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#354260 04/02/2022 01:26 PM
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What do you guys think? IF, if you saw a auction house sold a very expensive [well over $10K] item and you knew, could even prove,, it was stolen from another countries museum wartime would you say something to the auction house?? Or,, wow what a lucky buyer?

Last edited by Gaspare; 04/02/2022 06:11 PM.
Gaspare #354262 04/02/2022 03:08 PM
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Call the cops in the stolen country.

Gaspare #354263 04/02/2022 05:56 PM
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Goring had it taken out of a museum in France when the nazis occupied.. Guess they have a FBI etc.

Saw it in the new issue of Military Trader with sale price from their auction. Not sure yet what I should do, IF anything.... Some one has owned it a bit over a month already..

Last edited by Gaspare; 04/02/2022 05:57 PM.
Gaspare #354264 04/02/2022 07:03 PM
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Lots of police would be interested:

The Central Directorate of the Judicial Police (French: Direction centrale de la police judiciaire; DCPJ) is a directorate of the National Police (French: Police nationale) of France with national and territorial competence for investigating and fighting serious crime. If Goring had it taken out of a museum it makes for good copy !

The local / national police where the auction was held and where the item is now

Suggest you start at U.S. National Central Bureau - Interpol


Interpol Washington, the U.S. National Central Bureau, coordinates law enforcement activities between U.S. agencies and their international counterparts.

Agency Details
Website:
U.S. National Central Bureau - Interpol

Contact:
Contact the U.S. National Central Bureau - Interpol-Washington

Main Address:
Interpol Washington
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Phone Number:
1-202-616-9000

Government branch:
Executive Department Sub-Office/Agency/Bureau

Parent Agency
U.S. Department of Justice

Gaspare #354266 04/02/2022 11:34 PM
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What was the item?

Gaspare #354270 04/03/2022 03:30 AM
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Ron ,, It is a old pre WW1 blade..

- H.G. had it in his private collection he kept at his house. Bombed then liberated by US soldiers it was a US soldier who got permission to bring/send[?] it home..

It belonged to an old friend of mine from Ohio.. The piece mysteriously disappeared after his death.. The family never saw it , never was interested in any of his treasures in fact... After he passed they suddenly got interested in what he had.. I had been working on getting him great offers for his super rare pieces. John Peppera was going to take a few. MC Vinny was taking some. The family getting more greedy by the day decided who the hell am I? and thought I was ripping them off. . At an auction they barely got a 1/3 of what I was getting them and I wanted nothing. I was doing it for my friend..

So how does it get proved what it is:
OK -
- There is a French document of it being in the French museum inventory.
-There is a 1960s[?] B&W photo of a famous appraiser holding it.. It is more than likely a one of a kind item. From the photo you can tell its the same sword.
- A old color photo of it and owners name. from like LIFE or LOOK or similar,,and the same photo appeared in the 1st War Booty series.........
-There is a signed affidavit of the soldier describing how and where he found it.
-And last,,, Signed and description of piece on official U.S. bring back papers...

* I think I can get hands on all of these papers except the French museum document.

Wartime,,no one knew it was a stolen piece. Just some war booty a soldier brought home... Think it was 2 or more years when they were really looking for all the owners of the paintings, sculptures items etc. The piece was on the museum inventory documents but no where to be found after the war. They had bigger fish to fry big paintings,big sculptures and those gold bars this piece wasn't a priority I guess,,maybe let sleeping dogs be,,, ,G.

Gaspare #354272 04/03/2022 02:20 PM
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Gaspare
Thanks. That is a tough one.

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-

No one not a bit interested at all. confused,, guess with all the other things we have to worry about who cares. There's genocide going on in the 21st cent. and no one cares frown..

Well,, I'd have to start calling France... I have trouble with American! ,, SO, someone got a hell of a deal,,and,,doesn't even know the best thing about it,,it's history,,OR do they?.....
Someone here fluent and gives a sh*t and would go forward,,, I have turned up most the proof. The rest I can get... It could get done I'm guessing..


Here's the item:
Was in, and listed in, a French museum before WWII... Herman Goring saw it on a tour and had to have it. So he ordered it to be removed and then had it put in his private collection at his home..
- Sold for $15k about 2 months ago at a U.S. auction..

Very old photo,,,even lists owner at the time my friends name [who has passed years ago]....

NapGorSword.jpg (48.77 KB, 117 downloads)
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I wonder who really has legal ownership. Clearly, 3rd Reich individual "stole " from museums and then GI's "liberated some of those and were returned to the states. I wonder if the museum had records and if so, are they available or destroyed? Granted art from that period is still being discovered and returned to rightful owners but this one is tricky trying to establish rightful ownership.
I don't think the museum would be inclined to pursue it after all these years. What documentation did the auction house have as to where it came from?

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Not sure what anyone could do about it that is not really connected to the item, or the sale, transfer of said item.

Last edited by Dave; 04/07/2022 09:41 PM. Reason: Politics
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Gaz

Call the French Consulate General in New York (212) 606-3600

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Dave, thanks.. I'll give it one more shot..



Interesting photo... Another shot of same sword.. I met this man years ago while he was visiting a friend in Ohio. He has probably passed on by now as he was very old back when I saw him.

He did a lot of research on this sword, wrote an appraisal, and I think the first to turn this thing up and put it in the market rather quickly... Maybe some of you guys know / knew of him [?]

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This is from the auction that sold it. Was about 2 months ago....

Years ago the owner put together a team of collectors to help him prove 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt that certain items of his that were considered questionable to be authentic or not. I had a certain item I was working on and someone was working on this sword. We even had John Peppera involved as he lived about 15 min away from the owner.

Whats sad was the authenticator found a lot on the sword. The owner wanted to sell it quick.. Myself, MC Vinny, and John Pepp had found a buyer for $70k.! Until,,,he was reading the provenance papers and saw it was once listed in inventory in a museum. Deal off... Owner had many other items to work on and sell. The last I saw of the sword it went into a large gun safe... Owner passes away and the sword is lost......
The story is even longer but I 'll stop boring you guys..

Recent advert for auction in latest Military Trader:

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Although this item has changed hands numerous times over the years, an owner of a stolen item can’t obtain clear title. It would seem the owner with clear title was the museum.

The question is would the museum be willing to go thorough all the hassles to possibly regain the sword?

The reason I say this is I became aware of a piece shown in at least one reference book which was reported to have been stolen from the collection of Julian Milestone when he was still alive. I inquired a bit further to find out that Mr. Milestone’s heirs sold off his collection and wanted nothing to do with those items. In that case, searching out the legal owners would have done little since they would not have wished to pursue the matter. Sad but true.


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The Museum if they were still interested would buy it from the owner at the time. Cheaper then going to court.

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Gave a call to the NY embassy number. Not interested a bit. They gave me the Wash.D.C. number. Called that. Actually got a nice guy who listened politely.. He said as of now there is not much they can do because of staffing/shortage problems,, that if I wanted to fill out the forms and send by email eventually one day it will get looked at..

The form was unbelievable! I'm not giving out personal info like they wanted to anyone.. SO,,congrats to the new owner. Hope he realizes what he got..

So that part is over.. I've been digging myself..

Mr. Rasmussen was some guy! There is a document out there from the soldier who found the sword. [working on that]. But,,he goes to Germany to get this wonderful piece! Building, building, provenance.... this is magnificent.......

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_ The Napoleon sword;

-Well, this is the end of it for me.. After last handling it almost 20 years ago.. the last piece to be found again.... 4 months after he was in Germany [prior letter/statement] back in the states and got the statement from the soldier who found it...

I would say the new buyers either think they got a cool old sword,,or also knew about this history and got a great bargain and piece of history.. Some of these auction houses get a bit lazy but I guess its the smart buyer [like some of us!] that benefits and catches the piece...

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Last edited by Gaspare; 04/14/2022 01:17 PM.
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I recall a similar case where a Mercedes Benz was sold at auction in the US to a European buyer. When the Mercedes was delivered to Europe, it was immediately confiscated as it had been stolen from a German during WWII. The Mercedes was returned to the original owners family. So there are laws in the EU to address this. I think/Dave is correct, start with the French police.

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yes someone probably had the title or bill of sale to the car. That bearer is the owner... Soon as it hit Europe it was over.. - Might be the problem here. Not much interest when they hear it went thru a blind auction and it's here in the U.S.

Jim,,tried French police. Tried every number listed here and more. They all had some kind of excuse,, 'we short handed because of Covid', this is not our dept.' etc. etc.

I handled the sword and these exact documents many years ago. After the owner died it took the family a long time to open his safe for whatever reason and when it was opened the sword and docs were missing among a few other pieces.

Congrats to the new owners....


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