June 22 (UPI) -- A set of dinner silverware that once belonged to Adolf Hitler -- complete with Nazi emblems, made for his 50th birthday -- has sold at auction for almost $17,000.
The two knives, three spoons and three forks, made for Hitler's use during formal occasions, were sold by Charterhouse Auctioneers for $16,850 on Thursday.
Each piece features a Nazi eagle, a swastika and Hitler's initials. The set was found during the clearance of a home in western Britain that was owned by a senior military officer, and were expected to be sold for about $3,000.
"About 3,000 pieces were produced for Hitler's 50th birthday. This is the first set I have seen in 33 years," said Richard Bromell of Charterhouse Auctioneers. "It's a niche market. ... it's a big part of modern history."
The sale of Nazi memorabilia is legal in Britain. But some critics, including members of British Parliament, have questioned whether it's ethical.
The winning bidder was not identified.