Jump to content

Is this wing good? Post you advice requests here!

John Cooper

Recommended Posts

  • 2 months later...
On 4/23/2021 at 4:45 PM, pfrost said:

I may be incorrect but I think it may be Charles Polk marked wing (not GP).  But like it was said above, a rare'ish maker of late WWII to more modern insignia. This badge is pretty new and Charles Polk used a number of hallmarks.


Still, I could be incorrect, but that is my sense. So take it with a grain of salt.

well charles polk never thought of this hallmark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/23/2021 at 3:53 PM, dmar836 said:

Assuming a post war wing but what is the mark under sterling?


dsd (2).jpg

not charles polk, hallmark is G.P. +

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

I recently purchased these two wings, one 3 inch and one 2 inch as a set from an antiques dealer. He didn't have any background info on them. Would these be post WW2, Korean era wings? Any opinions appreciated. Thanks in advance.

3 inch.jpg

2 inch.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Personally, I would be extremely cautious of these W&B AC wings. They do not look like 3-piece construction and the are quite a few subtle obverse and reverse differences, at least with the definite 3-piece example in my collection. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It looks like there could be a small gap on the back in the bottom right on the reverse but they seem very solid other than that. I also havnt been able to find an example with the maker mark looking as clear as it does



Link to comment
Share on other sites

There appear to be clear differences on the fronts as well.  Pryo's wing looks to have about 50 horizontal lines while the MikeK's has around 35.  The cluster of arrows on Pryo's wing has 5 heads while that on MikeK's has 7.  The shield in Pryo's has 9 recessed vertical stripes while MikeK's has 7.  The front details on Tod Rathbones' wing (on Bob's site) appear to match those on MikeK's wing.


The letters on the back of Pryo's wing all look perfectly formed and uniform in size in each word, and the Wallace and Brisbane lie within a circle.  The letters on the other wings are much less uniform, with the tops and bottoms of the B's being rounded and the A's in Wallace standing taller than the other letters, and although the Wallace and Brisbane are curved their curves look like they would form an American football, not a circle.  


I believe it has been suggested that someone used CAD to have new dies made for at least some of the Australian wings, as there are so many such wings showing up that are much clearer than known originals with perfectly formed letters.  If that is the case I suspect Pryo's wing might be an example.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great observations Marty I agree with your points. I had no idea fakers were at the point of making their own dies for these ones. I didn't think they were incredibly expensive for the real ones compared to some of the other options

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is an interesting thread.  I  had heard vague rumors about a WB fake made like the Angus and Coote and KG Luke badges in the past, but this is the first time I have seen any sort of "proof".  By far and a way the most common of these Aussie-fakes are the A&C, but it isn't too hard to find a goodly amount of KL on the market. Each of the known fakes (at least to me) have a number of tells that can be used to generally weed out the bad from the good... mostly.


I am sure I am leaving out a few, but my best recollection is that the A&C show up mostly as the pilot and alphabet wings. The KL show up as the observer, gunner and bombardier wings, and now the WB as the aircrew wings (maybe?).

A search of the forum for Mel's great work on A&C and KG wings would be worth a few minutes, as he did a great job in defining the fakes from the good.  Once you spend a few minutes reading those threads and eyeballing the VAST number of fakes being sold on ebay, you should be able to avoid most of the turds floating in the sewer (or at least mostly).


The WB are an interesting item, since I am not 100% convinced that they are fake.  Not 100% convinced that they aren't fake, either.  I am in sort of the "what the heck to I know, I'm just stupid" zone.


I have one or two WB wings that I got for cheap.  My pilot wing and aircrew wing are 3-parters.  The wings on either side and the center device, with the soldering of the parts being pretty good quality in most cases. Sometimes the meld is hard to see.  I don't have my wings with me, but I have also seen aircrew wings that seem to have the center US seal soldered on the top, making me think that these 4 part wings may have used the "O" of an observer wing as a base. But again, I can only find one definitive 4 piece wing posted on this forum.  The other wings may have similar construction but the photos I find online are not suitable to discern this detail.


The other variation that stands out are the hallmarks (although there are others).  There seem to be (broadly speaking) two types of hallmarks.  One type, shown in post 914 above.  You can see that both the "Wallace" and "Bishop" are on a slight arch that are parallel to each other.  The "B" and the "P" of Bishop are (more or less) aligned with the "W" and "E" of Wallace.  In contrast, Pyro's wings have a straight "Bishop" mark and the P touches the E of Wallace.   If I had to guess, I would think that the first time is the gone one and the second type is suspect.


There does seem to be a natural variation where all the wings using either hallmark have either STERLING or SILVER mark excised OR a SILVER mark incised or no mark at all.  The incised mark (when added) is hand added and can show lots of variation.  Whether these variations represent naturally occurring hallmarks used by WB during the course of their ru, or are the results of malfeasance isn't clear to me at this time.


There are other variations between the wings (like the back of the wings and small alterations on the US Seal), but I am not going to discuss them here.


Frankly, I don't know if the second "Pyro-wing" wing is the fake or not.  It COULD be a variation-- or it could be a version of the CAD fakes being used to make the other Aussie-bad boys.  Don't know. My advice is (as always) do you homework and only collect what you like for prices you are comfortable with.


As for WHY someone would do this, I cant be sure, but I may have some insight.  First, It probably isn't to get rich.  Wing collecting is a rather mundane hobby of limited financial value (we aren't taking about works of national treasure here) practiced by regular Joe's. There are some deep pocket collectors but most of us are reasonably prudent in what we will drop on a set of wings.  Its not like 100,000 of us are clamoring to pay 150$ for a WB aircrew wing!  Second, a real jeweler once told me that any man worth his salt in this business could make much nicer and more expensive works of art (in precious metals and with relatively easy effort) that he could sell for much greater amounts -- rather than mucking about trying to copy something that wasn't really all that "artistic" to begin with.  Hell, they made these things in the millions to be worn on uniforms.  So anyone with real skill is probably working on less unsavory projects.


Third, I once had an email conversation with HeWhoShallNotBeNamed (a rather dismal and unpleasant one considering who it was), and he was almost giddy with excitement because he felt that he had fooled us with one of his wing reconstructions that we were discussing on the forum.  It must be an empty life to try to make MY hobby less pleasurable so he can maybe make a few bucks at other people's expense (and get his own jollies from that process).  Don't get me wrong, I don't think that MrMac is involved in making these reproductions, but someone likely is... and they aren't sending their kids to Ivy league schools selling 100$ aircrewman wings at the Show of Shows or on eBay.  So, I can't imagine why they are doing it, but I suspect that they have small odious and pernicious lives of no real worth and have to find small joy in making fakes, kicking puppies and pulling the wings off of butterfly's.  I eventually told him to get lost because at the end of the day this is a HOBBY and is supposed to be fun.


PS hopefully the mods won't punish me, but it needed to be said. 


PSS I think this topic is worth some more investigation.  Maybe we can get Mel to fire up his creative juices and post another killer thread?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I’m new to wing collecting. These are two of my first. I also have a miniature that is pin back and sterling. Any idea on the manufacturer of these two?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basic Rifleman
On 2/19/2021 at 3:19 PM, 5thwingmarty said:

I can't imagine anyone ever casting more copies of this wing.  I have seven of these wings, all from the same die but all with different reverses including hallmarks from four different companies (Vanguard 1V, Silverman Brothers 2S, Charles Polk Co. and Gemsco).  The Vanguard and Silverman Brothers wings have the extra indent behind the eagle's shield.  All of them have the nailhead type pins, but only one of them has the shorter (1/4") pins.  I like to think that one wing might be an actual wartime produced Vanguard wing, but have no way of proving it.

I wasn't sure where else to post this, but recently came across a pilot wing with BOTH the Vanguard "1V' and Silverman Brothers "2S" makers marks stamped on the reverse. I guess there's no question they shared the same dies. This leads me to believe (just a theory) that neither company owned the dies if both makers marks were stamped during the manufacturing process - almost like "company a" ordered x number of wings, and the manufacturer stamped too many, and then double stamped some to fulfill and order for "company b".   Perhaps Gemsco or CP held the dies or another manufacturer entirely made the wings for all four companies? Either way, I thought this was a neat piece and wanted to share it in hopes it could be helpful to someone down the road.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...