Fritz Rudolf Künker, D-Osnabrück

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01-10-2015 – 01-01-1970

Auction 270

Record prices for Greek silver and Roman gold

Six auctions conducted over the course of six days is remarkable in itself, but a turnover of 13.8 million euros achieved over the course of only six days truly marks a new record. With the final result Auction House Künker happily records the highest-grossing auction week in the history of the company.

Not only the large number of special collections accounted for this impressive result, but also the broad range of world and ancient coins as well as orders and decorations. With estimates starting at 20 euros, many collectors know that at Künker, they will find the right coin.

Lot 8117: GREEKS. Sicily. Catane. Tetradrachm, c. 405/402, signed by Herakleidas. Ex Jameson Coll. 547. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 100,000,- euros. Hammer price: 200,000,- euros.

Auction 270: Coins from the Ancient World
No less than 200,000 Euros was the final bid for an extremely fine tetradrachm from Catane. The coin exhibits one of the most coveted facing portraits ever to be found in monetary history when at the same time it also offers a noteworthy pedigree. Not only stretches it back to 1913 when the collector R. Jameson itemized this specimen in his catalog, but it goes even further. In times when the community of German collectors is engaged in an ongoing debate about modifications of the stipulations regarding the Protection of Cultural Heritage, such a solid provenance is literally worth a lot of money. 

Lot 8135: GREEKS. Sicily. Syracuse. Decadrachm, after 405, signed by Euainetos. Virzi Coll., ex Hirsch Auction 32 (1912), 322. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 50,000,- euros. Hammer price: 100,000,- euros.

The same goes for a marvelous decadrachm, signed by Euainetos. Stemming from the Virzi Collection, which was auctioned off by Jakob Hirsch in 1912, bidding started at 50,000 euros, only to reach a hammer price of 100,000 euros.

Lot 8317: GREEKS. Ionia. Herakleia. Tetradrachm, 2nd cent. BC. Extremely fine. Estimate: 750,- euros. Hammer price: 3,600,- euros.

Among the coins from the Greek department, any number of specimens really obtained spectacular prices. A coin that needs special mentioning is a wonderful Archaic stater from the island of Naxos which started at 5,000 and arrived at a final bid of 12,000 euros. A tetradrachm from Herakleia, on the other hand, vouched for the fact that perfection has a major effect on an item’s price. Not a rare, but a perfectly struck coin in the best grade possible and of the finest style, it obtained 3,600 euros based on an estimate of just 750 euros.

Lot 8642: ROMAN IMPERIAL TIMES. Vitellius. Aureus, Rome. Lanz 135 (2007), 569. Very rare. Tiny scratches, expertly restored. Extremely fine. Estimate: 50,000,- euros. Hammer price: 105,000,- euros.

The only coins able to compete with the Greek specimens were Roman aurei and Künker was able to offer a great many at this auction. All together the aurei stemmed from a period between the late Roman Republic, with an aureus of Marc Antony together with Octavian (estimate: 35,000 / hammer price: 36,000 euros), and the era of the barracks emperors, of which we would like to single out an aureus of Geta (estimate: 12,500 / hammer price: 52,500 euros). Any item in a grade above average achieved an exceptional price. Two aurei even ranged in the six-digit region: an aureus of Vitellius (estimate: 50,000 euros / hammer price: 105,000 euros) …

Lot 8836: ROMAN IMPERIAL TIMES. Didius Julianus. Aureus. Ex Montagu Collection, Rollin & Feuardent Auction 1896, lot 461. Very rare. Extremely fine / nearly extremely fine. Estimate: 35,000,- euros. Hammer price: 150,000,- euros.

… and an aureus of Didius Julianus (estimate: 35,000 euros / hammer price: 150,000 euros).

Lot 8549: ROMAN IMPERIAL TIMES. Augustus, 30 BC – AD 14. Denarius, 28 BC, Italian mint. Ex Tkalec Auction (2011), 134. Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 35,000,- euros. Hammer price: 55,000,- euros.

But not only gold attained record prices. When turning to silver in the finest grade, an AEGYPTO CAPTA-denarius of Augustus also achieved an amazing price. Originally estimated at an impressive 35,000 euros, it was auctioned off for an even more impressive sum of 55,000 euros. A cistophorus of Nero is another great example: modestly estimated at 2,500 euros, it reached a hammer price of 17,000 euros.

Lot 8828: ROMAN IMPERIAL TIMES. Lucius Verus. AE-medallion, 164/5, Rome. Ex Kastner Auction 4 (1973), 251. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 25,000,- euros. Hammer price: 44,000,- euros.

Lastly, bronze coins deserve mentioning as well: to conclude this overview, we would like to single out two medallions: one of Lucius Verus (estimate: 25,000 euros / hammer price: 44,000 euros), and the other of Constantine the Great for Urbs Roma (estimate: 6,000 Euro / hammer price: 15,000 euros).

Please find all results online here.