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Wing from Terry Morris's Book on ebay


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A number of things to consider about this auction:

 

1) The US bullion wings, French wings, and French document are all shown in Morris' book. As far as I can tell, all three of the these items match the items show in the book. In fact the brevet document clearly shows the number 12923. Even the creases in picture in the book match the item in the auction.

 

2) I assume someone could ask for provenance for how the ebay auction person got the items from Mr. Morris. Maybe this is actually Terry Morris selling the items? I would point out that a couple of other groupings in that book show similar display mountings (framed and on some sort of brown or grey fabric). It sure LOOKS like the stuff in the book and to me the easiest explanation is that they are indeed the same.

 

3) I can not find Don Chaliff's book right now, but if I recall, the issuing of French wings was not that cut and dry. IIRC the first OFFICIAL issue of wings did have the B hallmark but later wings lacked the hallmark, and used different sized number stampings. I also believe that he said that unofficial or private issue wings were NOT stamped (but correct me if I am wrong) In the ebay auction wing, I notice that the pilots name and the number look to be engraved in the back and actually look like they were done by the same hand and at the same time. Since the number looks to be engraved (and the official numbers were stamped) already the attempt to compare them to an official, issued wings is flawed. Official issue wings were stamped and not engraved with the pilots name. So, while I can't say that they are done period to WWI, the comparison to early "B" hallmarked wings is not fair. These could just as likely be what they seem to be, a pair of private purchased and engraved wings.

 

4) I think the real value of this grouping lies in the bullion wings (which seem 100% legit to me), the provenance to a specific pilot with an original document and photos, and the association with the book. French wings seem to lag all other air services in collectability and usually only get a fraction of a US or German related item (IMHO). The brevet document and french wings seem to match each other but it would be nice to see better and more detailed pictures.

 

I don't know if this is going to go for "stupid money" but I suspect 2-3K. Again, I suspect that most of the value would in the bullion wing. As most collectors have a deep aversion to risking big money on bullion (because of the high quality fakes), a collector may be willing to drop more on this particular wing because it has the provenance of being in a book.

 

Patrick

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Luckily I have the book near by. Here are photos from the book. According to Don Chalif it was cut and dry. Official Badge were hallmarked with a “B”. You can read here for yourself.

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You failed to show what is said at the beginning of the last paragraph, which says something like "commercially made version of all French badges have been available since WWI"... and that many of these badges were not marked. This is not an officially made badge in the auction, that is clear. First, it is engraved with the pilot's name and brevet number, and clearly none of the officially issued French badges would have had that issued to him. Second, it doesn't have the appropriate hallmark of an issued piece. However, this does not mean that since it is not a badge issued by the French military, that it is not his WWI badge.

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"2) I assume someone could ask for provenance for how the ebay auction person got the items from Mr. Morris. Maybe this is actually Terry Morris selling the items? I would point out that a couple of other groupings in that book show similar display mountings (framed and on some sort of brown or grey fabric). It sure LOOKS like the stuff in the book and to me the easiest explanation is that they are indeed the same."

 

The person selling this wing is Terry's wife Ginger- She is selling it for him,,,,,,He got the set directly from the vet,,it's real.

WANTED TO BUY OR TRADE - AMERICAN FIELD SERVICE, NORTON-HARJES AMBULANCE CORPS, AMERICAN RED CROSS IN ITALY, CZECH AND POLISH LEGIONS AND ANY ARTIFACTS ASSOCIATED WITH AMERICANS THAT SERVED IN FOREIGN ARMIES IN WORLD WAR ONE

 

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"Je meurs content, puisque nous sommes victorieux! Vive la France!

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In my continuing research. In Philippe Bartlett's book "French Military Aeronautical Branch Badges up to 1918" he states:

 

"These badges bore an interlaced letter "B" whose significance remains a mystery (B for Bertrand for the manufacturer who will become Arthus-Berand? Or perhaps B for "Brevet"

 

"The first batch was numbered in digits 1.5mm high and subsequent batches in digits of 2mm. This number appearing on the back of the badge, did not correspond to the number on the certificate."

 

"All badges issued during the war 1914-1918 had the letter "B" preceding the number"

 

Somewhere I had a listing of the numbers and approximate years. I am looking and if I ever find it I will post it.

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The one thing to think about.

 

The French Badge is not WWI French Issue and for that matter it could have been made in 1918 or 1981.

 

That is why I said I was concerned about the group.

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The auction ended with a high bid of $1136 and the reserve not met. So did it go unsold due to lack of interest, suspicion, or the current financial situation or some combination thereof?

 

Dave

 

 

Hi Dave,

 

...and to all who read this, I am in no way trying to cast doubt on Terry Morris and I am not saying that he is not credible, not at all. Personally, I think his work is fantastic and a wonderful reference for collectors. I am stating the below from the perspective of individuals who have not heard of him, or know about his book. Even though Tom mentioned the attribution in the title, I must admit that I did not recall seeing this group in the book (which I own). I probably failed to recognize the group when I saw it before Tom's thread was started becasue the group is spread out in the book...certificate here, a wing there...

 

With the above in mind, when looking at the auction, I ask myself the following:

 

Why such unclear photos?

Why not expand much more on the provenance and more details of acquisition given?

Why not mention that the items appear in Morris' book by title instead of stating a "prominent book..."?

Why is no mention made as to whether the photos are period originals or copies?

Why are there no detailed close up shots of the engraving?

 

By the photos posted, it looks to me like the uniform wing shown is s metal one...and is that photo from WWI period or after?? The photos don't really "tie" the items in the auction together to me. I think perhaps some expansion about provenance and details of acquisition would have helped in this area.

 

 

Maybe other would be bidders had the same questions in mind when looking at the auction, thus the lower than expected "high" bid amount. There are many collectors who may not own or have not heard of Terry's book to make the connection to the group. In looking at the items with the information provided in the auction, I think maybe the high bid was placed from a "the sum of its parts" perspective and not so much as a documented grouping. In short, there just doesn't seem to be a lot of effort in trying to obtain the highest bid possible. But then again, I just could just be full of it. dunno.gif

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Why such unclear photos?

Why not expand much more on the provenance and more details of acquisition given?

Why not mention that the items appear in Morris' book by title instead of stating a "prominent book..."?

Why is no mention made as to whether the photos are period originals or copies?

Why are there no detailed close up shots of the engraving?

 

All very valid questions and I surmise it's because the sellor is not a professional to be quite honest. If the statement that it is Morris's wife who is selling the grouping is true then I guess she felt his name would "sell" it and she didn't have to do a proper listing.

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"YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH RED WINE, TOO MANY BOOKS, OR TOO MUCH AMMUNITION."

Rudyard Kipling

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Well, I've going to throw a little more of what I don't know up for critism to the forum members.

 

I once owned a nice trunk group of William Lovell of the 22nd Persuit Squadron. It was fairly extensive to include his diaries, uniform, smalls and photos, etc. Lovell was breveted by the French. On his uniform, he wore the French pilot's badge as well as his bullion wing. The French badge was not a 4 digit badge and without a "B" prefix, as I recall.

This trunk group was fomerly in the Jim Parks collection.

 

It has been told to me that American pilots that were breveted by the French, were given the certificate, but were responsible for their own wing badge. It has also been told to me that Mero had this badge as well as his winged props made by the same jeweler, thus no "B" prefix. The numbers on the brevet do match the numbers on the badge. That still doesn't made it WW1 vintage, but MIGHT offer a legitimate explaination.

 

It would be helpful if we could locate an American pilots DOCUMENTED uniform group with a French pilot's badge and have a look (maybe the Lovell group, if it still is in the same hands). Maybe Ron Burkey or other forum collectors that have had pilot's groups could shed more light on this subject. I personally do not have any of the reference books quoted in above replies, so I step lightly into this thread.

 

As for the poor quality photos; they were taken by his wife (as told to me by Mr. Morris). I really believe that they were unintentional and not done to deceive, nor do I believe that Ego was involved.

 

I think the forum members do and should have the right to discuss the pros and cons of items as has been discussed in this post by Tom. Since there were a significant number of American pilots that were breveted by the French, we should be able to shed more light on this and might present as an interesting undertaking.

 

I have also learned that there are no absolutes in this collecting game.

 

AND remember: No matter where you go or what you do; there you are---

 

My 2 cents.

 

DJ

"RETREAT HELL.....WE JUST GOT HERE"

 

LOOKING TO PURCHASE IDENTIFIED WW1 AVIATION GROUPINGS, INCLUDING MEDALS, UNIFORMS, STUDIO PHOTOS.

PURCHASE ANY AND ALL ID'ED WW1 NAVY CORPSMAN OR PHYSICIAN GROUPINGS; MEDALS &/or UNIFORMS.

WW1 USMC ID'ED OFFICER'S GROUPS, esp. MARINE AVIATORS -

ANY LARGE FORMAT 5X7 OR LARGER IMAGES OF MARINE OFFICERS & AERO PILOTS

 

 

Collecting/Preserving/Researching WW1 Marine Corps Items and WW1 Aviation Items

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Hi ya Dennis,

 

As usual, you always have some good, and logical points to make.

 

 

It has been told to me that American pilots that were breveted by the French, were given the certificate, but were responsible for their own wing badge. It has also been told to me that Mero had this badge as well as his winged props made by the same jeweler, thus no "B" prefix. The numbers on the brevet do match the numbers on the badge. That still doesn't made it WW1 vintage, but MIGHT offer a legitimate explaination

 

The above could indeed hold the answer to the "B" question. Not to stray too much but I know that Imperial German pilots were at some point during the war (not sure when) required to purchase their own badges upon being presented with authorization of qualification for the badge - hence the number of privately marked purchased silver two piece examples encountered in comparison to unmarked issue cliche' silvered steel. I agree with you about there being no absolutes, and I have learned to NEVER say NEVER. ;)

 

I also think that Gary is correct in his statements - I guess my "problem" is the lack of detail presented, but I am a picky sort when it comes to things like this, so I may be over analyzing (again),

 

Bada Bing...Bada Boom... :lol:

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One question that comes to mind. Since this is Terrys grouping, and his wife was selling it. Why didn’t Terry just write the description? He could have done it without any ego involved. Youd figure some write a book about WWI wings, but then tries to sell the wings and as many have commented no real detail in the listing, and bad photos.

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Just joined the site. Very interesting to say the least. To answer a few question that have come up concerning the French wing. I had a number of discussions with Mr. Mero prior to his death. He stated to me that the French did not award the pilots badge to Americans but rather they had to acquire them on their own. I do not dabble in French aviation so all I can do is take his word for it since he was there and I wasn't. He told me that his French pilots badge was made for him in Paris by a local jeweler as was the collar insignia. It is not a Govt issue badge but rather a jeweler made wing ordered by Lt. Mero (which was stated in the listing). The number and his name are engraved on the back and matches the number on his Brevet (he also stated that the number on the brevet that the French pilots received did not match the number on their French pilots badge). Incidently this is the same badge being worn by Lt. Mero in the picture. Hope that clears up some questions. As for the picture quality, our camera does the best it can and this is what one gets. If anyone out there has information or documentation as to the French issue of pilots badges to Americans I would be interested. If anyone has any questions comments or just want to vent feel free to contact me at maj191@yahoo.com

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Hello and welcome,

 

Very interesting information, thanks for the insight. ;)

 

As for the picture quality, our camera does the best it can and this is what one gets.

 

Am I correct in assuming by the above that you are connected with the auction? I hope you don't think anyone here was trying to demean or cast doubt on any reputations as that is not the intent of the questions...we all can learn something here and I see this as a learning experience for myself. :)

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Just joined the site. Very interesting to say the least. To answer a few question that have come up concerning the French wing. I had a number of discussions with Mr. Mero prior to his death. He stated to me that the French did not award the pilots badge to Americans but rather they had to acquire them on their own. I do not dabble in French aviation so all I can do is take his word for it since he was there and I wasn't. He told me that his French pilots badge was made for him in Paris by a local jeweler as was the collar insignia. It is not a Govt issue badge but rather a jeweler made wing ordered by Lt. Mero (which was stated in the listing). The number and his name are engraved on the back and matches the number on his Brevet (he also stated that the number on the brevet that the French pilots received did not match the number on their French pilots badge). Incidently this is the same badge being worn by Lt. Mero in the picture. Hope that clears up some questions. As for the picture quality, our camera does the best it can and this is what one gets. If anyone out there has information or documentation as to the French issue of pilots badges to Americans I would be interested. If anyone has any questions comments or just want to vent feel free to contact me at maj191@yahoo.com

 

 

I'd like to thank you for the information on Mr. Mero's French pilot's badge and to welcome you to the forum! Your book on WWI US Air Service wings has been invaluable to me and many, many others. And first and foremost thank you for your service to our country!

 

PS If you want post photos of Lt. Raible's "Who Said Rat's?" pin,,I don't think any one would mind! :lol:

WANTED TO BUY OR TRADE - AMERICAN FIELD SERVICE, NORTON-HARJES AMBULANCE CORPS, AMERICAN RED CROSS IN ITALY, CZECH AND POLISH LEGIONS AND ANY ARTIFACTS ASSOCIATED WITH AMERICANS THAT SERVED IN FOREIGN ARMIES IN WORLD WAR ONE

 

donation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

 

ecSXx.jpg

 

"Je meurs content, puisque nous sommes victorieux! Vive la France!

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WWI Aviator stuff really intrigues me... I'm far from being any kind of authority on these, I'm just a tire kicker but, I must say, that I have learned a great deal while reading this thread. Thanks for posting the obscure and different! This stuff is such a breath of fresh air compared to yet another piece of 'nam era web gear. ;)

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Terry,

 

Welcome aboard!!

 

Glad you're here on the Forum!!

 

Regards,

 

Dennis Jackson

"RETREAT HELL.....WE JUST GOT HERE"

 

LOOKING TO PURCHASE IDENTIFIED WW1 AVIATION GROUPINGS, INCLUDING MEDALS, UNIFORMS, STUDIO PHOTOS.

PURCHASE ANY AND ALL ID'ED WW1 NAVY CORPSMAN OR PHYSICIAN GROUPINGS; MEDALS &/or UNIFORMS.

WW1 USMC ID'ED OFFICER'S GROUPS, esp. MARINE AVIATORS -

ANY LARGE FORMAT 5X7 OR LARGER IMAGES OF MARINE OFFICERS & AERO PILOTS

 

 

Collecting/Preserving/Researching WW1 Marine Corps Items and WW1 Aviation Items

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A little off topic, and I hope the Mods for this section will understand.

 

I would like to add my welcome and admiration in public as well. Major Morris and I corresponded by PM briefly after I figured out that it was him by another posting in the Wings forum. I must say that recently, we have been privileged to have some fantastic researchers who have contributed an invaluable amount of priceless information to our collecting interests. It is an absolute honor to have you here Sir. salute.gif

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Just joined the site. Very interesting to say the least. To answer a few question that have come up concerning the French wing. I had a number of discussions with Mr. Mero prior to his death. He stated to me that the French did not award the pilots badge to Americans but rather they had to acquire them on their own. I do not dabble in French aviation so all I can do is take his word for it since he was there and I wasn't. He told me that his French pilots badge was made for him in Paris by a local jeweler as was the collar insignia. It is not a Govt issue badge but rather a jeweler made wing ordered by Lt. Mero (which was stated in the listing). The number and his name are engraved on the back and matches the number on his Brevet (he also stated that the number on the brevet that the French pilots received did not match the number on their French pilots badge). Incidently this is the same badge being worn by Lt. Mero in the picture. Hope that clears up some questions. As for the picture quality, our camera does the best it can and this is what one gets. If anyone out there has information or documentation as to the French issue of pilots badges to Americans I would be interested. If anyone has any questions comments or just want to vent feel free to contact me at maj191@yahoo.com

 

Welcome,

 

I had to go back and re-read my posts to make sure I didn't say anything especially retarded and ignorant about your auction. I am actually shocked that the bidding didn't go for higher on this grouping, as everything was pretty much spot on, IMHO. With current prices, the bullion US wings alone should have gone for more than the final bid all by themselves. Go figure....

 

Patrick

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I've noticed a big drop in value of alot of militaria over the last few months. Hopefully with a

economic upswing, the prices will get back up there. There's just not alot of people willing to spend

thousands on Militaria right now, when they don't know if they will have a job a month from now.

Luckily I own my own business, so I'm looking at all this as a major buying opportunity!! ;)

JD

AAF Collector...........
**Always Buying WW2 Aviation Related Items: Especially Operation Tidal Wave items (1st Ploesti Raid) ..... WW2 Fighter Ace Related Items.....Higher End A-2 Flight Jacket Groups....AAF Related Valor Medal Groups**

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