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WASP Class Wings


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I’ve had these wings for some time now. I previously compared them to a few other examples and thought they were authentic. 
 

I recently decided to part with them. However, I was informed that they were not authentic. Before casting them into the regret pile. I wanted to get confirmation they were inauthentic.

 

Any information or guidance to references would be appreciated.

 

thank you,

 

Austin

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5thwingmarty

It is my understanding that the 43-W6 wings were like those of the prior two classes where the base wing used was the Bell Observer wing.  The 6 also looks undersized, and there is a bevel to the edge of the shield that looks larger than real examples.  I would say no good as well.

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rathbonemuseum.com

This is what an authentic W-6 class wing should look like, per the comments Marty made above. Wing is from an attributed WASP W-6 graduate and was sold as part of her estate.

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Thank you both for your insight. 
 

I found another W-6 wing that was donated to the Smithsonian by a WASP.

 

There are definitely key differences in the thickness of the engraving, scroll, and letters.

 

Looks like it’s going into the regret pile. 
 

Thanks all!

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rathbonemuseum.com

Also note it is mounted on a different manufacturers base wing that is a cut down observer wing, not a cut down pilot wing.

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On 6/18/2023 at 3:49 PM, Austin R said:

I’ve had these wings for some time now. I previously compared them to a few other examples and thought they were authentic. 
 

I recently decided to part with them. However, I was informed that they were not authentic. Before casting them into the regret pile. I wanted to get confirmation they were inauthentic.

 

Any information or guidance to references would be appreciated.

 

thank you,

 

Austin

 

I have all of Elizabeth “Libby” Gardner’s pins, including her W6.  The whole thing is verifiable as legit. The 6 is too small.  The TH is too small.  The 318 are off.  The wing base is entirely wrong.  

 

What you could so is, if possible have “copy” engraved on then, or etch it deeply yourself, and sell then as a replica since there are people who look for stand-ins in their collections to take the place of what they don’t have, and there are reenactors who like to use wings other than the standard lozenge wings.  (I used this real set, which got a lot of attention.).   I’d rather have someone looking for a replica to buy from you than to find Joe.

 

I do want to than you for wanting to make sure you aren’t inadvertently putting a replica out there as authentic.  There are a lot of sellers who don’t care, even when they’re told.  A stupid seller on Mercari keeps trying to get me to buy some wings that are so fake that a dead man whose eyes were eaten out by birds could tell.  So it’s nice seeing someone br proactive.

 

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Hi Noelle,

 

Thank you for sharing that amazing set. There is no comparison between my wing and yours.

 

I was initially taken back when I was notified the wings were fake. They had been in a friend's collection for around 20 years and once authenticated by a well-known wing collector. However, this was all before the internet was used as a resource for collecting, so there wasn't much to compare it too. It just goes to show how far we've come in collecting. 

 

I'm curious if the one's I've compared it too were made by the same forger. They were sold for some big money in the past and I'm sure more are out there.

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Austin R said:

Hi Noelle,

 

Thank you for sharing that amazing set. There is no comparison between my wing and yours.

 

I was initially taken back when I was notified the wings were fake. They had been in a friend's collection for around 20 years and once authenticated by a well-known wing collector. However, this was all before the internet was used as a resource for collecting, so there wasn't much to compare it too. It just goes to show how far we've come in collecting. 

 

I'm curious if the one's I've compared it too were made by the same forger. They were sold for some big money in the past and I'm sure more are out there.

 

I’ve heard some wild stories about fakes being passed as real.  I think it might have been here that someone was posting about selling a wings pin at a show that was sold as fake because it was, and by the end of the day, another collector had bought them from that buyer thinking they were real, and word was going around about what a steal that guy got for the price he paid, or something very close to that effect.  I just recall for sure it involved a fake known to be fake being believed to be real by the end of the day at a show where people should know better, and word going around about such a good deal.

 

WASP wings are exceptionally rare, especially the class wings, for an obvious reason.  If, even in the age of the internet it’s easy to get taken for a ride, then it was certainly a lot easier before then.

 

I doubt the Mercari seller is a forger, probably just someone in denial or someone who doesn’t think it matters.  There IS a well-known forger whose name isn’t often spoken on this forum who sells “museum quality replicas” without marking them as copies despite using even the trademarks.  I don’t know how far back he goes, but the Joe-Special pops up on eBay fairly frequently.  I’ve met someone in person who bought one thinking it was real, and it sucked having to set the record straight. 😔

 

If I may ask, do you or your friend have other WASP wings?

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Hi Noelle, 

 

I had some women flyers of America pins and a Jacqueline Cochran signed letter, but they are long gone. There is another pair of WASP wings, but I'm fairly certain they are not authentic.

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