Hitler's art: Painting by future Fuehrer for sale

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Hitler's Painting to Go Up for Sale


BERLIN (AP) - A 100-year-old watercolor of Munich's old city hall is expected to fetch at least 50,000 euros ($60,000) at auction this weekend, not so much for its artistic value as for the signature in the bottom left corner: A. Hitler.

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Hitler painting (The Old City Hall and others)
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Hitler's art: Painting by future Fuehrer for sale
In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, a picture titled “The Old City Hall” that - as the auction house said - was painted by Adolf Hitler is displayed in an auction house in Nuremberg, Germany. The 100-year-old watercolor of Munich’s city hall is expected to fetch at least 50,000 euros (US$ 60,000) at auction this weekend, not so much for its artistic value as for the signature in the bottom left corner: A. Hitler. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
The Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 photo shows the signature "A. Hitler" on a picture titled “The Old City Hall” that - as the auction house said - was painted by Adolf Hitler in Nuremberg, Germany. The 100-year-old watercolor of Munich’s city hall is expected to fetch at least 50,000 euros (US$ 60,000) at auction this weekend, not so much for its artistic value as for the signature in the bottom left corner. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
The Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 photo shows the signature "A. Hitler" on a picture titled “The Old City Hall” that - as the auction house said - was painted by Adolf Hitler in Nuremberg, Germany. The 100-year-old watercolor of Munich’s city hall is expected to fetch at least 50,000 euros (US$ 60,000) at auction this weekend, not so much for its artistic value as for the signature in the bottom left corner. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, a picture titled “The Old City Hall” that - as the auction house said - was painted by Adolf Hitler is displayed in an auction house in Nuremberg, Germany. The 100-year-old watercolor of Munich’s city hall is expected to fetch at least 50,000 euros (US$ 60,000) at auction this weekend, not so much for its artistic value as for the signature in the bottom left corner: A. Hitler. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
The Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 photo shows the signature "A. Hitler" on a picture titled “The Old City Hall” that - as the auction house said - was painted by Adolf Hitler in Nuremberg, Germany. The 100-year-old watercolor of Munich’s city hall is expected to fetch at least 50,000 euros (US$ 60,000) at auction this weekend, not so much for its artistic value as for the signature in the bottom left corner. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
The Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 photo shows a picture titled “The Old City Hall”, right, that - as the auction house said - was painted by Adolf Hitler and the original bill of sale and a signed letter, left, from Hitler’s adjutant Albert Bormann, brother of the better-known Martin Bormann in Nuremberg, Germany. The 100-year-old watercolor of Munich’s city hall is expected to fetch at least 50,000 euros (US$ 60,000) at auction this weekend, not so much for its artistic value as for the signature in the bottom left corner. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Die undatierte am Freitag, 17. April 2009, vom Auktionshaus Weidler in Nuernberg zur Verfuegung gestellte Reproduktion zeigt das von Aquarell "Gehoeft" von Adolf Hitler aus dem Jahr 1914. Zwei Bilder von Hitler sollen vom 23. bis 25, April 2009 in Nuernberg versteigert werden. (AP Photo/Auktionshaus Weidler) ** REFLEXE DURCH VERGLASUNG DES BILDERRAHMENS VERURSACHT ** NUR ZUR REDAKTIONELLEN VERWENDUNG ** ----Reproduction released Friday, April 17, 2009 by auction house Weidler in Nuremberg, southern Germany, shows the watercolor painting "Farmstead (Gehoeft) painted by Adolf Hitler in 1914. Two works by Hitler will be auctioned in Nuremberg April 23 to 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Auktionshaus Weidler) ** REFLECTIONS IN THE PICTURE ARE CAUSED BY PANE IN FRONT OF THE PICTURE ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY **
Die undatierte am Freitag, 17. April 2009, vom Auktionshaus Weidler in Nuernberg zur Verfuegung gestellte Reproduktion zeigt das von Aquarell "Hofanlage am Fluss" von Adolf Hitler aus dem Jahr 1914. Zwei Bilder von Hitler sollen vom 23. bis 25, April 2009 in Nuernberg versteigert werden. (AP Photo/Auktionshaus Weidler) ** REFLEXE DURCH VERGLASUNG DES BILDERRAHMENS VERURSACHT ** NUR ZUR REDAKTIONELLEN VERWENDUNG ** ----Reproduction released Friday, April 17, 2009 by auction house Weidler in Nuremberg, southern Germany, shows the watercolor painting "Farm Buildings on the River" (Hofanlage am Fluss) painted by Adolf Hitler in 1914. Two works by Hitler will be auctioned in Nuremberg April 23 to 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Auktionshaus Weidler) ** REFLECTIONS IN THE PICTURE ARE CAUSED BY PANE IN FRONT OF THE PICTURE ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY **
A photograph of a landscape titled "Village scene" attributed to Adolf Hitler which is to go on sale at Jeffrey's Auctioneers in Lostwithiel, Cornwall, Tuesday Sept. 26, 2006. Watercolors and sketches attributed to Adolf Hitler are going on auction Tuesday _ a sale that has forced a tiny auction house in southwest England to install multiple telephone lines to accommodate an anticipated crush of bidders from Canada to New Zealand. The 21 watercolors and two sketches were found in a farmhouse in Belgium, not far from where Hitler _ then an aspiring artist _ was stationed in Flanders during World War I. The anonymous owners of the works _ mostly landscapes _ had the paper tested to determine its age, confirmed the signature and matched landmarks in the paintings to sites where Hitler was posted, said Chris Walton, a spokesman for Jefferys Auctioneers at Lostwithiel in Cornwall.(AP Photo/Barry Gomer)
A photograph of a landscape titled "Cottage with a red roof" attributed to Adolf Hitler which is to go on sale at Jeffrey's Auctioneers in Lostwithiel, Cornwall, Tuesday Sept. 26, 2006. Watercolors and sketches attributed to Adolf Hitler are going on auction Tuesday _ a sale that has forced a tiny auction house in southwest England to install multiple telephone lines to accommodate an anticipated crush of bidders from Canada to New Zealand. The 21 watercolors and two sketches were found in a farmhouse in Belgium, not far from where Hitler _ then an aspiring artist _ was stationed in Flanders during World War I. The anonymous owners of the works _ mostly landscapes _ had the paper tested to determine its age, confirmed the signature and matched landmarks in the paintings to sites where Hitler was posted, said Chris Walton, a spokesman for Jefferys Auctioneers at Lostwithiel in Cornwall.(AP Photo/Barry Gomer)
A photograph of a landscape titled "The Church of Preux-au-Bois attributed to Adolf Hitler which is to go on sale at Jeffrey's Auctioneers in Lostwithiel, Cornwall, Tuesday Sept. 26, 2006. Watercolors and sketches attributed to Adolf Hitler are going on auction Tuesday _ a sale that has forced a tiny auction house in southwest England to install multiple telephone lines to accommodate an anticipated crush of bidders from Canada to New Zealand. The 21 watercolors and two sketches were found in a farmhouse in Belgium, not far from where Hitler _ then an aspiring artist _ was stationed in Flanders during World War I. The anonymous owners of the works _ mostly landscapes _ had the paper tested to determine its age, confirmed the signature and matched landmarks in the paintings to sites where Hitler was posted, said Chris Walton, a spokesman for Jefferys Auctioneers at Lostwithiel in Cornwall.(AP Photo/Barry Gomer)
A photograph of a landscape titled "A Row of Cottages" attributed to Adolf Hitler which is to go on sale at Jeffrey's Auctioneers in Lostwithiel, Cornwall, Tuesday Sept. 26, 2006. Watercolors and sketches attributed to Adolf Hitler are going on auction Tuesday _ a sale that has forced a tiny auction house in southwest England to install multiple telephone lines to accommodate an anticipated crush of bidders from Canada to New Zealand. The 21 watercolors and two sketches were found in a farmhouse in Belgium, not far from where Hitler _ then an aspiring artist _ was stationed in Flanders during World War I. The anonymous owners of the works _ mostly landscapes _ had the paper tested to determine its age, confirmed the signature and matched landmarks in the paintings to sites where Hitler was posted, said Chris Walton, a spokesman for Jefferys Auctioneers at Lostwithiel in Cornwall.(AP Photo/Barry Gomer)
A photograph of a landscape titled "The Church of Bousies" attributed to Adolf Hitler which is to go on sale at Jeffrey's Auctioneers in Lostwithiel, Cornwall, Tuesday Sept. 26, 2006. Watercolors and sketches attributed to Adolf Hitler are going on auction Tuesday _ a sale that has forced a tiny auction house in southwest England to install multiple telephone lines to accommodate an anticipated crush of bidders from Canada to New Zealand. The 21 watercolors and two sketches were found in a farmhouse in Belgium, not far from where Hitler _ then an aspiring artist _ was stationed in Flanders during World War I. The anonymous owners of the works _ mostly landscapes _ had the paper tested to determine its age, confirmed the signature and matched landmarks in the paintings to sites where Hitler was posted, said Chris Walton, a spokesman for Jefferys Auctioneers at Lostwithiel in Cornwall.(AP Photo/Barry Gomer)
Two watercolors and a pencil drawing by Adolf Hitler are displayed at an auction in Toensberg, Norway, Tuesday July 13, 1999 where they were sold for $80,400 to an anonymous collector from Austria. The three pieces, all signed, were done more that 85 years ago after the future Nazi dictator failed to gain admission to art school in Vienna as a young man. (AP Photo/Sophie Aaserud, Scanpix) NORWAY OUT
** CORRECTS DATE TO SEPT. 3 NOT SEPT. 4 ** A watercolor painting by Adolph Hitler, entitled " The Opera in Vienna 1910-12," is seen Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2002, as part of the "Prelude to a Nightmare: Art, Politics and Hitler's Early Years in Vienna 1906-1913" exhibit at the Williams College Musuem of Art in Williamstown, Mass. (AP Photo/Alan Solomon)
British auctioneer Stephen Cristea poses in front of one of the watercolor paintings attributed to Adolf Hitler which were put on the auction block on November 20, 1992 in Trieste, Italy. The watercolors went without a buyer as the Italian culture officials banned the export of the works to keep them from ending up in the hands of Neo-Nazis and being used for propaganda. (AP Photo)
TEHRAN, IRAN - JULY 5: A detail from one of the two water-color paintings found in the cellar of an Iranian semi-public foundation and attributed to Adolf Hitler. The two small works of art, presented to the press in Tehran 05 July 1999, were painted in Vienna in 1911 or 1912 when the future head of the Nazi regime, in his 20s at the time, was seeking an artistic career. The complete painting shows a street in the old quarter of Vienna with people dressed in 18th and 19th century clothes. (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)
TEHRAN, IRAN - JULY 5: One of the two water-color paintings found in the cellar of an Iranian semi-public foundation and attributed to Adolf Hitler was revealed to the press in Tehran, 05 July 1999. The two small works of art were painted in Vienna in 1911 or 1912 when the future head of the Nazi regime, in his 20s at the time, was seeking an artistic career. This painting shows a street in the old quarter of Vienna with people dressed in 18th and 19th century clothes. (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)
Watercolor of Old Vienna, Austria by Adolf Hitler whose signature is in the corner, shows overall of Hero's Bridge and Karl's Church. It was auctioned on Jan. 1,1988 for $36,000. in Louisville, Ky. (Photo by Todd Buchanan/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Corner of watercolor painted by Adolf Hitler before his political career; has his signature on lower left hand corner. The watercolor auctioned for $36, 000 on Jan. 1, 1988. (Photo by Todd Buchanan/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
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Nuremberg's Weidler auction house says the painting is one some 2,000 painted by Adolf Hitler and is thought to be from about 1914, when he was struggling to make a living as an artist, almost two decades before rising to power as the Nazi dictator.

It has drawn interest from around the world, with most viewing it as a curiosity or as an investment, said auction house director Kathrin Weidler.

It's being sold by a pair of elderly sisters, whose grandfather purchased the painting in 1916.

Though Hitler's paintings surface fairly regularly, Weidler said this 28x22 cm (11x8.5 inch) scene, unimaginatively called "The Old City Hall," also includes the original bill of sale and a signed letter from Hitler's adjutant, Albert Bormann, brother of Hitler's private secretary Martin Bormann.

From the text of the undated Bormann letter, it appears the Nazi-era owner sent a photo of the painting to Hitler's office asking about its provenance.

Bormann wrote back that it appears to be "one of the works of the Fuehrer."

The starting price is 4,500 euros, and Weidler, whose auction house has sold several Hitlers over the past decade, said she expects it will go for 50,000 - but wouldn't be surprised if sold for double that.

If it does, however, it will be because of the name in the corner alone, she said.

"It's perfectly well done, but I'd rate its artistic value as fairly minimal."

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