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Old 02-10-2019, 01:30 PM   #46
gmu
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Originally Posted by Zepenthusiast View Post
First comment, Erikn--I'm jealous!!! Beautiful pair of PlMs...

For the FR, note the halo of silver around the head of the 1:30 (obverse face) eagle--that is the overflow of the pressing and it was not filed away during hand finishing of the piece, very unusual to see that in my (admitted limited) experience, but it gives you a look at the appearance of a "mint" die-pressing. The detail is exquisite! It also illustrates the warning element for how the metal should appear on the cross body sides, as the demarcation and very thin/flat aspect of any residual metal along the line where the two dies met should look like this. Such a thin element was not difficult to file away entirely if effort were made to do so. By contrast, casting things tends to create a wider and more irregular/granular demarcation line if not artfully removed, and it is harder to do so.

I think you may have misunderstood me about J. H. Werner--my point was precisely that they marked it because they finished it for the purpose of retail sale, and all the more compelling that you have pretty much nailed down that occuring in 1919, when it would have had to be a retail sale! I'm thinking--though will have to go back through my photo library and Prussian Blue--that the edge finish is more perfectly "flat" than typical for W/FR work. You might see that yourself, actually, since you have a near-immediately-contemporary FR. That might be the sign of how Werner was the ultimate "finisher." Why not Wagner finish it, though? Anyone know their full 1920's story?
Good eye Jim on spotting that unfiled material on the 2 o’clock eagle.

Nice FR! I have an almost identical FR that is attributed and awarded on June 30th 1918. My piece has a bit more of die damage compared to Ericn’s piece

One question that I have is that there is no direct correspondence between date of manufacture and date of award, especially regarding to the various degree of die damage. I have seen awarded pieces given at later time, but with less degree of die deterioration.
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:01 PM   #47
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Hi Jim,
Thanks for the positive comments (& gmu). Yes, I did understand your comment regarding the JHW mark for retail although, I'm not completely convinced JHW applied the cross hatch detail. I too, would like to understand their story. The source I purchased the JHW from, had it in their possession since 1919 and was never used afterwards. Like I mentioned before, if this information is accurate it would be framed as a wartime used example. That being said, and the fact it is a very used example leads me to believe it was manufactured earlier than 1919, perhaps 1918. 356 awarded during the 10.4 months of 1918 proved to be a busy year for manufactures W/F company, not to mention the war, materials, manpower & moral grinding down. So, who really did apply the cross hatch?? Please see attached images of the observe side of the JHW & FR. The JHW shows superior quality of cut outs than the FR. Very interesting thread Patrick :-)
Kind regards,
E.
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File Type: jpg clsplm1.jpg (82.8 KB, 84 views)
File Type: jpg 1_Friedlander_72.jpg (120.8 KB, 87 views)

Last edited by Erickn; 02-10-2019 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:45 PM   #48
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I would really like to thank all of you guys for weighing in on this. Zepenthusiast, gmu, Ericn, Don - you guys have experience, observational skills and resources - all of which it takes to be a successful collector. Thanks to Patrick for starting this thread. I am indebted to you for sharing your knowledge and your speculation on this thread. Great observations! Ericn - That is a great JHW piece- I am sorry that I didn't know that you didn't own it anymore when I referred to it. I guess the cross-hatching question boils down to several things mentioned earlier, that is what is the post-war history of the Wagner firm and PlM production and finishing? What is the post-war role of JHW and private vendors? When and why was the first (and subsequent) PlM marked in this way?

I agree that die wear may have been a factor and cannot be ignored, but I still believe that the awarded pieces may have had an extra step of buffing or what I have called "polishing" of the eagles that accounts for the cross-hatching being faded or worn both on the Bohm piece and on the JHW-marked piece. As was mentioned earlier, you can see this treatment on several pieces in [I]Prussian Blue. I am posting another dot-matrix picture from David Edkins' book. The black and white image makes that part of the finishing stand out a bit. I know that there are much better pictures available, but this one shows good contrast, especially on the legs and chest of the 1:30 and the 7:30 position eagles. This is obviously an awarded piece with enamel damage.


The observation of the unremoved material from the die strike is something that I have overlooked on other parts of the eagles, but noticed in the tail feathers on some pieces. I would guess that it was not always practical to file it out of that position without risking damage, especially on the obverse side. If it occurred on the reverse, that side would not be visible in wear anyway. The demands on the producing firms late in the war have already been mentioned. Valuable time and effort may not have been spent as freely removing more material where it didn't matter. Check out the 4:30 position eagle tail on the second picture that I am posting. Am I mistaken, or do I detect just a hint of unremoved material on the tail of the 1:30 eagle on the JHW marked cross (obverse) posted by Eric above?
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File Type: jpg SAM_1599.JPG (233.9 KB, 83 views)
File Type: jpg SAM_1520.JPG (215.2 KB, 81 views)
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:54 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Christian View Post
......
I agree that die wear may have been a factor and cannot be ignored, but I still believe that the awarded pieces may have had an extra step of buffing or what I have called "polishing" of the eagles that accounts for the cross-hatching being faded or worn both on the Bohm piece and on the JHW-marked piece. As was mentioned earlier, you can see this treatment on several pieces in [I]Prussian Blue. I am posting another dot-matrix picture from David Edkins' book. The black and white image makes that part of the finishing stand out a bit. I know that there are much better pictures available, but this one shows good contrast, especially on the legs and chest of the 1:30 and the 7:30 position eagles. This is obviously an awarded piece with enamel damage.
.......

David, the last b&w photo you posted from Edkins book (page 36) shows the plm of Josef Jacobs. Here is a better picture of such piece. I have personally seen it back in the early 90’s when it was owned by Neal W. O’Connor and his Foundation at Princeton, NJ. The photo comes from one of his awesome books on aviation awards.





As you can see, Jacobs PLM is a textbook example of a solid silver- gilt Wagner/Friedlander. There is no cross-hatching whatsoever.
IMHO the polishing of the eagles was not done deliberately as an after production process. The eagles came out of production with perfectly defined feathers. The polishing occurs naturally by handling the piece afterwards over the years. In the case of Jacobs, we are talking about 60 years.


.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:58 AM   #50
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Thanks for the better b&w picture and the identification of that PlM as well as the reference. I will have to look for a copy. You are right- that cross is instantly recognizable by the enamel damage and the wear. Many of these crosses did get very worn over time. It just seems to me that on some examples it amounts to more than just the years of wear on the eagles, as they are worn down in the same way on all of the eagles and in lower spots on the legs and chest than you would expect normal contact wear to appear. I did not mean to infer that this cross had ever been cross-hatched. I included it because of the contrast on the worn areas provided in the picture. Some of the original breast feathering is still visible in spite of the wear, as you have mentioned. This was obviously an awarded piece that was worn every day, including in combat. I am a fan of Josef Jacobs. He is one of the best known PlM winners, having survived the war as one of Germany's 5 leading aces with 48 victories. Imagine what that cross has been through, both in the Great War and later.
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