Auction 100

Lot 102:

TILES FROM HITLER'S BERGHOF HOME

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Start price: $200

Estimated price: $400 - $600

VAT: On commission only

Two rare pieces of stove tile, 4.25 x 2 in. and 2 x 1.25 in., from Adolf Hitler’s house, the Berghof in Obersalzberg, near Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps. The two pieces of glazed red-brown ‘English red’ ceramic were part of the original Kachelofen (masonry stove) to heat the living area of the ‘Unterberg’ room at ‘Berghof Wachenfeld’. This room, on the upper floor above Hitler’s office, was used by Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess. The pieces were excavated in 1986 by a local resident from Berchtesgaden. A copy of the letter of provenance included with this lot reads ‘…in 1986, when an antique dealer from Berchtesgaden told me about a bomb crater… about a quarter mile below Hitler’s Berghof at Obersalzberg, which in 1945 had been used by…local farmers to hide objects taken from the bombed out ruins of Hitler’s home…’Spornhof Kathl’ (Katharina Guggenbichler) had shown the site to the antique dealer in 1985…he told me about it and I started digging there with two friends… Finally, after days, under a damaged bitumen tarp we found about 100 pieces of Hitler’s crystal chandelier, original Fabric, chinaware, broken crystal bowls and the remains of what the woman said were three of Hitler’s ceramic tile stoves [sic] from Haus Wachenfeld which was later called ‘Berghof’…We sold the chandelier and the other items in 1987/88…except for the ceramic tiles and other smaller objects…I have kept these archaeological objects in my personal possession since 1986…the green and brown tiles are visible in period postcards/photos of the kachelofen’s in Haus Wachenfeld’s living room, and the ‘Unterberg Room’ of the Berghof.’ The relics are mounted in a 10 x 10 inch shadow box with a copy of Heinrich Hoffman’s photograph of the room, showing the stove pictured on the right side of the room. Included with the provenance is a copy of the invoice from the tile supplier Kieslinger-Wehner-Ceramic, Munich, to Atelier Troost, Munich, for ‘one stove for Haus Wachenfeld, Type Schüsselkacheln 18 x18 cm, glazed english red.’ Gerdi Troost was Hitler’s architectural and design adviser. Note: Due to the thickness of the larger tile, the point has pierced the plastic face and could be replaced. It is not a defect. A very fine personal relic with excellent provenance.

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