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Schwerin Tombak Minesweeper - New Variant?


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I have had a tombak Schwerin Minesweeper badge in my "fake box" for a number of years, but now I'm beginning to believe that it could possibly be a rare variant. The badge is a perfect Schwerin in almost every way: the obverse details match accepted Schwerin characteristics, weight is 24.38 g, height is 54.02 mm, width is 43.38 mm. There is fire gilding runoff on the reverse of the badge, and the finish conforms to expected period patina.

The only issue is the maker mark. There are three primary differences from the accepted Schwerin lettering: there are two "dot" separators and a missing period after "AUSF". The badge's maker mark reads:

FEC. OTTO PLACZEK (dot) BERLIN

AUSF SCHWERIN (dot) BERLIN

An accepted Schwerin Minesweeper purchased from Detlev Niemann will be used in the following posts to compare my variant badge to. I'm very interested in the opinions of our community of experts.

Cheers!

Erik

Obverse comparison. The Detlev badge is on the left, variant on the right. BTW, the variant badge has been vaulted.

Edited by Erik Krogh
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The trigger that caused me to reexamine this badge is that the new English version of Sascha Weber's KM badge book has a similar maker mark on page 276, Volume I. This badge pictured is a zincer, but it clearly has the dot between PLACZEK BERLIN.

Please let me know what you think!

Edited by Erik Krogh
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Hi Erik,

As Gordon says, a perfectly original uncommon variant which I believe is earlier than the usual version.

Ironically, the trigger for your observation was incorrect. ;) The zincer on page 276 in fact has the usual "dot-less" mark but there happens to be bubble in the finish slightly higher than than the location of the dot in the variant mark which gives the false impression of an intentional dot. In fact, the variant mark with dots doesn't occur on the zinc badges. But all good, since it made you go and get your good Schwerin out of your fake drawer!

Also, in actuality the variant mark with dots is not missing the period after "AUSF"as you suspected -- it's simply worn on your example. Another difference in the variant mark though, aside from the dots before both "BERLIN"s, is that the "E"s in Berlin are more level in the early variant than in the usual mark. Finally, the variant badges always seem to have the dome head of the hinge pin oriented to the left. On the conventional badge it is oriented in either direction but the vast majority of the time to the right.

So there you have it. This is variation 1.1.3 in our Minesweeper Classification Table.

Best regards,

---Norm

Edited by Norm F
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Gordon and Norm,

Thank you both very much for your feedback. Thanks to you, the variant MS has migrated from the fake box to the Schwerin case.

I have looked at the "missing" period after "AUSF" on my badge, and it is virtually non-existent, albeit discolored where it would be expected to be. Possibly a victim of the vaulting process?

Norm, that is quite a nice taxonomy that you have developed. There is a wealth of information residing in books and on the web. Next time I will perform a better literature search (this really is an academic pursuit) before posting, because the answer may already be out there.

Now, back to the fake box to see if I can reinstate any other pieces...

All the Best,

Erik

Edited by Erik Krogh
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...

I have looked at the "missing" period after "AUSF" on my badge, and it is virtually non-existent, albeit discolored where it would be expected to be. Possibly a victim of the vaulting process?

...

Hi Erik,

I think you are exactly right. You can see the vertical grooves from the vaulting process on each side and the one on the left is exactly in line with the period, extending upward and flattening it.

Cheers.

---Norm

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