Online Auction 97 – scorching temperatures and fierce bidding wars. The heat was certainly on for Hermann Historica's auction week where lots sold like hot cakes!

The second online auction of the year took place at Hermann Historica from 26 to 30 June. With just under 3,000 lots, the historical auction house kept its crowds of buyers glued to their screens. Numerous customers battled it out on up to five bidding platforms with barrages of bids and sizzling skirmishes. A respectable sales quota and gratifying price increases more than made up for the long auction days, including some real marathons. The post-auction sale is now on until 11 August.

Works of Art and Antiquities


The online auction kicked off on Monday, 26 June, with a lineup of roughly 650 lots in the art and antiques section. The very first lot, number 5001, caused a flurry of excitement. Opening at 450 euros, two ushabtis and a statuette of Osiris from the first millennium B.C. immediately unleashed an avalanche of offers on several bidding platforms, until one devotee was coaxed into investing well over seven times the limit, namely 3,375 euros, to add the rare figurines to his collection.

A similar fate befell the bidders for lot number 5082. In immaculate condition, the fragment of a Roman marble frieze from the first century A.D. had been valued at 550 euros. Within seconds, bids came thick and fast on the various platforms until the rare carving from antiquity changed hands for 4,500 euros.



In the chapter of Asian art, an exquisitely embellished vase from China (lot number 5164) set pulses racing among the art collectors. Stamped with the Daoguang six-character mark, the polychrome Doucai dragon jar duly fetched 2,375 euros, its reserve of 500 euros notwithstanding.

Antique Arms and Armour from all over the world

Although shorter, Tuesday, 27 June was no less successful, with 175 lots coming under the hammer among the antique arms and armour from all over the world. Swords and daggers were particularly sought after.



Lot 6011 is worthy of special mention. Bids were invited from 300 euros for a Caucasian kinjal, forged circa 1900. Boasting an ornamentally engraved grip of walrus ivory, inlaid in gold and silver, the sword demanded its tribute, enticing the winning bid of 1,750 euros.

Meanwhile, three daos from China went on to eclipse their starting price. As lot number 6051, the three magnificently etched, 18th and 19th century edged weapons sold for 3,750 euros, more than ten times the limit of 350 euros.


Even during the run-up to the auction, lot 6090 proved a huge draw among the penal instruments and torture devices. The executioner's sword circa 1800 had a catalogue price of 1,500 euros; however, several bidders were determined to acquire the two-hand sword, resplendent in gilt, with its 17th century etched blade. The sale was finally completed at 3,625 euros.


Fine Antique and Modern Firearms

The long auction day on 28 June was due to the almost 1,000 lots from five centuries of antique and modern firearms. Nonetheless, buyers demonstrated steely resolve and stamina, bidding right until the very end. This resulted in an exceptionally high sales quota as well as fantastic price increases, making Wednesday the climax of the auction.


Lot number 7281 was truly one of a kind, which came as no surprise to the innumerable collectors. They were queueing up to claim the Korth revolver, a triple-lock test version, with an extremely rare triple locking action on the cylinder. The starting price of 2,500 euros soon fell by the wayside. And no wonder, as just 25 of this test version were ever produced. Nevertheless, the new owner had to dig deep into his pocket as the phenomenal firearm chalked up the top price of the day, a sensational 16,250 euros.

Lot 7645 was another rare weapon, thanks to its original detachable stock. And the Finnish standard pistol Lahti L-35, type I, certainly did not disappoint. The guide price of 5,000 euros included the original detachable stock that is seldom found on the market. Just fifty such stocks were built in 1937, yet never established for military use. Closing at 10,000 euros, the pistol exactly doubled its reserve.


Next, lot number 7664, the Lee-Enfield L 42 A1 bolt-action sniper rifle triggered a veritable onslaught of bids. As the set was complete – the firearm came with a telescopic sight no. 32 and the associated, filled transport case – it raced past its estimate of 2,700 euros before the hammer fell at a very respectable 8,750 euros.


Orders and Military Collectibles until 1918

The fourth day of the auction, 29 June, was dedicated to orders and military collectibles until 1918. Once again, the almost 500 lots, from rare orders to swords, uniforms and all manner of historical documents, lured scores of bidders, gathering eagerly in front of their screens.



Among the insignia, the Bavarian Military Order of Merit was considered a spectacular highlight (lot number 8095). Produced by Hemmerle between 1905 and 1918, the unusual Officer's Cross with Crown and Swords was open to bids from 1,000 euros. The desirable decoration now takes pride of place in a new collection for 6,500 euros.


Moreover, lot number 8177 took everyone by surprise. The rather unremarkable burl wood box from the first half of the 19th century sported a relief portrait of Napoleon I in gold on the lid. The beautiful design – and perhaps the fact that it was moderately valued at 150 euros – drew a torrent of bids. In the end, the box found a buyer for no less than 2,625 euros, more than seventeen times its limit.



Among the edged weapons, lot number 8185, a heavy cavalry sword for cuirassier officers of the Garde Impériale, certainly caused a stir. On account of its fine condition, the rare, superior thrusting weapon from the Second Empire had been estimated at 1,800 euros. However, with its blade of triangular section and elegant iron edge, the unusual cavalry sword ultimately sold for 3,500 euros.


Although "only" produced for a theatre performance, lot 8317 was well received. Bids from 350 euros were invited for these splendid 20th century vestments worn by Bavarian kings. However, one enthusiast fulfilled his dream of owning such majestic, highly distinguished official attire for 1,750 euros.


Until 11 August, all unsold lots can now be purchased in the post-auction sale. As always, please see for the post-auction sale catalogues and all other information.

Advance notice: As soon as one auction is over, work begins on the next. The next live auction at Hermann Historica will take place from 7 to 13 October. The preparations are already in full swing. Additional consignments are still most welcome.

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