Auction Report: WWI German Aerial Ace Von Tutschek’s Medals Soar to $28,000

A group of three medals awarded to Adolf von Tutschek, the German soldier turned pilot, sold for $28,250 in an online auction hosted by SoldUSA.com.

A group of three medals awarded to Adolf von Tutschek, the German soldier turned pilot, sold for $28,250 in an online auction hosted by SoldUSA.com.

MATTHEWS, N.C. – An exceedingly rare group of three distinguished awards given to World War I German flying ace Adolf Ritter von Tutschek soared to $28,250 in an Internet and catalog auction that ended Jan. 23-24, 2010, making the lot the sale’s top earner.

The sale, conducted by SoldUSA.com, included more than 1,000 hunting, fishing, militaria and other collectible lots .

“Overall, this was a very positive auction,” said Chris Roberts of SoldUSA.com. “On the first day of the sale, we had 1.7 million hits and had to re-start the system twice. We’ll have to tweak the software to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Of the estimated 42,000 bidders in SoldUSA.com’s database, around 3,000 registered to bid in this sale. “They were participating literally from all over the world,” Roberts said. “Bids came in from Ireland, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom. It was astounding. Collectors like the fact that we guarantee the authenticity of every single item we put up for bid.”

The von Tutschek lot consisted of his original named and engraved Pour Le Merit “Blue Max” award, a one-of-a-kind piece still in its original case and in excellent condition; his cased silver Iron Cross medal, boasting a nice silver age patina and with his name engraved on the reverse; and his engraved cut-out pilot’s badge, engraved with his name and in a leatherette box.

The Von Tutschek lot consisted of his original Pour Le Merit “Blue Max” (left), his engraved cut-out pilot’s badge (center) and his silver Iron Cross medal.

The Von Tutschek lot consisted of his original Pour Le Merit “Blue Max” (left), his engraved cut-out pilot’s badge (center) and his silver Iron Cross medal.

Von Tutschek was a soldier turned fighter pilot who began flying with Germany’s Jagstaffel 2 force in January 1917. He was later given command of the new Jagdeschwader 2 and began flying sorties in his new Fokker D-1 green tri-plane. The ace managed to rack up 27 confirmed kills before he himself was shot down and killed on Mar. 15, 1918, at the age of 26.

Following are additional highlights from the sale (all prices quoted include a 13-percent buyer’s premium):

This circa-1835 H.E. Leman-identified flintlock Pennsylvania rifle hit the bull’s eye at $8,661.

This circa-1835 H.E. Leman-identified flintlock Pennsylvania rifle hit the bull’s eye at $8,661.

• An H. E. Leman-identified flintlock Pennsylvania rifle (circa 1835), rare and with a tin-type of the original owner holding the weapon, hit the mark for $8,661. The rifle is possibly a first-year production firearm by Leman. It had not been restored (and the original ramrod was missing). Measuring 62 inches long, it featured brass fittings, metal patch box and set triggers. The rifle was made more remarkable by the fact that it has been in the same family—the Elliotts, who originally moved from Georgia to Oklahoma, prior to the “Trail of Tears”—and had been passed down through the Elliott family to the consignor, who can still remember the rifle hanging over the fireplace of her grandfather, Ben Elliott, who was born in 1881 and died 1945.

A rare Colt 3rd model shoulder stock provision Dragoon pistol, 1858, Serial #17482, sold for $7,770.

A rare Colt 3rd model shoulder stock provision Dragoon pistol, 1858, Serial #17482, sold for $7,770.

• A Colt 3rd model shoulder stock provision Dragoon pistol (1858, Serial #17482), marked with the rare “Col. Colt London” barrel address, only a handful of which are known to exist, scored a bull’s-eye for $7,770. The gun, one of the rarest of all 3rd model Colt Dragoons made, had the Colt patented detachable stock hardware, including the two extra lug screws in the frame. The pistol featured a 7 1/2-inch barrel with the correct two-leaf sight, which was added by Colt only for shoulder stock models. The cylinder retained over 50 percent of the original scene, with the rarer of the two cylinder markings (“Model U.S.M.R. 17482 Colt’s Patent”). Every screw and inch of this exceptional plum-finish gun was inspected and declared correct.

This Winchester “Woman in Yellow Hunting Coat” calendar poster from 1912 checked in at $5,085.

This Winchester “Woman in Yellow Hunting Coat” calendar poster from 1912 checked in at $5,085.

• A Winchester “Woman in Yellow Hunting Coat” calendar poster from 1912, painted circa 1910 specifically for Winchester by an unknown artist and exhibiting rich and vibrant colors, garnered $5,085. The posters from the original artwork were lithographed around 1911. This example measured 14 5/8 inches by 30 inches and featured both the top and bottom bands.

This Medal Order of the Blood of the NSDAP (1923-1933) first strike medal by Munchen garnered $4,520.

This Medal Order of the Blood of the NSDAP (1923-1933) first strike medal by Munchen garnered $4,520.

• A beautiful Medal Order of the Blood of the NSDAP (1923-1933) cased and with the serial numbered 938, first strike medal, made by J. Fuess Munchen and with rich coin strike quality detail, went to a determined bidder for $4,520. The medal was mounted to its original ribbon with button-hole mounting in the ribbon center. It was housed in a leather-covered hinged case with locking front.

To learn more about this auction, call 704.815.1550, e-mail to croberts@SoldUSA.com or visit the SoldUSA.com Web Site.

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