Kaiser Wilhelm's painting of WW1 air ace the Red Baron flies to $9,360

Scenes of mid-air dogfights appeared before collectors in San Francisco on Monday (November 15), as militaria, art and aviation memorabilia collided at Bonhams and Butterfields.

Starring in the US auctioneers' sale of militaria and aviation collectibles were a number of paintings that were commissioned by the American, French and German governments during World War One.

Noted artists of the era including Henri Farre and Francois Flameng went under the hammer, but the major highlight was a work entitled von Ricthofen's Flying Circus by Claus Bergen.

Ace WW1 pilot the Red Baron stars in this $9,360 Claus Bergen painting

Bergen was appointed Marine Painter to Kaiser Wilhelm in 1914. This striking depiction of squadron fighters lead by Manfred von Richthofen, aka the Red Baron, was expected to bring $5,000-8,000.

Not for the first time, the Red Baron's reputation captured the attentions of bidders at auction. In the end, Bergen's historic painting sold for $9,360 inclusive of Buyer's Premium, one of the big art highlights at Bonhams and Butterfields' sale.


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