Product Description: A beautiful Cased CEJ Pilot Badge in excellent condition. The badge is an easy Juncker “J1” pattern made out of nickel silver. The dark burnished J1 Pattern Eagle is in excellent condition, with areas of the brighter nickel-silver peaking through the burnishing from where the award rubbed against other fabrics or surfaces during the time it was worn. The reverse of the eagle has the highly sought after early Juncker maker mark of “CEJ”, as well as the original owners initials. These early CEJ marked Pilot Badges are tough to find on the market today. These early CEJ marked Pilot Badges were produced almost immediately after the announcement of the German Luftwaffe’s existence to the rest of the world. The Treaty of Versailles forbid Germany from an Air Force, so the announcement of the newly formed Luftwaffe came as a shock to many neighboring countries as it was directly in violation of the Treaty. The thin pattern wreath is made of nickel-silver, and is in excellent condition. The rivets on the reverse of the wreath securely hold the eagle in place, and are textbook examples of the uniquely finished Juncker rivets that knowledgeable collectors must see on Juncker produced badges. The barrel hinge and brass round wire “C” catch are intact and originally attached to the reverse of the wreath. The case of this set is the correct early pattern case for the J1 Juncker Pilots. Most of the time when these early CEJ Pilot Badges are found, they aren’t accompanied with their original cases. The case is in excellent condition. Nicely embossed lettering on the front retains much of its gold finish. The satin interior lining and plush base is in excellent condition. This is a perfect set for a Luftwaffe Collection of fine early pieces. This Cased CEJ Pilot Badge Set is sure to please!
Historical Description: The Luftwaffe Pilots Badge was instituted by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring on August 12, 1935. It was among the earliest badges introduced in the German Wehrmacht, and was worn by all qualified pilots in the German Air Force, similar to the “wings” worn by some other armies. The design of the badge featured a large, swooping eagle clutching the German national swastika emblem, surrounded by a wreath of oak and laurel leaves. The badge was normally presented in a blue hinged case. It was worn on the upper left uniform pocket, and a cloth version was also authorized for field use. In the nearly ten years from the introduction of this badge, to the end of WWII, the manufacturers of these awards made many changes in the features of the designs. Some companies, like Juncker, Assmann, and Deumer, had early first pattern badges which looked completely different from later pieces by the same manufacturers. Pilots badges were made of aluminum, nickel silver, plated Tombak, and zinc. The eagle was always a separate piece, riveted to the wreath, with different manufacturers using different rivet designs. As the war progressed, and dies wore out, many makers produced badges with subtle changes. All of these changes over time open up a large spectrum of variation collecting for Luftwaffe badge collectors.
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