The Rommel signature shown above, dated October 1938, is very different from an example that I have seen dated a several months later. We know how signatures can change from day to day, but I must admit, for such a serious amount of money, that would have me more than slightly worried. Is there any provenance with this item Alec?
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First, thanks Kevin for the extra photos. Dealing with the points raised in the posts - Adrian the soldbuch was offered by Andreas Thies Auction House amongst a number of high - end military pieces, one being G÷ering's diamond encrushed sabre for which they were looking for 75000 euro. As to why they covered the picture portrait on the jacket inside I can't say (surely a buyer would never forget to look for the picture ?) As to questions of provenance, the magazine states only " the ownership rights are legally clear and the purchaser of this historical document is free from claims of a third party" not exactly a provenance as we know it, but I imagine the auction house has must have something - its not quite in the league of the fake Hitler war diaries, but enough to destroy their reputation at a stroke if its bad, still I'd still rather know what provenance they have. Big Ned's post seems not far of the mark, another collector recalls it being sold 5 years ago for $25000. That's all I've at the moment, but if anyone discovers what it did go for, please post the figure.
With regards to the photo don't forget that the order to have photos put into Heer SB wasn't issued until the spring/summer of 1944 so if this is Rommel's SB then the chances are that it wouldn't have one due to him dying around that time.
Good point - Kevin
The thing that strikes me about this soldbuch is just how pristine it is for one that was issued in 1939 and carried until 1944 from the fields of France through to the African desert and back to France again (and not forgetting possibly being carried on his person when his staff car was shot up by a Spitfire in Normandy). Now I don't expect that a high ranking and very well known 'face' of the period would need to show his SB as often as the average soldier but considering the years and the environments it went through it looks in very good condition for one carried in a top pocket of a tunic. The cover is, I'd say, an obvious replacement and I base this on the fact there are 3 staples seen on the Lazarett pages (Pg 12/13) - two for the actual pages of the book and the newer middle one to affix the new cover. So if the old cover was so badly worn that it needed replacing I would expect to see at least some wear to the inside pages, even if it was just on page 1.
You only have to look at Hasso von Manteuffel's soldbuch to see that Soldbuch's carried by frontline General's were just as susceptible to wear & tear as everyone elses and while that of Generalleutnant Johannes de Boer is in reasonably good condition it is a Zweitschrift issue from August 1944 and still has some slight wear to it.
Last edited by hucks216; 06-18-2012 at 12:46 PM.
Found another image from the depths of the internet. I am surprised that arguably the most interesting of pages, i.e. his awards, hasn't been shown. I'm wondering if the reason Andreas Thies has been linked with this item numerous times in the past few years is that everytime he has put it up for auction it has remained unsold so stays in his possesion?
Last edited by hucks216; 06-18-2012 at 12:48 PM.
Thats exactly what I was thinking too. It looks like it was made yesterday. Of course, Rommel would have had a better opportunity to keep care of his Soldbuch compared to your average soldier, but still.....there is not any age wear as far as I can tell.
I wonder if any pics of the one that was sold 5+ years ago could be found to compare to this one?
post 11 bottom right pic
how do you get two diferent coloured ink on one stamp??