John Wayne’s revolvers, Hitler’s ‘million dollar desk’ headline auction

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Two 1932 Smith & Wesson matching .38/.44 fixed-sight revolvers, personal property of movie icon John Wayne, JW initials on grips, hand-tooled leather double holster with gold-overlaid, ruby-adorned silver buckles; stirrups, spurs. Est. $10,000-$20,000. (Photo: Milestone Auctions)

John Wayne’s revolvers and Adolf Hitler’s “million dollar desk” will headline an historic military and firearms auction later this month in suburban Cleveland.

Milestone Auctions said the extensive collection of nearly 700 war time rarities will be its most successful yet when it premiers in Willoughby, Ohio on Jan. 27.

“We’ve recently displayed some of our key auction items at major gun and militaria shows, and the reaction has been phenomenal,” said co-owner Chris Sammet. “These types of personally owned items simply do not appear at auction, certainly not altogether in one auction. Collectors of military memorabilia want provenance they can trust, and the provenance that backs this auction’s headliners is ironclad.”

John Wayne’s silver Smith & Wesson revolvers, holsters and spurs join a collection of 150 19th century firearms, including Confederate General John Creed Moore’s 1851 Colt Revolver and two Smith & Wesson handguns owned by whaling captain Albert Sherman.

The firearms lot also features a Colt boxed King Cobra, an 1862 Gatling gun, 1911 Colt pistols and rifles from Winchester, Brownings, and Remington, among others.

Hitler’s custom made oak and leather desk and matching chair could fetch $1 million, Milestone said. A gift from a Romanian monarch in 1929, the U.S. Army seized the pieces from Hitler’s Munich residence, which still feature the stamp “US Property and United States Forces European Theater Headquarters.”

Also for sale a 1936 Mercedes Benz  170V coupe estimated at a value between $40,000 and $80,000. The vehicle — only one of two registered in the United States — comes with the original bill of sale to Nazi Dr. Rudolph Beuring.

The personal belongings of Luftwaffe pilot Feldwebel Hans Hassemer, Civil War era military artifacts and an extensive collection of World War I uniforms will also sell to the highest bidder.

The auction begins 10 a.m. Jan. 27. More information, including all lots, can be viewed at Live Auctioneers.

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