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Honor Clasps of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS

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    Interesting enough that pretty much the same thing can be observed in Krigsmarine one-piece construction clasps. The original design of the anchor in a half of Kriegsmarine clasps has been modified in the very same way - that is cut out differently from the originally designed (and stamped) shape. There is no obvious reason why they did this really. Maybe it was just a personal preference of one of the guys working at the shop (that did the trimming part) or perhaps they applied this practice at some point of time later – again, this reason (why they did that) is not very important in this context. What is more important is that two different variants of Honor clasps (KM and Army) exhibit the same approach.

    Same as with Army clasps, Kriegsmarine clasps were all struck with the same die and cut out from identical (stamped) plates. Same as with Army clasps, cropping off a part of the original design was done intentionally because the new shape of the anchor in these clasps is consistently the same (always cut in the same line). And again, same as with Army clasps, a half of Kriegmarine clasps have this feature.

    The picture below shows clasps with the original “full” design (in top row) and clasps with the modified anchor palm/fluke (in the bottom row – the “cut-design version”).






    The red line in the picture below shows exactly where it was cut. It is obvious IMO that it was cut in this line by purpose, completely disregarding the original boundaries of the anchor as they were very visible (easy distinguishable) on a stamped plate.


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      Much more significant similarities between all one-piece construction Honor clasps can be detected if we compare the reverse of these clasps, in particular, their prongs.

      Let’s have a look at the Army Honor clasps prongs first.
      The picture below shows four examples of one-piece construction Army Honor clasps with the reverse side. As can be seen in the picture, different types of prongs were used (width, length, and ends). The “cut-design-version” clasps have shorter, narrower, and pointed-on-ends prongs, while the “cut-design-version” clasps have longer, wider and squared-on-ends prongs. Please notice that proportions of clasps in relation to each other (in the picture below) are shown as accurate as possible. In other words, the way you see them differing from each other on your screen is exactly how they differ in reality.


      Comment


        The picture below shows two of these examples (with each type of prongs) a bit closer so that all details can be seen well.


        Comment


          Now let’s take a good look at the Luftwaffe Honor clasp prongs and compare them with the Army Honor Clasp prongs.

          Please note again that proportions of clasps in relation to each other (in the picture below) are shown as accurate as possible.

          Although not very apparent, width of the prongs on Luftwaffe clasps vary a bit too but what is instantly apparent is that prongs on Luftwaffe clasps look a lot like prongs on Army Honor clasps.


          Comment


            As can be seen in the picture below, the “narrower type” of prongs found on Luftwaffe Honor clasps and prongs on the “cut-design-version” Amy Honor claps are pretty much the same: same shape, length, and the way they are soldered on. I hope I am not stretching my imagination too much but their entire reverses look very similar too.


            Comment


              The other (“wider”) type of prongs used on “full-design” version of Army Honor clasps look also very much like the “wider” type of prongs found on some Luftwaffe Honor clasps.

              Please notice in the picture below that prongs of both clasps have the very same (indented) marks on them possibly from the very same tool!


              Comment


                We have come now to the most striking similarity found in these clasps – the same marks (dents) on prongs that are found across different variants of Honor clasp, particularly, Army and Luftwaffe clasps.

                If in the previous example with thin lines of dents there was possibly a room to consider it as a “coincidence”, then in the following example it is pretty clear that it is not a “coincidence” and the same dents are in fact from the same tools (if not to say “from one very same tool”).

                As shown in the picture below, along with the thin lines, sometimes there are also thick lines of dents found on prongs of these clasps, which would be too much for a “coincidence” IMO.


                Comment


                  The side-by-side comparison (in the picture below) reveals that these marks (found across different clasps) appear nearly identical (if not to say “absolutely identical”): dents sizes, distance between them, and their order. And if these marks are not from the very same tool, then definitely they are from the exact same toolS that a shop would have had in “more-than-one” quantity.


                  Comment


                    To sum up, we have observed the following similarities in these Honor claps:

                    1. All come with same presentation cases;

                    2. All have one-piece construction; all are die-struck and made from one single strike;

                    3. All are finished/trimmed by hand (cropping off the excess material)

                    4. They exhibit low quality work at trimming

                    5. They have identical marks from a hand-finishing tool (a saw)

                    6. They exhibit visual similarity in design / shape of elements

                    7. They have “soft”/flattened high-points / partially complete lack of details

                    8. They have their original design modified in the same way (cropping off the original pattern)

                    9. Different clasps have nearly the same prongs (shape, size, the way they are soldered on)

                    10. Different clasps have the same very distinctive marks on their prongs (dents from a tool)

                    As you can see, it is a lot of similarities, some of which are quite significant.

                    Personally, I am absolutely confident now that all these one-piece construction Honor clasps (including Army, Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe) have been made by one very same maker, and consequently, all are original. But it is only my opinion.

                    I would really love to hear what you guys think about it.
                    Thank you in advance!
                    If you allow me I will continue tomorrow with the second part which is about my two-piece construction Honor Clasp of the Army


                    Comment


                      As you probably remember, initially, this thread has been started to discuss the originality of my two-piece construction Army Honor clasp that has the exact same design as the one-piece construction Army Honor clasp (that we have just been reviewing). Unfortunately, back then (two years ago) we did not find any evidence/solid reason to believe that any of these two clasps is in fact original. So up to now I was unsure of both of them equally.

                      Now that we have good reasons to believe that the one-piece construction Army clasp variant is original, I am seeing my two-piece construction clasp in a whole new light. Because IMO the proven originality of the one-piece construction Army clasp raises the chances of my two-piece construction clasp being original too (both these clasps are pictured below).


                      Comment


                        Indeed, up until just recently I was in doubt about the authenticity of my two-piece construction clasp but now in light of these new findings, I do believe that my clasp is original and has in fact been made by the same maker for a number of reasons.

                        First of all, the two-piece construction Army Honor clasp has the absolutely identical design as the one-piece construction Army Honor clasp. We have compared them both in great details in this thread two years ago but once again a side-by-side comparison of their wreaths is shown below. As can be seen in the picture, absolutely everything matches: from the same shape, location and dimensions of every element in design to the same relief of details. Which can only mean one of two: either it is a copy of the one-piece construction clasp, or both these clasps have been made by the same maker. But I am sure it is not a copy of the one-piece construction clasp and I will try to explain why.


                        Comment


                          For example, please note in the picture below that the halves of these swastikas together look as one seamlessly. It is because swastikas on both of these clasps have been shaped in the very same way: all elements of it (including the borders of the swastika, the “inner swastika” part and the indention that is running throughout along edges of the swastika) all have been shaped in the exact same way/manner and have the same dimensions.


                          Comment


                            As you might already have noticed, my two-piece construction clasp has a distinctive gold finish on it that is with a “grainy” appearance. Interesting that the same “grainy” finish can be found on many one-piece construction Honor clasps. The picture below shows my clasp (right) with a Krigsmarine clasp that exhibits the same “grainy” finish.


                            Comment


                              As a matter of fact, I have never gave a thought about the “grainy” finish on my clasp before, and until recently, I was of the opinion that my clasp was made this way and always had this “grainy” finish (from the day it was made) but now, after examining the many Kriegsmarine clasps, I believe that the gilt on all “grainy” clasps had originally a nice and smooth surface that has turned “grainy” over the time (on some of them including mine).

                              The picture below shows three mint examples with the smooth surface (top row) and three claps with the “grainy” gilt (bottom row).


                              Comment


                                Two of these examples (a mint clasp and a clasp with the “grainy” surface) in a bit larger view are shown in the picture below.

                                In regards to my Army (two-piece construction) Honor clasp, the “grainy” gilt on it indicates that my clasp has not been made recently, and in fact is old and that's at least but IMO it also points out to the same manufacturer as it is a quite distinctive future that they share (along with the same design of the one-piece construction Army clasp).


                                Last edited by Ноnоr; 07-13-2015, 07:09 PM.

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