Who can do appraisals of Militaria?
Not just anyone can be trusted to properly appraise militaria and military antiques.
It’s a niche field.
To make things trickier, within this niche field are many deep rabbit holes down which are sub-specialisations that most may not have believed to exist before spending time in the militaria world.
Many common items of militaria are easier to verify, as they may not have sufficient rarity and value to fake. Once you get into high-end and rarer items however, sadly there are many clever fakes to trap newcomers and experienced people alike.
If an item has a watertight provenance, it’s a much easier process, but sadly many great and valuable items do get separated from their history and paperwork across the years. It is then that expertise is needed to seperate fake from the genuine article.
German WW2 items and high-end awards (and virtually anything Waffen SS) provides fertile ground for very well executed and aged fakes. We have over 40 years of experience with militaria, and yet will never hesitate to engage genuine subject matter experts for such valuable items to be sure of authenticity. Not only are there outright fakes to beware of, but also post-war made items using the same factories and tools that whilst they may look right to the untrained eye, are not in fact genuine award pieces.
Good honest collectors, and even highly experienced expert collectors will have been burned at some stage if they are honest about it. On this basis, it’s hard to be 100% confident with some items unless put into the hands of a true specialist.
There is no accepted governing body that 'certifies the certifiers' as it were, and so it comes down to proven expertise, solid reputations and dealing only with businesses and individuals that have a demonstrated track record in honest dealing. Beware of people who profess to know it all, as after 40 years in this game we are yet to meet anyone who genuinely does. There are specialists in so many different aspects of militaria, it's therefore honest and fair to 'know what you don't know' and be totally open about that.
Sabre will certify / appraise items we are confident are 'in our wheelhouse, and we also have a great alliance network of experts in a variety of fields who often help us to appraise the rarer items. In particular quality WW2 German items.
Our talented onshore specialist in this field of appraisal and certification is a long-time associate of the likes of Don Boyle and Helmut Weitze and possesses a truly unparalleled personal collection of his own.
He is also available for private certifications and appraisals upon request.