Jump to content
Historical War Militaria Forum
Timothy

Looking for a quality appraisal

Recommended Posts

Greetings, 

I have a pair of WW1 flying boots that I would like to have appraised.  I live in Arizona and am looking for a reputable appraiser in the region. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Timothy.

I guess it depends on what the purpose is of having it appraised:  Insurance, Possible sale, just curiosity?   

Condition as well as size, if there are any laundry/maker marks will greatly determine this.  Flying boots don't often come up. If it is curiosity or for a possible sale, you could ask and see what other forum members might take a stab if they were to want to acquire your specific boots. 

Collecting is a rather hard thing to gauge,  it really depends on a buyer and a seller.  You might think those boots are worth easily say 1000USD and not a penny less, because it came from a relative or something, but someone else might say that they are only worth 300 and not have to give any other explanation. 

Certificates of Authenticity are only worth the paper it was written on.   Every dealer has made some sort of blunder, selling something as an original and it turned out to be completely inaccurate.  The overall consensus of originality on these forums is your best place to get a rough idea of the value, especially since it is likely to be a forum member or someone with great appreciation for your item or other military items that will likely be your customer. 

Pictures are worth a thousand words.  Post pics please

 

 

Best Regards,

JustinG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Justin,

 

Thanks for the reply.  I am interested in possibly selling the boots and would like to know what they are worth. If the value is not what I hope for, I would probably lend them to a museum. They belonged to my great great uncle Frank Luke Jr.. I would imagine that would increase their value significantly. Boots are size 7 to 7 1/2 and are in great condition. There is a marking on the inside of the boots which I think indicate size 7? There does seem to be some staining on the right boot strap and top which could be blood stain?  I do have a letter signed by my mother and grandfather attesting to their provenance. Here are some photos. Please let me know what you think, or share with someone else who has knowledge of the collector market.

 

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, these boots are in incredible condition.  The styling looks good.  Obviously, these weren't worn too much.  I am really amazed how well the leather has held up.  Many items from this time period have some cracking, especially environments like the dry heat that Arizona is notorious for.   Is this the only item you have from your great-great Uncle? 

If you have his uniform and awards, even if you weren't to sell them, this would increase the price as the connection to one of the great Air Aces for America would command. 

Just out of curiosity, what kind of price were you thinking might be a range you had thought of? 

 

Regards,

JustinG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had them since I was 10 and have always kept them in a plastic bag, even after the original one disintegrated.

I am concerned they will start to degrade if not kept in ideal conditions. Something a serious collector or museum could accomplish. 

I don't have any other items. A cousin once told me that his father who was a brother of Frank's, had a set of leggings that also had blood stains, but who knows if they are around anymore?  

I do have an interesting program for the Luke memorial air tournament.  Eddie Rickenbacker attended and it lists stories of many of Arizona's fallen soldiers.  I'll attach some photos.  The Goldwater ad next to Frank's entry is from Barry Goldwater's father's store.

A trunk with his personal items was returned from France after his death. His brother's and sisters were given some of the items. Another cousin of mine recently sold a map of France that Frank had written on and signed his name. 

Not sure how much Frank wore the boots but famous photos appear to have him wearing a different pair. Of course he only flew in combat for about two weeks,  so anything of his would probably not have to much wear. 

I would expect a serious collector to pay around 10k, since no other articles of his are around. I have spoken to other family members and verified no one has any personal items. His medals and I believe goggles were donated to the air force museum in Dayton. 

I have thought about contacting the museum to see if they could put them in his display.  Author Stephen Skinner saw the boots and thought the museum would be interested in them.

Which brings me back to my original question of getting a proper appraisal done. I should probably have it done at least for insurance reasons.

I thought there might be some appraisers or collectors that coukd give me a better idea on value. Please let me know what you're thoughts are.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, for insurance I would suggest looking to a place like Lloyd's of London.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd's_of_London

They insure quite a bit of rare items.  If you can provide the proof, then this would be an option; I have no idea how much a yearly premium would be to maintain the policy.

  $10K is a great deal of money.  I feel you will be greatly disappointed if you were to try to sell these boots on their own.  Boots are a difficult thing to collect.  These are not flight boots, they wouldn't have been worn during flight times and probably only a few handful of people outside of museums have a WW1 aviation flight tunic, britches, and such to showcase the complete ensemble.   

I was thinking to myself about if I had these boots, how would I have these displayed?  How could I show the provenance that these were indeed, Frank Luke Jr. boots?  It's difficult huh..... Well, that is exactly what and why it might be difficult to find a buyer who could afford and then know how to display these boots.  

This is just my thoughts.  A museum would be a great idea.  The Air force museum in Dayton is a great place, as is the Smithsonian.  If you choose that path. 

Best Regards,

JustinG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Justin,

Thank you for your thoughts. I understand provenance is difficult to prove. Like I said before I have a signed letter from my grandfather and birth  and death certificates from family members proving my direct relation to Frank Luke Jr, but nothing more than that.

I am surprised to hear that you don't think the boots are flight boots. Can you tell me what type of boots you think they are and why?

Thanks again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sorry for my mistype.  I was meaning that these particular boots couldn't have been proven that Frank Luke Jr. wore these during actual flights. 

You know they very well might be flight boots.  I have seen other flight boots that were lined with sheepskin or other material to help protect against frostbite and the cold elements that would be experienced.

In a Book:   "Knights of the Air" By Ezra Bowen  TimeLife Books Copyright 1980 Page 42,43 they discuss and show the different actual flight uniforms which mention fur lined boots and showed some great photos of German, British, Turkish, French and other flight suits and boots.  This was what I was basing my initial observations.

Regards,

JustinG

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×