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Honor Clasps of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS

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    Originally posted by Dietrich Maerz View Post
    This type of investigation and research is what makes this forum with its members the best on the face of the earth. My hat is off to member '"Honor"!




      GOOD WORK!!!


        This is the finest forensic study I have ever seen on this rather understudied award. Congratulations on the fine work and on reaching logical conclusions.

        Bob Hritz
        In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

        Duct tape can't fix stupid, but it can muffle the sound.


          Fantastic research...This thread should be pinned.

          Chris G.


            Thank You

            Excellent work, I apologize for not saying so earlier. While I am still partial to the Klein version , it would be tough for one to say they are the sole pre-1945 clasp maker.



              Hi Honor,

              You delivered some amazing work here. With you extremely high IT skills as a big bonus it looks like you made it become all very easy suddenly.

              I have handled many honor roll clasps so far, but was only comfortable with the Klein clasp, these are very easy to spot and imo still look the best. You make some very valid point towards the authenticity of the other variants. It really gets interesting when you have variants within one maker, which we see on every other award in this hobby. You managed to find this!

              One more question. The cupal clasp, are you sure this is cupel? It looks more like massive alu to me?

              And one more add. You say that fakers wouldn't go through the effort of making a new design next to the Klein clasp. I'd be very cautious here, this is the most dangerous part part of the hobby, as we could more easily recognize this as a variant then. There's no bullet proof way so far to say that one of these variants would be made after the war.

              Again a big bravo, I'll pin this thread up

              ps: have you already studied the design of the '57 wreath?


                Guys, I very much appreciate all your commets, kind words and contribution to this thread. I am glad that you liked the illustrations and how I laid it out but I am also afraid that my "good job" (detailed approach with a lot of information, pretty pictures and/or the amount of work I put in this research) can have a side-effect and blind your objectiveness. As you have seen in pictures same clasps photographed with different light can look very deifferently. That was the reason why I made these nice illustrations and presented all the information in easy-to-see manner. Otherwise, it would be very hard for any one to see that all one-piece construction clasps showed in this thread (Bob Hritz, Stepdale, Gregory D. and the clasp in the Nimmergut book) are the same (made with same dies) and then this thread would have been gone into discussions if they are indeed the same or not, moving away from the purpose of this thread - to find the answer to the main question that triggered my research: "Is my two-piece-construction clasp original or fake?".

                As I said I am not an expert. Obviously, I do not even have enough experience with these badges and need your help in finding the truth about my clasp. I am not a "Honor clasp" collector either, just like you, as a matter of fact, I have only this single clasp in my collection. But I firmly believe that we together with our combined experience, knowledge and common-sense can answer any question (well to be precise, almost any question) that's the power of this forum.

                I just spoke (via PM) with one of the awards-experts Tom Durante. Until today I was sure that my clasp is original mainly and only because of the fact that the one-piece construction CupAl clasp (Bob Hritz example) and my two-piece construction clasp share the very same design. I believed that the same design of these clasps indicates that these clasps were made by the very same (unknown) maker and the fact that they have different construction (one-piece- and two-piece-construction) proves that they are both original because(as I thought) no faker in the world would do two different die-strike variants with such-obviously-wrong design (that is nothing like the original Klein design) (Post #48).

                But I was wrong in my theory and not just once.

                First of all, as Tom Durante has just correctly pointed out to me, to relay on the fakers logic is not a good idea here in this theory because as he said (in his PM) "In most cases the fakes of all other badges are often times new creations that don't match original badges in any way. Fakers do some weird things and I have a few fakes on file that are "one-of", with no other one like it."
                I just went through all Honor clasp fakes that I could find on the Internet and took a closer look at them, Tom is absolutely right, fakers do create fakes with no logic in mind or common-sense, they make various different types of construction and use the same design, randomly, and the fact that the one-piece construction CupAl clasp (Bob Hritz example) and my two-piece construction clasp share the same design does not mean anything.

                Secondly, my another mistake was that I thought that the one-piece construction CupAl clasp (that Bob Hritz first posted as original) is indeed original but for some reason until now remained a "dark horse"/has never been excepted-by-collectors as original and therefore is absolutely unknown to fakers, which would mean that it has never been copied by them. In that case, a clasp (read my clasp) with the same design like Bob Hritz' clasp would have automatically mean it was made by the same maker and therefore original. Now I know that is not the fact. This variant is not a secret to fakers, they knew about this variant a long ago, and fakes of this clasp do exist (with exactly the same design as Bob Hritz clasp). I will show you some of them too.

                Below is the most common fake of the Honor clasp. The design is copied from the "1957" variant - the design that has never been used on war-time clasps. Just like Tom said, fakers who made them were very creative, one-piece-construction, two-piece-construction, hollow-back, solid back, etc.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by Honor; 11-15-2013, 11:04 AM.


                  Here are Klein clasp copies, including the two-piece construction die-strike next to the Klein. Even though it is not as pretty as my clasp yet it is not cheaply made like other two die-cast fakes next to it.
                  Attached Files


                    Finally, here are die-cast fakes of the one-piece-construction clasp (by "unknown maker"), which by their existance add to the authenticity of the one-piece construction CupAl variant and I am now even more confident that the one-piece-construction clasp (by "unknown maker") is war-time original.

                    Unfortunatelly it adds nothing to my variant. Vice versa, it took me back to the start where I had nothing in support of my clasp other than "it looks good and period" because looking at all these fakes I think if they made these cheap die-cast fakes of this variant, they could have made another one with this design but this time better quality die-strike like the fake die-strike "Klein" clasp in the previous picture and that would be my clasp, right?
                    Attached Files


                      Hi Honor,

                      I just want to say that this is really an excellent thread you have put together. Your exhibits and comparisons are really well done and your through process is well laid out and easy to follow. Admittedly I don't follow these badges too much as I told you in our PM's, they seem to be the bastard stepchild to regular combat awards. I don't know many collectors that collect these and I suspect that is why you haven't gotten much response. With that said, I am interested in them to some extent and I think others are too so there is no doubt alot of people reading your excellent thread and learning alot.....which will certainly garner some more interest in these uncommon awards.

                      For the record, I like your Unknown Clasp. The fire gilding on it looks very good and well done, the details are excellent and the fact that you can find some cheaper copies of it are a good sign in my opinion. Again, I don't follow these too much, so take it with a grain of salt but I like your example.

                      If it doesn't have a hinge and catch, I'm not interested......well, maybe a little......

                      New Book - The German Close Combat Clasp of World War II
                      Available Now -


                        Thank you Tom for kind words and help. My clasp is (below) does indeed look good but I have nothing to support its authencity. All I can say now is that it shares the same design with the one-piece-construction CupAl clasp and that's it. Fakes of clasp with this design are die-casting copies of the one-piece-construction CupAl clasp, not my two-piece construcion clasp.

                        As I already said, I think the one-piece-construction CupAl clasp is original and this thread has many facts to support it:

                        1. It is in collections of respected highly-experienced collectors like Bob Hritz, etc.
                        2. It was found in a vet-bring-back (see Stepdale clasp story)
                        3. It was sold as original by respected dealers like and, the latter with the company's "fully-transferable lifetime guarantee" (to Gregory D).
                        4. It is published as original in the Nimmergut reference book
                        5. Fakes of this clasp exist

                        I wish my clasp had so many facts in support of its authencity but I still think that it has some chances to be original. First of all, its quality is in line with original ww2 German badges and nothing like any fake clasp shown here, a way above it.

                        I agree with you, obviously not many collectors collect these clasps and that is why this thread has't gotten much response. Perhaps it would help if a moderator could include a poll to this thread (with no voter names listed) with three simple options to choose from and vote:

                        From the Honor clasp variants shown as original I believe that:

                        1. Only one variant is original : the "Klein" two-piece-construction clasp.
                        2. Two variants are original : the "Klein" two-piece construction clasp and the CupAl one-piece-construction clasp (Unknown Maker)
                        3. All three variants shown are original : the "Klein" (two-piece construction) clasp, the CupAl one-piece-construction clasp and the two-piece-construction clasp (Unknown Maker)
                        Attached Files


                          Originally posted by 90th Light View Post
                          Amazing thread,

                          thank you for posting this. I do not think that the number of makers of this clasp stops at just two.

                          I have a veteran brought back example found in a veteran's photo album. Although it is very close in detail to your "unknown maker" and also made from a "very reddish" base metal", it has some slightly different details in more ways than one.

                          Reading your thread and taking on board the good points that you make, I believe this might be a third maker of this award.

                          Let us know when you are finished posting your images and I will post some of my clasp. It makes sense that there would be more than one maker. For a long time now on WAF, I have always said that one has to develope an eye for a variation from the the norm.

                          This thread is one of the finest examples to date, I have seen of this theory in action. Chris

                          I do not think that the maker of this award stops at two. Why should it, other German awards have more than two makers

                          Here is a third type made before May 1945. I have the full details of where this one came from but lets judge the item for starters not the story.

                          This is a one-piece construction CupAl with a unique attachment for this type of award to the EK ribbon. The gilt that remains on the clasp is mainly in the recess areas,

                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by 90th Light; 11-22-2013, 06:19 AM.


                            This one looks very believable to me, too!
                            Quality seems to be high enough.
                            And, yes, why should there be only one or two makers of this award. Even the rare Ritterkreuz was made by half a dozen companies.


                              Comparison with the other one piece constructions,

                              Attached Files


                                I found today and post here for future references excellent pictures of the one-piece-construction clasp, the same clasp as the one pictured in Nimmergut's book.
                                Attached Files


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