Saturday, August 31, 2013
Items from a dinner set made for Adolf Hitler are to be put up for auction in Norfolk next month.
The two dinner plates, two soup bowls and coffee cup and saucer each feature Hitler’s initials, the swastika symbol and Third Reich eagle.
David Townsend, owner of Townsend Auction Galleries in Beeston, near Dereham, which will be attempting to sell them, said they are the most historically significant pieces he has come across in his 20 years in the auction business.
They were part of a set which featured a total 51 place settings, made for Hitler but never delivered to him.
They were made by the SS Allach firm in Allach Bavaria, near Dachau near the end of the second world war.
The entire set was later found in the deserted Allach Factory in unopened boxes.
It was divided up and bought by three New York-based dealers and Mr Townsend’s client, who lives in Spain, bought seven pieces and has already sold two.
The client attempted to sell the rest of the items on an internet site, but the site refused to sell anything with the swastika symbol on.
Mr Townsend, who set up Townsend Auction Galleries three months ago with his wife Diana, said: “I understand it is a sensitive issue, but we are auctioning the pieces purely as items of historical interest.
“These are the most historically significant items that I have come across in 20 years.
“It appears that Hitler never actually used them but they were made for him and I believe he may have been involved in designing them.
“They are in excellent condition and are extremely rare.
“I have been in touch with militaria dealers and there has been a lot of interest shown.”
The Allach Porcelain Firm was government-sponsored and the finest artists in the craft worked on the collection, using some of the best facilities available in the world of porcelain art.
Allach porcelain was not made for profit, instead, products of the factory were intended to support education to National Socialist-motivated people of the Reich.
Originally, the Allach factory produced only art ceramics such as plates, jugs and vases but, in the war years, it manufactured special gift items intended for loyal supporters of the Nazi party, often given at dinner parties, and members of the Nazi hierarchy.
The pieces will be sold separately and Mr Townsend estimates each will fetch more than £250.
The auction will be at Townsend Auction Galleries, Paynes Business Park, Dereham Road, Beeston on September 9 at 10.30am.
Viewing will be available on September 6 from 9am until 7pm, September 7 from 9am until 12pm and from 8.30am on the day of the auction.