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WW1 Bullion Wing Variations


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This is a recent find from Ebay. It was described in the text as a potential reproduction. After studying the pictures (and using this thread as a reference point), I felt that it was more than likely a good wing. After discussing it briefly with my "brain trust", I went ahead and bid on it--and bought it for a pretty good deal.

 

I think it is a classic US-made pattern bullion wing. In person, it has a very nice padding or "pillowing" under the shield. Not as deep as some wings I have seen, but sill very marked.

 

 

 

:w00t: Wow oh wow Patrick, that's a wonderful drop-dead beauty in every respect. Yours just goes to prove there are still r-e-a-l WW1 badges to be found . . . even on eBay.

 

Great find, and welcome back!!! :thumbsup:

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:w00t: Wow oh wow Patrick, that's a wonderful drop-dead beauty in every respect. Yours just goes to prove there are still r-e-a-l WW1 badges to be found . . . even on eBay.

 

Great find, and welcome back!!! :thumbsup:

 

Thank you Cliff,

 

Here is the back.

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  • 1 month later...
Here are a couple of new pictures of WWI bullion wings.

 

This is another crown jewel in my collection. This fellow's portraits were taken by Bachrach Studios, a very famous photographer and portrait studio located in New York and Washington DC. The studio still exists and my photos have the original studio number on the back (the photo dated to 1918). Sadly, the studio had saved its records of who was who up to the month AFTER this photo was taken, so I can't ID him. I have two photos of this man, but only one shows his wings.

 

The photo is under glass, so it didn't come out as sharp and clear as they are in real life.

 

Patrick

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  • 1 month later...

This is an interesting WW1 badge with swept down wing tips that could be interpreted as having a strong English influence.

 

The badge is somewhat similar to badge number WB-26 pictured on page 19 of the fine book, United States Army Air Service Wing Badges – Uniforms and insignia 1913-1918, by Terry Morris. Unfortunately, I have no idea who the officer is in the picture.

 

cp-

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Cliff, that's one beautiful bullion wing! The down-swept wings are a unique variation. Very, very British in style. Small world...I have the identical studio photograph. My photograph has a few foxing spots on the image, and on the back it has an inked love note which is signed "Clyde". No other indication of what his last name is.

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This 1918 dated A.E.F. "Flying Officer" Certificate of Identification, issued in London, England, shows First Lieutenant William Matthews wearing a pair of down-swept English style wings.

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Russ,

 

The close-up of the wing badge seen on the uniform of the pilot named 'Clyde' is exceptional and much appreciated. :D

 

Below is a comparison of the English styled badge I first posted, badge WB-27 in the book by Terry Morris and the one you provided. There are a few differences between the three but in many ways they are similar. We just have to remember that these insignia were hand embroidered by any number of women that could have been employed by the same company.

 

Something to ponder: There was a Lt. Clyde Frey, RMA/RFC who served with 38th Squadron, RFC. Could he be the same officer in your photo? It's just a thought (or a lead) to consider because 1/Lt. William W. Mathews whose A.E.F. identification card you have was a RMA/RFC who served with 18th Squadron, RFC.

 

Cheers,

 

Cliff

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That's a terrific three wing comparison study Cliff! Thank you for the additional images and for your research on both pilots. Putting a potential full name to the studio photograph is exciting stuff! I tried get a close-up image of the wings depicted on Lt. William Mathews A.E.F. identification paper, but was not very successful. Between the uneven surface caused by the embossed seal, and the lack of detail in the original shot, I was only able to come up with a very limited outline of the down-swept wings.

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Included in the purchase of Lt. William Mathew's small grouping was this rather unique bullion wing. In the words of our friend Patrick Frost, he called it the UGLIEST authentic WWI wing he's ever seen. Now I admit it lacks detail and style, but to call this little treasure UGLY in front of my wife, kids and dog was just plain hurtful and beyond the bounds of fellow wing collector etiquette! All kidding aside, this is one weird bullion wing. Have you seen others like it? Your +/- comments are welcome. Russ

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Back of "UGLY" designed bullion wing.

 

 

I still feel that particular wing is so ugly it hurts my feelings! Yes, I know I committed a serious faux pas, but for crying out loud, you need to give a man a bit of a heads up when brandishing a wing like that at someone!

 

Looking through your collection... beautiful bullion wing, beautiful Tiffani wing, beautiful Shreve wing, hideous freak of nature wing, beautiful Eisenstadt wing, another beautiful bullion wing.... it can take your breath away.

 

We should have a contest to fully explore this wing. All kidding aside, I think it is also the COOLEST wing I have ever seen and would love to have one like it in my collection. So much character and a real one of a kinder.

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I don’t think that wing badge or the wire used to embroider it was made in France; however, the three badges with English style downward tilting wing tips were.

 

Consider this: Before World War 1 hand-embroidered military insignia produced in France could not be beat and much of it was made for the English market.

 

In concert, the manufacture of fine silver and gold wire/lace in Lyons France was so exceptional that companies there were compelled and somehow managed to keep it a trade secret for centuries. In fact the quality was so good that prior to World War II about 50,000 workers in the Lyons area were engaged solely in the manufacture of fine silver and gold wire/lace for the world markets… but the fall of France put an end to it.

 

Then were could that badge have been made? Except for not having been made in France I’ve no idea. England?

 

Cliff

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  • 2 months later...
Here's one I haven't seen in this thread and, unfortunately, it's not attributed.

 

It's stitched all around and lightly padded.

 

Please let me know what you think - good or bad?

 

Adam

:huh:

I would run from that as fast as possible to avoid getting a serious third degree burn!

:devil:

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's a balloon pilot I just picked up. It's not as pretty as the previous balloon pilot wings in the thread, but it matches the same French-made pattern as other pilot wings I've had. Looks like a million bucks in person!

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Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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