By Dr. Ursula Kampmann - CoinsWeekly.com .......
With over 1200 coins in tow, Künker auction house will be making its way to the 42nd World Money Fair in Berlin. Packed away in their luggage will be rarities from Germany, Europe and overseas, as well as specialties from Pomerania and Russia. There are three catalogues for the auctions being held on January 31, 2013 at the Estrel Convention Center, with overall final prices expected to reach four and a half million EUR. Collections should prove to be of particular appeal once again, as the majority of the material in catalogue 223 comes from the Friedrich Popken Collection. Prof. Helmut Hahn compiled the coins of the Dukes of Pomerania featured in catalogue 224. If you’d prefer to shift your focus to what are likely the most expensive coins of these upcoming auctions, look no further than catalogue 225 and its assortment of Russian coinage. But first things first.
Catalogue 223: The title of this catalogue is "Rarities from the Friedrich Popken Collection and others," and it features 609 numbers with an overall estimate of about three million EUR. Unicums abound wherever you look, even among the fractions. Take, for example, a 3 Marien groschen Cassenmünze from 1801 of the Electorate of Hannover, offered in extremely fine to FDC. You can place your bid around the 5,000 EUR mark. The silver coin has been on the market since 1909. The thaler dated "1502" is the earliest dated German thaler and comes from Hesse. This gulden groschen was minted under William II in Kassel and is estimated at 15,000 EUR. Also in this price range is a Magdeburg double thaler from 1617 and a Magdeburg double ducat from 1639, both also estimated at 15,000. They are both civic products. A thick 1638 double imperial thaler estimated at 20,000, on the other hand, dates back to the Magdeburg archbishop August of Saxe-Weißenfels. All three pieces are also just as unique and rare as the 1619 double thaler of the Stolberg count Wolfgang Georg, estimated at "just" 10,000 EUR. Wolfgang was also the name of the regent of the County of Barby, who had both an imperial thaler and a double thaler minted in 1615 that, as a result of their rarity (unicum?), both sit in the 50,000 EUR range. Carrying a slightly higher estimate of 60,000 EUR each are a decuple ducat from 1566 from Magdeburg and a gold trial strike from the dies of the 1868 quadruple kreutzer (krajczár) from Kremnica. There are only three known specimens of the Waldeck convention thaler, undated (1824), on which the die of the 1811 convention thaler has been coupled with the reverse die of the 1824 crown thaler (Estimate: 50,000 EUR). An undated imperial thaler from the Alsatian city of Weißenburg is expected to bring in 40,000 EUR, as is a quadruple ducat from 1619 of the city of Nordhausen. And just to round things off, here are another four items, all estimated at 30,000 EUR: a Bavarian ducat, undated, under Albert V (1550-1579), a double imperial thaler from 1610 of the city of Frankfurt, a 1716 quadruple ducat by Jülich-Berg from the Düsseldorf Mint on the occasion of the death of Johann Wilhelm II and, finally, an imperial thaler from 1645 of the Duke of Wurtemberg, Eberhard III.
Catalogue 224: The physician Prof. Helmut Hahn has compiled 382 "Coins of the Dukes of Pomerania." The individual estimates add up to around 730,000 EUR, but given the outstanding calibre of the material, this sum is questionable at best. To provide but one fitting example – in 1613, Duke Friedrich brought a triple imperial thaler into circulation of which one sole specimen exists, which is not in Davenport or in the Pogge Collection. It’s the Hildisch specimen and it carries an estimate of 20,000 EUR. This coin isn't alone in this price range either – the undated decuple ducat from Szczecin of Duke Franz (1618-1620, before this he was Bishop of Cammin) is also estimated at 20,000 EUR, as is the double imperial thaler from 1609 of Philip Julius. Both are most certainly unica. Also likely a unicum is the 2 1/2-fold imperial thaler from 1622 from the Köslin Mint of the funeral of the late Cammin bishop Ulrich (Estimate: 15,000 EUR). Many of the pieces in this outstanding collection are of immense historical interest. They come from the best auctions. You can learn more about their pedigrees in the catalogue and also online, at www.kuenker.de.
Catalogue 225: The day comes to a close with 222 numbers of "Russian Coins and Medals" that are expected to bring in approximately 820,000 EUR. That sizeable anticipated sum can be largely attributed to two objects in particular – a half imperial and a gold medal. Only 36 pieces were minted in St. Petersburg in 1895 of the half imperial in the value of five rubles. The showpiece (proof) is expected to bring in a very substantial 100,000 EUR, an amount that isn’t all that unlikely given previous final prices. As an example, a 1908 whole imperial of 25 rubles was recently on offer in Osnabrück (auction 222, No. 9500) for 80,000 EUR and was knocked down for an impressive 145,000 EUR. What’s more, that piece was one of a considerably higher total of 175 pieces that Czar Nicholas had minted.
The gold medal is a very special piece as well: Czarina Maria Feodorovna, born Sophia Dorothea Augusta Luisa von Württemberg, had it commissioned for her son, Czar Alexander I. The large piece (roughly 66 mm, 146 g) carries with it an expertise report from Moscow and an estimate of 80,000 EUR. Due to limited space, we’ll mention just one more thing about the Russian items: there are also over 30 numbers of paper money, with quite a few rarities.
If there's one thing to conclude from the three catalogues, it's this: Künker has certainly done a fantastic job at offering what will prove to be a fitting and spectacular prelude to the three day coin fair in Berlin.
32: WEISSENBURG. Broad double imperial thaler, undated, Dav. 5914. Engel/Lehr 17. Of immense rarity, fine patina, extremely fine. Estimate: 40,000 EUR.
211: RDR. Franz Josef I (1848-1916). Gold trial strike from the dies of the Ku.-4 Krajczár 1868. Huszar 2170 a. J. – (of 349, there in copper). Of immense rarity, extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 60,000 EUR.
233: BARBY. Wolfgang II (1586-1615). Double imperial thaler 1615 in honour of his death. Dav. 6061 (this specimen). Mehl 73. Of the utmost rarity, attractive specimen, very fine. Estimate: 50,000 EUR.
236: BAVARIA. Albert V, the Magnanimous (1550-1579). Ducat, undated Fb. 183. Hahn 50. Of great rarity, minimally bent, nearly extremely fine. Estimate: 30,000 EUR.
302: HANNOVER. George III (1760-1820). 3 Marien groschen 1801, Cassenmuenze. Stutzmann BST 453. Welter 2848. Presumed unicum, extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 5,000 EUR.
428: MAGDEBURG. 10 ducats, undated (1599), on the occasion of the founding of the city by Emperor Otto I. Fb.1538 ("very rare"). v. Schr. 954. Of immense rarity, extremely fine. Estimate: 60,000 EUR.
454: NORDHAUSEN. 4 ducats 1619, Gold trial strike from the stamps of the 1/2 thaler. Fb. 1791. Lejeune 33. Of immense rarity, tiny flan defect, extremely fine. Estimate: 40,000 EUR.
594: WALDECK. George Henry, 1813-1845. Convention thaler, undated (die combination 1811/1824). Dav. 923/925. Only three pieces minted, showpiece, fine patina, nearly FDC. Estimate: 50,000 EUR.
1133: POMERANIA. Franz (1618-1620, from 1602 to 1618, Bishop of Cammin). 10 ducats, undated, Hildisch 112 (this specimen). Pogge Collection 978 (this specimen). Unicum from the collection of the Duke of Croy, solder mark, very fine. Estimate: 20,000 EUR.
1176: POMERANIA. Philip Julius (1592-1625). Double imperial thaler 1609. Dav. –. Hildisch –. Pogge Collection– Unicum, fine patina, extremely fine. Estimate: 20,000 EUR.
1271: CAMMIN. Ulrich (1589-1622). 2 1/2-fold imperial thaler 1622 in honour of his funeral. Hildisch 270. Presumed unicum, fine patina, good very fine. Estimate: 15,000 EUR.
1621: RUSSIA. Alexander I (1801-1825). Gold medal 1814, commissioned by Czarina Maria Feodorovna for Alexander I Diakov 374.1 (R5). Klein/Raff 64.1. Of immense rarity, tiny scratch, extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 80,000 EUR.
1684: RUSSIA. Nicholas II (1894-1917). 5 rubles (1/2 imperial) 1895. Bitkin 320 (R3). Only 36 pieces minted, showpiece, proof. Estimate: 100,000 EUR.