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  #1  
Old 14-12-20, 12:23 PM
mike_vee's Avatar
mike_vee mike_vee is offline
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Question Fake or Error ?

A 'crossover' from another thread , I'm seeking opinions about an 'enigma' that has arose about Admiralty issued badges.

Three On War Service badges :

1. Enamelled 1914 'Admiralty' OWS badge (pic 2) - Numerous manufacturers , all examples I've seen have the official "nine pearl" King's Crown.

Note - A War Office document from May 1901 states :
Quote:
"His majesty now wishes one uniform Crown alone to become the sealed pattern for the Service, - the Tudor, "Henry VII" Crown, chosen and always used by Queen Victoria personally; all other patterns are to be abolished."(pic 1)
2. Admiralty 'silver coloured' OWS badge - No makers marks , one version has 'nine pearls' and conforms to the sealed pattern (pic 3) and another has 'ten pearls' (pic 4).

3. 'HMNZ Transports' OWS badge - C.M Bay makers mark , one version has 'nine pearls' and conforms to the sealed pattern (pic 5) and another has 'ten pearls' (pic 6).


Questions :

1. Would a well established manufacturer make a 'basic error' and not follow the sealed pattern ?

2. Would any well established manufacturer make two versions of the same badge ?

N.B The 'silver coloured' Admiralty and the 'HMNZ Transports' badges were possibly (?) manufactured in different countries but both have the same 'error'.

3. Could the '10 pearl' badges be 'imitations' from 1915 or modern copies/fakes ?

Note - From a letter to a newspaper date 15 July 1915 about the 1914 badge.
Quote:
Judge of my surprise when I saw the self-same badges advertised for sale by a Birmingham firm of button makers. I have also seen colorable (sic) imitations
.

I'd appreciate any input as prices/quality of these badges vary considerably.

Thank you.

.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Crown.jpg (86.3 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg 1914 Front.jpg (35.8 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Admir 3F.jpg (87.6 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg Admir 2F.jpg (69.8 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg nz transports1.jpg (56.8 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Transports 2.jpg (84.0 KB, 16 views)
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Old 15-12-20, 09:47 AM
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Hi Mike

You are to be congratulated on your amazing attention to detail! I'd not noticed that the HMNZT badges could be found in 9 and 10 pearl variants.

I've checked three examples and they are all the 9 pearl type. There is a curious mark below the crossbar on the "A" of TRANSPORTS and that is common to all three of the examples.

I did see one on eBay and I think that it is this one that you illustrate (slightly darker in tone).

I'm guessing that it was a UK-based seller lending weight to the wear by Mercantile Marine men, many of whom were originally from the UK.

The website we've discussed previously still lists that complete fantasy about ambulance transport....

I would contact them but it just makes me laugh every time I see it...

Oh, and they wouldn't care anyway.
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Old 15-12-20, 10:34 AM
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It was common to use an engraving machine which cuts a die by manually tracking a large plaster or wooden sample mould. If possible parts of such a mould would be retrieved from the stores and reused. I doubt if anyone ever bothered to look at such minor details as the number of pearls.

I think it may be possible to identify manufacturers by comparing common items such as crowns on different badges. They do not even have to be the same size, but the details must be identical.
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Old 15-12-20, 11:18 AM
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mike_vee mike_vee is offline
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Appreciate the input from both of you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by btns View Post
It was common to use an engraving machine which cuts a die by manually tracking a large plaster or wooden sample mould. If possible parts of such a mould would be retrieved from the stores and reused. I doubt if anyone ever bothered to look at such minor details as the number of pearls.

I think it may be possible to identify manufacturers by comparing common items such as crowns on different badges. They do not even have to be the same size, but the details must be identical.
As the badges were made about 14 years after the 'sealed pattern' was introduced and the fact that the 'nine pearl' crown was the standard for the official OWS badges they should have had the correct mould ?

Edit :There are examples with 9 and 10 pearls which would indicate that different moulds were used.

I would have thought that manufacturers would have taken note of the instruction that "all other patterns are to be abolished" , especially as it was the King's wish.

NB. From the official War Office letter :
Quote:
others are different deviations of the British Crown. His majesty now wishes one uniform Crown alone to become the sealed pattern for the Service
The main cause of my 'confusion' is that the 'error' appears on two different badges yet the numerous manufacturers of the official enamelled 1914 badges all used the correct pattern.

PS. Regarding 'minor details' there are numerous posts/threads that refer to 'dots' that are in the wrong place , feathers that 'overlap' and other 'minor details' that identify fakes/copies.

.
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Last edited by mike_vee; 15-12-20 at 11:35 AM.
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