(MATTHEWS, N.C.) – An exceedingly rare group of three distinguished awards given to World War I German flying ace Adolf Ritter von Tutschek soared to $28,250 in an Internet and catalog auction that ended Jan. 23-24 by SoldUSA.com, the premier hunting and fishing, militaria and collectibles site. The group was the top earner of the more than 1,000 lots sold.

“Overall, this was a very positive auction,” said Chris Roberts of SoldUSA.com, “and already great consignments are pouring in for our next sale” (which will go online in early March and conclude Mar. 20-21). “On the first day of the sale, we had 1.7 million hits and had to re-start the system twice. We’ll have to tweak the software to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Of the estimated 42,000 bidders in SoldUSA.com’s database, around 3,000 registered to bid in the recent sale. “They were participating literally from all over the world,” Mr. Roberts said. “Bids came in from Ireland, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom. It was astounding. Collectors like the fact that we guarantee the authenticity of every single item we put up for bid.”


The von Tutschek lot consisted of his original named and engraved Pour Le Merit “Blue Max” award, a one-of-a-kind piece still in its original case and in excellent condition; his cased silver Iron Cross medal, boasting a nice silver age patina and with his name engraved on the reverse; and his engraved cut-out pilot’s badge, engraved with his name and in a leatherette box.

Von Tutschek was a soldier turned fighter pilot who began flying with Germany’s Jagstaffel 2 force in January 1917. He was later given command of the new Jagdeschwader 2 and began flying sorties in his new Fokker D-1 green tri-plane. The ace managed to rack up 27 confirmed kills before he himself was shot down and killed on Mar. 15, 1918, only 26 years old.

Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include a 13 percent buyer’s premium.

An H. E. Leman identified flintlock Pennsylvania rifle (circa 1835), rare and with a tin-type of the original owner holding the weapon, hit the mark for $8,661. The rifle is possibly a first-year production firearm by Leman. It had not been restored (and the original ramrod was missing). Measuring 62 inches long, it featured brass fittings, metal patch box and set triggers.

Leman rifle

The rifle was made more remarkable by the fact that it has been in the same family – the Elliotts, who originally moved from Georgia to Oklahoma, prior to the “Trail of Tears.” It had been passed down through the Elliott family to the consignor, who can still remember the rifle hanging over the fireplace of her grandfather, Ben Elliott, who was born in 1881 and died 1945.

A Colt 3rd model shoulder stock provision Dragoon pistol (1858, Serial #17482), marked with the rare “Col. Colt London” barrel address, only a handful of which are known to exist, scored a bull’s-eye for $7,770. The gun, one of the rarest of all 3rd model Colt Dragoons made, had the Colt patented detachable stock hardware, including the two extra lug screws in the frame.

The pistol featured a 7 1/2-inch barrel with the correct two-leaf sight, which was added by Colt only for shoulder stock models. The cylinder retained over 50 percent of the original scene, with the rarer of the two cylinder markings (“Model U.S.M.R. 17482 Colt’s Patent”). Every screw and inch of this exceptional plum-finish gun was inspected and declared correct.


A Winchester “Woman in Yellow Hunting Coat” calendar poster from 1912, painted circa 1910 specifically for Winchester by an unknown artist and exhibiting rich and vibrant colors, garnered $5,085. The posters from the original artwork were lithographed around 1911. This example measured 14 5/8 inches by 30 inches and featured both the top and bottom bands.

A beautiful World War II NSDAP (1923-1933) cased blood order serial numbered 938 first strike medal, made by J. Fuess Munchen and with rich coin strike quality detail, went to a determined bidder for $4,520. The medal was mounted to its original ribbon with button-hole mounting in the ribbon center. It was housed in a leather-covered hinged case with locking front.

As stated, SoldUSA.com’s next big sale will go online in early March and conclude Mar. 20-21. Featured will be high-end ammo collectibles, advertising items, rare tin signs, die-cuts, posters, calendars and many other hunting and fishing collectibles, plus militaria. The auction after the March auction is slated for sometime in May, with start and end dates to be determined.

To learn more about SoldUSA.com and the Internet and catalog auction that starts in March, log on to www.SoldUSA.com. The firm is always looking for quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item or a collection, you may call them at (704) 815-1550, or you can e-mail them at [email protected] For more information, log on to www.SoldUSA.com