🔎 UNIDENTIFIED Horse Wheel & Arrow Police Badge?

on.off

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I'm trying to ID this badge depicting a horse, wheel, and arrow. But for the arrow it looks like NYPD's old traffic squad insignia. Based on this badge's patina & brooch parts I would date it to around the 1930s. Any thoughts appreciated.

horse1.jpg
horse2.jpg
 

Doubter in MD

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Well if this little hand drawn chart on clasps is accurate, it can date back to the '20s .
clasp.jpg


But I'm with jewelerguy. I think it's a brooch of some kind. And not too old. It is cool, though. Thanks for sharing it with us.
 
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crashbandicoot

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I have no idea on the age or origin,your chart seems accurate. What I do know is I think that,s a cool piece regardless!! Nice find and congrats to you!
 
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thanks for the input! maybe it's not a badge at all and just decorative. it does have age, though, probably 30s-40s. i'm not familiar with a lot of military, police, organizational, etc. badge designs, but i have been an antique jewelry dealer/collector for over 20 years and have made a point of studying jewelry clasps, hinges, etc. that chart contains misleading and downright erroneous information and does not cover subtle changes in brooch clasp shapes over the years. please forgive the long post, but it's the type of internet source that spreads misinformation in the antique jewelry market.

for example:
#1 there are variations of the C clasp from the earliest brooches to the present. the single side-view image in the chart does not provide any insight into the different styles. for example if the C is formed from wire or sheet.
#2 not a very good drawing but it appears to be a type of clasp with a hinged safety mechanism made from a piece of crossed wire mounted next to the C; this is typically seen on 20s-30s german jewelry.
#3 is commonly found on american pieces from the late 1890s and as late as the 1950s on pieces by certain northeastern manufacturers; i seldom see it on european pieces, which would more likely have a C or trombone clasp.
#4 the trombone clasp was invented in the 19th century and is still sometimes used even today. it is usually european, but not always (Tiffany still uses it on some of the high-end brooches they produce in-house, as do some artist jewelers who fabricate them by hand).
#5 there are numerous styles of the familiar rolling safety clasp; the earliest documentable example i've had was from 1917 on a WWI bronze pin made by shreve & co. the particular shape of clasp on my non-badge here is nickel silver and somewhat larger and flatter than is seen today; this style appears on costume jewelry and certain badges from the 1930s-1940s period.
 
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Gare

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Could it be some type of a lady's brooch pin ?
 
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Red-Coat

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I don’t know what this is, but several things struck me when I looked at the pictures more closely.

- The workmanship for the horse’s head is greatly superior to the workmanship for the wheel.

- The two portions look to be of different qualities of metal and/or of different ages. Completely different colouration/patina. Especially apparent on the reverse, which suggests that although the wheel appears to be brass, the horse head may be gilded white metal of some kind.

Badge 1.jpg

- Look also at the holes for the attachment of the head to the wheel. They look to have been crudely punched through after the wheel was cast. Notice the ‘lipping’.

Badge 2.jpg

- I don’t think the two pieces originally belonged together, but have been assembled as a composite at some later date. The pin clasp perhaps also added at that time.

- Then take a look at the rear of the spokes and the arrow. It looks like they have been created as a cut-out by painstakingly fret-sawing and filing a disc which may or may not have originally been a wheel. The detailing of the feathers on the arrow suggest it was originally there but perhaps on a solid background which has been cut out. The front then appears to have been filed/sanded/polished to remove the rough cut edges seen on the back.

Badge 3.jpg Badge 4.jpg

I suspect this is an amateur piece put together for some unknown purpose (in relation to the emblems) as a badge or brooch and likely a one-off that will never be traced.
 
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i carefully opened the wires on the back and removed the horse.

the area between the horse & wheel was caked with old silver polish that i mostly brushed off. i found traces of a gilt finish on the wheel. originally the whole wheel would have had a gilt finish (clearly not a top quality one). i have other old costume jewelry that shows similar wear patterns.

the horse does not appear to have been plated with anything at any time; the back has a nearly black age patina on the copper, since that area never would have been handled or rubbed against clothing, etc. the front of the horse has something of a light patina, but through handling, polishing, or other contact never got as dark as the back. it seems that it was intended to have a bi-metal appearance, a copper or bronze horse against a gilt wheel.

it is also now evident that the wheel & arrow were stamped onto sheet (so the wheel is a manufactured piece, not one of a kind). the negative space between the spokes was sawn out by hand. as you point out, there are visible saw marks & unevenness along the insides of the spokes. the outer edge of the wheel shows file marks.

seeing the wheel without the horse makes me think it was intended to have something in the center, the design looks incomplete otherwise. i still think the horse may be original, but perhaps there were other designs available--i have seen this type of assembly on both badges & ordinary unaffiliated costume jewelry.

i feel certain that the pinstem & clasp are original.

whether it's a badge, costume jewelry, or homemade frankenjewelry, it interests me & i feel i've gotten my $12 worth.

horse1.jpg



horse2.jpg


horse3.jpg
 
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