Munich, January 2023

Hermann Historica starts the New Year with a bang in its online-only auction

The historical auction house Hermann Historica is luring its numerous bidders to their screens around the world with the promise of almost 3,500 objects. From 30 January to 3 February, bids can be placed on up to five platforms. Once again, the sales programme in the five categories is extremely diverse and art collectors will be delighted to see some veritable sensations.


Works of Art, Antiquities, Asian Art

The highly anticipated, one-week auction opens on Monday, 30 January with just under 900 lots ranging from antiquities to Asian art and handcrafts. Heading the parade of lots is an indisputable showstopper. Bids from 25,000 euros are invited for a remarkably rare marble sculpture from the 2nd to 3rd century (lot number 6069). In outstanding condition, the imposing, highly detailed lion is a fine, unparalleled testament to Provincial Roman workmanship.


Next up, lot 6073 is an exceptionally fascinating and unusual piece that documents the social attitudes of antiquity. This 1st century Roman bronze statuette depicts a stark contrast: on the one hand, an intellectual, declaiming philosopher, but on the other a dwarf, whose diminutive size and only partly concealed phallus make a mockery of the orator. The exceptionally superb statue, probably of Alexandrine origin, where the production of such grotesque figures experienced a tremendous upswing during the Hellenistic period, is estimated at 20,000 euros.



Despite being no less well preserved and tremendously rare forms, the top-quality Bronze Age objects are more competitively priced. One such, namely lot 6122, is worthy of special mention. Dating from the early Urnfield culture, the leaf blade sword of Hemigkofen type is expected to fetch 1,200 euros. The impressive bronze sword, of the phase Hallstatt A, dates from either the 12th or 11th century B.C.

The Tang Dynasty was the golden age of China's economy, yet also a belle époque for its culture. Collectors can now purchase a masterpiece from this era under lot number 6187. With a guide price of 700 euros, the highly detailed camel is made of fired clay, approx. 800 A.D.



One highlight in the jewellery section is an elaborate 18th century piece from Eastern Europe (lot 6521). Also coming under the hammer, with a limit of 1000 euros, is a Jewish silver pendant in the shape of a menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum considered one of the most important religious symbols of Judaism.


Lot 6543, an Italian tortoiseshell snuffbox with gold piqué, dated 1730, is truly a sight for sore eyes. The lid and edges are embellished with exquisite gold wire inlays. The fabulous snuffbox is guaranteed to coax an enthusiast into investing 450 euros.

Lot 6744 is particularly ingenious. The war chest has an integrated hidden mechanism and is valued at 600 euros. Even the lid has the wow factor, with a cityscape of Vienna delicately engraved on the cover, plus a medallion and the manufacturer's mark "v. Wagler et Compagni […]".

Antique Arms and Armour from all over the world

Roughly 320 lots take centre stage in the chapter of antique arms and armour from all over the world on Tuesday 31 January. The auction is destined to open to a flurry of bids from collectors of Middle Eastern treasures.

Lot number 7015, an opulent, silver-mounted shamshir from the Ottoman Empire, is coming under the hammer for 4,600 euros. Dating from the reign of Sultan Abdulmejid I (1839 - 1861), the obverse of the silver-mounted edged weapon is adorned with six gold-damascened calligraphic cartouches, one with the magic inscription "buduh", a female demon of love. Also one of the premium lots is another 20th century shamshir from Saudi Arabia, its single-edged blade made of wootz-Damascus and set with glass stones and turquoises. The winner of this lot, number 7028, will have to part with at least 1,200 euros.



In the defensive arms category, lot 7201 stands head and shoulders above the rest. The armour worn by Pikemen during the 16th or 17th century cannot fail to impress. 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 are sure to attract widespread attention, not just among curators. The asking price of 2,500 euros includes the two tassets sliding on five lames, their fastening bolts of later date.


Moreover, lot number 7291, an elegant court sword from England will also spark fierce bidding wars. Dating from around 1800, the edged weapon with its narrow thrusting blade and magnificent, diamond-set hilt is bound to be snapped up for its reserve of 800 euros.


Fine Antique and Modern Firearms

On Wednesday, 1 February, buyers will flock to Hermann Historica in their droves, keen to purchase the more than 600 lots from five centuries of antique and modern firearms. As in previous sales, the in-house bidding platform will be the most popular bidding system in this online-only auction. Scores of rarities and sought-after pieces are waiting to grace a new collection.


Lot 8059, one of the highlights among the civil firearms, a 19th century swivel gun is set to rake in 700 euros. The extremely attractive, yet somewhat whimsical gun was probably made in England; its beautiful cast barrel is particularly compelling. The swivel gun is held by a two-pronged fork.

Although percussion flintlocks are generally well received, the rifles known as Swiss Stutzer are particularly coveted by shooters. Not one but four of these long guns are to come under the hammer in this auction. Lot numbers 8093 to 8096 are Swiss Stutzer M 1851 rifles, with minimum bids of between 600 and 800 euros.

Another highlight on the same day is lot 8114. The fabulous pair of deluxe German flintlock pistols dating from around 1780 can be acquired for 5,000 euros. The intricately crafted warriors stand out strikingly against the gilt background, making the pair of pistols exceptionally decorative.



Another pair of superb percussion pistols by Prévoteau Le Jeune of Paris (lot 8116) has equally ostentatious embellishment. The manufacturer and the artist's street name have been engraved in gold for posterity. The gorgeous, first-class pistols are expected to take a buyer's fancy for 2,800 euros.


Among the modern small arms, the Austrian Mannlicher model 1905 is undoubtedly one of the premium lots. Offers from 1,500 euros are welcome for this early model, which still retains the inscription on both sides (lot number 8344).

Lot 8345 is yet another showstopper. The smallest semi-auto pistol that was ever made will soon take pride of place in a new collection. Referred to as the Kolibri Model 2, it measures just 7 cm in length with a small calibre of just 2.7 mm. Created by the Austrian watchmaker Pfannl, the eight-shot pistol is now listed at 1,000 euros.

Under lot number 8549, the sought-after Mauser C96 with its original finish and lanyard loop has a catalogue price of 800 euros. The large heraldic eagle on the magazine plate makes this firearm an extremely rare find.


Orders and Military Collectibles until 1918

On Thursday, 2 February, bidders can look forward to a wealth of collectibles from Germany and all over the world. This time, the chapter of Orders and Military Collectibles until 1918 holds a number of highlights in store among the over 560 lots.

Lot 9153 merits particular attention. An M 1825/54 cuirass with a heavy, ridged breastplate, lighter backplate and a border of brass lining rivets is open to offers from 500 euros. The manufacturer's mark "Chatellerault" and the date "Mars 1852" are still clearly visible on the inside.


Truly one of a kind, lot 9202 boasts a noble provenance to boot, namely Austria's imperial house. Bids from 5,000 euros are now invited for a magnificent coffee service, made by the celebrated Meissen porcelain factory. From the "Red Court Dragon" series, it remained the exclusive preserve of the Saxon court until 1918. According to tradition, this rare service was presented to heir presumptive Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este, whose later assassination in 1914 led to World War I, to mark his engagement.


Lot 9214, a fine sabre wielded by hussar officers during the 2nd half of the 18th century boasts elegantly curved lines. Given its raised knuckle-bow hilt of non-ferrous metal, engraved with rococo décor and relief decoration in places, this superior edged weapon will not disappoint. It is expected to change hands for 2,600 euros.



Please note: all prices quoted are net guide prices and do not include the 25% premium (and VAT).

You are cordially invited to inspect all objects in person at the offices of Hermann Historica in Grasbrunn, near Munich. The pre-sale viewing is open from Wednesday to Saturday, 25 to 28 January, from 11 am to 5 pm each day. As usual, the Hermann Historica experts will be on hand to advise customers.

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