Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG
Auctions 210 to 215 on June 18-22, 2012 in Osnabrück
A house collection of the higher nobility, two attractive partial collections, half a dozen catalogs, almost 7,000 lots, a total estimate of more than seven and a half million euros – evidently, the biggest summer auction of the year is due on June 18-22, 2012. The house collection of the dukes of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich is a prominent offer of this week in June. Equally interesting is the conclusion of what the auction house Künker had started with the sale in December 2011: part two of the Ottoman Coins. The Vogel Collection is absolutely without parallel: it offers nearly all German gold coins from the period between 1806 and 1871 at once. Further focal points are Russia and orders, which round out the numismatic range in Osnabrück. The estimates’ range is quite broad, reaching from two- to five-figure sums, from 20 Euros to 75,000.
The auction week doesn’t start with lot number 1 but 909: shortly before the festive season, Künker had sold the Ottoman Coins covering numbers 1 to 908. The subsequent catalog 210 now contains 1,061 lots with a total estimate adding up to roughly 300,000 euros. By the way, the collection will be liquidated in cooperation with the company Numisart – Roland Michel. The estimates range between 25 euros, such as for a fals from 1734 (1112 H.) from Tunis, to 5,000 euros for a 5 ashrafi piece 1737 (1115 H.) from Istanbul. Half that sum, i.e. 2,500 euros, is estimated for a 5 altin piece 1143 H. (1765), likewise from Istanbul. This gold coin is about extremely fine. In this collection quality and rarity are major factors. Probably a unique specimen is the copper coin of 5 asper from 1873 (1251 H.) with a blessing of three lines (estimate: 200 euros).
Almost 1,700 Coins and Medals from Medieval to Modern Times make up catalog 211. The estimates add up to 1.3 million euros. The big hit comes from China – or, rather, from Esslingen. It is a mixed lot, estimated at 50,000 euros, containing 42 Chinese dies and 36 punches for Chinese letters, produced in the late 19th century by the Esslingen Company Otto Beh. The company has left the minting tools now to be auctioned off, thereby offering a unique collection to the numismatic world.
You can also enter the catalog at a lower rate. Wilbrand von Käfernburg (1235-1254), Archbishop of Magdeburg, for example, brings in his bracteates for 40 to 75 euros. The inscription MOGONTIA will make not only collectors of Mainz sit up and take notice: Charlemagne has entered a denarius of his minting period after 794, for estimated 4,000 euros. The following pfennig of his son Louis (the Pious, 814-840) has the same statement of place and the same estimate.
The Patriarchate of Aquileia is represented by the Richard A. Jourdan Collection, interesting coins from the 12th to the 15th centuries. The subsequent centuries are full of outstanding items, too. Here we can only refer to some cases in point (these and more you can view on the internet at www.kuenker.de). A rare reichstaler 1642 of the Great Elector Frederick William from Königsberg is available for 7,500 euros. A reichstaler 1623 from the Guelphic mint at Moisburg (Principality of Harburg) is estimated at 500 euros, as is a 1/4 taler (eight schillings) 1668 from Hamburg. In Grevesmühlen – we have arrived at Mecklenburg-Güstrow –, a 1/2 taler had been produced in 1576, which is almost certain to be the only specimen on the market (1,500 euros). Apart from the German territories the Holy Roman Empire is present, accompanied by everything that was part of the Austrian Empire once, plus virtually the entire world, from the Baltic States to Vietnam.
The House Collection of the Dukes of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich in catalog 212 contains more than 300 lots whose total estimates come close to the threshold of 200,000 euros. Individual estimates begin with four zeros less, so for a 1/2 batzen 1588 or 1591 for 20 euros each. At the other end of the scale, the estimates rise to 5,000 Euro each: goldgulden 1601 and 1615, kippertaler of 4 gulden 1622, reichstaler 1623, ducat 1761. An equally rare as gorgeous reichstaler 1623/1625 (hybrid!) of the two counts Wilhelm zu Greifenstein and Reinhard von Hungen from Nidda is even estimated at 6,000 euros. The counts and (since 1792) princes had their mint Lich and at less known locations, too, like Hungen, Södel or Niederweisel. The territory of this Hesse noble family is located in the Giessen area, on both banks of the Lahn, and belonged to the Upper Rhenish Circle. For this important house collection Künker has created a magnificent catalog with much historical background information and many pictures that is of value as a brochure on history as well as a reference work. The catalog tells a few things about the history of the collection namely Prince Karl of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich (1866-1920) had rendered outstanding services to. Künker catalog 212 is already considered a supplement to the standard reference written by Paul Joseph, “Die Münzen und Medaillen des fürstlichen und gräflichen Hauses Solms”, published in 1912.
In the middle of the week, the auction progresses with part two of the Vogel Collection. In regard to numbers, catalog 213 is a crackerjack, to put it crudely. After all, it comprises almost 1,900 lots with a total estimate of more than 3.6 million euros. Meet the highlight of the entire sale with lot 5053: a ducat 1803 of Prussian King Frederick William III made of the gold from the Fürstenzeche mine near the Upper Franconian town of Goldkronach. This is the second known specimen, yet the only one available on the market, estimated at 75,000 euros. Well, we’ll see. Likewise under surveillance is the very rare gold pattern of 20 ducats made of the dies of the konventionstaler 1806 of Maximilian I Joseph, King of Bavaria, and the 40 franken piece 1813 of Napoleon’s younger brother whom he appointed king in Westphalia. Both gold coins come with estimates of 30,000 euros. The catalog offers further heavy weights: 10 mark 1873 Mecklenburg-Strelitz (30,000 euros), 20 mark 1875 Reuss elder line (35,000 euros), 20 mark 1872 Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (50,000 euros), 3 mark 1917 Saxony, Frederick the Wise (60,000 euros).
Catalog 214 contains two subjects: Minted Gold from Medieval and Modern Times as well as Russian Coins and Medals. The first part comprises roughly 750 lots with a total estimate of 1.3 million euros, part two more than 350 numbers for estimated 580,000 euros. You can enter the bidding for gold with 100 euros. At least this is the sum the estimates start with, as for an extremely fine US dollar 1851. At the upper end of the scale you’ll find the 10 ducat piece of Leopold I, weighing 34.67 grams, minted in Kremnitz and estimated at 35,000 euros. 15,000 euros – that is the pre-sale estimate of the Brazilian coin 1732 of 12,800 reis, which is listed under Martinque due to a French countermark – as unedited unique specimen. There are only a few examples known to exist of a 7 grams heavy double ducat n. d. of the regent of Kassel, Charles (1670-1730), hence the estimate: 12,500 euros. In 1655, that is five years after he was appointed count, Christian of Rantzau had a ducat minted for which 7,500 euros are estimated. Two coins from Hamburg carry a pre-sale price tag of 25,000 euros each: a 1/4 portugalöser of 2 1/2 ducats n. d. (1578) and 10 ducat piece, likewise without date, from around 1645. And there is much more to come in this price category. Part two of catalog 214 contains a rouble 1757 of Russian Tsarina Elizabeth which tops this series with 50,000 euros. The reasons are: nice portrait, splendid specimen, very rare, patina. Her portrait was created by the Swiss medallist Jean Dassier (1676-1763). Half that sum is expected for the so-called ‘mourning rouble’ 1725 of Tsarina Catherine. 20,000 euros – that is the estimate of a gold medal of 30 ducats 1883 of Alexander III. The examples confirm that Russia is and continues to be an interesting collecting field.
The Osnabrück auction diary repeatedly serves the collector of Orders and Medals, too, this time with catalog 215. The estimates of the 761 lots add up to 370,000 euros. It is possible to enter the bidding at quite low a sum: to take but one case a point, statutes of the Friedrich Order of the Kingdom of Württemberg from 1856, complete with supplements, are offered for 25 euros. Naturally, higher sums are possible, too: 35,000 euros – that is the estimate of a set of orders of the Imperial Order of St. Alexander Nevsky (3rd class, 1858-1917). Everything else can be found in between, such as a golden miniature of the Prussian Order of the Red Order (3rd class, 1830-1854) for 200 euros or the “Order of Fidelity” of the Duchy of Baden, listed as “RRRR”. 10,000 euros are expected for these precious items.