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IS THIS WING GOOD? Post your requests here!

John Cooper

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1 hour ago, rathbonemuseum.com said:

I think you already know the answer

- Link pattern with BB&B hallmark

- Heavy chromatic staining due to chemical and heat application on back

- applied heavy US

- whole thing appears to be made of some brass based mystery metal

- relatively modern findings compared to purported age of the wing


This wing was made on purpose to deceive in my opinion

Tod's assessment is perfect.  I don't have much to add except some thoughts:


I think the badge above was a product of Alan Beckman's active imagination...


Wartime NA badges with an added US existed.  This is not one of them.  In all my years collecting I have encountered two similar badges (one Robbins and one Tiffany) that I considered to be real and both those had sterling silver US expertly applied by a jeweler.  


Two examples is hardly a base to draw conclusions from but I believe real ones do not represent, "HYPER RARE FIRST DESIGN Blah, Blah, Blah..." as they are often hyped.  The truth is likely far more pedestrian: As they were strictly non-regulation, a few Individual NAs individually had their badges altered during the 1917-1918 period by local jewelers so they would better match the Army Air Service design.  That is likely all.


The key to one of these potentially being real is the base badge.  Obviously this one is a stinker.  Though marked so, it is not a product of BB&B.  The named, engraved, 18K Tiffany with an added US clearly was real.  


Now that I think about it, I have seen a number of these fake badges but never encountered a real BB&B type badge with an added US.  Have any of you? 



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I would like to compare this in hand with another Link/Amcraft NA wing.  It might have been a good wing that was "enhanced" by adding the US to the front and the BB&B to the back.  To me it would have stood a better chance of being a believably period modified piece if the BB&B hadn't been added.

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Here are some comparisons with the "Bronze BB&B" USN Naval Aviator wing.


I agree it appears to be the W Link pattern (later attributed to AMCRAFT).  Its always been murky to me, but apparently sometime in the late 1920's (pr 30's I don't know for sure), AMCRAFT bought the Link dies.  Again, while I don't doubt that, its hard to know for sure in the absence of any documentation.  The Link dies seemed to have had either a flat un-adorned back or have had the distinctive snowflake pattern.  That pattern was seen on AMCRAFT wings and insignia. 


Over the years, a couple of salesman samples have shown up with AMCRAFT/Link wings.  Cliff posted on such salesman board, and I recently picked up a handful of badges that I also believe came from a salesman sample board.  These badges were made in various ratings and finishes and were probably intended to show customers what type of wings/finishes were available. 


Here are some of mine, including the USN aviator wing (and a gilt observer wing).  There is also a nice snowflake pattern version in sterling.


It seems to me, in comparison with the "WWI USN wing" above, that the Link patterns show a finer deal of feathering and higher quality of strike.





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In comparison (and borrowed from Ron Burkey's site just to illustrate), a BB&B bronze wing that does probably date from WWI time period.  The font is different compared to the AUCTION wing.  The catch is more typical of this era (aka Blanchard or Tiffany catch). And the feathering is different.bbbusngiltbronzewingpilotobv.jpg.c26ec00ee6ef0694db7d8ba249705a16.jpgbbbusngiltbronzewingpilotrev.jpg.c6f02390c861a76042e30ad33f55ebcc.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

What's to say about these?

Good or bad.


Thanks for looking




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I don't like it

- letters are too crisp and even

- has a band pin retainer vs a wire loop

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