Anniversary sale with top results
The 60th auction of Hermann Historica oHG realised spectacular hammer prices, achieving sell-through rates of 81 percent by lot.
Munich, 18.10.2010 – The presale viewing preceding the auction already indicated a strong interest in the 2,467 lots, but the results of Hermann Historica’s autumn sales, which took place between 11th and 15th October, exceeded all expectations. Some of the most heated bidding contests ensued over the unusual and exceptionally rare objects offered in the antiquities catalogue.
Especially highly sought after were the last pieces of the famous Axel Guttmann Collection. A Greco-Italic bronze armour from the 4th/3rd century BC consisting of a Pilos type helmet, cuirass, long greaves and two associated chaffrons sold for € 90,000, more than doubling its starting price of € 40,000. The richly embellished set is a striking example of the craftsmanship of ancient armourers and will be put on public display in the Mougins Museum of Classical Art, which will open next spring.
Other items of the Guttmann Collection were acquired by this museum located in Southern France, for example an extremely rare Roman Kalkriese type mask from a cavalry helmet from the 1st century BC, which realised € 36,000. Other pieces soon to enter the permanent exhibition of the newly established museum are an extremely rare griffin crest helmet from the 4th century BC and a South Eastern European Illyrian helmet from the 5th century BC. The helmets drew spirited bidding among the clients in the saleroom, on the internet and at the telephones, and ultimately achieved € 42,000 and € 40,000 respectively (against € 25,000 and € 15,000).
Another highlight in this section was a Picenian type bronze helmet with a beautified modelled skull and preserved lining dating from the 7th century BC. This spectacular object was offered at € 60,000 and realised € 80,000.
Selection of collectibles
The previous years have already shown a growing interest in Kunstkammer objects and selected works of art. It was therefore no surprise that bustling activity characterised the atmosphere in the saleroom on the fourth day of the auction. The first pieces sold in this section were hunting trophies, which commanded top prices well in excess of their initial bids. An unusually large and evenly grown narwhal tusk tripled its starting price of € 6,000, ultimately selling for 18,000. A stately pair of tusks from an African elephant fetched € 32,000 (starting price € 13,500), while a pair of rhinoceros horns pushed the hammer price to € 58,000, nearly five times the starting price.
The collectors also showed great interest in the sale of elaborately manufactured works of art. An early screw-top flask bearing the portrait of Christian von Brandenburg-Bayreuth, margrave in the Frankonian principality of Bayreuth between 1603 and 1655, was bought for impressive € 8,000 – five times its starting price of € 1,600. A silver-gild lidded goblet with grape ornaments dating from 1620 sold for € 16,000, more than doubling its starting price of € 6,500. A large German silver platter from the 19th century representing Emperor Charles V’s entry into Augsburg for the 1548 Reichstag realised € 19,000 (against € 9,500). The relief weighs a stately ten pounds and measures 119 x 69 cm.
The section of Oriental and Asian objects presented once more a wide range of superb pieces. A beautifully crafted and well preserved Indian dagger attracted the attention of many clients; within a few minutes its starting price rose from € 2,800 to the final hammer price of € 28,000. But this gold inlaid chilanum from the 17th century was not the only highlight in this segment.
Lot number 2685 had drawn significant interest weeks before the auction was scheduled: an extremely rare helmet for a member of the Chinese Imperial family dating from the 17th century. The gold inlaid one-piece iron skull is decorated with five-clawed dragons, which give evidence of the royal descent of its original owner. The helmet was presented in the catalogue at € 20,000, but due to several pre-bids the bidding began at € 63,000. A few minutes later the helmet was sold for spectacular € 200,000, which was greeting with applause in the saleroom.
As usual, European medieval weapons were also highly sought after. A sword from the Battle of Castillon 1453, which is regarded as one of the most splendid weapons of the entire group found in the Lidoire River near the battle site, sold for € 40,000 (against a starting price of € 30,000). Shields of wood or canvas rarely survive the centuries and only few are as well preserved as the South German hand-pavise from the 16th century decorated with the coat of arms of the town of Schongau. This fact was honoured by a considerable number of bids, ultimately realising € 30,000 against a starting price of € 25,000.
Many objects offered for sale in the European militaria section returned to their place of origin. A Russian Breast Star of the Order of St. Anna from 1910 was offered at € 6,000 and was bought by a Russian client for the handsome sum of € 64,000. An elaborately embellished helmet for officers of the Imperial Horse Guards formerly owned by Duke Georg Nikolaevitch von Leuchtenberg (1872 - 1929) sold for € 26,000 (against € 15,000). Of slightly earlier date, but no less impressive, was an elaborately decorated sword: the gold-plated, ivory handled presentation sabre formerly owned by Georg Freiherr von Krauchenberg (1776 - 1843) was offered at € 25,000 and ultimately fetched € 34,000.
Firearms of five centuries
Over 1,400 firearms were presented in the firearms section. Top results were especially achieved for cased pistols such as a pair of finely engraved percussion pistols from the famous workshop of the Kuchenreuther family. This pair was made by Johann Adam Kuchenreuther in the mid-19th century. The superbly crafted weapons sold for € 11,000 (against a starting price of € 10,000). Another pair of cased pistols made by the Regensburg court gunsmith realised € 10,500 against a starting price of € 8,000. A rare combined match- and wheel-lock military musket from Suhl dating from 1580/90 found a new owner at the starting price of € 8,000.
The modern guns section also included a considerable number of striking collector’s pieces: for example a cased Borchardt C 93 in calibre 7.65 no. 1774 with a matching nickel-plated magazine; a weapon in near-mint condition probably only test- fired, but otherwise unused. This unusual piece was introduced at € 15,000 and sold for the handsome sum of € 24,000. Also highly sought after was a parabellum carbine 1902 with shoulder stock, a top piece in excellent condition. It was offered at € 9,900 and realised € 18,000, almost doubling its starting price.
Hermann Historica, Munich, 11-15 October
Number of lots offered: 2,467
Percentage of lots sold: 81%
Total revenues: € 5,304,602
The hammer prices of all sold lots can be viewed online under www.hermann-historica.com. All mentioned hammer prices are net prices and do not include the obligatory premium of 23 percent. Unsold items can be purchased in the after sale.
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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