German auction house Weidler in Nuremberg sold a watercolor painted by Adolf Hitler circa 1914, for $162,000 (€130,000), this past Saturday. The hammer price soared above the lot’s low estimate of $5,600 (€4,500) (see: “Hitler Watercolor to Be Sold at Weidler“). The painting, titled Standesamt/Altes Rathaus (Registry Office/Old Townhall), was reportedly acquired by a buyer from the Middle East who was in the room.
The work is a depiction of the city hall in Munich. It was consigned by two sisters from Hesse, Germany, whose grandfather purchased it in 1916, two years after Hitler painted it. The consignors have promised to donate 10 percent of the proceeds to charity. The lot also includes the original bill of sale, as well as a certificate of authenticity from Albert Bormann, brother of Martin Bormann, who was Hitler’s chief of staff.
Hitler’s failed art career and rejection from art school as been well documented (see “From Jimmy Carter to Hitler, 10 Politicians Who Tried Their Hands at Art“). Sales of Hitler’s artworks often generate controversy. Some auction houses have refused to handle his artworks, while other sales have been canceled from time to time. Many art experts consider his work mediocre at best.
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