FSSF pin

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FSSF pin

Kevin Green
Kevin Green

November 19th, 2008, 4:56 am #1

A pal of mine has given me this pin to try to sort out for him. It's made of thin, flat metal, clearly hand crafted and has a large brooch pin crudely soldered to the back. It's 44mm wide, 1mm thick and made of the oddest looking metal. It's non-magnetic and has a brassy appearance but it's not tarnished like brass, more like a bronze/silver. It's not die struck, the edges show jewellers saw marks. Not my field and I'm completely stumped by this one.

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Ed Storey
Ed Storey

November 19th, 2008, 10:31 am #2

A posting on the US Militaria forum may be able to help.

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/
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Kevin Green
Kevin Green

November 19th, 2008, 3:31 pm #3

NTXT
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Ken Joyce
Ken Joyce

November 19th, 2008, 4:05 pm #4

Hi Kevin

These are the types of pins that are near impossible to ID unless you have some sort of photographic or written evidence. Of all the Force stuff I have seen, I have yet to come across this. The possibilities are...a) fake b) wartime private purchase c) reunion item or post war made for vet. Since the Force has had reunions every year since 1947 ( sometimes multiple reunions in the same year) there is the very good possibility it is some sort of reunion pin or something made up by a veteran of the Force after the war. It resembles a style of association pin made around and after the time of the Korean war. It is not impossible that it could be something made in Italy or France however you would need some evidence of this. There are fake items out there which include metal items like this as well as multiple piece crossed arrows claiming to be so-called "early examples"



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Kevin Green
Kevin Green

November 19th, 2008, 4:37 pm #5

Well, it certainly doesn't pretend to be anything official. You're right, it could be anything from a "fan" making something himself to a genuine theatre made item and I know there's no way of telling. I was hoping somebody might chirp up and say "Oh yeah, the first batch of Canadians all had those made in Montana" but not so lucky I guess! Somebody has spent some time on it, that's for sure, but I don't really think it's a jeweler. The clasp is far too crappy though the engraving is fairly involved. Plus, a jeweler would have used sterling or gold, likely and would have stamped it. It was somebody with access to engraving tools and a certain competency with them. I think the most likely thing is a vet or reunion attendee making some up ahead of time for a convention and then handing some out. Which would still make it a nice item. I will try the US forum though.
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Michael Dorosh
Michael Dorosh

November 19th, 2008, 6:23 pm #6

The Calgary Highlanders had brass oak leaf shoulder titles made by Birks for many years, so as a note of interest, gold and silver are not the only metals employed by jewellers.

The Birks models were not any better, that I noticed, than the other oak leaf titles, but the hallmark was prized by those in the know in the Regiment as a novelty, if nothing else, just for the name value.
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Ken Joyce
Ken Joyce

November 19th, 2008, 6:51 pm #7

Well, it certainly doesn't pretend to be anything official. You're right, it could be anything from a "fan" making something himself to a genuine theatre made item and I know there's no way of telling. I was hoping somebody might chirp up and say "Oh yeah, the first batch of Canadians all had those made in Montana" but not so lucky I guess! Somebody has spent some time on it, that's for sure, but I don't really think it's a jeweler. The clasp is far too crappy though the engraving is fairly involved. Plus, a jeweler would have used sterling or gold, likely and would have stamped it. It was somebody with access to engraving tools and a certain competency with them. I think the most likely thing is a vet or reunion attendee making some up ahead of time for a convention and then handing some out. Which would still make it a nice item. I will try the US forum though.
Kevin, the other possibility is one of the para trained riggers for the Force. Being Service Battalion, they may have had access to the material to make this? Again, it is all in the prov as to period and value. Should I see anything like this in future will let you know.

I am not sure how jewelers like Birks handled brass badge orders? It may have been a separate division of the company than that used to creat actual jewelry in gold and silver????
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Michael Dorosh
Michael Dorosh

November 19th, 2008, 7:26 pm #8

They probably made hallmarked sterling silver officers badges for private purchase (I believe the regiment has one or two pairs in the regimental museum) and then used the same dies to do brass ones for Other Ranks on a larger contract.
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Gary Boegel
Gary Boegel

November 19th, 2008, 8:45 pm #9

Kevin, the other possibility is one of the para trained riggers for the Force. Being Service Battalion, they may have had access to the material to make this? Again, it is all in the prov as to period and value. Should I see anything like this in future will let you know.

I am not sure how jewelers like Birks handled brass badge orders? It may have been a separate division of the company than that used to creat actual jewelry in gold and silver????
I have a lot that belonged to a Canadian Spitfire pilot who served overseas. Amongst his bits and pieces is a small buzz bomb pin. It is about 1" long and made of brass with a screw post soldered onto the back. It is held on with a nut. Apparently it was made on the station by one of the mechanics. When I saw the force pin, my first thought was that it was made by one of the Force guys (perhaps a rigger as Ken suggested) as a sweetheart pin. That would be my guess.
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Ken Joyce
Ken Joyce

November 20th, 2008, 2:12 pm #10

They probably made hallmarked sterling silver officers badges for private purchase (I believe the regiment has one or two pairs in the regimental museum) and then used the same dies to do brass ones for Other Ranks on a larger contract.
That is possible Michael. I recall that was proposed during the war for the paratroop Bn. However if it was a govt. contract, the dies were made for mass production. I am just not sure if the jeweler side of the shop made these govt dies or if it was a separate department. Since the badges you mention are maker marked, they were done privately so you could be right about them reusing regimentally owned dies.
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