WWI German Aircraft Fabric Fragment, ca. 1918
This is from World War I. We had this in a burlap bag, stored away in a hope chest. A couple times I would take it to school for show-and-tell. I knew that it was the German Iron Cross from a German airplane. Unfortunately, I don't know what type of airplane. I presume a biplane.
Sadly, we probably never will know. We certainly are not going to be able to find out which type of aircraft it is, because there are no clues inherent to the material that tell us that.
One thing I can tell you is that the camouflage pattern that you're looking at here is called “lozenge camo”. And that's a very distinctive German camouflage pattern that came out late in World War I, and they used it across a number of different aircraft.
We find lozenge camo a lot. Anytime one of these planes would crash, the Allied servicemen were there with pocketknives cutting it up into little pieces for souvenirs.
And so you find a lot of pieces that are five, six, seven, eight inches, maybe, if you're lucky. Rarely, though, do you find a great big complete panel with one whole wing insignia on it, or fuselage insignia like you have here. The small pieces are desirable. People collect them. But this is what they're after. I would anticipate seeing a retail price for this in the neighborhood of $6,000 to $7,000.
Wow, that's amazing.
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