CONSTRUCTION DETAILS & ASSAY MARKS ON IMPERIAL GERMAN ARMY / NAVAL AIR SERVICE BADGES
With the publication of two recent American texts on Imperial German flying badges. Great care must be taken along with a large pinch of salt when attempting to gather in and understand the information in these texts. Their claims regarding markings, depts of troughs for the pins, numbers of berries on the wreaths and types of bow forms are backed up by evidence along the lines of; ''Stuff I've seen, I know this to be true and I've seen collections'' None of this is real evidence. Indeed these texts do not reference the earlier German authors who were actually on the spot . Writers such as K.G.Kleitmann, H.Moller M. Gritzner etc.etc. probably because these earlier writers do not support many these current views. Neither do the new texts cover the vast numbers of Sub contractors involved in the mass production of all WW1 german awards. This subject is covered by the earlier German texts. and as for the vexed subject of 'hall marks' The statement that double silver hall markings of crowns and half moons did not happen is: ''simply tripe" Also the 'fact '' that the turned top of the J in Juncker is a clear sign of a Fake is interesting As the firm itself in its advertising material shows the turned J ( See Kleitmann) The lack of any forensic or serious academic detail regarding the manufacture and assaying system in Imperial Germany and its States and the immediate post war period is breath taking . One of these new American texts is the finest example of:'' STYLE OVER CONTENT'' that it has been my misfortune to expensively purchase.
The byproduct of these texts is that unmarked and hollow badges are now often reported as 'originals' which was seldom if ever the case ..Counterfeiters every where rejoice..rejoice.
As a result of this I am sorry but I am no longer interested in ADVICE on Imperial German flying badges, there are too many experts of dubious quality around giving their unintentionally fake advice
I have received more than a few responses to the note above and this one expresses many years experience from Collector 'E ' from NYC, USA. a third generation collector :
I can not add to the assay mark issue only to say that the various manufactures had much latitude when marking these items. For the most part they were hand made & not by only 1 person in a shop. When the shop/ jeweler had more then 1 employee the marking would vary. For example, the placement or the clearness of the punch mark. Even the punches may not be the same. As the business grew, new tools would be added to the shop inventory. Who knows if the shop/ jeweller got his materials from the same supplier. Competition was strong in those days in the medals/badge industry. Another example, the J used on the Juncker badges at the time. There is capital J with & without a handle at the top.
Another collector: JM from Stuttgart adds to this debate ... The capital letter J and the small letter j are seen on all Junckers material. Early badges had predominantly the capital J but the war years produced a flurry of subcontractors using both J's .....Later of course during the second World war Junckers used the small j and this I think is where the confusion arrises. Paul Meybauer for example is noted as having 6 subcontractops in Berlin alone. WW2 bombing saw the extinction by fire of all the great medal makers books, data, designs etc etc.
Also, why is it that first class and second class Iron Crosses are often marked with silver content marks 800, 925….etc yet without crowns and 1/2 moons. Silver content marks are also seen on Prussian Orders : Red Eagle , Pour le Merit. etc these usually have the 800 etc mark and again only occasionally with Crown and 1/2 moon. ( A recent Godet Blue Max had all the assay marks on its ''chess slice'' suspension area. Any ideas, why Prussian Silver marks vary so much anyone?????? Is it the much unreported sub contractors and their State registration licenses. Other States like Bavaria. & Saxony use the 800.925 etc assay marks and also the letter ''S'' . Austria , which also produced Imperial German war badges during the WW1 period used the 800 etc system and again the letter ''S''
Below is a fine example of an Iron Cross first class which shows multiple markings, not only on the rear of the cross itself but also on the two securing discs. The marks are : a double Reich silver mark with a crown and a half moon, a 925 silver content stamp and the makers initials. This is an undoubtedly authentic WW1 period Iron Cross which seems to contradict some recent texts on the subject of '' authentic markings to WWI badges and awards…. Just goes to show that you shouldn't believe everything you read….. These photos have been loaned by an advanced American collector ….Paul.S. of Stockbridge. MA for which many thanks..
Original HEAVY weight single piece, gilded solid silver badge. The badge shows an sea eagle flying over the countryside. It has a cut out crown which appears black in the photo, due to shadow. Marked on back.with the .Maybauer stamp and 800 in the centre of the back ..Rare badge correct pin, Size etc.. and a fine patina showing deep go;d finish and micro wear. A classic Paul Meybauer Naval Air service badge of a land pilot, high quality with great finish with considerable gilding remaining.
Original Silver light weight hollow piece, gilded silver badge. The badge shows an eagle perching on a target. It has a solid crown. Marked on back.with the C.E Juncker ( turned J ) stamp double stamped crown, half moon and 800 in the centre of the rayed back ..Rare badge correct pin, Size etc.. A rare Naval Air service badge of an Air Gunner high quality with great patina considerable gilding remaining.