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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
doughboy
Posted - 02/15/2006 : 10:39:35 AM
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So how rare are Italian WWI accoutrements? The reason I ask is I recently bought on Ebay a brass buckled sling for my Carcano rifle for $30. I noticed that there were two more auctions coming up, one for an Italian WWI waistbelt, and another for a pair of WWI cartridge boxes (different sellers). Ah-ha, I thought, here's my chance to complete the set for my rifle. Guess again, the belt went for around $140 (and it had been broken and resewn!), and the pair of boxes went for $260. Needless to say, I'm not the new owner of either. I know this stuff is harder to find, but is it just me or are these prices somewhat steep?



doughboy
Posted - 02/15/2006 : 2:51:41 PM
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That's more what I was thinking, the prices that stuff went for just blew me away. The boxes are harder to find, all I've come across so far have been WWII (there are differences between WWI & WWII boxes), but I didn't think they would be quite that uncommon. A couple of guys must have wanted them very badly.



JPS
Posted - 02/16/2006 : 07:29:25 AM
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Guess again in regards to finding original WWI vintage pouches (stitched front seams as well as on the sides), let alone complete sets! I have looked for a set of WWI pouches for over sevens years, ever since I bought my Bersaglieri hat almost eight years ago and then decided to put together a complete display. In seven years of searching very regularly, I have found a single double pouch. WWII pouches are a dime a dozen. My search included hitting several shops in Rome during three different visits.

The set that just sold on ebay for $260 was purchased by yours truly! I was glad to get them at that price. I bid $ 300 just in case. You can see by the closing cost that someone wanted them almost as much as I did. I didn't want to wait another seven years to complete my display!

Below are a few photos of my Bersaglieri display with the WWII stand in pouches that I have used for the past 6 years. The only thing I lack now are proper wartime woolen trousers. The trousers in the photo are WWI, but they are private purchase, officer grade material. Below the Bersaglieri photos are the shots from the ebay auction.

I also recently managed to find an original WWI vintage grigio-verde carbine sling for the display as well. That set me back $51 including shipping.

Best of luck to you in your search! If you are really serious, it's possible to put together a complete set of accouterments, but you might wait years for a set of original WWI vintage pouches. When and if you find them, unless you are very lucky, they won't be cheap! WWI items have been continually increasing in price over the past five years. It will go up even more as we gradually approach the 100th anniversary of the Great War.

Warmest regards,

JPS

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/JPS/200621673724_Italian Bersaglieri Completed Front View R.JPG
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/J...Bersaglieri Completed Detail Front View R.JPG
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/J...n Bersaglieri Completed Left Front View R.JPG
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/JPS/20062168526_Italian WWI pouches 1.jpg
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/JPS/20062168552_Italian WWI pouches 2.jpg
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/JPS/20062168616_Italian WWI pouches 3.jpg
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/JPS/2006216870_Italian WWI pouches 4.jpg
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DMala
Posted - 02/16/2006 : 1:26:42 PM
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I still do not understand the difference between WWI and WWII boxes, could you guys be more detailed, thanks?



JPS
Posted - 02/16/2006 : 5:16:35 PM
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Originally posted by DMala
I still do not understand the difference between WWI and WWII boxes, could you guys be more detailed, thanks?
Yo Mala,

No problem my friend. The pre WWI pattern pouches that were used throughout WWI have a slightly different construction as compared to the later pattern. In addition to the stitched seam along the bottom front and rear edge of the side of each pouch, the early style pouch also has a stitched seam along each side of the front of the pouch.

I have taken a close up of the later style pouches that I have been using with my Bersaglieri display and marked the location of these additional seams on the right hand set of pouches in the photo and left them unmarked on the pouches in the left of the photo for the purpose of comparison. The construction of the early style pouch included seperate panels of leather in the front, sides, bottom and back of each pouch.

The later pattern reduced the labor required to construct the pouches since it combined the front and sides of each pouch into a single piece of leather rather than three separate pieces, which eliminated the extra stitching. After you look at this photo, go back up and look at the photos of the pouches in my previous post and you can't miss it.

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/J...an Bersaglieri Pouch Detail - WWII Marked.JPG
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When the later style pouch was introduced is still subject to debate. I have at least one source that indicates that the later style was introduced during the later years of WWI and then another sources that says they were not introduced until after the war. Which is correct I don't quite know? However, with the early pouches, there is no question that they were used during WWI.

Hope this helps!

While I'm at it, below is the auction photo of the WWI vintage carbine sling.

Warmest regards,

JPS
http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/JPS/2006216171435_Italian WWI gregio-verde carbine sling.jpg
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Gustaf B
Posted - 02/16/2006 : 9:37:38 PM
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Thanks for the lesson John,
I too looked at the pouches you bought, I could not convince myself that the stiching was turely a mark of the WWI version. I am using a set of the WWII until I can acquire the correct ones, and you needs to be aware that most that are sold a WWI are actually the later ones.
Gus
 
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