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  #1  
Old 18-01-16, 07:25 PM
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Default Canadian maroon beret

Is this a an original beret?
It seems the liner has been handstitched to the cloth sweatband in a rather sloppy manner. Did Canadian berets have a cloth sweatband at all during WW2?
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  #2  
Old 18-01-16, 07:54 PM
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It sure looks like at least a few people thought it was real judging by the price it ended at! Wow.

I was also watching this auction and was shocked it sold for over $1000 Canadian without a cap badge even.

I think it is an original item but will let the experts weigh in on it.
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  #3  
Old 18-01-16, 11:36 PM
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Hello Luc,

Thanks for posting this beret. Judging from the pictures and information posted, I do believe this beret to be legit. The hand stitching you see is not due to the liner being changed, itís the binding that has been changed. Normally you see leather binding, however it appears someone has changed it to cloth ribbon. I have seen this alteration on other berets several times. I suspect this to be an officerís beret due to this alteration AND if you look closely at the holes, they appear larger and round, which leads me to believe there might have been an officerís badge with screw posts. Couple other things I like is the colour, it appears correct for Canadian production, rather than that cherry red colour often seen with British production para berets. Lastly, the grommets are magnetic (steel) which is another tick in the box towards originality.

This all being said, an in hand inspection would be the final decision maker for me.

Cheers
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  #4  
Old 20-01-16, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cw2311 View Post
the grommets are magnetic (steel) which is another tick in the box towards originality.
Is this allways the case ? Are the grommets allways magnetic ?

Cheers

Edwin
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  #5  
Old 21-01-16, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windmill View Post
Is this allways the case ? Are the grommets allways magnetic ?

Cheers

Edwin


I have inspected a considerable amount of Canadian produced para berets and standard issue by the two primary contractors and have only ever found factory originals to be with steel (magnetic) grommets.
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  #6  
Old 21-01-16, 11:41 AM
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whilst Dorothea Hats of Toronto appear to have used steel ? and therefore magnetic grommets in their wartime and postwar berets, Grand Mere Knitting Company Limited did use a mixture of brass ? (like the UK counterpart) and metal grommets in their beret production. note metal, ferrous based and not brass an alloy devoid of the three main magnetic elements. I have personally handled two with brass ? grommets and an example can be found in ' CANUCK ' Clothing and Equipping the Canadian Soldier 1939 - 1945. given the rarity of these berets it is difficult to produce an accurate pie chart. funny old game isn't it .
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  #7  
Old 22-01-16, 02:07 AM
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Hello Silverwash,

Thank you very much for your feedback, I appreciate the comments. Couple things I'd like to mention that may or may not influence you or anyone else’s decision, but you can take some time to digest what I have to say.

I have acquired copies of all the manufacturing documentation and correspondence between the military and Canadian beret manufacturers for the duration of WW2. The files contain things such as monthly production volumes of all the colours produced, materials used, etc... Unfortunately it doesn’t specify what material was used for the grommets. Only the size of the grommets and that they are metal. Each Canadian maker used a very unique style grommet in their production as can be seen if you compare the two primary Canadian makers.

So, the next best thing is to try to find some photographic evidence and "sampling" of certain beret makers. I made a point of inspecting close to a couple hundred Canadian WW2 berets over the years in my search for some answers. These berets came from several sources such as veterans, headgear collections, Legions, military shows, and berets in my personal collection.

During my search, magnetic grommets were consistent. I did come across several Grand Mere para berets with brass grommets and other materials such as aluminum and unfortunately ALL have been post-war put-together berets. (liner swap) Some of these berets were in the hands of experienced collectors and unfortunately they missed the fine details of what to search for, of no fault of their own. Original cap badges have assisted with blinding some collectors. I have photographed each of these put-together berets in detail to add to my research file.

Many of these beret liner swaps can deceive most collectors, simply because they are not sure what exactly to look for. There are a few members on this and other forums who can attest to me looking at their para beret collection. This process of elimination is simply my observation and opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and more than welcome to do the leg work. I will not be disclosing the details of what exactly to look for on any forum but would be more than happy to inspect any Canadian para beret in person for some feedback.

I would however love to see the beret you mention found in “CANUCK”, you say it has brass grommets? You never know, upon inspection of that beret, it may be a game changer for me but until then, I will stick to my guns.

Cheers
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  #8  
Old 22-01-16, 03:21 AM
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Silverwash,

I figured we could play a little game, it’s called “Guess the beret”. To make it more fun, I’d really like any and all members to chose one or the other and tell me why they like that one over the other.

It shouldn't be too hard since you have two to compare to one another. I have included detailed pictures of grommets, leather over the grommets, stitching and leather binding.

This game is NOT meant to demean anyone, simply to demonstrate some of the challenges collectors encounter. You have a 50/50 chance of being right!....or maybe 100%. We will see. Ready to play?

Okay, you see these two berets on Epay and you read the description which goes something like this, “ORIGINAL 1st Can Para beret from advanced collector. Beret been in collection for over 30 years! RARE! RARE! RARE! Thank you for the 500 questions and interest, but NO buy it now! Bid to win!"

No returns sucker.


Now, which one is war time? “A” or “B”


Have fun!
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Last edited by cw2311; 22-01-16 at 03:31 AM.
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  #9  
Old 22-01-16, 12:40 PM
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unfortunately Dorosh will not be the game changer. I dug my copy out and there is no colour photograph inside showing a beret with brass ? grommets. memory playing tricks. regarding the quiz, going off the pictures presented the odds are slightly stacked for the house. both berets are Dorothea Hats Ltd Toronto manufacture. apart from very, very slight differences in the dimensions of the grommets and colour of the woollen crown, not withstanding fading etc. either could be wartime. however, the liner details would reveal the true wartime identity. Dorothea changed its liner stamp after 1944, ie 1945 production. to confuse matters further it changed it again late 1945. as I said, funny old game isn't it.
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  #10  
Old 22-01-16, 11:50 PM
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I vote for "A" as being wartime Fleur de Lis and "B" as post-war Knitting Mills.
Reason: nuances in the grommets.

If I'm right, what do I win?
If I'm wrong, Bill, please delete this post.
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  #11  
Old 23-01-16, 12:12 AM
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you've been peeping ! as I stated, both Dorothea with subtle differences in the grommets. note grommet and not Gromit. seeeeegar !
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  #12  
Old 23-01-16, 04:55 AM
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Fleur de Lis and Knitting Mills are both Dorothea trademarks, but the latter was adopted in June 1945.
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  #13  
Old 23-01-16, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cw2311 View Post
Silverwash,

I figured we could play a little game, itís called ďGuess the beretĒ. To make it more fun, Iíd really like any and all members to chose one or the other and tell me why they like that one over the other.

It shouldn't be too hard since you have two to compare to one another. I have included detailed pictures of grommets, leather over the grommets, stitching and leather binding.

This game is NOT meant to demean anyone, simply to demonstrate some of the challenges collectors encounter. You have a 50/50 chance of being right!....or maybe 100%. We will see. Ready to play?

Okay, you see these two berets on Epay and you read the description which goes something like this, ďORIGINAL 1st Can Para beret from advanced collector. Beret been in collection for over 30 years! RARE! RARE! RARE! Thank you for the 500 questions and interest, but NO buy it now! Bid to win!"

No returns sucker.


Now, which one is war time? ďAĒ or ďBĒ


Have fun!
I think "B" is the real deal

Edwin
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  #14  
Old 23-01-16, 04:21 PM
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Okay Gents,

As you can see by the picture, the two berets are only 1 year apart, "A" being the war time beret. The grommets are actually the same size, just my lack of photography skills has made them look different. These two berets are identical in production methods in every way except for the actual maker mark details and the grommets. The 1945 beret has magnetic grommets and the 1946 has aluminum grommets.

I have almost every year from 1943 up to 1955 by this maker and all of the post war years have aluminum grommets. I found this quite interesting. Production methods appeared to remain the same until 1949, then in 1950 some more changes were made with the binding application. This being said, I am more than certain you may find early post-war Dorothea berets with magnetic grommets in order to deplete stock during the grommet changeover but I personally havenít seen one as of yet. Grand Mere on the other hand is a whole different ball of wax as they changed the size (larger) and material (aluminum) used for their grommets post-war but construction methods seemed to remain the same into the 1950s.

What does all this mean do you ask? Well, the value of the 1945 maroon beret alone without cap badge will probably fetch approximately $1000 and up, whereas the 1946 may get $200 on the market. If you change the liner centre, then you have a pretty nice profit margin and almost undetectable to most buyers. Unfortunately a library of books wouldnít save you in this case, only experience. I have encountered this with a couple berets now. I hope you enjoyed this little experiment. Buyer beware.


Roy and Edwin,

I have not forgotten you. You guys have been such good sports and I consider you both winners! So, you both will get a prize! I found out recently via email that I have a distant relative who happens to be a Nubian Prince. Heís looking for a way to transfer 100 million dollars out of Egypt and you will get a small reward for helping him. Simply PM me all your banking details and passwords and I will be sure to forward it off to him. I have no doubt you will be pleasantly surprised!

Thanks for playing.

Cheers
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  #15  
Old 23-01-16, 05:24 PM
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Whew!

Thanks Coogan, I'm sure I will be very surprised
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