Australasian Squadron Other Ranks' Headdress Badge - Copy

Examples of a genuine and a copy of the ‘C’ Squadron (Australasian) Other Ranks’ headdress badge are shown in Figures 229-230. Compared with the genuine badge in Figure 229, the copy badge has a darkened metal finish unlike the gilding meal finish of the genuine example. The copy also lacks the fine lines on the sun’s rays and leaves, and the background of the Australasian scroll is seeded on the front but the seeding does not carry through in the striking to the rear of the badge, and has footed loops.

The ‘C’ Squadron (Australasian) headdress badge is one of the most difficult to authenticate among the King’s Colonials badges. In the late 1970's copies of this badge first really became apparent to collectors in Australia mainly as a result of the increased numbers of examples appearing on dealer's mail order lists and at militaria shows. An article by K.R. White from 1980 notes that copies of this badge were of a copper gold irregular colour relative to the light gold finish of die-struck genuine badges (Sabretache: Journal of the Australian Military Historical Society, 21 (3):14-15, July-September, 1980). Although die-struck the copy in the article lacked the fine detail of the genuine and was of a different size.  

As with all King's Colonials headdress badges the quality of the strike is very good guide to whether the badge is genuine or not as is the position of the loops and their lack of feet. As noted on the first of three copies the lack of seeding is a characteristic of the badge not being genuine. Collectively these are important characteristics that can be used to help differentiate between a copy and a genuine ‘C’ Squadron (Australasian) headdress badge. In my own opinion, the most readily identifiable and reliable feature on a genuine example are the fingers on the front paws of the kangaroo which can clearly be seen in Figure 241 (left image) as individual fingers versus the copy in Figure 242 (right image) with clubbed and indistinguishable fingers.

Figure 241, left image: Close-up image of the fine detail of the fingers of the front paw of the kangaroo of the genuine 'C' Squadron (Australasian) headdress badge.

Figure 242, right image: Close-up image of the lack of fine detail of the clubbed front paw of the kangaroo of the copy 'C' Squadron (Australasian) headdress badge.

Figure 229: A genuine ‘C’ Squadron (Australasian) Other Ranks headdress badge (KK 1376) in gilding metal with east-west, non-footed-loops.

Figure 230: A copy of the ‘C’ Squadron (Australasian) Other Ranks headdress badge (KK 1376) in darkened gilding metal with east-west, footed-loops.