Archive – Germany

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German oaks and national sentiments

It is rather unspectacular what can be seen on German 1, 2 and 5 Cent coins: a simple oak branch – boring, one might say. However, the oak symbol is very old and closely connected with Germany, its national identity and its democracy for nearly 300 years... more ]

Money of the German Colonies

In 1871, after the great victory over France and the unification of the German Confederation in the German Empire, ambitious German businessmen thought that everything was possible. They saw their English colleagues earning the earth in the colonies and wanted to do just the same... more ]

Gold for Portugal

Portugaleser, that is how the magnificent large gold coins are called that were produced in Hamburg. But what do they have to do with Portugal? The answer lies in the route the African gold has taken in the Early Modern Times...
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Parade of the “Lange Kerls” (Long Guys)

They were his special hobby, the “Lange Kerls” (Long Guys), Frederick William I of Prussia tested his military innovations on. He even had a medal dedicated to them. more ]

Patrona Bavariae

The depiction of the Virgin Mother is characteristic of Bavarian coins. What’s the reason for that? How did the Mary and her child take over the Bavarian coin obverses?
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The Teutonic Order in Livonia

Walter of Plettenberg managed to introduce the Reformation in Livonia in 1522 and, at the same time, to secure the continuity of the Order’s reign. From him comes a very special gold giant... more ]

Ottoman Imtiyaz medal awarded to German Emperor William I yields 161,000 Euros

On December 30, 1883, the Ottoman ruler drafted a decree by which he invested the German Emperor William I, his new confederate, into the Golden Order of Merit of his country, called Nishan Imtiyaz. That honor was intended to strengthen the political ties between the German Emperor and the Empire at the Bosporus River... more ]

Between Germany and France: A story about the fortress of Philippsburg

On June 20, 2011, Künker’s will auction a thaler of Christoph of Soetern of utmost rarity struck in honor of Udenheim. The coin was issued just after the fortress had been completed, only some weeks before it was renamed in Philippsburg. Here’s the story about the man, the coin and the fortress... more ]

Between Prussia and Austria – The Vienna Coinage Contract

Künker offers a comprehensive selection of coins of Emperor Franz Joseph on September 28, 2011 in sale 195. This is a splendid opportunity to recall the impact of the Vienna Coinage Contract of 1857 on the Austrian currency... more ]

The Princes of Solms

In early Modern times the Hesse noble house of Solms faced like many other nobles financial problems. The imperial service and own coin issues were their way of solving that issue. Even though some members of the family had not been granted the minting privilege at all … more ]

Money supply the Italian way

On June 20, 2012 in Schaffhausen an exhibition was opened in occasion of 25 years Sturzenegger Foundation. In these years the numismatic department too has received many important acquisitions as for instance a fraudulent imitation of Schaffhausen coins initiated by Prince Siro of Austria at Correggio. more ]

The Siege of Strasbourg

During the 16th century, cathedral chapters were fiercely contested between the Catholics and Protestants. The 1592 bishop election of Strasbourg illustrates this sectarian conflict especially well by reference to several siege klippes. more ]

Charles, Landgrave of Hesse: Creator of the Military Power of Hesse

An extremely rare double ducat made of Eder-gold will be sold at Kunker’s on October 30, 2012. It reminds us of how poor of natural resources this region once had been. Hence, Charles created a resource of his own: his army. more ]

The Counts of Montfort and their Coinage

The last reigning count of Montfort sold his county to the Austrians and retired on a pension. Thus ended a secular history of his family which coin collectors might know particularly as producer of fake and imitative coins. more ]

Two Dukes in Pomerania

On January 31, 2013, a Pomerania collection will be coming up for auction at Künkers’. Here, we present two coins from the collection that are as different as the men who had them minted. more ]

Wolfgang II von Barby (1586-1615) – An Imperial Count in Financial Straits

On January 31, 2013, Künker will hold his fabulous Berlin sale in connection with the World Money Fair. Among the many rare pieces on offer is a unique thaler from Barby. This thaler testifies to the financial difficulties of the small imperial estate at the beginning of the modern era. more ]

Pour le mérite

On May 31, 1740, Frederick II succeeded his father on the throne, soldier-king Frederick William I. To the 28 year-old, that came as some kind of liberation. Finally, he was able to carry out his ideas. more ]

Gold for Wallenstein

In the autumn auction sale of Künker, between the 7th and the 11th October 2013, a ten ducat piece of Albrecht von Wallenstein with a gorgeous portrait will be on offer. This piece shows the extraordinary economic genius, whose logistical skills made him become probably the greatest military leader of his era, at the peak of his power. more ]

Colossus Mercurio – or: Hamburg and the Privilege of the Elbe

When emperor Ferdinand II. confirmed the so-called Grand Privilege of the Elbe to the city of Hamburg during the Thirty Years’ War, the city was so glad that it ordered a magnificent medal to be made. This precious medal – one of the most beautiful, Dadler has created – will be sold at the upcoming Künker sale. more ]

Numismatic witnesses to Denmark’s colonial past

Künker auction sale no. 244, to be conducted on 6th February 2014, will present a couple of coins that bear witness to Denmark’s colonial past. The Danish merchants wanted their share of the wealth from the distant continents, too. And that is why these coins take us to present-day Ghana, to South India and into the Caribbean. more ]

The Whore of Babylon – or: Religious Tolerance prior to the Thirty Years’ War

The coming Künker sale of February 6, 2014, is offering a so-called “biblical thaler”. This piece is a wonderful testimony to the political attitude of a contemporary of the Thirty Year’s War. Here you will find the story behind this remarkable coin. more ]

Trinity Medal

On March 13, 2014, the famous Trinity Medal created by Hans Reinhart the Elder will be auctioned off at Künker. The masterpiece of German medal art is part of the Baums Collection. more ]

The Anabaptists – an episode from the history of Münster

Anyone looking up the St. Lambert’s Church in Münster discovers above the church clock a kind of decoration that is more than peculiar. High above, for everyone to see, there are three iron cages suspended from the steeple. Their background story will be told today. more ]

A German Cicero

On 7 October, 2014, Künker auctions off the Horn Collection. It contains cimelia not just of the European but the German coinage as well. We would like to introduce you to a spectacular piece – the thick triple reichsthaler of Archbishop Anselm Casimir Wamboldt von Umstadt, nicknamed German Cicero. more ]

Graspable Testimonies - Testimonies to Piety from Another Time: Part 2

On 16 October, 2014, the Werner Jaggi Collection will be sold. It is the largest collection of numismatic testimonies on religious beliefs and customs the market has ever seen. Here you will find information about pieces from Austria, Italy and Switzerland. more ]

The Polish Adventure of August the Strong

Frederick August I, August the Strong, as he loved to call himself, was highly gifted and ambitious. “Little” Saxony was not enough for him, he wanted to join the game of international politics. A splendid opportunity occurred in 1696 when the Polish King had died… more ]

German cutting edge technology in the Chinese Empire

On February 6th, 2016, 42 Chinese coin dies and 36 punches from the holdings of Otto Beh’s company will be handed over to the state coin cabinet of Saxony-Anhalt. They attest to an exciting chapter of German history of technology. more ]

Gold from Goldkronach

For centuries the mines of Goldkronach were extremely profitable. But then their abundance ebbed away. The Bavarian Kings were not willing to accept that and planned huge investments. A coin will tell you, what happened then. more ]

Human faces, part 49: Hindenburg

Why was the human head the motif on coins for centuries, no, for millennia? And why did that change in the last 200 years? This episode looks at the late years of a famous military leader: Paul von Hindenburg. more ]

The age of alchemy

The wonders of alchemy enthralled the smartest men of early modern times. An impressive testimony to his passion is a silver medal, which will be auctioned off at the upcoming Künker Fall Auction on September 28, 2016. more ]

Philip II of Pomerania and his coin dealer Philipp Hainhofer

Around 1600, coin collecting was “the” leisure activity of the intellectual elite. The emperor himself was an avid collector. He was imitated by many noblemen among them Philip II of Pomerania, who put together a great art collection in cooperation with Philipp Hainhofer. more ]

A Grand Representational Coinage for a Not Quite Definite Event

There are spectacular coins featuring the portrait of Ferdinand III all dated to 1629. Presumably they have been struck in Prague and were never thought to circulate. One of these coins will be for sale in the upcoming Sincona sale. Lutz Neumann is presenting it. more ]

Napoleon tames the Saxon Steed

Napoleon was a master in the art of humiliation. Please find here a characteristic example of his mastership: The French Victoria is taming the Saxon Steed on a medal made from Saxon silver. more ]

Poets and their income: Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen

Beyond price – no, great art has never been beyond price. Quite the opposite actually – it had a clearly defined price. We will see just how high that price was, looking at the example of the German baroque poet Grimmelshausen. No one has left us with a more impressive account of the Thirty Years’ War. more ]

The Purim Festival of the Protestants

In its Berlin Auction 286, the auction house Künker auctions off the Ottar Ertzeid Collection with coins from the Swedish Territories. The offer includes a series of Purim talers. In this article, we address the question why the Protestants of Erfurt took a Jewish festival, of all events, to date their coins. more ]

Bohemia and the House of Habsburg – a conflict-laden relationship

Habsburg coins having been minted in the Prague Mint is something we very much take for granted. In its Auction 285, to be held on 2 February 2017, the auction house Künker offers an entire series of these. But it was anything but ordained by God that Bohemia became subject to the rule of the House of Habsburg. more ]

The Russians in Koenigsberg: a numismatic testimony to the Seven Years' War

In the upcoming auction of the Tempelhofer Münzenhaus / Berlin, on April 6, 2017, a large collection of coins of Frederick II will be auctioned off. They include a comprehensive series of Russian coins from East Prussia. We are telling their story. more ]

Between Germany and France: The Duchy of Lorraine

On 16 May 2017, one of the most significant collections of Lorraine that has come on the market during the last decades will be put to auction at the Heidelberger Münzhandlung. We will tell you the story of this duchy on the basis of a few of the collection’s rarities. more ]

Meyer Amschel Rothschild, court factor and coin dealer

Meyer Amschel Rothschild worked his way out of the Frankfurt Jewish ghetto and all the way up to court factor in the 18th century. He specialised in coin- and antiquities dealing before becoming the founder of a famous dynasty of bankers. more ]

The Reformation jubilee in Quedlinburg Abbey

On 29 June 2017, a very rare commemorative coin of the abbess of Quedlinburg will be put to auction at Künker sale 294. It is dedicated to the Reformation jubilee of 1617, but the question arises, where people got the idea to celebrate the jubilee in the first place. more ]

Owner of the Hackney Hoard ascertained

In 2007 residents of the London borough Hackney came upon a treasure of 80 American gold coins, while digging a frog pond. Now the real owner of these coins has been ascertained. It is the descendant of a German Jew, who escaped to Britain in 1938... more ]

‘Cityscapes’ – City views on historical coins and medals

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham (UK), shows an exhibition on panoramic views of Europe’s great cities on European coins and medals. ‘Cityscapes’ will be on display until 6 October 2013 and in addition it will be accompanied by an online exhibition. more ]

400 guldens – eternal debts

German capital Berlin is being crushed by its debts. Nothing new as far as this. But its real debts have hushed up for a long time: 400 guldens borrowed by Berlin-Cölln in 1562 from the small town of Mittenwalde have grown to trillions in the meanwhile. more ]

Holy Grail from Lake Chiemsee

A cup made of pure gold and inspired by Celtic art has troubled the press for quite some time. A Swiss entrepreneur tried to gain one billion Euro from the ‘Holy Grail’ – and failed miserably. Now he has been condemned by a court. more ]

Rare Holocaust-era currency donated to Clark University

Clark University’s Strassler Center (Worcester, Massachusetts) has acquired the Holocaust Numismatic Collection of Robert Messing. The collection consists of coins and notes issued for use in ghettos and Holocaust labor camps such as Buchenwald and Lodz. more ]

Künker publishes the annotated inventory catalog of coins and medals of the Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt relating to the history of the Reformation

Under the title ‘Reformatio in Nummis’, auction house Künker published a two catalogue volume written by Klaus-Peter Brozatus and edited by Rainer Opitz. Spanning 1,276 pages, this volume presents the most comprehensive numismatic work ever published on the topic of the Reformation. more ]

The funny side of numismatics: book recommendations for the boxing week

Well, did you find the wrong book under the Christmas tree, again? Then there is only one thing to do, hurry to the computer and order an entertaining, numismatically tinged book yourself. Ursula Kampmann has compiled some books tips (also for listening). more ]

Victoria and Albert Museum’s Europe 1600-1815 galleries open to the public

The installation of nearly 1,100 objects has completed as the London V&A opens its new galleries dedicated to the arts of living in Europe between 1600 and 1815. Seven galleries show the Museum’s unrivalled collection of 17th- and 18th-century European art and design. more ]

Coin dies from China will come to Moritzburg

In a joint action coin trade, academics and museums have succeeded with a big coup: Chinese dies and punches of Otto Beh company from the end of the 19th century were consigned to the state coin cabinet at the Moritzburg gallery (Halle/Germany). more ]

The coinage of the Pomeranian dukes

Together with the historian Joachim Krüger, the coin dealer Manfred Olding has written a standard work of reference on the coinage of the German Duchy of Pomerania. Ursula Kampmann has taken a look at it. more ]

Württemberg Paper Money

Numismatically, there are only a few areas as well-researched as Württemberg. But still, time and time again there comes something new: Now, a paper money catalog became available. Ursula Kampmann took a look. more ]

“The Emperor’s Gold” at Kunsthistorisches Museums Vienna

As part of the 125th anniversary celebrations of the Kunsthistorisches Museum the Coin Cabinet is showing a special exhibition running until 5 March 2017 featuring selected gold coins from the Emperor’s coin collection. more ]

Comprehensive collection of Reformation coins and medals

Concordia Historical Institute houses a comprehensive collection of coins and medals related to the Reformation. Daniel N. Harmelink has published this collection. Ursula Kampmann took a look at the catalogue. more ]

Book publication “Standard Catalog of Rothschild Gold Bars 1852-1967”

Highly coveted by collectors are the historic gold bars of N M Rothschild & Sons London. However, hardly any systematically gathered information was available so far. With his catalog, Rainer Ahlers now fills this gap. more ]

Why Germany has Five State-Owned Mints

Many a coin collector is wondering why France and Great Britain own one mint, while Germany has five state-owned mints at its disposal. Why Germany does so and why it will probable continue to have them for a while, is summarised in this article. more ]

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