Archive of fifty-five (55) items pertaining to the family of French soldier and fireman Paul Didier, including World War I military medals and World War II era concentration camp photographs. 1st-9th items: Nine (9) military medals belonging to Paul Didier, mounted on a fabric covered board with frame and glass. Includes the Medaille Militaire, Croix de Guerre, Medaille des Evades, Medaille Coloniale with "Maroc" clasp, Medaille Commemorative de Syrie-Cilicie with "Levant" clasp, Croix de Combattant, Belgian variant of Medaille de la Victoire (no impression/stamp en verso), Medaille Commemorative Francaise de la Grande Guerre, and Insigne du Blesse Militaire. Medals are late 19th or first half 20th century. 10th-13th items: Four (4) photographs relating to a liberated concentration camp, likely Buchenwald, Weimar, Germany, including an image of the crematoria ovens with human remains inside. Two (2) images showing piles of deceased and emaciated bodies, with decorative holiday wreaths hanging from windows in the background of one. One (1) image included shows Clement Collini, Italian immigrant from Pennsylvania, among fellow American soldiers on the path to liberate the camp with "France August 1944" written in ink en verso. Photographs of Buchenwald attributed to Clement Collini. 14th-45th items: Box with "Souvenire de papa jules" inscription in red ink to interior of lid containing thirty-one (31) uniform accessories, including three (3) samples of extra ribbon, fourteen (14) assorted military pins, including one (1) ship-shaped pin with "Toulon" across hull (supposedly crafted while Didier was stationed in Toulon Harbor by a relative who was a jeweler), and fourteen (14) uniform fasteners or pins. 32nd item: One (1) metal dog tag bracelet, stamped "Paul Didier" on one side, and "Vesoul 64" on the other. 46th-48th items: Three (3) photographs of Paul Didier, including one (1) portrait fired or transferred onto an oval porcelain plaque depicting Didier wearing nine military medals on his lapel, one enhanced photo of Didier with a cigarette, and one (1) group photo mounted on cardstock of Didier among cohorts from his days as a fireman. Most items later half of 20th century. 49th-55th items: Seven (7) family photographs, of Paul Didier and relatives. Includes one (1) large photo framed of Paul Didier and his wife, two (2) small images of their respective fathers, three (3) images of their daughter, Carmen Didier, including one (1) large framed oval portrait, one (1) small portrait of her as a young child, and one (1) of her holding her daughter as they made passage to Europe on a ship, c. 1956. One (1) small image of Carmen Didier's brother, Leau Didier, who passed away at Buchenwald prior to the camp's liberation. Writing and name in ink en verso, presumably signed by subject. All items late 19th/mid 20th century. Provenance: Descended through the family of Paul Didier. Biography: According to oral family history, Paul Didier was a French soldier from the late 19th century through the early to mid 20th century. He and his family lived on a farm in France during World War II. While Didier was stationed in Toulon Harbor, the family was taken by German forces to a concentration camp (presumably Buchenwald) where Leau Didier passed away. Carmen Didier, survived the camp and eventually met her liberator and future husband, Clement Collini, in August 1945. The two shortly left for America and returned years later to retrieve these photographs and items from Europe. CONDITION: 1st-9th items: fading to ribbons, some fraying at creases. Mount fabric faded and fraying at edges. Loss to red enamel on Insigne du Blesse Militaire medal. To all photographs: Creasing, foxing, and scattered stains, consistent with age. Staining throughout fireman photo. Largest stain 3 1/4" x 2". Largest tear 1 3/4" L, with tape repair. Minor areas of loss to outer margins of Buchenwald photos, largest 2 1/4" x 1/2".
Lot 624: Spanish-American War Archive, 159th Reg. IN Vol. Inf. Previous Item Lot 626: World War II Era Caricature Illustration, "Press Club" Next Item