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Concentration Camp Glass with Swastika - Thoughts?

Article about: Hi there. I recently purchased this lovely glass at a boot sale. I was told by the gentleman that he received it from his grandmother some years ago, who told him it had come from a concentr

  1. #1

    Default Concentration Camp Glass with Swastika - Thoughts?

    Hi Duncan, thanks for showing this item.

    Myself and my colleagues on this forum place enormous emphasis on good provenance, and are inclined to dismiss stories as irrelevant without evidence to back them up. This is because, after many years of collecting, we know that people, especially sellers, often make things up and get things wrong. Unless this glass can be shown to match other known types, you are very unlikely to get any sort of clear information from us, because there's just not much for us to say. I think it is additionally worth pointing out that swastikas do not necessarily relate to the Third Reich, as they were often used on many different items in the early twentieth century as good luck symbols, as well as being used since the war to create fake Nazi items. Consequently I think this glass could have originated in almost any country and from a variety of time periods, though there is nothing I can say specifically to disprove the story you have suggested.



    Maybe one of my fellow members will be able to contribute something more specific.

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  3. #2

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    Hi there, Douglas.

    Thank you very much for your pertinent and logical response. I am well aware that one buys the item and not the story, even when the item is very difficult to authenticate such as this one. However, would you agree that it is highly likely to be a Nazi period item as the swastika is mobile ('turning') and the spray of the leaves conform significantly with the décor of the era? It would be very difficult to find an object similar to this, but I have found other items such as glass boxes and ornaments with similar details. The glass itself isn't likely to have been constructed in a concentration camps, but I do believe that the swastika has been engraved on at a later stage by a skilled craftsman. I will continue in my pursuit of knowledge relating to this object, and I thank you for your help and guidance.

    All the best,

    Duncan.

  4. #3

    Default Concentration Camp Glass with Swastika - Thoughts?

    Hi there.

    I recently purchased this lovely glass at a boot sale. I was told by the gentleman that he received it from his grandmother some years ago, who told him it had come from a concentration camp and was constructed by skilled workers under the orders of the camp guards. His grandmother is half-Austrian, and is likely to have received the glass from camp veterans at some point after the war. I think it is a fantastic item, and I believe the story to be true. You know what the camp guards were like, always taking advantage of the skilled workers, getting them to make them little bits and pieces. Perhaps the glass was brought in by a guard and the worker cut the glass according to the instructions? I struggled to find a relevant thread for this item, as you will understand. Anyway, I would appreciate if you folks could give me some opinions or thoughts on this item. I'll be very much interested to hear what you all have to say. Thanks again!

    All the best,

    Duncan.

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  5. #4

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    Quote by douglas2496 View Post
    Hi Duncan, thanks for showing this item.

    Myself and my colleagues on this forum place enormous emphasis on good provenance, and are inclined to dismiss stories as irrelevant without evidence to back them up. This is because, after many years of collecting, we know that people, especially sellers, often make things up and get things wrong. Unless this glass can be shown to match other known types, you are very unlikely to get any sort of clear information from us, because there's just not much for us to say. I think it is additionally worth pointing out that swastikas do not necessarily relate to the Third Reich, as they were often used on many different items in the early twentieth century as good luck symbols, as well as being used since the war to create fake Nazi items. Consequently I think this glass could have originated in almost any country and from a variety of time periods, though there is nothing I can say specifically to disprove the story you have suggested.

    Maybe one of my fellow members will be able to contribute something more specific.
    I can only concur with all that has been said here. Without solid provenance, a this is likely a one of a kind object, that makes proving any 3rd Reich connection impossible.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  6. #5
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    Quote by BOB COLEMAN View Post
    I can only concur with all that has been said here. Without solid provenance, a this is likely a one of a kind object, that makes proving any 3rd Reich connection impossible.
    DITTO

    Horst
    "He who hesitates is lost - is not only lost but miles from the next exit"

  7. #6

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    Would you agree that it is likely to be a period item as the swastika is mobile ('turning') and the wreath of leaves significantly conforms to the décor of the time? Cheers!

  8. #7

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    Quote by DuncanWilson View Post
    Would you agree that it is likely to be a period item as the swastika is mobile ('turning') and the wreath of leaves significantly conforms to the décor of the time? Cheers!
    Not necessarily. Without provenance, it could have been added last month. In today's world of fakes, frauds and fantasy pieces, confirmation is impossible.
    BOB

    LIFE'S LOSERS NEVER LEARN FROM THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS.

  9. #8

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    Quote by BOB COLEMAN View Post
    Not necessarily. Without provenance, it could have been added last month. In today's world of fakes, frauds and fantasy pieces, confirmation is impossible.
    I completely understand that. It would be possible, however, to have this glass looked at by a historian, and to have it dated by chemical means. I think that's what I shall do. Thanks for the help.

    All the best,

    Duncan.

  10. #9

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    The swastika has clearly been added at a later date than the manufacture and original cutting of the pattern in the crystal. It is extremely poorly done, not by a genuine glass cutting craftsman that's for sure. The swastika has uneven arms and is stunted and truncated, it's really sub standard when you actually take the time to look at it dispassionately.

    Note how it overlaps the pattern in several places. I can assure you that having relatives who have worked in the lead crystal manufacturing industry of Brierley Hill here in the U.K., this would not be acceptable under any circumstances, and the piece would be destroyed.

    I'm sure you could trot out the argument that it was made under wartime conditions, or under great duress by concentration camp prisoners, but this piece has never seen the cutting wheel of a "skilled craftsmen" when the swastika was added believe me.

    It's the same as these pocket watches with SS Battalion rune decals added, or KM U-Boat engravings etched upon them, and let's not forget the ubiquitous cigarette cases with a crappy repro Totenkopf skull roughly soldered onto it. They're all crap that's been humped up from something that as it originally stands is worthless, yet with a little bit of sneaky "enterpreneurship" suddenly sells, all too easily these days for several hundred dollars or euro's. This is just another wrinkle on the same theme I'm afraid.

    Always buy the item, never the story. In this case when you look at it for what it's supposed to be, it's extremely poor and lacking in any quality whatsover.

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  11. #10

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    First Thing I noticed were the uneven arms on the Hakenkreuz, I agree completely...
    cheers, Glenn

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