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Is this balloon wing a repro?


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ocsfollowme

Paid $20 for this so I won't be out too much if it is a repro. Not marked sterling. Weighs in at 17.5 grams. Standard 2.75" wide. What do you all think?

 

2566383_orig.jpg6366020_orig.jpg6026822_orig.jpg8832074_orig.jpg7714427_orig.jpg7437604_orig.jpg

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looks like flaws in the back of the balloon and like the back was ground down flat to hide casting marks IMO.

 

however the edge seems to retain a very "die struck" look .. but I'm not sure if this is accentuated in photos by the shiny finish?

 

-Brian

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I also think it might be OK. Clearly die struck. It definitely has a finish over the basemetal and the hardware looks OK (champfered pin at the hinge end, etc).

 

Regards

Mike

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Here is basically the same wing being sold on Ron Burkey's website:

 

http://www.flyingtigerantiques.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=fta&Product_Code=afw10002bp&Category_Code=03afw

 

Note the residual metal in the back of the balloon on this wing. As well as the similar hardware and finish.

you're absolutely right!

 

wow.. so a 20 dollar purchase turns up a wing that might be worth close to $1k!

 

awesome.

-Brian

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ocsfollowme

It does look very similar to Ron's.

 

However, I am not a dealer and cannot command those prices. And, dealers have items that sit for very long times.

 

If it is the same, I'd be lucky to get $200-400 on eBay right now.

 

I still would have a hard time selling something that I am not sure about it's validity though. I'll bring it to the San Diego ASMIC show for sure.

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:huh:

 

Contrary to a myriad of popular opinions, the badge in this thread was not made prior to World War II, but it is a die struck badge.

 

Exactly who produced the wings may remain purely speculative but the die was not made by Orber, Balfour or LGB - although the feathering in its shoulders closely resemble that seen in the shoulders of similar wings made by those three manufacturers. The best theory is that the die for this badge was first made by Denmark's Military Equipment Co. sometime in the late 1940s or 1950s; however, after Denmark's went out of business the die was later used to produce wings without the Denmark's hallmark for sell in Army & Navy stores across the country. . . primarily to collectors. I vividly recall seeing them in several such stores back in the 1970s.

 

One thing is certain, this exact style wing badge was never produced pre-WWII.

 

Now to compare the die work seen on the back of the badge with that found on one made by Denmark's just look below. If you have a sharp set of eyes for detail if should be apparent that both were struck using the same die.

 

If you would like to see what the front of a Denmark's badge looks like just go to the "Aviation Wings and Badges of World War II" website owned by Bob Schwartz and you will see the two are an exact match.

 

Cliff

post-4542-0-15114100-1405720007.jpg

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I wonder if the sanding marks were to remove the 'denmark's' word?

 

- Brian

 

It may have been possible Brian but a bit difficult because the Denmark's hallmark would be recessed.

 

Cliff

 

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Denmark's didn't hallmark all of their restrikes. I went to their NYC location in the early 1970's and bought a nice looking airborne glider badge. No hallmark on that. It too is die struck and pinback. They had a big display board with all the different wings on it. All were $3 to $5, as I recall.

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  • 2 years later...

:huh:

 

Contrary to a myriad of popular opinions, the badge in this thread was not made prior to World War II, but it is a die struck badge.

 

Exactly who produced the wings may remain purely speculative but the die was not made by Orber, Balfour or LGB - although the feathering in its shoulders closely resemble that seen in the shoulders of similar wings made by those three manufacturers.  The best theory is that the die for this badge was first made by Denmark's Military Equipment Co. sometime in the late 1940s or 1950s; however, after Denmark's went out of business the die was later used to produce wings without the Denmark's hallmark for sell in Army & Navy stores across the country. . . primarily to collectors.  I vividly recall seeing them in several such stores back in the 1970s.

 

One thing is certain, this exact style wing badge was never produced pre-WWII. 

 

Now to compare the die work seen on the back of the badge with that found on one made by Denmark's just look below.  If you have a sharp set of eyes for detail if should be apparent that both were struck using the same die. 

 

If you would like to see what the front of a Denmark's badge looks like just go to the "Aviation Wings and Badges of World War II" website owned by Bob Schwartz and you will see the two are an exact match.

 

Cliff

Hello Cliff. Sorry to resurrect this thread, but is the hallmarked Denmark wing featured above and on Bob's site WW2 vintage or later, given you state above that the die could have been made in the late-40s onwards?

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Further to my above post, I was footling about the Internet doing a bit of research on these Denmark wings and I discovered that the incised lettering removed from under "Denmark's" is "N.Y. 10012", which I assume is the zip code at the time of manufacture. Not being an expert in the US zip code's history, could the wings be dated by this detail either by the code itself or by establishing when Denmark moved from this zip area - the modern incarnation of the company (if it is the same organization) appears to reside in NY 11101, Long Island.

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  • 2 years later...
5thwingmarty

In looking up discussion on the Denmark's hallmark I found this old thread. I looked up the history of the five-digit zip codes and per the USPS they came into use in 1963, so if the original hallmarks on these wings had a five-digit zip code they would definitely be post WWII restrikes.

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  • 2 years later...
Kropotkin
In looking up discussion on the Denmark's hallmark I found this old thread. I looked up the history of the five-digit zip codes and per the USPS they came into use in 1963, so if the original hallmarks on these wings had a five-digit zip code they would definitely be post WWII restrikes.

Sorry for the late reply, I didn’t see this post at the time.

So, I think it’s safe to say that any Denmarks balloon wing that has the gouged out area under the hallmark is of 1963 vintage at the earliest, nowhere near WW2.

While we’ll never know, I wonder if the redaction of the zip code was a conscious act of obfuscation or they moved premises and so removed it for that reason. For, the various examples I’ve seen some zip codes are more completely removed than others suggesting it being done by hand.
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