Bargains, rare, interesting or bizarre items of militaria found for sale on the internet.
Many collectors focus on items from one conflict, or from a particular nation. There are others who focus on items attributed to individually named figures, and amongst those you don’t get more interesting than Adolf Hitler’s telephone. Gifted by Russian officers to Montgomery’s Deputy Chief Signals Officer who had arrived at the Fuhrerbunker only days after the fall of Berlin, Brigadier Sir Ralph Rayner was originally offered Eva Braun’s black telephone. He refused as he “preferred the colour red”, the Russians then offered him Hitler’s telephone.
The Siemens manufactured phone, originally constructed of black bakelite, had been painted a deep red and bears on the reverse an engraved NSDAP eagle and swastika above the recipient’s name, “ADOLF HITLER”.
The telephone is being auctioned on consignment by the Brigadier’s son, and the provenance on this item is very impressive. Including a fax from Rochus Misch, Hitler’s bodyguard and telephonist, a letter from Peter von Siemens offering manufacturing details of the telephone, as well as family photographs and letters. Coming up for auction at www.alexautographs.com with an estimated price of $300,000 you’d better start saving.
LIf Hitler’s telephone is outwith your budget, then how about a nice Fairbairn Sykes Commando Dagger? The story is well known, being the most recognizable fighting knife in the world and being conceived from experience gained in Shanghai during the lawless 1930s. Designed for WWII British Commandos, it has remained a symbol of elite military forces to this day. Whilst examples of the much rarer 1st pattern can change hands for large amounts of money, it is still possible to obtain a nice wartime used example for a reasonable price. This 3rd pattern comes with paperwork to a Sergeant in the Parachute Regiment during WWII, it has tram tickets from Germany, his association book, release papers etc. A lovely grouping, priced at £550 from www.firstpatternmilitaria.com
It’s always nice to find items that you just know have been together since the veteran acquired them. This grouping of a Grand Duchy of Baden Reservist Pickelhaube, belt and signal horn came from a well established Imperial German collection, and the seller believes they have been together since the Great War. All items are marked up to the 109th Reserve Liebe Grenadier Regiment, the white metal fitted pickelhaube with brass reserve cross and plain bandeau without a motto. Comes with matching cover, stencilled R109 in green. The cover is particularly interesting, as rather than being affixed by metal hooks it has string loops to fix it to the helmet shell.
The Grand Duchy of Baden, never used their own design of belt buckle, hence enlisted troops wore the standard enlisted Prussian buckle. This example bears a 1915 dated leather tab, with the belt dated 1905 and also marked R109.
Finishing off the group is a very hard to find brass and white metal signal horn, similarly marked. Overall, an amazing grouping of Great War collectables that deserve to stay together. Priced at £2995 from www.broadswordantiques.com