Hitler artwork collection auctioned for over $143,000

Is this watercolor a self-portrait by the young Adolf Hitler?

April 24, 2009 – A collection of paintings, believed to have been painted by Adolf Hitler when he was a young struggling artist, sold collectively for $143,358 (97,672 pounds) yesterday at Ludlow Racecourse in Shropshire, England. The total includes a buyer’s premium.

Reuters reports that the artwork included 12 watercolors, an oil painting and two other works.

One particular painting that sold for $14,600 showed a pensive figure sitting on the end of a stone bridge dressed in brown peering into wine-colored waters, with the letters “A.H.” written beside it. It is said to be a self-portrait of the young Hitler in 1910. It sold for six times the pre-sale estimate. The buyer, John Ratledge, said he planned to hang it at his home or office.

“I was completely gobsmacked to be honest,” a historical documents expert is quoted as saying about the auction prices. Richard Westwood-Brookes helped to conduct the sale for Mullock’s Specialist Auctioneers and Valuers.

An Austrian expert issued certificates of authenticity for the pictures, which once belonged to a British soldier who was stationed in Essen, Germany, in 1945. Westwood-Brookes conceded, however, that no one could be sure if Hitler was indeed the artist.

Sources: Reuters, AP News

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