The rare coin market in Europe, much like the American coin market, is experiencing strong sales in 2014. The Künker Berlin Rare Coin Auction, held at the Berlin Estrel Hotel of February 6, was filled to capacity, and for some standing-room-only with buyers eager to bid on the 335 lots offered in Künker’s Sale Catalog #244. The total take from the one day auction was 7.4 million euros. The auction’s primary focus was on German and Russian coins, but many significant European and world coins were also up for bidding.
German highlights from the auction included an extremely rare John of Küstrin Brandenburg thaler, minted in Krossen in 1545. Pre-auction estimates had the coin bringing 40,000 euros. The coin realized 55,000.
An Archbishopric of Bremen double thaler from 1562 smashed its 8,000 Euro pre-auction estimate, realizing 40,000 euros. A rare ½ Hamburg 5 ducat portugalöser, minted between 1668-1673, brought an astonishing 70,000 Euros plus buyer’s premium.
The most expensive German offering was a Albrecht of Wallenstein ½ reichsthalerklippe, minted in Sagan in 1630. The well-struck and meticulously-struck piece was expected to bring 20,000 euros, but smashed all expectations, bringing a final hammer price of 130,000.
Among the auction’s 129 Russian lots were several notable rarities. An extremely rare test strike an 1801 Tsar Alexander I ruble from the St. Petersburg Mint (slightly cleaned, VF) realized 100,000 euros. A platinum Nicholas I 12 ruble piece, of which only 53 were struck in 1837, also realized 100,000 euros. A rare 60 ducat gold medal commemorating the death of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna in 1828 sold for 180,000 euros. Other major Russian pieces selling for over 100,000 euros was a 37 ½ Nicholas II ruble piece and an 1829 50 ducats commemorating the Treaty of Adrianople.
While the German and Russian offerings were the auction’s major focus, a number of European and world coins also draw significant interest. A triple ducat of Leopold I, minted in Klausenburg, Transylvania in 1698, brought 32,000 euros. An about extremely fine 100 drachmae piece of George 1 from 1876- one of only 76 known specimens-brought 55,000 euros (15,000 over pre-auction estimates).
An Antonio Teodoro Trivulzio 10 zecchini piece, an extremely rare Italian coin sold for 115,000 euros.