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  #1  
Old 19-01-22, 02:25 AM
lettman lettman is offline
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Default Glengarry badge metals

Looking through W.Y. Carman's Glengarry Badges of the British Line Regiments to 1881, it's interesting to note the various ways he describes their appearance. Most he calls 'brass', as we have come to expect the manufacture of genuine pre-1881 badges. But a number are described otherwise: 'gilding metal' (e.g. 30th Foot); 'gilt metal' (e.g. 20th Foot); 'copper-brass' (e.g. 34th Foot); 'yellow-copper' (e.g. 63rd Foot); 'copperish' (65th Foot); 'brass-copper' (e.g. 92nd Foot); and so forth.

This raises a number of questions, which probably can't be satisfactorily answered now with the passage of time, but which are worth consideration. For example, did the collection(s) Carman examined contain restrikes? Was gilding metal substituted for brass at some (later?) stage in the manufacture of glengarry badges? Was there a considerable variation in the quality of the brass alloy used? No doubt there are other questions and issues involved, and I'm interested to see the opinions and thoughts of Forum members on this topic.
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Old 19-01-22, 11:07 AM
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The most important of these was the order of 1916 for the production of cap badges made wholly of gilding metal (henceforth referred to as GM). These are popularly known as ‘brass economy’ badges though this modern term has no authority in the sources. Brass had given way to GM in 1897[i] and the word ‘economy’ does not appear anywhere in the contemporary sources.

[i] RACD Pattern 4480/1897 (TNA WO 359/6, 336) which defines GM as 86.7% copper and 13.3% zinc by weight. This is a much higher copper content than brass.
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Old 19-01-22, 03:26 PM
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There has always been a substantial variation in the alloys used for British badges, despite there having been standard specifications for them, at least in the 20th C.
I would surmise that there was likely no specification for Glengarry badges other than "brass", whatever that could be interpreted as.

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Old 19-01-22, 03:56 PM
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I think I've put this up before.
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Old 19-01-22, 04:03 PM
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I have not looked up in the War Office archives for subsequent metal changes.
Though I have looked up plastic and anodised aluminium badges.
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Old 19-01-22, 04:24 PM
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You may find that what was specified and that what actually used are two different things, you only have to look at a few badges to see different colours so obviously different percentages in them.
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Old 19-01-22, 04:27 PM
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I expect as in all metal manufacture some (small) variations can be expected arising from a variety of factors throughout the supply chain e.g. quality or origin of raw materials, different suppliers & their methods, an ‘odd’ batch, quality control etc. are all subject to human elements and error even if working to the same sealed pattern.

What’s more genuine glengarry badges will have been subjected to over 140 years of atmospheric conditions in whatever environment(a) they found themselves in over that period. This can have drastically different effects on colour.

Also remember these have been prized for a long time so lovingly polished, lacquered and varnished by some collectors which over the years will have stained, discoloured, darkened, then perhaps been polished or partially cleaned again. A similar scenario may account for a copper or odd colourations described rather than the underlying metal being compositionally different.

All these many factors will undoubtedly lead to variations in patina.

Finally unless the collections studied were all completed prior to the 1900s then yes there is the possibility some studied were Fox restrikes.
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Old 20-01-22, 02:58 AM
kingsley kingsley is offline
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I would be interested to know what is meant by a 'Fox restrike'?
Does anyone know what manufacturer is re-stiking these badges at the present time?
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Old 20-01-22, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsley View Post
I would be interested to know what is meant by a 'Fox restrike'?
Does anyone know what manufacturer is re-stiking these badges at the present time?
See this thread

https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...ad.php?t=12754

Also

https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...ad.php?t=12759

Tim
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Last edited by grey_green_acorn; 20-01-22 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 22-01-22, 11:13 PM
lettman lettman is offline
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Thanks to all who replied -- some interesting and varied responses.
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Old 23-01-22, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lettman View Post
Looking through W.Y. Carman's Glengarry Badges of the British Line Regiments to 1881, it's interesting to note the various ways he describes their appearance. Most he calls 'brass', as we have come to expect the manufacture of genuine pre-1881 badges. But a number are described otherwise: 'gilding metal' (e.g. 30th Foot); 'gilt metal' (e.g. 20th Foot); 'copper-brass' (e.g. 34th Foot); 'yellow-copper' (e.g. 63rd Foot); 'copperish' (65th Foot); 'brass-copper' (e.g. 92nd Foot); and so forth.

This raises a number of questions, which probably can't be satisfactorily answered now with the passage of time, but which are worth consideration. For example, did the collection(s) Carman examined contain restrikes? Was gilding metal substituted for brass at some (later?) stage in the manufacture of glengarry badges? Was there a considerable variation in the quality of the brass alloy used? No doubt there are other questions and issues involved, and I'm interested to see the opinions and thoughts of Forum members on this topic.
I replied to this thread in between the server up date and it appears to have went AWOL?
Anyway while carrying-out research for my new book, 'Badges and Insignia of The King's Own Scottish Borderers', I came across the term 'Yellow Brass', this type of brass was used prior to 1883, which gives the badge a gold appearance, not to be confused with gilt.

I have such a badge in my collection, the 1874-1887 Other Ranks Glengarry undress Pattern Cap Badge see attached, with the lugs N and S.

As we all know headdress badges changed with the introduction of new design and type of headdress and were designed to fit as such. However, with Regiments and Corps scattered around the glob and the slow output by Ordinance units occasionally used local skilled trades people to produce the new badges or insignia to adorn the new headdress. Moreover, with the array of different manufactures used by Ordinance to produces the approved pattern badges and Insignia in the UK, there was a wide mix and grade of metals used by these companies.

With the passage of time and the lack of documentation, I do not suppose that we will ever get a definitive answer, on this very valuable question, but is that not, what Military Badge Collection is all about, along with the thirst for knowledge and doing the research on a particular piece. Treasures do appear, be it a badge or a bit of insignia or even valuable piece of documentation, we keep looking and sharing.

Cheers
Hiram
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  #12  
Old 23-01-22, 11:30 PM
lettman lettman is offline
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Thank you for a detailed and informed response, Hiram. I think it sums up many of the factors influencing the manufacture of badges, and highlights our need to keep looking and learning.
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