Premier Fine Art & Antiques Auction
August 29, 2023
Below is just a small portion of the massive selection of high quality art & antiques to be featured in our upcoming August 29th 2023 auction! This auction will span multiple genres of collectibles, including Fine Paintings & Art, Jewelry & Silver, Orientalia, Rare Glass & Lamps, Early & Victorian Furniture, Decoys, Carvings, Coin-Op, & MORE!
Two-Handled Sterling Silver Tray Presented by Adolph Hitler, Christmas 1943 to Eva Braun Recovered by One of the Original “Monuments Men”
Charles R. Sattgast, president of Bemidji State University already had son in service and almost 400 students overseas fighting in WW2. Charles entered service in late 1943 as 45 year old captain in Special Reserve Military Government and then Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives (MFAA) better known as Monuments Men. His unit recovered hundreds of looted paintings and art treasures.
Charles was able to secure several souvenirs himself including this elegant 68-ounce 21.5 x 13.5” sterling silver tray, inscribed 6.5” panel “WEIHNACHTEN 1943 HERZLICHST” followed by Hitler’s signature. Bottom of tray has German sterling hallmarks.
MFAA continued the hunt for looted treasures after the war during occupation, Sattgast resigned his commission June 1946 and went back to his role as college president till his death in 1964.
The tray is documented in 1951 retained copy of letter to NYC art dealer: “I am in possession of a large silver tray which I took from the apartment of Eva Braun. It was in the Fishhorn Castle at Bruck near Zell-Am-See in Land, Salzburg. This tray was given to her by Adolph Hitler as a Christmas present for 1943. It has engraved in German and in block letters – Christmas 1943 Heartiest Greetings – and then below, engraved in script, the signature of Adolph Hitler. When I obtained the tray I received permission from the U. S. Army to ship it home as a souvenir.” This tray remained in family till sold at James Julia Auctions October 2016.
UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: copies of documents, letters, 1959 newspaper article showing him with the tray and other souvenirs.