Skip to main content

Satirical Russian political painting may top $1M

Wartime and political memorabilia, including a satirical Russian painting depicting leaders Stalin, Hilter, and what is said to be Roosevelt, is at the center of Milestone Auctions' Jan. 27 Historic Military & Firearms Auction.

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – While little good ever comes of war, its outcome shapes the future for generations to come. This is evident on the winning and losing sides of the battlefield. A panoramic overview of America’s wartime history is the focal point of Milestone Auctions’ Jan. 27 Historic Military & Firearms Auction. Furthermore, this will be defined by the memorabilia of Russian, U.S., German and other heroes, allies and reviled enemies.

All forms of bidding are accepted, with internet bidding facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.

Varied Political Pieces On Offer

John Wayne revolvers and gear

Two 1932 Smith & Wesson matching .38/.44 fixed-sight revolvers, personal property of movie icon John Wayne ($10,000-$20,000). (All photos courtesy Milestone Auctions)

The suburban Cleveland company will present 668 lots of extraordinary rarities, including Adolf Hitler’s personal desk and chair, a large and provocative Russian satirical painting by Komar & Melamid titled "Yalta Conference," and a uniform frock coat that belonged to a Civil War major general. Additional highlights include a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 170V two-door coupe that belonged to Nazi SA physician Dr. Rudolf Beuring, and more than 150 premium-quality antique and vintage firearms, including several with historical provenance.

“We believe this will be our most successful auction ever. We’ve recently displayed some of our key auction items at major gun and militaria shows. The reaction has been phenomenal. These types of personally owned items simply do not appear at auction. Certainly not all together in one auction,” said Chris Sammet, co-owner of Milestone Auctions. “Collectors of military memorabilia want provenance they can trust, and the provenance that backs this auction’s headliners is ironclad.”

Furniture With Ties to Hitler

A custom-crafted oak and leather desk and chair owned by Adolf Hitler is in the sale. The pair is may make as much as $1,000,000 at auction. It's authentication is with background including a prior sale through Hermann Historica.The furniture was given to Hitler in 1929, a gift from Mrs. Elsa Bruckmann (nee Princess Cantacuzene of Romania). In addition, the desk and chair were in use at Hitler’s Munich residence and later seized by the US Army. In addition, the set is stamped US Property and United States Forces European Theater Headquarters, and comes to auction with the actual signed letter from the Royal Bavarian Court furniture maker Mobelfabrik M. Ballin, addressed to “Herrn Adolf Hitler.” Furthermore, its described in previous media reports as “Hitler’s million dollar desk,” its auction estimate is $100,000-$1 million.

The auction also includes a large and important satirical painting by Russian-born collaborative artists Komar and Melamid. Painted in 1982 and titled The Yalta Conference, the 72- by 50-inch oil-on-canvas depicts President Franklin D. Roosevelt – with an E.T.-like head – along with Hitler, and Stalin under a solid-red canopy. The artwork is a commentary on the 1945 meeting at Yalta where Stalin, Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill planned to establish Europe’s new boundaries after World War II. Furthermore, the message conveyed by the artist is that many felt Stalin tricked Roosevelt into allowing the Soviet Union to control the nations of Eastern Europe.

Satire at Center of Russian Painting 

Russian satirical painting Komar and Melamid

Komar and Melamid, "The Yalta Conference," circa 1982, oil-on-canvas ($800,000-$1.2 million).

Although Hitler was not alive at the time of the Yalta Conference, he appears in the Russian painting instead of Churchill, his finger raised in a silencing pose to represent the secrecy of the meeting. Roosevelt’s extraterrestrial head symbolizes the fact that he was not of the European world and therefore did not understand Stalin’s craft and underhandedness. Furthermore, an extensive narrative about the Russian painting appears in the auction catalog description. Its estimate is $800,000 to $1.2 million

A fine selection of more than 150 firearms includes the 19th-century Smith & Wesson handguns of whaling captain Albert Sherman (1849-1914), CSA General John Creed Moore’s 1851 Colt revolver, and John Wayne’s silver-grip Smith & Wesson revolvers, holsters and spurs.

In addition, the Civil War portion of the sale features two medical staff swords, a surgical set and hospital register; a Hernstein cased surgical amputation set, desirable rifles, tintypes and ambrotypes of soldiers; Confederate General William L. Cabell’s telescope, a rare medical officer’s green sash, and a Union Army major general’s frock coat with straps, estimated at $9,000 to $11,000.

For more information, visit, email, or call 440-527-8060.

More Lots Up For Bid

Warman's Antiques & Collectibles 2018 Price Guide

If you like what you've read here, we invite you to check out "Warman's Antiques & Collectibles 2018 Price Guide." It features a variety of collecting interests, represented in thorough descriptions, quality photographs, and recent prices paid at auction.

Learn more about this book — America's longest continually published antiques and collectibles identification and price guide>>>