German World War I fighter pilot's silvered victory cup brings $8,850 at Mohawk Arms' Auction #75 An Imperial German World War I fighter pilot’s pokol (silvered victory goblet), showing an embossed panel of eagles in combat, 7 inches tall, sold for $8,850 at Mohawk Arms' Auction #75, June 3rd-4th.
News-Antique.com - Jul 09,2016 - BOUCKVILLE, N.Y. – An Imperial German World War I fighter pilot’s pokol (silvered victory goblet), showing an embossed panel of eagles in combat, 7 inches tall, sold for $8,850 at Auction #75, a catalog and internet sale that went online in May and ended June 3-4 by Mohawk Arms, on the internet and in the firm’s gallery on Route 20 in Bouckville, in central New York state.
The area below the eagles’ panel was engraved with the fighter ace’s name: “Otto Esswein, 15-11-1917.” Esswein was credited with 12 aerial victories (half of them while flying a German Fokker tri-plane). He also received the Golden Military Merit Cross. Esswein also had the distinction of being one of the very few World War I pilots to successfully parachute to safety.
The pokol was the top earner in an auction that was packed with over 1,300 lots of militaria that encompassed multiple conflicts and generations. Featured were items pertaining to (and even signed by) the legendary German World War I flying ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen, known as ‘The Red Baron’. Including the buyer’s premium, the auction grossed just over $156,000.
Offered were Imperial German helmets, a collection of World War I aviation badges (Prussian, Austrian, Bulgarian and others), autographs and photos, World War II German medals and edged weapons, headgear, uniforms, US Civil War items, British medals, Imperial Austrian headgear and uniforms, US World Wars I and II medals, combat gear, books, stamps, posters and more.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted here include the buyer’s premium. Online bidding was driven through the Mohawk Arms website (MilitaryRelics.com) as well as the popular platform LiveAuctioneers.com. Phone and absentee bids were also accepted.
The von Richthofen items included an exquisite purple enameled cigarette case, presented by him to Werner Voss, another member of Germany’s World War I elite group of aces, for being awarded a “Pour le Merite” (meritorious service). The case had several jewelers’ hallmarks, was dated “8-4-1917” and showed von Richthofen’s engraved signature. It changed hands for $6,136.
Also sold was an autographed card with a clear and unfaded specimen of von Richthofen’s signature. It was framed up, with his Sanke Card number 533, and came with a certificate of authenticity by the German military autograph expert Stefan Koerlin. Measuring 11 ¾ inches by 6 ½ inches and professionally framed and matted, the lot went to a determined bidder for $4,320.
An excellent and detailed painting of a World War I German Albatross plane downing a French aircraft, titled Ehre den Siegern and artist-signed “J. Hippel ’17,” finished at $3,900. Hippel had portrayed the German aircraft in a side view, climbing above the flaming French plane. The painting was mounted in an attractive black frame and measured about 20 inches by 16 ¼ inches.
Another Imperial German World War I pilot’s victory pokol also placed among the sale’s top lots, this one earning $4,560. It was a late war type goblet in iron and featured a finely hammered