Lot 1047

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An important historic object, a British 25-pounder shell casing transformed into a presentation award given to general and future Field Marshal ERWIN ROMMEL (1891-1944) by a division of his men in North Africa. The beautifully-crafted piece stands 8 in. tall and 4 1/8 in. wide at the base. It displays a palm tree with two sets of ribbed palm fronds at the top, with the bottom bearing silhouette depictions of camels, palm trees, pyramids, mosques, and other structures. The bottom of the shell casing is expertly engraved: 'In Loyalty and Obedience, Heer. K.P. 566 (mot.)' An additional engraving, flanked by the symbol of the Afrika Korps and a camel, reads: 'In Remembrance of the Reviews in Tripoli on May 10, 1942' A specially crafted copper ashtray has also been fitted into the base of the shell. The underside of the shell bears proper British markings, including a broad arrow. A small brass cap nut which originally secured the palm fronds is missing, but very easily replaced, else in fine condition. This very personal gift was obtained by PFC Joseph H. Rose of HQ Company, 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Div. who served as a translator. In a note card typed by Rose approx. thirty years ago, he describes the piece which he displayed at his home and in public addresses he made over the years. Also included in the lot is a copy of a photograph of Rose seated outdoors at Rommel's home with a jeep in the background, various newspaper articles including a ca. 1990 piece in which Rose describes being billeted at Rommel's empty home for over a month and later befriending Rommel's widow, a June 10, 1989 article with similar content and picturing Rose with the shell casing, a copy of Rose's Enlisted Record and Report of Separation; a copy of a 1988 Civil War Round Table announcement of a speech by Rose on his occupation of Rommel's home, and an original letter of provenance from Rose's niece. The unit presenting this piece was charged with essential vehicle repair and maintenance, hence the fine quality of workmanship. Two weeks after the review, Rommel, now replenished with new tanks and supplies, would attack the British at Gazala and take 8,000 of them prisoner.

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January 26, 2023 10:00 AM EST
Chesapeake City, MD, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $499 $20
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 $99,999 $5,000
$100,000 $999,999 $10,000
$1,000,000 $1,999,999 $50,000
$2,000,000 + $100,000