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"Trenched" EGA's


teufelhunde.ret

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teufelhunde.ret

The "art" of EGA trenching was reached prior to WW1. Lots of variations exist and one could make a wonderful collection, just of these. Each of its own owners form and ability. These "salty" emblems likely started in the Spanish war era. The one shown here, from my own collection was used on dress covers during 1892-1900. Its life my have carried on beyond that date, as it was common for these to be handed down or used by a Marine during the length of his career.

 

The slight lifting of the wing off from the anchor was the first indication of the trenching art form... from there it went to the extreme of bending heads and anchors, sweeping wings, bending wings, shorting wings and so forth. These emblems do take of their own art form.

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Here is a set of M1937's that were "trenched" sometime in their lifetime. This set sold on eBay last year or the year before and because they were so unusual, sold for big money. I'm wondering if we'll see a trend in more of the common emblems becoming "trenched" for sale on eBay, now that people are becoming aware of the practice?

 

If you notice closely, both the EM cover emblem and collar set are the very early, pre WWII private purchase M1937's of the very detailed "tall eagle" variety. It also appears that the rope on the cover emblem has been filed off, so the wire rope could be attached. Even in "untrenched," standard condition, this particular set of early M1937 emblems is very scarce and hard to come by.

 

Gary

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Brian Keith

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Anything interesting about this one? I know the screw has been cut off, but the fron is still good.

 

BKW

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Hey Brian.............Great post. Very nice looking & exotic trenched hat ornament. Amazing what these guys could do in the old days with time on their hands! Thanks for sharing. thumbsup.gif

Semper Fi.....Bobgee

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teufelhunde.ret

Brian, dam yet another unique trench art beauty, the way the head is cocked forward, wings are gently swept back even and cleanly. Even the bottom fluke has been moved forward a bit an tweated downward. And that old art of stempling on the globe is great. I bet it has a smell of jewlers rouge all over it. This is one of the finest examples of the art I've had the pleasure to see. Brian, you've got to introduce me to your friend !!!!!!! Thanks for sharing with all of us, this one will be in the EGA Reference Section for all to see and enjoy... for sure

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I've been debating whether this one is just trenched or bent, but judging by the angles of both wings downwards, I'm starting to lean towards trenched. This belonged to Pvt Elmer A Williamson, a WWI veteran

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teufelhunde.ret

In some circles there will be those who will tell you the real art of trenching ended with WW1, I suppose there is an argument for that. I have seen many like this and likely have a stray somewhere similar. The anchor flukes being pushed to the globe and wings bent sharply downward to the globe as well are dead giveaways of the "trench art form" seen so often leading up to WW1 with the barracks & campaign cover emblems... have always liked the "character"... now to find a mate for it? :(

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good luck with the mate, this was in a grouping, if it wasn't there, I imagine it won't show up :(

 

trenching continued long after WWI, as evidenced by those M37's you posted above, and the M-20 clipped wing usmcaviator posted in the original thread about my M20 stipled

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jeremiahcable

Here's a couple shots of one of mine, a trenched dress 1920 pattern visor bird. Posted this before but adding it here.

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Well I got lucky at our local show when a buddy offerred me this "WWI" EGA. I immediately recognized its "trenching" and thought that it was unusual to find that effect as late as 1917/18. The former Marine owner spent a lot of time personalizing this insignia and the globe surrounding the continents has hundreds of tiny indents. They now show as whitish grey but I'm not sure if that was the intended look or as a result of brasso residue and tarnishing. We have had much discussion about the exact "M" type origin of these birds, i.e. M1892, M1904 or what. I think SpanAm War/Boxer Rebellion era - 1898-1900! Note the emblem is just placed on the shako shield for display/photo. They did not come together. The EGA was found on a Red, White & Blue ribbon which had faded to the outline of the bird it had been on it so long!

Semper Fi......Bobgee

 

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teufelhunde.ret

WHAT A FIND! and who does not like these trenched period pieces - one can only imagine, this took some time to do. Collecting of these gems can become a preoccupation in and of itself. And yes I agree with your period dating of Spanish War era - I recall your post on the Marine with a 7-Bar USS Texas Sampson Marine grouping who served from 1896 to 1901, they are identical. It too had the hand stempling of the globe, not nearly as complete nor attractive as this one. My own thoughts have centered around or perhaps better said, another form of a period polishing substance which has created the grey frosted appearance in the hand stempled areas - its not often seen? Whereas the jewelers rouge and brasso leave an entirely different appearance providing its not been tinkered with...

 

BTW - did this emblem have the conical shaped roller? A great find Bob, thanks for sharing this with us! s/f Darrell

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Thanks, Darrell. Yes it has the conical nut. Here's a pic of the reverse and the ribbon on which it was found at a Flea Market in Ann Arbor, Mich recently.

Semper Fi.....Bobgee

 

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Here are a few emblems from the collection I recently obtained. I think these go to prove that emblems were trenched through WWII to a greater extent than often credited, but to a much less extreme extent. Mostly, the wings of the birds being bent back a bit. This is also often noticed in H&H Imperial officer birds if you line enough up, often a few will have the wings curved back a bit more

 

There are two cover emblems with wings curved back, and also a pair of post-war finished collar emblems. However, the one I think leads more credability to the theory is the last emblem, that not only has the bird's wings curved back, but also the anchor flukes curved forward. Now, while this could all just be coincidence from being old and bounced around over the years, I think the smooth, equal curves are a bit too uniform to just be an accident. Especially on the pair, to have the same distinct curve, and the one with the flukes curved. Now while some may argue that this curve is hardly trenching, I believe we've seen quite a few examples of earlier emblems with curved wings accredited as trenching.

 

Nothing spectacular, but just an interesting thought with some pics....

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I know these are a bit blurry...mostly due to the worn-off finish. I will try to get better pics tomorrow in natural sunlight...notice the curved bird and flukes, fairly uniform

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Good post, Brig. thumbsup.gif I agree with your theory. These definitely appear to WWII vintage pieces. I personally do not recall any 'trenched' emblems being worn during the late 1950's when I served in the FMF. Doesn't mean they weren't. I'd kinda think that Sea-Going Marines were more likely to take the time to "fiddle" with their emblems rather than in the FMF.

Semper Fi....Bobgee

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I have a gilt and blackened bronze service cover EGA with bent back wings somewhere but can't find them at the moment, I have several pairs of lapel EGAs with bent-back wings and I'll post shots of two of them here. Here are front and back of one pair.

 

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