Alexander Autographs' fascinating historical auction this Thursday is to be led, appropriately enough, by a great explorer, Sir Francis Drake whose signed document is expected to sell for anything up to $70,000.
However, this is not to underestimate the quality, historical significance or investment value of the other collectibles in the sale. In particular, there are some extremely fine pieces of militaria from the Second World War.
Perhaps the most exciting piece for many will be the helmet, decorated with four stars, which belonged to General Dwight D Eisenhower. The M-1 steel helmet bears the original dark green "pebbled" finish, with typical oxidation and a few chips, entirely consistent with use.
Near the end of the Allied campaign in North Africa, Eisenhower received his fourth star (and, presumably, this helmet), and on Dec. 20, 1944, he was promoted to General of the Army, thus gaining his fifth star.
At that time, this helmet became obsolete, and then or soon after was given by Eisenhower to his chief aide, Col. Ernest 'Tex' Lee who brought it home with him at war's end. It has now been consigned by Lee's family.
With impeccable provenance, the lot is a museum-quality piece and one of the best pieces of WWII memorabilia that is likely to come up this year. It carries an estimate of $20,000-30,000.
The auction also offers General Patton's pistol holster. The leather strap is believed to have been used to carry Patton's Colt .380 semi-automatic and would have been worn during active service.
Coming again from the estate of 'Tex' Lee, this highly collectible piece of memorabilia is offered with a guide price of $4,000-6,000.
Alexander Autographs holds its auction in Connecticut on June 3, with online bidding available. Collectors and investors may also wish to take a look at this letter signed by General Patton, which is currently available.
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