A ring once owned by Adolf Hitler fetched $65,725 at an auction in Cecil County Tuesday.
Alexander Historical Auctions sold the silver ring, which is plated in gold and features a ruby-encrusted swastika on its base. The business has previously sold Nazi memorabilia, including a desk belonging to Hitler.
"We are very happy with the result," Andreas Kornfeld, vice president of international client relations for the auction house, said in an email. "It is very difficult to estimate objects and relics such as the ring, since there are, or have been, no comparisons on the market."
Alexander Historical Auctions holds live auctions at its Chesapeake City base, and also accommodates bidders from all over the world via phone and Internet. The ring was purchased by an American collector whom Kornfeld would not identify.
"It's a handcrafted ring from a well-known goldsmith that was commissioned by the Nazis," Kornfeld said in a Wednesday morning phone interview.
Though he couldn't recall the specific number of bidders, Kornfeld said the piece generated a great deal of interest
"We got many — hundreds of thousands — of page views on the item," he said.
Kornfeld said the auction house did not receive any complaints about the controversial background of the item.
It is unknown who specifically commissioned the ring for Hitler, or if he ever wore the showy item.
"It's a presentation piece," Kornfeld said. "There aren't photos of him wearing it."
However, the ring came with documents that include testimony verifying its authenticity.
"The existence of it has been well-known in collectors' circles," Kornfeld said.
The ring was created by Karl Berthold and discovered in Bavaria, Germany by an American soldier in 1945. It has been owned by several collectors over the years.
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