MATTHEWS. N.C. – Approximately 1,500 lots of high-quality and mostly fresh to the market items – ammo, firearms, militaria, advertising and general collectibles – are for sale in an online auction that is already underway and concludes Jan. 23-24. The sale is being conducted by SoldUSA.com, the premier hunting and fishing, militaria and collectibles Web site. All items are guaranteed as described and original.
“This will end up being the largest militaria auction to come to market in the last five years, in terms of pure quality,” said Chris Roberts of SoldUSA.com. “We’ve got Civil War, World War I, Japanese, German and U.S. World War II – just a host of items that would be fine additions to anyone’s collection. Many lots are expected to bring $10,000-$30,000.”
Mr. Roberts said that while the market overall for such items is generally soft, the recession hasn’t seemed to affect the online auction community. “People don’t have to travel to bid on quality items anymore,” he remarked. “They can bid from the comfort of their homes. Plus it’s great knowing that every item in this auction is guaranteed.” He added that phone and absentee bids are also accepted.
Several lots have already sparked keen bidder interest. One is an exceedingly rare group of three distinguished awards given to World War I German ace Adolf Ritter von Tutschek – his original named and engraved Pour Le Merit “Blue Max” award, in its original case; his cased silver Iron Cross medal, engraved with his name on the reverse; and his engraved cut-out pilot’s badge in a black leatherette box.
This rare, one-of-a-kind offering has great historical value in aviation history and carries a presale estimate of $30,000-$65,000. Von Tutschek was a German soldier turned fighter pilot who racked up 27 air victories during World War I before being shot down and killed in action on March 15, 1918. His last fighter plane was a Fokker D-1 tri-plane, painted green. The ace flew with Jagdgeschwader 2.
Von Tutschek’s “Blue Max” medal is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind piece in excellent condition. It is engraved on the sides of the Maltese cross with “Enas Lt. A. von Tutschek 3-18-17,” with full neck ribbon. The silver Iron Cross has a nice silver age patina and is engraved on the reverse. The cut-out pilot’s badge and case are in great condition. It is engraved “Lt. Ritter A. von Tutschek, 3 August 1917.”
Another lot already wowing bidders is a Colt third model shoulder stock provision Dragoon pistol, made in 1858 and an extremely rare variation. The weapon has all the correct characteristics of a third model Dragoon, including the Colt patented detachable stock hardware with two extra lug screws in the frame. It’s marked “Col. Colt London” on the barrel; only a handful of these are known to exist.
The gun also features a 7 1/2-inch barrel with correct two-leaf sight, added by Colt only for shoulder stock models. The cylinder retains over 50 percent of its original scene, with the rarer of the two markings (“Model U.S.M.R. 17482 Colt’s Patent”). Every screw and inch of the pistol has been inspected and deemed correct. The stocks are original, with the left chip having a slight chip to the toe.
The bore of the gun is in fair condition, with moderate-to-heavy frosting, but it does retain good overall firing. The serial numbers all match and the pistol functions well in dry operations. It has an overall plum finish with some light silvering to the high edges. “This is an extremely rare Dragoon that would be a highlight of any collection.” The pistol is carrying a presale estimate of $4,500-$16,000.
Also, a wonderful and highly sought after “classic combination” poster from Winchester – a one-of-a-kind image painted by an unknown artist around 1890 depicting two hunting dogs looking alert and ready – is being offered, with a presale estimate of $2,500-$10,000. The poster measures 20 inches by 40 inches and was made specifically for Winchester, perhaps as a display piece for a fair or convention.
The poster has no bands and does show some light wrinkling and edge wear overall. But the colors are rich and vibrant, with just a little bit of soiling. It has undergone not a bit of restoration, and the piece is the only known example on existence. “This poster is extremely rare and has never come to market,” observed Mr. Roberts. “It will garner a lot of attention in the auction.”
The sale will also feature a Third Reich badge collection, with some of the rarest militaria items ever offered at auction. It will also feature over 200 quality firearms, along with antique ammunition and advertising. Previews are by appointment only. Online bidding may be done through the SoldUSA.com Web site exclusively.
To learn more about SoldUSA.com and the Internet and catalog auction that concludes Jan. 23-24, visit www.SoldUSA.com.
Photos courtesy SoldUSA.com.
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