Newsletter 243 February 28, 2017

Newsletter 243 February 28, 2017


From: Bill Panagopulos <>

Sent: Monday, February 27, 2017 5:58 PM

To: Arthur Royster

Subject: Re: The phone

Faulty logic. Provide me video proof that Mossad agents did NOT plant bombs in the World Trade Center, provide me proof that Jupiter is NOT made of Roquefort, etc.

To quote your hero, the flaccid Mr. Trump: “Sad. Weak. Failing”

BTW You do, however, remain vastly engrossing and entertaining. Thank you.

Bill Panagopulos


Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

98 Bohemia Avenue, Ste. 2

Chesapeake City, MD 21915

(203) 276-1570

Fax: (203) 883-1483

Alexander Historical Auctions, LLC

Alexander Historical Auctions one of the largest auction houses for guaranteed authentic autographs, rare historical documents and manuscripts, civil war memorabilia …



I have to prove nothing to you.

It is you who have made statements about, let us say, the authenticity of a red-painted old telephone you claim belonged to Adolf Hitler.

Do you expect that merely because you state that this object is a rare historical relic that it must automatically be accepted as authentic?

You once said that a certain wrist watch your firm was offering to the public was one that Mussolini gave to Otto Skorzeny for rescuingĀ  him after he had been deposed.

It was subsequently very clearly proven, by the redoubtable Prosper Keating, that the watch was made in Switzerland but in 1951!

It could not have been given to Skorzeny by Mussolini seven years earlier.

Yet you took issue with Mr. Keating, calling him a liar.

Mr. Keating is not a liar and the watch was not a fake but the watch was misrepresented.

If your firm advertises an object as being a rare historical relic that your firm believed they could sell for a half a million dollars, it is incumbent on you to provide concrete proof of its authenticity, in the first place, and concrete proof that it had belonged to Adolf Hitler personally in the second.

The provenance of your advertised item is important and your defense of it seems to devolve solely on your defense of it.

As I recall, when a controversy arose over the bronze “Adolf Hitler desk set” your firm was advertising, period pictures were produced by critics showing, very clearly, that the item your firm was attempting to sell, was, to a certainty, not the original one, you again launched an attack against the same Mr. Keating who has questioned the authenticity of the telephone.

In this instance, period photographs clearly show that telephones in Hitler’s offices were not the same as the one you were merchandising.

Claims by the purported owner that it was given to his father by an unknown “Russian major” in Berlin are nothing, unless they can be substantiated.

Genuine experts in the field of telephones have all stated that the red painted phone was not Hitler’s very own and that the phone in question had been made by a German firm as an export item for sale in Great Britain, are met by you with dismissive contempt.

As I said to you, if you can show clear proof, preferably un-doctored period photographs, that this very phone sat on Hitler’s desk, I would be prepared to reconsider my own, and others, opinion that it is a crude attempt by a person, or persons, unknown to defraud.

Recently we published a newsletter discussing certain SS bookplates being offered for sale, at a considerable price, as authentic to the period and very rare.

We showed that the library that used the bookplate closed, permanently, in 1940 and that the books in which the plates were affixed had all been published in 1943-1944.

The purveyor then told his circle of friends that we were terrible liars in general and one of us was the Lord Satin Himself!

We located the print shop who had produced these, for the purveyor, very recently but decided that since the bookplates were no longer selling, the issue was moot.





4 thoughts on “Newsletter 243 February 28, 2017

  1. Points well-taken here.
    “It’s original because I say it’s original!”
    That this is a skewed and pointless statement goes without saying.
    One sees dozens of similar postings on all the really elite sites, as well as on the various collector forums.
    Is this auction dealer an expert in German telephones?
    It is obvious from looking at other earlier postings that Craig Gottlieb is not an expert on the SS Honor Ring because he shows too many cheap castings, purporting them to be original.
    If someone wishes to sell a personality item, such as Napoleon’s hat, they had best present legitimate provenance for it.
    The American dealer’s chant seems to be: “I got it from a vet!” without further attribution.
    This is not provenance.

    1. Yes, this is the typical huckster rant. Junk is passed off as original and if anyone dares question the dealer, the snappy answer is as you say. I collect and buy items because I wish to do so and if I had to wonder if it were original, I would be better off collecting old beer cans. If the collector is so ignorant of the hobby, he ought to find another, more basic one.

  2. An excellent point.
    Christie’s art auction house demands of their vendors complete provenance on expensive items.
    All we get now is “from a vet,” or nasty looks and emails if one dares to question the seller.
    If a dealer can’t, or won’t, supply checkable background on very expensive items, don’t buy it.
    And when I have the time, I’ll send you a funny story about rare tapestries.

    1. I have a few tapestry stories of my own. These take up huge space, are the devil to ship and do not sell well. There are fake Third Reich ones floating around. One was advertised as “Himmler’s Personal Tapestry” from his office in the Reichschancellery! Himmler did not have an office in the Chancellery. The dealer selling it never does his homework.

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