Newsletter 206 July 11, 2016

Newsletter 206 July 11, 2016

The Broken Sword: Deceit and Destruction in Florida
July 7, 2016
By Alicia Fong
MCR News

From: Laura Hawkins []
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2015 6:30 AM
To: Vermont Trotter
. We also just received the sword, it is magnificent !!!

In September of 2015, Vermont Trotter, a resident of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, sent a valuable historical sword to the Affiliated Auction house of Tallahassee, Florida.
He did so at their request.
The firm had been recommended to Mr. Trotter by a Robert Johnson of Lakemont, Georgia. Mr. Johnson’s firm, Germania International, specializes in the merchandizing of Nazi items such as silverware from the SS, personality items such as Adolf Hitler paintings and Nazi-era tapestries.
This presentation sword, which had been in Mr. Trotter’s family for many years, was valued by the Florida auction house at over $100,000 and was duly insured by them for that amount.
Accompanying the sword were original family documents and official American military documents attesting to the originality of the sword
A month later, the sword was returned to Mr Trotter, broken. Accompanying the broken sword was a signed letter from Mr. Willis, Tallahassee-based real estate lawyer for the auction house. Willis stated that the sword had been broken while at the auction house.
The auction house refused to reimburse Mr Trotter for the sword damage and also refused to return his family documents.
Finally, Mr Trotter contacted the Florida governmental office that was in charge of business permits for that state, setting forth his complaints against the auction house.
The investigator for the agency conducted a through investigation and filed a formal complaint against the auction house for violation of a number of Florida laws.
The state also forced the auction house to surrender the family documents to them and in due time, these were returned to Mr Trotter
Mr Trotter has finally obtained the services of a civil attorney and is in the process of filing a civil lawsuit against Affiliated Auctions.

10 thoughts on “Newsletter 206 July 11, 2016

  1. You need to post more such articles.
    In my opinion, these auction houses are nothing but open sewers selling the fakes the dealers and stupid collectors can’t even sell on iOffer or EBay. The one you mentioned must be run by idiots.
    You don’t insure valuable pieces, somehow break them and then not want to pay.
    And their lawyer was a first class moron to write that they broke it.
    If I were a lawyer, I would love a case like this!
    And I love these dealers who offer a “lifetime guarantee.”
    I’ll bet they mean the lifetime of an ant.
    What did someone say about the German Knight’s Cross?
    The Germans issued 7,200 during the war and now all the Really Wonderful Collections have a total of 25,000!
    That’s like that article in the New York Times three years ago that mentioned a 30 year old Jewish man who was a “Holocaust Survivor.”
    What kind of a holocaust did he survive?
    A spring sale at Macy’s?

    1. This is not being politically correct.
      I agree I need to spend some time on the auction houses.
      Between fake Hitler paintings, Hitler Youth “Olympic daggers,” and fake belt buckles, the choices for exposing frauds is daunting.
      But fun!
      For me and many of my readers.

  2. Am I the only person who writes to you? Maybe the other readers can’t write English. That person who claims to be French has been very quiet. I guess all the so-called experts are looking around for something to scream about. BTW, I looked at the WAF site several times and it is unintentionally very funny. A bunch of totally ignorant, self-important women who like to pull each other’s hair and swing mean purses. I thought these so-called forums were designed to share information, not vindictive spite. I sent you pictures of that fake “1936 Hitler Youth Olympics” dagger that the crooks were selling for $2,000+ and all the ninnies on the forums were drooling over. Are you going to run it? Also I have been pulling all kinds of pictures of fakes from the auctions and you should be able to use these.

    1. Thanks for the “Olympics HJ Dagger’ pictures. Yes, I am doing an illustrated article on this. No, I get very little mail from the site viewers but quite a few emails from collectors, usually with pictures of fakes.
      I know that the more important dealers were selling the HJ fake and I wonder how many suckers bit?

  3. What is your opinion, in general, of Germania International? Several years ago I bought various types of ‘Nazi’ rings from them. They claim to have acquired a shoebox full of them from an old German jeweler at a militaria show. I began to get suspicious because they always seemed to have every type of ring, in every size. Also, none were maker marked, nor were any stamped with the silver content. I emailed them once because I’d noticed that the bands on some rings appeared to have an unfinished, ‘hammered’ appearance. I don’t recall the name of the person who replied, but he simply indicated that he had never noticed what I was referring to. I stopped buying their rings because there were just too many red flags, and I fear that I’ve been ‘had’. Do you think this dealer is legit? Thanks.


    1. There has been a flood of thoroughly fake German military and political rings over the past few decades.
      These were, and are, available on many militaria sites.
      Starting with “Roger Steele’s ‘SS Viking rings’ up through cheap castings of the SS honor ring, the market has been flooded with these.
      Today, many of these rings are made in Poland and I have posted some of their illustrated advertisements of such modern pieces for sale to the trade.
      In response to your query about Germania International, I can state that I have never purchased any item from them and do not look at their very colorful and politically opinionated website.
      If you are interested in the Germania International trade reputation, I suggest that you look for critical remarks about said firm posted on the Internet.
      I have been told by a very reputable collector that Germania International was offering, at considerable money, German period books that had bookplates from the SS Oberbayern library pasted into the front.
      An expert on such matters advised me that as that library closed down in 1940 and that the period German publications being offered for public sale were all dated ‘1943’ that authenticity of the bookplates might well be in question. I hope this has been of use to you.

      1. Yes, it has, thanks. I have not purchased any more of their rings for several years, nor do I intend to. As to their reputation, I will search the net for any comments, as you suggest. Thanks for the quick response.

        Sean K.

        1. Not a problem. Aside from PX souvenir rings, the SS honor ring, and private purchase pieces like the DAK pieces made by Arabs in Tunisia, there were very few rings that could be considered original to the period. There are WW I Iron Cross-displayed rings that were sold during WWI for war loans that are quite genuine. Hope to help out,

  4. AD Royster, have you done a piece on the big “Argentine Nazi Secret Room Find?” It happened back in June of 2017. Every piece I saw looked like genuine 4th Reich fakery! Maybe I’m wrong, but looked pretty “new”. Here’s the link to one story, there are dozens of stories about this on the web and on YouTube. Would like to get your “always interesting and moderately entertaining “ point of view on this junk. Here’s the link:
    Thanks for your time.

  5. Warning !! Please stay away from for the following reasons:
    *The owner Paul Johnsons or Robert is a holocaust Denier and often brags of his friendship with David Irving & Ernest Zundel. * The items he sells are majority fakes or high end fantasy pieces made in Europe * He is extremely rude and arrogant to deal with. * Lastly all his items are over priced, with phony provenance, and are left over items from auction houses or consignments.
    His Hitler signatures, paintings and personal items are all fake. Very similar to Syndeytreasures website that was notorious for selling all fakes which no longer exists. From having personal dealth with Paul I would avoid at all cost, not a nice man but a sharelton or snake oil salesman. Not honest, rude and as you can see buy his website very politically motivated.

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