JAMESVILLE, N.Y. — Worldwide demand for historic military artifacts continues to grow as established collections and estates are liquidated and return to the market. CNY Militaria & Collectibles is a leading house specializing in the category, and its 583-lot sale slated for Saturday, December 9 illustrates the dizzying array of collectibles from the U.S. and foreign armed forces available today. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.
Two key lots from the sale are military-themed but are actually screen-worn props from American films. This outfit worn by John Wayne in John Ford’s 1950 classic She Wore A Yellow Ribbon comes with direct provenance from Western Costume Company and has been photo-matched. It includes a tag showing alterations performed for Wayne to allow him to fit (he was a big man for his day). The outfit is estimated at $2,500-$4,000.
Next up is a photo-matched pair of German Luftwaffe caps worn by future President Ronald Reagan in the 1942 war movie Desperate Journey. In it, Reagan and co-star Errol Flynn are members of a British bomber team downed behind enemy lines. The German insignia on the caps are from their daring escape while dressed as German regulars. One cap features a baby-pinned tag reading “Ronald Regan” (sic) and labels from United Costumers of Hollywood. The pair of caps is estimated at $750-$1,500.
A battle-flown flag from the USS El Dorado, the command ship that oversaw the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, comes with direct provenance from the former International War Flag Museum, operated by World War I veteran Dr. Clarence Rungee. All the flags in his museum were fully documented, and he had a preference for flags flown in battle. Representing an opportunity to own a battle-flown flag from World War II’s Pacific theater, the lot is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.