UTICA, N.Y. (AP) _ An ivory-handled pistol once owned by Adolf Hitler and taken from his Munich apartment by American soldiers at the end of World War II was auctioned Friday for $114,000.
The .32 caliber gold-washed pistol, bearing floral engraving and Hitler’s inscribed initials, was purchased by an anonymous bidder from outside the country, said Joseph Zyla, whose brother Raymond Zyla, a Utica dealer, presided over the auction.
The $114,000 was the most ever spent at a public auction for a military collectible or an automatic weapon, Joseph Zyla said.
″The bidding was quite spirited and lasted about 10 or 15 minutes,″ he said. ″It started at $100,000 and went up fast in small increments.″
Raymond Zyla was commissioned to sell the gun by its Canadian owner, collector Andrew Wright, who lives near Regina in Saskatchewan.
Wright bought the pistol in the early 1960s from a Cleveland, Ohio, dealer, who either purchased it or handled it for the three American soldiers who discovered the pistol in 1945 in a wall safe in Hitler’s Munich apartment, said Raymond Zyla.
The gun was given to the Nazi leader as a 50th birthday present on April 20, 1939, by a German family of well-known gunmakers, the Walthers, the dealer said.