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Examples of Fake Fantasy & Reproduction Wings


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Howdy,

 

I'll tell you something, I wish I had had access to a forum like this when I was first starting out as a collector! Back in the day (I know I sound like Grandpa Simpson), it was almost impossible to get good information on wings. You either found yourself a mentor who you trusted (not so easy), learned the hard way by trial and error (and a constant drain on the back account) or were very very lucky. Being a novice and walking into a show like the Great Western was pretty exciting but also scary as heck. At best, maybe you had a couple of Xeroxed pages from Russ Huff's books to guide you. Other than that, no ebay, no internet, no Pinks and Greens books. You could get a dozen different opinions by talking to a dozen different dealers/collectors, typically none of it based on "fact". The newbies on this forum are lucky as can be, IMHO.... ;)

 

The guys on this forum are great. It took me years to learn some of the ins and outs of the fake wings, and one of my worst burns was on a fake balloon pilot wing. Now, I look at them and think, "Why did I ever fall for that junk?", and here we have a whole thread showing many examples. WHen I see some poor new collector making the same mistake I made, it really toasts my cookies (and I think a lot of the guys on this forum as well). Better to hash it out here, where talk is cheap, as they say.

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Hi Cliff,

 

Based on these pictures I believe the wings to be extraordinarily close, but not the same wing but definately from the same hand or machine. There is a semi circle above the front part of the gas bag in the color photo that is not in the B&W. Also the bottom feather on the right side turns up faster in the color photo than in the B&W photo. Finally it looks like the basket of the B&W example is made up of 10 threads while the color version is made up of 11 slightly smaller threads.

Cheers

Gary

Hey Gary,

 

Absolutely no offense intended but I took cliff's two pictures and converted both to black & white. In black & white I can't see any difference in the two especially with regard to the basket. In black & white, I counted 11 threads in the basket for both of them. I would say that if the badge had been handled a few times during the period of time that lapsed between when the top picture was taken and the bottom picture was taken, which could account for a minor alteration seen in just a few threads, it's the same badge in both pictures.

 

Regards

Will M.

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Now here is one for new folks to watch out for... currently on Ebay (sorry did not save the number)

 

In my humble opinion this badge is a restrike based on information that has been share with me from several collectors. Additionally I have a large number of LGB aka BALFOUR wings and multiple variations of their makers marks both from the war and shortly after.

 

From the front this wing has no real problems as it is likely made in the 1970s. The problem is the reverse... the most simple tell is to look at the makers mark and compare it with those in other posts and the hallmark reference thread.

 

The letters are the wrong font and much too large. If this is a wing you have wanted but have not been able to find or those you have found have been too expensive this would make a nice filler but only if you get it on the cheap ;)

 

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Always looking for Wings & Named Air Medals!

Motto: To Collect, Preserve, and Remember!

 

 

 

 

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Just stay alert gentlemen: ermm.gif

 

think.gif Is one of these two badges an original first Government issued – regulation Junior and Reserve Aeronaut wing badge?

 

Designed in 1917, the first batch was prescribed by a ground officer Col. Robert E. Wyllie, General Staff, U.S.A. to be made of white silk, rather than silver bullion; however, they were quickly rejected by balloon pilots. Another example of an original first issue badge can be found in the book by J. Duncan Campbell on page 18, figure 34; and the book by Terry Morris on page 12, figure 10.

 

Cheers,

 

Cliff

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That is an interesting wing you have and looks to be the same maker as the one listed in Duncan's book. Now the other wing has an interesting history.

 

The wing is on page 27 and is listed as Reserve Military Aeronaut WB-1 in Richard DesChenes book.

 

It came from Mr. Walter Bee who was a bootblack at Camp John Wise when he was 8 years old. The wing was given to him by one of the officers at the camp. There is too much detail to post here but if anyone wants a bigger picture let me know.

 

Richard can be reached at the following email if you have specific questions or would like a detailed answer. Just the information on WB-1 would be a few pages!

 

Click here to email Richard

 

Cheers

John

Always looking for Wings & Named Air Medals!

Motto: To Collect, Preserve, and Remember!

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

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The seller of the first badge claims his is a very rare 1920's era US Air Service Balloon Pilot Wing Badge.

http://cgi.ebay.com/US-Air-Service-Balloon...emZ310123520899

 

The seller of the second badge claims his is a museum quality reproduction of badge number 54 in the Aviation Badges and Insignia book by J. Duncan Campbell.

http://cgi.ebay.com/1919-US-Army-Air-Servi...emZ190287878256

 

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Here is a side by side comparison I did with a buddy of mine of some balloon wings that were recently on ebay. I call these the "hairy wing" wings (for obvious reasons). The middle wing is a scan of a wing in Pinks and Greens, the bottom wing was an ebay auction of a wing I was pretty sure was a good one, and the top was a wing (also ebay) that I thought was a bad wing.

 

The top wing (and the wings shown by Cliff) seem to be based on the bottom wings. The balloon and gondola are typically pretty good, but the quality of the feathering really is lacking.

 

When one looks at the wings, side by side like this, you can see obvious differences in the pattern and quality of the feathering. The top wing lacks the detail and balance of the other two. With out careful side by side analysis, it is easy to see how the fake could fool lots of people.

 

The other thing is that the detail of the outline of the wing is lacking on the top wing. In hand, the fake wing has a kind of flat, 1-dimension feel to it. Also, the tips and sides of the wings seem rather flat and without definition in the fakes.

 

Patrick

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Let's make it even more interesting Patrick. Here are the images of the three badges you posted above, along with the actual badge number 54 that can be seen in Duncan Campbell's book added on at the bottom.

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OK again, bringing this back to wings the average collector might actually be able to afford ;) here is an example that turned up on eBay

 

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From the from it looks perfectly legit, nice feathering

 

we turn it over and:

 

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TADA ,fun with our BB&B stamp set! And while I'm not going to start that whole argument again, this makes it CLEAR that there is a fake BB&B die stamp out there in this style, the same style we have been seeing on jump wings.

 

Paul

Paul Conrad
Still looking for quality wings!

www.conradwings.com
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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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Paul,

 

I think this wing is a good wing that someone totally destoryed the value of by trying to add value to it with the fake B,B&B mark. Click here to see the same pattern wing from my site - albeit missing the fake maker mark. Sad that someone would wreck a real wing like that but not surprising. B,B&B marked wings are almost getting as bad as Meyer marked wings now. Thanks for posting.

 

Bob

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  • 3 months later...
What to watch for: Examples of fake/reproduction Wings

 

Forum members, I am starting this thread as a reference for collectors of all levels, as a place to post pictures and give tips on reproduction wings, Please post!

 

I will get this one started myself, with a current wing I pulled from eBay.

 

Thanks,

 

Paul

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Looks like another Meyer restrike......

 

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Surprise!

 

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In Memory of Air Corps Technical Sergeant Carl F. Durfee. He died of wounds on 30 December 1944 while serving in the South Pacific. You are not forgotten.

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Great information---Thank you for taking the time to do this----1st Sgt

In Memory of Air Corps Technical Sergeant Carl F. Durfee. He died of wounds on 30 December 1944 while serving in the South Pacific. You are not forgotten.

ASMIC member

American Legion member

US Air Force & Air National Guard TAC - MAC

JOHN N. DANIELS ---152nd COMPANY C New York State Infantry--- captured 1864 survivor of Andersonville ---- Great-Great-Great Uncle

Captain Robert L. Hosler, 522nd Fighter/Bomber Sq. 12th Army Air Corp. World War Two P47 Pilot - 1 DFC- 5 Air Medal & 0ne Purple Heart---Uncle

1st Sgt Ann Barry, US Army Air Corp WAC World War Two --ETO --- Aunt

Sgt Willam M. Barry, USMC----Pacific World War Two--Father





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  • 2 weeks later...

These wings are on eBay now. I take them to be restrikes based on the marks and the pin lacking a cam stop. Anyone agree? Any idea when they were made? Were they made by Meyer for collectors?

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Hi Paul,

 

I noticed a number of years ago, that it seemed that people were doing some interesting things with the NS Meyer restrikes.

 

1) First they were trying to buff off the hallmark. With a little study you could tell this was done on most examples, so it wasn't that much of a burden in telling apart the good from the bad.

 

2a) Then, I started noticing that NSM restrikes were showing up, but without the hallmark. I suspect that they people making the wings, simply used a different "pusher" when they were striking them, one with out the hallmark. These wings were frequently treated with a finish that gave the back a type of glossy blackish finish. That was kind of a dead give away of a fake.

 

2b) I then noticed that the fakers where trying to either buff off the finish or treat the wings with chemicals to get around this problem. Again, with a little careful study, you could tell where they had tried to buff out the back or treat the wings. The classic effect of chemical treatment was a sort of blotchy chemical "stain" on the wings.

 

3) The next iteration of these type of fakes was to ADD a new hallmark to the wing. At first, I saw a fair number of AECO or AMICO hallmarked wings (here is one I captured off an ebay auction years ago). I have also seen a number of other hallmarks added since then. Of course the biggest tell is that the hallmarks of the company do not match the pattern of the wings that the company made.

 

4) The final iteration of these fakes is for some sellers to add some sort of phrase or dedication to the back of the wings. Some of the earlier posts gave some examples of these type of fakes.

 

Patrick

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is one that sold for over $300.00 :thumbdown: on eBay

 

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This is a fantasy piece, the 1945 and every other marking is stamped, the wing is cast. A total piece of junk.

 

Look at posts number 7, 49 and 50 on this thread for other examples from the same faker.

Paul Conrad
Still looking for quality wings!

www.conradwings.com
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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 try to keep a small "rouges gallery" of fakes on my webpage here:

http://pfrost.bol.ucla.edu/fakegallery.html

 

But here are a few of these wings that I collected for prosperity....

 

I guess you can't spend all your time preventing well-intentioned but ill-informed souls from spending lots of money on ugly fake wings and there is no way you can say something such that it wont be misconstrued!

 

Patrick

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Well is something to look at and shake your head :think: :blink: :thumbdown:

 

Ebay item number 170347937605

 

 

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Always looking for Wings & Named Air Medals!

Motto: To Collect, Preserve, and Remember!

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
I've had this Meyer & Wenthe hallmarked piece for a while and have had different opinions as to its authenticity. It has a ball-type, tuck-in catch and the pin opens a full 180 degrees. If bad I thought it might be one of Mr. ***************'s productions but his remarks suggest otherwise. Comments?

Thanks....Bobgee

 

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The Meyer and Wenthe wings used the Tiffany lever lock type catch with a pin that only opened about 60 degrees. I have not seen the ball type hook under catch on any legit WW1 wing. I have noticed a lot of WW1/1920's NS Meyer wings showing up in the past couple years with a simple hook catch. Meyer did not use a hook catch on their wings during this period.

 

Terry

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Terry,

 

I haven't seen a metal wing from the period with the ball roller catch but I have an example of a bullion wing with that catch assembly that everyone I've shown it to has agreed is a period piece. Here's some photos that I posted earlier this year along with the uniform it is attached to. I'm just showing the wing here for reference. Note that in person the wing fabric isn't as blue as these photos make it out to be. The sunlight brightened the color. It's actually more of a dark purplish color.

 

Bob

 

Note: THIS IS A PERIOD WING SHOWN HERE ONLY FOR THE PERIOD USE OF THE ROLLER BALL CATCH

 

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Terry,

 

I haven't seen a metal wing from the period with the ball roller catch but I have an example of a bullion wing with that catch assembly that everyone I've shown it to has agreed is a period piece. Here's some photos that I posted earlier this year along with the uniform it is attached to. I'm just showing the wing here for reference. Note that in person the wing fabric isn't as blue as these photos make it out to be. The sunlight brightened the color. It's actually more of a dark purplish color.

 

Bob

Bob,

 

The ball roller catch came into common use with some manufacturing jewelers around the tail end of 1918. They are the predominant style of catch on WW1 era USMC Good Conduct medals, and marksmanship medals made by Bailey Banks and Biddle. That having been said, it is definitely uncommon to find one on a wing badge.

 

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a questionable wing that is being sold as an original on eBay (item# 370231076331). It looks like a cast wing to me, and is not up to the level of workmanship that I expect to see in this pattern (usually attributed to Eisenstadt as one of their "moustache wings").

 

Patrick

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