Thursday, June 28, 2018

WWI Royal Naval Division Cap Badges – A Continuing Saga

It never ceases to amaze of the continuing interest in the cap badges of the WWI Royal Naval Division, and the resultant efforts to exploit that interest by unscrupulous individuals with varying quality fraudulent examples. Given that this author has fortunately never acquired any interest in this specific area of collecting, I can hopefully maintain a complete objectivity in presenting the on-going efforts to defraud my fellow collectors. Previously this blog has presented a series of articles which the reader can refer to on the subject;

Readers should feel free to copy images contained in these articles for their future reference, and in order to make side-by-side comparisons to badges shown in this article. In order to facilitate that process, each of the six dubious battalion badges is followed by an enlarged image of a known genuine badge (red cloth background). See how many specific discernible differences you can identify. All images can be enlarged with a mouse click.

The following is the most recent endeavor known to this author, which was recently presented and discussed in the British and Commonwealth Military Badge Forum. The collection is extremely well presented in a very tasteful display, however quickly assessed by members of that forum as comprehensively fraudulent. Concurring in that evaluation is a member of the forum, acknowledged as an expert, John “Paddy” Newell. Among other things it was specifically cited that the Hood and Drake badges have sliders, which is totally incorrect.

With both acknowledgement and gratitude to "Lanners55"(Simon), John Newell, as well as the other members of the Forum, the following images are provided. It’s a jungle out there, CAVEAT EMPTOR!

It should be noted that the pandemic of fraudulent cap badges, particularly in the United Kingdom has spread from e-Bay to some of the less than discerning, i.e., vigilant, auction houses. Here is a recent pronouncement (8 July 2018) from one of the other members of the Forum;  "Looks like the Faker/Dealer who filled the Woodbridge Auction room with garbage has also decided to pollute Norfolk with his Fake rubbish. A certain Beeston establishment has also been flooded with fake rubbish. The rare unofficial Winged Royal armoured corps badge is here again as is a terrible RNAS officers cap badge and the usual Goldfish club badge, RFC wings ,Fake ww1 soft caps, MMG collars etc. For our German militaria collecting friends there is the whole spectrum of fake rubbish, badges, medals, flags, armbands all guaranteed 100% duff. It would seem from the range of crap that just a couple of seriously dubious dealers and less than careful auction houses are ruining the militaria auction scene and no doubt costing a lot of collectors a small fortune and serious grief when they finally realise they are buying garbage. CAVEAT EMPTOR. Looks like its spreading Brighton and Martlesham!!!!" Truly unfortunate!





NELSON Bn. differences
   • Tilt of “S” in "NELSON"
   • Width/shape of font in "NELSON"
   • Ripples in sails
   • Planks/hosepipes shape and positions
   • Shape of hull
   • Heads of griffins in scroll




HOOD Bn. differences
   • Bird’s eye and beak
   • Shape of wing feathers
   • Ends of anchor stock
   • Strand of rope just below bird and anchor
   • Spacing and shape of letters in “STEADY”



DRAKE Bn. differences
   • Shape of crown
   • Definition of letters in “DRAKE”
   • Shape/proportions of ship’s sails
   • Ship’s hull
   • Rigging lines
   • Lat./Long. Lines in globe
   • Division between words “AUXILIO DIVINO”



ANSON Bn. differences
   • Shape of spear point
   • Irregular “NIL” lettering
   • Flat top surface in “ANSON”
   • Regularity in lines defining inside back of crown
   • Regularity of upper rope-like ring of crown



HOWE Bn. differences
   •Absence of voiding between hulls and sails
   • Flat vs ribbed surface of sails
   • Flat top surface in “HOWE”




HAWKE Bn. differences
   • Shape of bird’s head/neck
   • Lettering of word “STRIKE”
   • Talons of the bird
    Detail in bird’s tail feathers