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IMO this is a questionable SAARF Wing, doesn't resemble known wartime production and is poor quality.

 

Feel free to comment

 

CDub

 

 

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My Military collectibles website with Special Forces Gallery: https://rpjmilitaria.com

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I agree with you that this does not match known wartime examples and the reference I have indicates there were no other variants so this is a copy.

 

 

 

 


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FAKE. These only come one way- Machine embroidered on felt with sizing on the back. All originals look exactly the same. There was NO variation.  Check out Les Hughes' awesome website- www.insigne.org to learn more about this insignia.

 

Allan


Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Since this is on my website, I will make a comment.

 

This came out of the large collection of killer patches that NCHS has been selling on Ebay, I got to see a lot of these patches before they made it to ebay.

 

Before I saw it two people who I truly trust had already said it was okay and someone else I trust with elite WWII patches was with me when I bought a bunch of stuff out of the collection and also liked it. The only person who did not handle it or see it in hand said they didn't like it, the others all handled it.  It has been used and not with fake wear it has real used wear like you see on something that has been laundered a lot. If it is a copy I will accept that but I again I find it odd that some of the "godfathers" of this hobby blessed it.

 

Allan, saying that they are all only one way is a stretch. There have been pieces that have been said were fake and shown on the said website, that later turned out to have iron clad documentation are were later shown as real, but did not match up to the exact ones shown. I specialize in Vietnam theatre made patches as you know, and I would never say that certain patches were only made one way and all others were fake, as that is a guarantee that you will be eating your words later on.


www.vintageproductions.com


"A militaria show is a social event for anti-socials" - A.T. 2008


ASMIC Executive President

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Bob,

 

I had no idea that this was yours, and quite honestly, ownership shouldn't matter. I have handled a few of these pieces and have spoken with Les Hughes and read his articles over and over again. I trust that what Les found in the hands of the veterans is what they were issued. I do not claim infallibility, and we all make mistakes, even the great Bill Scott will readily tell you that he has made his fair share. I do tend to err on the side of caution.

 

I also recall when this type of reproduction patch started showing up at shows etc. and have to say that this one looks amazingly similar. The fact that it has been sewn to something doesn't really hold a lot of weight with me. I have seen plenty of reproductions that have been sewn on uniforms and other pieces of clothing.

 

One thing about variations is that they tend to show up after insignia has been worn in large numbers and worn for a period of time. I do not put SAARF in that category, but IF I were to see something other than an issue piece, I would expect it to be a "one off" and then I would want provenance. Someone went to a fair amount of trouble to set this patch up to be machine made. I would expect a lot of SAARF veterans to have one, OR I would expect to see Boots, or The Patch King advertising the piece.

 

You say that it has been blessed by a number of "godfathers" in the hobby. Maybe some of them will step up and say that it is an original. This way, if a forum member decides that he or she wants to buy it, they can say with confidence that it has been properly blessed.

 

Perhaps we can get Les to weigh in on the subject and wait and see what he has to say. In the meantime, I will stand behind my assessment.

 

Allan


Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Allan- It doesn't mater who has the the item for sale, the item should stand on it's own, not who owns it.

 

There have been many  items that are one ofs, should I add a link to the Hashimoto collection and shows things that should have never been made in Japan, but yet they were ( Civil War Ribbons, WWI patches, etc)? You say this variant started showing up at shows, when was this and who were they associated with? We have all been around a long time, so when new fakes turn up, someone usually knows who and why they were made.

 

I am a firm believer that no one should say with absolutes that everything has to be a exact way. Far to many people in that unit who could have had replacements made, not saying that is what this is, I am just saying that when you start claiming that only one type was every made then one will show up with documentation, and some still won't believe it. A prime example of this was in Jason Hardy's new SOG patch book he waited and waited to complete the book until he had one of every known variation of each patch. When he was finished and it was printed, he thought that he had shown everything that could ever have been made and almost everything had Veteran provenance. Well, the day the books landed at his house a veteran owned piece showed up in the mail that was not shown in the book and that he didn't know existed.

 

I will disagree with your statement that, " One thing about variations is that they tend to show up after insignia has been worn in large numbers and worn for a period of time". I have seen them show up in units of under 50 people and the unit may have only been around 6 months, but yet there will be numerous variants as each person went to a different tailor shop to have their insignia made. Unless the piece was mass produced and all made on same machine, by the same hand, then there are going to be variants. The Alamo Scouts patch is a prime example of this, there is the wartime PI made variant, the US made variant and then there are the ones made for collectors in the 60's. The US made fully embroidered ones are all exact but the Philippine made are all slightly different.

 

Again, I am not swearing that my patch is 1000% correct, I have made many mistakes in the past and will probably make a lot more, I just trust the people who vetted it before me. If it can be proven who made it and when, I will happily take it off my website and destroy it. But, until then I would like to see some proof, not just hear say.

 

Bob


www.vintageproductions.com


"A militaria show is a social event for anti-socials" - A.T. 2008


ASMIC Executive President

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This is what the wing should look. As Allan has previously stated these were only made on felt with sizing backing {Sizing meaning Paste back or Starch back}.

 

To my knowledge there were no variations of these badges made, hence hand embroidered badges & shoulder titles are post war reproductions.

 

SAARF.1.jpg.b9c24efb42330fda333f914af5da91a5.jpg


My Military collectibles website with Special Forces Gallery: https://rpjmilitaria.com

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This insignia, while really rare has been addressed here on the forum previously. Here is a good read for those who might be interested:

Additionally, those who want to read more about SAARF, can do so on Les Hughes' website- here is a link to the article: http://www.insigne.org/SAARF-I.htm

 

Allan


Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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I agree with Gunslinger and Allan that the wing is not  a good one.If in your mind the guys that told you its real and you are comfortable with their judgement  keep it on your site.I was questioned just two weeks ago on an Airborne Style Command patch with the word Parachute in an arc and a Silk thread parachute on it.I believe it is an Italian made souvenir piece available to anyone that wanted to buy them and stated that in the listing.If the man that bought it sends it back I will happily refund his money we all make our own judgement with our items and live with those judgements.Scotty

 


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Tonomachi,

 

I'd reposted the image because it wasn't displaying on mobile devices but does show on the desktop browsers???

 

CDub


My Military collectibles website with Special Forces Gallery: https://rpjmilitaria.com

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Here is a photo I kept in my reference of a supposed documented SAARF wing and tab.  I also have photos of 5 to 6 copies of the SAARF wing and a couple of copies of the tab.  I've never come across another example of the piece that started off this thread and was curious what the back looked like.

 

 

SAARF Real (6).jpg

SAARF Real (7).jpg


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Here is the back

sarf2.jpg


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For what it is worth I agree with Allan,Les, Tonomachi, and Scotty. Simply not worth the risk to buy an expensive item even if it might be OK or even prove at a later date to be OK .When there is not more unanimity in agreement if it is correct not a wise move to buy. Only one I have owned is the English made type and others I have seen were clearly copies.


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And like I said, I have no problem taking it down, which I have done, but no one has answered my easy question yet.

 

Who made it, when was it made, etc.

 

I have no problem telling someone something is fake but when I do I back it up with all the details, as to when it was made and by who. All that is being said here is that it is fake, and no explanations. It's easy to say something is fake, but it carries more weight when that statement can be backed up. Bill I did that with you recently on a piece and I told you who made it and when it was made.

 

I respect some of the members who commented above and know your knowledge but to just say it is fake without backup information doesn't really support your statements.

 

I welcome the information and would appreciate knowing who / when it was made. It has been said these showed up a lot at gun shows and I personally have not seen another like this one. So if they showed up in quantity there should be a lot more of them available and somebody knows the true story, and the true story is what I want to hear and I think would be helpful to the whole membership.


www.vintageproductions.com


"A militaria show is a social event for anti-socials" - A.T. 2008


ASMIC Executive President

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There is no way on some piece to tell who, why, or when they were made and some are so good you still wonder if they are real.Your question like mine many times of any collectible is not an easy one to answer.I think it says more about you as a dealer that after several people said they did not like the item that you took it down.Scotty


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33 minutes ago, vintageproductions said:

And like I said, I have no problem taking it down, which I have done, but no one has answered my easy question yet.

 

Who made it, when was it made, etc.

 

I have no problem telling someone something is fake but when I do I back it up with all the details, as to when it was made and by who. All that is being said here is that it is fake, and no explanations. It's easy to say something is fake, but it carries more weight when that statement can be backed up. Bill I did that with you recently on a piece and I told you who made it and when it was made.

 

I respect some of the members who commented above and know your knowledge but to just say it is fake without backup information doesn't really support your statements.

 

I welcome the information and would appreciate knowing who / when it was made. It has been said these showed up a lot at gun shows and I personally have not seen another like this one. So if they showed up in quantity there should be a lot more of them available and somebody knows the true story, and the true story is what I want to hear and I think would be helpful to the whole membership.

Bob,

 

I want to start this by thanking you for taking the piece off of your website. I believe that it was the right thing to do. I understand your frustrations with not being able to answer the questions, Who made it? When was it Made? Why? I would respond to this by saying that in Vietnam era and Vietnam-made insignia, there are a variety of reasons that pieces were made after the fact. Some were made for collectors; some were made for veterans, and some were made with the intention off parting an un-knowing collector from his or her money. Vietnam was a much different war with active collectors who were serving in Vietnam, finding examples of insignia and having it copied. Sometimes, they simply asked the houses making the insignia to just make up extras above the numbers requested by the units, teams, etc. I don't think things were like that in WWII.

 

I highly doubt that serious collectors of WWII German badges can tell you for certain where and when certain fakes were made. Some pieces were made immediately after the war, but some are still being turned out now. How many of those German badge collectors can narrow down the fakes in the manner that you are requesting? Who's making the best fake Knight's Cross? Unfortunately, due to the fact that a real one is worth thousands of dollars, the unscrupulous work hard to churn out convincing fakes. These people don't want to be known for a couple of very important reasons. First, if you know that you can go buy a very convincing fake for a certain price, many will beat a path to the manufacturer's door. That manufacturer is either selling the bad pieces themselves or using agents to sell for them. They aren't interested in selling a convincing fake for a couple hundred bucks when they can sell one to an unknowing collector for slightly less than a real one would usually cost. Their profit is much higher. They also don't want to have to deal with unhappy customers who have purchased their fakes and are looking for recompense.

 

Fraud is big business everywhere. Visit the fake markets in China and you will see everything from fake Nike tennis shoes to perfumes, Oakley sunglasses, Levis, Rolex watches, etc. to fake Apple watches, iPhones, etc. Nothing that has value is spared from the fakers. If you walk into the shop and ask where the fake Louis Vuitton handbag was made, the owner will insist that it is real and will never tell you where it came from.

 

Those dealers of fakes that we see at the shows (who all of the dealers know are handling fakes) still set up and they still manage to sell. Part of the reason is because the dealers who know better don't want to make a scene. Part of the reason is that I don't want to try to take someone on in court or elsewhere. Some don't mind if someone gets taken, because that person might come to them in the future because they are a trusted dealer.

 

With the SAARF wing in question, you are talking about a real one costing $2K or better. If real, they would have gotten a bargain with your example at $1,250. When someone is selling a high end fake, it is best for them to not have too many of them lest they end up getting into trouble. We've seen loads of fake WWI pilot wings over the years. Where did those come from? What makes them fake? Well, for one thing, THEY DON'T CONFORM TO THE KNOWN EXAMPLES THAT WERE LEGITIMATELY ATTRIBUTED. Some big time wing collectors got stung by those over the years. I referred to Les Hughes' outstanding website and article on SAARF. Anyone who bothered to read the article got a pretty good dissertation on fake SAARF insignia. The machine embroidered wing in question has come out since Les wrote the article.

 

In Les' article, he mentions some fake insignia that showed up in a reference book on the subject. These errors help the faker to know that their fakes have shown up in reference books as it lends legitimacy to their wares. How many times have you seen a fake in a book and said to yourself "that's no good." The next guy looks at the fake, decides that is what a real one looks like, and happily buys the next one he sees at the show.

 

It is unfortunate that the wing in question came into your possession and that you offered it for sale in good faith. I am sure that if it was returned as a fake, you would refund the buyer the sale price. Hopefully, you can go back to your source and get your money back as well. If the seller doubts your opinion, have him go look at Les' article, or let him go back to the threads here on this forum, or this thread. I believe that we have established the wing in question as not being genuine.

 

Allan


Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Here is some insight to this obscured units insignia.

 

To start there is absolutely nothing special about this insignia other than the unit it was intended. The manufacture of these are exactly like every other wartime production insignia in the UK. The shoulder titles are typical ordnance issue procured from Calico Printers and were produced on canvas in RASC colors, these are commonly found with and or without the black stabilzer backing. The wings were tailor made being machine embroidered on felt with the back covered in sizing to stabilze the insignia. Sizing meaning Paste back or Starch back as referred to by British collectors.

 

Both insignia were approved and issued. The Shoulder titles were issued to all personel in the 120 teams on 05 Apr 1945, however the Wing was a different beast since they took longer to produce. There is evidence that only very few were issued the wing prior to the disbandment parade, the vast majority never recieved them until after they were disbanded.

 

Keep in mind these insignia were only Produced in the UK, any other variations should be considered as REPRODUCTIONS.

 

Hopefully this clears up any of the questions some may have. Everyone should look at this thread positively since a item should be able to stand up on its own regardless whom may own it, this is how we all learn the good from the bad in the pitfalls of collecting.

 

CDub


My Military collectibles website with Special Forces Gallery: https://rpjmilitaria.com

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Great discussion on this rare insignia.

 

Attached is a photo of an attributed grouping.

 

Paul

SAARF.jpg

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Great examples in terrific shape and good guide on what to look for. Thanks for showing. By the way many feel the tab is harder to find than the patch.


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