Friday, October 28, 2011

A Happy Halloween Head Badge

Bates always used the bats motif (click to enlarge)
Happy Halloween everyone! To set the mood for the festivities to come, here's a spooky head badge from my collection - a wonderful Bates. This is actually one of my few reproduction badges, meaning it's a copy of an original by a modern firm related to Bates.

It's a heavy metal piece, nicely detailed and painted, and it appears to match the originals quite nicely. Another one I have like this is this Hetchins that was painstakingly copied and cast with permission by legendary framebuilder Art Stump.

I am not an expert on Bates Cycles of Westcliff-On-Sea, Essex, however I know they were an impressively innovative British framebuilder dating back to the the 1930s. When you see a Bates you'll remember it because of their curvy Diadrant fork, which may have inspired Pinarello to use wavy blades on theirs. Here's a nice article on Bates Cycles where you can read up on the marque and see the bikes.

In other exciting head badge news, watch for my upcoming Bicycling Magazine article featuring some of the best examples from my collection. Unlike this lousy photo of the Bates badge that I shot, we worked with a professional photographer and I should be able to share some excellent photos soon (head badges are very difficult to photograph nicely).

Hope your Halloween is all treat and no trick,
Jim


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