Nazi relics in demand at Eclectic Collector auction

An unused roll of Edelweiss-brand Klosettpapier (toilet paper) as issued to the Wehrmacht (the defence forces of the German Third Reich), estimated at €80-€120 achieved a hammer price of €290 in Whyte’s “The Eclectic Collector” auction in Dublin last Saturday. Nazi memorabilia was much in demand at the Molesworth Street sale where a private collection of German militaria including second World War uniforms and items of regalia – consigned by a private Dublin collector – sold for a total of €48,000. Overall, the sale realised €350,000 with 85 per cent of lots sold, many for way above estimate.

The top lot was Lot 180, “A Siebe Gorman copper and brass diving helmet, used by Joseph Murphy a Dublin Port and Docks diver in the 1960s that made €8,000 (€3,000-€5,000). Lot 179, the related diver’s outfit, made €6,800 (€7,000-€10,000).

Lot 63, a mahogany clock that Whyte's said was likely to have "hung on an office wall in a GPO building in 1916" made €7,500 (€2,000-€3,000). Items associated with Michael Collins did very well, including Lot 102, his signature on headed notepaper from the Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire mailboat as he returned from London after signing The Anglo-Irish Treaty made €3,000 (€2,000-€3,000); and Lot 109, a "1922 Michael Collins commemorative jug" made €1,800 – more than seven times the top estimate (€150-€250). Auctioneer Ian Whyte said the jug was "very rare" and this was the first he had seen "in over 40 years of auctions".

Lot 324, an example of the black seal-skin busby headgear worn by the Blue Hussars, the former ceremonial unit of the Irish Army that escorted the President of Ireland on State occasions made €480 (€500-€700); while Lot 127, “1960s Clery’s department store, doorman’s uniform cap” made €200 (€200-€300);

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Lot 202, a 1931 travel poster, “It’s Sunny at Howth” made €750 (€800-€1,200); while Lot 124, a 1948 general election poster with the slogan, “Step together, Vote Fianna Fáil” made €210 (€200-€300).

Lot 37, a "bog-oak baton", adorned with a silver-plated bust of Charles Stewart Parnell and decorated with carvings of ivy, made €3,800 – clobbering the estimate (€1,000-€1,500).

Lot 129, relics of a Roscommon-born Columbian missionary priest Fr John O'Brien, who was murdered by North Korean Communist troops during the Korean War in 1950, made €460 (€200-€300). For full results and a list of unsold lots for sale at reserve prices, see whytes.ie