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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 August 2006, 15:48 GMT 16:48 UK
Big interest in 'Hitler' pictures
The pictures were found in an old suitcase

A collection of paintings believed to be the work of Adolf Hitler has attracted worldwide interest ahead of an auction due in Cornwall.

The 21 paintings and two pencil sketches will go under the hammer at Jefferys auctioneers on 26 September.

There has been so much interest that Jefferys may now hold the sale in a hotel near its premises in Lostwithiel.

A Jefferys spokesman said there would be a security presence on the day, but no problems were expected.

Academy rejection

The paintings were done during the World War I "so there is no connection with what he became later", the spokesman said.

"Hopefully, other people will look at it in that light."

The works, watercolours on a variety of types of paper, have been put up for sale by an anonymous Belgian owner.

They were discovered in a battered suitcase in an attic near to where Hitler served during World War I.

It is not great artwork... this is an amateur artist with an amount of talent
Auction house spokesman

The paintings - some signed A Hitler, and others AH - feature landscapes, some with buildings.

The auction house's spokesman said: "It is not great artwork. This is an amateur artist with an amount of talent."

Hitler, who was rejected by the Academy of Art in Vienna, sold some of his early drawings through a Jewish art dealer.

Jefferys said steps had been taken to prove their authenticity without success.

The paintings, which are similar to other works by Hitler, are expected to fetch up to 3,000.

They vary from postcard size to 10ins by 8ins (25cm by 20cm).

The owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted the auction house after reading of its sale last November of a 1923 Hitler portrait of a postman.

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