Custom BSW Pilot Badge with Back Plate

Condition: Excellent

Maker: BSW

Pattern: Cloverleaf

Base Metal: Nickel Silver

SKU: JW3584 Category: Tags ,


Product Description: This custom BSW Pilot Badge with back plate is a fantastic example of a very hard to find type of badge. Collector lore suggests that these pilot badges fitted with posts and a backing plate were altered to be worn on leather flight jackets. This is a top quality, pre-war badge, with both the eagle and wreath being constructed of nickel silver. The obverse of the badge shows wonderful finish and detail, with only light wear to the high points and a very pleasant, old patina. On the reverse, the original hinge and catch have been carefully and neatly removed. The badge has been fitted with two posts, expertly soldered in place; the posts mate with holes in an aluminum disk back plate. Untouched old patina can be seen over the alterations, and the backplate is nicely made and perfectly fitted to the posts, indicating this conversion was wartime done. The reverse of this custom BSW Pilot Badge with back plate is nicely maker marked with the cloverleaf “BSW” logo used by the firm of Brüder Schneider AG in Wien (Vienna). The rivets that hold the eagle to the wreath are textbook and unaltered. This badge displays extremely well and is in excellent condition.



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 open up a large spectrum of variation collecting for Luftwaffe badge collectors.


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