Adolf Hitler - a personal "chapeau claque" (collapsible top hat) from his private residence at Prinzregentenplatz, Munich hat factory J.A. Seidl, early 1930s
German Historical Collectibles from 1919 onwards | A80r | Live auction | 840 Lots
Hammer price € 50,000Login
Fine, black silk, the collar and brim trimmed with black ribbed silk. Equally made of black ribbed silk are the sweatband with initials "AH" embossed in gold (slightly rubbed) and the lining with golden maker’s mark "Hutfabrik J.A. Seidl München" and (tr.) "ventilated and pressure-free D.R.G.M." inside the top. Thin, black rubber strap. The folding mechanism still working, minimally worn, the stitching of the silk cover for the crown minimally loosened on one side due to tension.
In the original hat box, which can be adjusted to the size of the top hat in either extended or collapsed condition. On and inside the lid maker’s inscription of the hat factory J.A. Seidl of Munich and label (tr.) "Private property of Adolf Hitler Prinz-Regenten-Platz 16 Munich" inside the lid. Complete with small metal handle and closure band.
After appearing mostly in SA uniform at the end of the 1920s, Hitler changed his style of clothing in the early 1930s and wore primarily suits in dark colours. When he seized power in 1933 and became Reich Chancellor, he wore a dinner jacket and top hat on numerous official occasions and during performances in Bayreuth. The "Führer uniform" designed also in 1933 (in field grey after the war started), however, gradually became prevalent in Hitler’s wardrobe, and he wore suits only for party conferences or on private occasions. All his civilian hats were made by Seidl of Munich, as Karl Wilhelm Krause writes in his book "Kammerdiener bei Hitler" (tr. Valet of Hitler).
Provenance: Commanding Intelligence Officer of the District Greater Salzburg L. Frankenfield, who confiscated over 40 suitcases containing personal items belonging to Eva Braun, her sister Gretl Braun-Fegelein and Hermann Fegelein, near Salzburg in May 1945. One of the suitcases with objects belonging to Eva Braun also contained this top hat from Hitler’s private residence at Prinzregentenplatz. Together with a photocopy of the confirmation of the sale to an American dealer during the 1970s, including a partial inventory of the items sold.