BOUCKVILLE, N.Y. – A spectacular German World War II tapestry that probably hung in the Reichstag building in Berlin, a Civil War felt fez hat worn by a member of the 11th New York Fire Zouaves, and a trove of items pertaining to a U.S. P.T. boat, Squadron 24, in World War II, will all be sold in Mohawk Arms’ Auction #71, a live and internet auction that ends June 13-14.
The auction, featuring hundreds of military items from multiple wars and generations, will be held in Mohawk Arms’ Bouckville, N.Y., gallery (located on Route 20 in central New York state, not far from Interstates 90 and 81) as well as online, at www.LiveAuctioneers.com or the Mohawk Arms website, www.MilitaryRelics.com. Phone and absentee bids will also be taken.
Headlining the auction will be items from a single-owner lifetime collection with items from the Civil War through World Wars I and II. These will include swords, combat gear, headgear, belts, buckles, uniforms and guns. The sale overall will contain nearly 1,800 lots, to include over 300 lots of helmets and hats, more than 100 uniforms, many edged weapons and 16 mannequin sets.
The Nazi Reichstag National Culture Gobelin tapestry is monumental in size (11 feet 10 inches by 10 feet 2 inches) and carries a minimum bid of $25,000. It is a visually arresting presentation of the Third Reich’s claim to be the legitimate heir to the Carolinigian Empire, showing shields, eagles and swastikas. It was also used as a prop in a scene in the 1967 movie, The Dirty Dozen.
The Civil War blue felt fez (minimum bid: $5,000) is quite rare, as few hats from the 11th New York Fire Zouaves (a unit that saw action in the battles of Bull Run and Manassas) exist today. The fez has its original full blue yarn, knot and tassel, with multiple strands. The 11th Zouaves were led by Col. Elmer Elsworth, whose death in May 1861 made him the North’s first martyr.
The grouping of items relating to the U.S. World War II P.T. boat, Squadron 24, includes a rare squadron insignia, showing the emblem of an eagle riding atop a bomb. Included are items from Navy Capt. W. Robert (Bob) Reed, who commanded the boat. The lot (minimum bid: $1,250) is a scarce historical grouping of clothing, photos, awards, souvenirs from enemy kills and more.
A French M1843 Cuirassier officer’s helmet and cuirass, with steel skull retaining much of its original blue luster (but with most of the black fur missing from the back leather lower section of the helmet) has a minimum bid of $6,000. The front has a 4 ½ inch decorative gilt-brass comb with volutes, laurel leaves and a high relief head of Medusa, above a relief of a flaming grenade.
An outstanding German World War II mountain troops’ Lieutenant General’s uniform with quality olive drab cotton summer four-pocket tunic and five-gilt button front, general’s ski-type tapered grey trousers with red piping flanked on each side, and a pair of gators with leather straps and partial lining, plus two buckles, all in very good condition, carries a minimum bid of $7,800.
Civil War-related lots (in addition to the blue fez) will feature an ordnance sergeant’s cavalry “shell” jacket (Union, with 12 brass eagle buttons down the front and two on each collars), plus correct cavalry belt and colt-type black leather holster (minimum bid: $3,000); and a battlefield souvenir in the form of a 2 inch by 3 inch shell fragment embedded in a tree segment (minimum bid: $350). The tree section is nicely engraved with “Chickamauga” (the key Civil War battle).
A Japanese World War II Yasukuni shrine sword, with a brown cord-wrapped white sharkskin grip, Tang signed “Yasunori” and dated “a lucky day in March 1941,” with a hand-made 26 ¾ inch blade and leather cover scabbard, will start at $3,500; while a Sharps new model 1859-1863 percussion saddle ring carbine, with a receiver marked “C. Sharps Pat. Oct. 5th, 1852” and “R. S. Lawrence, Patented Feb. 15th, 1859” with clean stock and forearm, has a minimum bid of $2,000.
Just a couple of other lots expected to do well include a German M1940 Waffen SS single decal World War II Nazi helmet in untouched and field-found condition, unusual because it is made of fiber, with weathered SS runes decal and worn leather liner (minimum bid: $1,000); and a U.S. World War I “doughboy” helmet that will be desirable to collectors because the entire skull is surrounded by an elaborately and beautifully painted furled American flag (minimum bid: $350).
Previews will be held at the Mohawk Arms gallery, located on Route 20 in Bouckville, every Monday through Friday leading up to June 13th, from 9-6 (EDT), and on sale days (June 13-14), from 8-9 a.m. The first gavel will come down both days at 9 a.m. A buyer’s premium, which can range from 10 percent-17.5 percent depending on the final price, will be applied to all purchases.
Mohawk Arms, Inc., is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single item, a collection or an entire estate, you may call them at (315) 893-7888; or, you can e-mail them at Mohawk@MilitaryRelics.com. To learn more about Mohawk Arms and Auction #71, which goes online soon and ends June 13th-14th, please log on to www.MilitaryRelics.com.