56th auction of Hermann Historica oHG

The 56th auction of Hermann Historica takes place in Munich between 6th and 11th October 2008. This year’s autumn sale features not only exceptional Russian antiques and European small swords, but also a unique selection of rare historical collectibles and experimental rifles.

Munich, 4th September 2008 – On 6th and 7th October, Hermann Historica, one of the leading auction houses in the field of antiques, historical weapons, militaria, and arts and crafts, will hold a sale of antique and modernfirearms. Offered for bidding is a large variety of guns ranging from miniature pistols and rifles to an impressive breech-loading cannon from the Thirty Years’ War. Highlights in the wheellock section will be a pistol with a bone inlaid volute stock (lot 2022; 6,000 €) and a sporting rifle from ca. 1730 made by the renowned Salzburg gunsmith Sebastian Scheidöger (lot 2017; 8,000 €). An extremely rare flintlock rifle with a Lorenzoni repeating system from the same period is also up for sale (lot 2030; 15,000 €). The mechanical subtlety of this gun is aesthetically matched by its finely carved stock of beautifully figured walnut. Due to its unusual firing mechanism, a cased Colette system gravity-loading pistol will also attract the attention of the firearms collector (lot 2425; 7,500 €). Like most muzzle loaders of the period, the wooden case not only contains the guns, but also all corresponding accessories. Among the highlights of this section are also a number of elaborately crafted percussion pistols characterised by their balanced proportions, superb manufacture and the use of excellent materials, such as a pair made by the noted Prague gunsmith A.V. Lebeda ca. 1840 (lot 2145; 7,000 €). The Regensburg court gunsmith Johann Andreas Kuchenreuter, whose guns were highly sought after not because of their detailed decorations, but because of their precision and reliability, is represented with a grooved flintlock pistol (lot 2113; 2,800 €).

The sale also features a stunning selection of military weapons such as an experimental artillery rifle (lot 3114, 7,500 €) or a Bergmann Simplex 1901 pistol ( lot 2462; 4,000 €). Also well worth noting is a self-loading rifle Mondragon mod. 1894, type 2 (lot 2885; 15,000 €) from the early phase of self-loading guns, named after the Mexican general Mondragon, who experimented with innovative loading mechanisms. Fresh to the market is the Mauser HSc Volkspistole prototype V5, a unique piece in near mint condition (lot 3257; 15,000 €); in the past, this handgun was only known through blueprints and photos published in specialist books on firearms. These and many other prototypes and models will be up for sale.

Over 160 elaborately worked European small swords from the 17th to 19th centuries presented in a separate catalogue are offered for sale on 8th October. These finely crafted blades first emerged in France and England in the 17th century, but soon spread over all of Europe to become an integral part of the formal attire of courtiers and gentlemen of high standing. The personal small sword of Comte de Coigny (1737-1821) from the collection of Napoleon I takes centre stage, its blade characterised by beautiful gilt etchings against a blued background (lot 186; 15,000 €). The sale also features a court sword from ca. 1780, probably made for the French royal house, with a triangular thrusting blade adorned with gilt fleur-de-lys and a lavishly decorated chiselled hilt (lot 205; 12,000 €). Also for sale is a presentation sword of French origin with the portrait of Louis XVI (lot 185); the starting bid here will be 5,000 €. Another highlight is a small sword originally owned by the French nobleman Duc de Luynes (1695-1758); it features a Régence style grip and a finely chiselled hilt depicting mythological creatures (lot 119; 7,500 €). Among the lots is also a silver-hilted sword for an Officer de la Garde with preserved leather scabbard from the Restoration Period (lot 259; 2,800 €) and a finely crafted silver court sword from ca. 1750 reflecting King August III of Saxony’s love for splendour. Its grip is finely pierced in a net-like pattern revealing the gilt tang inside – an impressive example for the exquisite manufacture of civilian weapons at the time (lot 126; 6,000 €). Another fine work is a small sword with a porcelain grip, probably made in the same period in Saxony (lot 128; 3,200 €). In the mid 17th century sword accessories became increasingly important, a fact which becomes evident in the sharkskin covered scabbard of a French small sword (lot 129; 2,200 €). The weapons for sale on 8th October are predominantly of French origin, but also German, Dutch and English pieces will be offered for bidding.

Antiques of the Axel Guttmann collectionand other properties are also sold on 8th October and form another important segment of this year’s autumn auction. One highlight is the excellently preserved Roman centurion helmet of the Weisenau/Nijmegen type dating from the 1 st century A.D. (lot 61; 35,000 €); it features an almost entirely tinned surface, a widely flaring neck guard and cheek pieces – an outstanding piece previously depicted in many publications. Another spectacular lot is an extremely rare, unusually decorated Chalcidian helmet with a griffin crest (lot 50; 25,000 €). Its tall skull bears resemblance to a Phrygian cap and is adorned with a richly decorated wing, wave-shaped crest spikes, and heart-shaped cheek pieces; to date, no comparable helmet has been available on the market. The same starting price is charged for an unusual suit of Greek-Italic armour from the 5th-4th century B.C., consisting of a Chalcidian helmet, triple disc armour and a pair of greaves (lot 49). Among the highlights of this section is also the back plate for a muscled armour with a Greek inscription – named the “Thetis fragment” after its provenance, the Thetis Foundation Collection – and is the only known armour fragment dedicated to the Goddess Athena bearing a human portrayal (lot 54; 20,000 €). Offered for bidding are also a richly engraved Roman parade shield umbo made of brass with a central depiction of Minerva (lot 64, 20,000 €) and a Celtic bronze shield from the 4th-2nd century B.C. with a riveted umbo showing a face design in relief (lot 18, 10,000 €); the latter dates back to the same age as the famous Battersea and Chertsey shields on display in the British Museum. Another fine piece of the Guttmann Collection is a bronze age helmet from the 13th-12th century B.C., unique especially due to its cheek pieces and comparatively good state of preservation (lot 71, 12,000 €). The starting prices for a selection of rare Greek helmets range between 15,000 € and 18,000 €, among them a Corinthian helmet made of two horizontally riveted halves and featuring a neck guard and chiselled eyebrows (lots 41-43).

Selected historical objects – antique arms & armour, arts & crafts, orders and militaria are sold on 9th October. Among the lots on offer are premium arms and decorative arts from Europe, the Ottoman Empire, Persia, India, Oceania, China, and Japan. Highlights include a Mameluke sword from Egypt or Syria dating from the 14th century (lot 406; 12,000 €) and an excellently preserved hand-and-a-half sword forged in Passau ca. 1350 (lot 562; 18,000 €). Another stunning piece is a papal presentation sword of Clement VIII, an Italian work created ca. 1600 (lot 574; 15,000 €); a richly decorated German hunting crossbow comes from the same period (lot 625; 24,000 €). Among the arts and crafts offered for bidding is, for example, an enamelled Viennese mantel clock from the early 19th century (lot 366; 12,000 €). Other pieces of this section, such as an elaborately worked miniature ivory skeleton (lot 320; 5,000 €), were probably previously exhibited in kunstkammers or curiosity cabinets.

Another highlight comes from the early 20th century and is an important object of British naval history: a splendid vermeil cigar box, which was presented by captains, officers and engineers to the ship-owner John Rankin for his 50th company anniversary (lot 680; 25,000 €). The Order of St. Hubertus, Grand Cross, Bavaria ca. 1910 (lot 638; 12,000 €) and the marshal’s baton (lot 681; 45,000 €) of Slavko Kvaternik (1878-1947), Commander-in-Chief of the Croatian Armed Forces, are by contrast objects documenting European military history, as does a cabinet with memorabilia of the French Flying Ace Armand Pinsard (1887-1953) (lot 825; 7,000 €). Especially noteworthy in the military headgear section is a model 1873 czapka for Bavarian Uhlan officers (lot 707; 6,000 €).

Under the sign of the double eagle is the sale of Russian antiques on 10th October. The special sale will offer a total of 452 original objects predominantly from the estate of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna. Born in Saint Petersburg in 1822, she became Crown Princess of Wuerttemberg in 1846 and was crowned Queen in Stuttgart in 1864. After her death in 1892, her adopted daughter Vera Konstantinovna inherited a considerable part of her belongings, which are now for public sale. The manufacture of silverware, porcelain, and interior furnishings for her dowry began as early as 1840; the pieces were initially fixtures of the Olga Pavilion at Peter’s Court and were later brought to Villa Berg, Stuttgart.

Among the exquisite treasures of the Grand Duchess are a gold Patek Philippe savonette in dark blue enamel with the portrait of the Black Madonna of Ostrabrama (lot 1021; 15,000 €). The bidding for a finely enamelled gold box in a red leather case, an English work of supreme quality dating from 1795-96, will begin at 10,000 € ( lot 1005). The same starting price is charged for a pair of elaborate Champlevé mirror sconces – fire gilt pieces worked in enamel and alabaster, probably coronation presents from Emperor Napoleon III to Olga (lot 1034). The everyday life of the Duchess is documented by her personal seal made of mother-of-pearl (lot 1019; 3,500 €), a vermeil travel altar (lot 1008; 4,500 €), and a memory album for her coronation year, which comes from the estate of her chambermaid and contains numerous telegrams, name cards, and letter drafts ( lot 1035; 10,000 €). Superb Russian porcelain and silver form another integral part of this auction, among them selected pieces of dinnerware by the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory, which Nicholas I of Russia had commissioned for Olga’s dowry, as well as cutlery and trays from the silverware made by the court jewellers Nichols & Plinke.

Not only glasses, vases, and bowls by the Imperial Glass Manufactory contribute to the splendour of this section, but also several pieces of furniture crafted by Imperial Warrant Holder Heinrich Gambs, who supplied Peter’s Court and the Eremitage with interior furnishings. In the upcoming auction he is also represented with an elegant secretaire (lot 1149; 15,000 €) of exotic wood veneer bearing an inlaid porcelain portrait of Alexander the Great, a piece Olga probably received as a gift from her brother, the later Tsar Alexander II. Another exceptional highlight from Gambs’s workshop is a jewel casket from the rosewood set with porcelain cartouches – a unique wedding present from her father, Tsar Nicholas I (lot 1153; 7,500 €).

Selected Russian exhibits of various owners form another impressive array of items supplementing the main section of the Russian antiques sale. Especially noteworthy are the breast star of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky from c. 1880 (lot 1391; 8,000 €), a vermeil goblet with lid from the belongings of Tsar Peter III (lot 1404; 20,000 €), and a handwritten letter of Catherine the Great to Field Marshal von Elmpt (lot 1405; 6,500 €). Further striking examples from the life of high court officials and army officers come from the family of Felix Yusupov, who acquired dubious fame as one of Rasputin’s murderers, among them objects such as his father’s personal shashka (lot 1431; 18,000 €). The Russian impact on the German-speaking part of Europe also becomes apparent in the Russian general’s fur cap of Kaiser Franz Josef I of Austria (lot 1360; 25,000 €). The relation between Russia and Western Europe is also represented by a fine selection of firearms, such as a pair of officer’s pistols manufactured in Liège in 1850 (lot 1385; 4,500 €).

On 11th October, German historical collectibles from 1919onwards will be auctioned. Among the lots are rare medals and other items formerly owned by German fighter pilots; for example a set of documents and awards given to night fighter pilot Ludwig Becker, including his appointment as flight captain and a large-size portrait with knight’s cross (lot 3707; 15,000 €). Another highlight in this section is the full flight suit of a night fighter pilot from 1943-45, the period of the air war over Germany (lot 3700; 5,000 €). Not only an outstanding selection of uniforms will be up for sale, however, but also elaborately crafted medals such as silver Oak Leaves and Swords to the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 (lot 3628; 15,000 €) or a Grand Cross with Swords of the Order of the German Eagle (lot 3616; 8,500 €). Another unique item is the well preserved flag of the 2 nd Battalion Infantry Regiment 43 with pole and battalion ring – extremely rare in this excellent condition (lot 3657; 20,000 €).

Among the works of art also offered for sale in this section, the bronze relief TheLovers by Professor Kurt Schmid-Ehmen (1901-1968) is especially noteworthy (lot 3571; 9,000 €). Due to a war-related shortage of metal, the original was made of plaster in 1942; a bronze cast was only realised in 1958.

The presale viewing for the 56th auction takes place from 29th September to 5th October between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the premises of Hermann Historica, Munich.

Hermann Historica’s online catalogues for the upcoming autumn auction can be found under www.hermann-historica.com. A new feature of the website is a special lens function enabling users to examine images in detail on the computer screen.

PRESS RELEASE - Special Sale - Russian Antiques - at Hermann Historica oHG in Munich

Under the sign of the double-headed eagle – fine Russian antiques at Hermann Historica oHG
Exclusive property from the estate of Olga Nikolaevna Romanova, second daughter of Tsar Nicholas I, to highlight Hermann Historica’s 56th auction on 10th October 2008

Munich, August 12th 2008 – the special sale held at Hermann Historica, one of Germany’s leading auction houses for antiques, historical arms and armour, military collectibles, and craftwork, will offer a total of 452 objects from the estate of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna. Born in Saint Petersburg in 1822, she became Crown Princess of Wuerttemberg in 1846 and was crowned Queen in Stuttgart in 1864. After her death in 1892, her adopted daughter Vera Konstantinovna inherited a considerable part of her belongings, which are now for public sale at the forthcoming autumn auction. The manufacture of silverware, porcelain, and interior furnishings for her dowry began as early as 1840; the pieces were initially fixtures of the Olga Pavilion at Peter’s Court and were later brought to Villa Berg, Stuttgart. Among the exquisite treasures of the Grand Duchess are a gold Patek Philippe pocket watch in dark blue enamel with the portrait of the Black Madonna of Ostrabrama (starting price 15,000 €). The bidding for a fully enamelled gold box with red leather case, an English work of supreme quality dating from 1795/96, will begin at 10,000 €. The same starting price is charged for a pair of elaborate Champlevé mirror candelabra – fire gilt pieces worked in enamel and alabaster, probably coronation presents from Emperor Napoleon III to Olga. The everyday life of the Duchess is documented by her personal seal made of mother-of-pearl (3,500 €), a travel altar (4,500 €), and a memorial album of her coronation year, which comes from the estate of her chambermaid and contains numerous telegrams, name cards, and letter drafts (10,000 €).
Superb Russian porcelain and silver form another integral part of this autumn auction, among them selected pieces of dinnerware by the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory, which Nicholas I of Russia had commissioned for Olga’s dowry, as well as cutlery and trays from the silverware made by the court jewellers Nichols & Plinke.
Not only glasses, vases, and bowls by the Imperial Glass Manufactory contribute to the splendour of this section, but also several pieces of furniture crafted by Purveyor to the Imperial Court, Heinrich Gambs, who supplied Peter’s Court and the Hermitage with interior furnishings. In the upcoming auction he is also represented with an elegant secrétaire (15,000 €) of exotic wood veneer bearing an inlaid porcelain portrait of Alexander the Great, a piece Olga probably received as a gift from her brother, the later Tsar Alexander II. Another exceptional highlight from Gambs’s workshop is a mahogany casket decorated with rosewood veneer and porcelain cartouches – a unique wedding present from her father, Tsar Nicholas I (7,500 €). Other examples of superior Russian craftsmanship are a Fabergé belt buckle for 8,000 € and an elaborate, openwork goblet with cover of Russian jade
(2,500 €).

Selected Russian exhibits of various owners form another impressive array of items supplementing the main section of this auction. Especially noteworthy are the breast star of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky (ca. 1880) with a starting price of 8,000 €, a gilt silver goblet with lid from the belongings of Tsar Peter III beginning at 20,000 €, and a handwritten letter of Catherine the Great to Field Marshal von Elmpt for 6,500 €. Further striking examples from the life of high court officials and military officers come from the family of Felix Yusupov, who acquired dubious fame as one of Rasputin’s murderers, among them objects such as his father’s personal shashqa (18,000 €). The Russian impact on the German speaking part of Europe also becomes apparent in the Russian general’s fur cap of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria (25,000 €). The relation between Russia and Western Europe is also represented by a fine selection of firearms, such as a pair of Russian officer’s pistols manufactured in Liège in 1850 (4,500 €).

The pre-sale viewing for the 56th auction takes place from 29st September to 5th October between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the premises of Hermann Historica.

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Maria Burdick
Communication and Marketing

Elvirastraße 16
D-80636 München
Tel: +49 (0) 89-18 14 15
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Email: m.burdick@burdick.de

About Hermann Historica
Hermann Historica OHG is the leading world auction house in the special areas of : antique arms and armour, hunting, antiquities, medals and orders, as well as historical objects and military history. Founded nearly 50 years ago by Count Erich Klenau von Klenova, Baron von Janowitz in Nuremberg as an auction house for coins, orders, medals, and other military objects were offered right from the beginning. At the beginning of the seventies, offerings were expanded to include antique weapons. On the basis of the comprehensive scope of the objects offered and the carefully researched and high quality production of the special catalogues, those offerings were an immediate and enthusiastic success with international collectors and museums. In 1982, the present owners changed the name of the auction house to Hermann Historica OHG, and carry out at least two auctions yearly for more than 30,000 clients throughout the entire world. The numerous objects which were formerly possessions of great noble families, in particular those from the Austrian and German Imperial houses, have attracted great international interest, especially when choice collections such as the famous hunting treasures from Castle Fuschl at Salzburg, the historical technical museum in Nümbrecht and the "Antique Weapon Collection" of the world renowned Berlin collector, Axel Guttmann, are broken up and offered at auction. www.hermann-historica.com

All Photos: Copyright Hermann Historica oHG 2008

 


HH_56_Lot_1020_Patek Philippe Pocket Watch

 

HH_56_Lot_1020_Patek Philippe - Interior view - Madonna of Ostrabrama

 

HH_56_Lot_1005 Enamelled gold box England 1795/96

 

Vases, tableware and silver from the former belongings of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanova

 

Vertiko from a music chamber of the Grand Duchess H. Gambs, St. Petersburg

 

Alexander-escritoire H. Gambs, St. Petersburg, and several other objects

 

 

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