Künker, D-Osnabrück

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12-03-2017 – 20-03-2017

Auctions 288-292

Fantastic results in Osnabrück

More than 2,500 bidders of which 350 were present in the auction hall participated in the five auction sales conducted by auction house Künker on March 13-17, 2017. Altogether, they made sure that the roughly 6,400 lots obtained not just the estimated 7.1 million euros but 10.5 million euros. The lots that had been offered as part of a collection in particular sprang more than one surprise. For example the important Harburg Collection of Finkenwerder-based collector Rudolf Meier realized almost 280,000 euros which is more than two and a half times the estimate. 

Lot 92: Syracuse (Sicily). 16 litra, 214-212. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 10,000,- euros. Hammer price: 75,000,- euros.

Auction 288: Coins from antiquity

March 13, 2017

Already the beginning of the auction week proved the market for extraordinarily well-graded coins with ancient provenances currently being quite strong. A telling example is the cover piece of Auction 288: a 16 litra piece, minted in the times of the Syracusan Republic, between 214 and 212. Its provenance dating back as far as 1981, the perfect coin had had a low estimate of 10,000 euros only but ultimately hammered at 75,000 euros! 

Lot 158: Sikyon (Peloponnesos). Stater, 431-400. From Lockett Coll., SNG 2323, and Pozzi Coll. (1920), 1799. Rare. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 1,500,- euros. Hammer price: 7,000,- euros.

That was not the only case in point. In the preview, we had already highlighted a stater from the city of Sykion, estimated at a modest 1,500 euros and graded “only” very fine to extremely fine. However, it stemmed from the Lockett Collection and the Pozzi Collection and that was something for which the new owner gladly paid 7,000 euros.
The same hammer price, on an estimate of 750 euros, was achieved by a tetradrachm from Abydos (Troas). Although it might not classify as a stylistic masterpiece, it is nevertheless extremely rare, illustrated in virtually every standard work of reference and stems from the von Aulock Collection who had acquired the striking from Merzbacher in 1910.
Collectors of Roman bronzes, on the other hand, were not surprised to see a triens, struck between 217 and 215 and featuring on its reverse Hercules fighting against the centaur, obtaining a very good result. Of an outstanding grade for this emission, the coin rose from 1,000 euros to 5,500 euros. 

Lot 321: Roman Republic. Marc Antony. Denarius, 42. Cr. 494/17. From Hannelore Scheiner Coll. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 2,000,- euros. Hammer price: 18,000,- euros.

Only 2,000 euros, in contrast, had been the appraisal of an extremely fine denarius of Marc Antony, showing a superb portrait on its obverse. Stemming from the Scheiner Collection, the striking realized as high a price as 18,000 euros. Less surprising proved the aureus with the portraits of Marc Antony and Octavian (50,000 / 52,500 euros).

Lot 675: Septimius Severus, 193-211, with his wife Julia Domna. Aureus, 200/201. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 15,000,- euros. Hammer price: 48,000,- euros.

The hype surrounding Roman aurei has slightly decreased even though perfect aurei still obtain excellent prices. An FDC aureus of Commodus, for instance, crossed the auction block for 26,000 euros (estimate: 12,500 euros) whereas an extremely fine aureus of Septimius Severus, featuring the portrait of his wife on the reverse, sold for 48,000 euros (estimate: 15,000 euros).
Many collectors having discovered the thrilling era of the barracks emperors, the rarities in this department – which still is comparatively inexpensive – obtain high prices. One such case was the unique denarius of Valerian that was minted from an aureus die. Starting at 2,000 euros, it finally brought 10,000 euros. 

Lot 753: Severus Alexander, 222-235. Amaseia (Pontus). AE, year 228 (= 225/6). 2nd known specimen. Very fine / almost extremely fine. Estimate: 1,000,- euros. Hammer price: 7,000,- euros.

Let’s conclude the review of Auction 288 by looking at Roman provincial coinage. A medallion of Severus Alexander from the Pontic city of Amaseia featured the foundation hero erecting the city fortification. Constituting the second known specimen, this coin with its interesting motif and the outstanding grade – for this coin type – prompted a collector to pay 7,000 euros (estimate: 1,000 euros).

Auction 289: Europe and the Ottoman Empire (The Ottoman Collection, Part I) / The Ottoman Collection Dr. Hans Wilski / Schuckmann Collection ‘War of the Spanish Succession’

March 14, 2017

Three collections were sold in Auction 289. Under the heading “Europe and the Ottoman” Empire, already the first one testified the collectors having become highly interested in medals again. 

Lot 2010: Russia. Nicholas I, 1825-1855. Gold medal of 50 ducats 1828 by V. Alexeev on the peace with Persia. Extremely rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 50,000,- euros. Hammer price: 110,000,- euros.

Let’s start with the cover piece, a perfect Russian gold medal from the Hutten-Czapski Collection and the Mikhailovich Collection that was minted in 1828, to commemorate the peace between Russia and Persia. Both sides of the medal depict Mount Ararat, located in what was then the border territory of these two countries. The highly attractive piece had been estimated at 50,000 euros. Its hammer price amounting to 110,000 euros, it turned out to be the best-seller of Auction 289. 

Lot 1605: Great Britain. Oliver Cromwell, 1653-1658. Satirical silver medal no date, unsigned. From Murdoch Coll., Sotheby’s sale, London 1904, No. 991. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 1,000,- euros. Hammer price: 18,000,- euros.

A great many lots obtained prices in the five-digit region, such as a 1636 medal by Sebastian Dadler on the Polish victory over the Russians near Smolensk. On a pre-sale price tag of 7,500 euros, it rose to 24,000 euros. An engraved and chased medal on Cromwell, mocking him for his political activities in favor of the Turks, brought exactly 18 times its estimate of 1,000 euros. 

Lot 1934: Malta. António Manoel de Vilhena, 1722-1736. Cast bronze medal 1729 by Benzi on the Pope presenting a blessed sword and a helmet. Cast of the time. Very fine. Estimate: 500,- euros. Hammer price: 12,000,- euros.

The surprise of the day was an inconspicuous 1729 cast bronze medal with the portrait of Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, António Manoel de Vilhena, with a depiction of the Pope presenting a blessed sword and a helmet on the medal’s reverse. Graded “only” fine, the piece had been estimated at 500 euros but sold for 24 times that sum, 12,000 euros.
The overall estimate of this collection had amounted to 770,000 euros. With 1.4 million euros, the end result almost doubled the appraisal. 

Many bidders were excited to see how the Wilski Collection would sell. Comprising several thousand coins including many rarities and unique specimens of the utmost historical interest, the large ensemble had been offered for sale as one multiple lot. The estimate had been 60,000 euros, yet the Collection sold for almost four times the sum, 230,000 euros. 

The Schuckmann Collection with coins and medals from the times of the War of the Spanish Succession concluded the auction day. The highest hammer prices were to be witnessed in the coins’ department. We would like to mention the three highlights only, all stemming from Germany: Frederick William I of Prussia, reichstaler 1713, Magdeburg (8,000 / 11,000 euros), Regensburg, reichstaler 1706 (3,000 / 7,000 euros), and Saxony, taler 1697, Dresden, on the birth of the electoral prince Friedrich August (7,500 / 12,000 euros).

Lot 3025: Braunschweig-Harburg. Wilhelm, 1603-1642. 1/16 taler (double schilling) 1617, Harburg, with the title of Matthias. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 150,- euros. Hammer price: 2,400,- euros.

Auction 290: Coins of the Dukes of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, among others the Harburg Collection Rudolf Meier, Finkenwerder

March 15, 2017

Anybody not that familiar with the rarity of some strikings of the Guelphic branch line Braunschweig-Harburg was certainly amazed to witness seemingly inconspicuous coins selling for incredible prices. Let’s single out Lot 3025. It was a 1/16 taler from 1617 with the title of Emperor Matthias, very fine with counter mark and not really classifying as attractive. Its appraisal had amounted to 150 euros. It was auctioned off for 2,400 euros. Another case in point was Lot 3041, also a 1/16 taler, but from 1620 and with the title of Ferdinand II. It, too, bore a counter mark and was of a slightly better grade than the previously mentioned issue. Having been estimated at 75 euros, it only changed hands for 1,100 euros. 

Lot 3001: Braunschweig-Harburg. Wilhelm, 1603-1642. Löser of 1 1/2 reichstalers no date (1618/19), Harburg. Gießener Münzhandlung 10 (1977), 313a. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 30,000,- euros. Hammer price: 90,000,- euros.

The gem of this collection, the löser of 1 1/2 reichstaler of Wilhelm of Harburg from 1618/9, rose from 30,000 to 90,000 euros, thus becoming the top-selling coin of Auction 290. Altogether, the Rudolf Meier Collection, Finkenwerder, realized more than 2 1/2 times the estimate of 100,000 euros when it crossed the auction block for roughly 280,000 euros. 

Lot 3109: Braunschweig-Harburg. Reichstaler 1665 on the death of Katharina Sophia, last descendant of the House of Harburg. Reichstaler 1665, presumably Kassel. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 7,500,- euros. Hammer price: 30,000,- euros.

Other strikings from Braunschweig of course brought superb results as well. To mention only the top three hammer prices: a 1665 reichstaler of Georg Wilhelm of Braunschweig-Lüneburg on the death of Katharina Sophia (7,500 / 30,000 euros), a 1735 reichstaler on the death of Ferdinand Albrecht II of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (6,000 / 20,000 euros), and a 1636 reichstaler of Georg of Braunschweig-Calenberg (7,500 / 14,000 euros).
The Wilski Collection was not the only proof that it might pay off to sell coins as a multiple lot. Another proof was Lot 3678, comprising a large collection of Guelphic coins from the 13th to the 19th century. With grades ranging from fine to extremely fine, the 515 coins had had a pre-sale price tag of 12,500 euros but sold for 23,000 euros. 

Auction 291: Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein – The Ottar Ertzeid Collection, Part 3 and 4

March 15, 2017 and March 21, 2017

Auction 291 offered the third part of the Ottar Ertzeid Collection consisting of coins from Denmark including the Danish strikings for Schleswig-Holstein and overseas.
As was to be expected, the prices for many pieces rose significantly. Altogether, the first part of the collection realized more than 800,000 euros on an estimate of 580,000 euros, which makes an increase by almost 1 1/2 times. 

Lot 4070: Denmark. Christian IV, 1588-1648. Speciedaler 1597, Copenhagen. From Christensen Coll. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 7,500,- euros. Hammer price: 12,000,- euros.

12,000 euros was the end result for a so-called “hochzeitsgulden” of Christian IV from 1597, issued on the occasion of his wedding with a daughter of the King of Brandenburg (estimate: 7,500 euros). A most beautiful 1726 3 kronen piece of Federik IV, with a provenance dating back as far as 1921, obtained the same hammer price (estimate: 7,500 euros). A ducat of Christian IV from 1732 sold for 10,250 euros (estimate: 10,250 euros).
Means of payment from Greenland and Tranquebar are only rarely encountered. It was hardly surprising therefore that a messing token of 1 skilling in an exceptional grade rose from 1,000 euros to 3,400 euros, a result that was surpassed by a gold strike from the dies for the 1756 royalin which started at 5,000 euros but arrived at 9,500 euros in the end. 

Lot 4731: Schleswig-Holstein. Christian IV, 1670-1699. Speciestaler 1683, Glückstadt. From H. Hielmstierne Coll. (1714-1780). 4th known specimen in private possession. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 15,000,- euros. Hammer price: 26,000 euros.

Confirming general expectations, the coins from what now constitutes the German part of Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein, obtained high prices. To only refer to the two highest-selling strikings: Christian IV, “hebräerdukat” 1645, Glückstadt (5,000 / 14,000 euros) and Christian V, speciestaler 1683, Glückstadt (15,000 / 26,000 euros).

Auction 292: Gold strikings / Coins and medals from medieval and modern times / Russian coins and medals / Post-1871 German coins

March 16-17, 2017

Deciding which pieces to single out of all the remarkable results achieved in Künker Auction 292 is a difficult thing to do. There are simply too many for such a brief auction review! One thing is for certain, though: The medal has become sought-after again, as sought-after as more than half a century ago! 

Lot 5172: Sweden. Christina, 1632-1654. Gold medal of 40 ducats no date (around 1685), unsigned (by Giovanni Battista Guglielmada). From the actor and director Sascha Guitry Collection, Bourgey sale (1963), No. 137. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 50,000,- euros. Hammer price: 75,000,- euros.

The prices realized by exquisite medals in perfect grades sometimes even exceed the coins’ hammer prices. For example, an extremely fine medal that had been struck in commemoration of the Glorious Revolution, brought 30,000 euros (estimate: 25,000 euros). A gold medal of Swedish Queen Christina, on which she associates herself with the radiant sun, even rose from 50,000 to 75,000 euros. The medal stemming from the collection of famous actor and director Sascha Guitry may well have contributed to this result.
A 4 ducat piece of Emperor Matthias from 1618, minted in Vienna from the dies for the 1/4 reichstaler, realized 30,000 euros (estimate: 20,000 euros) and a mule taler 1564/3 from Switzerland’s original cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden brought 22,000 euros (estimate: 7,500 euros). 

Lot 5900: China. Hsuan Tung (Puyi), 1908-1911. 20 cents no date (1911), Tientsin. Rare. Almost FDC. Estimate: 400,- euros. Hammer price: 8,500,- euros.

Listed as Lot 5900, a 20 cents no date struck in the name of the last Emperor Puyi testified to China still being always good for a surprise. Graded FDC, the high-relief fraction with a depiction of a dragon as a good luck symbol on its obverse had been estimated at 400 euros. The lucky new owner was happy to pay 8,500 euros for it.
Among the German coins, an impressive series of Prussian strikings caught the eye. No less than three of these obtained results in the five-digit region: a 1614 reichstaler, Cöln of Johann Sigismund (6,000 / 10,000 euros), a 1638 reichstaler, Cöln of Georg Wilhelm (10,000 / 13,000 euros), as well as a 1716 reichstaler, Magdeburg of Frederick William I (10,000 / 18,000 euros).

Lot 6849: Albrecht von Wallenstein, 1623-1634. Duke of Friedland. Reichstaler 1628, Gitschin. Extremely rare variant. Good very fine. Estimate: 20,000,- euros. Hammer price: 32,000,- euros.

Dating from 1628, a reichstaler of Wallenstein became the highest-selling issue in the department of German coins when it was auctioned off for 32,000 euros (estimate: 20,000 euros).
We have to repeat ourselves: The lots that formed part of collections also realized outstanding prices of which we would like to highlight only three: a comprehensive collection of 272 17th-19th-century coins from Brandenburg-Prussia rose to 40,000 euros (estimate: 17,500 euros), almost 400 coins and medals from the Bishopric and the City of Bremen rose to 22,000 euros (estimate: 7,500 euros), and 196 silver coins from Albertine Saxony, dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries, rose to 34,000 euros (estimate: 15,000 euros).
We would like to conclude this review by mentioning two noteworthy results for rare fractions from the German Empire: 5 pfennigs 1896 G in almost very fine realized 3,200 euros (estimate: 1,500 euros), a 1/2 mark 1908 F 9,000 euros (estimate: 6,000 euros).

You can find all results online here. 

The results of the eLive Premium Auction 291 are available here.

The next auction will take place on March 26-30, 2017. Printed catalogs may be ordered at Künker, Nobbenburgerstr. 4a, 49076 Osnabrück; via phone: + 49 541 96202 0; fax: + 49 541 96202 22; or via e-mail.