The Kesserling GFM Baton was sold in Baltimore Maryland USA on 11 December 2010. There were TWO bidders. The end $620K price was not counting the vig ! Mine is now priced at $549,999.99.
The comparisons of the real deal PERIOD to World War Two and the "bad deal" museum quality replica are as follows.
The real baton is on the left. On the real one, the red felt is lighter in color and the fabric is richer than on the museum quality replica one. The real baton ends have a larger band between the smaller ones. The gold oak leaves at the top are sharper & more defined.
The real baton barrel has the enamel Iron Cross while the museum quality replica has a painted Iron Cross. The golden eagles on the barrel of the baton are sharp and more raised while the museum quality replica does not have these characteristics. The eagle on the end of the real baton is sharper and centered while the museum quality replica is not as sharp. Please note the museum quality replica eagle nearly touch the sides as shown. When the real baton is shaken it presents a real ringing sound while the museum quality replica just produces a thud.
Click on photo to see enlarged view.
I wish to thank fellow collectors Filmore Bender and his son Karl Bender for bringing their baton to me to show the significant differences as noted above.
This is the ORIGINAL baton presented on July 19, 1940 by Adolf Hitler on the occasion of his promotion of General Field Marshal von Bock following his successful blitzkrieg on France, Belgium, and The Netherlands. He was sent to Russia to spearhead the Operation Barbarossa campaign against Moscow. Following the failure of the German army to emerge victorious, Hitler reassigned von Bock to replace General Field Marshal Walter von Reichenau, who had died of a heart attack. Following the failure of Operation Braunschweig -- the second phase of the German attack of Russia -- Hitler relieved von Bock of his command in July, 1942 and retired him indefinitely. Following Hitler's suicide, he offered his services to Grand Admiral Doenitz, GFM von Bock was killed in an air attack on May 4th, 1945, the highest ranking military commander to be killed in action.
There are a number of close-up images shown of the baton, listed below:
Close up detail of the eagle and cross on the shaft.
The baton measures 19-3/4 inches long (500mm). Each end cap measures 60mm across the flats and 65mm point to point. There are 20 gold Wehrmacht eagles and 20 Iron Crosses on the red velvet covering the shaft. The top cap has the Wehrmacht eagle, the bottom cap has the Iron Cross. The lettering is gilt on silver collars, as shown.
The condition is outstanding throughout.
$549,999.99 Serious inquiries only.
Contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Field Marshal Fedor von Bock's visored hat.
These are views of left and right sides, the inside and a close-up of the front, showing the insignia.
The maker marks are worn off the plastic lining protector. There are stains present on the liner and signs of wear to the leather sweatband. The remainder of the hat is in near excellent condition.
This is Field Marshal Fedor von Bock's long overcoat with Field Marshal rank shoulder boards and fancy tailoring.
These are views of left and right side shoulder boards, the inside and a close-up of the front, showing the insignia.
The lining detail is outstanding throughout. This is view of the reverse side of the collar showing the construction detail. This is an overall view of the back. The coat is in near excellent condition.
The baton is made in solid silver with solid gold eagles and enameled iron crosses. The Letters in "Von Reichenau" are all individually placed on the ring. The army eagles are cut in solid gold and the rest of the baton is made of silver.
It measures 6-1/2 inches overall The condition is near excellent. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walther_von_Reichenau and show these images of him.
Here are other views. 1 2 3
For comparison purposes only, we have several images of the original GFM von Weichs baton and a well-made museum copy of the GFM Rommel baton.
Comparison will reveal the significant differences in the design of the end cap eagles of the copy and the originals. There are other differences in the level of detail and quality of workmanship apparent as well. Please note, these images are for comparison purposes only, and neither of the batons shown in the images below is available here.