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tropical straps, opinions

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    Originally posted by OSS View Post
    Agree, close but not quite there (thankfully).
    But as we constantly see here, there is no need to make better fakes. There are plenty of customers for the fakes we now have....

    Preu├čens Gloria!

    Sapere aude - "Dare to know! Have the courage to use your own intelligence!" - Immanuel Kant


      Neither myself or Chris are new to tropical straps - we aren't just questioning to be obtuse or difficult in some way. I've handled fewer original tropical straps than Chris, maybe only a couple of hundred or so. I've also owned dozens of original sets and singles as well.
      Thanks for being so dismissive of experienced collectors trying to get to the bottom of why something is labelled 'good' or 'bad'.
      No wonder I post less often than I used to.
      Collector of Afrikakorps Uniforms & Fieldgear -
      Mannequin Painting -


        I, too, am amazed at how easily those straps are just disregarded as fakes. I'm all for being cautious and suspicious in regards to high priced items such as tropical shoulder straps, but this here is what germans usually call "Jammern auf hohem Niveau". If those straps are fake then I suggest everyone should just retire from collecting, stick to what they have and look no further, because then there is a person out there so well informed, equipped and dedicated that nothing is truly safe to correctly assess anymore.

        Here are my 2 Pfennig:
        The construction, shapes and craftmanship on those straps is just what I would expect from a genuine pair.
        The buttonholes are perfectly fine, the fact that they, as well as most of the brown wool and the sewing thread are a match, despite the otherwise mismatched appearance they have, at least shows that they ran through the same machine and therefore come from the same source.
        The fieldgrey wool on the tongue shows a weave I usually call 'late-war', seen from 1942 on and replacing the plain weave that earlier wool fabrics had, therefore I deduct that this must be the earliest point in time when those straps were made. The fact that they are so mismatched adds to this assumption, the later it got, the less they cared about what scraps they threw together, as long as the outward appearance looks uniform.
        The wool on the backing seems to have a slight color difference as well, the one on the strap with the fielgrey tongue looks a little darker, the same goes for the rayon piping tape. This was nothing unusual back then, given that even if your material always comes from the same manufacturer, different batches rarely matched the color shades of previous ones perfectly. Getting your hands on some original piping tape in that branch color today is already a pretty tough feat, let alone two different shades of it.

        So now I'm supposed to believe that someone went trough the trouble of gathering all those different original materials, assembled them flawlessly to period specs on period machines to sell them for a price that probably barely justified the trouble he went through and the expenses he had to make?
        And then the dreaded button indentation, a telltale sign of a fake, no doubt! What about the notion that those straps were attached to a uniform or kept in a showcase with buttons added for some time? That's a very weak point to found an opinion on.

        But as always, I am eager to hear more opinions and especially detailed facts and arguments as to why those straps are supposed to be fakes.

        Best regards,


          It is disturbing to hear knowledgeable people disagree. Maybe we have reached the point where fakes are indistinguishable from the real thing. It should be noted however that this is the result fakers have been hoping to achieve.


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