Welcome back to another edition of WW2HOMEFRONT.COM'S Treasure Of The Month. We got lost in a very remote jungle and it took several years to find our way out! Saw a guy by the name of Livingston, a doctor I think, during our travels. He was lost too. But thanks to our survival savvy, we have braved the auction wildlands and return to you with a trophy of trophies.
Ask most any anti-axis collector what the holy grail of figurines is and their reply is certain to be instantaneous. This set of three hanging chalkware figurines is known by several different names. Ken Fleck calls them the triplets. Jim Lowe calls them the 3 hanging figurines and I call them the bent necks or the crooked necks. But when we talk amongst ourselves we know instantly what the other is referring to. The incredible chalkware hitler, mussolini and tojo hanging figurines.
These darn figurines are soooooo rare that I cannot tell you what distinguishing marks they have, who the manufacturer was, if they came in a box, or much else. What I do know is that only 8 are known to exist. There are 2 sets of three and two oddballs. One set resides with a collector at West Point and this set featured in the photo was sold not long ago by Hakes. It is the Hakes set that is the finest known in existence.
The West Point set sold for 600.00 or so on ebay and the Hakes set sold for just over 4000.00. The two oddballs were sold on ebay together for 500.00 or so. Why is it that these figurines are soooo sought after? Well lets start with rarity. Very very low actual supply. Almost nil apparent supply. Then there's size. If you collect Home Front memorabilia you know that most figurines are small. Resources were being conserved and so things were made smaller. Also cheap, abundant, and second rate materials were used to free up valuable materials for the war effort. There are very very few figurines that break 6 inches. And in the anti-axis subgroup there's even less. These fabulous chalkware figurines measure between 10 to 13 inches each. That's just simply unheard of for anti-axis figurines. By size alone thats puts these figures at the top. They feature all three of the axis stooges and they are very attractive in their morose, whimsical way. These features are enough to drive t
his set through the roof.
What you want to notice in particular about the figurines in the Hake set is first size. Note the variations in size. They are not all the same height. Second, notice the different color ropes around their necks and coiled. Each one has a different color. The three colors are of course red, white, and blue. So keep these features in mind.
Recently a 9.5" bent neck ceramic hitler was located and while not part of this set, is every bit if not more desireable. It however is not part of a set of three. Look for it in future posts. Sooooo that leads us to value. What realistically is this set of three figurines worth? Of course its what the market would bear. I would say 5000.00 in primo condition without breaking a sweat. But let me tell ya. You put three or four anti-axis collectors together to bid the set and there's a very good chance record numbers would be reached.
We are grateful to Jim Lowe for saving this picture from the Hakes auction and forwarding a copy to us. Its like rediscovering the Ivory Billed Woodpecker in Arkansas. Leaves you speechless. One thingi s for sure. If these ever come up for sale, its time to take out a second mortgage on the house. Most likely you'll never even get a shot at bidding these in your lifetime. But if so you can bet it will be your only shot so bid like there's no tomorrow. Best be locked and loaded for bear.
Well that's it from the staff and myself of WW2HOMEFRONT.COM. We hope you have enjoyed our foray. Now back into the Land Cruiser we go and off to distant lands for that big game Home Front trophy you crave. Till then thanks for comin' on back. Watch out for those lions in the auction bushes and we'll see ya here next time at WW2HOMEFRONT.COM's Treasure Of The Month.