18-03-2018 – 22-03-2018
The earliest coin portraits in world history in the upcoming Künker-auctions
From March 19-23, 2018 Künker will be holding the spring auctions. 6,726 lots with a total estimate of 7,36 million euros will be put to auction on these five days. The coins and medals date from the ancient world to the present and stem from all five continents. Several collections will be sold during these auctions. One of them is the collection of a “Geschichtsfreund” (= lover of history) featuring the first portraits in world history, another is the Link collection of ancient Aes Grave. In catalogue 305 you will find special collections of coins and medals of the Habsburg, from Dortmund, Münster and Mainz as well as the Herman Brede collection of mining and yield coins. Catalogue 306 includes but is not limited to the second part of the Phoibos collection as well as German coins after 1871 and Russian coins and medals.
Nr. 177: Syracuse (Sicily). Decadrachm, 405-400 of Kimon. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 75,000 Euro.
Auction 304: Coins from the Ancient World
Collectors of Greek coins can look forward to an exquisite selection. Two collections, both of great historic and numismatic interest, dominate the auction. The collection of a “Geschichtsfreund” with the earliest coin portraits in world history and the extensive Link collection with Italian Aes Grave. Innovations are always achieved when two cultures clash. This also happened at the ever-shifting boarder between the Greek settlement zone and the Persian world empire. The clash of two different concepts of the individual as well as of royal dominion facilitated the development of the first coin portraits.
Nr. 437: Cyzicus (Mysia). Pharnabazus, Satrap 413-373. Tetradrachm, after 398. From the collection of a “Geschichtsfreund” and from the Hans von Aulock collection. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 25,000 Euro.
The Persian satraps, located in the area where Turkey is today, were the first ones who put their portrait on local coins.
Nr. 548: Sardis (Lydia). Cyrus the Younger, + 401. Tetradrachm after Athenian model, around 407-404. On the cheek of the goddess Athena beardless portrait of Cyrus the Younger with tiara. From the collection of a “Geschichtsfreund”. Possibly unique. Very fine +. Estimate: 12,500 Euro.
Looking at the second part of the collection of a “Geschichtsfreund”, auctioned in the Künker-auction 304, one can trace the development of these portraits like in a picture book. All of these coins actually served as illustrations for an important monograph on the subject – they were used for Axel Winzer’s book “Antike Portraitmünzen der Perser und Griechen aus vorhellenistischer Zeit”, published in 2005. What is fascinating about them is the fact that lovers of Greek history will encounter names they know from Herodotus, Thucydides or Xenophon. They will see the faces of Darius I, Tissaphernes, Pharnabazus and Cyros the Younger, just to name a few.
Nr. 835: Roman Republic. Dupondius, 265-242, Rome. From Eberhard Link collection. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 7,500 Euro.
The collector Eberhard Link pursued an entirely different interest. He specialized in the early form of Roman money, the transition from ingots to coins. His collection is one of the most comprehensive collections on the subject which have come on the market during the last decades. From a fragment of bronze cast into a round mold, to a fragment of a distinctly rare aes signatum to classic Roman Aes Grave of the period before the monetary reform of the war against Hannibal, be it from Rome or Etruria, Umbria, Picenum, Apulia or Central Asia – the selection is stunning! Certainly the auction also offers many other things, for instance interesting individual pieces like a signed decadrachm from Syracuse by master engraver Kimon or a very attractive drachm from Paros, and also a small series of Jewish coins – also mostly from the Eberhard Link collection, with great rarities and a series of exceptionally good grades.
Nr. 1147: Hadrian, 117-138. Aureus, 125-128. From MoneyMuseum Zurich collection. FDC. Estimate: 30,000 Euro.
Of course there are numerous rarities among the Roman coins, too, for example a whole series of spectacular aurei in perfect grade of Tiberius, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Hadrian, Commodus, Pertinax, Septimius Severus, Saloninus, Diocletian, Licinius, Eugenius and Licinia Eudoxia, just to name a few. And collectors of rare denarii and interesting bronze coins can also look forward to the auction. Let’s just mention as example a sestertius with the depiction of the port of Ostia with a wonderful dark green malachite patina, whose provenance dates back to the year 1950.
Nr. 1595: Kushan. Vima Kadphises, 166-230. Double stater. From the collection of a “Geschichtsfreund”. Extremely rare die combination. Extremely fine. Estimate: 12,500 Euro.
Let’s end the report on this catalogue of ancient coins with an extremely rare double stater from the Kushan Empire: This exquisite coin, which offers an insight into the belief system of this interesting people, is estimated at 12,500 euros.
Nr. 2401: Zurich (Switzerland). Guldiner 1512. Very rare. Small collector’s mark. Extremely fine. Estimate: 7,500 Euro.
Auction 305: Coins and medals from the Middle Ages and the modern era
Several special collections, mostly from the German-speaking area are united in auction 305. It starts with more than 400 lots of coins from the Habsburg Empire. Almost all of them are talers, some of them of outstanding grade and exquisite engraving.
Nr. 2665: RDR. Ferdinand III, 1625-1637-1657. Silver medal n. y. (1637), by G. Pfründt, on occasion of his accession to the throne. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 5,000 Euro.
Experts will also discover rare medals. The time spectrum ranges from Sigismund, Archduke of Tyrol, to emperor Franz Joseph I. The coins of the Hermann Brede collection are spread all over the catalog of coins and medals from the German States. The collector was inspired by a visit of the Clausthal mint at the end of the 60s.
Nr. 3337: Brunswick-Lüneburg. Christian Ludwig, 1648-1665. Löser of the weight of 3 reichstalers 1665, Zellerfeld. Yield from the mines of the Harz mountains. From Hermann Brede collection. From Galerie des Monnaies auction 7 (1972), No. 1501. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 5,000 Euro.
The pieces he gathered over more than half a century, will delight anyone interested in historical technology. Certainly there will also be opportunities to buy one or two of the wonderfully designed Brunswick löser. Almost 70 lots featuring coins from Dortmund come from a special collection which was assembled over the course of many decades. The first coins were struck under Otto III, in the years between 983 and 1002, when Dortmund was an important imperial palace which matched Aachen in significance. Starting in the 12th century at the latest, a city government developed there, which disposed of its own coin privilege.
Nr. 3527: Dortmund. Reichstaler 1564. From Schulman auction 225 (1955), No. 1598. Extremely rare. Very fine. Estimate: 50,000 Euro.
The two most spectacular coins of the collection were minted by the city of Dortmund: a reichstaler from the year 1564 and a reichstaler from 1698, both estimated at 50,000 euros. Almost 150 lots with coins and medals from Mainz stem from the Michael and Adelheid Loos collection. The city of Mainz, where the archbishop acted as chancellor and ruler of the German Empire during a sede vacante, has a comprehensive and numismatically highly interesting monetary history, ranging from early bracteats and a number of Rhenish gold gulden to late ducats and talers from the 18th century.
Nr. 3949: Münster. Christoph Bernhard von Galen, 1650-1678. 3 ducats n. y. (1661-1678), Münster. From Schulman auction 260 (1975), No. 1569. Only 7 specimens known. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 15,000 Euro.
Close to 120 lots come from Münster, starting with the pfennigs of the bishopric from the 12th century to numerous talers and gold coins from the 17th century, to pfennigs and tokens of cathedral chapters and other parishes, not to forget the rich selection of medals addressing the history of the city of Münster.
Auction 306: Gold coins and medals / German Empire / Russian coins and medals
Of course there is a lot of spectacular material in the last of the three March auctions as well. After all, Künker sells the second part of the Phoibos collection, whose first part generated top results in auction 298.
Nr. 5206: Genoa, Republic. 10 scudi 1624. Probably the only specimen on the market. Slightly clipped. Very fine. Estimate: 100,000 Euro.
The most expensive object among the gold coins, which is estimated at 100,000 euros, is a 10-fold scudi from the Republic of Genoa from the year 1624, which has the inscription IN HOC SALVS MVNDI on its reverse. But there is also an almost FDC ducat from 1610 from the Polish city of Danzig featuring the portrait and the title of Sigismund III on the reverse, estimated at 20,000 euros, which would be a jewel for every collection. In auction 306, enthusiasts for the coins of the Habsburg Empire will find the second part of the extensive collection, whose silver coins were sold in auction 305. There are 180 lots. In addition, a collection of gold coins from Salzburg which consists of more than 100 numbers will be put to auction.
Nr. 5904: Bavaria. Maximilian III Joseph, 1745-1777. Ducat 1756, Munich. Gold from the Inn river. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 10,000 Euro.
Lovers of the river gold coins should take a look at the catalogue, too, since there are many rarities to be found. River gold ducats from gold of the Isar, the Inn, the Danube or the Rhine all of the finest grades possible are spread among Bavaria and the Electorate of the Palatinate.
Nr. 6036: Brunswick-Calenberg-Hanover. George I Ludwig, 1698-1714. Gold medal of the weight of 24 ducats n. y. (after 1705), by J. G. Seidlitz. Only few specimens known. Extremely fine. Estimate: 25,000 Euro.
Furthermore, there are of course numerous highly interesting gold coins from the German States, like a gold medal at the weight of 24 ducats, which was minted in 1705 with the name and title of Wilhelmine Amalie, cousin of the Brunswick elector and wife of the German emperor Joseph I.
Nr. 6505: German Empire. 20 pfennig 1887 E. Only 50 specimens minted. FDC. Estimate: 8,000 Euro.
The last day of the auction starts with coins from the German Empire. Several rarities are to be found here, for instance a 20 pfennig from 1887, the first coin of the Dresden mint in FDC (estimate: 8,000 euros).
Nr. 6791: German Empire. Saxony. Frederick August III, 1904-1918. Frederick the Wise. 3 mark 1917 E. Very rare. Proof. Estimate: 75,000 Euro.
Among the silver coins, collectors will find many rare pieces in best grade, like a commemorative coin on the golden wedding of the Bavarian royal couple or Frederick the Wise. There is also an extremely rare pattern of 10 GDR mark 1978 “space flight” in silver. Only 16 specimens are known (estimate: 7,500 euros). The auction ends with close to 300 lots of Russian coins. We will only mention the most expensive ones here.
Nr. 7591: Russia. Catherine II, 1762-1796. Gold medal 1773 (probably later restrike of the 19th century), by T. Iwanoff. On the restoration of the Kremlin in Moscow. Extremely rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 80,000 Euro.
An outstanding gold medal, minted under Catherine the Great from 1773 on occasion of the restoration of the Kremlin in Moscow, shows the planned building in great detail. You can also find an imperial of Nicolas II from the year 1896, of which only 125 specimens were minted (estimate: 100,000).
You can order the catalogue at Künker, Nobbenburgerstr. 4a, 49 076 Osnabrück; Tel: 0541 / 96 20 20; Fax: 0541 / 96 20 222; or via e-mail.
You may browse the catalogues online on the Kuenker website.