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Weekly World War Wing #5 (Dunham edition)


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I don't know either however it kind of looks like a sloppy T with something after. Maybe its referring to a "14K Top" as found on some WW 1 hallmarking as in this one piece Robbins example?

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'Just one more wing' away from true happiness...

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I wonder if the mystery symbol in front of the 14K is an indicator of an attached element/device that is 14K, as opposed to whatever metal the base wing is made of. In the case of the two wings I was comparing they were both marked as Sterling. The only two WWI vintage wings I have are both Sterling with applied Gold US, but neither of them have any markings about the Gold letters. They both have just the makers hallmarks and the Sterling marks. Hopefully the forum members that have much more extensive WWI wing collections can review their wings to see if any others have the mystery mark.

 

From a current Canadian government website discussing items made of precious metals such as gold or silver:

 

"Where only a part of the article is composed of the precious metal of the quality specified, the name of the part must be specified immediately before or after the quality mark."

 

Marty

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Here is the closest back mark I could find for the D in a diamond.

Comes from original 1931 Keystone Jewelers Index.

John

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...and on the eighth day, God created the radial engine...

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One other possibility, but font is different and has a period after the D but is close as well.

John

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...and on the eighth day, God created the radial engine...

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None of my metal wings are marked with the gold content of the US. All are marked STERLING and nothing else (other than maybe the maker's mark if it has one).

 

I have always felt that one of the biggest character flaws (among so so many) is that the reproduction-scam artists don't have the ability to be subtle or beautiful. They seem to have a low brutal craftiness and pernicious type of creativity that only allows them to make something that they can sell to the "rubes". They copy and embellish, but lacks a soul and can only view the world in a sickly perverted corrupted light. I once asked a fine jewelry maker how hard it would be to make WWI style wings. He said that is it relatively easy if you have the training, skill and creativity, but if you had those things already, then why would you want to make a copy of someones art just to trick someone else. He said "I think you would have a pretty small and warped personality to think that is something worthy and attractive of your efforts." I periodically hear the story that someone once said "he had made a copy of WWI wings that would fool the experts". And someone else who shall not be named, was very proud of letting me know that we had been "fooled" by one of the fake wings we discussed on this forum. Seems like those are sad empty people who get joy from that... Its just a hobby and what we collect are very beautiful items in their own right. Anywhoo.

 

So many times, the hallmarks on fake or reproduction wings seem to be garish, overstated, larger than in real life, have extra additions (like a 14K hallmark) or other embellishments. Its almost like the fakers can't help themselves in trying to fool the unwary.

 

If you spend some time and really study hallmarks (on jewelry, silver ware, insignia, watches, medals, etc), more often than not the marker mark is rather ordinary, finely made, and small/precise.

 

I always try to do periodic google searches for silver hallmarks. There are a few websites where you can get cataloged images of many hallmarks from many different silver makers. Not all of them made insignia, but I think you start getting an idea of how real hallmarks will look. That will help identify a dodgy mark. The other things I will study are some of the fake jewelry web sites. Marking items with fake hallmarks and metal purity marks is a LOOOOONNNNGGGG and well established form of scams and frauds in selling fine arts, jewelry and watches. For example, there is a fair amount of information on dodgy Tiffany hallmarks, because it is so popular. Again, it does help to have a really good eye for what the real things look like as much as understanding how they are faked.

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Great insight and sound advice.

None of my metal wings are marked with the gold content of the US. All are marked STERLING and nothing else (other than maybe the maker's mark if it has one).

 

I have always felt that one of the biggest character flaws (among so so many) is that the reproduction-scam artists don't have the ability to be subtle or beautiful. They seem to have a low brutal craftiness and pernicious type of creativity that only allows them to make something that they can sell to the "rubes". They copy and embellish, but lacks a soul and can only view the world in a sickly perverted corrupted light. I once asked a fine jewelry maker how hard it would be to make WWI style wings. He said that is it relatively easy if you have the training, skill and creativity, but if you had those things already, then why would you want to make a copy of someones art just to trick someone else. He said "I think you would have a pretty small and warped personality to think that is something worthy and attractive of your efforts." I periodically hear the story that someone once said "he had made a copy of WWI wings that would fool the experts". And someone else who shall not be named, was very proud of letting me know that we had been "fooled" by one of the fake wings we discussed on this forum. Seems like those are sad empty people who get joy from that... Its just a hobby and what we collect are very beautiful items in their own right. Anywhoo.

 

So many times, the hallmarks on fake or reproduction wings seem to be garish, overstated, larger than in real life, have extra additions (like a 14K hallmark) or other embellishments. Its almost like the fakers can't help themselves in trying to fool the unwary.

 

If you spend some time and really study hallmarks (on jewelry, silver ware, insignia, watches, medals, etc), more often than not the marker mark is rather ordinary, finely made, and small/precise.

 

I always try to do periodic google searches for silver hallmarks. There are a few websites where you can get cataloged images of many hallmarks from many different silver makers. Not all of them made insignia, but I think you start getting an idea of how real hallmarks will look. That will help identify a dodgy mark. The other things I will study are some of the fake jewelry web sites. Marking items with fake hallmarks and metal purity marks is a LOOOOONNNNGGGG and well established form of scams and frauds in selling fine arts, jewelry and watches. For example, there is a fair amount of information on dodgy Tiffany hallmarks, because it is so popular. Again, it does help to have a really good eye for what the real things look like as much as understanding how they are faked.

 

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I have always felt that one of the biggest character flaws (among so so many) is that the reproduction-scam artists don't have the ability to be subtle or beautiful. They seem to have a low brutal craftiness and pernicious type of creativity that only allows them to make something that they can sell to the "rubes". They copy and embellish, but lacks a soul and can only view the world in a sickly perverted corrupted light. I once asked a fine jewelry maker how hard it would be to make WWI style wings. He said that is it relatively easy if you have the training, skill and creativity, but if you had those things already, then why would you want to make a copy of someones art just to trick someone else. He said "I think you would have a pretty small and warped personality to think that is something worthy and attractive of your efforts." I periodically hear the story that someone once said "he had made a copy of WWI wings that would fool the experts". And someone else who shall not be named, was very proud of letting me know that we had been "fooled" by one of the fake wings we discussed on this forum. Seems like those are sad empty people who get joy from that... Its just a hobby and what we collect are very beautiful items in their own right.

 

Patrick,

 

This is extremely well written, and I must say; I could not agree more.

 

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I see a wing like this it always begs a question in my mind; "Does this wing represent a manufacturer's attempt to meet the requirements imposed in January 1919? Perhaps before even seeing the Adams designs?"

 

We do know that the Army was very dissatisfied with the state of military insignia at the end of WW1. Authors from Emerson to Campbell have described how the War Department turned to the US Commission on Fine Arts and the Philadelphia Mint to standardize, and if needed redesign military insignia.

 

However can we also extrapolate that during the confusing first six months of 1919, manufacturers both large and small, would have assumed that they could continue to produce their own, distinctive versions of various military insignias--as they had during the war?

 

Certainly some manufacturers, upon hearing of design changes coming from the government, would have sought to be "first to market" with a new badge that met the government's needs.

 

So when I look at a badge like this lovely, unique piece posted by Patrick, my mind goes to all the ways it (and its Dunham cousin) share similar design elements to Adams-type wings. One thing stands out; the piece exhibits straight wings, with a strong shoulder, and root attached to shield. Was this one of the badges that forced the Army to require badges to be marked "FROM OFFICIAL DIE"? We'll likely never know. Regardless, this is a handsome wing design and perhaps represents a WW1 era wing that "could have been..."

 

Chris

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