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Soviet Flags And Banners Discussion pertaining to Flags and Banners of the Soviet Union, Unit Flags and Socialist Competition Banners.

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Old 01-15-2015, 01:32 PM   #1
AllThingsCCCP
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Socialist Competition Banner - opinions please

Hello all!

I'm deeply skeptical of a socialist competition banner that I recently bought from a seller I will not name (I think it is against the rules of the forum, otherwise I’d scream it from the hills!). I have several old banners to compare to and something about this one just doesn't sit right. It is supposed to be from the '60s. The velvet has that aged look, feel, and smell that old cloth does and the stitching seems correct as well. It is also wearing and unraveling in the same places and in the same way as my other banners. The problem is the image of Lenin, which is painted in the middle of the banner. My first impression was that it looks new. The paint is very crisp, and the image shows no signs of age at all. No chipping, no wear, nothing, just a perfect image of Lenin in profile. Yet 50 years old! I have banners from the late ‘70s early ‘80s with painted images, they are chipping all over the place.

If it was only the image I would reject it immediately, but the velvet seems old. I just don't know what to think. It could be an excellent piece that I should be proud to own. It isn't a big money item, so why would you go through the effort to fake such a thing? I’m at work now, but I’ll take some pictures when I get home and post them.

I’m often overly skeptical, so I’d love some input from people more objective and experienced than I. Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2015, 05:52 PM   #2
Keith
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Re: Socialist Competition Banner - opinions please

Hello,
My experience is that the quality of banners varies greatly. If a banner was made at a factory in quantity (as most were), and had the local names stitched on later, the quality of those is usually good, but not great, they are almost all the same. Banners made locally or made to order vary greatly in terms of quality. Some banners seem like they are made of curtain/bedsheet material and have letters crumbling or falling off, and some banners are old and look like they belong in an art museum. Some banners were also made locally of quality materials, but not made by experienced banner makers with proper equipment, so something looks off. I don't believe I have ever seen a fake banner, but there are plenty of banners out there with lots of recent repair work.
The manufacture of velvety banners versus satiny banners is different as well.
Those are my experiences - I hope that helps!
Do you have any pictures of your banner?
Keith
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:55 PM   #3
AllThingsCCCP
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Keith, Thanks for the information. Never saw a fake banner, that is really good to hear! I'm profoundly sceptical, so I'm always looking for something to be wrong.

Anyway, here are some pics of the banner. As you can see it is in phenomenal shape for something 50 years old. The portrait of Lenin is really crisp, it even makes a popping sound when it is bent and springs back into place.

Just for the sake of it I thought I would post some pics of my favourite banner from my collection. I was living in Moscow back in 2004 and wanted to get something really nice while I had the chance, and the money. I went down to Old Arbat (I don't have Cyrillic on my keyboard) and spread the word around that I wanted banner with Lenin and Stalin on it, a big one, and in good shape. The sellers hunted around, gathered what they had, and lead me down an alley where they displayed their stuff for me. It was a bizarre experience, and had a real illicit feel to it. This one was by far the nicest they had. Pics can't do it justice. The detail is incredible. The only problem is that I can't display it! I'm afraid that the sun will fade it, or that some uncaring family member or child will hurt it. I looked into framing it but that is expensive and I would loose the back, which is gorgeous as well! So it stays safely folded away along with my other fragile items. Maybe someday I'll find a way to put it up.

Sorry, still new to this social networking thing, I don't even have a facebook page!

I'll post more pics of the Socialist Competition banner tomorrow.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 20150115_193907.jpg (45.0 KB, 6 views)
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:16 AM   #4
Keith
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Re: Socialist Competition Banner - opinions please

I don't see anything wrong with this - these were made in large quantities and this has some wear on it. The stitching on the sickle is nice and this kind of stitching is not easy to do. I don't think the fakers are making these nice labor banners, and would be even more surprised if they were making these in 2004.
I don't collect the military banners, these are much more expensive, and there probably are fakes of those.
Keith
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