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Silver U-boat frontspange--real or fake?


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My point in this post it to demonstrate that even for a website that is almost 100% fake in the KM badges, that is the website of

http://www.staegemeir.de/

even good badges might pop up. I would not personally buy anything from that site but wonder how he makes a living since even the fakes have been there for at least a year--- I keep track of them and how the new breed of fakes are looking.

This badge has been sitting, along with most of other fake KM badges for at least a year. Every other badge is a fake but this one appears to be good although I have done everything to find out if he has somehow made an almost perfect reproduction of the clasp. I have not looked at his site for over a year, I think I was blocked, but am once again able to access the site and make copies of the images.

The price is not bad for a badge in this condition. (1800 euros--not cheap, but not outrageous either)

I wonder why is it still there? Do collectors worry that if you order that badge, you would not get it but a subsitute? I really do not know and after a year, I really thought it would be gone by now. I am not plugging this site since it is one (like all dealer sites in my opinion) that must be approached with caution, but the fact remains, that even in the worst of sites, you can find period items. Whether you choose to deal with the devil so to speak and buy the item is up to the buyer and I have no opinion on that one way or the other.

As far as I am concerned, the badges that are fake look fake, all but this one which looks period and it is the best KM badge on is site. Naaturally I wish no dealer sold any fakes, but that is just not reality and the only way to remain a collector is to learn the hobby almost as a professional collector. It is not for the impatient or imprudent and especially the greedy. Bottom line, I have not seen many silver frontspanges in about a year anywhere, although a year ago, they seemed to pop up on Detlev's site every week. Well, all of this can be very cyclical as most of us know. The one week you do not look, there it is and you missed it.

Is it possible though that the silver finish just has bits of sand in it to make it appear like bubbling? Well, this is what you get when you sell high end fakes on the internet and when that odd good one comes up, nobody will take a chance on ordering it.

I do not have a moral to this story, I just want to point out that good badges can be found in the most unlikely of places.

If this message is out bounds, the moderator should delete it, but I did want to post what I think is a good badge for others to see and where I saw it. Other opinions would be helpful, but I too can't find anything wrong with it.

John

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I thought I recognised the photography style.

There's no doubt though that originals turn up in all sorts of unlikely places. I wouldn't personally get hung up about the source if the piece is good. Not cheap, but not excessive either and its the rarer variant retaining hook in flat wire. If I was looking for one, I wouldn't hesitate to buy this one.

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John,

your observations are impeccable.I have to admit that i would have probably just presumed that this is another high end "Hero" fake.He seems to be getting bettter on certain badges.There is definately a lesson to be learned here.

Many thanks,Martin.

Edited by mwestley
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  • 2 weeks later...

Is it possible though that the silver finish just has bits of sand in it to make it appear like bubbling? Well, this is what you get when you sell high end fakes on the internet and when that odd good one comes up, nobody will take a chance on ordering it.

Hi Ed. I did mention in the above quote that I had a concern about the bubbling. It seemed liked it was faked, but I am not sure. I am also concerned about what looks like a casting line. However, if this is a fake, then owners of this badge need to take a close look at what they have. John

Edited by John Robinson
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Yes, I forgot about that detail. Gordon pointed out the burr issue before I believe and that it is commonly thought of as a casting line. However, casting lines can look like a burr, correct? I still have to go on the side of original based on the overall badge. It does bother me that it has sat on his site for so long, but, if this is the problem, others see something in this badge that escapes us--except for the possibility of the bubbling.

John

Edited by John Robinson
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The burr is caused by the forging/stamping process. A worn die leaves a bigger burr. These were normally removed in earlier pieces and are more typically seen on late war pieces. The burr line is also where the mold line would be. With the instant spreading of knowledge on the internet the forgers no longer have the incentive to make new dies. It is cost prohibitive. The new fakes are going to perfect castings, matching every detail and demension. They will also match the photos of known originals when compared side by side. The wrong base material and finish usually give them away.

~Ed

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I also think that the reverse is cost prohibitive for the fakers to try to duplicate. They are not really concerned about us, or that 1% of the collectors that really study these badges. They can make their money with the other 99%. So I do not see them getting the reverses exactly right, however, I agree that the basic badge, minus hardware, will be more and more identical to the original badge they are using as the example.

On the badge in question here, I just do not see, besides the finish issue, where this one is off. Perhaps in hand we would see that the sandy looking finish is OK, or not, I just do not know.

The big problem is the source which makes all of us think about this a quite a bit more. If this was on more respected dealers' sites or tables, I do not think it would be questioned.

John

Edited by John Robinson
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The big problem is the source which makes all of us think about this a quite a bit more. If this was on more respected dealers' sites or tables, I do not think it would be questioned.

John

I think you are absolutely right about that John.

Bubbling is perfectly common on these and in fact its rare to find an original without bubbling to the finishing, running from very fine ( like here) to very coarse. In fact I've even seen perfectly good specimens treated with scepticism because they didn't have bubbling.

Of course the source here naturally makes one wonder if a virtually perfect fake has been created but, subject to the usual provisio of an "in hand" being required to be 100% certain, so far I don't see any pointers ( including the bubbling) to this one being fake.

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