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Thursday 19th April 2012

Backstamps on enamel badges

Tomasz Sieniutycz continues the important research

Tomasz Sieniutycz is Polish and has a passion for British football and Speedway badges. As a long time member of the Badge Collectors Circle he was always interested to learn more and develop the hobby. He took special interest in the excellent work of John Manley who recorded backstamps on old enamel badges to help with dating them. Tomasz has continued this work on his own website where you will find many images--it is in the Polish language but if you are interested give it a try and help him out with any information. Tomasz records his own story below:

My UK badges

I have been collecting badges since 1983. At the very beginning, every badge seemed to be precious. Badges from Great Britain were a kind of rarity as I live in an ex-communist country. In the beginning of 1990’s I  sold all my collection. I was frustrated by the number of unofficial copies and price increase in Poland. After ten years I  decided to come back to my “childish” hobby. But having been older and a more conscious collector, I have decided to keep my attention on UK badges.

The way of collecting has significantly changed as now the internet is king.  Thanks to this new form of communication I have found out about The Badge Collectors Circle and Association of Football Badge Collectors becoming a member of both organizations.

During the last ten years, I have met many people with whom I could have shared opinions, swap badges or just asked for help. My collection of speedway and football badges from the UK accounts to about 3,000 pieces but I think that  I have seen over 10,000 badges –  buying many badges to see their backstamps and reselling them after making some notes and photos. Each day my knowledge has become bigger and I have felt more confident in the way I was collecting badges.

Everything has its start and  end. I still collect badges and I am not going to quit, but when I saw over 250 Everton badges (my favourite club), 12 Portsmouth badges and so on, I  realized that this is only multiplication of the same design and so did not collect them all. Thus about two years ago I started the next “phase” of collecting, at least in my head. I started to keep any information about badge makers and the way of production. The internet was very helpful but also books, articles published in newsletters or on the websites help me to get more experience. 

A year ago I decided to build my website and share this knowledge with other collectors, this was not an easy job.  A lot of questions came to my mind, I am not a professional webmaster so I had to plan how to do it and use one of the user friendly platforms to create my website.

I started from 800 clicks in November 2011 and this month I will finish with almost 3000 clicks. I didn’t expect so big an interest especially that there is no English version. But today Google will translate most of the websites in the world. Moreover, I did care about UK collectors and other collectors of UK badges. If you look at the gallery, you will find the description in English - Polish collectors are forced to use small dictionary and to learn how to call different fittings for example and how to read description. I have found a lot of information about makers and their backstamps. It is still difficult to verify when the badge was made. The BCC has done a huge job and has created a database which helps collectors in that matter. But following only sport badges I have found some exceptions. It means that all the collectors should look at their badges and help, as it is – in my opinion – a never ending story. But let’s do it as well as possible.

Thanks to the BCC database I have had a good starting point. But I still look for new  unrecorded backstamps and for new information in the internet – articles, forums. Hopefully my passion will continue but it depends also on other collectors who hopefully give me a hand. So please have a look at: www.ukbadges.pl and do not hesitate to send your opinions, scans and other information. My website is a part of my passion but it has been created for others. Let’s do our best – together.

Warsaw, 28 of September 2012    Tomasz Sieniutycz


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About the author

Frank Setchfield is the author of The Official Badge Collectors Guide from the 1890s to the 1980s and has written countless articles on badges for various publications.


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