Thursday, January 3, 2008

COLLECTIBLES: Head badges!!

I was lucky to find this Chief badge the other day. It's from a Chief bicycle built around 1915 by the Davis Sewing Machine Company and sold by Sears. To give you an idea of what it looked like when it was new I found a picture of a reproduction chief badge with full color. That's not paint, it's cloisonné (melted porcelain), which gives it the brilliant color.

My badge, the original, was recently found in Iowa in a field. Apparently a house had been there and the badge must have belonged to the owners and been lost at some point. During plowing this fall the badge was unearthed and put on auction on eBay, which is how I ended up with it. I like the original a lot more than the reproduction, but seeing the new one makes me want to find an original in newer shape someday.

If you like bicycle head badges (also called nameplates) there are many more wonderful ones at these links: my collection, David Spick's Argentina collection, German gallerie (lots of cool modern badges).

Rare and beautiful


Anonymous said...

Are the reproductions available anywhere?

Jim Langley said...

Yes, you can find lots of them on But only for fairly common/popular collector-type bicycles. And usually they're pretty expensive compared to what you'll pay for an original head badge. In most cases, if you just keep searching you can find the original badge you need used on eBay and not pay too much for it. It just takes patience and regular searching. Good luck! Jim