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GWL Pilot, P/O, and Observer Badges


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I'd like to see if there is anything approaching a concensus on whether or not the defect in the GWL stamp is a baseline requirement for originality. Obviously defective makers marks can be faked, but if the circle is without defects, would you even entertain the possibility that the badge is authentic?

Thanks,

Ian

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I'd like to see if there is anything approaching a concensus on whether or not the defect in the GWL stamp is a baseline requirement for originality. Obviously defective makers marks can be faked, but if the circle is without defects, would you even entertain the possibility that the badge is authentic?

Thanks,

Ian

Ian,

Well, I see 2 points in the question: the break in the circle and of course the "finger print"

Being collecting for some moons now and knowing collections older than me I find odd the qrowing statement saying the Pilot and P/O badges by GWL without the finger prints are fake. Some people said some without the break are known as definitixe original - well, they can post here .......

There is a minimum of logic to enter in each conclusion and here it is a bit difficult for me to understand WHY the only default would be the finger print (while at the same time, the same persons agreed that there is no finger prints on observer badges by this maker) and the rest of the details would be perfect, that we agreed that many badges makers had subcontractors but not in this case - no finger print and they are fake. There is more than 8 vaeriation in pilot badges by Juncker, there are RK by S&L with or without flaw etc, etc ......

On the other hand and coming back to a subject developped by C. Boonzaier years ago and for the time being the GWL I have sseen and I am confortable with had the deffect in the circle and a " phallic style".

Mines http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=13717&hl=

Now, as mentonned by some, they are NOT all around (A quick browse on the net show me one or 2) and they go for more than $6500,

Well, the subject is re-opened for the good of all, let see if something costructive comes out of that.

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Ian

As far as the ?GWL? maker mark is concerned? marks with and without the defect will be found on original badges. The defect is most likely due to damage after the making of the maker mark stamp as I can?t see a die cutter making such a mistake during the initial cutting.

As you say, a maker mark with defect could be faked and probably has been. However, the one characteristic found on the Pilot and Pilot/Observer that the fakers haven?t, as yet, managed to copy is the tooling (aka ?fingerprint?) marks on the reverse of the badges. This

Characteristic is for me one of the requirements for originality as well as standard of construction, materials used, hinge/catch/pin assembly and rivets.

I?ll post my Pilot, Observer and Pilot/Observer, followed by maker marks of the three. Looking at the three maker marks, Pilot?s badge shows no defect, Observer shows a slight defect and the Pilot/Observer shows a heavy defect. Is this a sign of progressive wear to the stamp, that more than one stamp was produced, or just a difference in the pressure applied? The three maker marks are identical (except for the defect) which leads me to the conclusion that the defect was caused by damage and was progressive.

Always go for textbook examples as fakers are getting ever closer to producing the ?perfect fake?

We can only go on the characteristics of known originals?any deviation form the norm should be viewed with suspicion.

Pilot's Badge

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So Jon, if you don't see a fingerprint in either a pilot or p/o badge, even though everything else looks OK, you'd pass? How many dies were used in the construction of the eagle? If the fingerprint has to be on everyone, then that implies only one die was used to make all of GWL's eagles, right?

Ian

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So Jon, if you don't see a fingerprint in either a pilot or p/o badge, even though everything else looks OK, you'd pass?

Not necessarily, Ian. The badges posted by Fran?ois look to be spot-on. When all is said and done, it probably comes down to personal preference.

We have badges with and without the ?fingerprint? marks.

Two possible explanations:

a. The marks are not marks from the die but made by some sort of finishing tool such as a grinder which was not used on all badges

b. If tooling marks.... at some point during the production the reverse die was changed.

I would say that ?a? is the most likely as similar marks can be found on badges made by other makers.

For example: the reverse of two ?Assmann? badges made at the same time showing circular marks on one but not the other.

Of course, pure speculation?just some thoughts for the pot.

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I suppose it comes down to the gestalt: do the eagle, wreath, pin, hinge, and catch conform to known originals? Does the maker's mark match known originals? Obviously some have the defect in the circle, some don't. If the above are OK, then I'll be convinced the badge is real. If someone is that close on everything mentioned above, why wouldn't they complete the "perfect fake" by adding swirling tool marks to the back of the eagle? That should be the easiest thing to do.

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Just to add to the "topic"

I have contacted 2 of the biggest European badge collectors in Europe (collections older than me) this morning - they both have several exemplars of GWL pilot, P/O and observer badges and according to them only one P/O has a fingerprint.

Now and IMO:

It is sometimes difficult to see this mark, especially on worn badges

Without drawing any conclusion, it seems that most if not all the badges with "fingerprint" are in collections of 5-10 years but we will not say anything (assuming authenticity), right?

The fingerprint is Really easy to duplicate, then why miss it on a perfect fake?

We then have:

1) GWL badges with swirls may well be authentic.

2) GWL badges with swirls may well be fake authentic.

3) GWL badges without swirls may well be authentic.

4) GWL badges without swirls may well be fakes.

5) GWL badges with the ring break are authentic.

6) GWL badges without the ring break are authentic.

7) GWL badges with black finish on the eagle may well be authentic.

8) GWL badges with black finish on the eagle may well be fakes.

It reminds me the issue with the aluminium LW badges by Assmann, most also have D.R.G.M. but it seems that not all, do we say the ones withpout DRGM are fake???

Yup, agreed with John "When all is said and done, it probably comes down to personal preference". I think it's wrong to jump to simple conclusions like "all GWL pilot & P/O's w/o fingerprints are fake", but in all cases, that is fine with me.

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Francois,

In post #14 & #15 I believe I can see the fingerprint on these badges. For PO, the fingerprints are sometimes masked.

My rules for GWLs:

1) Original GWL badges may or may not have the break in the circle on the makers mark.

2) Original GWL badges ALWAYS have the swirl fingerprint (for PO, pilot & observer).

For me, the swirl fingerprint is the one key feature that can determine authenticity on GWLs. I rarely use hard rules like this, but it is a distinctive feature that I believe can not (or will not) be duplicated today by those faking badges.

Just my opinion.

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JTW

I thought I saw them on yours. On Francois's pics, they appear in the magnified pics.

My thoughts are that the tool used to make the swirls is not a file, buffer or rotating tool, but a ridged pressboard that was used merely to "smooth" off the reverse surface of the newly formed badge to provide a "uniform" surface to accept the maker mark. The swirls change position from badge to badge but they are always of a uniform density. This is purely conjecture on my part.

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Hi Steve.

I have double checked both badges, as I didn't see a finger print I have asked my wife to look under light and magnificient lenses (x25) - but no. Anyway, I was the first to say they may be difficult to see the fingerprint, that change nothing from my first opinion: I think it's wrong to jump to simple conclusions like "all GWL pilot & P/O's w/o fingerprints are fake", but in all cases, that is fine with me. Also CLEARLY and LOUDLY, the finger print is REALLY EASY to do ......... but what can I add, when experts say "textbook GWL" after seing 5 badges by this maker (not directed at you Steve).

Again, "When all is said and done, it probably comes down to personal preference".

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No longer having any I cannot compare... I never noticed the fingerprint thing... I always thought of the W as an open pair of legs.... and notice the up stroke of the L looks like a pointy penis with the forskin rolled back.... the "Phallic L"

Sorry to drag this to a under the beltline level, but the phallic L was always what I looked for.

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