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The Two B&NL FLak Badges


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Hello,

As usual , I am always learning how much I have to learn. I've posted my unmarked B&NL Flak badge elsewhere on the forum. Then , I later added a rather rough looking marked example , but didn't think it worthy of more photos. Recently , I've purchased a third , marked example and thought I might pass on the lesser marked badge. Then , I was informed the 2nd badge has this other 'questionable' eagle and sure enough , they were different. I had noticed something in my side by side photos , but the very complicated reverse was perfect , as was the mark , so I really didn't think much of it. My 3rd badge has the 'genuine' eagle , so I will have three different versions of this badge.

I thought I might be in the unique position to take some nice side by side photos of these two badges , in hope that we can come closer to a conclusion on this second type eagle. I will refer to the 'genuine' eagle as E1 and the 'questionable' as E2 from now on to save typing. In the following photos , I will be comparing my first two , unmarked E1 and marked E2 , and have a theory I like to pose. Hopefully , others can either confirm , debunk , or add to this.

Here it is. I am , in my mind , positive these wreaths are perfect matches , as well as the hooks and their embedment. Now , these eagles seem to be either part of the hinge mechanism or , at very least , embedded in the zink at the same time. I will show how the hinges on these badges are very closley related , making me think these eagles may have been affixed at the same time as the hinge. This is the part of the theory with which I have the most doubt , but I still think it is the most probably explanation.

Another interesting point is the difference in condition of the E2 to the wreath to which it is attached. The eagle is not corroded , but the wreath is. This makes me lean in the direction of the 'add on' eagle , which is why part of that theory is questionable , I concede.

The first are side by sides of the two badges. Then , some close ups. Please , let me know what you think!

Best

Kurt

Edited by Reini
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Now , some shots of the hinges showing why I think these were assembled at the same time. How could they rivet the eagle later without disturbing the hinge? I will show that these hinges were made using indentical manufacturing processes in the photos yet to come.

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Now , for the most compelling evidence that these were manufactured together. From these photos , one can see that the tiny axle holding the hinge is made of the same material on each badge and was cut with the same device. Different materials shear differently , and these are exact matches , again. Also , the construction of the hinge base is exact , look at the curve of the bottom. These similarities do not happen by accident and are even more impossible to duplicate. This is why I think these E2s were an original eagle.

As for their appearance on other questionable badges , I can only guess that this eagle was copied somehow. That is much easier to arrive at than the idea that the wreaths are original and the E2 was added later. How are the rivets explained? Or the hinges? How could these eagles be attached later with no difference in construction? I find this very interesting!

I've taken three clear , side by side shots , each showing the different sides of the hinges next to each other. On this first one , the bottoms of each baseplate are seen to be exact mtaches , as well as that taper on the inside of the hinge , where the axle rests. See how it is thinner on the outside and then gets thicker as it goes into the plate? That is another exact match , to my eyes.

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And , finally , the photo that really convinced me that these hinges are exact matches. Look at the cut on the two axles. Those are the same material , cut by the same process , in my opinion.

Please , let me hear your thoughts!

Best

Kurt

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GREAT study, and great photos! This is something that needs a good look. I have no proof to back up my assertions, let me start off with that.

I BELIEVE the E2 was attached much later than WW2. While I agree that attaching the eagle would disturb the hinge/catch, that means we beleive the hinge/catch were attached. I do not. I believe there was a nice stock of wreath/guns laying around that someone got ahold of, but alas he had no eagles. Th E2 is nothing like the E1 , and why would such a minor producer of Flak badges change their die? They would not need to. They could do their whole production run in short order. That said, it is certainly possible that the die had a catostrophic failure and broke. But due to the lack of wear on the eagle I would say it was attached MUCH later. Maybe the wreath was in a crate that was dug up and had worn a bit - who knows. You can attach a hinge/catch later. There are subtle differences in your photos when you look at the wire for example. As for the crease along the edge of the wire, well, any wirecutter will leave such a mark.

I think the main issues are:

1) The wear is significantly different on the eagle and wreath

2) Why change eagle dies

To refute this idea:

1) This is but one example and more research is needed

2) Die may have broken at some point

So we do not have closure, but I think we need to very critically look at these when the potentially most insignificant maker of Flak badges has two completely different patterns.

Thanks,

great start Kurt!

Marc

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Hi Kurt,

Pretty much a clone of our private conversation, but here she goes. My vote on the Claw Foot badges are that they ARE add on eagles. These Claw Feet eagles have been popping up on all sorts of fake Flaks in the past 8 months. All of a sudden they appear on a B&NL Flak, then 2, then 3 - c'mon now! Myself, Jan Arne, and Frank H. were the only people to have one of these with the accepted eagles what seems like forever on a rare Flak Badge - now 3 or 4 in the past couple months, made supposedly by B&NL, with a variation eagle!? I don't and won't buy it. See, your IMME Pilot is definately a possibility because we haven't seen those 'special' eagles on an array of fakes like we see on the Claw Foot Flaks. I like your IMME Pilot because it is a believable badge in many ways - (material, correct Maker Mark on the eagle, hardware, haven't seen on fakes, etc.) This Claw eagles' finish and condition IS different than the rest of the badge, and these eagles ARE found on numerous different fake Flak Badges as well. I must side with Marc regarding the "why the 2 dies" question. It seems the production of these B&NLs, to date, was quite limited, so why create another 'variation' eagledie? Just way too many 'red flags' with the Claw Foot Flaks for me to accept them as original.

ERIC

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You guys both make some great points. Today , I will take some side by sides of the two eagles and we'll see if there are any similariities such as with the hinge.

As for the rarity of the B&NL , I have found the two with the E1 and this E2 all within the last 8 months. Still very rare , but they are around. The chances of there being only 3 of these , and then me finding two more E1s , are also pretty astronomical , but it happened. I must concede , however , that the sudden emergence of the E2 raises a lot of questions.

All I am saying about that axel cut is that such minute simiarities are tough to duplicate without using the same materials and cutting device. Different metals and alloys shear differently , but these look identical , at least to my eyes.

Best

Kurt

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Kurt,

You have one advantage over us - you have multiple badges in hand. Hopefully I will be able to look the badge over sometime. If I spot multiples at the SOS then we have a problem, but at this point a closer examination is warranted. I would classify these as "further research needed." Now I do not mean to close the book and I welcome comments from everyone! But I have gone as far as I can with pics. (good ones, by the way - thanks for clear close-ups!).

Best,

Marc

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