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WW1 Aviation Bullion Insignia


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I picked this up at the Reading Airshow over the weekend. A guy walked into my tent and asked if we bought militaria. Of course I said yes and I was a bit excited when I saw what he had in his pocket. It is French made and in excellent condition. What do you guys think?

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Always looking for WW1 28th Division; anything, papers, field gear, uniforms, etc.

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The actual patch looks to be a standard US-made chevron that has been enhanced with a bullion winged prop. But, the bullion does appear to be an old application, so it was probably period done.

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I have some problems with this insignia. Notice the bullion in the prop and on the wings has not tarnished evenly. You have some bright strands then a dark strand (example the top blade of the prop first two strands dark then a couple bright then dark again etc. That is not consistent with the ageing process of bullion insignia. Some of the strands of bullion are bent while the strands on each side are straight (Top feather right wing 3rd and 4th strands from tip, 2nd feather 5th strand and in the prop bottom blade 6th strand down from center). These are just a couple examples, if you look close you can see this trend in several other feathers in the wings. The top bullion on the left as you look at the wing is crude and does not match that on the right. And the backing piece of material has not been trimmed around the wing and prop. I suspect that is because if it was trimmed you would see the outline of the original branch insignia that was above the wreath. Overall the construction is crude and not consistent with Air Service insignia made during the period.

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As for the colors of the bullion they are different. The scan doesn't show the detail very well. The prop and wings are made from different colored bullion wire. I don't have my digital camera here to take a better shot.

Always looking for WW1 28th Division; anything, papers, field gear, uniforms, etc.

donation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

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It is not uncommon to find wings and insignia recently made by removing the bullion from a less expensive patch or wing to create a WW1 badge that should be worth hundreds if original. A sign of this practice is the coloration of the bullion and strands of bent or broken bullion mixed in with straight strands. Attached is a perfect example of a fake WW1 Jr. Military Aviator badge in bullion that was made using bullion from some other source. And an example of a genuine WW1 Jr. Aviator badge made in England for Earl Forsyth. Compare the two then compare the fake half wing with the patch above and you can see the similarity.

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