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A known modern fabricator of WW2 German ribbon bars


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Hallo Gents,

this set warning bells ringing so I decided to post it here for members notification:-

The three-place ribbon bar pictured is assembled with genuine pre-1945 German ribbons sewn to a genuine German-made steel ribbon bar bracket backed by field-gray wool.

Ebay seller:- gerst.

Location:- Texas.

http://cgi.ebay.com/GERMAN-RIBBON-BAR-WWII...1QQcmdZViewItem

Kevin in Deva :beer:

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Hello My Friend,

I must say the ribbon bars look well made and the metal crossed swords insignia have quality, but the three piece ribbon bar with the silver luftwaffe eagle insignia is far to crude a piece to fool a serious a collector. As for his claim that all ribbons are pre 1945, well a quick pass under a u.f.l. light should determine if his statement is true.

Regards

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Hello My Friend,

I must say the ribbon bars look well made and the metal crossed swords insignia have quality, but the three piece ribbon bar with the silver luftwaffe eagle insignia is far to crude a piece to fool a serious a collector. As for his claim that all ribbons are pre 1945, well a quick pass under a u.f.l. light should determine if his statement is true.

Regards

Hallo AlecH, :beer:

the ribbons may well be original stock, its that he is fabricating the complete bars and selling them as such, what has to be taken into account is where they get sold on to, the young and inexperienced collector, may possible be offered them at a later date as originals, and at original prices.

I think I would leave it to Ricky to comment on the "look" and if he managed to get the precedence of the awards right.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

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the ribbons may well be original stock, its that he is fabricating the complete bars and selling them as such, what has to be taken into account is where they get sold on to, the young and inexperienced collector, may possible be offered them at a later date as originals, and at original prices.

Agreed. Even some post-war made ribbons will not glow under UV.

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Some are OK, some are incorrect. I'm not going to say more that would "improve" the product. Generally, the ribbons are loose and "flabby," with way "over-sewn" backings. Of course, now that somebody is actually churning out "normal" singles and pairs :banger: at the bottom-scraper level of poultry excrement wholesale deception

there's basically the end of buying anything from scans, and not in the hand.

You may mark "WW2 German collecting destroyed" on your calendars.

It was nice while it lasted.

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There was a Chinese seller with an add on e-bay offering to make up 3rd Reich bars. No pretence of selling them as original (or even using original ribbons/parts) but from the front they looked better than these. Thought I'd saved the item but it seems to be gone now and I didn't note the user id.

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There was a Chinese seller with an add on e-bay offering to make up 3rd Reich bars. No pretence of selling them as original (or even using original ribbons/parts) but from the front they looked better than these. Thought I'd saved the item but it seems to be gone now and I didn't note the user id.

For me, its not the builder who declares his wares has being modern made,

its where and eventually when they will get sold on too.

Some poor sod a year or so from now might not have the benefit or experience

to detect these new creations.

Hopefully the pictures will provide our members with enough to learn to recognize them

in the future.

Kevin in Deva :cheers:

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Hallo Ricky, :beer:

Seems he doesn't want to pay Ebay for extra pictures, but in some of his earlier auctions he had in the description section

a line about sending anybody interested in bidding pictures of the rear of the pieces.

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

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  • 1 month later...

Hello from Texas! A friend noticed your thread and sent it to me. I have since joined the forum.

I am flattered that collectors view my "work" as somewhat of a threat. It was never my intent to put "fakes" into circulation to be sold later as genuine items, and it is still not my intent. I am sure that my stuff isn't the only post-war product "out there." I just want to create a nice ribbon bar a guy can buy that is made of genuine parts. He can wear it and not worry too much because he didn't pay an arm and a leg for it. Also, I try to be creative (but realistic) with the configurations. I created several bars using Spanish ribbons recently. They are very popular. Some I even placed in the order appropriate for a Spanish volunteer (I hope I got them right). I also try to replicate bars I have seen on line. Of course eBay has too many restrictions. I recenty began listing on Manions auction site - no anti-HK rules there.

I only got into the assembly of bars because my father's own Feldspange was lost after the war. I had a duplicate made using genuine ribbons and devices and later made my own version in the proper "tab back" style which he preferred and which I remember as a kid. Fortunately most of his medals and almost all of his documents survived. I started getting requests and late last year I decided to stock up on "parts" and that's where I am now. I'm still new at it but I try to do good work. The sewing part is my weakness - one day I'll talk my wife into ding that for me!

Some of my earlier products were made before I started getting materials in Germany (I went back home last June) and other than swords, my devices are all recent manufacture. The three-place LW bar criticized in one of the posts has a genuine bracket but the ribbons and the "mini" long service eagle (HK was blotted out but eBay still booted it!) are post-war. I prefer genuine swords but I am slowly running out of the larger ones so I'll have to limit myself mostly to "new" ones soon. It is a crude piece and doesn't require the sword. I have a genuine bar on display I made for my mother's first husband who was an He-111 crewman. He was in the Condor Legion and got shot down and killed in Russia in late 1942.

I try to get the order right but some buyers, especially buyers who want "long bars," ask for unusual combinations. These would never fool an expert even I think that they they look very good. Quite frankly I don't think that any of my bars would fool an expert, especially the ones for which I must fabricate the entire bracket. I use brass, including a brass pin. I buy those materials at Hobby Lobby! RZM grade it is not!

So many ribbon bars I see on sale on the internet are "wrong", even seemingly genuine ones - swords on ribbons that do not require swords, ribbons out of order, and so on. Since ribbon bars were not issued by the militray but made by private concerns, there appears to have been a lot of "flexibility."

Kev, my dad spent a lot of time in your country. He was with the German XXX Armeekorps which included a number of Romanian units during the Russian / Crimean campaign. He loved your country and brought back many photos. I have them all in a large album. Father finally left Russia in August, 1943 and returned to Germany. A year later he was in France and ended up at Fortress Dunkirk -surrouned - where he spent the remainder of the war. I did not meet him until February 1948 when he was finally released by the French.

All the best to you fellows out there!

Gerst

Edited by Gerst
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I use mostly field-gray wool for the backing and cotton thread. Some backings are black. I am not a very good "seamstress" but I am improving. One day I'll start sewing a little label on the bars, but these can be removed.

I'm too much of a cheapskate to post pictures of the reverse side. The front is what you see. Buyers onlt seem to be concerned that the pin works.

Gerst

Edited by Gerst
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See, guys. There is a tremendous danger in talking about fakes in a public area, for we run the real risk of educating the faker-scum and helping them make their sewer-worthy-product better. I don't know where the narrow line falls between educating ourselves and educating them.

The saddest thing (?) is that the fakers don't seem to see anything wrong with their shameful activities. :speechless1:

Once again, I am very glad I don't bother with this Third Reich stuff.

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Hey, I thought the name of the forum was "Gentleman's Military Interest Club."

"Faker Scum" indeed! I assemble and sell post-1945 ribbon bars. I don't collect. I don't have to buy someone else's history, I have my own family history that was inherited from those who actually earned the awards. I would never sell those hierlooms.

As to educating me, you don't have to. I am working on that myself by reading everything I can put my hands on and talking to my friends in Germany. My product improves with each new ribbon bar. It is ironic that I just received a shipment of swords and wreaths! Next month I expect a shipment of excellent LW long service eagles.

As for "shameful activities," what is shameful is people taking medals and awards from the men who earned them and these items later being sold on the open market to the highest bidder. My father's Iron Cross was "liberated" in 1945. When his remaining things came down to me after his death in 1977 I did not notice any "souvenirs" taken from French, Greek, British, Canadian or Russian soldiers during any of the actions he was involved in.

None of my ribbon bars were taken from German soldiers, live or dead. Can you say the same about your items?

Crafting a bit of history one ribbon bar at a time,

Gerst

Edited by Gerst
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A very sensitive topic indeed!

Gerst, I think the animosity to what you are doing is due to the fact that there are people out there reproducing items, of all sort, that are destroying a hobby. This is a debate that has been going on for years. Some of these reproductions have cost people thousands of dollars and have made their hobby unenjoyable. If all items that are being reproduced had a marking or label on them would be one thing, but if something is being made to deceive collectors, that is another thing.

For you to come here and explain what you are doing is, I think, admirable. Certainly not everyone will agree as even though you are stating your case and saying that you are not in it to fool people, your products are not made or marked in a way that would suggest otherwise.

You may have started out to help others with something that was lost, or as a filler piece, but, what happens to these pieces after that causes problems as they can easily be sold to an unsuspecting individual as real. If you were to design your items that they could not be mistaken for an original, I think you wouldn?t have too many complaints. That?s not to say that you can?t have pride in your work and do a good job. However, putting a perfect or near perfect item on the market will do nothing more than hurt a hobby that is already fraught with landmines and pitfalls. Perhaps putting an odd coloured backing on the ribbon bars would make people aware that the items are reproduced. The backing would not be seen from the front and would serve as an indicator to novice/unsuspecting collectors.

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Hello James. Yes, there are many problems posed by "copies" of any sort, the main one being the fact that buyers want them to look like the originals. The more they do the higher they are valued. There are copies of every sort - paintings, prints, handbags, you name it. I got into it first to help a fellow and I really came to enjoy it. I especially enjoy copying large bars worn by famous people, and these could never be mistaken for the real thing.

I am going to evenually have a label sewn to my backings. Even if I were to use unsual cloth, that could be replaced by someone who is out to dupe an unsuspecting buyer. As you say, I am clear about my items - I assemble them. They are not genuine wartime ribbon bars, just genuine wartime parts. I am taking the people who sell me the ribbons and brackets at their word.

I have great respect for all the military men of the past who made the "hobby" possible. Reenactors and collectors of post-1945 uniforms probably do too. Many of them cannnot afford the real article. These are the guys who buy my things.

I appreciate you understanding,

Gerst

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Gerst,

This is one of those ?tread lightly? issues. I?m sure that there is a happy medium out there for this type of thing, it?s just finding what that it. I?m certain that there will be input from the collectors on this forum that might guide you in a direction that would keep you happy doing what you are doing, and at the same time keep the hobby free of any other problems.

I can understand the need for the items you are producing as I have a uniform I can only complete with a ribbon or medal bar and that will not happen with the original thing. However, being one of the individuals who have been burned in the past, I have to side with some of the collectors that have spoken out against perfect reproductions.

Lets see what comments are forth coming!

Cheers,

James

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A reproduction should be marked accordingly if it is not then someone will be duped in the future and that is true in all fields of collecting. If one were to sell you a bunch of ribbon insigna supposedly of wartime manufacture, but once received you discover they are infact post war copies would you not be ticked off? The vendor could also say they purchased them in good faith and passed them along as such not much of a consolation is it? The fact is without these marked in a distinguishing way to prove they are reproduction then someone in the future will get stung and i'm sure you know this as you seem to be an intellegent individual. You can't put the onus on the people you sell your reprodutions to, to tell future buyers they are not authentic. A tag that can be removed is not the solution to marking your goods you'll need to stamp something into the metal bar or use a type of hanger not seen on authentic items.

"The more they do the higher they are valued. There are copies of every sort - paintings, prints, handbags, you name it" Very true but if these are faked and sold on as authentic It is illegal and someone would be going to jail. This especially holds true in the world of Brand name designer knock offs.

It's just my opinion

Chris

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Gerst,

How about stamping or engraving the word "copy" on the back of your bars. That should keep everyone happy since re-enactors will not care, those who buy them as copies will not care, and those concerned about them being passed off as fakes in the future will have their concerns addressed.

Paul

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And heroin pushers aren't forcing anybody to use their wares, either. :speechless:

Guess what? Ruining original items to mass produce wholesale fakes for the HUGE cheats, crooks, and fools market is

B-A-D.

Gentlemen do not destroy original items to make fantasy frauds. Gentlemen do not put such wares on the market. Saying something is repro at the point of origin does absolutely NOTHING to diminish tossing such fakes onto the endless, endless, 200 years from now still cheating retail collectors market.

Guess what?

That is

W-R-O-N-G.

No matter what justification rationalizes it.

We are eyebrows deep in a tidal wave of brand new, cannibalized garbage that has not only defrauded thousands of inattentive/non expert collectors across the entire planet for decades past, but the well has been irrevocably poisoned for the rest of time for generations yet unborn without our living connection to the real past, who are not going to have a clue what is real and what is rubbish.

Feeding one's children by cheating others out of very real cash for theirs--at one marvelously convenient self-exculpatory remove or 500 down the merchandising trail--is

W--I-C-K-E-D.

And BTW? I have yet to encounter "re-enactors" portraying policemen in North Africa, 1920s veterans, air raid wardens, or any of the more unusual (which is why that ribbon stock remained UNUSED until DESTROYED BY YOU :banger: ) "combinations" on offer.

While it is certainly novel to actually hear from somebody at Point Of Origin for the rot constantly damaging our hobby lecturing his victims with the perpetrator's selflessly noble and idealistic point of view, we're not interested in either the Frankenstein wares or the parallel universe excuses.

Thank you for your understanding. :beer:

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