World War I airplane insignia and pilot archive soars to $13,200 at Mohawk Arms auction #69 June 8-9 A World War I squadron insignia and archive pertaining to American pilot Lt. Paul Green soared to $13,200 at a live and Internet auction held June 8-9 by Mohawk Arms, at the firm’s gallery in New York
News-Antique.com - Jul 21,2013 - (BOUCKVILLE, N.Y.) – A World War I squadron insignia and archive pertaining to American pilot Lt. Paul Green soared to $13,200 at a live and Internet auction held June 8-9 by Mohawk Arms, in the firm’s gallery on Route 20 in Bouckville (in upstate New York) and online (at LiveAuctioneers.com and MilitaryRelics.com). The insignia/archive were the sale’s top lot.
Lt. Green was assigned to the French Escardille 131, Bomber Group 4. His bomber bore the insignia of a gargoyle clutching a bomb. Originally printed and hand-colored, the 26 ½ inch by 41 inch insignia, with background and border painted in red, was applied to the very fabric of Lt. Green’s plane. It was signed by the printer (L. Braun, Paris) and the artist (Gudin Faucher).
The artwork was in remarkable condition, considering it had bullet hole damage from when Lt. Green was forced to crash land his airplane. The archive contained 50 documents, to include Lt. Green’s flight log for missions flown, the 1919 published history of all the members of Lt. Green’s squadron, and a framed portrait of Lt. Green in uniform, with gargoyle insignia.
The sale was billed as Militaria Auction #69 for Mohawk Arms, a company that has become synonymous with quality militaria auctions. It only holds two auctions per year, but they are generally packed with a wide array of items spanning multiple conflicts and generations. This auction was no exception, as around 900 lots that collectors found desirable went to new owners.
“We were pleased with the results of this sale overall, and it once again proved that there will always be a market for the better, high-end items,” said Raymond Zyla, owner of Mohawk Arms. “Any good medals, badges and military orders found eager bidders, and we discovered that American World War II items documented or related to specific individuals did quite well.”
Areas of the market that are somewhat soft now, Zyla observed, include uniforms from the European Imperial period, Civil War pieces such as leather goods, photography and average condition muskets (excluding Confederate firearms) and some lower-grade Colt weapons. “But quality sells, no matter what,” he said. “The market is healthy at the high end, always has been.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a sliding scale buyer’s premium, which ranged from 10-17.5 percent.
The auction featured many items pertaining to the Third Reich, Nazi items, Adolf Hitler and even Hitler’s mistress, Eva Braun. One lot that did particularly well was a rare Nazi SS officer’s dress sword with wire-wrapped black wood grip bearing a ¾ inch diameter nickeled disc holding relief “SS” runes, and a stylized two-tiered pommel cap. The sword fetched $7,931.
A German Panzer “75” bronze assault badge with a squared-off wreath/eagle and a solid back, with the number “75” shown in the panel at the base of the wreath, garnered $2,530. Also, a 1937 Christmas greeting card signed in ink by Adolf Hitler, with a handwritten ink addition reading “sent to you with