FAKES, COPIES AND REPRODUCTIONS

Disclaimer:

THIS PAGE LIKE THE REST OF THIS WEBSITE IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, SO THAT COLLECTORS or INTERESTED PEOPLE CAN MAKE COMPARISONS BETWEEN A GENUINE ITEM AND A FAKE ITEM.

My definition of a faked or copied item is an item that was not authentic or genuine to the Rhodesian Security Forces. While the 3 Commando, RLI, ‘Lovers’ Wing was not official, the wearing of it on the combat uniform was obviously tolerated to an extent. This also applied to certain patches worn by the BSAP PATU Units. These patches I consider are genuine to the Rhodesian Security Forces of that time.

Pre-UDI there were a large number of badges and insignia that were made in England and were official issue during the time of Southern Rhodesia and after UDI. These are of course genuine items. Berets that were made in Botswana and were official issue to the Selous Scouts, SAS, RLI and RAR among others are of course genuine.

I have differentiated between the word fakes and the word copies. My definition of a FAKE is an item of militaria that is not authentic or genuine or did not exist. My definition of a COPY is an item of militaria that is an imitation, reproduction, or transcript of an original. Both are as bad as the other if being sold as genuine.

DEFINITIONS from Dictionary.com

fake- verb (used with object) 1. prepare or make (something specious, deceptive, or fraudulent):

copy- noun 1. an imitation, reproduction, or transcript of an original:

reproduction- noun 3. something made by reproducing an original; copy; duplicate:

Some pointers that a prospective buyer should be aware of when buying Rhodesian militaria:

   SERVICE NUMBERS: The name or service number of a person written inside a uniform, on an item of clothing or on a piece of equipment does not automatically guarantee authenticity.

   PRIVATE LISTINGS (AUCTIONS) ON EBAY: I am always concerned when a seller on eBay uses ‘Private Auctions’ where a bidders ID is kept private. I cannot see any reason that a person would want their eBay username from being listed as the winner of an item. If it is a ‘Private Auction’ then the username of the winning bidder will only ever be known if and when he/she leaves feedback for the seller but one will never be able to see the item that was won. Obviously not all items being sold by ‘Private Auctions’ are fakes. However if someone wanted to sell a fake on eBay, a good way to do it would be to list the item as a ‘Private Auction’. Some of the biggest sellers on eBay of Rhodesian fakes have had their auctions listed as ‘Private Auctions.’

I have been a member of eBay since March 2002 and I have a feedback rating of 887, 371 of that feedback is as a seller but I have never listed anything as a ‘Private Auction’. Caveat Emptor!

   FEEDBACK RATINGS ON EBAY: A seller on eBay that has a feedback rating of 100% or is a Power Seller does not guarantee that they don’t sell fakes or copies.

   ITEMS BELONGING TO RELATIVES: The seller claims that the item came from a relative or a friend who served or lived in Rhodesia. Well that could be true but it doesn’t make the item genuine. It could also be a lie so do your research before bidding.

   LETTER OF AUTHENTICITY: A letter of authenticity from the seller really doesn’t mean anything, because anyone can write what they want. A letter of authenticity from a recipient is an entirely different matter altogether.

    PHOTOS OF ITEMS FOR SALE: As a prospective buyer you are entitled to see clear, detailed, close-up photos of the item that is for sale. This includes photos of the reverse of badges, patches, insignia and wings, as most fakes and copies can be discovered this way. Any seller that refuses or makes excuses for not supplying these photos I would be wary of.

   MEDALS TO SPECIAL FORCES: On a number of occasions I have seen medals that are listed as belonging to a Trooper and the seller states that the recipient obviously served in the SAS, Selous Scouts or the RLI. What the seller has failed to tell you is that there were also Troopers in the Grey’s Scouts and the Armoured Car Regiment.

   AUTHENTIC DESCRIPTION OF A GENUINE ITEM: Some items that are genuine are described as something else or the description is enhanced to suggest that the item belonged to a unit that was Special Forces or a unit that saw more action, therefore hoping to attract a higher price at auction or point of sale. Once again Caveat Emptor!

   AUTHENTICITY: If you can’t substantiate the authenticity of an item and you have doubts, my advice is to not buy it.

   DONATIONS TO CHARITIES: Be cautious of sellers who claim that a percentage of the sale price of the item is being donated to charity, unless they have a donation link direct to the charity or you have absolute proof that the seller has in fact donated to the said charity. Being a donor to a charity doesn’t mean that the seller is not selling fakes.





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The majority of the sellers below have been notified by me that there is something wrong with the authenticity of their item or items. Sellers who are continually listing fakes are no longer notified by me but have the links to their listed fake items placed here.

The items listed below are not genuine but are fakes, copies or made-up to appear genuine. Caveat Emptor!


July 2011

1 Rhodesia Regiment Tracker Combat Unit patch

This fake patch was sold by hotminicooper on eBay. I messaged the seller and informed them that it was a fake. His reply was that it had come with the other Rhodesian items from Zimbabwe. The other items were genuine but this patch is definitely a fake and you only have it on the sellers word that that’s where the items came from. My reply to the seller was “That makes it a fake out of Zimbabwe then. German WWII militaria comes out of Germany and a substantial amount is fake. More fake South African militaria is produced in South Africa than any other country.” The sellers reply was “If you say so Peter.”

Yet the seller has ignored my advice and sold the patch as A 100% original UDI issue which makes the listing completely wrong and deceitful.


July 2011

The following photos show the difference between a common fake PJI printed brevet and a genuine PJI printed brevet. The fake PJI brevet I bought from eBay seller tels-insignia to illustrate this difference. He had the brevet listed as a copy and I commend him on his honesty.

Parachute  Jump Instructors Printed Brevets comparison_obverse

The problems with the fake PJI brevet are:

Parachute  Jump Instructors Printed Brevets comparison_reverse

The problems with he fake PJI brevet are:

SCROLL DOWN AND CLICK ON ANY OF THE HIGHLIGHTED LINKS


Description of the listing

Arm patch

I received this reply back from the seller:       A:   Captain Hogspear points out that you may be unaware of the fact that           British Army personnel served on attachment to the Rhodesian Security Forces in the '70s. This is indicated by the flash                worn on the sleeve of the jungle shirt - designed in fact by the retired officer that this kit was bought from. I hope this           helps. All good wishes to rhodesianmilitaria. Jenny. Hogspear.com




Updated 24 December 2011

August 2011

Comparison photos of the very scarce Rhodesia Skydivers Club patch

This patch is very scarce and has been faked (copied) for years.

You will see significant differences between the detail, type of material used and the colours.


25 August 2011

Rhodesian Air Force beret and badge

“In April 1960, 3 Air Supply Platoon was formed.

June 1960 No. 3 Squadron received the initial award of the Jacklin Trophy.

July 1960 saw the RRAF engaged in the Congo crisis.”

Then the seller states: “Being told, this is all I know about it.”

However the above information written exactly like it is written here and on his eBay listing has come from the Rhodesian Forces web site here under the year 1960: A Brief History: The Rhodesian Air Force Plain and simple Plagiarism by the seller and this information has absolutely no relevance to helicopters which weren’t even in Rhodesia at this time.

16 September 2011

Selous Scouts Regimental Canvas Belt



18 September 2011

Police Cross for Conspicuous Gallantry (P.C.G.)

While I normally don’t comment on what price an item is listed for I will make an exception for a copy that is being listed as genuine and at a ridiculous price.


19 July 2011

British Army Uniform being sold as a Rhodesian Infantry Combat Kit

PRO’S AND CON’S OF BUYING ON eBAY

PRO’S

CON’S

30 October 2011

Rhodesian SAS Beret

  1. This seller has a history of selling items that he has listed as genuine Rhodesian when in fact they are not.
  2. There is no evidence or provenance, including photographic that shows that this beret was worn by an SAS soldier.
  3. The beret badge is genuine but I believe the beret is not Rhodesian and is made-up to falsely represent a genuine beret and badge.
  4. The pompadour blue flash is also not genuine for that era.
  5. Initials written inside the beret mean absolutely nothing unless their is absolute provenance of who the beret belonged to.
  6. Once again the beret comes from an estate auction.
  7. Once again the seller knows very little about it.


16 November 2011

This item was listed and sold on eBay on 12 November 2011 by eBay seller rivilous. While the jacket, para wing, collar badges, lanyard and shoulder patches are genuine, I have some serious concerns about the overall item.

This jacket was advertised as a ‘Genuine Original Rhodesian Selous Scout Dress Jacket.’ The description stated:

This rare jacket belonged to W02 Peter Ivan McNeilage former Rhodesian Light Infantry and Selous Scout, who was awarded the Bronze Cross of Rhodesia. Regimental Number 724155, and Selous Scout wing number 0042.

When he was awarded the Bronze Cross of Rhodesia he was a Sergeant in the Rhodesian Light Infantry. When he left the Selous Scouts he was a Warrent Officer 2nd Class as you can see by the badge on the right sleeve. This jacket has the original holes for the para wings, however the wings in the photo are unnumbered display wings, the lapel badges are genuine, as is his red sash and red lanyard included in the auction. There is stitching/small holes where the bronze cross was mounted, it doesn't look like he ever wore his Rhodesia Medal. His dress tie is also part of the auction which is in the pocket. If you don't want the wings let me know and I'll remove them before posting. His family still have his wings and his Bronze Cross. The jacket is not new, it is used which is evident when you see the lining inside, which has signs of wear and some holes. Over all its in really good condition.

Its been in my collection for many years and has been stored in a dry cupboard in a suit bag so very well looked after.

My observations:

















So after those worrying points the main question is: “Did the ‘Greens’ jacket belong to Peter McNeilage SCR?”

My answer is I don’t know. It’s quite possible it’s one of these two things:


  1. The original jacket belonged to Peter McNeilage SCR but his Selous Scout para wing #0042 had been removed. Someone has then added the lanyard.
  2. The jacket belonged to a WO in either the Selous Scouts, RhSAS or HQ and has had the lanyard and para wing and collar badges added.


This jacket sold for £366 (US$578) which is a lot of money for an item that has no provenance, a lot of faults and leaves a number of key questions unanswered.


Caveat Emptor!



18 November 2011

Rhodesian pair of SAS hat badges

There were no SAS badges with sliders ever worn by the RhSAS...EVER!

Reuteler Manufacturing also never made any RhSAS badges with sliders.

These are British SAS badges NOT Rhodesian.

The seller has been informed through eBay but hasn’t replied and hasn’t shown what I have said on their listing.

Caveat Emptor!


22 November 2011

Item number: 250933544879 - This item is listed on eBay by army3757 and the description reads:

*Spelling mistakes are the sellers

I asked the seller if I could see reverse photos of the Selous Scouts stable belt buckle and the beret badge. His reply was that the information was already on the listing. I then explained to him that it didn’t matter what was on the listing, most Rhodesian fakes had stampings on them anyway. The seller then did the right thing and uploaded the photos of the reverse of the buckle and the beret badge to his eBay listing.

Unfortunately for him the beret badge is a poorly made fake. I have informed the seller of this fact and I have sent him a link to this site. The seller for whatever reason has not responded to that and hasn’t changed his description to say that the beret badge is a fake which is a shame. There is no evidence that the beret was worn by a Selous Scout.

I’m also concerned that No returns were accepted.

These items sold on the 23 November 2011 for £162 ($259.59). Even though the seller received a fake beret badge and a beret quite possibly not a Selous Scout one, he/she did get a genuine Selous Scout stable belt which on the open market would fetch the $259 they paid for it.








This was the only photo that was originally listed.

The stable belt buckle is genuine and correctly stamped REUTELER MFG SALISBURY. This was the 2nd issue as the 1st issue wasn’t stamped.

I would like to add that the Selous Scouts stable belt buckles have been faked including being stamped.

This photo clearly shows the poor construction of the badge, not made from anodised aluminium and the very bad attempt of the stamping. A very bad fake.

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