MEDALS and militaria are achieving world-record prices at auction and an expert is offering free valuations next week.
Adrian Stevenson, head of the medals and militaria department at Hansons Auctioneers, will be at The Malt House in Alveston on Friday September 27, from 1pm to 4pm.
Mr Stevenson said: “I’m hoping to make some great finds in Stratford. There is massive worldwide demand for all types of militaria objects.
“Hansons has sold everything from First World War diaries and personal medal collections from different conflicts to an entire Boer War archive.
“In our last specialist militaria sale, a medal awarded to a fanatical bodyguard who saved Hitler’s life by taking five bullets meant for the Nazi leader sold for a world-record price for a medal of its type.”
The Blut Orden Blood Order Medal swept to nine times its estimate to sell to a private overseas buyer for a total of £47,450.
It was awarded to Ulrich Graf who helped protect the dictator when he tried to seize power in Bavaria in November 1923, an event known as The Beer Hall Putsch. A bloody battle with police ensued ending with 16 party members and four officers killed. Amid the chaos, Graf, a former wrestler, threw himself on Hitler and was shot five times but survived.
Mr Stevenson added: “Had he not done this, Hitler could have been killed, the Nazis may never have come to power and the Second World War could have been avoided. In the 1950s Ulrich Graf’s family sold everything of his. They wanted no connection with his Nazi past.”