Thursday July 2nd and Friday July 3rd each day starting at 9:45am EST
SPORTING & HISTORICAL
THURSDAY, JULY 2nd &
FRIDAY, JULY 3rd , 2020
MERRILL’S AUCTION GALLERY
137 JAMES BROWN DRIVE, WILLISTON, VERMONT
Merrill's Auctions has been commissioned to sell the contents of an old Jericho, VT farmhouse, US Civil War letters descending in a Middleboro, Massachusetts family, pieces from a local US Civil War collector, as well as pieces from a NY collector, including an outstanding group of WWII German Militaria, Rare Capture Items, Sporting Rifles & Shotguns, Art & Crafts Mission Oak Furniture, Victorian Oak Furniture, Sporting, Hunting, Fishing, & Country Accessories, Folk Art, Primitives, Paintings, Prints & Engravings, Books, Advertising, Taxidermy, Adirondack, Silver, Jewelry, Glass, & China, Kitchenware, Early Old Town Canoe, two Early Cannons, early Carousel Horse, early Tack Horse, & more.
Preview in person Wednesday, July 1st from 1 to 6 pm, or by appointment. On-line auctions start at 9:45 am each day. Please review each day's catalog through our on-line selling platforms- Live Auctioneers, Invaluable, & Auction Zip.
Payment can easily be made with a credit card over the phone. Our Third Party Shipper can use USPS, FedEx, & UPS package delivery. Private carriers and curbside pick-up are available.
Over the course of the past several days, we have received
numerous calls, emails and direct messages expressing concern and
condemnation over our decision to offer several artifacts of the Third
Reich in our upcoming July 2 auction. Some of these messages have
included accusations that this company and individual members of our
staff hold Nazi sympathies. Let us be very clear: we unequivocally
condemn the hateful, insidious ideology of National Socialism, and all
other ideologies founded on racism, bigotry and intolerance. We stand
in solidarity with all who oppose such ideologies.
However, it is our firm belief that the desire to destroy these items
or sweep them into the shadows only does a disservice to the period of
history from which they originate, to those who were systematically
murdered by the regime they represent, and to those who fought and
died to annihilate that regime in the name of democracy. All of the
items in question for which provenance is known to us originate from
the estates of American soldiers who captured these relics as
souvenirs during the "Great Crusade" across the Western Front.
Pretending that these relics only represent the hateful dictatorship
that created them, and not the triumph of the armies of democracy that
eventually destroyed it as well, is dishonest. These items represent
and document the entire historic context from which they originate,
rather than existing solely as symbols in a vacuum.
It is worth noting that Merrill's has been engaged in periodically
selling World War II memorabilia for more than fifty years. In that
time, we cannot
point to a single instance where such material was consigned or
purchased by any individual with known Nazi sympathies. These items are
almost exclusively consigned or purchased by individuals with a strong
academic interest in World War II military history, the political
history of the Third Reich, or the Holocaust itself. Many of these
bidders and consignors are Jewish. It is also worth mentioning that
the items in question are being sold alongside American World War II
items, with no value judgement offered in either case. Merrill's
exists as a neutral broker for the owners of such items to sell them
as they desire. It would be unprofessional of us, and a disservice to
our consignors, to refuse to offer salable materials of such
significant historical value.
History has no obligation to be pretty, and attempting to whitewash
its uglier aspects only serves to strengthen ideologies that feed on
division, hatred and inequality. We urge our clients, and the members
of our community, to view these items as more than superficial symbols
of hatred, but rather as representations of an entire historic context
which we would do well to remember, lest we facilitate its resurgence
in the present.