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  #1  
Old 26-09-20, 01:47 PM
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Default The Queen's Own Royal Yeomanry (Staffordshire)

I have just been given this and I am not quite sure what I have been given.

It appears to have been cast from an original helmet plate and somebody has put the Stafford knot on upside down. I had thought that it was a presentation piece perhaps made for an old soldier. However, on removing it from the plaque I was surprised to see that it had lugs so it was clearly meant to be worn. It may be a film prop or an outright fake.

It is quite a hefty chunk of metal and the fact that whoever made it did not realise that the knot was upside down does not bode well for its provenance.

I would welcome your thoughts.
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File Type: jpg staffs yeomanry 001.jpg (100.1 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg staffs yeomanry 003.jpg (112.8 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg staffs yeomanry 004.jpg (97.8 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg staffs yeomanry 005.jpg (99.0 KB, 59 views)
File Type: jpg staffs yeomanry 008.jpg (46.7 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg staffs yeomanry 009.jpg (69.1 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg staffs yeomanry 010.jpg (58.8 KB, 15 views)
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  #2  
Old 26-09-20, 02:17 PM
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K&K describe this pattern as a Yeomanry full dress helmet badge, worn between 1859 and 1893. The Star, and background to the knot in silver.
K&K 1512,
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  #3  
Old 26-09-20, 02:26 PM
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I have just scraped away a small patch of the black gunk around the central oval, which appears to have been soldered in place. It may be possible to unsolder it and turn it the right way up before re soldering it.
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Last edited by High Wood; 26-09-20 at 03:34 PM.
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  #4  
Old 26-09-20, 08:28 PM
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...here is the officer version. (The knots been put on upside down, on your plate, by the look of it?)
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  #5  
Old 27-09-20, 08:00 AM
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Thank you for the image of the officer's plate with is superb fretwork. My plate seems to have been cast from the officer's plate albeit with the central device cast separately. I do not believe that the other ranks's version would have had such fine fret work, but as I have never seen one, I do not know for sure.

What I cannot understand is why someone would cast a copy of an officer's helmet plate and attach lugs unless a, they were issued to O.R.s as an economy measure, b, it was made as a theatrical or film prop or perhaps for a reenactment group, or, c, it is an outright fake meant to deceive.

If anyone has a photograph of an O.R's helmet plate that they could post, I would be grateful.
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Old 27-09-20, 06:44 PM
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s-l1600.jpg

Here's one. Recently sold in America. It has suffered stress fractures, but you get the idea.
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Old 27-09-20, 09:59 PM
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Many thanks for the photograph. It doesn't seem to have the voiding that my one does but it is difficult to tell from a photograph.
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  #8  
Old 28-09-20, 09:22 PM
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Could be a brass casting, though it looks like it's copper where it's been rubbed in the centre.
If it's gold plated copper then it's likely to have been an electroform.

Probably just made as a display piece/collectable rather than trying to pass itself off as an original given it's quality of detail.
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  #9  
Old 28-09-20, 09:38 PM
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Thank you.
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  #10  
Old 28-09-20, 10:55 PM
Paul Spellman Paul Spellman is offline
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Simon,
I think itís been varnished at some point with the reddish hue to the front, a cotton bud dipped in some turps or paint remover (Dab n wipe, dab and wipe) on a small area may uncover itís original finish, painstaking but sometimes worth it.
The reverse looks like itís been filled with a pine pitch or similar, a heat gun should help melt it for removal without any damage to the metal, the central device may come out easily then for correction and Iíd hope you found a nice badge underneath it all
Paul
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  #11  
Old 29-09-20, 08:02 AM
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Paul,

I am not sure that it has been varnished, the reddish hue may be a trick of the light. I have given the badge a soak in warm soapy water and a light going over with a soft nail brush to remove any surface dirt. The colour remains consistent and appears almost gilded.

The pine pitch is something that I have not seen before and I cannot think why it was applied to the back. It may have been to prevent the back scratching the metal surface of the helmet but as there are many high points it doesn't seem likely.

My thoughts is that the helmet plate has been cast from an officer's plate, which had a separate centre, and a cast centre has been soldered in but upside down.

I will have a bash with a heat gun to see if the centre can be removed.

Many thanks for your advice,

Simon
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  #12  
Old 29-09-20, 10:28 AM
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I think - having looked (but not recently, naturally) at the ones in the regimental museum in Stafford - that Nibelungen has it; a display piece made to show, but not deceive. After all, there was a Wolverhampton Troop right in the middle of the Black Country's manufacturing capabilities. Those worn were never gilt/brass.
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  #13  
Old 01-10-20, 09:59 AM
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If it's pitch then it will melt with a hot air gun fairly easily. Any residue can be wiped up while still soft with a cloth to 'grab' it and the remainder will dissolve in acetone or white spirit,

With a lot of early electroforms, chased work and thin stampings it was very common to back them with with various types of pitch, rosin/resin and mastics to give them extra strength and weight as well as allow a flat rear surface if they were mounted.

Not uncommon to find leaded white metals used for the same reason.
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  #14  
Old 01-10-20, 12:39 PM
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I am not sure if it was pitch on the back but there was definitely leaded white metals like solder. I stopped using the heat gun fairly quickly.
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