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ID Weird A-H Flying badges

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Hello Tifes,
I somehow missed your response and found it only now. Thank you for confirmation, that my badge is war-time original. I would like just to add, that Verordnungsblatt 47/1917 you are mentioning, really speaks about changing the hardware from needle to two hooks (Karabinerhaften) - but the badge, drawn in that Verordnungsblatt, depicts "my" badge, not the Karl badge you consider as the only Karl awarded type. I know, everyone can say it´s only illustration, but it is surprising how it matches my type and differs from award type accepted by you.



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Picture below is showing upscaled and resized drawing of Karl Badge from Verordnungsblatt 47/1917. To the left of period drawing is accepted early type (probably in privately purchased version, but overall as well as detailed features are nearly identical). To the right is my type of Karl badge (photo taken from emedals, as I wanted to show both badges on white background as is on period drawing). For better orientation I will call the left badge "Yours" and right badge "Mine".

1.: Your Karl Type badge to the left has both ends of headband (sweatband) in contact with crown.
On period drawing, the ends of headband don´t touch the crown. Same as on mine Karl type to the right.

2. On period drawing, as well as on mine type, the wreath under the right wing is visibly thinner (from outer side). On your type, it is approximately of same width there as anywhere else.

3. Right foot on "K" letter is visibly lower than the left foot. On period drawing, and on my type. Surprisingly, your badge has letter K visibly tilted to opposite side with right foot higher than the left one.

4. Laurel wreath under the left wing is wider, because of leaf "bending" to the inner side. On period drawing, as well as on my type. Contrary to this, on your Karl Type, there is just the cut to the leaves profile.

5. There are even more surprising similarities, but these are not clearly seen on these pics. For example, there is a fancy bow on sweatband under the crowns - again identically on period drawing and on my type. On your type, there is just a tight knot - and four strips of sweatband going to four sides (ok, maybe there is a small bow, but completely different shape).

Of course, there is also one big difference: period drawing and your type have hooks, while mine is on needle.

I am thinking of possibility, that Karl badge started with the pin and after a short time it was changed to two hooks. This is in this moment the only explanation for me, how Verordnungsblatt 47/1917 can speak about two hooks, but still show "my" type (just without the pin). Is there any chance that mentioned Verordnungsblatt 47/1917 is not about changing the FJ Type to Karl Type (and about changing the hardware in the same moment), but just about changing the pin on Karl Type to two hooks?



Edited by kasle
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I don't remember whether in the past I've posted the following pictures already: the piece comes form a group of orders and medals belonged to an unknown, Austrian pilot, shot down on the Italian front in 1918; the pilot survived and, once taken prisoner, he handed his decorations to an officer of the Italian Army. The latter's family, preserved the group (Feldiplotenabzeichen; EKO-IIIKl./KD; MVK-KD/ with reverse dedication of the Luftschifferabteilung; Silb.MVM; Bronz.MVM (with dedication from the Offizierskorps der Luftfahrtruppen), until I've bought from them the whole in 1999.

As we can see, the crowns' pendilia are not "touching" the crowns and other details are in coincidence with Tifes's badge.





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Hello Elmar,

Probably it is just a misunderstanding caused - again - by the level of my English, so I will try again:
On period drawing, crown sweatband from both sides of the crown is not in the contact with the crowns in any point. As we can clearly see, sweatband on your badge as well as on Tifes one, is in contact with the crown at one point (in the peak of last curve). Photo of reverse shows it even better. This point of contact (red arrows) can´t be seen neither on period drawing, nor on my badge.

PS: I do not want to doubt originality of your or Tifes badge. It is undoubtely accepted wartime awarded original. I just want to discuss my type of badge, and find her timeframe.

Best Regards, Miro


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  • 1 year later...


What do you think of this field pilot's badge?



Could this be a wartime badge or a private purchase? Or maybe even a more recent fake? IMO, it doesn't quite look like the officially awarded Zimbler badges, but I'm not an expert in such items, just interested in their design.

It's not mine, so I have only these two photos of it. 

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Hi Tursas,

I would definitely rule out that this badge is awarded original or privately purchased one prior 1918. It seems to me like very good collector`s copy but it´s true that there are only two pics for disposal and therefore best hope is for interwar period (1930s-1940s) however I am definitely more tending to that collector´s copy.





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Hi Tifes and thanks for your reply!

Unless I'm mistaken, Zimbler went out of business soon after the war, so that would definitely make this a suspicious badge. I know that former Austrian pilots purchased privately made badges for themselves and also wore them in the post-Great War decades, but why would another firm use the name of Zimbler on the eagle?

So I agree that this is probably a later collector's copy, albeit of a very high quality.


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+ trakkles - it´s fake mark.

You are right, Tursas. Zimbler was closed after WWI. The eagle didn't look like original Zimbler production but I wasn't sure. Now it´s clear. In interwar period many of pilot/observer badges had been made by BSW (but not exclusively) however it could happen that eagle would come from old Zimbler original just to be placed on the newly made wreath because old one was severely distorted and so it was replaced. Many of the former kuk pilots were in their mid-40s during WWII and served as pilot instructors in Wehrmacht (as Austrians after "Anschluss") . Some of them were even re-enlisted for active duty and flew over battlefields. However this wasn't a fate of this badge.



Edited by tifes
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Thanks for your opinions!

Then it is as suspected - the badge is a collector's copy. I wonder if they already used fake Zimbler marks in the interwar years, or is it a later practice?

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  • 1 month later...

Interestingly, I found another similar badge being sold on eBay. There are now two of them from two different sellers. 

Apparently, this one was acquired from Germany in the 1970s. So this type of fake Zimbler badge has been around for a while. 



Fake Zimbler badge 1.jpg

Fake Zimbler badge 2.jpg

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The Feldpilotenabzeichen pictured above, is a copy that can be attributed to the "workshop" of the late Ernst Blass. Many of such pieces have been sold on the catalogues (Auction and "Merkur" ones) of the firm Graf Klenau OHG Nachf. of Munich, Germany, when owned by the mentioned Mr. Blass. 

Edited by Elmar Lang
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Hi Elmar and thanks for your reply!

So he had some kind of a workshop? Then it sounds like quite a few people must have acquired these copy badges over the years in their collections.

Buyer beware! 

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For the not-young-anymore collectors, the name of Mr. Blass is quite well-known. 

I've called workshop what probably was a true industry of fakes and copies, in any field of phaleristic. 

Besides that, this gentleman was a true expert, with a deep knowledge in the subject.

I still remember one of his advertisements (on "Orden & Militaria Journal" or "Info") in the '80s, with a text witnessing his modesty and sense of understatement: "Ernst Blass, einer Der besten Kenner von Oden und Ehrenzeichen as aller Welt und aller Zeiten". 

Let's not forget though, what the ancient Romans used to say: "de mortuis, nihil nisi bonum". 

E. L. 

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  • 10 months later...

I've found another type of fake Zimbler badge:



The seller of this badge was honest and openly admitted it is not an original Zimbler, and the price he asked for it was not high. 

All sellers are not as honest, so buyer beware, as always! I'm sure this is not the only badge of its kind available in the collector market. 

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  • 4 months later...

Hi Gents

these three are for sale in the US at the moment.  A bit out of my price range but...

I’m curious if you would say they are the real deal or not?

This FJi one is $600



This one $800 


and this one $800



To my eye, having browsed this thread, they seem to be ‘better looking’ than some....





How I feel Gents :




ive just noticed this naval one they have already sold



Edited by Farkas
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