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Paul S

BB&B Glider Pilot -- Real or Fantasy?

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Here is a wing I saw go by a while back. Looks like a Meyer obverse...what do you think...real or fantasy?

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Paul,

 

My gut reaction is that this is a Meyer restrike that someone added a BB&B make to increase the sale price... I may be wrong but I am going with my gut... :)


Always looking for Wings & Named Air Medals!

Motto: To Collect, Preserve, and Remember!

 

 

 

 

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It is a fantasy piece. As John said. A NS Meyer restrike wing that likely has been buffed down to remove the hallmark or a cast of a NS Meyer wing, and then with an added hallmark. It is of the same family of this restrike IMHO. I have now seen them with AMICO, Amcraft, BB&B, and a few others.

 

Patrick

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Patrick or John,

 

What do you know about the production and distribution of Meyer restrikes? Was it done over a definable period of time, or has it been going on more or less regularly since WWII? I am aware that a current retail seller is using the dies to make them today, but I don't think they bear the Meyer marks.

 

Are we talking about Meyer themselves selling their wing restrikes, perhaps to the old Army-Navy surplus stores or something like that?

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I believe that the N S Meyer wings have come out in a number of "waves" going back to the 1960's or so. I was told by an old time collector that the first "restrikes" were the balloon, airship and TO wings, as that they were the most difficult for collectors to find. These wings were very much like the originals, and used the same hardware. Thus, the 90 degree pin flaw in later wings is not really valid for these early restrikes. Later, other batches of restrikes were produced, and included the alphabet wings (G, L, and S). These are the wings where the pins (according to the old timer) started to be wrong and opened all the way. After that, additional wings were made for collectors, but had some sort of dark, almost black finish on them, and also included the bad pins. It seems that other waves of wings have come out, but have corrected some of the faults of the original restrikes, and include wings without the hallmark. Now, you have wings with fantasy hallmarks showing up.

 

I believe NS Meyers finally went out of business a few years ago and all their old stock and dies were sold in auction. I have heard rumors that the people who got those dies are starting to produce new wings. Eventually, all they will do is destroy the hobby. Most people wont touch a NS Meyer wing, and even a "real" NS Meyer balloon/airship/TO wing likley will get only a fraction of the value of another maker.

 

In any case, it seems that fakes of this kind have been around for many years, but the addition of fake hallmarks on these wings seem to be a relatively new situation.

 

Patrick

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Thanks Patrick,

 

I recall in the late 1960's out in your neighborhood there being a huge push by WWII aged people focused on collecting Lugers. A kid on a limited budget couldn't touch one for a reasonable price. I suppose the same thing was going on for many different WWII artifacts in many different cities around the country...at the time the veterans were in their forties and in their peak earning years, so they had some money to throw at such things. I don't recall how or where wings might have been sold at the time and don't recall seeing any significant displays in gun shops or pawn shops I haunted then. Even though my father earned his wings, he never collected them...stamps were his thing--especially airmail stamps.

 

I put the comparison picture below together to attempt to point out the subtle differences between a Meyer Service Pilot that came out of an original estate and a restrike. While I usually look for all raised hallmarks and the limited swing pins as evidence of a period piece as you have advised on your site, as the pictures show, a legitimate WWII wing could also have an incised mark and still be a valid piece. I think your observation that even with a wing being a period piece, the trouble you have in convincing others of its validity isn't really worth the hassle. On the other hand, it does provide a knowledgeable collector with the opportunity to pick up some perfectly good period wings at a good price and that's not a bad thing.

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Morning all!

 

I concure with Patrick about the addition of mis-matched hallmarks on Meyer restrikes. I have noticed this in the last two years... and feel this falls into the catagory.

 

If you think about it this is really designed to catch the newer collectors trying to find examples of various makers. This is why it is so good that site like USMF are here so we can make connnections, share information and help folks avoid mistakes.

 

As touched upon above it is the hard to find wings or makers that bring in the big $$ that promote these folks and I am sure we will continue to see some more interesting marks pop up on the Meyer wings.

 

John


Always looking for Wings & Named Air Medals!

Motto: To Collect, Preserve, and Remember!

 

 

 

 

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gif

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