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Evaluations and Identification of Items

 

 

We at Germania International are generally considered to be experts in our respective fields. If you look at the individual years of experience of each member of our staff and research department personal, we have more than 150 years of accumulative knowledge of Germanic military and geopolitical entities.
Having said that, we also feel that we must impart to you, the museum and collecting public, this message as follows:
While we have been rather free with research help in the past we have found that the old adage “let’s kill the messenger of bad news” certainly applies in this field, perhaps like no other. In emails of late we have been introduced to a rainstorm of persons who ask us for information and values, but when we give our opinion or lend expertise on the said item or items and if perhaps it was not what these people wanted to hear, we suddenly become the brunt of downright vilification and even obscene words that are thrown at us because we might identify a Hitler penknife made in China, or a leering Viking ring as a postwar fantasy item.
As historians and researchers we have to call it as we see it. We get literally dozens of emails from people who have items that had allegedly belonged to none other than Adolf Hitler. Of course a lot of the items (most of them) are either spurious or the veteran who really did bring it home felt that it would be better to claim that this flag was from Hitler’s headquarters. This was, of course, much better that just saying that it was something found discarded in the basement of some private home. It seems practically ludicrous, but 60 percent of the items we are offered for opinion are accompanied with fantastic stories of their origins and sometimes it’s rather humorous. For instance, quite often we are offered the medal known as the Mother’s Cross, which is given to women in appreciation of their rearing children for Germany’s future. We couldn’t tell you how often we are offered this beautiful blue-enamel medal as the highest award that could have been bestowed upon heroes of the SS given to them personally by Hitler. “Yes, sirree! My granddaddy took this right from the SS general who was wearing it personally, and it has Hitler’s signature right there on the back, shore nuff.”
Not long ago we were asked about a candlestick that purportedly came from Hitler’s Eagles Nest (der Adler Horst). It was by Rosenthal, but was obviously modern looking and not really one of the finer items from this famous firm (actually, it was quite ugly). It’s a well-known fact that the German porcelain companies through the years have changed their logos very often and the years of manufacture are to be quite plainly evidenced by these marks. Besides illustrating to the lady (I use that term loosely) that the small picture of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun in a postage-stamp-sized image she provided me was not showing this candlestick or anything like it, I also took my time to go into our research library and look up the marks that were shown on the bottom of the candlestick in the picture that she was so good to send to us. She said that she felt that this item would be worth “quite a bit” because of the nature of the item. However, the marks were distinct and they illustrated that the marks on the lady’s candlestick clearly were shown to be the Rosenthall logo used on items produced after 1957.
Then all hell broke loose! Ms. Caroline Jones went positively spastic!!! I was unable to provide information to aid her cause, but I was also a Nazi and I was stupid and then in two e-mails I was called the ultimate ‘f’ words all because either her imaginary road-to-riches bubble was damaged or her nefarious scheme was detected.
We, unfortunately, get quite a few of these dubious individuals sending along their often spurious information hoping we will in our official capacity bless these attempts at fraud.
Please do not think for a moment that all such requests are such as above. Many are legitimate from folks that are really sincere in their desire for information about items from the wars they have in their possession. We understand that, and to the extent that we are able to help with legitimate research, we will do so. But, in general, we will not act as appraisers unless it will be remunerative. In other words, if we act as appraisers, we must be paid as appraisers and we feel that this arrangement may effectively curtail, to an appreciative amount, the unfortunate scenarios such as these. We will not under any circumstances appraise any item that we consider to be less than genuine. This again is not aimed at the individuals among our customers or anyone else who asks legitimate questions, but caveat to the person who already has a fixation in his/her mind and just wants us to legitimize it for whatever purpose then vents anger toward us for simply venturing our experienced opinion.
Should anyone do anything like that in the future your email address and your name will be published on our site as well as a brief summary of the item and what it really is.
As the fields of especially Third Reich and German Imperial collecting gets bigger and noticed, and the legitimate items offered are often at very high values, naturally this will have an affect that many people will get very silly ideas of untold riches attending every little war relic that they have and if there is any possibility of “gilding the lily” by attaching the additional importance to it by indicating it to be associated with some important leader, with Adolf Hitler being the most-often cited as the former owner, then by all means that owner of the item can practically take immediate retirement in luxurious style in the manner of the rich and famous.
Just the other day we had a bust of Adolf Hitler offered to us that was said to be appraised at over ten million dollars ten years back. This bust was similar to, but not near as good as, the original bust that we offer in the A.H. section of our page at Item AH 13-10. And the one we sold recently by Liebermann, the noted best of the Third Reich sculptors of these busts, these magnificent busts, were listed at under $10,000. So it is obvious that the strange and outlandish ideas that now permeate this once rather respectable field are often from outer space as of late.
Please be guided by this statement and please understand that it is proffered in the best of honest intention for the betterment of relations between our firm, Germania International, and the collecting public at large, whom we very truly respect and appreciate.
So, in most cases, we will do our best to identify to the best of our ability your item that you need information on, but as to evaluation, just don’t bother to even ask unless you are willing to pay a reasonable appraisal fee. I’m sure that through your life you had some vocation or job that you did well where you were paid for what you do or did. It is no different with us. “THIS IS WHAT WE DO” to put the groceries on the table! So when you get to the point of asking what your relic is worth please keep this in mind. We will be fair, but appraisal is part of our services for sale, and from now on we give notice that charges will most definitely apply.

 

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