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WW2 German Army Paratrooper Badge...Help needed...


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Dear Members

I'm a new collector of WW2 German militaria (I collect mostly Soviet Orders and Medals plus worldwide parachute wings) and I just boght this very nice cased WW2 (???) German Army Paratrooper's Badge.

Is made of lightweight aluminium (weights 14.02 grams), size: 55.4mmx42.3mm, it is hallmarked C.E.JUNKER/BERLIN SW (2 lines) and comes with a very nice box. There are pressed marks from the Eagle in the inner part of the lit.

I would like to ask your oppinion about this badge.I attached few pictures and if you want more, please let me know. Any oppinion and help is very appreciate it!!

Thank you very much for your time!!

Yannis

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I am afraid your photo of the obverse of the badge is rather out-of-focus. Here is a prewar Type 2 badge in aluminium for comparison purposes. Compare your badge to it, paying close attention to the fletching on the diving eagle, the wings of the Heer eagle and the details of the leaves of the wreath, including their edges and central veins.

Edited by PKeating
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I enlarged your photo as much as I could. It is now 92KB. As you can see, it is a bit blurry. It looks like an early Type 2a badge with the wider hinge and the 'beardless' Heer eagle. The hallmark is of the correct type, similar to that seen on all Type 1 aluminium badges but with the 'leaning L' corrected as on the handful of original Type 2 aluminium badges bearing the firm's hallmark. However, there seem to be a few anomalies I have not observed on original badges, although this could be due to blurriness and distortion of the images. The hinge set-up is not quite the same as on known originals, the outer parts being wider than expected. The hook lacks the chamfer where it is soldered to the wreath. There again, given the rather clumsy filework around the Heer eagle's head, this might have been finished by an apprentice. Some of these badges left the workshop with some quite visible flaws. However, I cannot form any definite conclusions based on the photograph of the obverse as it is simply not clear enough. What appear to me to be troubling differences in surface details on the two parts may be due, as I said, to photographic angle, lighting and distortion. As a matter of interest, how much did you pay for it?

Edited by PKeating
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Thank you very much for the information. You see, the picture is unfocused because the badge is not flat and because I use macro, the camera focuses on the eagle and not on the oval wreath. I will try again and I will “divide” the badge in 3 focused areas. Picture from the "center"

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If the person who sold you this badge was kind enough to drop his price then I hope he will be kind enough to give you a refund when you return it to him. I am afraid that it is a fake. It is certainly one of the better copies of a prewar Type 2 badge I have seen to date. Some of the diving eagle's feathers , particularly around the leading edges of the wings, are quite well-reproduced. However, the eagle seems to have more in common with the eagles struck for 1957 pattern LW and Heer Parachutist Badges although it is not quite the same. Having checked my files, I have some photos somewhere of a silver badge bought by someone a couple of years ago that may have been struck on the same dies.

However, there is no such thing as the perfect forgery. I have circled a few of areas of interest to show differences that could not have occurred had the component parts of the your badge been struck on C E Juncker's dies. The firm's hallmark is very well done too and dangerously close to the hallmarks found on the handful of Type 2 badges so marked. The hallmarks on the Type 1 badges were like this but the upright part of the 'L' in 'BERLIN' leans back towards the 'R', which was obviously corrected sometime in 1937. Regarding the case, it is also a copy. The lettering is close to that on the small number of original FSA (Heer) cases of this type known to have survived but there are noticeable differences once a comparison is made. The tails of the capital 'A' of 'Abzeichen' and the small 's' differ from the the original form. There are some other differences too. Close, but like the badge, no banana.

The price is also a giveaway. We are all looking for that wonderful bargain and we have all allowed our excitement to guide us in the past when we think we have found it. Digger is not the first to be caught out by convincing Army Parachutist Badges and, with what appears to be a new generation of fake in the form of this badge, he shan't be the last, sadly. When Eric Queen and I published our seminal article on the subject, several leading dealers had to give refunds several times over. With prices of these badges rising even higher recently, it is unsurprising that the fakers are trying to perfect their wares. Were this a genuine badge, it would be a very early Type 2a with the wide hinge and the Heer eagle's beak cut out as on the Type 1 badges, a practice abandoned soon after the Type 2 badges were introduced. The badge alone would command at least three times more than the $1,200 AUD the seller initially asked. With an original case, the price would be much higher.

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