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  #1  
Old 08-10-13, 01:28 AM
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Default Acceptable Provenance

Hello Gents,

I have found quite often that when people use the word ‘Provenance’, it has some varying degrees of expectation from a buyer and from a seller’s perspective.

What do you as a collector feel is acceptable provenance?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Cheers
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Old 08-10-13, 08:08 AM
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Cool Provenance?

I always think that anything that is bought directly from the family or the former wearer is as good a provenance as you can get provided that the article looks genuine.

However, it is a long time since WWII and badges were often purchased by people who had lost their original insignia through one reason or another, so care has to be taken when buying from veterans.

Rob
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  #3  
Old 08-10-13, 11:46 AM
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Personally I think provenance is anything reasonable, particularly if you have to actually ask for it from the seller. If I buy a normal badge and, after asking the seller after the auction, I get a reasonable answer (a non-descript NCO in a regular unit), I'm fully satisfied. 5 times out of 10 they simply say they don't know. However, I would never buy an item because of a claimed provenance, and appreciate that the same not true for high-end badges (i.e. SF bits).

Take this for instance:



It's certainly real, and quite interesting - a souvenir from the Colombian battalion in Korea. The seller told me, privately, that it belonged to his father (a member of the Middlesex Rgt) who served in Korea - and probably swapped it or bought it there. Since General MacArthur, paratroopers or the 101st airborne are not involved, I'm perfectly satisfied with that as provenance which I make a note of.

American collectors tend, in my experience, to be more concerned with an item having "recorded" history. That said, unless you are lucky as Rob says and get it directly from a veteran, we'd all just have to accept that 99% of any badges will never have any kind of history to them. That, in my belief, is a bit of a shame.
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Old 08-10-13, 02:18 PM
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Really, it's all coming down to hearsay, isn't it?
Does a person have to go and get a signed affidavit signed by a lawyer to accompany an item to give the story?

Phil
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Old 08-10-13, 03:07 PM
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Totally agree Phil. Anyone claiming anything these days - thanks to the "sue culture" which lines lawyers pockets "thank you very much" - had better have a legally binding document, otherwise (and I am waiting for the day when the first case comes up) a lawsuit will follow. On most "Antique" type programs, "providence" is claimed because something has a label....... I dread to think that anyone so inclined - and I have seen signs of it on this forum - can question any claim. i.e. no photo, no proof. End of story.
Rgds, David
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  #6  
Old 08-10-13, 05:57 PM
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I thank all of you who have taken the time to contribute to this thread as each of you has made valid points. I’m sure this provenance question makes you reflect on particular items within your own collection. I truly believe there might be varying degrees of acceptable provenance depending on who you ask.

I prefer the ‘pure’ idea of an item being purchased right from the veteran or family of the veteran. There was a time when this would have been common practice and the item purchased had ‘legitimate provenance’ in the eyes of collectors and dealers alike, but the values were also much more reasonable back then. Moving forward 20, 30 or more years with that same item that has now changed hands several times and the value jumping umpteen times as well, the prospect of selling it and claiming it still has the same provenance may now be put in question by many. I find that collector’s views on provenance have taken on a different acceptance level simply because values have increased exponentially and everyone has a story of being burned.

I appreciate the feedback,

Cheers
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Old 08-10-13, 06:39 PM
ddaydodger ddaydodger is offline
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Provenance can be a funny thing, and is definitely a 2 edged sword, depending on your perspective. When I was working in a regimental museum a famous and well decorated veteran of the regiment passed a way. His family wanted his medals to come to the museum. When they arrived, they were clearly not the original medals, clearly re-named at one point. This included his MM for Korea, WW2 and Korean medals. But these were the medals that he wore for years, at all the functions, parades, etc and we had documented proof as such. Are they of any less value historically? The appraisal came in very low for such a group, based on the fact that they were re-named, but the appraiser wouldn’t account for provenance. This, of course, upset the family because they were THE medals that their father had always worn. The museum looked at it the same way. It caused a great deal of problems, and polarized people into 2 distinct groups.
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Old 09-10-13, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cw2311 View Post

I prefer the ‘pure’ idea of an item being purchased right from the veteran or family of the veteran.
But getting something from the veterans does not necessarily mean (even in good faith) that the item is even real, let alone originally their own badge...
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Old 09-10-13, 07:57 AM
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As has been mentioned before on the Forum, when Popski himself joined the Military Historical Society in the 1950`s, a note appeared to the effect that there was no point in contacting the man for a PPA cap badge as he had none left.

The implication being that he had had a number of badges at one stage and one wonders if they were all surplus genuine badges or a batch he had had made up to give out to collectors.

I agree you cannot always be sure that insignia that comes from veterans is genuine.

P.B.
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  #10  
Old 09-10-13, 11:18 AM
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Correct. Has been a number of veterans some from very elite regiments that have made fakes, reproductions, copies or whatever one wants to call them.
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  #11  
Old 09-10-13, 06:22 PM
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Cool Splitting up!!!!

One of the reasons which I have for keeping items together that pertain to a person or persons is that provenance is easier to establish with these items when coupled with paperwork.

I have argued with people as to the wisdom of this practice, often to no avail, they still look for the biggest profit to be had by selling a prize piece not realising it is part of the jigsaw of someone's service.

An opinion I have had for a long time.

Rob
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  #12  
Old 13-10-13, 02:48 PM
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I totally agree that even items from veterans, may or may not be their original war time piece. First and foremost, I’m more concerned as to originality of the artifact whether it is a tunic, badge, etc... Then provenance will be the next part of the puzzle.

I have a friend on this forum who was a curator for many years and he can attest to receiving some uniforms from the family of a VC winner that had more than one name written inside the dress tunic. (Korean War era) So yes, this dress tunic had several owners. I guess you would go with the most prestigious owner to get the bigger dollar return? It had obviously been issued to a couple different people before the final fellow received it who happened to be a VC winner. So it has a list of provenance that goes with it. If he reads this thread, I hope he will comment on this quagmire.

Another example is a WW2 MM that a particular dealer here in Canada married up the ‘missing medals’ and sold it as the original group. These are just a couple examples of provenance complications that can really make it challenging for collectors and dealers to sort through.

I guess at the end of the day, you have to really trust your source along with the more provenance you can get to validate the item(s) in question, the better. Once again, thank you for all your feedback.

Cheers
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  #13  
Old 14-10-13, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cw2311 View Post
Another example is a WW2 MM that a particular dealer here in Canada married up the ‘missing medals’ and sold it as the original group. These are just a couple examples of provenance complications that can really make it challenging for collectors and dealers to sort through.

Cheers
That is not such an uncommon practice and I have concrete evidence where that has been done.
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Old 21-12-13, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhodesianmilitaria View Post
That is not such an uncommon practice and I have concrete evidence where that has been done.


Hello Peter,

I’m sure every collector who views this thread has a story or two about a similar situation they have encountered.
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  #15  
Old 22-12-13, 04:56 PM
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Is Batallon Columbian for Battalion then?
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