BOUCKVILLE, NY – A White Star Line button worn by one of the two barbers aboard the Titanic (who survived the disaster), as well as a treasure trove of artifacts belonging to the famous American naval officer, aviator and polar explorer, Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, are expected in auction no.86 of Mohawk Arms, an internet and gallery auction slated for December. 18th.
Auction # 86 is packed with hundreds of items spanning multiple conflicts and generations, online and live in the Route 20 gallery in Bouckville, upstate New York. The complete catalog will be available soon, at www.MilitaryRelics.com, plus LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. New items keep pouring in, such as a wartime American colonial cannon circa 1740-1780.
Charles Weikman was a chief barber on the hapless Titanic the night it struck an iceberg and sank in the icy waters of the North Atlantic Ocean on the night of April 15, 1912. He was standing on the deck of the ship as it sank, awaiting his fate, when suddenly the stern of the ship rose from the water in a perpendicular position, throwing him and hundreds of others into the cold waters.
Weikman was able to grab hold of some floating debris and lost consciousness. When he came to himself he was in a lifeboat, one of the lucky ones who survived. He still wore his barber coat, with the White Star Line button (which has been authenticated as the correct period of 1910-1912). He gifted the button to his daughter, who then gave it to one of his teachers, a button collector.
The teacher then sold her collection, along with the button, to another collector in Pennsylvania. His son, who inherited the collection, is the sender. An aside: Mr. Weikman later served as a barber on the Lusitania. He resigned, however, in early 1915, after German submarines began targeting ships in the Atlantic Ocean. In doing so, he avoided a second catastrophe.
The button is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from the sender. He writes: âMy mother, Sara, was a button collector and received the button from her friend, Miss Helen Martin, who was also a button collector for many years. This button comes from Charles Weikman’s coat. Charles wasâ¦ ..one of the two barbers of the Titanic â¦â¦ Miss Martin received the button from Charles Weikman’s daughter, Helen, a student of Miss Martin at Palmyra High School â(New Jersey).
The letters, photos and ephemera of the personal possessions of Rear Admiral Byrd (1888-1957) are sure to appeal to collectors who recognize the accomplishments of a true American hero and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Byrd claimed his expeditions were the first to reach the North and South Poles by air. He also discovered the dormant Mount Sidley volcano in Antarctica. Included are original film reels (including one from the North Pole).
An incredible photo taken in April 1928 for the Boston traveler newspaper, showing Byrd, holding a packet of anti-pneumonia serum, flanked by aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, after the two landed in Quebec, Canada, from New York. Their mission: to save the life of Floyd Bennett, who suffered from pneumonia. The serum didn’t work; Bennett is dead.
Speaking of Lindbergh, there is also an FBI poster for the 1932 kidnapping of baby Lindbergh on sale, listing all serial numbers of invoices. After an intense manhunt, the police and the FBI finally arrested Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a German carpenter, and charged him with the kidnapping and murder of the 20-month-old. Hauptmann later died in the electric chair.
The sale also includes much of the estate of Dr. Frederick White, who worked on the Manhattan Project, which produced the atomic bomb that ended World War II. A government certificate is included, stating that his work was “essential to the production of the atomic bomb …”.
German Imperial Helmets, a staple of most Mohawk weapon auctions, will be led by the helmet of Prinz Alfons of Bavaria as Honorary Commander of the 5th Prussian Dragon Regiment (“Freiherr von Manteuffel”), with a parade feather dress / bush and four original photos (one autographed), four photo postcards (one autographed) and several other ephemeral items.
Other German imperial helmets will include a Prussian Jager / Schutzen officer shako, Uhlan Guard “tschapka” (felt body), Baden artillery officer helmet and others. Regimental mugs (including a rare “Jager Regiment zu Pferde”), medals, swords (Bavarian court, Kurrasier officer No.7, etc.), a collection of photo postcards of the William II family and fine arts artists from around 1900, a parade tunic of a Hungarian imperial general and other items.
German Third Reich articles will include a file of correspondence of initialed letters to and from Himmler, with translations (a report on the effect of V-1 rockets on Britain, war news, personalities, etc. .); daggers (RLB and Red Cross officer, SA, NSKK, etc.), swords, collection of medals, headlines, badges, caps and helmets (Bahnschutz, Firemen, Red Cross).
Also in the running will be European flintlock and percussion pistols, an American shako from the 1820s “bell crown”, a “wristbreaker” from the Civil War “Tiffany”, leather goods, excavated shell fragments. from the Civil War with maps of locations, WWII items (uniforms, headgear, bladed weapons, etc.), a Japanese WWI âAdrianâ helmet covered with a red cross, a kyo-gunto sword, posters and ethnographic weapons.
The next big Mohawk Arms internet and catalog auction after this one is slated for spring 2022, likely in April. The company generally makes two major sales per year.
Mohawk Arms, Inc., always accepts quality shipments for future auctions. To register a single item or an entire collection, you can call (315) 893-7888; or, you can email them at Mohawk@MilitaryRelics.com. To learn more about Mohawk Arms, Inc. and the internet and gallery auction scheduled for Saturday, December 18 at 9:45 a.m. EDT, visit www.MilitaryRelics.com.
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