Jump to content


Past Contributor
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by PKeating

  1. Indeed. Someone obviously placed the medal in this box at some point. This must be the website to which you refer: http://www.stehelene...?page=1&lang=en It is very good. French militaria is certainly going up in price but remains cheap by comparison with Nazi memorabilia. But give the vultures and speculators enough time and it will also be unaffordable for 80% of those would are interested in it for good reasons.
  2. True. Like you, I got out of the Third Reich field but not so much because of the cost of the stuff. I had one of the two largest collections of SS-Fallschirmjäger material in the world, as well as other exotica, if you recall. It was more out of an increasing belief that the majority of people involved in it were objectionable as well as terminally and willfully ignorant. In the old days, one could avoid these knuckledraggers when one saw them lurching along at shows but the Internet has given them all a voice and the means to impose themselves on serious collectors and students, ruining discussions right, left and centre. This is much less common in Imperial German circles and, of course, forums addressing the militaria of other nations. Third Reich collecting attracts a huge number of morons and I just got bored, like a growing number of other fairly serious collectors. But I will still attempt to engage in interesting discussions amongst serious people, this thread being a good example. I would not say that the argument has been pounded into the ground. It is more of a case of anyone challenging the latest guru's voodoo incantations being thrown off forums where they are protected for one reason or another. But I'm not going to get into an S&L debate here. People see what they want to see. I see what I see: 1957 pattern cores contained in flawless rims struck on exactly the same dies as flawless rims containing 1939 pattern cores, followed by cracked rims struck on the same dies comtaining 1957 and 1939 pattern cores. No amount of "Timeline Theory" is going to persuade me to buy such a cross. I know that some recipients stated that they received A and B-Stück ELSuB but then, how many RKT do we know of who sold their medals several times over after the war? It may well be the case that recipients were supposed to receive dress copies with inferior stones but the stones encountered in the Type 1 awards by Godet were not of the highest quality to begin with. Remember that the certificate was the award and the insignia merely represented the certificate. Had the government wished to give recipients high-value ELSuB, they would probably have commissioned the insignia in white gold with the best quality rose-cut stones. As for differences between platinum and silver ELSuB by Klein, the only differences - leaving aside the collector market copies that were very different to the wartime design - involve the quality of the stones and the hallmarks. Platinum and silver versions were cast in the same moulds and assembled and finished in the same way. My problem is rooted in logic: platinum was a semi-precious metal in those days, like silver, and was used in this case and in the case of the eagles on Göring's PO Badges with diamonds for the reasons I have already stated, reasons any jeweller can explain. Perhaps. But again, one cannot simply accept the word of elderly veterans. I have sat with German veterans in the 1980s, before they were even considered 'elderly' by today's standards, and looked at their awards, which often included copies of the kind made by, for example, Sean Barry-Weske in the late 1970s and early 1980s and sold as copies all over the world, while the veterans recalled that these were the very badges they wore during the war. Did your man really get the PKA-numbered DK before 1944 or is it an example added at some point later on? It is not that they are lying. For them, it is the medal they got during the war. They didn't care who made it or when. And in German military tradition, it is the award document that counts, not the badge. Precisely. That is what I was saying. I don't mind if people want to add flawed S&L KCs or mint K&Q KCs to their collections. I don't mind if they buy Army Balloon Badges or numbered LW Ground and Panzer Assault Badges. But I do mind when people try to browbeat others into agreeing that their treasures are genuine and beyond question. People have been thrown off forums for disagreeing with dealers, reference book authors and other often self-appointed gurus. The thing is, truth needs no defence. If someone really believes an item is unquestionably authentic, then why do they react so violently to a differing opinion? It is less of a minefield than it was because the Internet has enabled honest collectors to compare notes, as it were. The Rounder scam was just one of many attempts to pass fakes off as genuine and came apart at the seams after one of the key people involved in promoting it as a genuine variant had some sort of emotional breakdown and confessed to fabricating the story that constituted a cornerstone of the argument in favour of the Rounder. Moreover, one of the authors in question advanced the theory that these crosses had been produced by Paul Meybauer and even showed an example bearing the firm's PKA number. However, when asked to produce documentary evidence that this firm was an approved supplier of the KC to the government, he did not produce it. Regards, PK
  3. Anyone remember these? I am just a bit too young to have seen one in police use but I do remember Mk2 Jags and Wolesleys.
  4. Interesting thread. The initial question is easily resolved by recalling that the Circle-K hallmark on the reverse of the Type 2 Brillanten or ELSuB made by Otto Klein was always accompanied by a hallmark consisting of the Hanau town symbol. Otto Klein (1885 - 1969) was a master goldsmith and jeweller whose work was on a level with other masters at Tiffany's, Mappin & Webb and similar firms of the era. His firm reflected his skills and talents, which is why the discerning Hermann Göring was a customer and why he pushed to have Klein replace Godet as the authorised supplier of this grade of the Knight's Cross to the German government. When one looks at just the hallmarks alone on some of the examples shown in various reference books, one sees a level of precision that fails to inspire confidence. And when one has handled one or two known originals, there is no comparison to be made. The workmanship is second-to-none. As we know, Klein made copies of the Type 2 Brillanten for the collecting market after the war. These items were openly sold as such and were quite different, on purpose, to the wartime sets. However, it seems likely that the firm, like several other firms that had supplied insignia to the NS regime, produced perfect copies of the wartime award to order. If so, this renders any Type 2 ELSuB open to question except in cases where the provenance is unassailable. Some people have suggested that the silver 'dress copies' or B-Stück pieces are postwar fantasy items made by Klein produced for supply to dealers intending to defraud collectors and this is fiercely debated in some circles. By the 1960s, because of the space race, the value of platinum had risen exponentially, making the production and promotion of silver copies of the ELSuB an option worth considering from the viewpoint of any small group of top dealers plotting a scam along the lines of, say, the infamous "Rounder Knight's Cross" conspiracy. So perhaps the silver Type 2 ELSuB described as B-Stück sets for everyday wear and identical to the platinum award pieces in all respects bar the silver hallmark and the quality of the stones are indeed postwar fantasy pieces, legitimised by reference books, bent dealers and by Brillantenträger who bought them as replacements in the 1950s and 1960s. However, the mists of time have a habit of obscuring the facts. If Klein were involved in supplying identical copies to order, it is not inconceivable that they might have made copies in platinum as well, rather as the reconstituted firm of Godet under Dr Klietmann's 'guidance' produced perfect reproductions in the 1960s and 1970s of their Oakleaves and Oakleaves & Swords using wartime tooling in the hands of craftsmen who had worked for the original firm before and during the war. And then there are the outright fakes, some good, some bad, produced in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s by some-of-us-know-who as well as the copies made in the United States, particularly in California. So it is quite a minefield, especially with authors of reference books including pictures of such fakes either out of ignorance of the subject or for nefarious reasons. Some have even suggested that the platinum Klein pieces are the postwar fantasy items but this indicates an ignorance of jewellery of the period; platinum was not worth much more than silver and was preferred by jewellers setting stones for its comparative robustness and its resistance to tarnishing. Platinum would have been the natural choice for this award for these reasons. And platinum set with inferior stones or even spinels rather than silver would have a logical choice for the so-called B-Stück pieces. Were I in the market for a set of Brillanten, I would be very, very careful in making my choice. I might even opt for a Type 1 set by Godet, given the unfortunate fact that the Type 2 Klein award is as unsafe as, say, a Klein & Quenzer Knight's Cross or a flawed-rim Knight's Cross by Steinhauer & Lück or, for that matter, the S&L KCs bearing mid-1944-on PKA codes and 935 hallmarks. Even then, the set said to have belonged to Adolf Galland bears the firm's LDO code, which is a tad worrying for reasons any serious student of the topic can appreciate and might explain why it remains unsold. Given that only three Brillantenträger received the Type 1 ELSuB, Dr Klietmann and the dealers who fronted his products would have been hard-pressed to explain more than a handful of Godet ELSuB, even in pre-Internet times. So stamping the firm's LDO code into any examples they might have made would be logical, as it could also allow them to explain the inferior quality of the stones they would have used. Not that the quality of the stones inlaid in the award pieces seems to have been impressive to begin with, as the famous anecdote Galland recounted in his memoirs of Göring's reaction to his Diamonds reminds us. Anyway, I am not about to sell a couple of Vincents or a painting anytime soon to buy something whose originality would always be open to question. It was OK when prices were still reasonable but now that they are insane, thanks in large part to collectors from relatively new markets like China and the former USSR who are prepared to pay six and seven figure sums for Nazi VIP relics, it's just not worth the trouble. I did buy a set of Swords a while back, made by Meybauer. Sure, it's a retail copy by an unauthorised maker but it is a period copy predating May 1945 and I prefer it to a set of Godet Swords that could date from 1943 or 1973. PK
  5. Classic counter-propaganda tactics. Gladio... Paul certainly has some relics of a darker side of post-colonial European history there.
  6. What an extraordinary piece of postwar history! After Franco's death in 1975, Guillou is believed to have gone to South America, which would have been a logical move for him. As you rightly surmise, Guillou wouldn't have been entitled to the medal for the Algerian "police action" as he deserted from his unit when the OAS putsch failed in 1962. Here is some interesting background material: http://libcom.org/library/strategy-tension The Greek connection is particularly interesting given current events. His main rôle in Indochina, by the way, was as a liaison officer working with the CIA, which might explain his lack of bravery awards for that campaign. It also might explain his suspected links to other western security agencies and his suspected involvement in terrorist outrages attributed to "anarchists" and far-left groups.
  7. Thank you very much for this information. I remember seeing several of these badges in Paris shops a few years ago so they must have come from the lot you describe. One of the more famous members of the order was François Mitterand but I do not imagine that he had his certificate framed and hung in his office after the war...
  8. Very good! I bet you expected this but how about a French language forum for the same reasons? We have French members whose command of English is very good but I know of quite a few collectors and students of military history just in the Paris region alone, who could probably bring a lot to GMIC but who fall into the same category as the German-speakers to whom you refer. PK
  9. Keep this coming! Did you know that over 80% of the readership of magazines about miniature modeling comprises people who will never do it themselves but are transfixed by the models and the methods of those who make them?
  10. However, I am a lesbian. I've been more attracted to women all my life, even if I am trapped in this body.
  11. A pleasure! Mind you, she must have been a big girl! 46" chest? That's my chest size.
  12. The pullover looks like a pre-1980 design without the shoulder straps. Unusual to see the wings sewn on with untrimmed backing, although some fellows did it. The stripes look on the low side. The label isn't regulation. At a push, it could be for Cadet Force-issue but the label has a civilian look to it. I'd say this was probably purchased from an shop like Debora or Silverman's in the 1970s and the badges added subsequently. I don't see why a serving soldier, especially a Senior NCO, would buy a woolly-pully when indenting for lost kit would cost him less than their retail prices. We bought berets, windproofs, decent boots, bivvy bags and other non-issue kit from both Debora and Silverman's, as well as Survival Aids, but not this kind of kit. Given your location, I would say this pullover might have been bought by a US Army soldier or a US Marine, British pullovers being very popular at one point with your lads as unofficial field kit, and later enhanced by the addition of wings and stripes. As I said, I'd want to see those stripes about an inch higher. Wings should be four fingers of an average hand from the sleeve seam. Take the badges off and wear the pullover. PK
  13. Actually, the Ordre des Arts et Lettres is widely seen as more prestigious than the Légion d'Honneur, which has been devalued in recent years not so much by the nominations of pop stars, vaudevillians and other entertainers as by the sad fact that any bent businessman or businesswoman in France can gain entrance to the order by putting themselves up for it and getting to members to second them. In Sarkozy's France, where la valise is the order of the day, making a donation to presidential campaign funds and filling out the forms will usually get you the LdH. However, the A&L really has to be earned, a few of the honorific awards to entertainers notwithstanding. You cannot just wangle yourself a nomination. My wife is a chevalière des Arts et Lettres. She could have the LdH as well, if she applied for it or got a prominent friend to apply on her behalf with two seconds. Handing out gongs to notables is a favourite PR-related activity amongst ministers and presidents in this country. Sarko himself presented the LdH to John Galliano and how he loved wandering through the guests, mixing with Planet Fashion's movers and shakers, or the fairly small number of key people invited to the award ceremony. He got a lot of good PR. And then they stitched John up on anti-semitism charges for PR purposes, so they got a lot of press mileage from him but that's a discussion for another forum altogether.
  14. Look at the unevenness of the lining next to the edges of the case itself.
  15. Magnifique! What an amazing photograph. Keep it coming.
  16. That's an interesting comment, Bill. Can you enlarge upon your sources? I have seen a couple of numbered badges but most were unnumbered. Prices have gone up recently, as with all French medals and decorations, so it would not be surprising to find that someone was faking the Francisque. That said, though, it would not be an easy thing to fake, for a number of reasons. There have been copies made but the quality is low, like that of the fake LVF crosses etcetera. They have even faked Bacqueville Kriegsmarine badges. I remember looking at a couple of examples of the Francisque by Augis here in Paris some time ago. They were identical and original but one had a several-digit number stamped into it. Perhaps this was done at some point to 'enhance' the badge, much as one sometimes sees genuine Third Reich badges ruined by someone who applied fake makers' marks to make the badge more interesting, or so they believed at the time.
  17. Such a backsliding weasel! Not even a compromise in the form of, say, an ARCTIC CONVOYS bar to The Atlantic Star. But then, what can one expect of someone presiding over the most destructive maladministration of the armed forces since "Options For Change"? He is clearly too dense to grasp the notion of Winning Hearts and Minds through belated and thereby cheap gestures like this, which would offset some of the negative fallout from sending P45s to veterans and their commanders before they have even shaken the dust of Mesopotamia and Afghanistan from their boots and uniforms. [Note for foreign friends: the P45 is the document you are handed when fired or made redundant in the UK] PK
  18. Oh, I don't disbelieve you! But sometimes there are some women there and they're OK. But he is «un peu spécial, pour ainsi dire», wouldn't you say? Well, yeah, you would, cos you got the "get off my farm" treatment. They have some nice gear sometimes. I was drawn by an Ordre de Travail (Vichy) priced reasonably at around €1,000 a while back. But I hesitated and it went. The Koufra clasp for €400 was a bit OTT given that it could have been made anytime from 1944 to 1994. Anyway, sorry you had that experience. The man in question, if he's the one I baited over the clasp, is a bit odd. P [edited a grammatical error/typo]
  19. I never have any trouble getting into Maison Platt. They're not over-friendly, I'll grant you that, but they are 'correct'. The prices are a bit high for some of their stuff. I won't even tell you what they wanted for an early 1813 EK2. Some of the Colonial Medals are over-priced. He had a postwar Koufra clasp, probably Arthus Bertrand, on a classic "Free French" medal for over €400. OK, it's rare. For a laugh, I took one of my rarer Koufra ensembles with me the next time, a Gaunt issue, complete with British-made clasp and riband. "How much would you give me for this?" "Um, well, these are fairly common, you know. €30?" "Thanks". I put it back in my pocket. He asked me how much I wanted. So I said that common as it was, it must be much rarer than the postwar French-made one he had up for more than €400. Yeah, I know. Futile. But funny all the same. PK
  20. I knew a few Senior NCOs who got the BEM after reserve service with TA units as SNCOs or officers (the old QM commission system) or with regimental associations. PK
  21. My friend Tanner got the QGM for the mad knifeman incident. I expect some of our Thin Blue Line friends here know Dan. He was stunned. As you said, HM Plod Admin ain't keen on putting coppers forward for medallic recognition/ Glad the BEM is coming back. Let's push for the MM, DCM and all those other wonderful medals whose ribbons on a N° 2 tunic marked a man out as very special. PK
  22. Back in the early 1980s when I was issued my first helmet at Depot Para, the 1944-dated liner was by BMB. Can't remember the shell. But probably made by BMB as well.
  23. Maybe the Feds are worried about being sued for confiscating valuable medals and groups from dealers and collectors?
  • Create New...