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  Lion Brothers space patches without hallmarks

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Author Topic:   Lion Brothers space patches without hallmarks
Gonzo
Member

Posts: 374
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 04-03-2013 07:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We all know (or should) that Lion Brothers started putting hallmarks on their patches starting with the later Apollo 12 patches (both non- and hallmarked versions were made).

However, were there any non-hallmarked patches made by Lion Brothers after that? The quick and easy answer I suppose is to say no, there's no such animal. But is that true?

I ask because I just won an Apollo 16 patch on eBay that from both the description and the posted picture, does not have the hallmark. I've checked the image as closely as I can and it does indeed appear to be a Lion Brothers patch. Is this possible?

If this is true, what other Lion Brothers' patches were made sans hallmark that should have had one? All comments/advice welcomed...

kosmo
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Posts: 196
From:
Registered: Sep 2001

posted 04-03-2013 08:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kosmo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not so sure it's a Lion Brothers patch!

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 458
From: High Wycombe, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 04-03-2013 09:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is indeed a Lion Brothers Apollo 16 patch without the hallmark. I've seen them before and I have some. There are others that exist like the second version of the Apollo 12, also the Apollo 14 and 15 patches. I'm not sure about the Apollo 13 and 17 though.

The Lion Brothers Skylab Program patch does not have a hallmark at all, but the other three Skylab patches do.

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 374
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 04-03-2013 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kevin - thanks for the info. This is exactly why I started this thread. I'd like to find out how prevalent these beasts are. Not just for my patch, but good info for other ones as well. From what you say, they would seem to be pretty rare.

As far as others, what other examples are out there? Anyone?

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2597
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 04-03-2013 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would classify this as a simple error patch. In the example above you can even see that part of the "1" of "16" has been added before being cut short.

That means it's not a variant of the patch, by which I mean a version with a distinct (and deliberate) difference in the design itself.

Personally I don't see any particular value in error patches but there may be some people who like to collect them.

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 374
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 04-03-2013 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chris, not to argue with you, you certainly know more about this than I do, but if it was a simple error, I could accept that. However, there are other minor differences too. Take a close look at the crater patterns. There are differences there too. And frankly, I can't see the thing with the "1" you mentioned from the pic. If you can see it you're eyes are better than mine! Plus, how could the hallmark get left out in error? There are other things embroidered in the spot where it should be. Seems to me that if it was an error, there wouldn't be anything there. That is, this was intentionally made differently.

My point is, I think there may be more to this than a simple error patch. Maybe I'm wrong. But that's the purpose of this thread to begin with - to discuss these possibilities.

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2597
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 04-03-2013 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, not part of the "1", but as far as I can see from the scan it looks like there's a blank space where the hallmark goes.

I don't know about differences in the rest of the design. Are there differences beyond natural variation over 15 years of production?

Error patches appear all the time. In most cases the error is missing parts of text on the designs, as these just seem to be the last parts to be applied to a design. I wouldn't be surprised if the hallmarks were one of the last parts of the pattern to be executed and thus the most likely to be missed out.

I don't really know how these errors occur. Maybe the thread runs out, or maybe the thread breaks.

Error patches will sometimes slip past the quality control and end up on the market. Those that are spotted are supposed to be destroyed but at least in the old days the workers often kept them for their families or friends and these eventually end up on the market.

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 374
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 04-16-2013 08:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Update - received the patch yesterday. Finally got a chance to compare it to my other Lion Brothers patch. It is identical to my hallmarked Apollo 16 patch in almost every way except one. Even the hallmark. The only difference I can find is the hallmark itself. It IS there, just not as clear or maybe as well done as on my other patch. And that could simply be because it's probably from a different run. In any case, this "un-hallmarked" version does indeed have the hallmark.

All that being said, while the price was a bit high for a standard Lion Brothers patch, I'm still glad I added it to my collection. But there is a lesson to be learned from this. Actually two.

First, beware of what you find on eBay. Even with an accurate picture, you can find you are not getting what you may think. I don't think the seller was misleading anyone. I think he was selling what he believed to be an un-hallmarked patch. As I said, if i didn't not only know where to look for the hallmark and had another to compare it too, it would have been hard to find. So I don't blame him.

Second, even "error" patches have value. If this had indeed turned out to be an error, it still would have been a lesson in how things can go wrong and how we can learn about buying on-line. Case in point, a year ago I found the mis-colored STS-103 patches at the Goddard Gift shop. They were selling them for $5US each. And through research with AB Emblem (and Joe Fricano of Skyforce) we able to find out that less than 50 of those were made. They are indeed by every definition "error" patches. Yet one recently sold for over $26US. So even for collectors that believe they have no value and should be destroyed, they do have value.

Anyway, lessons learned!

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2597
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 04-17-2013 01:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to be clear, I didn't say that error patches should be destroyed, rather that it is usually the manufacturing company's policy that they are destroyed when detected during the manufacturing process.

As to value, no one can dictate that to others. Every patch is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 374
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 04-17-2013 07:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chris - I agree with you. They are only as valuable monetarily as what someone is willing to pay (good example given above) and that if found by the manufacturer before release, they are destroyed (and should be if they find them, otherwise they are intentionally distributing damaged goods). I wasn't trying to say you said they weren't. However, there are those that will profess that if an error patch is found in the wild, regardless of cost/value, they should be destroyed as they "distract" from "real" patches.

This is what I was disagreeing with, not you specifically. You have done so much for the community and I for one greatly appreciate your efforts.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-17-2013 07:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also don't think damaged patches "in the wild" need to be destroyed (I'll reserve that fate for unauthorized knockoffs) but I do think that there are different degrees of error patches, and that collectors may in some cases be conflating value with what they see in other areas of collecting.

I believe design errors that are clearly the result of machine or even hand-sewing mistakes are incorrectly perceived as having additional value, and I believe that error comes from looking at the stamp market. The reason why error stamps are valuable is the same reason why error currency is valuable; both begin as legal tender. The fact that both have intrinsic and not just collectible value means the issuer (the government) has a vested interest to control errors. When those escape through the quality control process, we get rarities such as the "upside down" Flying Jenny.

Patches have no intrinsic value. They are worthless as anything but collectibles. So any perceived value to manufacturing errors is as a novelty. A missing or incomplete hallmark therefore, should be less prized than a complete patch.

That said, when the manufacturer makes mistakes in execution (such as selecting the wrong color threads) or releasing a patch with copyrighted art without permission (e.g. the COLBERT treadmill patch), I can see where collectors could desire examples, but again as novelties.

The only error patches I think carry any real value are those that document turns in history, i.e. crew changes and in some rarer examples, payload changes. These are patches that when issued were not mistakes but that in the course of the mission coming together became outdated and needed to be replaced. In that situation, I think the patches become testaments to a specific point in time and therefore rightly command additional demand.

Gonzo
Member

Posts: 374
From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 04-17-2013 08:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Robert! Well put. 100% agreement.

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