Cooper
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So these Luxenberg senior pilot wings popped up as an eBay buy it now this morning. I contemplated pulling the trigger, but from my limited knowledge, I don't think they look good. I see quite a few imperfections on the reverse, and the edges of the wings aren't clean. 

 

My question: did I miss out on a bargain? Or did I dodge a fake wing? 

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rustywings

Dave, I like the wing. I’m a bit more suspicious of the age of the engraved inscription?  But all-in-all, if I had seen that listing, I would have pursued it.

 

The good thing is my friend, something else will come along soon enough!

 

Russ

 

 

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5thwingmarty

It is an odd finish on the back, not typical of Luxenberg wings.  It is quite uniform and really makes the engraving stand out.  It looks like the finish applied to many post war wings.  I'm with Russ, the engraving looks like it could be new, but if it was done done spuriously to make the wing look more valuable, then why ask only $200 for a Senior Luxenberg?

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Navybean

I picked up a set of Bombardier wings about 14 years ago.  This is one set of the wings.  They are Luxenberg wings,  also marked sterling.   Pin moves 45 degrees.   I always assumed they were good,  I thought the fletching on the wings looked good.  

Do they appear to be real Luxenberg wings?  Thanks in advance.  

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bschwartz

Those look like a very nice example of the Blackinton pattern Luxenberg wings.  Nothing to worry about there in my opinion.

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Navybean
9 minutes ago, bschwartz said:

Those look like a very nice example of the Blackinton pattern Luxenberg wings.  Nothing to worry about there in my opinion.

thanks I appreciate the opinion.   I always felt good about the wings but you never know - I purchase two from this estate the other was same type of Luxenberg wing just had more wear.  I be keeping the worn wing but probably looking at moving these on and just feel better knowing that they are good.  

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Insigina Hunter

They look good to me sir. A particular style I'm looking for with the bomb sweated onto the observer backround. I have one very similar except the 'pinned' the bomb onto the observer.

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Insigina Hunter

That senior pilot is a wierd one.

 

If put in front of me on Ebay knee jerk reaction I would of been 50/50 on pulling the trigger to get it into my hands for closer inspection. From the Ebay listing here are my thoughts

 

Front:

The feathering details look off

 

The extra blobs of material on the edges of shoulders is something I have not seen before on luxies

 

Back: 

Engraving looks extremely fresh in comparison to the rest of the wings patina

 

The star is very sloppily cut/attached to the shield (also not straight/even)

 

Chunk of the bottom of the shield is missing

 

I've never seen the die imperfections seen on the back of this wing in other lux die wings

 

After all that I probably would of passed on this as hard as it would of been to do so.

 

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I like the senior pilot wing.  And for 200$, I would have probably taken a stab (especially if there was a return policy).

 

The thing is, I am not 100% certain that this wing is actually WWII vintage.  Morrie Luxenberg was in business well into the 60's, so there is no reason to think that this HAS to be a WWII wing.  In fact, there were very few pilots (relatively speaking) who would have been rated for the senior pilot badge during WWII.

 

Second, the various dings and flaws are seen on these wings can be on other Luxenburg wings.  I suspect that it because this may have been a wing that was made some time after WWII and shows some die flaws.  I'm pretty sure it isn't cast, so from what I can see it seems fine to me.  Although I periodically say that then get an annoying email from HeWhoShallNotBeNamed cackling that he fooled us "experts" again. I'd want to handle them and if there was a return policy... that is all good.

 

As for the engraving, I don't now if it is the name of the pilot Joe R Carrol or its Joe and Carrol, or some variation.  But Luxenburg wings were coated in a sort of silver frosted finish.  In many Lux wings, that finish starts to bubble up and the silver underneath gets oxidized faster than the frosted part.  This can give Lux wings a sort of mottled finish.  If I had to guess, the engraver (who has some skills) simply used a chemical wash to remove the frosting and then added a darkening patina chemical.  That is why the back is that sort of patina in a can color.  The engraving and patination all look like they were done by someone who knew what they were doing.

 

All this togteher, my humble opinion is that this is a wing from the 50's or 60's that was either ordered from Blackinton without the factory finish (or) was purchased and had the wing engraved by a jeweler who removed the original finish and the re-patinated it.

 

Its hard to see why someone would just engrave "Joe", "R" and "Carrol" on a wing that they wanted to fake.  The wing is die struck (with all the caveats of what i can see) and has the appropriate hardware.  Other senior pilot wings in this Lux pattern have the same star and base (rather than just a star) attached in the same manner.

 

For 200$ and a good return policy, I would have bought it.  Sometimes you can look TOO closely at the wing!  But that is just my opinion.

 

Also, I always like to go to my "go to" knowledge store.  Bob's Wonderful World of Wings!  Here is a wing from Cliff's collection.  You can see the SAME exact flaws. (I hope you and Cliff don't mind that I borrowed?).  Notice the die flaw line under the New York in particular

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Gents-


Thanks for the opinion on the wings. I tried to find an image like the one pfrost had, but I couldn't pull up any in the time the wing was available (about 15 minutes before it sold). Having seen the marks on the other Lux wing, I probably would have taken a swing at it. Not that I collect wings, but a senior pilot Lux for $200 is a darn good deal. This just shows the value of knowing other areas than what you're used to...and now I know more.

 

As far as the wing in the BIN auction was concerned, Joe R. Carroll was a pilot, and a fairly impressive one too: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/19228687/joe-robert-carroll

 

I did find that and that was a good sign. Another good sign was that the seller sold vintage clothing, and all of their closed auctions were vintage clothing. This meant that either they picked this up on a whim to sell it not knowing what it was or a fellow collector "salted" it to get buyers (that does happen). Their policy was no returns and since the wing wasn't noted as original (though one could argue they advertised it as "WWII", so you could return it for that) it would have been tough to make an eBay return case for it.

 

That said...I appreciate the feedback and I'm smarter on wings now. Now for the next time!

Dave

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From the website:

 

"He was a 1939 graduate of Palestine High School, and attended Texas A&M University from 1939 to 1942, when he enlisted in the Air Force. Carroll served as a test pilot during his armed service career and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross before he was discharged in 1946 with the rank of major."

 

During WWII the criteria for senior pilots were: "not less than 5 years service as a rated Pilot with aviation components of the military or naval services and not less than 1,500 hours logged flight time according to War Department records"

 

It looks like he maybe would have JUST been just qualified for a senior pilot rating when he retired (assuming he didn't continue to fly as a reservist).  If I had to guess, perhaps this wing was something that was awarded to him when he retired in 1946.  So, maybe my guess that this was a 50's-60's vintage wing is off. But if he enlisted in 1942 in the AAC, in 1946, he would have been a year or so away from the 5 year requirements for senior pilot.  If he was a reservist, then that may push that date back a few years to the KW.  

 

I remember walking away from a double patched A2, with all sorts of paintings on the front and back in near mint condition at the Rose Bowl flea market. They wanted 400$ for it, but I had no idea at the time.. I still wake up with cold sweats regretting not buying that one!

 

 

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Thoughts on these? First time seeing these, took a chance but in person there seems to be some minor pitting that I’m hoping isn’t buffed out sand casting

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These were ID'd some time ago.  They were originally part of a ribbon suspension bar for an airshow.  I suspect you have one that someone tried to make "valuable" by casting a Robbin's hallmark into it.

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Those look cast to me. "Soft" reverse, weak makers mark and if you can see pitting you already know the answer.

 

Regards

Mike

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5thwingmarty

I have one of these I picked up not long ago, and it looks pretty much like yours but now I have some doubts about mine as well.  Mine measures 2-5/16" in span.  I believe these were made as parts of badges with ribbons for a 1930 International Aircraft Show in St. Louis.  I thought these might have been made as souvenirs from that show.  Hopefully someone has one of the original, full versions with the ribbon that they can measure the span of and let us know.

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Someone smarter than me should capture the photos.  But here is a very similar badge.

 

https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/1930-international-aircraft-show-st-louis-badge-159-c-c294fa5af7

1930 International Aircraft Show St. Louis Executive badge. Measures 3.5-in. x 2.5-in. Excellent condition. Provenance: Wisconsin Collection. If lot is absent of a condition report a condition report may be requested via email. Condition report is provided as an opinion only and is no guarantee as grading can be subjective. Buyer must view photographs or scans to assist in determining condition and ask further questions if so desired. We ship most items in this auction in house and gladly combine shipping if possible of multiple items.

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5thwingmarty

If the originals were actually 2.5" wide, or even close to that, then there is no doubt to me that mine is a cast copy.  It would still be nice to know a precise span of the Aircraft Show badges, or if they were maker marked at all.  The couple I have seen images of have the ribbon covering the bottom of the wings so there is no way to tell if they had the Robbins mark or not.  

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dmar836

Was there an "issued" glider wing? This is marked raised sterling and has no hallmark. Pin opens all the way and appears to be brass. Was there a maker?

Came from daughter of the vet with his cap and other uniform parts in a bag. He never went overseas and supposedly trained other glider pilots.

 

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The ones I have seen that I assume are good, have that little safety pin catch and are made of a gilded pot metal.  Like you would expect for a souvenir type badge. Light weight and  thin.  But its been years since I last handled one.  For many years, it was assumed that these were for some unnamed flight school.


I suspect that a number of years ago, someone like HeWhoShallNotBeNamed  (to be 100% clear, I'm not making any specific allegations...I have no real idea of who made these) got a hold of one and made some "museum quality" reproductions.

 

 

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That is a very nice Bell glider pilot wing.  I would be prepared for some PM... LOL

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rustywings
2 hours ago, pfrost said:

The ones I have seen that I assume are good, have that little safety pin catch and are made of a gilded pot metal.  Like you would expect for a souvenir type badge. Light weight and  thin.  But its been years since I last handled one.  For many years, it was assumed that these were for some unnamed flight school.


I suspect that a number of years ago, someone like HeWhoShallNotBeNamed  (to be 100% clear, I'm not making any specific allegations...I have no real idea of who made these) got a hold of one and made some "museum quality" reproductions.

 

 

I'm a bit surprised to see how much attention these small 1930 International Aircraft Show badges continue to receive from advanced collectors year after year. They are indeed a nicely detailed and cool looking little gilt badge which upon first glance radiates the possibility of being some early and obscure US Army Air Corps related aviation badge. Unfortunately, that's not the case, as described above. I too fell victim to their attraction recently and probably paid more than I should have for an incomplete ribbon holder made for a week long airplane manufacturers event. 

 

I'm sorry to see this style badge has now apparently been reproduced and dolled-up with a more appealing pin and catch, to better lure buyers. Here's a couple of images of my example which include Patrick's accurate and descriptive "safety pin catch" attached to a die-struck badge.  And if you find one of these at a show, look for some evidence of red, white and blue paint in the recesses of the shield...    

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5thwingmarty

Thanks for sharing this Russ.  At least we know the originals were made by Robbins.

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Had a good stroke of luck, brought up the issue with the seller and all I ended up paying was shipping! Looks like they go in the mistake box with the others, but didnt get burned!

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