Condition: Near Mint
Base Metal: Nickel Silver
Product Description: We are pleased to be able to offer this extremely rare Nickle Silver Assmann Glider Pilot in near mint condition. Less than four of these Assmann produced nickle silver glider pilot badges are known to exist in collections around the world. This maker wasn’t recognized by the collecting community until roughly 2012 when an example surfaced at an online auction house. The features and distinct finish of the badge was quickly recognized as being exactly that of other known Assmann produced badges. In time, the other three known examples were brought to light, exhibiting the exact same characteristics. When a few zinc versions of the Assmann Glider Pilot came to be known exhibiting the exact same distinguishing Assmann hardware and finish of other zinc badges produced by Assmann, they became accepted by most collectors. While a few other collectors hold out on giving a definitive answer to their existence, basing it solely on the fact that no examples have been found in German veteran lots, period photos, or documents (the last Assmann catalog know to have been produced was only months prior to the introduction of the glider pilot). To most though, the construction, and finish found on both the early and late produced examples matches Assmann to the letter, give them credibility to most collectors.
The badge is made of a nickel-silver base metal. The wreath received a high quality thick silver electroplating, while the eagle received a type of blued finish commonly seen on other Assmann produced Luftwaffe badges. The rivets on the reverse of the badge are much smaller than those encountered on other Luftwaffe badges produced by Assmann. However, the finishing method is exactly that of the other Assmann badges. Looking closely at the diameter of the finishing marks around the small rivets, one can see that the size of the tooling used to finish these rivets is the same size in diameter as used for the larger rivets on other Assmann rivets. The barrel hinge is typical Assmann construction, as well as the round wire “C” catch. It is in our honest opinion that the Assmann Glider Pilot absolutely existed, and are an extremely rare variant to be found today.
Historical Description: The Luftwaffe Glider Pilot Badge (Segelflugzeugführerabzeichen) was instituted by Luftwaffe Chief Hermann Göring on December 16, 1940. The badge took the form of a wreath of narrow oak leaves, made of Buntmetall or silvered zinc, to which was riveted a flying eagle with a darkened finish. The badge was designed by Wilhelm Ernst Peekhaus. Production of the badge began at the firm of C. E. Juncker in the fall of 1940. The badge was awarded to airmen who had earned the Glider Pilots License; it was issued together with the license, upon conclusion of training. The metal version of the badge was originally issued in a blue presentation box with a hinged lid. There were also cloth versions of the badge produced, both machine-embroidered and hand-embroidered; production of these ceased in 1942. The badges were worn on the left breast pocket of both military and civil uniforms.
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