Hermann Historica's large Autumn Auction – not one but two weeks of gratifying results!

Once again, the acclaimed Hermann Historica auction house brought history to life – while drawing huge crowds of bidders. Well over 3,000 exclusive lots came under the hammer and proved to be very much in favour. No surprise there! Once again, the renowned auction house succeeded in compiling a wide and diverse range of objects, including some veritable rarities and numerous fascinating collections.

This time extended to two weeks, the Autumn Auction of the historical auction house took place from 10 to 19 October in Grasbrunn near Munich. First up were the chapters of art, arms and armour, and firearms on 10 to 12 October, with the military history collectibles and a special catalogue from the acclaimed Dave Delich collection bringing up the rear the following week, from 17 to 19 October. The demand for exceptional objects was high, which resulted in some considerable price increases and a high sales quota. Hermann Historica was delighted to note that its customer base continues to grow and prides itself on the cooperation between consignors and experts that is founded on trust.

Antiquities, art and antiques

A palpable buzz of excitement and anticipation was in the air at Hermann Historica's saleroom on Tuesday, 10 October. The historical auction house's major live auction finally opened at ten o'clock on the dot. The buyers were raring to go, whether in person, on the telephones or in front of their screens, and there was spirited bidding from the outset. Collectors and interested parties all over the world could submit offers on one of five different bidding portals.



Moreover, the auctioneer needed no prompting to really pull out all the stops. When it came to lot number 7 – a characteristic Corinthian helmet dating from approximately 500 B.C. – there was no end to the flow of bids as the audience paid homage. Widely regarded as the epitome of Greek helmets, this helmet type is frequently portrayed on sculptures and painted vases. Bids from 49,000 euros were invited for this exceptionally magnificent, first-class specimen, which ultimately fetched 67,500 euros.


In the art and handcrafts section, vases were particularly sought after, even those without depictions of helmets. Lot number 221, an incomparable krater with painted landscapes and two fine heads of fauns on the side, unleashed a fierce bidding contest. The starting price of 5,000 euros was soon consigned to history. After a brief but intensive volley of bids, the rare krater was snapped up for 12,500 euros. Meanwhile, a stunning art nouveau vase (lot number 376) also proved very popular. 



Even before the auction, the eye-catching piece, composed of earthenware fragments, from the well-known Zsolnay Porcelain Manufactory in Hungary, had received numerous bids. Perhaps this unique piece, finished with an "Eosin" glaze (named after the Greek Eos, goddess of the dawn), had been too moderately valued at 8,000 euros as the hammer only fell at a pleasing 21,250 euros.

There was also a great deal of interest in the over 50 seals that were offered for sale on this beautiful autumn day. With a wide array in glass, silver and rock crystal, the seals had been used by guilds, city councils and noble families with eagles on their coats of arms. For example, the famous seal belonging to Kaiser Franz Joseph I (lot 256, guide price 3,000 euros) nearly doubled its estimate, closing at 5,250 euros. 


But lot 278 nearly melted the LAN cables of the staff on the online platforms. Collectors battled it out, determined to get their hands on two 17th and 19th guild seals.  The auctioneer hardly needed to mention the reserve of 400 euros as the price of the seals shot up to four figures within seconds. Only after a final bid of more than eight times that sum, namely 3,500 euros, could one enthusiast heave a sigh of relief – and rejoice in having secured the prize.

Antique arms and armour from all over the world

On Wednesday, 11 October, Hermann Historica offered the chance to acquire over 200 lots of "Antique arms and armour from all over the world". Scores of admirers from near and far were keen to try their luck. Here again, on the second day of the auction, things began heating up after just a few lots.


The first skirmish flared up over lot 1014, a 19th century Turkmen kard.  It is anyone's guess whether demand was so high on account of the walrus ivory of the grip scales or the engraved signature "Made by Muhammad" on the silver-mounted thrusting weapon. But the fact is that this Ottoman dagger coaxed an aficionado into investing 8,250 euros, almost three times the catalogue price of 2,900 euros.

To this day, just thinking about how brutal a horseman's axe must have been on the battlefield makes us shudder. The axe head was usually so heavy that one mighty blow would have dispatched the opponent. Hermann Historica's auction now included a 17th century German horseman's axe under lot number 1138.  This axe also had an extremely powerful head, with four grooves running across the hammer head. The massive iron shaft was embellished and divided into sections. It attracted enormous interest. Under the torrent of bids flooding in, the platforms did not even manage to display the opening price of 2,800 euros. The combat weapon went on to change hands for 7,750 euros.



Nonetheless, the buyers were not ready to admit defeat – on the contrary – and the next avalanche of bids was not long in coming. When a large two-hand sword by the acclaimed bladesmith Wolfgang Stantler of Munich was announced (lot number 1175), there was no stopping the auction participants. This tour-de-force of a double-handed sword had been valued at 7,500 euros but collectors clicked the bid buttons incessantly on every platform until this formidable two-hand sword, with its impressive 180 cm blade, found a taker for 11,250 euros.

Fine antique and modern firearms

Thursday, 12 October, was the longest day of this auction week. This was due in part to the enormous lineup of over 600 lots, but mainly to the scores of bidders, whose number invariably increases from one auction to the next.


Lot number 2006, a tüfek of the highest order, had already attracted a great deal of attention in the pre-sale viewing among collectors of over-the-counter weapons. And no wonder: the Ottoman long gun sparkled from afar in the large saleroom. Lavish gold décor wound its way along the entire length of the barrel. Moreover, the barrels were set with five barrel bands, each sporting fine silver hallmarks. The unparalleled masterpiece changed hands for 15,000 euros, its limit of 12,000 euros notwithstanding.

Collectors did not shy away from enormous price increases either when it came to weapons requiring a licence. The highlight of the day were two Korth pistols, which each opened at 4,000 euros as lot numbers 2162 and 2163. It seemed as though the relatively modest asking prices proved all the more tempting for collectors. Pressing their bidding buttons with gusto, the offers came thick and fast, sparking a ferocious bidding war for the firearms. The final sum for number 2162, a respectable 15,000 euros, almost quadrupled its reserve. This was practically a bargain, however, as its companion, lot number 2163, chalked up a sensational 20,000 euros.


But the bidding fever did not stop there. Offers from 3,000 euros were welcome for lot number 2294, a French semi-automatic rifle FSA (or RSC) 1917. The extra crucial detail that the gas opening and screw were fully functional and had not been deactivated, as in the case of many firearms, set collectors' pulses racing – making their fingers even quicker on the draw. The new owner was eventually forced to dig deep into his pocket, shelling out some 14,375 euros.

Orders and military collectibles

The second week at Hermann Historica was entirely devoted to artefacts from military history, with an abundance of rare insignia, uniforms worn by high ranking politicians, swords and key documents of historical interest. Once again, Hermann Historica lived up to its reputation of bringing history to life.


A piece of history was written, thanks to a distinguished shashka for officers of the Cossacks. The sword was engraved with the Cyrillic inscription "A.N. Annibal" for Arkady Nestorovich Annibal. An officer and adjutant of General of the Cavalry Nikolai Nikolaevich Baratov, he was descended from General Abram Petrovich Gannibal according to several accounts. The unusual distinguished edged weapon clearly captured the imagination of the buyers, partly by virtue of its ostentatious hilt with an enamelled Order of St. Anna. And so the guide price of 5,000 euros soon fell by the wayside. From the telephones to the saleroom and the bidding platforms, there was an outpouring of bids on all sides. The magnificent blade from Russia went on to command no less than five times its limit and now ennobles a new setting for 35,000 euros.

As Hermann Historica presented a treasure trove of rarities, one after another, the bidding euphoria continued unabated. Following on from its Spring Auction, the historical auction house unveiled more personal correspondence from the quill of Friedrich Engels. Lot number 3343 contained a letter penned by the communist, dated 12 November 1890. Engels had previously learned of the death of Helene Demuth, former housekeeper to Karl Marx and later also his own. In the note, he informs Adolf Riefer, Demuth's nephew, of her death and that she left a will. As the auctioneer announced the lot, listed at 25,000 euros, several history buffs held their breath and you could have heard a pin drop in the saleroom. It was not long before fingers started twitching to place the bids. The hammer finally fell at the very respectable sum of 45,000 euros.


To keep withdrawal symptoms at bay – and naturally acquire some of the amazing pieces still on offer – visitors are invited to browse Hermann Historica's "Post-auction sale" section. Until 10 December, all unsold lots from this auction may be purchased for their catalogue price, plus a buyer's premium. As always, please see for further details and the respective catalogues. It is well worth taking a look.

However, Hermann Historica will not be resting on its laurels. Final preparations for the imminent online auction are already in full swing. The online-only auction runs from 27 November until 1 December 2023. Add the dates to your diary today – or simply register for our newsletter, which will make sure you are kept up to date.

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Press and Communication
Bretonischer Ring 3
85630 Grasbrunn / Munich
Tel.: +49 (0) 89 - 54 72 64 9 - 0
Fax: +49 (0) 89 - 54 72 64 9 - 999



Press and Communication
Tel.: +49 (0) 89 - 54 72 64 9 - 0
Fax: +49 (0) 89 - 54 72 64 9 - 999

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