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LA auction house withdraws watercolor said to be by Hitler

By
Danielle Haynes
A watercolor painting of flowers in a blue pitcher purported to be by Adolf Hitler was slated to go to auction this week, but the auction house withdrew the item. Image courtesy of Nate D. Sanders auction house
A watercolor painting of flowers in a blue pitcher purported to be by Adolf Hitler was slated to go to auction this week, but the auction house withdrew the item. Image courtesy of Nate D. Sanders auction house

LOS ANGELES, March 25 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles auction house has withdrawn a watercolor of flowers purported to be painted by Adolf Hitler.

A representative of Nate D. Sanders told UPI the painting would not be sold as part of a larger auction of a number of World War II memorabilia items this week.

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The representative declined to comment on whether the decision was made by the auction house or the original seller, who has not been identified. She also declined to say why the painting was removed.

Other pieces of Hitler memorabilia, like a signed copy of Mein Kampf and a police document remained up for auction. The representative said no other pieces from the auction were withdrawn.

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Prior to his political career, Hitler aspired to be an artist, and though many of his paintings were sold, the profession was never a successful one for him.

The painting of a blue ceramic pitcher holding what appear to be zinnias and dahlias, was purportedly created by Hitler in 1912 when he was 24 or 25 years old.

"The watercolor is considered unusual as the bulk of Hitler's work focused on landscapes and architecture," a news release from the auction house, Nate D. Sanders, said.

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Information about the provenance of the piece wasn't revealed.

The name "A. Hitler" is featured on the bottom right corner of the artwork, and a stamp of the name Samuel Morgenstern is on the back.

Morgenstern was a Jewish art dealer who bought and sold a number of Hitler's artworks. Though he was an early supporter of Hitler, Morgenstern was eventually sent to the Lodz Ghetto in German-occupied Poland, where he died.

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Bidding for the auction was expected to start at $30,000.

In November, another of Hitler's purported watercolors -- of Munich, Germany, city hall -- sold for $161,000. Two dozen of his paintings and drawings drew $223,000 at an auction in 2006.

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