On 1 July 1971, Fritz Rudolf Künker founded his coin dealership in Schapdetten, Westphalia (Germany). He was one of many young men who ventured to take this step at the time. By now, the small company has developed into the internationally renowned Osnabrück auction house Künker, trusted by collectors all over the world.
A great reason to celebrate! Unfortunately, it soon became clear that it would be impossible to organize a big party for customers and business partners due to the current situation. But the management didn’t want to let this anniversary pass by unnoticed either. Thus, the idea was born to have a company chronicle written on the occasion of the 50th anniversary that was to tell the auction house’s own story and – what’s more – place it in the context of the coin trade as a whole.
This exciting task was taken on by Dr Ursula Kampmann – historian and one of the world’s best-known numismatic journalists, and someone who has had a close connection to Künker for many years. She proceeded according to a somewhat modified method of oral history. Since the fall of 2020, she conducted 41 interviews – most of them lasting several hours – in order to reconstruct the history of Künker as well as the daily stories of a typical German coin dealership based on the statements made by the interviewees.
The result is an opulent work entitled “Celebrating 50 Years of Künker”. In an entertaining and knowledgeable way, the easy-to-read book explains how the numismatic market has changed due to political shifts and technological innovations, and how Künker reacted to all these challenges. Anyone who’s wondering why Künker occupies such a major position in the numismatic world today will find their answer in this book. And they will also learn how auction catalogs were created and auctions conducted in the 1980s, without the help of any computers. It goes without saying that there is enough room for brief, endearing anecdotes too.
Of course, numismatics plays a key role in the book: the renowned numismatist and historian Prof Dr Johannes Nollé contributed a chapter on “Künker and Numismatic Scholarship” and also wrote the section “Magical Moments for Collectors – Highlights from our Auctions from the early days until today” containing 22 texts on historically interesting treasures auctioned off by Künker.
“Celebrating 50 Years of Künker” is more than a company chronicle, it’s an important contribution to the history of the modern coin trade, reviving the past of all coin collectors and dealers.
The large-format illustrated book, lavishly designed by Helge Lewandowsky, can be purchased at Künker for 35 euros plus postage and shipping charges. The English version has been published in February 2022 and can be purchased for the same price.
To promote and foster a close cooperation of scholars, museums and coin dealers, is very important to auction house Künker. Therefore, all numismatic collections and scholarly institutes will receive a free copy upon request – subject to availability.