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ID Weird A-H Flying badges

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On 02/06/2015 at 16:30, tifes said:

Dear Kasle,

Firstly I would like to touch upon the last point about cracks in enamels.  Well, obviously I was thinking about the cracks that are visible by naked eye. I do not use anything stronger than 6x magnifying glass of standard numismatics loupe.  I have never had a need to go for something stronger. If there is something invisible and not disturbing then it is OK. In wasting majority of all cases there is basically no problem to distinguish between genuine (pre-1918) enamel and modern polymer epoxide. The difference is day and night and even good quality photo is sometimes more than enough to clearly recognise the original and modern copy. Of course, there are some good quality copies made in 1990s and more attention should be paid indeed.   

Concerning the source of information I would very much prefer some quality literature than non-verified internet sources. In my humble opinion two best publications in this particular area are written by prominent Austrian expert Mr. Jörg C. Steiner. First one concerns field pilot badges (Jörg C. Steiner;  Das Feldpilotenabzeichen – Militärhistorische Themenereihe, Band 4, Wien 1992) and second one observers badges (Jörg C. Steiner;  Das Luftfahrer-Abzeichen  – Militärhistorische Themenereihe, Band 8, Wien 1993). Both are written in German and they contain massive amount of all kind of information which Mr. Steiner gathered during his extensive research on the topic.

Back to awarded badges. I can only repeat what I know. There is Circular Note No. 170 dated to 2. October 1917, part 13, Nr. 44252 which is published in 47th part of Official Journal of the k.u.k. Army dated to 6. October 1917 and signed by k.u.k. Minister of War GdI Rudolf v. Stöger-Steiner.  It contains, except the exact design of “new” pilot badge, also the paragraph which says the following (courtesy translation from German) : “Attachment of the badge is made by the safety hooks, instead of until now used standardized needle, which is placed under the monogram shield, respectively shield with coat of arms”.

I do not know about any other amendments to this circular note in this respect. The reason for that was quite simple and purely practical.  Needle broke away quite often, because badge on the uniform was placed on quite exposed spot. There was a concept that one needle should have been replaced by double needle but this wasn’t very practical and even quite expensive. Safety hooks prevailed as this was a wish of the pilots and even some field pilot badges FJI version 1913 had been modified by hooks by the pilots themselves when needle tore away. All badges had been commissioned by the company “Zimbler”. First badges had been delivered not sooner than January 1918 and till end of the WWI 320 badges of this type should have been awarded to field pilots. There is quite possible that last 42 pilots never received theirs badges, because there was some time gap between decision made and decision carried out and meanwhile the Empire ceased to exist. Probably these pilots purchased those badges by themselves as they had been fully entitled to.

Of course, maybe I am missing something and somebody dispose of more precise information on this subject. I would be really glad to get anything new to complete or even change what I have written above.   

Your badge, despite the pictures are in rather small size, seems OK for me. I would say it´s WWI original, because of the overall execution. It is quite possible that it was made by Zimbler. Needle would be OK when put on the dress uniform.  Zimbler made almost all of its products of non-precious metals. I have seen some badges made by Rothe or other (civil) jewellers, of the highest craftsmanship, mostly in silver and sometimes with dedications in beautiful leather boxes. Sometimes they have identical shape as the official badges, but sometimes they  look different. All of them are rare and quite expansive on the phaleristics marker now. Your badge is good addition to the collection and many collectors have the same or similar badges.     






Hallo.I would like to ask local experts if this badge is original or a copy?Thanks.



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Thank you for the comment.I compared my badge with the Hungarian copies you mentioned and they differ in more detail and are also not very elaborate there.Do you think my badge is a copy?I would like to know the opinion of local collectors, thank you.

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Good evening everyone,

to marcel7151: I would say that´s production of Mr. Horváth from Hungary, early 1990s. I am sorry but it´s just a copy.  




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Hi Marcel,

can you send a better close-up pictures of second pilot badge? One thing is sure. It´s not official awarded badge but it might be privately purchased one in period before 1918. Enamels of the wreath look good to me but wreath as such is having bit strange form.Officially awarded badges for field-pilots of the 1st type (FJI) were on needle. There is also true that this needle used to break off very often and pilots themselves replaced it by two hooks and this system was later officially adopted by badges of 2nd type (Karl). However these hooks (Karabinerhafteln) were placed on this badge by maker and it´s not some kind of "do-it-yourself" job. Box is not original. It´s some kind of privately purchased case, which was "adjusted" for the badge.    


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