I have performed a lot of auctions over the years. Tools, equipment, jewelry, guns and automobiles to name a few, but I have never had the response to an item like I had on this one. An authentic WWII Nazi SS Helmet. To tell the truth when I first saw the helmet I wasn't really all that impressed. I tend to look at items like this in a negative way. The history, the destruction and the Holocaust were all brought on by this group of maladjusted people. But in today's world these items now fall into the category of collectibles.
This particular helmet was well used. The helmet had multiple scratching and the emblem was quite worn, on the good side the liner was excellent and the provenance strong. My first thoughts were that the helmet would bring around $1,500. This estimate was based on nothing more than my previous experience with military items. This auction would teach me new things. I received over 30 emails and 40 phone calls. The questions ranged from "How did the owner get it?" to "What numbers are on the helmet?". I spent over 1 hour with one gentlemen on the phone detailing each and every scratch, ding and number. My initial photo's were not enough for anyone, so, a dozen new photo's were taken and placed into the ad.
The result 14 left bids, one phone bid (I refused many others because they were not even close), and multiple people in attendance at the auction for this one item. It brought a whopping $2,750 it seems that my pre-auction estimate was just a tad short. This is one of those times that the scarcity of an item can and will drive the prices far higher than normal.