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  #1  
Old 13-06-17, 02:12 PM
natal01 natal01 is offline
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Default Orange Free State slouch hat badge

A month or so ago I saw a ZAR badge on BoB which had the same fastenings as this OFS slouch hat badge. Somebody commented on the posting and seem to know all about the fastening and that the badge had been manufactured in Germany. I never noted the detail, but should appreciate it someone could tell me a bit about this badge.
Many thanks
Mike
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File Type: jpg ovs1.jpg (35.0 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg ovs2.jpg (36.3 KB, 38 views)
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  #2  
Old 14-06-17, 12:36 PM
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Frank Kelley Frank Kelley is offline
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I think that is certainly not an unreasonable suggestion, based on the photograph in your post, manufacturers in Germany, did indeed, make hat, helmet, collar badges and accoutrements for both the ZAR and OFS, hat and collar badges are a fairly thin die striking, with the distinctive wire fittings.
Those actually made in Great Britain were much better made, in terms of both materials used, fittings and the basic quality and details.
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  #3  
Old 15-06-17, 07:24 AM
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Frank Kelley Frank Kelley is offline
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Mike,
Attached is a British made Artillerie Corps Oranjevrijstaat, worn with the title scroll on the hat, both with and without, the large wreath and without the title scroll on the collar.
For your interest, a German made collar, which you encounter with their Polisie, on occasion, worn on the hat, whilst just from a photograph it is hard to see the difference in quality, but , I can assure you, it is there.
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  #4  
Old 16-06-17, 05:51 AM
kingsley kingsley is offline
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Can anyone tell me why the ZAR and OVS badges come in both brass and WM?
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  #5  
Old 16-06-17, 08:15 AM
natal01 natal01 is offline
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I have long been under the impression that South African badges haven't been reproduced too much. For the record, here is what I accept as an original badge ( on the left ) shown against what I feel is a repro.
1) The detail , especially the wording in the centre in the one on the left is clear , whereas the wording in the one on the right is indistinct.
2) The brazing of lugs on the repro. looks too bright.
3) The bright finish on the repro. is unlike any of the originals that I have ever seen. After more than 100 years one would expect the brightness to have dimmed a bit.
The question is, who has produced the repro. ? It is die struck, so must have cost a bit to manufacture.
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  #6  
Old 17-06-17, 04:43 AM
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Brian Conyngham Brian Conyngham is offline
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Mike

There is a rather active group of re-enactment chaps in the Free State, whom I suspect might have have had these repros knocked up. I once saw pictures of these guys dressed up with their guns, if I recall at the anniversary of one of the battle in the Free State. I will do some surfing.

Brian

Here we go:

THE MODERN DAY RE-ENACTMENT GROUP

The modern day O.V.S.A.C. is a non-political, South African based group with members from Pretoria, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein. As a group we strive to research and re-enact the history of the artillery corps of the Free State. The idea started when one of our founding members was fortunate enough to obtain an 87mm Turkish Krupp, which only differs in calibre from the 75mm version used by the original corps. It has since been restored to its former glory and aptly renamed after President MT Steyns famous wife, 'Tant Tibbie'.

To date the corps consists of a Luitenant (Lieutenant), one Sergeant, one Onderofficier (Corporal) and 7-8 Artilleristen (Gunners) as well as a doctor and two nurses from the "German Red Cross". We have also recently obtained an authentic carriage of a Boer War 15-pr Armstrong gun limber, which will be restored for use with our Krupp, while a heliograph and signals team is planned for the near future. The present day corps was formed with the following objectives in mind:
To keep Anglo-Boer War history alive by telling it in a living format. This will stimulate interest in the period and encourage more people to become involved in the research and re-enactment of this fascinating era.
To battle the common assumption that the Boer forces of a hundred years ago were all untrained backvelders with no military traditions.
To trace, list and study the remaining Boer guns that survived all over the "British Empire" and to ensure that they are preserved and receive the proper attention and respect.
Extensive research has been done on the uniforms, weapons, ranks and uses of this "Little Prussia in the Veldt". Our re-enactors are dressed in Prussian style field uniforms and our officer and senior NCO in the "interim" khaki Ä as worn by the original crews. For comparison, some members dress up in Boer civvies and even British uniform for some events. Prussian blue parade tunics complete with imported German litzen were recently manufactured, while pickelhaube helmets are a future objective.

A typical re-enactment weekend does not only consist of firing the gun, but also of camping out historically. We sing contemporary war songs, sleep in bell tents and blockhouses and eat braaivleis, stormjaers, biltong and captured British bully beef and knock-me-down-stew. The finer details of live in the veldt can only be appreciated fully when one use and cook with contemporary items and ingredients! Since 2000 the O.V.S.A.C. appeared in both local and international publications and television programs, while our study pieces have been included in no less than three international publications.

Last edited by Brian Conyngham; 17-06-17 at 04:51 AM.
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  #7  
Old 17-06-17, 08:38 AM
natal01 natal01 is offline
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Looks like they have some fun. The idea of camping out and eating biltong ( teeth not as strong as they once were ) and captured British bully beef ( this doesn't even warrant a comment ) doesn't much appeal. A traditional bed and breakfast or lodge with a decent wine cellar might have its attractions though. What are stormjaers and knock me down stew ?
If they are the originators of the copy badges, I wish that they could leave some 'tells 'in the manufacture so that they are more obviously repros.
Regards
Mike
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  #8  
Old 18-06-17, 08:41 PM
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I think a stormjaer is much the same as a maagbom...

As far as I know the OVSAC re-enactors do have repro badges, but they are solid, not like the one shown, and not intended to deceive. M C Heunis would know, he leads the OVSAC re-enactors - PM me for his email address.

I reckon if the badge shown were a die-struck fake, we'd see others knocking about... surely making a die would only be profitable if a large number were made? Yet I have not seen many [any!] OVS badges on ebay, or other sites, recently.

Rob
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  #9  
Old 19-06-17, 12:18 PM
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Hi Mike,

I saw a full range of OVS badges(including helmet plates) at the War Museum fair about 6 years ago. All sold as reproductions for re-enactors. They were all thin die struck badges. I was led to believe off of the original dies.

Regards

Andrew
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  #10  
Old 19-06-17, 12:41 PM
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Frank Kelley Frank Kelley is offline
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I have to say that I'm not very keen on either, how much does each weigh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by natal01 View Post
I have long been under the impression that South African badges haven't been reproduced too much. For the record, here is what I accept as an original badge ( on the left ) shown against what I feel is a repro.
1) The detail , especially the wording in the centre in the one on the left is clear , whereas the wording in the one on the right is indistinct.
2) The brazing of lugs on the repro. looks too bright.
3) The bright finish on the repro. is unlike any of the originals that I have ever seen. After more than 100 years one would expect the brightness to have dimmed a bit.
The question is, who has produced the repro. ? It is die struck, so must have cost a bit to manufacture.
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  #11  
Old 21-06-17, 11:08 AM
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I've had a reply from MC Henuis, who leads the OVSAC re-enactors; he is also a very knowledgeable collector of Boer equipment:

I can't see the photo's, but you can comment on my behalf as follows:

The OVSAC [this is the re-enactor group] had spin cast (in a white tin alloy) copies that were electroplated (in antique brass and gold) manufactured for our re-enactors. They differ substantially from the original die cast versions. I have never come across die stamped replicas and manufacturing them would be very expensive, so I would treat all die stamped versions as originals.

It must be remembered the OVS government imported uniforms and badges from various manufacturers in various batches. Initially (1860s-80s) most badges would have come from Britain as they were ordered through Cape agents who again ordered from manufacturers in Britain (for example Holloway Brothers of London who had a “Steam Sewing Works” in Stroud, England). In the 1890s they started importing from Germany from various Berlin based suppliers like CF Wulfert and Eduard Sachs. Badges were ordered for various uses (cap, collar, pouch, helmet) and therefore came with various fixing arrangements. They were also ordered in white metal (probably for volunteers and native police), normal brass and gilded (for officers, parade helmets etc). In 1890 the OVS even imported two die sets for cap badges, so we know they were also locally made, probably with the help of a local jeweler. This explains why there are so many versions of the same thing (quality and fixing method). I have also come across original badges that were changed by local jewelers for "sweetheart" or civilian use, which adds to the confusion.
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