After Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, the swastika has become strongly associated with Nazism. About the Fuhrer and his madness is superfluous to speak, but Nazi relics still worthy of attention, special if belonged to dictator itself. Such one example is his famous, long-lost custom-made swastika ring which is going under the hammer by the Alexander Historical Auctions House in Maryland next week. This massive ring, carefully constructed of multiple parts is expected to fetch at least £70,000 ($108,000).
The ring displays a 16mm wide mobile swastika built-up on four different levels supported by other swastikas and swords and is crowned by a large square five-facet ruby. It comes complete with the original presentation sterling silver hand-hammered globe and ebony wood pedestal.
The story behind the jewels tells the ring was made by one of the most prominent of German goldsmiths, Karl Berthold (1889-1975), who was a fanatical Nazi and kicked Jewish craftsmen out of his business in Frankfurt shortly after the regime came to power in 1933. Berthold wrote and explained to Hitler how he fired the “Bolshevik-Jew servants” and that he was commissioned by a party functionary to make the ring for him. It was found at Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s mountain retreat in Bavaria, in 1945 by American troops. One of the soldiers pocketed it as a souvenir before selling it on. It was owned by several collectors over the years, the last of whom died two years ago and whose grandson is now selling it.
Auctioneer Bill Panagopulos told that the two ostentatious pieces of jewelry, never before offered at auction, are a testament to the excesses of the Third Reich, and that Nazi loot and World War II artifacts are currently the hottest items in the historical auction world.