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The Return of the Red Baron at Bonhams Oxford
Baron Manfred Von Reichthofen, WW1 German Fighter Ace. Photo: Bonhams.
LONDON.- Two wooden photograph cases made from one of the main spars of Baron Manfred Von Reichthofen’s tri-plane after it was brought down in 1918 will be sold in the Antique Arms and Militaria at Bonhams Oxford on 7th December. The cases are estimate to sell for £400-600.

Baron Von Reichthofen, widely known as the Red Baron, was a German fighter pilot with the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) during World War I. In 1917 Richthofen became a squadron commander and took the flamboyant step of having his Albatros plane painted red and from then always flew in red painted aircraft, receiving his nickname the ‘Red Baron’.

To the frustration of the Allies, he was considered top be the ace-of-aces of the war and officially credited with 80 air combat victories, more than any other pilot. By 1918, Richthofen had become such a legend that it was feared that his death would be a blow to the morale of the German people.

However, in April 1918, Richthofen was shot down and killed near Amiens, France. A Canadian Captain Arthur Brown in the RAF was largely credited with shooting him down, although there is still an amount of uncertainty over who fired the bullet that would cause Richthofen’s death.

Sergeant Lane, RAF, proceeded to create the two photograph cases now offered by Bonhams. Detailing the events of April 1918, Sergeant Lane wrote in ink on the cases and stated”this wood was taken from one of the made spars (section drawing) side by me SGT. Lane”. In addition each case has a copy of Joseph Simpson’s portrayal ‘The End of the Red Baron’.

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