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1914 star bar


zippy.72
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Can anyone give me any tips on spotting fakes for Mons Star bar? I have read Williamson's entry in his book on militaria re. bars that can be bent are often fake. I have one that is rigid, but looks like a fake otherwise. Any help please?

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Can anyone give me any tips on spotting fakes for Mons Star bar? I have read Williamson's entry in his book on militaria re. bars that can be bent are often fake. I have one that is rigid, but looks like a fake otherwise. Any help please?

Colour, clarity of letters and the positioning and size of the "stitch" holes, etc, are some indictations. Many fakes have a slight "burr" around the back of the hole also.

The "bend test" used to work (and still does in many cases), but is no longer 100% reliable (same with cap-badges).

Dave.

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The obvious trouble with this Clasp as opposed to the more normal fix Clasps is its very nature,ie being a stitch on Bar,which consequently was easily removed,lost,etc,even from early on,Replacements were readily available from such times,though not really "Fake" as they were produced to serve a purpose rather than to deceive,some,especially these older ones are easily spotted as they are much thicker,gilt finished, & often have a Slider,back bar for easy fitting,Genuine Bars are generally thinner,with Crisp edges & a well defined Striking~ In a word{or two} they "Feel" right.

Belowe I have posted four Clasps from my Collection,the top two are official Issue Clasps[To Two ASC Brothers by the name of "Spain",the lower two are replacements,[Cotton DCM;MSM & MiD;RGA; & Dye,ASC]they are the Slide on type, & much brighter than the much thinner originals,which have a "Flatter" appearance,there is no substitute for experience & handling ,or looking @ as many as you can is the best teacher{remember though that Museums,etc,may well have as many replacement Clasps as Genuine!}

Fortunately the replacement Clasp,Like MiD Oakleaves, is acceptable to the majority of Collectors,it is the confirmation of its actually being awarded that is more important,although obviously genuine Clasps are @ a premium

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HarryBettsDCM wrote:

The obvious trouble with this Clasp as opposed to the more normal fix Clasps is its very nature,ie being a stitch on Bar,which consequently was easily removed,lost,etc,even from early on,Replacements were readily available from such times,though not really "Fake" as they were produced to serve a purpose rather than to deceive,some,especially these older ones are easily spotted as they are much thicker,gilt finished, & often have a Slider,back bar for easy fitting,Genuine Bars are generally thinner,with Crisp edges & a well defined Striking~ In a word{or two} they "Feel" right.

Belowe I have posted four Clasps from my Collection,the top two are official Issue Clasps[To Two ASC Brothers by the name of "Spain",the lower two are replacements,[Cotton DCM;MSM & MiD;RGA; & Dye,ASC]they are the Slide on type, & much brighter than the much thinner originals,which have a "Flatter" appearance,there is no substitute for experience & handling ,or looking @ as many as you can is the best teacher{remember though that Museums,etc,may well have as many replacement Clasps as Genuine!}

Most of what Harry says above is spot on, but one might imply from what he says that those bars with holes and sewn-on are original and those with sliders are not. The second statement is true the first is not always true. The easiest way to tell an original sew-on bar from a copy/fake sew-on bar is the size and placement of the four holes. On the originals the holes are well-located on the corners and are very small (in fact regular needles are too large to go through them) while the copy/fake clasps have irregular placement of the holes and the holes are larger. It is hard to tell from photos but the second sew-on bar that Harry illustrates appears to have rather large holes.

Regards. Dick

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Picking an authentic clasp has also puzzled me. Regarding the holes in clasps, John Hayward's article on 1914 Stars and 1914-15 Stars in Spink's medal newsletter of July 2003 contains the following:

Postscript: The Commodore R.N. Barracks, Portsmouth, complained to Mr Hocking that on the inspection of the clasps for the 1914 Star, a difficulty occurred when trying to pass an ordinary needle through the four holes to secure the clasp to the riband. Mr Hocking replied: 'The holes will pass a size 7 needle (specimen attached) with thread sufficiently stout enough to secure the clasps to the riband. Is the Commodore comparing the clasp to a trouser button? It is not proposed to make any alterations'.

A clasp from my collection is shown below. Having seen the first one from HarryBettsDCM and having read Dick's comments, I have my doubts that my clasp is original. Comments are most welcome.

There was a point raised about the clasp's thickness. Is there a accurate figure from which to work? (metric and/or other) Also, does anyone know the lettering type? Other members may wish to post some examples for comparison.

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Hello all,

Agree with the comments from rflory/ceebee re. the hole sizes on the bar. I have framed a good few star/bar trios where the bars required sewing to the ribbon and a standard size needle will not pass through the holes. An especially thin needle is required. These groups were always from a family source, so were definateley original.

I quite like the slip over bars as the ones I have seen always look good. I have also seen nice looking replica bars with large holes. The replica bars one can buy now are what they are, very modern and very bright.

Harrybetts is correct "look and feel"

Best wishes Roy

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A clasp from my collection is shown below. Having seen the first one from HarryBettsDCM and having read Dick's comments, I have my doubts that my clasp is original. Comments are most welcome.

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It does have the appearance of a replacement,comparing it with either of my posted originals{& another dozen or so I have}

I didnt mean to imply{In fact I don't think I did,as I only said SOME had slide on backs}that all holed clasps were "Right";the holes in the second depicted {Spain/ASC}Clasp are as small as the top one,the thread has just frayed over the edges,giving it that appearance,the two slide~on clasps,were the only two I had to hand & were posted to give examples of the typical strike & Font on Replacement Clasps,of either fixing,Holed or Slider.No doubt there are other variants,produced by other makers,that differ from the Royal Mint strikings

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I notice that in HarryBetts` two slide-on examples there`s a difference in the heights of the "U" in Aug. One looks slightly short, the other slightly long. Any significance? Phil B

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Here are a trio of bars I consider "right" and a couple I consider "dubious"! Although the "big hole" one might be a "right" one drilled out? Phil B

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I notice that in HarryBetts` two slide-on examples there`s a difference in the heights of the "U" in Aug. One looks slightly short, the other slightly long. Any significance? Phil B

As they are both replacements & not contemporary,nor originals;I suspect that they are just from different dies,or even Makers,& vary slightly accordingly,so no real significance in that ;)

Your "Big Holes" Clasp I agree with you; is; I would suggest a Genuine one that someone has had the foresight to drill out~Maybe his Missus didnt have thin Needles!{or good eyesight}

The Lower Gilt finished one is as you suspect a Tailor's Replacement,albiet an old one!

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Here are a trio of bars I consider "right" and a couple I consider "dubious"! Although the "big hole" one might be a "right" one drilled out?    Phil B

Phil

Thanks for showing us your examples. Just wondering about the metal colour. There appears to be some variation. Can that be put down to the light or perhaps how they have been cleaned, or even the amount of oxidisation? I presume original clasps were struck from the same metal as the stars.

ceebee

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I find this a very interesting thread as I don't really get the opportunity to handle British medals.

I bought a 14 Star trio ages ago by post from a dealer in England and never even thought about fakes at the time. I've picked up a copy Star & bar from ebay for my reference which I think is easy to spot when comparing it to those above and my original.

Both bars have a thickness of 1mm but the copy is very bright and the stitch holes are untidy.

Tony

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Phil

Just wondering about the metal colour. There appears to be some variation. Can that be put down to the light or perhaps how they have been cleaned, or even the amount of oxidisation? I presume original clasps were struck from the same metal as the stars. 

ceebee

I put the differences down to metal variations, storage conditions and possible past cleaning, though I never clean medals and attachments other than with soap and water! I`m not sure whether they were cast from the same metal as stars. Seems likely? I assume they were cast and not pressed. Phil B

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I put the differences down to metal variations, storage conditions and possible past cleaning, though I never clean medals and attachments other than with soap and water! I`m not sure whether they were cast from the same metal as stars.  Seems likely?      I assume they were cast and not pressed.                                                  Phil B

Phil

I've also seen variations in the colour of 1914 Stars and 1914-15 Stars, which I've attributed to circumstances you've mentioned.

If the clasps were cast, I wonder if there were numerous moulds? That, together with some of the finishing that occurred after the clasp was removed from the mould, might explain some of the variations. Apparently there were problems with the finishing steps for the stars that affected their quality. The article I mentioned from John Hayward in an earlier post contains a good description of the troubles experienced in producing the stars.

ceebee

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If the clasps were cast, I wonder if there were numerous moulds? ceebee

I would guess there were almost certainly multiple moulds. Also that one mould would produce numerous bars at one casting. This would introduce variation in chemical composition and metallic structure, both of which would influence subsequent colouring. Phil B

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the original clasps,along with the Stars were "die struck",like most Coins & medals,then hand finished,the work involved in casting such small items would be[or would have been] far too time consuming & inefficient,with poor quality end product. ;)

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On closer inspection, they do have a sheared look to the edges, indicative of a coining type operation. I would have expected that to cause some ghosting to show through to the back, but that doesn`t seem to be the case. Perhaps too soft for that? Phil B

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