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ID Weird A-H Flying badges

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Can you tell them apart? You shouldn't be able to, they're all the same badge taken within minutes of each other, but with slightly different angles.

Les

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It's not the same badge as the one in the signed photo. LOOK at the points of comparison.

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Notice that one one, the top of the wings seem curved, then from another angle they look much flatter? Gee...wonder and that's the -same- badge, now starting to look different even though...as I said, it's the SAME one.

Photo comparisons are tough, even under the best of circumstances. You can argue this badge isn't the same as in the signed photo, but that doesn't make the photograph evidence of one taken years before any of us was even breathing...a "fake."

Les

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Les, take a deep breath

The only thing I am saying and that I am quite sure of is:

The badge in your hands is not the badge in the photo.

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At the risk of stepping between Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee, I still think this is somewhat of a red herring. Les' photo grouping is rare evidence this type existed! :beer:

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At the risk of stepping between Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee, I still think this is somewhat of a red herring. Les' photo grouping is rare evidence this type existed! :beer:

John,

Bingo. There are times when arguing the paternity of a child doesn't make the child any less real. The photo in this instance, is the 'child" and a real one. Disputing "paternity" doesn't make the child (photo) any less real, or a problem for those claiming that the type is not documented, and therefore not legit.

Angles of photographs, different light, film quality/type, size of the objects (one a digital photo shrunken down to fit the posting needs of the forum, and the badge in the photo (about 12mms in size) enlarged to the point that it can be compared to the full sized badge.

Photo comparisons problems aside, the real problem is that the period photograph presents good evidence for the existence of a type that some feel there is no documentation for. That doesn't make the "type" any less real.

If it's not real, then find a "real" one. java script:emoticon(':Cat-Scratch:', 'smid_2')

:Cat-Scratch:

Les

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And special mention for Rick for being a forceful devil's advocate! :angry: And precipitating this inquiry!!

Rick, what is this companion website you mentioned?

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And I agree whole-heartedly with respects to some documentation that this type of badge would appear to be authentic. bearing that in mind, I am then forced to evaluate the badge with what I know about Zimbler. Wrong rivets, wrong mark.

I take no pleasure in this in anyway. Having lost thousands once upon a time on these, I wave the flag loudly to try and keep others from making the same errors.

So I'm eating crow, I can easily accept the badge as an authentic variation.

My hope is that Les didn't pay a pile for the badge. If Les can accept the position that the badge isn't the one in the photo, it leaves him in an odd and curious position....... If it was me, no way I could return the group as we have proof-positive of the existance of the variation pre-1918......... but I'd sure be breathing down the neck of the guy/gal who sold it saying something about it......... But hey, that's me. I'm like that.

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Almost forgot........ The Chairman is creating a paralel universe website where detailed studies, articles and research can be published for access by serious students of Military History. I know Rick Research's new & improved article on ribbon bars will be there. More as the situation develops. I invited Robert Pandis to publish his current work here, but since it's already available through Andreas' site.......

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My hope is that Les didn't pay a pile for the badge. If Les can accept the position that the badge isn't the one in the photo, it leaves him in an odd and curious position....... If it was me, no way I could return the group as we have proof-positive of the existance of the variation pre-1918......... but I'd sure be breathing down the neck of the guy/gal who sold it saying something about it......... But hey, that's me. I'm like that.

Rick,

I have a general approach to buying "groups". That is...groups can be "married" by unscrupulous collectors/dealers, or even merged by families of veterans who don't know or care what should or shouldn't go together.

That being said, I never pay more than a rough estimate of the sum of the parts, rather than risk being given a story. There are times when the "good stuff" in a "group" is worth far more than some items that are "iffy" or suspect. Add the items up, if the math works out, that's a good thing. Stories aren't part of the math, and afterwards, documents and related items can be researched.

The seller didn't offer any story at all. He limited the sales pitch to what was being sold and how much he was asking.

Rick, I've bought boxes of things to get diaries, letters to/from, photographs and other items that the "hardware" collectors usually walk right by and don't give a second look at. I didn't particularly care about the badge in this group...I wanted the photos and some other items that were all part of the same offering.

I'm not disgruntled.

Les

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I understand completely Les and have often done the exact same thing....... this piece is bad.... but the rest of it is singing hymns...... I would have bought the entire group to get that one photograph. The badge is a ######, IMO. But I'd put it on eBay and laugh at the folks that are "smart"....... Yes, I'm getting a little jaded after watching too many "trophy PLM's" going off. I admit it. Part of the reason I need to take a break.

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Well that's interesting, apparently I have used an inappropriate word. My apologies!

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Les,

If the tunics came with this lot, I would love to see them.

Rick,

What is the difference between an Austrian and a Hungarian tunic? I did not think that there was any, save for the Hungarian crown being used on their branch collar devices.

Chip

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Collar Tabs were different. Until late last night, I thought pocket flaps were different as well, but I was corrected. As I have always said........ not a uni guy. (Can't remember everything, no matter how hard I try! )

;>)

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Hi Les

I am currently looking at Don Chalif's book - Military Pilot & Aircrew Badges of the World (1870 - Present) and in the section under Austria is a period picture of Lt Otto Kissenberth wearing teh same badge as yours with the ribbons, so we now have more evidence to prove their existence.

Cheers, Colin

<!--quoteo(post=56350:date=Feb 13 2006, 22:46 :name=stogieman)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(stogieman @ Feb 13 2006, 22:46 ) </div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->

My hope is that Les didn't pay a pile for the badge. If Les can accept the position that the badge isn't the one in the photo, it leaves him in an odd and curious position....... If it was me, no way I could return the group as we have proof-positive of the existance of the variation pre-1918......... but I'd sure be breathing down the neck of the guy/gal who sold it saying something about it......... But hey, that's me. I'm like that.

<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Rick,

I have a general approach to buying "groups". That is...groups can be "married" by unscrupulous collectors/dealers, or even merged by families of veterans who don't know or care what should or shouldn't go together.

That being said, I never pay more than a rough estimate of the sum of the parts, rather than risk being given a story. There are times when the "good stuff" in a "group" is worth far more than some items that are "iffy" or suspect. Add the items up, if the math works out, that's a good thing. Stories aren't part of the math, and afterwards, documents and related items can be researched.

The seller didn't offer any story at all. He limited the sales pitch to what was being sold and how much he was asking.

Rick, I've bought boxes of things to get diaries, letters to/from, photographs and other items that the "hardware" collectors usually walk right by and don't give a second look at. I didn't particularly care about the badge in this group...I wanted the photos and some other items that were all part of the same offering.

I'm not disgruntled.

Les

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Hello,

after a long time, I see this discussion.

Ok, a lot of time passed since the room was excited by the different opinions about this badge.

I can only say that the badge itself is a very well-known copy, made by Messrs. Horvath of Budapest: they specialized in fine copies of any type of A-H aviation's badge, including the variation with the red enamelled crown's pendalia.

The "Zimbler" hallmark struck on the reverse of the badge is typical of copies, well-different (although fairly well imitated) from the original one.

Anyways, I can confirm that this type of Feldpilotenabzeichen, existed prior to 1918.

E.L.

Edited by Elmar Lang

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Hi Elmar

Would you Brüder Schneider AG. Wien (BSW) made AH Pilot badges either during WW1 or immediately after?  I have seen a few of these floating around (with the clover leaf marking and the letters BSW in the three leaves) over the years, one in a group with provenance supposedly.

I have also seen a Romanian WW1 badge with the same maker mark.

Regards

CMF

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Hello,

 

attached a good one of this typ of my collection,

sorry , the badge is current on the bank safe deposit box and so I can´t make more/other pictures.

18.thumb.jpg.f8fa13a9b60c0257ca3da3c2d97

17.thumb.jpg.548672fc6e248f1d5c048968ee9

regards daniel

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Dear Colinf,

I know that you have addressed your question to Elmar and I am not him, but I will try to describe the situation about flying badges as I know it. I am only going to deal with flying badges that had been in “broader use”, which means both field pilot flying badges (FJI and Karl) and flying badge for observer (Karl).

There are some others, very scarce flying badges for navy pilot (50 pieces made by company Franz Till´s Neffe in Wien, made of silver, hallmarked) and two projects, new flying badge for navy pilot (sometimes called “1918 version”) and in 1918 brand newly introduced flying badge for navy observer. Both being made by Zimbler of same metal alloy as all previous flying badges, some 200 pieces struck but never officially awarded.

Coming back to 3 first mentioned and most common badges. Kuk Ministry of War commissioned all these three flying badges by Zimbler company and in exact described form indeed. For field pilot flying badge FJI it´s circular decree of kuk Ministry of War No. 2218 from 4. January 1912,  for field pilot flying badge Karl it´s circular decree of kuk Ministry of War No. 44252 from 2. October 1917 and for and flying badge for observer (Karl) it´s circular decree of kuk Ministry of War No. 25089 from 9. June 1917.  In these 3 decrees you can find exact description how the flying badge should be looking like (there is even a drawn picture) and who can be awarded (just general description, other decrees on this mater followed).

Just couple of main observation: Field pilot flying badge FJI is always on needle, Imperial Crown in strict from (no pendilia), eagle is grey (colorless), makers mark (Zimbler) struck on the reverse of eagle. Field pilot flying badge Karl is always on hooks, Double Crown instead of Imperial Crown and the rest stays as by FJI version. Flying badge for observer (Karl) always on hooks, hollow reverse of the eagle, eagle is also greyed except lightnings which are in golden color, reverse of the eagle is hollow and Zimbler maker´s mark is struck down by the lower hook.

These badges had been formally awarded to pilots/ observers after completion of all conditions by official authorities. In fact these badges could be seen as qualification badges, not everyone was allowed to wear them. All other variants are either privately purchased badge before 1918 or privately purchased badges in late 1930s.  Privately made badges made before 1918 are of very high quality as the awarded originals, sometimes even on higher level, made of silver, with dedications, crown with pendilias etc. KuK Army was a quite tolerant towards such “excesses”, mainly from certain groups of military staff. German Imperial Army wouldn’t allow it…Prussian strictness. Second group of privately made badges originates from 1930s, when many former pilots and observers re-joined Luftwaffe (after Anschluss) to be trainers for young pilots. These guys were basically in their forties (not old grandpas) and some of them even flown over battlefields of WW2. Company Zimbler ceased to exist in 1919/1920 (it went into bankruptcy) and some other companies like BSW replaced them to face the demand for old Imperial kuk flying badges in late 1930s. These badges are not as well-done as the originals, customized according the wishes of customer (needles, hooks, different colours etc…)

Well and “at the end of the game” we have also copies, made in 1990s, usually trying to imitate Zimber originals (many of them are having Zimbler maker´s mark on the back, but it´s not struck but somehow engraved) and these are of very low quality (mainly enamels).

Regards,

Tifes

 

In pictures attached, 3 old Zimber originals, all bestowed to pilots or observer in the period of Great War.  

IMG_0908.thumb.JPG.933ef358900e4a5913997IMG_0909.thumb.JPG.e1d8de7c044ceb4ddcfa3

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Nice three badges posted together. I would just like to correct one thing - the statement that all original wartime Karl Pilot badges should be on hooks, is wrong statement. Late war Karl badges are seen with pin and are completely legitimate. If you check Austrian Imperial section at Emedals, you can find couple of them. Late war Karl´s badge has other slight differences:
- Ribbon around the crown is not red enamelled, just gilded
- Leaves in wreath are not dark green, but yellow - green (so called Autumn leaves)
- Ribbon ends doesn´t touch crown headband.

If I can make some quick advice how to tell fake badge from original - at first look at wreath enamels. Every leaf should be enamelled separately. If the wreath is enamelled together with one coating, it´s just the fake. Secondly - check the enamels under the strong lens or microscope. Even on good preserved badge, microsmall hairline cracks must be seen. If the enamel is clear like it was made yesterday - it was made yesterday.

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Even on good preserved badge, microsmall hairline cracks must be seen. If the enamel is clear like it was made yesterday - it was made yesterday.

Honestly, I don't completely agree. A well preserved badge could be well without any hairline cracks, same as any other enamelled order or decoration of its time.

E.L.

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Firstly I fully agree with Elmar.

Moreover I also insist what I have written about pilot and observer badges type Karl. I am talking about awarded badges, not privately purchased. With all the respect I wouldn’t be using Emedals webpage as the reference. Both badges, for field pilot sand observers, are described and even drawn in above-mentioned decrees of the KuK War Ministry. This is (lesser) from of biding law not some explanatory leaflet. It was followed by official authorities and the badges had been commissioned according those rules.  Of course, pilot had more than one uniform and he could privately purchase one or more other badges. Those might be period originals, but not awarded. I was still talking only about officially awarded badges, maybe I wasn’t precise enough. Sorry for that.

The same concerns famous “K” on the Bravery medals for Officers. There is exactly prescribed form and only those had been awarded. I have seen plenty (dozens) of these “K”s in the last years, awarded originals maybe about 5 pieces.         

tifes

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 from of biding law

form of binding...sorry for misspelling  :)

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Sorry Mr. Tifes, but when Mr. Elmar Lang picked only one statement of mine to disagree with, I understand it the way, that he agree with everything else what I said. If it does mean, that everything what I said is wrong, because one of my statements was doubted, just let me know.

Secondly, I am still speaking about awarded badges. Late war awarded Karl badges were on pin. Like mine. I highly doubt, that Mr. Lang will disagree with this statement, because it was him, who kindly approved this badge on WAF when I bought it.

Thirdly, If you have better online source than Emedals for beginners or those interested in Austrian Pilot badges to help them with detailed photographic material, just post the link here, so everyone can see it, learn it and make its own opinion. 

To Mr. Elmar´s statement. I probably didn´t use English language correctly, but I was not speaking about common hairline cracks, visible to naked eye and lowering the price of enamelled award. I was trying to depict micro cracks that appear only under microscope or strong lens and happen to all glass older than 10-20 years. Doesn´t matter if it is window, windscreen of the car, or glass enamel (transparent enamel). It´s not about bad preserving, but about internal tension of the material. If you will ever have the chance to compare old glass enamel with modern polymer epoxide the enamels on fake badges are made of, and which is always clear like water, you will surely see what I am speaking about.

Badge_A.JPG

Badge_B.JPG

Edited by kasle

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Dear Kasle,

Firstly I would like to touch upon the last point about cracks in enamels.  Well, obviously I was thinking about the cracks that are visible by naked eye. I do not use anything stronger than 6x magnifying glass of standard numismatics loupe.  I have never had a need to go for something stronger. If there is something invisible and not disturbing then it is OK. In wasting majority of all cases there is basically no problem to distinguish between genuine (pre-1918) enamel and modern polymer epoxide. The difference is day and night and even good quality photo is sometimes more than enough to clearly recognise the original and modern copy. Of course, there are some good quality copies made in 1990s and more attention should be paid indeed.   

Concerning the source of information I would very much prefer some quality literature than non-verified internet sources. In my humble opinion two best publications in this particular area are written by prominent Austrian expert Mr. Jörg C. Steiner. First one concerns field pilot badges (Jörg C. Steiner;  Das Feldpilotenabzeichen – Militärhistorische Themenereihe, Band 4, Wien 1992) and second one observers badges (Jörg C. Steiner;  Das Luftfahrer-Abzeichen  – Militärhistorische Themenereihe, Band 8, Wien 1993). Both are written in German and they contain massive amount of all kind of information which Mr. Steiner gathered during his extensive research on the topic.

Back to awarded badges. I can only repeat what I know. There is Circular Note No. 170 dated to 2. October 1917, part 13, Nr. 44252 which is published in 47th part of Official Journal of the k.u.k. Army dated to 6. October 1917 and signed by k.u.k. Minister of War GdI Rudolf v. Stöger-Steiner.  It contains, except the exact design of “new” pilot badge, also the paragraph which says the following (courtesy translation from German) : “Attachment of the badge is made by the safety hooks, instead of until now used standardized needle, which is placed under the monogram shield, respectively shield with coat of arms”.

I do not know about any other amendments to this circular note in this respect. The reason for that was quite simple and purely practical.  Needle broke away quite often, because badge on the uniform was placed on quite exposed spot. There was a concept that one needle should have been replaced by double needle but this wasn’t very practical and even quite expensive. Safety hooks prevailed as this was a wish of the pilots and even some field pilot badges FJI version 1913 had been modified by hooks by the pilots themselves when needle tore away. All badges had been commissioned by the company “Zimbler”. First badges had been delivered not sooner than January 1918 and till end of the WWI 320 badges of this type should have been awarded to field pilots. There is quite possible that last 42 pilots never received theirs badges, because there was some time gap between decision made and decision carried out and meanwhile the Empire ceased to exist. Probably these pilots purchased those badges by themselves as they had been fully entitled to.

Of course, maybe I am missing something and somebody dispose of more precise information on this subject. I would be really glad to get anything new to complete or even change what I have written above.   

Your badge, despite the pictures are in rather small size, seems OK for me. I would say it´s WWI original, because of the overall execution. It is quite possible that it was made by Zimbler. Needle would be OK when put on the dress uniform.  Zimbler made almost all of its products of non-precious metals. I have seen some badges made by Rothe or other (civil) jewellers, of the highest craftsmanship, mostly in silver and sometimes with dedications in beautiful leather boxes. Sometimes they have identical shape as the official badges, but sometimes they  look different. All of them are rare and quite expansive on the phaleristics marker now. Your badge is good addition to the collection and many collectors have the same or similar badges.     

Regards,

tifes                  

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