Künker, D-Berlin

31. January 2019

Auction 316

1000 Rarities at Künker

“Who knows the nation, who the name.” Looking at the abundance of rarities compiled in the latest Künker catalog, one is inclined to cite this passage of Schiller’s “Cranes of Ibycus”. The catalog contains the material that will be auctioned off on January 31, 2019 in the context of the 48th World Money Fair. Germany, reichsgold, world coins, or Russian coins and medals: there are so many rarities in each of these sections that we cannot possibly list them all in one single auction preview. Hence, we must resort to highlighting a few individual pieces. While you read this auction preview, please keep in mind that for every showpiece mentioned, we have to pass over 50 others.

No. 13: Bavaria. Albert V, 1550-1579. 2 ducats,1565, Munich. Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 50,000 euros.No. 13: Bavaria. Albert V, 1550-1579. 2 ducats,1565, Munich. Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 50,000 euros.

No. 13: Bavaria. Albert V, 1550-1579. 2 ducats,1565, Munich. Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 50,000 euros.

Germany

Bavaria, Prussia, and Saxony rank among the historically (and numismatically) most important German states. We have picked one lot to represent each section respectively. A double ducat of Albert V from 1565 represents Bavaria. As was expected from one of the most important coin collectors of his time, the Bavarian duke set great store by exceptional engraving of his own coins as well. His coin depicts an exquisite Renaissance portrait. By the way, his collections laid the foundations for three Bavarian institutions at once: the State Library of Bavaria, the hall of antiquities at the Munich Residence including its collection of ancient sculptures, and – of course – the famous coin collection of the Bavarian State in Munich.

No. 67: Brandenburg-Prussia. Frederick II, 1740-1786. Double Friedrichs d’or 1753 C, Cleve. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 50,000 euros.No. 67: Brandenburg-Prussia. Frederick II, 1740-1786. Double Friedrichs d’or 1753 C, Cleve. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 50,000 euros.

No. 67: Brandenburg-Prussia. Frederick II, 1740-1786. Double Friedrichs d’or 1753 C, Cleve. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 50,000 euros.

Prussia is represented by a double Friedrich d’or which was minted in Kleve in 1753. The piece is not only extremely fine, it is also extremely rare. The Aurich mint had delivered the required material: French Louis d’or worth 2,040 reichstaler.

No. 378: Saxony. Frederick III the Wise, George and John, 1500-1507. Thick triple guldengroschen n.d., Annaberg. Likely the only known specimen available. Miniscule collector’s mark on the edge, small pierced mark and small graffiti. Very fine to FDC. Estimate: 75,000 euros.No. 378: Saxony. Frederick III the Wise, George and John, 1500-1507. Thick triple guldengroschen n.d., Annaberg. Likely the only known specimen available. Miniscule collector’s mark on the edge, small pierced mark and small graffiti. Very fine to FDC. Estimate: 75,000 euros.

No. 378: Saxony. Frederick III the Wise, George and John, 1500-1507. Thick triple guldengroschen n.d., Annaberg. Likely the only known specimen available. Miniscule collector’s mark on the edge, small pierced mark and small graffiti. Very fine to FDC. Estimate: 75,000 euros.

An undated, thick triple guldengroschen – which is likely to be the only known specimen on the market – was minted in Annaberg, i.e. in Saxony. This rarity of the klappmützentaler emission once belonged to the royal coin cabinet in Berlin. Then it was sold in an auction held by the Frankfurt-based auction house Hess in 1903. The piece is extremely interesting in terms of numismatics as it was minted immediately after the 1500 minting ordinance of Leipzig, which established the guldengroschen of Tirol as a Saxon denomination for the first time.

No. 369: Trinity Medal by Hans Reinhart the Elder 1544. Extremely rare. Original piece with soldered details. Estimate: 75,000 euros. It is one of about 15 original pieces, 10 of which are owned by museums.No. 369: Trinity Medal by Hans Reinhart the Elder 1544. Extremely rare. Original piece with soldered details. Estimate: 75,000 euros. It is one of about 15 original pieces, 10 of which are owned by museums.

No. 369: Trinity Medal by Hans Reinhart the Elder 1544. Extremely rare. Original piece with soldered details. Estimate: 75,000 euros. It is one of about 15 original pieces, 10 of which are owned by museums.

Traditionally, Hans Reinhart the Elder’s Trinity Medal is also added to the Saxony section, as the medalist and gold smith was born in Dresden and created its main work in Leipzig. The masterpiece of this Renaissance artist is his medal featuring an image of the Mercy Seat. It depicts God sitting enthroned, holding the crucified Christ on his lap, and a dove that hovers above him symbolizing the Holy Spirit. Künker is offering an outstanding original of this beautiful medal. The incredibly high relief of Reinhart’s pivotal work from the Renaissance was created by way of a combination of incorporating three-dimensional miniature sculptures in the minting process and soldering individual pieces onto the medal.

No. 131: Hamburg. Portugalöser worth 10 ducats n.d. (ca. 1645). From Vogel Collection part 3, Adolph Hess Nachf. Auction 192, Frankfurt 1928, no. 7681. Very rare. FDC. Estimate: 50,000 euros.No. 131: Hamburg. Portugalöser worth 10 ducats n.d. (ca. 1645). From Vogel Collection part 3, Adolph Hess Nachf. Auction 192, Frankfurt 1928, no. 7681. Very rare. FDC. Estimate: 50,000 euros.

No. 131: Hamburg. Portugalöser worth 10 ducats n.d. (ca. 1645). From Vogel Collection part 3, Adolph Hess Nachf. Auction 192, Frankfurt 1928, no. 7681. Very rare. FDC. Estimate: 50,000 euros.

Gold multiples from Hamburg

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the Germany section is the Dr. Gerd Gustav Weiland Collection comprising 157 lots. It proves that Hamburg certainly did not lose any of its significance after the demise of the Hanseatic League. Quite the contrary. It had enough gold at its disposal for not only be able to issue the municipal ducats, but also the gorgeous and politically important bankportugalöser, an impressive array of which is offered in this collection.

No. 223: Hamburg. Bankportugalöser worth 10 ducats 1665. Very fine. Almost FDC. Estimate: 20,000 euros.No. 223: Hamburg. Bankportugalöser worth 10 ducats 1665. Very fine. Almost FDC. Estimate: 20,000 euros.

No. 223: Hamburg. Bankportugalöser worth 10 ducats 1665. Very fine. Almost FDC. Estimate: 20,000 euros.

The issuing institution, the Bank of Hamburg, was jointly founded by the council and parliament. Therefore, the offices were established at the townhall and evidently, the bankportugalöser were struck at the same mint as the ordinary ducats of Hamburg. While the ducats’ motifs did not change much over time, the pieces to the weight of 10 ducats offered enough space for exceptional designs glorifying the trade and power of Hamburg. Whether it was the port, the stock exchange, or a city map: the engravers applied their utmost expertise for every single design.

Selected reichsgold

The coins of the German Empire are one of the most popular fields of collection among German coin enthusiasts. Anyone who is still in search of a very rare piece of outstanding condition should study Künker’s catalog carefully. It contains some of the rarest years of issue of exceptional grade, for example: 20 marks Bavaria 1913 (EF-FDC), 10 marks Prussia 1878B (VF), 20 marks Reuss elder line (VF-FDC), and 20 marks Saxe-Meiningen 1882 (VF-FDC).

No. 527: Adolf von Schwarzenberg, (1557-)1599-1600. Triangular gold klippe to the weight of 1 1/2 ducats 1598, marking the siege and reconquest of the Raab fortress on March 29, 1598 under the command of general Adolf von Schwarzenberg. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 10,000 euros.No. 527: Adolf von Schwarzenberg, (1557-)1599-1600. Triangular gold klippe to the weight of 1 1/2 ducats 1598, marking the siege and reconquest of the Raab fortress on March 29, 1598 under the command of general Adolf von Schwarzenberg. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 10,000 euros.

No. 527: Adolf von Schwarzenberg, (1557-)1599-1600. Triangular gold klippe to the weight of 1 1/2 ducats 1598, marking the siege and reconquest of the Raab fortress on March 29, 1598 under the command of general Adolf von Schwarzenberg. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 10,000 euros.

Schwarzenberg Special Collection

The special collection featuring the dynasty of Schwarzenberg is an almost perfect segue, leading us from German to world coins. Its 85 lots tell us the story of an important European noble family. The oldest coins and medals of this section deal with the recapture of the Raab fortress on March 29, 1598 by Count Adolf von Schwarzenberg. The newest pieces were struck in the 20th century.

No. 561: Johann Nepomuk von Schwarzenberg, 1782-1789. 10 ducats 1783, Vienna. Extremely fine. Extremely rare. Almost FDC. Estimate: 25,000 euros.No. 561: Johann Nepomuk von Schwarzenberg, 1782-1789. 10 ducats 1783, Vienna. Extremely fine. Extremely rare. Almost FDC. Estimate: 25,000 euros.

No. 561: Johann Nepomuk von Schwarzenberg, 1782-1789. 10 ducats 1783, Vienna. Extremely fine. Extremely rare. Almost FDC. Estimate: 25,000 euros.

This is due to fact that the family members of the house of Schwarzenberg have remained politically active up to this day. Karel Schwarzenberg (*1937) is one of the most popular politicians of the Czech Republic and has held several political offices, including the position of foreign minister.

No. 704: Livonian Order. Walter von Plettenberg, 1494-1535. 10 ducats 1525. Very rare. Very fine to FDC. Estimate: 150,000 euros.No. 704: Livonian Order. Walter von Plettenberg, 1494-1535. 10 ducats 1525. Very rare. Very fine to FDC. Estimate: 150,000 euros.

No. 704: Livonian Order. Walter von Plettenberg, 1494-1535. 10 ducats 1525. Very rare. Very fine to FDC. Estimate: 150,000 euros.

World coins

We do not even know where to begin when it comes to selecting lots of the section of world coins to present here. There are simply too many exceptional rarities offered, as for example a 10 ducats piece by Walter von Plettenberg (*ca 1450-1535). The beautiful piece to the weight of 10 ducats depicts him in his office as Master of the Livonian Order wearing his full uniform, including sword and shield. The reverse features the Mother of God with an aureola as the patron of the Teutonic Order.
This describes Walter von Plettenberg’s function in terms of numismatics. He was the Master of the Livonian Order, which was the highest rank of the Teutonic Order in Livonia. He became famous by successfully keeping the Russian Great Prince Ivan III from conquering the region of the order. This resulted in half a century of peace for Livonia. Not only at the borders. Walter von Plettenberg decided not to persecute followers of Luther and thus also maintained peace on the inside.

No. 738: England. Elizabeth I, 1558-1603. 8 testerns n.d. (1600), London (Tower mint). Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 15,000 euros.No. 738: England. Elizabeth I, 1558-1603. 8 testerns n.d. (1600), London (Tower mint). Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 15,000 euros.

No. 738: England. Elizabeth I, 1558-1603. 8 testerns n.d. (1600), London (Tower mint). Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 15,000 euros.

It is by far not the most expensive coin in the England and Great Britain section, but it surely is one of the most beautiful: the Portcullis Money of Queen Elizabeth I. It was the first English coin which was minted exclusively for trade. Elizabeth had 6,000 pounds sterling minted into coins for the East India Trade, which matched the Spanish reales. This measure proved unsuccessful as the inhabitants of East India preferred using the known original over the unknown imitations.

No. 831: Switzerland / Basel. 10 ducats n.d. (1691). Extremely rare. Extremely fine+. Estimate: 50,000 euros.No. 831: Switzerland / Basel. 10 ducats n.d. (1691). Extremely rare. Extremely fine+. Estimate: 50,000 euros.

No. 831: Switzerland / Basel. 10 ducats n.d. (1691). Extremely rare. Extremely fine+. Estimate: 50,000 euros.

A medallion to the weight of 10 ducats from Basel in Switzerland is also part of this auction. It commemorates the end of the dispute between the government and citizens in 1691. The mother hen devotedly caring for her chicks is depicted on the reverse and thus symbolizes the benevolence of an honest council. The motto “she feeds and protects” emphasizes her role. The obverse features the north view of city of Basel at the Rhine river.

No. 869: Australia. Victoria, 1837-1901. Sovereign 1855, London. Trial piece. Probably only three privately-owned specimens. Proof. Estimate: 125,000 euros.No. 869: Australia. Victoria, 1837-1901. Sovereign 1855, London. Trial piece. Probably only three privately-owned specimens. Proof. Estimate: 125,000 euros.

No. 869: Australia. Victoria, 1837-1901. Sovereign 1855, London. Trial piece. Probably only three privately-owned specimens. Proof. Estimate: 125,000 euros.

A numismatic rarity of the highest rank in this auction is a one sovereign trial piece, which was made in London in order to prepare its coinage in Sidney. It does not only represent the opening of a mint during the Gold Rush, but the formation of the Australian nation. Gold played an important role in this development. All of those who flocked to the country in 1851 in search of gold replaced the prisoners whom Great Britain was used to sending off to Australia. The gold prospectors could not be controlled as easily. A revolt formed in Ballarat, which the British government tried to quell militarily. Peace was finally settled by political concessions. This is the context in which the establishing of the first royal mint of Great Britain outside of country and this trial piece offered at Künker have to be considered.

No. 982: Russia. Nicolas I, 1825-1855. 12 platinum rubles 1839, St. Petersburg. From the Hutten-Czapski and Great Prince George Mikhailovich Collections. Extremely rare. Grading NGC (photo-certificate) PF 64 CAMEO. Proof. Estimate: 250,000 euros.No. 982: Russia. Nicolas I, 1825-1855. 12 platinum rubles 1839, St. Petersburg. From the Hutten-Czapski and Great Prince George Mikhailovich Collections. Extremely rare. Grading NGC (photo-certificate) PF 64 CAMEO. Proof. Estimate: 250,000 euros.

No. 982: Russia. Nicolas I, 1825-1855. 12 platinum rubles 1839, St. Petersburg. From the Hutten-Czapski and Great Prince George Mikhailovich Collections. Extremely rare. Grading NGC (photo-certificate) PF 64 CAMEO. Proof. Estimate: 250,000 euros.

Russia

Let us complete this preview with a rarity which is a very uncommon sight on the market: a complete set of platinum from 1839. It once belonged to Grand Prince George Mikhailovich Romanov (1863-1919) and Duke Emmerich Hutten-Czapski (1828-1896).

No. 983: Russia. Nicolas I, 1825-1855. 6 platinum rubles 1839, St. Petersburg. From the Hutten-Czapski and Great Prince George Mikhailovich Collections. Extremely rare. Grading NGC (photo-certificate) PF 64 CAMEO. Proof. Estimate:150,000 euros.No. 983: Russia. Nicolas I, 1825-1855. 6 platinum rubles 1839, St. Petersburg. From the Hutten-Czapski and Great Prince George Mikhailovich Collections. Extremely rare. Grading NGC (photo-certificate) PF 64 CAMEO. Proof. Estimate:150,000 euros.

No. 983: Russia. Nicolas I, 1825-1855. 6 platinum rubles 1839, St. Petersburg. From the Hutten-Czapski and Great Prince George Mikhailovich Collections. Extremely rare. Grading NGC (photo-certificate) PF 64 CAMEO. Proof. Estimate:150,000 euros.

The Russian platinum rubles, which were minted between 1828 and 1845, were the world’s first platinum coins issued – not very successfully, however. About 75% of all issues were smelted, which is why these pieces are great rarities anyway, not just in instances when its provenance can be traced back to a member of the imperial family.

No. 984: Russia. Nicolas I, 1825-1855. 3 platinum rubles 1839, St. Petersburg. From the Hutten-Czapski and Great Prince George Mikhailovich Collections. Extremely rare. Grading NGC (photo-certificate) PF 64 CAMEO. Proof. Estimate: 100,000 euros.No. 984: Russia. Nicolas I, 1825-1855. 3 platinum rubles 1839, St. Petersburg. From the Hutten-Czapski and Great Prince George Mikhailovich Collections. Extremely rare. Grading NGC (photo-certificate) PF 64 CAMEO. Proof. Estimate: 100,000 euros.

No. 984: Russia. Nicolas I, 1825-1855. 3 platinum rubles 1839, St. Petersburg. From the Hutten-Czapski and Great Prince George Mikhailovich Collections. Extremely rare. Grading NGC (photo-certificate) PF 64 CAMEO. Proof. Estimate: 100,000 euros.

Its former owner George Mikhailovich Romanov was the grandson of Czar Nicholas I, the third son of the latter’s fourth son, to be exact. He shared the fate of so many others of the Romanov family and was shot on January 1919 at the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg.

All catalogs can be ordered at Künker, Nobbenburger Str. 4a, 49 076 Osnabrück; phone: 0541 / 96 20 20; fax: 0541 / 96 20 222; or via e-mail.

The catalogs can also be viewed online.

Auction viewing is possible from January 2-27, 2019 in Osnabrück by prior appointment only.
The coins can be viewed at the Estrel Hotel in Berlin at the following times: Tuesday, January 29, 2019: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Wednesday, January 30, 2019: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Thursday, January 31, 2019: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm.

An eLive Premium Auction will take place on February 5, 2019, which will see the selling of the third part of the Ottoman Collection. It is held in cooperation with Numisart and includes both coins and medals which tell the story of the relationship of Europe and the Ottoman Empire. A separate preview will be published in time.

You can learn more about the platinum rubles in this article.

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