Lusitania Steward's Brass Badge


Daniel Stern

Member
Aug 1, 2006
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Hi all,

I am curious if anyone knows anything about the following item I purchased on eBay recently:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230121981243

Close inspection seems to indicate it is authentic, but have had no luck finding it in any books, etc. Any information would be most welcome. On a related note, is there a book you have seen which lists or shows what Lusitania (or other Ocean Liner Memorabilia) is in circulation?

Take care,

-Daniel

[Moderator's note: This post was originally posted in a separate topic, but has been moved to the one discussing the same issues. JDT]
 
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Timothy Trower

Guest
I've got a couple just like it. It is a reproduction done in the 1970s or possibly into the 1980s.

(I paid quite a bit less for mine!)
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
I would be wary of any brass trinkets offered for sale as liner ephemera, especially from any vessels which became ships of infamy. These things are about as genuine as a 3 1/2 dollar bill, and they were churned out by the bucketload in both India and Pakistan during the '70's.

I would expect that any genuine badges and keys would be in the hands of experienced and expert collectors who could distinguish between the Real McCoy and cheap souvenier pieces.
 

Daniel Stern

Member
Aug 1, 2006
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Hi all,

Thanks for the tip. I'll consider it tuition paid for the school of experience. Hopefully this post will help others avoid making the same mistake. Maybe there should be a 'Fakes' page created somewhere to inform the armchair collector of things such as this? I will now feel perfectly comfortable shining it up and wearing the pin on my pea coat this fall. As to my other question, are there any guides published that let folks know what real material is in circulation?

Take care,

-Daniel
 

Jon Brockman

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Oct 2, 2006
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Hi, in my opinion the best guides are your own experience and specialized forums such as this one, i dont know of any published guides, i guess that would be a tough one to do due to the such wide range of different types of collectables out there just in the ocean liner field alone.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,614
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Easley South Carolina
>>Maybe there should be a 'Fakes' page created somewhere to inform the armchair collector of things such as this? <<

An intriging idea and there may be some merit to that idea. Short of that, you can ask about a given item here or over on the Titanic-Titanic forum. There are people who hang out on both forums who are subject experts on ocean liner ephemera and antiquities. They can keep you from having your wallet lightened by a scam artist.
 

Daniel Stern

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Aug 1, 2006
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What made this item somewhat more plausible as an potentially authentic piece was that Lusitania had a relatively long career; conceivably she would have had quite a few Stewards aboard over nearly eight years of service, and thus medals such as this one could have ended up in circulation. I never imagined for a moment that this was from the sinking, nor was it advertised that way...
In terms of the notion that there's a lot of material in circulation, I agree, but that hasn't stopped coin collector's price guides and the like. I think a known fakes list (on a web site like this) would be a lot shorter a thing to maintain than some sort of all-inclusive list. Of course, if you divided it by ship or by line (or even by time frames), that would make the job that much easier.

-Daniel
 

Daniel Stern

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Aug 1, 2006
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Well, at least I won't go on record as having paid the most for a reproduction...there's one of these repro badges on eBay right now:

http://cgi.ebay.com,snip

[Moderator's note: Edited link due to width requirements. JDT]

The high bid so far is more than double what I paid! Though, I admit this one is a bit shinier than the one I have...
happy.gif


-Daniel
 

Spencer Knarr

Member
Jun 16, 2004
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"Well, at least I won't go on record as having paid the most for a reproduction..."

You weren't even close. A few years ago I saw a Titanic version of the same badge sell for $450. Many years ago, back when eBay was brand new and it was rare to find an auction with a photograph, I purchase an "Authentic White Star Line Silver Teapot". I paid $150 and what arrived was a cheap silver teapot that someone had defaced with an engraving tool. HAHA!

I would like to note that very soon I will be adding a "Forgeries and Reproductions" section to my website which will feature several of the more common fakes such as these brass badges and those belt buckles that pop up from time to time.
 
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Kevin Saucier

Guest
"I would like to note that very soon I will be adding a "Forgeries and Reproductions" section to my website which will feature several of the more common fakes such as these brass badges and those belt buckles that pop up from time to time."


What a great idea!
 
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Timothy Trower

Guest
Spencer -- I'll second what Kevin said. There is a real need for a site that deals with fakes, frauds, counterfeits and reproductions.
 

Daniel Stern

Member
Aug 1, 2006
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Very good to hear about the "Forgeries and Reproductions" page. May I suggest including pictures of authentic items beside the bogus ones so collectors can know the difference? For example, I have never seen what a real Lusitania Steward's Badge looks like, so a photo of a real one would likely be quite illuminating.

Now, if only I could find a buyer for my gen-u-wine Titanic electric stapler...
happy.gif


-Daniel
 
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Jeff Kelley

Guest
I think it is a great idea if you add a page to your site — it would be a big service to the hobby.

Also, anyone with specifics on these reproductions should forward information to this site:

http://www.exonumia.com

Rich Hartzog has maintained a site devoted to what is called “exonumia”￾. It is the expanded field of collecting that tends to surround numismatics (coins). It includes tokens, medals, military-type decorations (“medals”￾), and also law enforcement badges.

He has a page devoted to fake and fantasy items:

http://www.exonumia.com/fakes.htm

I imagine that he would be willing to add these badges as well, since he has other badges out there already.
 

Daniel Stern

Member
Aug 1, 2006
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76
Well, well.

It looks like another, different Lusitania Steward's badge is up for auction on eBay:

Item number: 190159876628

I would assume this too is a fake? If so we can add it to the Fake, Phoney and Fraud Section too...experts? What say you?

-Daniel
 

Spencer Knarr

Member
Jun 16, 2004
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HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! All they did was solder it to a fake sheriffs badge like you can buy in any toy store around the world. Found in an attic....yeah right.
 
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Timothy Trower

Guest
Waal, Tex, you look right fine in that genuwine Lucytania badge thingy. Now, why dontcha mosey yer Steward's behind back to the chuckwagon and get me sum grub.
 

Daniel Stern

Member
Aug 1, 2006
30
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Yessirreebob, I like me Lucytania badges like I like me vittles: brown, hot and plentiful!

I have dibs on the rights to the screenplay: "Showdown at the White Star Saloon."

Does anyone care to illuminate this 'legitimate businessman'? Granted, he does have a disclaimer... :p

-Daniel