Munich, February 2023
Hermann Historica celebrates its almost sell-out online auction
Hermann Historica started the new year with a bang, recording a high sales quota and gratifying price increases in its online auction 95!
The first online-only auction of the year at Hermann Historica took place from 30 January to 3 February. The historical auction house attracted buyers with a selection of over 3,500 lots. And as it turns out, the results point to a triumph. The steadily growing number of bidders, the wide range of objects and the option of bidding via six different auction portals to some extent contributed to Hermann Historica's success in this auction. First and foremost, the in-house bidding platform proved as popular as ever. Bids came in thick and fast in all five specialist areas represented by the auction house, with some lots changing hands for many times their reserve.
Art and Antiquities
Monday, 30 January was dedicated to the "Art and Antiquities" section. Over 900 lots came under the hammer on the first day of the auction. One of the highlights was the widely advertised leaf blade sword of Hemigkofen type from the early Urnfield culture (lot 6122). The impressive bronze sword of the phase Hallstatt A, dating from either the 12th or 11th century B.C., had been estimated at 1,200 euros. However, the new owner had to dig much deeper into their pockets. The edged weapon went on to command no less than seven times its starting price, namely 8,750 euros.
Among the Asian works of art, lot 9196 unleashed an avalanche of bids. This was an opportunity to acquire a purple-splashed Jun dish, probably from the Northern Song or Jin dynasty (12th century). Bids from 500 euros had originally been invited for this rare bowl in excellent condition. Nonetheless, the price shot up to four figures within seconds, ending with a hammer price of 1,625 euros.
The rather fearsome lots 6507 and 6058 were particularly in demand. The two ancestor's skulls from the Asmat people in Papua New Guinea both sparked fierce bidding wars. Lot 6507, a somewhat dainty viscerocranium, opened at 300 euros and fetched a respectable 2,625 euros. However, lot 6508, a smoothly polished skull, wrapped in woven rattan and embellished with feathers decorated with shells, pulled out all the stops. It found a new owner for well over 27 times its limit of 300 euros, for the sensational winning bid of 8,250 euros.
Antique arms and armour from all over the world
Antique arms and armour from all over the world came under the hammer on Tuesday, 31 January. Comprising just 326 lots, the shortest auction day was no less successful. Once again, crowds of buyers gathered at their screens, ready to go.
Lot 7015 had attracted a good deal of interest during the run-up to the auction. Bids from 4,600 euros were welcome for the opulent, silver-mounted shamshir from the Ottoman Empire. The edged weapon from the reign of Sultan Abdulmejid I (1839 - 1861) now takes pride of place in a new collection for 9,750 euros.
Another highlight of the auction was an exquisite curved sword from Tibet. Its fabulous décor of turquoises, lapis lazuli and corals, not to mention the suspension rings with supports in the shape of dragons, drove the price up to five times its estimate. The magnum opus sold for 4,000 euros, its limit of 800 euros notwithstanding.
In the defensive arms category, lot 7201 was exceptionally well received. The formidable suit of armour for 16th and 17th century Pikemen had received numerous bids in writing prior to the auction. The hinged gorget, the pauldrons of Swiss type, sliding on six lames, the slightly ridged breastplate, drawn out to a slight central point, and the matching breastplate all combined to more than quadruple the asking price of 2,500 euros. In the end, the armour coaxed an enthusiast into investing 11,500 euros.
Five centuries of antique and modern firearms
Wednesday, 1 February saw a parade of more than 600 lots. As in previous auctions, scores of buyers were poised for action on the various bidding platforms.
Although the wheellock pistol with lot number 8067 was 'only' a historicism era collector's reproduction, assembled from old components, it proved to be highly sought-after. Adorned with fine tendrils and opulent bone inlays, the magnificent weapon was valued at 1,500 euros, yet sold for 4,250 euros.
Another pièce de résistance was a superb pair of flintlock pistols, circa 1780. As lot number 8114, the chiselled pistols with their lavish scenes of antique warriors against a gilt background came under the hammer for 5,000 euros. The German showstoppers went on to fetch 7,750 euros.
The same day, the auction house offered collectors the chance to snap up for 1,000 euros the smallest semi-auto pistol ever made (lot number 8345). Referred to as the Kolibri Model 2, it measures just 7 cm in length with a small calibre of 2.7 mm. Created by Austrian watchmaker Pfannl, the eight-shot pistol eventually changed hands for 3,000 euros.
Orders and Military Collectibles until 1918
Almost 600 lots of "Orders and Military Collectibles until 1918" were on the agenda on Thursday, 2 February. From the word go, bids came pouring in via the five platforms. Lot 9006, a modest collection of European orders soared from 200 euros to well over 14 times that sum. The decorations from Slovakia, Croatia and Hungary, to mention just a few, now delight a new owner for 2,875 euros.
Next up, lot 9058, a Pilot/Observer Badge, certainly caused a stir. Complete with a shoulder board for a Podporuchik in the Russian air force, the remarkable insignia sold for 6,750 euros, its reserve of 1,200 euros notwithstanding.
Not one but two sabres for officers of the hussars from the 18th century were regarded as one highlight of the auction. They did not disappoint. First up, lot 9142 dated from the Revolutionary Period at the end of the 18th century. Struck on the obverse, its blade-mark in the shape of a fasces with a Phrygian cap makes the sabre so unusual. Estimated at 1,900 euros, the edged weapon ultimately closed at 2,875 euros. Bids from 2,600 euros had been invited for the second, elegantly curving sabre engraved with rococo décor, partially decorated in relief (lot 9214). For 3,250 euros, this magnificent, decorative piece now ennobles a new setting.
Moreover, lot number 9303 took everyone by surprise. A diverse assortment of colourful 19th and 20th century garments was offered for auction. Together with an old, unremarkable leather suitcase, the worn-out clothing had been valued at 300 euros. Nonetheless, interest in the attire, including a gentleman's overcoat and two lady's bodices, was immense. With bidders' enthusiasm well and truly fired, the sale was only completed for nine times that sum, namely 2,750 euros.
The starting price of 1,500 euros for lot number 9559, an extensive photographic collection belonging to Hauptmann Graf Verri della Bosia, a Schutztruppe officer, was also soon consigned to history. The count served as platoon leader in the 3rd East Asiatic Infantry Regiment in 1901. The roughly 200 photographs, mounted on cardboard and mostly taken in China, were consigned directly from his family's estate. The impressive photo collection finally sold for 6,000 euros.
The post auction sale of this online auction runs until 17 March. During this time, all unsold lots may be purchased for their catalogue price, plus a buyer's premium. As usual, please go to our webside for further details and the respective catalogues.
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