Newsletter 243 February 27, 2017

Newsletter 243 February 27, 2017

Here is an article from the German news site, Deutsche Welle, about the “Hitler telephone from his bunker” that was recently sold by Alexander Auctions for a great deal of money. The head of the auction house has been engaged in an exchange of views with us concerning his sale and first, we show an article from a German news site (and there are many more on other media sites of the same thrust) and follow this with some of the communications:

 

Hitler phone a fake: German phone expert

A phone sold as one used by Hitler and billed as “arguably the most destructive ‘weapon’ of all time” has been called a con by a German expert. The authenticity of the phone’s lineage has sparked online debate.

September 25, 2017

DW

The unnamed bidder who last week bought was what was said to have been Adolf Hitler’s phone for $243,000 (230,000 euros) may have been sold a fake, German media reported on Saturday.

“This is clearly a fake,” the Head of Collections at the Frankfurt Museum for Communication told the respected daily “Frankfurter Allgemeine.”

“The actual telephone was manufactured by Siemens & Halske, but the handset comes from an English telephone. It was never produced this way,” Frank Gnegel said. “It must have been assembled later in England”.

Gnegel presides over one of the most important collections of telephonic history in Europe.

The fact the phone and the Hitler emblem were painted red aroused further suspicions.

“Siemens would have built a proper example from dyed plastic, instead of unprofessionally painting over a black telephone,” Gnegel told the paper.

“Everything to do with Hitler was produced in a high-quality fashion; why should an engraving be simply be painted over? In addition, it is totally implausible that Hitler had a telephone with a rotary dial because he was always hand-connected in the telephone exchange.”

Phone enthusiasts skeptical

In response to incredulity about the device’s authenticity, the US auction house that sold the phone posted photos from inside the phone, but that just aroused further suspicion among online phone enthusiasts.

Dutch telephone restorer and blogger Arwin Schaddeleeraised several questions about its authenticity.

“The claim that this was a custom-made telephone by Siemens is contradicted by several clues on the telephone itself. Firstly it is marked W38. That is a designation used by the German post office. This indicates the telephone was originally supplied to them,” Schaddelee wrote.

“So if it was supplied to anyone else, it was not by Siemens but by the post office. If it was a custom telephone made by Siemens & Halske it would not, by definition, conform to the W38 specifications.

“Somebody found an interesting incomplete damaged phone, repaired it, painted it and cooked up a nice story to go with it,” he concluded.

An American phone enthusiast and head of the small non-profit The Telephone Museum, was similarly skeptical, pointing out several problems with the phone.

Point

From: Bill Panagopulos <bill@alexautographs.com>

Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 4:06 PM

To: Arthur Royster

Subject: Re: The phone

Artie, once again, you lose. No one picked up the story because the “experts” are proven imbeciles.

For starters, the idiot from Frankfurt claimed that Hitler never used a phone with a dial. Another jackass claimed that braided cords were not used on these phones. A thirty second Google photo search proves them -and by association, you, sir – wrong.

One cretin was quoted by Fox: “This telephone never belonged to Hitler, but the engraving with the name and swastika on the back may very well be original,” he wrote in an email to Fox News. He added: “Somebody found a damaged W38 with that engraving which made it interesting enough to repair it and tell an exciting war story about it.”

Finally, note the following: The handset is marked “S.B.&CO. LTD” which means it was made by Siemens Bros in the UK during the early to mid-1930’s. The handset itself is a GPO (General Post Office) Mouthpiece No 18 which was originally designed for the GPO Telephone Model 164. As with the rest of the phone it is painted inside and out with the same red paint. So why a mix of UK and German parts? The W38 model was imported before the war by firms who offered the Siemens PAX (Private Automatic Exchanges) systems. Only the Siemens & Halske product was used in Britain for this purpose. The compatible GPO Telephone 164 and its components (ie: the handset) were also exported into Germany by Siemens Bros. on a quid pro quo basis.

And there’s so much more.

Please, Artie! Don’t make me work so hard to discredit you all the time.  I really think that if you did enough penance, you might redeem yourself and only be sent to, say, the fourth level of Hell.

Warm regards,

Fat Basil

Bill Panagopulos

President

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

98 Bohemia Avenue, Ste. 2

Chesapeake City, MD 21915

(203) 276-1570

Fax: (203) 883-1483

www.historyauctioneer.com

 Counterpoint

Basil:

I assure you, you are not discrediting me.

I am working up a new book specifically on fake and fantasy German Third Reich collectables.

I get many pictures from the websites of the crooks and when a dealer thinks he can “lock” a picture of “Hitler’s Tea Service,” so no one can download it, I have a friend that can always unlock it so I can publish it.

The book covers Hitler (and Goering, and Mussolini and Rommel) pieces such as china and silver, paintings and sketches and personal items such as “honor pistols,” “family portraits,” “personally signed copies of “Mein Kampf,” and on and on.

And fake signatures and post-war works like the Anna Frank diary fake on reactive paper, rare medals, Wolfe-Hardin ‘Grand Cross’ documents and diamond-studded decorations and much more.

I have connections with a number of media outlets and intend to boost the book through them.

It doesn’t matter who made that red phone, there is not one scrap of proof that it belonged to Hitler.

A phone collector and a member of a phone collector’s association has said it was a German-made phone for the British market and he has several period advertisements for the identical piece.

I assume the seller, who is British, bought it at a flea market, had someone put on the laughable eagle and Hitler name onto it and then spray-painted it red.

There are a number of period photographs that show Hitler telephones and none of them look like the red one in question.

If a “Russian major” gave it to the seller’s grandfather “in Berlin”, it did not come from Hitler’s quarters or office in the Bunker because we have photographs that show very clearly that the phone in question was not used there.

Could it have come from a British junk shop?

How about “found in Goering’s office”?

Maybe Hitler gave it to him as a birthday present.

Or more accurately, could it have come from the British Embassy, shuttered during the war, and then been painted later?

Like about 2016?

If you can supply a period picture of such a phone in an area used by Hitler, I will be prepared to accept its authenticity but fictional “Russian majors” are not provenance.

Bloggers who publish weird stories about Giant Lizards running the country constantly refer, for proof of their lunatic claims, to unnamed “scientists.”

In the case of militaria, we have “a veteran find,” or better, “from a Russian major,” replacing the “scientist.”

How about from a Swahili First Lieutenant?

Or a Nubian nun?

Arthur

 

 

4 thoughts on “Newsletter 243 February 27, 2017

  1. good old fat basil the failed crabcake maker,its funny that he never seems to provide proof of authenticity for these high profile and high priced rubbish items,after all hitler was the most photographed personality around, so im sure there must be pictures to back up his claims

    1. A prospective purchaser of expensive items must always demand provenance. Christies auction house demands this and with justification. If an item auctioned proves to have been stolen, the auction house has to make good on it. But the sleazy, ill-informed merchandisers who pass themselves off as experts and elevated humans put out the most outrageous misattributed items with all the sang froid of a Mexican pimp extolling the virginity of his long-deflowered sister.

  2. None of these dealers have ever backed up their claims with photographic proof and that is all it takes sometimes i.e. Hitler’s desk set or telephone

    1. They have no provenance because in almost all cases, expensive personality items i.e, Hitler, Rommel, Eva Braun, Heinrich Himmler, etc. are fake or misattributed. A battered belt buckle, heavily worn bayonet and such like do not need provenance but Hitler paintings, rare never-before-seen daggers and so on have to possess provenance. The “I-got-it-from-a-vet” nonsense has no credibility whatsoever. A veteran what? A veteran crook is more likely. A certain dealer got some old business cards of Emil Maurice and added all kinds of fakes, like a Hitler painting, a totally invented “Blood Order Prototype” or perhaps one of those fake machine-embroidered “Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler cufftitles now in so many really elite collections. “I bought it for ten dollars at a local flea market” or “My dog dropped it on my porch” or “It was in an old trunk I bought at Goodwill when I was looking for a new wardrobe” are suggested hilarities to use. And when you see, “from the Ray Biley collection!” do not buy it.

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