CEF battalion badges to highlight CSMMI Convention sale

By Jesse Robitaille

Two Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) numbered battalion badges are expected to bring $3,200 altogether during Jeffrey Hoare Auctions’ Numismatic and Military Sale No. 129 this June.

The first – to be offered as Lot 400 of the June 22 sale – is a 244th CEF Battalion officer’s cap badge with a pre-sale estimate of $1,800.

With the silver numerals “244” on the silver design overlay and attached to the silver sunburst backing section – similar to Charlton #244B-21 – this “three-piece construction” is a “beautiful badge of supreme craftsmanship and an absolute must for the advanced CEF collector,” said auctioneer Wendy Hoare.

It’s only the second example offered at auction in the past three decades, she said, adding this “extremely rare” example is in Mint condition.

The second offering is Lot 387, a 247th CEF Battalion pickled copper cap badge (Charlton #247-2) with a pre-sale estimate of $1,400.

“We have only auctioned this badge four times over the last 30 years,” said the auctioneer, who added this “rare” example is in Extremely Fine condition.

A 247th CEF Battalion pickled copper cap badge has a pre-sale estimate of $1,400 as Lot 387 of the 466-lot sale on June 22.

In addition to badges, orders, decorations and other medals, the 466-lot sale will also offer a variety of military buttons, weapons and uniforms.

Lot 465 will see an 85th CEF Battalion – Nova Scotia Highlanders – khaki highland-style cut-away five-button jacket cross the block with a pre-sale estimate of $1,700.

Dated 1917, the jacket is accompanied by:

  • a pair of pickled brass collars;
  • general service brass buttons;
  • shoulder numerals “85”;
  • brass “CANADA” shoulder titles;
  • medium green 4th Division divisional patches;
  • blue rectangular brigade and battalion recognition patches;
  • three blue chevon service stripes on the lower-right sleeve;
  • Second World War-type sergeant chevrons, which are sewn on both sleeves; and
  • two ribbon bars for War and Victory medals.

Marked on the inside of the jacket in ink is “Fraser, A. Sgt.,” and stamped inside are “24/W” and “D/L.”

“Except for a few small moth holes, in amazingly good condition considering its age,” said the auctioneer.

The lot also includes an 85th CEF Battalion dress sporran and a nickel-plated cantle with the brass 85th CEF Battalion Glengarry badge mounted on it. It has a white horse hair backing with four black tails and a brown pouch on the reverse of the cantle.

A similar jacket and sporran are shown on page 227 of Victor Toboika’s 2007 book Military Antiques and Collectables of the Great War.

INFANTRY SCHOOL CORPS OFFICER’S BADGE

Described by auctioneers as ‘extremely rare,’ an officer’s badge from the Infantry School Corps is expected to bring $950 as Lot 316.

Rounding out the highlights is Lot 316, which auctioneers describe as an “extremely rare” officer’s badge from the Infantry School Corps.

The regimental designation “INFANTRY SCHOOL CORPS” is inscribed around the outer gilt belt, surrounding a silver beaver in the centre, all of which is surmounted by a Victorian Crown. The beaver is separately mounted on a circlet plate, which, in turn, is fastened by clips on the reverse. There is no black velvet backing behind the beaver.

It’s only the second time the London, Ont.-based auction house has offered this plate for auction.

In Extremely Fine condition, this lot is expected to bring $950 when it crosses the block in June.

For more information about the auction, visit jeffreyhoare.on.ca.

CSMMI CONVENTION

The one-day sale is being hosted in conjunction with the annual convention of the Canadian Society of Military Medals and Insignia (CSMMI) this June in Burlington, Ont.

The CSMMI, which held its inaugural meeting in March 1965, hosted its first two-day show in May 1973 in nearby Hamilton. It was followed each year with a two- or three-day show in various host cities across the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton and Niagara Region.

This year’s two-day convention will be held June 21-22 at the Holiday Inn on 3063 South Service Rd., in Burlington, and will feature more than 30 dealers from Canada and the U.S. Altogether, more than 80 tables will offer show-goers Canadian and foreign militaria, medals, badges, insignia, books, uniforms and more.

The bourse will be open on June 21 from noon-4:30 p.m. and on June 22 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $10 a day (children under the age of 16 are free when accompanied by an adult), and parking is free.

The society also hosts monthly meetings and publishes a quarterly journal, the CSMMI Journal, plus a regular newsletter, the CSMMI Medallion.

For more information about the CSMMI, visit csmmi.com.

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