Special Collection Franconian Circle at Heidelberger Münzhandlung
From 9 to 11 May 2022, Heidelberger Münzhandlung will hold its auction 84. The material is divided into two catalogues. The first one contains 429 lots with coins and medals from the Franconian Circle of the Holy Roman Empire. The second catalogue is filled with world coins from antiquity to present times. As always, there is an extensive offer of coins from the German states and German issues after 1871, but collectors of coins from the Holy Roman Empire will also find many rarities. Particularly impressive is the selection of German multiple gold coins of magnificent quality.
Attention! Once again, the auction will be held as a live bidding event at the premises of Heidelberger Münzhandlung. Bidders may only participate via email, phone or online.
An Interesting Local Collection from the Area of the Franconian Circle
To simplify administrative matters, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation was divided into circles, which grouped imperial cities, imperial knights, ecclesiastical and secular principalities into geographical units. The Franconian Circle was one of the most prestigious ones, which is why it was listed as circle number 1 in the course of the imperial reform of 2 July 1500.
The collector focused his purchases to members of the Franconian Circle, but he did not slavishly adhere to its boundaries. And that is precisely why this collection provides an excellent overview of the coin and medal production at the heart of Germany.
Issues from the following regions are on offer: Bamberg, Bavaria (issues related to Franconia), Brandenburg-Franconia, Brandenburg-Ansbach, Brandenburg-Bayreuth, the Teutonic Order starting with the election of Maximilian as Deutschmeister in 1590, Eichstätt, Erbach, Fulda, Henneberg, …
… Hohenlohe with its various lines, Kronach, Leuchtenberg, Löwenstein, Mainz, Nuremberg, Öttingen, Rieneck, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Saxe-Coburg and other Saxon lines …
… Schwarzenberg, Schweinfurt, Weißenburg, Windsheim, Würzburg as well as joint issues of the Franconian Circle and literature on the subject. On the same day, general numismatic literature from the second part of auction 84 will be on sale.
Ancient and World Coins
On the morning of 10 May, the second part of auction 84 will start with ancient coins. As always, the offer includes some rarities of splendid quality. These include three Celtic quarter starters from the Middle Rhine and two octodrachms of Ptolemy IV. Moreover, collectors will find a gold quinarius (!) of Maximianus Herculius – an extremely rare specimen of mint state quality. Depeyrot only knows of one other specimen in the possession of a museum.
At least as rare is a solidus of the Byzantine usurper Artabasdus. In his German standard work on Byzantine coinage, Andreas Sommer writes: “Artabasdus’ coins are among the rarest issues in the entire history of Byzantine coinage.” This is due to the fact that the Armenian general, who ascended the throne as a figurehead of those who were in favour of images, was defeated by Constantine V after only a few months.
In all likelihood, a gold 100 lei piece of 1939, minted by Carol II of Romania in this crucial year of his reign, must be described as an unpublished and unique specimen. The impressive denomination must probably be understood against the background of the personality cult of Carol II. Every year, Carol had himself celebrated by his people on 10 May and 8 June. He presented himself as the Conducator (= leader) sent by God, whose purpose in life was to create a new Romania.
Coins from the German States
If you know Heidelberger Münzhandlung, you know that especially collectors of coins from the German States will find a wealth of interesting objects. In addition to interesting talers of exceptional quality, this auction also offers many multiple gold coins, such as this splendid 1763 Nuremberg issue that was minted to commemorate the Treaty of Hubertusburg.
Of interest for collectors of Bavarian and Prussian coins is a gold medal of 12 ducats issued in 1842 on the occasion of the wedding of Max II Joseph, heir to the throne, and the Prussian Princess Marie Friederike. By the way, this unconventional queen was the first female mountaineer of the Bavarian royal house.
A 1679 löser of the Brunswick Duke Rudolph August comes from the collection of the well-known numismatist Prof Dr Friedrich Wielandt (1906-1996). However, the great scholar was rather known for other research focuses. The former head of the Baden Coin Cabinet was obviously of utmost importance for Baden numismatics. Moreover, he wrote numerous standard works on the coinage of various Swiss cantons which are still used as references today.
Another piece from the Wielandt Collection is a magnificent 6 ducat coin from 1661 that was minted to commemorate the capture of the city of Münster by its Prince-Bishop Bernhard von Galen. The variety of this weight, by the way, is extremely rare. The coin features a detailed city view of Münster with all fortifications and the towers of the major churches.
This 1623 half taler of the imperial city of Kempten is an example for the splendid quality that connoisseurs can find in Heidelberger Münzhandlung’s catalogue. The very rare specimen is extremely fine to mint state.
Another specimen of outstanding quality is the so-called “Hoym taler” featuring the portrait of Frederick the Great. The piece, which was minted in Breslau and gives the date of the 42th birthday of Karl Georg Heinrich von Hoym – the minister ruling in Silesia – was reprimanded by the king. The Berlin government forced the Breslau mint master to withdraw all coins of this issue, which is why the Hoym taler is now one of the great rarities of Prussian numismatics.
German Coins After 1871
Customers of Heidelberg Münzhandlung are already used to it: Herbert Grün’s catalogue offers an extensive selection of coins from the German Empire. Although the estimates of individual, extremely rare pieces – such as this FDC 1 mark piece of 1881 from the Karlsruhe mint – are in the upper four-digit range, this area still offers many highly interesting coins of splendid quality for rather modest prices. The estimates of fractional coins from the German Empire start in the lower two-digit range!
Of course, Heidelberger Münzhandlung also offers great rarities – and presents specimens of a quality that leave nothing to be desired. A great example is this 5 marks piece from Baden of 1876 that also has an exquisite provenance: it is from the Paproth Collection.
Of course, there is a comprehensive selection for collectors of coins from the German Empire too. As an example, we show you a 20 marks piece of 1914 from Saxe-Meiningen. A coin type of which only 1001 specimens were minted and a high number was probably melted down again.
The auction closes with a collection of postage stamp tokens – a category between numismatics and philately. It is emergency money that uses a stamp as a substitute for small change. To protect the stamp, it was enclosed in a capsule that was often adorned with advertising slogans of the issuing institution. In other words: these items are virtually the descendants of English tokens.
The auction catalogue of Heidelberger Münzhandlung can be purchased for the nominal fee of 12.50 euros at Heidelberger Münzhandlung Herbert Grün, Gaisbergstr. 40, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany; phone: +49 / 6221 / 65 2970; fax: +49 / 6221 / 65 297-29; email.