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  #1  
Old 18-10-20, 04:54 PM
tcrown tcrown is offline
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Default Non Voided Gaunt Para Badge

I have put together a comparison of the official sealed card badge with a silver example made by Gaunt (thanks to 'Silverwash').
Gaunt Comparison.jpg
As discussed in a previous thread https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...0&postcount=65, the two badges seem very similar. Although I see some differences at the base of the crown or with one of the hind leg. Despite these differences, I believe it is likely that Gaunt made the Para badge prototype.
It is difficult to tell from the sealed card pattern photo but even if the crown appears clearly voided, areas around the tail look solid. I have ‘whitened’ the voided areas in the photo to make them easily identifiable.

The WM Gaunt Para badge can easily be recognized with the famous die flaws that are found on the left hand side of the chute as well as on the left base of the crown. In the case of the sealed card badge (and the silver badge photo provided by 'Silverwash') no die flaws can be seen. Does it mean that WM Para badges made by Gaunt have been produced without these flaws?
We know that Gaunt silver badges can be found either with or without die flaws. Compare Silverwash’s badge with the one presented in O. Lock’s book p90.

It seems reasonable to assume it is also the case for the WM Gaunt Para badge. I would appreciate any insight on the subject.
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  #2  
Old 20-10-20, 06:02 PM
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marinus marinus is offline
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Default Non Voided Gaunt Para Badges?

Hi tcrown,

Could these attached badges perhaps both be the badges that you mention in your post and are made by Gaunt?

PRA-BADGES-GAUNT.jpg

I think that the left one is the well known badge with the die flaws.
The right looks quite similar to the left one but without those die flaws.

Regards and be safe,

Marinus
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  #3  
Old 21-10-20, 12:33 AM
tcrown tcrown is offline
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Thanks Marinus for the photo. Indeed I believe both badges were made by Gaunt.
I know little about the badge manufacturing process, but it is fair to assume that flaws are generated by the die striking method after a while. This would suggest the badge with die flaws has to be subsequent to the other one.
It is possible that Gaunt never mass produced a WM voided para badge similar to the sealed card pattern which remains a prototype and instead went to strike WM non voided badges. Naturally, badges without flaws came first and could have been issued as early as the second half of 1943.

If we could somehow date a hallmarked Gaunt silver badge with die flaws, we would have an indication about when the transition between the two generations of badge occurred. I think Jack8 referred to letter S for the 1943 badges. Are die flaws be found rather on badges with letter T?
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  #4  
Old 21-10-20, 01:22 AM
Jack8 Jack8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marinus View Post
Hi tcrown,

Could these attached badges perhaps both be the badges that you mention in your post and are made by Gaunt?

Attachment 232580

I think that the left one is the well known badge with the die flaws.
The right looks quite similar to the left one but without those die flaws.

Regards and be safe,

Marinus
Left hand badge is by Gaunt with die flaws, right hand badge is of a different pattern, maker unknown.
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  #5  
Old 22-10-20, 12:49 AM
tcrown tcrown is offline
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Marinus, it would help if you could provide a comparison of the badges' back.

Jack, how do you explain the absence of die flaws on some silver badges made by Gaunt?
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  #6  
Old 22-10-20, 06:11 AM
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marinus marinus is offline
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Default Non Voided Gaunt Para Badges?

PARA-BADGE-NON-VOIDED-GAUNT-FRONT.jpgPARA-BADGE-NON-VOIDED-GAUNT-BACK.jpg

I've also uploaded these images here and here for a compare with a better resolution.

Marinus

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Originally Posted by tcrown View Post
Marinus, it would help if you could provide a comparison of the badges' back.
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  #7  
Old 22-10-20, 11:32 AM
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silverwash silverwash is offline
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the die flaw is starting to make its presence. it has not fully developed below the base of the crown and the secondary flight feathers.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCF0323.jpg (56.8 KB, 40 views)
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  #8  
Old 23-10-20, 12:57 AM
tcrown tcrown is offline
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Thanks you so much Marinus for these excellent photos.
The rear of your Gaunt with flaws was a bit shiny. I decided to compare your other one with a couple of badges with flaws that I had (crown flaw highlighted with arrows)
Crown Comparison on Gaunt.jpg
Honestly, the badges with and without flaws are very close. It is hard to believe they were made by different makers.
All opinions are welcome.
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  #9  
Old 23-10-20, 01:00 AM
tcrown tcrown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwash View Post
the die flaw is starting to make its presence. it has not fully developed below the base of the crown and the secondary flight feathers.
It looks very much like a Gaunt badge to me. Can you provide a photo of the rear? Is the beret dated?
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  #10  
Old 23-10-20, 01:00 PM
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silverwash silverwash is offline
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I would probably agree the stamping is from a Gaunt die. the beret is circa 1945.
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  #11  
Old 23-10-20, 05:29 PM
Jack8 Jack8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwash View Post
I would probably agree the stamping is from a Gaunt die. the beret is circa 1945.
Definitely a Gaunt other ranks badge with the partly solid reverse, nice badge and beret.
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  #12  
Old 24-10-20, 12:26 AM
Jack8 Jack8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcrown View Post
Marinus, it would help if you could provide a comparison of the badges' back.

Jack, how do you explain the absence of die flaws on some silver badges made by Gaunt?
In the case of the Gaunt badges we know there are four easily recognisable die flaws: two blobs which sit one above each other on the left hand wing adjacent to the chute rigging, a third blob below the base of the crown on the left hand side and another one in the third chute canopy fold counting right to left.

It appears from photographs of officers Hallmarked silver badges that I have studied that the earlier the date letter, the less die flaws there are, which is what I would expect due to wear in the die which would have accumulated the flaws through use as time went on. If true this would explain the absence of die flaws on some silver badges.

I have not been able to study a badge with the earliest date letter S unfortunately, but the date letter T examples had only the two flaws which sit one above each other on the left hand wing. The flaw at the base of the crown and the flaw in the third chute canopy fold counted from right to left were absent.

The badges in the photographs with date letters U and V had three flaws; the two sitting one above each other on the LHS and the crown base flaw. Both were missing the flaw in the canopy fold. It is my theory an logical that we should expect to see the earliest Hallmarked silver badges (date letter S) without any visible flaws, also those marked sterling like Silverwash's badge without flaws would probably have been made before the die became worn. This theory will fall apart of course if any badges surface with the later date letters minus any of the flaws, although I suppose it is possible that the use of a new die could be an explanation but impossible to verify.

I have also looked at two P marked silver plated badges and an unmarked plated example of which one P plated badge has three flaws and is missing the canopy fold flaw. The other two badges have all four flaws.

I have noticed that in the only two examples of the partially solid reverse other ranks badges in white metal (like the one Silverwash has posted with the beret) that I have, three out of the four flaws are present and the canopy fold flaw is missing.

All the other ranks white metal badges that I have that are of the same pattern as the Gaunt Hallmarked silver badges contain the same die flaws which also appear on some of the Hallmarked silver badges. This led me some years ago to examine closely the probable link between the officers and other ranks badges being made by Gaunt. I have not yet seen any Gaunt pattern other ranks badges without any die flaws and would be more than interested to see examples surface.
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  #13  
Old 24-10-20, 09:49 PM
tcrown tcrown is offline
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Jack, thank you so much for sharing your research on Gaunt silver badges.

I would agree with the assumption that the die flaws developed over time with the striking process generating wear to the die.
I’m not too surprised that you didn’t find a badge with an S. These must be very scarce as the Birmingham date letter was changed in July (source: https://www.silvermakersmarks.co.uk/...irmingham.html). That would mean an S badge struck around May or June 1943, certainly amongst the first ones.

It is interesting to note that the examples with a T (badges struck from July 1943 to June 1944) have the two flaws close to the chute rigging. This is evidenced also in O. Lock’s books (Insignia p90, Headdress p10). Considering the vast majority of the first batch of silver badges would have been struck with a T letter, it is somewhat disturbing that so far none of these badges have been identified without flaws. It is also strange that these imperfections were accepted by officers willing to acquire top silver badges at a premium price.

I wouldn’t dismiss the idea of another die made by Gaunt for WM badges (see the comparison provided by Marinus). I looks to me that the white metal badges with the partially solid reverse are private purchase examples (Silverwash, thanks for sharing!), certainly not something that was massively produced for ordnance supply. Maybe Gaunt utilized the original die designed for private purchase badges (silver, plated or WM) later for ordnance issued badges when most of the flaws had developed on the die.

Die flaws on Ordnance Badges.jpg
Here a photo of a couple of WM badges (rear view) ordnance issued with the 4 die flaws mentioned.
I would be curious to see other ordnance issued badges made by Gaunt with less flaws.
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  #14  
Old 25-10-20, 06:21 AM
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marinus marinus is offline
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Default Gaunt para badge compare

Gents,

At the risk of being tarred and feathered...

I've uploaded this and that for a compare.

Marinus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack8 View Post
...
I have not been able to study a badge with the earliest date letter S unfortunately
...

Last edited by marinus; 25-10-20 at 01:01 PM. Reason: changed "decent compare" to "compare"
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  #15  
Old 25-10-20, 04:01 PM
Jack8 Jack8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marinus View Post
Gents,

At the risk of being tarred and feathered...

I've uploaded this and that for a compare.

Marinus
Thank you Marinus, from the photograph of the front of the badge, it looks to me that out of the two flaws that sit one above each other on the LHS, that the upper one is developing. I cant see any of the other three known flaws.
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