Künker, D-Osnabrück

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26-06-2017 – 28-06-2017

Auctions 293/294

High Demand for Coins of the Holy Roman Empire

The Künker Auctions are always an event. The latest Summer Auctions from June 27-29, 2017 prompted more than 250 bidders to personally come to Osnabrück. 1,600 participants placed a written bid. The total hammer price of the more than 4,000 lots amounted to €7.3 million on a pre-sale estimate of €5.5 million.

293 / Lot 1524: Holy Roman Empire / Archduke Sigismund ‘Rich in Coins’, 1446-1496. Thick taler from the dies of the 1/2 guldiner, 1484, Hall. From the Terletzki Collection. Extremely rare. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 10,000,- euros. Hammer price: 40,000 euros.

Above all, the coins and medals of the Habsburg emperors currently attract interest. The two sales included some spectacular specimens, for instance a 1484 thick taler from the dies of the ½ guldiner of Sigismund ‘Rich in Coins’ that can be considered the predecessor of the first taler dating from 1486. Stemming from the Terletzki Collection, the specimen only changed hands for 40,000 euros, on an estimate of 10,000 euros. 

294 / Lot 3164: Netherlands / Campen. Double rosenoble no date (1600). Imitation of the sovereign of English Queen Elizabeth. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 60,000,- euros. Hammer price: 80,000 euros.

Coins from the German states and the foreign countries of course were also in demand. As always, rarity and grade made the price, as a magnificent double rosenoble from the Dutch city of Campen, in imitation of a coin of Elizabeth I, evidenced. It brought 80,000 euros on an appraisal of 60,000 euros. 

293 / Lot 103: Augsburg. Triple reichstaler 1626. Extremely rare. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 7,500,- euros. Hammer price: 17,000,- euros.


The prices for the German states are very pleasing. Everything both rare and of a good grade yields a high hammer price. If this is accompanied by a beautiful depiction or story on top of it as a bonus, collectors are willing to pay an impressive price. A telling example is the triple reichstaler of the city of Augsburg. Minted in 1626, the specimen realized 17,000 euros (estimate: 7,500 euros). 

293 / Lot 143: Bavaria. Ferdinand Maria, 1651-1679. Reichstaler 1657, Munich, on the vicariate. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 3,000,- euros. Hammer price: 8,500,- euros.

Another example is a 1657 Bavarian reichstaler on the vicariate Ferdinand Maria held from 1657 until Leopold I rose to power. The obverse features the highly pious elector, who was behind the building of the Munich Theatine Church, on his knees in front of Mary Mother of God, offering the Imperial orb to her. A collector gladly paid 8,500 euros for it. 

293 / Lot 1161: Saxony. Friedrich III ‘the Wise’, 1486-1525. Broad guldengroschen no date (after 1507) on the position of Governor General. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 20,000,- euros. Hammer price: 32,000,- euros.

From August 1507 onwards, Friedrich III ‘the Wise’, Elector of Saxony, held the title of Governor General that Emperor Maximilian I had bestowed on him for life. To mark this occasion, a representational coin was manufactured. The dies were cut by Ulrich Ursenthaler, the then most skilled die cutter working for Maximilian. We don’t know if the coins proper were struck in Hall or, rather, the dies were brought to Saxony. What we do know, however, is that the guldengroschen, estimated at 20,000 euros, make a superb testimony to the art of die cutting of the late Renaissance. And so the hammer price became as high as 32,000 euros. 

293 / Lot 1214: Saxony. Friedrich August I, 1694-1733. Silver medal 1698 by C. Wermuth on Abraham von Fineberg. From the Horn Collection. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 400,- euros. Hammer price: 6,000,- euros.

A 1698 silver medal on the Saxon mining reformer Abraham von Fineberg (1640-1711) turned out to be the first big surprise of the sale. The reverse of the perfect piece with its wonderful patina provides a glimpse of seven hills, marked by planet symbols, in which workers mine the ore. Stemming from the Horn Collection, the lot had been estimated at a modest 400 euros, only to ultimately cross the auction block for 6,000 euros. 

293 / Lot 1349: Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. Friedrich Karl, 1790-1793. Konventionstaler 1791, Saalfeld. Extremely rare. First strike. FDC. Estimate: 400,- euros. Hammer price: 4,600,- euros.

Appraised at 400 euros, a 1791 konventionstaler of the County of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt yielded 4,600 euros. It was his incredibly perfect grade that made it so rare. It almost seems as if the Saalfeld Mint experienced with proof coinage at the time. 

294 / Lot 3569: Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel. Anton Ulrich, 1704-1714. Gold medal of 10 ducats 1707, on the voyage of Elisabeth Christine to Spain. Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC / FDC. Estimate: 20,000,- euros. Hammer price: 32,000,- euros.

The gold strikings also achieved remarkable results although the jumps in prices were not quite as spectacular. A gold medal of 10 ducats from 1707, minted to commemorate the voyage of Elisabeth Christine of Braunschweig to Spain, which she actually never made, features such a marvelous ship depiction that a numisnautist happily spent 32,000 euros (estimate: 20,000 euros).

294 / Lot 3725: Palatinate. Johann Wilhelm, 1690-1716. Gold medal no date on the wedding of Karl Philipp with Luise Caroline von Radziwill in 1688. Very rare. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 4,000,- euros. Hammer price: 11,000,- euros.

How rare the gold medal with the portrait of Luise Caroline von Radziwill (1667-1695) on her wedding with Elector Palatinate Karl Philipp really became apparent when a collector bid 11,000 euros to acquire the specimen that had been estimated at 4,000 euros. He was not the first one to cherish this medal. In Baroque times, a colleague left his collector’s mark below the bust. 

294 / Lot 4266: German Empire. Bavaria. Ludwig III, 1913-1918. 3 marks 1918. On the golden wedding anniversary of the Bavarian royal couple. Very rare. FDC. Estimate: 30,000,- euros. Hammer price: 40,000,- euros.

Naturally, Künker presented an exquisite selection of coins of the German Empire. Needless to emphasize, that this department witnessed noteworthy results, too. The rarest of all strikings of the German Empire, the very fine+ 20 marks piece 1872 of Ernst II of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha obtained 52,500 euros (estimate: 50,000 euros). The FDC specimen of the 3 marks piece, issued by Ludwig III on his golden wedding anniversary in 1918 with a mintage of 130 specimens only, realized 40,000 euros (estimate: 30,000 euros).

294 / Lot 3410: Ferdinand III, 1625-1637-1657. 10 ducats 1656, Vienna. Extremely rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 100,000,- euros. Hammer price: 105,000,- euros.

Holy Roman Empire / Austria

The two auction sales offered a total of 274 lots of coins and medals of the Habsburgs, as Archdukes of Tyrol, as Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and of Austria, as well as 58 lots of the Austrian mediatized houses. And they proved to be in high demand.
A 1656 10 ducats piece from the Vienna Mint, in the finest grade imaginable became the most expensive item of the auction sale. The impressive estimate had been as high as 100,000 euros. It finally went over the auction block for 105,000 euros. 

293 / Lot 1527: Maximilian I, 1490-1519. Guldiner no date, Hall. Kaiserguldiner. Very rare. Very fine to extremely fine / Extremely fine. Estimate: 7,500,- euros. Hammer price: 24,000,- euros.

Struck from the dies made by Ulrich Ursentaler, an impressive kaiserguldiner of Maximilian I was appraised at a modest 7,500 euros. With a hammer price of 24,000 euros, it brought three times its estimate. 

293 / Lot 1653: Francis II, 1792-1804. Konventionstaler 1792, Vienna. Königstaler for Hungary. Very rare. First strike. Almost FDC. Estimate: 7,500,- euros. Hammer price: 24,000,- euros.

A coin with the same estimate, the same hammer price, though produced almost three centuries later: The perfect 1792 konventionstaler, featuring the Hungarian coat of arms and the crown of St. Stephen, has become the showpiece of a new collection of coins of the Holy Roman Empire. 

294 / Lot 3434: Francis I, 1804-1835. Gold medal of 24 ducats 1804 by J.N. Wirth on the elevation of Austria to an empire and the adoption of the title of Austrian Emperor. Extremely rare. Almost FDC. Estimate: 25,000,- euros. Hammer price: 36,000,- euros.

In 1804, Emperor Francis II of whom the former specimen came, became Francis I, Emperor of Austria. To mark this, he had a medal struck which, and this is rather revealing, bore a temple with the inscription HONORI ‘for the honor’. Emperor Francis II found it hard to bear that he was only a (German) emperor-elect whereas Napoleon had secured himself the crown of the (French) hereditary emperor…
Of the highest rarity and the greatest historical importance, the medal had been estimated at 25,000 euros. It brought a hammer price of 36,000 euros. 

294 / Lot 3472: Salzburg. Max Gandolph von Küenburg, 1668-1687. 10 ducats 1668 on his accession to power. Very rare. Very fine+. Estimate: 10,000,- euros. Hammer price: 24,000,- euros.

The 1668 10 ducat piece on Max Gandolph von Küenburg’s rise to power was called out for 8,000 euros. It hammered at 24,000 euros, three times the calling price. This was a fair price for an impressive gold multiple featuring a perfect depiction of the two patron saints St. Rupert and Vergilius. 

293 / Lot 2075: Monaco. Albert II, since 2005. 2 euros 2007. 25th anniversary of the death of Princess Grace. From the Terletzki Collection. Rare. In the original box. FDC. Estimate: 750,- euros. Hammer price: 1,300,- euros.

Foreign countries

Finally, let’s have a look at foreign strikings which make it hard to single out individual pieces for there were more than enough interesting hammer prices in this department.
Issued by Monaco in 2007 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the death of Princess Grace, a 2 euros commemorative coin calls for caution against underestimating the seemingly inconspicuous 2 euros coins. 

293 / Lot 2133: Poland / Elbing. Reichstaler 1651. From the Terletzki Collection. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 5,000,- euros. Hammer price: 28,000,- euros.

It goes without saying that we have some results for you that are more spectacular: A 1651 Polish reichstaler from Elbing, that used to be part of the Terletzki Collection, realized 28,000 euros. With its slightly smoothed fields, the magnificent piece had been estimated at 5,000 euros. 

294 / Lot 3208: Sweden. Charles X Gustav, 1654-1660. Ducat 1657, Stockholm. Extremely rare. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 20,000,- euros. Hammer price: 30,000,- euros.

Struck in Stockholm in 1657, an extremely rare ducat of Charles X Gustav of Sweden became the top-seller among the Swedish coins, one of Künker’s major specialties for many years now. Appraised at 20,000 euros, the extremely rare piece realized 30,000 euros. 

293 / Lot 2265: Switzerland. Confederacy. 2 francs 1901, Bern. Very rare. Almost FDC. Estimate: 4,000,- euros. Hammer price: 14,000,- euros.

The Künker Summer Auctions offered the collectors of Switzerland several intriguing pieces at once. The almost FDC 2 francs piece from 1901 sprang a surprise. Of an exceptional grade, the rare date rose from 4,000 euros to 14,000 euros. 

293 / Lot 2272: Switzerland. Confederacy. 5 francs 1928, Bern. Very rare. Almost FDC. Estimate: 7,500,- euros. Hammer price: 13,000,- euros.

Equally rare, a 5 francs piece from 1928, of which most of the other examples were probably melted down, realized 13,000 euros, therewith almost doubling its estimate of 7,500 euros. 

294 / Lot 5130: Russia. Nicholas I, 1825-1855. Platinum 6 roubles 1834, St. Petersburg. Only 11 specimens struck. Proof. Estimate: 25,000,- euros. Hammer price: 42,000,- euros.

Let’s conclude this review with an example from Russia. An extremely rare platinum 6 rouble piece, of which only 11 specimens were struck in St. Petersburg in 1834, obtained 42,000 euros on an estimate of 25,000 euros.

The list of results can be ordered at Künker, Nobbenburgerstr. 4a, 49 076 Osnabrück; phone: 0541 / 96 20 20; fax: 0541 / 96 20 222; or via e-mail. You may also view all results online.