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Bill Scott

Can Someone Tell Me what A Wing Is Worth

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The wing in question is a 1934 pattern Air Mail Pilot wing marked Pat Applied .Rolled Gold.It is a pin back style and just over three inches long.A friend picked it up and I am trying to buy it.Thanks Scotty


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What type of wing is it? Is it the US Air Mail wing with a globe? Or is it the wing with US Aerial Mail?

 

The latter is frequently faked and there is some question in my mind it they were ever worn or represent a fantasy wing. I have looked for period photos of this US wing being worn, and have never found one. Here is a thread about that type of wing. Although the wing in the thread below looks very nice and could be real.

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/81198-aerial-mail-pilot-wing/

 

The airmail wings with the globe are more common. The early ones have the equator going through the word AIR. The later ones have the word AIR on the equator.

 

IIRC the last early airmail wing I saw for sale on ebay went for about 200-300$. I would think that range would be pretty good, but it is always a relative question.

As for the US Aerial mail wing, you have to decide if it is fake or not. The real ones would be very very rare.

 

Hope that helps. Just my opinions.

 

P

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Thank you for your answer and your time. I am very glad I asked the question.I would have offered way over what they are worth.Scotty


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That is a great photo, but the wing looks to be a bullion one. I had a conversation with a big wing collecting friend a few years ago, and he had one of the metal wings. As I recall, he was also leery that the metal wings were not actually vintage. Clearly, the logo was used on adds and letterhead and such, but he never really liked the "feel" of the wings. Its clear when you handle early military and commercial airline wings from the 20-30's.

 

But mostly I am ignorant about these wings. I like the one that you posted a lot. So, I could very well be wrong.

 

I'd give a small fortune for his bullion wings!

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Thank you DMD.

 

This is what I would expect this wing to look like. Pay special attention to how the feathers are rendered.

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Now compare that the more common wing that you see periodically. This is what the "wing king" and I were talking about a few years ago. Pay special attention to the relatively flat dimensions of the wing and the way that the feathers are done--simple "V" shapes down the center of the wing. Simple straight lines, without dimensions or flair. This wing feathering pattern is seen in a LOT of fakes--including the fake Dallas wings from the House of Swords. When ever I see feathering rendered in this manner, I get really bad heartburn about a wing.

 

Also the A&S wing shows only 2 rows of feathers while the other has 3. So it isn't even the same die.

 

That is why I believe that the more common wing (as illustrated here) is likely a fake.

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I side by side comparison of the Air and Space wing and the other.

 

Of course it is possible that there were more than one manufacturer of these wings, but....

 

 

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Here is a bit more detail from that wing.

 

First, I suspect that this wing is actually made in gold rather than gold plate. Also, look closely at this area of the wing. It almost looks like the wings are added as a separate piece to the base of the wing.

 

Again, I want to drag your attention to the feathering. Most wings of this era were carved by (probably) artisans of great skill. They were able to make this type of detail, with the feathering of the wings being very artistic and 3-dimensional. Especially if the wings were made by a jewelry company. They weren't just churning these things out like crazy, but would be making a rather limited run.

 

This is very exciting to see the A&S museum piece as it really makes me believe that these wings were made and don't represent a fakers imagination. But since there were so few Air Mail pilots at that time, you have to figure "real ones" number in the tens...

 

 

 

 

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