Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 784

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Lot of ten pieces of embroidered table linens attributed to Adolf Hitler's home, the Berghof. Included is: eight 16.5 x 11 in. napkins, one piece 18 x 13.5 in., and one piece 28 x 17 in. All bear the identical embroidered pattern of a stylized oak leaf interspersed with motifs remotely resembling an Iron Cross. These items were obtained from the estate of JOHN G. ERHARDT (1889-1951) who served as Consul in Hamburg and Consul in London under Ambassador Joseph Kennedy. During the war, he was in a high-level State Department position in Washington, where he was involved in the planning of the surrender of Germany and occupation of Germany and Austria. After the war, he served as de facto Ambassador to Austria and as political adviser to Gen. Mark Clark, who led the American occupation military forces in Austria. The linens were found in a small wood chest (also offered in this sale) with two typed letters from Erhardt, one of them no doubt referencing the linens. Written on his 'U.S. Political Adviser on Austrian Affairs' letterhead on June 20, 1945, Erhardt's letter is addressed to his wife Eleanor. He discusses his arrival in shattered Vienna, also mentioning: '...While in Salzburg, I went up to Berchtesgaden and saw the wreck of Hitler's houses. I picked up a couple of souvenirs which I will send home to Davis [his son]...' The self-censored envelope is also present. We confirmed from Erhardt's files and photos that he did indeed visit the Berghof and Eagle's nest, at least once in the company of Commander of American Forces in Austria, Gen. Mark Clark. These linens are not typical of others taken from the Berghof, if indeed they were, being similar in border only and lacking Hitler's initials, etc. However, the possibility exists that they may have been a gift set, or used by staff. Some bear spots and stains, overall very good. Sold as-is.

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October 29, 2020 10:00 AM EDT

Chesapeake City, MD, US

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$5,000 $9,999 $500
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