Hermann Historica’s 60th auction

Between 11 and 15 October the anniversary sale of the auction house specialised in history and militaria will present a broad selection of exclusive collectors’ pieces.

Munich, 14 September 2010 - "To date, we have defied the complex economic situation, even strengthening our position in the market and expanding our international presence. We are therefore keenly looking forward to the anniversary auction," says Wolfgang Hermann, founder, eponym, and co-owner of Hermann Historica about the upcoming autumn sale.
His co-partner Ernst-Ludwig Wagner is also enthusiastic about the event: "We offer a wide range of exceptional antiquities, arms and armour, hunting collectibles, militaria, and paintings – in line with our company motto Come face to face with history."

Antiquities and the Guttmann Collection
This autumn auction is attracting immense interest, partly owed to the fact that the last part of the famous Axel Guttmann Collection is up for sale. Bidders from all over the world can once again seize the opportunity to complement their collections with one or more of these rare, outstanding pieces. Among the highlights is a remarkable helmet from the 7th century BC, which has been scientifically analysed and studied in detail in the past. Its skull is made of three bronze sheets depicting a three-dimensional face with gaping mouth and eyes, protruding ears, and hands grasping the neck. The typical flat skull with the wide brim identifies the helmet as Picenian. This striking piece will be introduced at a starting price of 60,000 €.

Not from the Axel Guttmann Collection, but no less significant is a comprehensive array of items vividly illustrating the refined culture of ancient Rome and Greece, among others:

  • A nearly entirely preserved Praetorian military diploma from the reign of Caracalla dated 7 January 212 and consisting of two inscribed, rectangular bronze tablets (15.000 €).
  • A golden seal ring from the 5th/4th century BC, very finely crafted and in excellent condition (12,000 €).
  • An impressive group of Illyrian helmets from the 6th century BC, the starting prices ranging from 3.800 – 15,000 €. Rarely has such a large number of well preserved helmets been introduced to the market.

Arms and Armour
Hermann Historica’s upcoming autumn sale again brings together a stunning selection of superb edged weapons. Taking centre-stage is the Sword of Castillon (30,000 €) which features a double-edged thrusting blade with combat marks. The Battle of Castillon took place on 17 July 1453 and put an end to the so-called 100 Years’ War. England lost the war against France and suffered heavy casualties, subsequently retreating from the continent. The present one-handed sword with decorated pommel belongs to a number of swords found in the Lidoire River near the battle site. In the past few years other swords used at Castillon were sold at Hermann Historica’s auctions, but this piece is considered outstanding in design and quality.

Dating back to the mid-14th century is a knightly sword from Italy or France. It is in unaltered condition and is expected to fetch at least 25,000 €. Another striking piece is a South German military sword from 1550, which strongly resembles some of the swords kept at Ambras Castle near Innsbruck (15,000 €). The armour section also includes a South German hand-pavise from the 16th century made of wood and canvas and painted with the arms of the Bavarian town of Schongau; in spite of its delicate materials, the shield has survived half a millennium (25,000 €).

Oriental and Asian objects
Lot 2629 is a finely crafted object and a striking example for the excellent craftsmanship of oriental swordsmiths. The kilij of Sultan Mahmud II (r. 1808 – 1839) features a wootz-damascus blade with geometric designs against a gilt background, gilt scroll decorations and a quotation from the Koran on the obverse. The splendour of the Orient becomes especially apparent in the black jade grip and the elaborate decoration of the silver crossbar. Set with large emeralds and diamonds, this unusual work illustrates the social status and wealth of its owner. The kilij is offered for sale on 14 October at a starting price of 125,000 €. Another spectacular lot is a 19th century kilij profusely embellished with corals and turquoises. This decorative weapon features a curved blade with gold inlays and a hilt and scabbard of gilt copper (7,000 €).

Power and status have always manifested themselves in elaborate helmets. An extremely rare piece is a Chinese gold-inlaid helmet from the 18th century. The one-piece iron skull is embellished with a frieze of five gold-inlaid dragons and an ornamentally pierced visor. The portrayal of the five-clawed dragons was reserved to the imperial house and gives evidence of the helmet’s exclusive provenance; the starting price will be 20,000 €. Collectors of Japanese art will be spoilt for choice by the selection of intricately crafted, partially signed and naturalistically modelled bronze works; the starting prices for these objects range between 3,500 and 44,000 €.

An extraordinary regimental item is a large and profusely decorated silver centrepiece by the famous London jeweller Robert Garrard II, made purveyor to the court by Queen Victoria in 1843. The epergne was given to Lord Grantham (1781-1859) as a farewell present by the officers of the Yorkshire Hussars (40,000 €).

This section also includes a number of unusual swords from the same century. While the gilt ivory-handled sabre of Major-General Georg Freiherr von Krauchenberg (1776-1843) is introduced at 25,000 €, the remarkable sword given to infantry general Hugo Ewald Graf Kirchbach (1809-1887) on the occasion of his 50th anniversary in the army will be offered at a starting price of 60,000. Another highlight is a Russian helmet for officers of the Imperial Horse Guards as worn around 1900 formerly owned by Duke Georg Nikolaevitch von Leuchtenberg (1872-1929), which is expected to fetch at least 15,000 €. The helmet features a gilt parade eagle finial and an enamelled Order of Saint Andrew. From the personal effects of the Prussian Field Marshal August von Mackensen (1849-1945) come his parade coat, various seals, a commander’s baton, a cigarette case and a silver cup, given on the occasion of his ennoblement. Two very rare photo albums with partly large-size pictures (lots 2886 and 2887) taken between 1925 and 1927 document the developments in the Italian Air Forces at that time.

Fine Antique and Modern Firearms
This section features – as usual – a wide variety of firearms of various centuries and countries. Among the 1,400 lots are an extremely rare North German/Flemish revolving musket from 1710/1720 in untouched original condition and a wheellock puffer for enlisted men of the Saxon Electorate Palace Life Guards. While the revolving musket with engraved lock and lockplate is offered at 9,000 €, the puffer is expected to fetch at least 15,000 €. Another beautiful piece is a flintlock pistol with detachable stock made in the workshop of the court gunsmith F. J. Bosler in 1750. The richly embellished pistol was formerly owned by land-grave Ludwig VIII of Hesse-Darmstadt (1691-1768), who was known to be an ardent coursing enthusiast (12,000 €).

Besides a considerable number of high-quality pieces at affordable starting prices, the section of modern firearms includes some highly sought-after collector’s arms, among them a cased Borchardt C93 in calibre 7.65 no. 1774 with a matching nickel-plated magazine; a weapon in near-mint condition probably only tested, but never used on a regular basis. This weapon is offered at 15,000 € (firearms licence required).

The vivid interest in this anniversary auction allows for the assumption that it will be as successful and as frequently visited as the spring sale.

Images and detailed descriptions of all lots are available on the internet under www.hermann-historica.com. The pre-sale viewing takes place from 4th to 10th October on the premises of Hermann Historica oHG, Munich. To view the vehicles located outside of Munich, please contact us prior to your visit.

May be copied without charge – Permission, additional information and photographic materials may be obtained from:

Maria Burdick
Communication and Marketing
Elvirastraße 16
D-80636 München
Tel.: +49 (0) 89 - 18 14 15
Fax: +49 (0) 89 - 18 14 49
E-Mail: m.burdick@burdick.de

About Hermann Historica
Hermann Historica OHG is one of 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 25,000 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 2010


HH-60-Los Nr.2180
Picenian ceremonial helmet with preserved lining, 7th century B.C. Bronze


HH-60-Los Nr.2020-2026
Illyrian Helmet


HH-60-Los Nr.2777
A sword from the Battle of Castillon 1453 found in Castillon-la-Bataille


HH-60-Los Nr.2629
An Ottoman presentation kilij set with diamonds and emeralds,
Sultan Mahmud II (r. 1808 – 1839)


HH-60-Los Nr.2685
A Chinese gold-inlaid helmet
for a member of the Imperial family Qing Dynasty, 18th century


HH-60-Los Nr.2907
Duke Georg Nikolaevich von Leuchtenberg (1872 - 1929)
A helmet for an officer of the Tsar's horse guards



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