Künker, D-Berlin

31. January 2019

Auctions 316

1839 Russian Platinum Set Sells for 750,000 euros

“1000 rarities from all over the world” was the title of Künker’s Berlin-Auction 2019. And the rare coins and medals offered did in fact sell for spectacular prices. The combined hammer price climbed to 9.5 million euros (pre-sale estimate: 6.5 million euros), which equates to, including the buyer’s premium, more than 13 million dollars (!).
Along with remarkable hammer prices for individual pieces, the special collections of Hamburg and the Schwarzenberg dynasty also contributed to the incredible result. And even the cameramen present at the auction applauded when the Russian set of rare platinum rubles from 1839, which were once part of the Great Prince Mikhailovic Collection, changed hands at an impressive 750,000 euros.

No. 378: Saxony. Frederick III the Wise, George and John, 1500-1507. Thick triple guldengroschen n.d., Annaberg. Likely the only known specimen available. Miniscule collector’s mark on the edge, small pierced mark and small graffiti. Very fine to FDC. Estimate: 75,000 euros. Price realized: 130,000 euros.No. 378: Saxony. Frederick III the Wise, George and John, 1500-1507. Thick triple guldengroschen n.d., Annaberg. Likely the only known specimen available. Miniscule collector’s mark on the edge, small pierced mark and small graffiti. Very fine to FDC. Estimate: 75,000 euros. Price realized: 130,000 euros.

No. 378: Saxony. Frederick III the Wise, George and John, 1500-1507. Thick triple guldengroschen n.d., Annaberg. Likely the only known specimen available. Miniscule collector’s mark on the edge, small pierced mark and small graffiti. Very fine to FDC. Estimate: 75,000 euros. Price realized: 130,000 euros.

Germany

Practically every single Künker auction proves how many enthusiastic collectors of Saxon coins and medals there are. The most spectacular example from Auction 316 was a thick triple gulden groschen of Frederick III the Wise with George and John, struck in Annaberg between 1500 and 1507. The piece, which is probably the only one on the market and was first sold by Adolf Hess in Frankfurt in 1903, had been estimated at 75,000 euros and ended up being sold at a hammer price of 130,000 euros.
About a century later, a thick double reichstaler was made in Saxony, which John Philipp, Frederick, John William and Frederick William II had struck in Saalfeld in 1624. Its price climbed from 25,000 euros to 46,000 euros.
Yet another multiple taler, one from the bishopric of Osnabrück, is also worth being highlighted. It is a very fine thick double reichstaler of Franz William von Wartenberg, struck in Münster around 1637, which changed hands at 85,000 euros (estimate: 50,000 euros).

No. 120: Frankfurt. 3 ducats 1658 in celebration of the coronation of Leopold I as Roman emperor in Frankfurt. Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 7,500 euros. Price realized: 24,000 euros.No. 120: Frankfurt. 3 ducats 1658 in celebration of the coronation of Leopold I as Roman emperor in Frankfurt. Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 7,500 euros. Price realized: 24,000 euros.

No. 120: Frankfurt. 3 ducats 1658 in celebration of the coronation of Leopold I as Roman emperor in Frankfurt. Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 7,500 euros. Price realized: 24,000 euros.

An impressive batch of coins of Frankfurt in unusually good quality attracted the attention of many experts – which resulted in an intense bidding war. An extremely rare and extremely fine reichstaler from 1610 sold for 30,000 euros instead of 20,000 euros. A perfect 3 ducat piece struck in celebration of the coronation of emperor Leopold I in 1658 went under the hammer at 24,000 euros (estimate: 7,500 euros).
A ducat, struck on behalf of Franz Hugo of Königsegg-Rothenfels and his brothers in Vienna in 1756, looked relatively inconspicuous (estimate: 10,000 euros). However, its hammer price was anything but unremarkable. The bidder, who won this lot, was willing to pay a total of 24,000 euros for it.

No. 131: Hamburg. Portugalöser worth 10 ducats n.d. (ca. 1645). From Vogel Collection part 3, Adolph Hess Nachf. Auction 192, Frankfurt 1928, no. 7681. Very rare. FDC. Estimate: 50,000 euros. Price realized: 180,000 euros.No. 131: Hamburg. Portugalöser worth 10 ducats n.d. (ca. 1645). From Vogel Collection part 3, Adolph Hess Nachf. Auction 192, Frankfurt 1928, no. 7681. Very rare. FDC. Estimate: 50,000 euros. Price realized: 180,000 euros.

No. 131: Hamburg. Portugalöser worth 10 ducats n.d. (ca. 1645). From Vogel Collection part 3, Adolph Hess Nachf. Auction 192, Frankfurt 1928, no. 7681. Very rare. FDC. Estimate: 50,000 euros. Price realized: 180,000 euros.

Gold multiples from Hamburg

As experts had expected, the Dr. Gerd Weiland Collection of coins from Hamburg and the bankportugalöser, which are extremely interesting in terms of monetary history, became one of the highlights of this auction. Its 157 lots had been estimated at over 500,000 euros before the auction. The combined hammer price for all of them added up to 1,000,0000 euros.
The portugalöser, which was created by mint master Matthias Freude around 1645, sold for a remarkable 180,000 euros. In the style of the coins of the city, it features the Madonna as Queen of Heaven on a crescent moon with the Holy Child. The stylistically very convincing piece reveals the smallest details due to its perfect grade, which proves the artisanship of the engraver.

No. 223: Hamburg. Bankportugalöser worth 10 ducats 1665. Very fine. Almost FDC. Estimate: 20,000 euros. Price realized: 60,000 euros.No. 223: Hamburg. Bankportugalöser worth 10 ducats 1665. Very fine. Almost FDC. Estimate: 20,000 euros. Price realized: 60,000 euros.

No. 223: Hamburg. Bankportugalöser worth 10 ducats 1665. Very fine. Almost FDC. Estimate: 20,000 euros. Price realized: 60,000 euros.

The same goes for a bankportugalöser from 1665, which features a view of Hamburg on its obverse including an abundance of big and small ships, just as they enlivened the port of Hamburg back in the day. The hammer price of the gold multiple in almost FDC quality was 60,000 euros, the triple of its pre-sale estimate of 20,000 euros.
Iconographically impressive images, which do not put the city in the foreground, also managed to enthrall customers. A 1677 bankportuglöser, which represents Hamburg’s wealth and the correspondingly necessary cardinal virtues, sold for four times its estimate of 15,000 euros at 60,000 euros.

No. 496: German Empire. Prussia. William II, 1888-1918. 10 marks 1889 A. Very rare. Almost FDC. Estimate: 7,500 euros. Price realized: 15,500 euros.No. 496: German Empire. Prussia. William II, 1888-1918. 10 marks 1889 A. Very rare. Almost FDC. Estimate: 7,500 euros. Price realized: 15,500 euros.

No. 496: German Empire. Prussia. William II, 1888-1918. 10 marks 1889 A. Very rare. Almost FDC. Estimate: 7,500 euros. Price realized: 15,500 euros.

Selected reichsgold

We have all long been aware of the fact that reichsgold coins of perfect grade can realize top prices. And so they did in Künker’s Berlin-Auction 316. A 10 marks pieces of William II of “almost FDC” quality, struck in Berlin in 1889, had been estimated at 7,500 euros before the auction. The hammer price doubled up to 15,500 euros. 20 marks 1875 by Henry XXII of Reuss-Greitz of “extremely fine to FDC” quality climbed from 35,000 euros to 44,000 euros.

No. 561: Schwarzenberg. Johann Nepomuk von Schwarzenberg. 10 ducats 1783, Vienna. Extremely rare. Almost FDC. Estimate: 25,000 euros. Price realized: 130,000 euros.No. 561: Schwarzenberg. Johann Nepomuk von Schwarzenberg. 10 ducats 1783, Vienna. Extremely rare. Almost FDC. Estimate: 25,000 euros. Price realized: 130,000 euros.

No. 561: Schwarzenberg. Johann Nepomuk von Schwarzenberg. 10 ducats 1783, Vienna. Extremely rare. Almost FDC. Estimate: 25,000 euros. Price realized: 130,000 euros.

Schwarzenberg Special Collection

The 86 lots which made up the Schwarzenberg Special Collection were a unique ensemble of the kind that had not been seen on the market for a long time. The hammer prices gave proof of just that. Numerous pieces sold for far higher prices than their initial estimates.

No. 555: Schwarzenberg. Josef Adam, 1732-1782. 10 ducats 1741, Vienna. Extremely rare. Extremely fine: Estimate: 20,000 euros. Price realized: 97,500 euros.No. 555: Schwarzenberg. Josef Adam, 1732-1782. 10 ducats 1741, Vienna. Extremely rare. Extremely fine: Estimate: 20,000 euros. Price realized: 97,500 euros.

No. 555: Schwarzenberg. Josef Adam, 1732-1782. 10 ducats 1741, Vienna. Extremely rare. Extremely fine: Estimate: 20,000 euros. Price realized: 97,500 euros.

For example, the 10 ducat of Adam Franz, struck in Vienna in 1721, sold for 95,000 euros (estimate: 20,000 euros), the 10 ducat of Josef Adam from 1741 even sold for 97,500 euros (estimate: 20,000 euros). The most expensive piece of this collection was the 10 ducat of Johann Nepomuk from 1783. The bidding war for this piece began at 25,000 euros and did not come to an end until the impressive hammer price of 130,000 euros.

No. 704: Livonian Order. Walter von Plettenberg, 1494-1535. 10 ducats 1525. Very rare. Very fine to FDC. Estimate: 150,000 euros. Price realized: 170,000 euros.No. 704: Livonian Order. Walter von Plettenberg, 1494-1535. 10 ducats 1525. Very rare. Very fine to FDC. Estimate: 150,000 euros. Price realized: 170,000 euros.

No. 704: Livonian Order. Walter von Plettenberg, 1494-1535. 10 ducats 1525. Very rare. Very fine to FDC. Estimate: 150,000 euros. Price realized: 170,000 euros.

World coins

Which leads us to the section of world coins, which were equally well sought-after in this auction. The price for the 10 ducat of the Master of the Livonian Order Walter von Plettenberg climbed from 150,000 euros to 170,000 euros.

No. 738: England. Elizabeth I, 1558-1603. 8 testerns n.d. (1600), London (Tower mint). Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 15,000 euros. Price realized: 85,000 euros.No. 738: England. Elizabeth I, 1558-1603. 8 testerns n.d. (1600), London (Tower mint). Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 15,000 euros. Price realized: 85,000 euros.

No. 738: England. Elizabeth I, 1558-1603. 8 testerns n.d. (1600), London (Tower mint). Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 15,000 euros. Price realized: 85,000 euros.

The fact that British coins are very popular at the moment was also proven by the hammer prices in Berlin. The Portcullis coin of Queen Elizabeth I. had already been highlighted in our auction preview due to its exceptionally high grade. The already ambitious pre-sale estimate of 15,000 euros was far surpassed by the impressive hammer price of 36,000 euros.
And that was by far not the highest result from the United Kingdom. A Triple Unite of Charles I, minted in Oxford in 1643, changed hands at 60,000 euros (estimate: 50,000 euros). The highest price, namely 85,000 euros, was paid for a 5 guineas piece of Queen Anne from 1711 (estimate: 35,000 euros).

No. 831: Switzerland / Basel. 10 ducats n.d. (1691). Extremely rare. Extremely fine+. Estimate: 50,000 euros. Price realized: 220,000 euros.No. 831: Switzerland / Basel. 10 ducats n.d. (1691). Extremely rare. Extremely fine+. Estimate: 50,000 euros. Price realized: 220,000 euros.

No. 831: Switzerland / Basel. 10 ducats n.d. (1691). Extremely rare. Extremely fine+. Estimate: 50,000 euros. Price realized: 220,000 euros.

The 10 ducat from the Swiss city of Basel featuring a clucking hen went under the hammer at an incredible 220,000 euros (estimate: 50,000 euros). This piece was the most expensive individual item sold in this auction.

No. 869: Australia. Victoria, 1837-1901. Sovereign 1855, London. Trial piece. Probably only three privately-owned specimens. Proof. Estimate: 125,000 euros. Price realized: 140,000 euros.No. 869: Australia. Victoria, 1837-1901. Sovereign 1855, London. Trial piece. Probably only three privately-owned specimens. Proof. Estimate: 125,000 euros. Price realized: 140,000 euros.

No. 869: Australia. Victoria, 1837-1901. Sovereign 1855, London. Trial piece. Probably only three privately-owned specimens. Proof. Estimate: 125,000 euros. Price realized: 140,000 euros.

A British trial piece, made by the London Mint to prepare the coinage of Australian sovereigns, sold for 140,000 euros after having been estimated at 125,000 euros.

No. 982-984: Russia. Nicolas I, 1825-1855. Set of 12 / 6 / 3 platinum rubles 1839, St. Petersburg. From the Hutten-Czapski and Great Prince George Mikhailovich Collections. Extremely rare. Grading NGC (photo-certificate) PF 64 CAMEO. Proof. Estimate: 250,000 euros. Price realized: 750,000 euros.No. 982-984: Russia. Nicolas I, 1825-1855. Set of 12 / 6 / 3 platinum rubles 1839, St. Petersburg. From the Hutten-Czapski and Great Prince George Mikhailovich Collections. Extremely rare. Grading NGC (photo-certificate) PF 64 CAMEO. Proof. Estimate: 250,000 euros. Price realized: 750,000 euros.

No. 982-984: Russia. Nicolas I, 1825-1855. Set of 12 / 6 / 3 platinum rubles 1839, St. Petersburg. From the Hutten-Czapski and Great Prince George Mikhailovich Collections. Extremely rare. Grading NGC (photo-certificate) PF 64 CAMEO. Proof. Estimate: 250,000 euros. Price realized: 750,000 euros.

The Russian platinum set from 1839

Let us conclude this review with the one result everyone had been eagerly waiting for. As desired by potential customers, Künker decided to not sell the three platinum coins from the 1839 set individually, but to instead offer them as a whole so as to keep together the historic ensemble that once belonged to the Grand Prince George Mikhailovich Romanov (1863-1919) and Duke Emmerich Hutten-Czapski (1828-1896). The customer who won this bid paid 750,000 euros for the three pieces! An incredible price that resulted in a long round of applause from everyone in the auction hall.

You can view all of the results online at www.kuenker.de. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at Künker, Nobbenburger Str. 4a, 49 076 Osnabrück; phone: +49 (0) 541 / 96 20 20; fax: +40 (0) 541 / 96 20 222; or via e-mail.

On the Künker website you can find the complete auction catalogue with all results.

← back

Subscribe to our newsletter now

Get the latest news from the world of numismatics promptly delivered once a week by email.