Cased OM Pilot Badge

Condition: Excellent+

Maker: OM

Base Material: Nickel Silver


SKU: JW3544 & JW3844 Category: Tags , ,


Product Description: This cased OM Pilot Badge is a choice example of a top-quality, early pilot badge, that is rare to find, especially in the correct case. The badge is a prewar type, made of nickel silver. It’s gorgeous, with slight wear to the obverse that exposes the mellow tone of the nickel silver base metal. On the obverse, the beautifully detailed eagle retains about 85 percent of its original darkening, with attractive pastel blue tones. The wreath retains about 80 percent of the original silver finish, with a very pleasant patina. The reverse of the eagle is marked with the rare “OM” maker mark in sunken relief, indicating manufacture by an as yet unknown maker. The finish on the back of the badge is perfect, with slight patina. The hardware is textbook and unrepaired, with a barrel hinge, and round wire pin and catch. The case with this beautiful badge is the correct type attributed to the OM maker. It’s covered with a blue artificial leather, with the designation of the award embossed in gold leaf on the lid. The case shows some minor marks and scuffs on the lid, but no major damage; the hinge and push button closure work perfectly. Inside the case, the badge rests on an insert covered with high quality velvet. The rayon flap on the interior hinge area has separated, but the lining inside the lid is intact. This is a very desirable badge, and this one is in a strong excellent condition that would be difficult to upgrade.



Historical Description: The Luftwaffe Pilot 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. Pilot 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, opened up a large spectrum of variation collecting for Luftwaffe badge collectors.


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