BOUCKVILLE, N.Y. – Historically significant examples of militaria spanning multiple conflicts and generations from several collections will come up for bid in Militaria Auction #88 scheduled for Saturday, December 17 at Mohawk Arms, starting at 9 am Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Headlining the auction is the collection of Donald G. Brownlow, who arrived in Normandy with the American troops storming Utah Beach during World War II. By the end of the war, he’d won five battle stars, was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge, was captured by the Nazis and escaped, rose to the rank of major and accumulated evidence that was used at the Nuremburg war crimes trials.
When he returned to the United States, Brownlow pursued a teaching career, built a serious collection, wrote 10 history books and visited German military figures on yearly trips to Europe. He forged friendships with Hasso von Manteuffel, Leni Riefenstahl and Adolf Galland, Admiral Donitz, Lucile Jodl, Luftwaffe and Navy (U-Boat) Knight’s Cross recipients, plus other WWII notables.
Axis-related items in Brownlow’s collection include a gold bullion Fuhrerstandarte, a 1910 signed watercolor with Peter Jahn provenance, a portrait by Fritz Erler, a portrait of Geli Raubel, silverware and tableware, linens, porcelain, crystal and glassware, as well as a signed letter and documents and a Deutschland Erwache standard.
Also to be sold are the cased Oak Leaves and Swords of Gen. Hasso von Manteuffel, with recipient’s provenance; Gen. Patton’s collar stars, with provenance; a circa-1910 Mexican Palace Guard dress helmet; Pearl Harbor items; U.S. Civil War swords, leather goods and battlefield relics; Imperial German helmets and swords; and daggers, swords, helmets and headgear, medals, armbands and books. Perhaps the rarest item in the collection is the Third Reich Fuhrer Standarte, which comes with a letter of provenance and is estimated at $50,000-$150,000.
The original cased Oak Leaves and Swords presented to Hasso Eccard von Manteuffel for his Knights Cross award, along with a typed business card in which he gives the Oak Leaves and Swords to Brownlow, plus a typed social letter to Mrs. Brownlow and two 5 by 7in photos of Manteuffel, one signed, carries an estimate of $25,000-$50,000.
A framed three-star insignia worn by Gen. George S. Patton Jr. during World War II, plus a photo of Patton when he visited West Point, and a US Third Army shoulder patch (formerly under the command of Gen. Patton) has an estimate of $1,500-$3,000. The collar insignia was acquired by a friend of Brownlow’s in 1945, who was a tailor for Eisenhower’s staff.
A Mexican Palace Guard officer’s dress helmet – German-made in the classic style of the Imperial Era – boasting a solid black leather body with age-toned gilt brass chinscales, visor trim, spine, trichter-base and large Mexican eagle-snake frontplate, is estimated at $4,700-$10,000. It’s a circa-1900 helmet, with correct type Mexican colors rosettes and a black horsehair brush.
Also on offer is a perfect example of a classic Confederate Cavalry sword, known as a “dog-river” sword and having a straight type brown leather grip wrapped with iron wire and a 34in curved blade that has a fuller which disappears into the ricasso. Its estimate is $1,000-$2,000. The small brass throat is scratched with Roman numerals XLVIHI and the scabbard was painted silver about a hundred years ago.
A 1936 Olympics Berlin Bear street banner measuring 73 by 31in, with the traditional black standing Berlin Bear occupying the center, is estimated at $250-$500. The banner is accompanied by the original 1955 donation letter to “Clarence R. Rungee / The International War Flag Museum,” concerning the request of a flag for Berlin.
A Japanese antique wakizashi samurai sword with a 18½in curved delicate blade, gray with black splotches and a gold scratched habaki described as a “cat’s paw” habaki, is presented with an estimate of $950-$2,000. The piece has an unusual engraved tsuba, with a sage and tiger (the face, hands and tiger are gold). The reverse is engraved with assorted images, one of which appears to be a shark, and the wood scabbard has a tortoise shell pattern.
To contact Mohawk Arms about any item in the auction, call 315-893-7888 or email Mohawk@MilitaryRelics.com.
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