Become our sponsor and display your banner here
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

What's your 'Big Fish that Got Away" story...?

Article about: I thought I would start a thread, with not much to do with pictures...just, what is your story on something you just missed out on. I know we all have stories like this, and I love hearing t

  1. #1

    Default What's your 'Big Fish that Got Away" story...?

    I thought I would start a thread, with not much to do with pictures...just, what is your story on something you just missed out on. I know we all have stories like this, and I love hearing them. Mainly because I have two stories that will blow your socks off.
    The best part, is my stories actually happened, I sh*t you not...

    I was about 20, and I was just getting going at the military thing. I was digging around in antique shops mostly: but, I soon tired glass shelves that held Nana's teacups and napkin rings under little pot lights. So I started getting into the real junk shops. You know the place,... piles of crap, in once wet card board boxes piled way over your head. You have to turn sideways hold your breath when walking through the tight aisles for fear of your ass bumping one of the precariously balanced towers, and it all coming down in a rain of magazines, dishes and car parts.
    I'm in that place, and it's an old airplane hangar, so there's miles of junk to go through. I'm digging around for whatever, and, I'm coming up empty. The person working the counter snaps their newspaper and looks at me between page turns, and was almost obligated to ask me what I collect, so I say, "military". She says from behind the paper, the only thing they have military wise, is a canteen and a painting.
    "Well, lets have a look at the painting" says I.
    Turns out its a really badly painted landscape. It's very dark, and hard to make out the details. I'm not impressed. I'm holding it out at arms length and squinting at the thing and I still get bupkis. It looks like a dark blue mess. If I had to say what it was, it looked like it was laying on the floor under another bigger painting while it was being painted...like, that bad of a mess.
    "So, what's the military angle on this bad boy", I ask the newspaper.
    "There's a swastika on the back".
    So, I flip it over, and sure enough there burned into the wooden frame is a little political eagle. It looked like the mark that is on handguns, and about that size.
    Well...big deal...a little eagle on the back..."So, how much?"
    "45 bucks, and that's just for the fancy frame, you can throw out the picture if you want".
    I'm looking at this LP sized painting, and I'm thinking to myself, Jeez, 45 clams, that's everything in my pocket. So I pass.

    Fast forward about 2 years, and I'm reading the paper. I catch a headline and read along. Some college boy digging around in that same place bought that crappy landscape and let a professional look at it...probably Ade. Apparently when the Third Reich appropriated artwork from conquered city museums, there was a little eagle burned into the frame. Turns out ...its a stolen Rembrandt from Holland, from their National Collection. There's a picture of the guy in the paper, holding the painting, out at arms length squinting at it, trying to make it out what the hell it's a painting of. The article says it's been missing since the end of the war. The writer speculated it probably came home with some troop, hung it on the wall, and didn't tell anyone what it was all about. Troop dies, and grand kids clear out the house and it winds up on the junk heap in some crappy airplane hangar in Southern Ontario. The article in the paper was saying the Dutch were pressing the new owner to give it back, and the guy wanted his millions for it.
    I never did find out how it all washed out in the end.


    The other story I'll save for a bit...

  2. #2
    ?

    Default Re: What's your 'Big Fish that Got Away" story...?

    I think most of us older collectors have at one time or other had something of significant value slip through our fingers, there are a few that ive come to regret, but my earliest recollection was about 1965, i was 10yrs old and during those days we , as kids used to play runouts or war over old bomb sites to which there were many in North London, as you can imagine militaria was pretty easy to come by, i had about 15-20 MkII english helmets, as well as other bits and pieces as did all my friends , some of them had german militaria, helmets, belts, m43 caps etc, so playing war was pretty much like a reenacting group, anyway one of my friends had a german helmet that he swopped with me for a couple of my helmets, i had the thing for a whole day before his dad knocked on the door and asked my dad if he could have the m35 back, well they were good friends so dad gave it back and i got my helmets back, it was my first experience with a SS double decal m35 , AND THAT HAS STUCK WITH ME EVER SINCE. the other instance was when i was in my early teens, Camden Passage in London was the place to get genuine TR militaria and still is, there was a stall selling various bits and pieces, medals mostly , i saw one that took my fancy so i bought it off the woman who wanted £5.00, that was a lot of money then but my dad used to be quite lucky on the horses plus he used to breed Budgies and could earn a fair bit as a side line, i walked away with this nice looking medal in my pocket with a very nice ribbon, i got about 50yds down the road when this guy came running up and stopped me saying there had been a mistake and he wanted the medal back, his wife has misread the price tag, it was £500, not really knowing anything about my rights, like an idiot i gave the medal back and got my money returned, that was my first and last encounter with a BLUE MAX, I have never seen another close up nor one being sold on a Saturday market since and i seriously doubt i ever will

  3. #3
    ?

    Default Re: What's your 'Big Fish that Got Away" story...?

    When I was a kid, dad took me to a coin shop here in Penrith, he had two helmets for 50 bucks....DD SS, dad had his wallet out,but mum thought it may have come from a dead German so I didn't get it!

    Years later they bought me a SD M40 Luft, but it cost more than 50!

  4. #4

    Default Re: What's your 'Big Fish that Got Away" story...?

    This one didn't exactly slip through my fingers, as I owned it for a little while. I once had a real example of the much faked HJ Ski Fuhrer badge. Super rare badge. It came from Hagen's Coins and Collectibles in Vista from a walk in with lots of insignia pinned to a party flag. Kieth sold me the badge for around $70 USD. This was in the days before many reference books were out there, so either of us had no idea of the value or rarity of the badge. We assumed it was some sort of tinnie or something. I ended up selling the badge to an HJ collector in Maryland when I sold off my first HJ collection in the 80's for the paltry sum of 100 USD. This is one of the badges that was used for the Military Advisor article on the badge written by Clyde Davis. It's now in a European collection. Talk about sellers remorse.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What's your 'Big Fish that Got Away" story...?

    In the mid 1980's, I met a gentleman of German American ancestry who had served as a translator for the major war criminals as they were being assembled for transport to Nurnburg where he also served. Among his responsibilities was stripping the prisoners uniforms of all insignia. To the best of ability, this is what he had:

    Collar tabs, breast eagle and shoulder straps from Wilhelm Keitel
    Two sets of collar tabs, shoulder boards and breast eagles from Herman Goring. One set of insignia ahd the crossed baton collar tabs and the other set were standard Luftwaffe general tabs. Each pair of shoulder straps was missing a set of crossed batons.
    Collar tabs, shoulder boards and a ribbon bar from General Jodl
    Breast eagle and shoulder straps from Admiral Doenitz
    A single collar tab from SS Genreal Karl Wolf
    A gold pocket watch that belonged to Schact with his and his wife's coat of arms. It had a dedication from his father-in-law who gave it to him as a wedding present.
    Three Knights Cross of the War Service Cross with sword to which he could not ascribe the owner.
    He wanted $50,000 for the material which in those days was ridiciulous. He was firm so I had to pass. The group eventually sold for $15,000 two years later less the watch which he kept.
    Several years before, I met another man from his same unit who had also served as a translator. He had the two sets of shoulder board field marshall batons that were missing from the Goring group.
    A situation of being in the right place at the wrong time. I have one other nearly as good that I will post another time.
    BOB

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

  6. #6

    Default Re: What's your 'Big Fish that Got Away" story...?

    I missed out on a WWI German M16 Camo helmet, with original leather liner band, all three leather pads with pillows, drawstring and complete chinstrap. The owner sold it to a dealer for about $200 I think it was, along with a M1917 "Dough Boy" helmet. I walked up 30 seconds too late. Talk about frustration. I was livid I missed out on that. Apparently, the owner did not understand why I was looking at him with "bug eyes." Over the past few months, I just couldn't get that helmet out of my head. I emailed the dealer about the helmet, only to find he had sold it at a show some weeks before. How sad I was when I learned that.

    Back in February I missed the opportunity to pick up a Knights Cross with case at a local show. Never thought my wife would go for that price tag, so I passed. I casually brought it up to her in conversation the next day, at which time she told me that I could buy it if I didn't buy anything else for about 5 years, or until I paid the money back into our account. Emailed the seller in a hurry, and found out he had sold it at the show the same day I looked at it. Another kick in the gut.

    PS: This topic was also done under this: Best Item You Ever Missed Out On Buying

  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: What's your 'Big Fish that Got Away" story...?

    I dont know if this would count but my grandpa had at least 10-20 german uniforms that he took after the war and stuck them in his closet for many years, Well he threw them away 10 years ago and he said they were mostly ss I could have gotten them !!!!

  8. #8

    Default Re: What's your 'Big Fish that Got Away" story...?

    Quote by rbemer207 View Post
    I dont know if this would count but my grandpa had at least 10-20 german uniforms that he took after the war and stuck them in his closet for many years, Well he threw them away 10 years ago and he said they were mostly ss I could have gotten them !!!!
    I'd say that would count if you could confirm he actually had them. But short of pictures how will you know.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What's your 'Big Fish that Got Away" story...?

    Gentlemen, I refer you to this thread: Worst timing ever.

    It still depresses me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What's your 'Big Fish that Got Away" story...?

    I once passed (AU$600 1994) on a ss m42 jacket that was army used, and it's a shame that it's out there somewhere with tropical ss insignia!!!!
    A huge regret!!!!
    Regards
    René

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. 04-30-2014, 09:14 PM
  2. 08-13-2011, 11:52 AM
  3. The Story of B-17 "Ye Olde Pub"

    In Aviation history
    08-22-2010, 12:50 AM
  4. Is that the "BIG FISH"???

    In SS Uniforms and insignia
    08-15-2010, 07:22 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •