Rare Gold Railway Eagle

Condition: Excellent

Maker: Pinter

Product Description: This rare Gold Railway Eagle is an incredibly impressive piece, that could be the centerpiece of a collection display. This “Wagen” (railway car) size example is labeled as 600 mm in size, but is actually a little larger, measuring at 24-3/4″ from wingtip to wingtip. This gorgeous eagle is covered with what looks to be gold leaf, and looking at the evident age and honest wear and weathering to the finish, all indications are that this was period done. The exact significance of the gold finish on the railway eagle is unknown to us; what we do know is that these rarely surface, and that the use of the gold leaf must have meant these were intended for something special. This one was a product of the Pinter foundry. Nearly all of the gold is present on the obverse, with light wear that exposes the base metal in small spots. The beautiful toning of the gold gives this a distinctive and particularly appealing appearance. On the reverse of this rare gold Railway Eagle, the 3 short threaded mounting studs are still intact. Two of the studs have had the centers drilled, most likely by the returning veteran to display his souvenir. The reverse of the left wing bears the Pinter maker mark, the “Wagen” designation and size, and the chemical compound symbols of the metal ally, GAL-Mg-Si. This eagle definitely has “the look” that collectors desire with these; it has never been cleaned or polished. The condition is excellent. This is a rare opportunity to own an item that few collectors will ever acquire.


Historical Description: During the Third Reich, all rail transport was nationalized and organized under the German Reichsbahn. Reichsbahn rail cars were state property and included everything from the locomotives used for transporting freight, to passenger cars, street cars and trolleys. In the Nazi era, and during WWII, the Reichsbahn adorned their locomotives and passenger rail cars with large metal decorative German eagle and swastika national emblems. These were made in various sizes and had a variety of finishes to suit different purposes and vehicle types. Generally, these eagles were manufactured from aluminum or zinc alloy, with integral threaded studs on the reverse that were used to affix these to the fronts of rail cars. These eagles had a striking and imposing appearance and were an iconic part of Nazi regalia. After the war, Allied denazification policies required these to be removed. Many were destroyed, though these were eagerly sought after by Allied troops hunting for souvenirs. They are extremely collectible and desirable artifacts today.


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