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someone offered to sell these to me and I primarily know about kingdom era European orders of decoration. Do they look genuine and if I ask him to send a photo of the reverses what should I look for? Are there many fakes out there? He did have a cased Order of the Iron Crown on the up and up, so that gave me some measure of assurance. 

Austrian Navy Air Cadet Badge.jpg

Austro Hungarian Flight Badges.JPG

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these are pilot badges of Austro-Hungarian Air Force dated to the period WWI and to keep this story short  - none of them is original from the period of A-H Empire.

On the first picture, there is Naval Pilot's Badge 1915. It was made of silver, hallmarked. It´s extremely rare and pricey. Just 50 pieces had been struck and only 23 awarded. This is just a copy.

On the second pic you have there 3 Field Pilot's Badges 1913 and 1 Aircrew/Observer Badge 1917. The badge on the very left is private version, which means that this form was never officially recognised and awarded but some pilots liked it and they purchased it privately. It wasn’t officially allowed but tolerated. There is only one picture but green enamel doesn’t look very crispy and it has very simple look. There is also some soldering of hooks on the reverse, which I don’t like. I would need some better close-up images to be sure. However, I would say that best what you can hope for is some version from 1930s, probably for reactivated officer, maybe after Anschluss (Austria´s occupation by Nazi Germany in March 1938).

Other two pilot badges of 1913 version pretend to be originally awarded pieces from WWI, even with producer´s mark (Zimbler) on the reverse, but they are just cheap reproductions. The same for Aircrew/Observer Badge 1917 version (white wreath) – just copy, nothing else.




P.S. Some chat about A-H pilot badges in different section of GMIC forum:



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Unfortunately there are plenty of fake Austro-Hungarian badges out there in the market. In fact, I've seen many more fakes than real pieces being offered since I became interested in these badges.

Most of the fakes are also very badly produced. I have yet to see a convincing fake Zimbler mark, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

So a buyer really must do his or her research before getting such a badge.

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