From 23 April to 4 May 2012 this year's spring auction of the Hermann Historica oHG
will take place, as usual with a wide range of high-quality offerings. Approximately 6800 lots from all areas of the auction house antiquities, arms and armour, arts and crafts, hunting collectibles, orders as well as collectibles from history and military history will be offered for bidding.
Once again, rare and exceptional objects, thematically diversified and of high quality, are put up for auction in the antiquities catalogue. For instance, a set of silver phalerae from a magnificent bridle that can be subscribed to the northern Black Sea region and dates from the 4th/3rd century BC. The decorative ornamental discs with elaborate relief and made from sheet silver give striking proof of the artistry of early Thracian-Skythian craftsmanship with precious metal. A female deity, lions as well as gryphons are depicted on the plates deriving from a Munich private collection. At least 15,000 Euros have to be spent for this beautiful object. Another piece of jewellery from another epoch and another region must catch the collectors eye as well: For 8,000 Euros the gold ring of a Roman officer from the 2nd/3rd century AD is put up for auction. The ring features a tapered shank with a rectangular panel that is decorated with the nielloed inscription LEG V MAC a fact that designates the bearer as an officer of the Legio V Macedonica, founded by Octavian and located in Moesia.
Once again this auction will offer a fine assortment of early helmets. Very impressive are, for example, an Illyrian bronze helmet from the 6th century and a finely chased iron cheek piece from the 2nd/3rd century AD. The latter is coated with embossed bronze in relief, shows an eagle motif on the front side and will find a new owner at a starting price of 8,000 Euros. For the helmet, however, at least 12,000 Euros must be spent. With its bright green patina, and the large face opening in the high extended skull, it is an exceptionally beautiful example of this type of helmet.
A remarkably expressive marble head of Silenus, also from the Roman Empire of the 2nd/3rd century, is offered for bidding. The oldest of the satyrs and son of the god Pan is depicted with a vine leaves' wreath on his head, strong features and a curly beard. It can be won for at least 9,000 Euros.
Arms and armour, arts and crafts
Traditionally, the chapter of antique arms will be opened by hunting collectibles as well as arts and crafts. The most beautiful designs are often created by nature, a fact that is proven by the impressive tusks of the narwhals again and again. The one present features the typical helical growth structure and is, at a length of 2.50 metres, an exceptionally rare exemplar - a significant tusk with its very own aesthetics that can be won for at least 9,000 Euros.
Bone that has already been worked on, in this case ivory, will be offered for bidding with a small collection of Kunstkammer objects within the thematic field mining. The Saxon carvings originate from the 17th to the early 19th century and impress by their elaborately crafted motifs of mining professions. While the ivory book shows 14 depictions of uniforms, tools and professions in high relief (introduced at 3,500 Euros), and the decoration of the box illustrates work processes (at a starting price of 2,500 Euros), the desktop decoration is crowned by a three-dimensionally carved figure of Augustus the Strong, patron of the mineworkers (starting at 2,500). Equally beautiful is another extremely sophisticated Saxon miner's axe with bone inlays and characteristic blade as well as a richly decorated shaft from the 17th century. The axe with four cartouches on both sides depicting mining scenes and the motto good luck can be purchased for at least 3,800 Euros.
A very interesting object concerning cultural history and of museum quality is offered with lot number 1449. This magnificent Balkan flask with reliefs on the body can be attributed to the time of circa 1500. Made from a leaded tin alloy, the flat flask features a depiction of Saint George as well as rich tendril decorations with stylised dragons' heads on the handles. Apart from those undoubtedly Christian motifs, a distinct influence of the Ottoman cultural region can be identified due to the design. This rarity has its price, at least 15,000 Euros have to be spent for this flask, comparandums of which are documented in museums.
The edged weapons offered for bidding range in the time of their origin from the High Middle Ages to the 18th century. An unusually long, i.e. 1.135 metres, and striking medieval sword from the twelfth century impresses by high-quality decorations and two-line majuscule inscriptions in gold and silver. It will be introduced at 4,500 Euros. At least 8,500 Euros will have to be spent for an Italian falchion with a pommel shaped like a bird's head and remnants of the fire-gilding on the hilt, from circa 1560. For this high-quality weapon in untouched original condition the provenance of the Boissonnas Collection is proven. Of a more recent date, but just as interesting are two edged weapons from the 18th century. A chiselled and gilt French small-sword from circa 1760 convinces by its sophisticated workmanship as well as by its beautiful condition. It can be purchased for at least 3,600 Euros. With princely provenance and in equally beautiful untouched condition, a silver-mounted hunting hanger from the possessions of a Count of Erbach will be offered for bidding. Finely decorated with tendril ornaments, motto, coat of arms and princely hat, this South German weapon from 1730 will be introduced at 3,500 Euros.
High-quality helmets such as an Italian morion from 1600 that can be won for at least 5,000 Euros, as well as objects of extreme rarity such as a bone-inlaid, sensationally crafted hunting and sporting crossbow from the workshop of Johann Gottfried Hänisch in Dresden, first quarter of the 18th century, with a minimum price of 12,500 Euros, top off the assortment in this chapter.
Orient and Asia
As convincing as usual regarding quality and variety is the offered lots from the Ottoman Empire, from India as well as from Japan and China. A fascinating example of Japanese blade smithery is the tachi blade in shirasaya by master Naotane Takei (1777 1857), who worked in the province of Musashi. He is considered to be one of the three best blacksmiths of the Shin Shinto period; his swords thus receive only the best valuations. At least 12,000 Euros have to be offered for the blade of this highly esteemed master.
A shouldered vase from China, however, stands out due to the exclusive colourfulness of the painted courtly scenes. Crafted circa 1700 during the late Ming Dynasty or the early Qing Dynasty, this vase in heavy Wucai export ware was supplemented with a gilt bronze mounting during the 19th century, and is now estimated at 5,000 Euros.
For years now the increasing interest in magnificent oriental weapons has remained unbroken. This spring, among other things, two precious daggers can be presented to the expert audience, such as a gold-inlaid kard set with diamonds and gems from the 19th century with an estimate of 5,000 Euros, whereas a Persian dagger of the same type, also gold-inlaid and with grip panels made from walrus ivory, originates from circa 1800, is introduced at 3,500 Euros. Equally beautiful and also from this geographic region: a set of Persian coin scales from the Qajar period during the 19th century. The wooden casket painted with flower cartouches contains two iron coin scales of different sizes. At least 3,800 Euros will have to be paid for this collectors item.
Historical and Military Historical Collectibles
Once again, the chapter of militaria contains the most exceptional items. The demand for memorabilia from the Bavarian royal house has remained unwavering, and the presentation brooch of King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845 1886) can be seen as an outright sensation which now will be offered for sale. The blue medallion features a golden mirror monogram and is set with approximately 60 diamond roses. Considering the period, it was an extremely expensive present that was only given to the kings closest personal confidants. This exclusive piece will be offered for bidding at 10,000 Euros.
Prussia, however, is particularly well represented in terms of uniforms, an example of which is the complete, very colourful estate of uniforms of a Gefreiter (private) of the 3rd Squadron of the Leibhusaren-Regiment. The extremely rare matching group of uniforms with an impressive red attila can be won for at least 8,000 Euros. Even rarer are the objects originating from the personal possessions of Prince Henry of Prussia (1862 1929), the brother of Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859 1941). The auction of the white cap for naval officers and the jacket as grand admiral, from the personal uniform ensemble of the admired naval officer and member of the imperial family, will begin at 12,000.
A piece of evidence of a closely related German-French historical detail is put up for auction with the sabre of honour manufactured in the Alsatian Klingenthal and dating from the end of the 18th century. Until the end of the 1730s France had no own production of edged weapons and until then obtained them mainly from Solingen. With the establishment of the respective industry, craftsmen from Solingen had massively been recruited for the development of the new workshops. The present weapon of honour with finely etched and gilt blade from the final phase of the French Revolution or the early years of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 1821) is offered for bidding at 15,000 Euros.
Among the numerous orders and decorations offered, one especially rare and accordingly valuable Russian Order of St. George from the mid-19th century stands out. This rare enamelled piece is up for sale for 15,000 Euros. An Order of St. Anne, awarded for bravery, is applied on an officers shashka M 1909. The blade of the Russian sabre is decorated with the etched tsar's cipher, a floral cartouche as well as the Russian double-headed eagle and is estimated at 5,500 Euros.
Fine antique and modern firearms
This spring the assortment of high-quality antique firearms is once again very exclusive, ranging from a rare marked Augsburg wheellock carbine, crafted circa 1560/70, up for sale for 10,000 Euros; to a Cieszyn wheellock rifle from 1650 decorated with lavish mother-of-pearl and bone inlays and estimated at 15,000 Euros; to a cased pair of finely manufactured French percussion pistols from Bethune, circa 1860, with florally engraved locks and complete accessories, introduced at 4,000 Euros.
All prices are net prices and are to be understood plus 23 percent surcharge. The pre-sale viewing will take place from 16 to 22 April and from 30 April to 1 May 2012 on the premises of the Hermann Historica oHG.