From Taler to Mark and Beyond - Künker Announces Four Important Auctions in June
In June, Künker will hold four auction sales. This preview is dedicated to the public auctions 387-388 from 20 to 22 June. Among other things, auction 387 includes Swedish rarities from the Ekström Collection, another part of the Popken Collection with lösers as well as a small series on Mecklenburg. Auction 388 covers German coins from 1800 to 1918.
From 20 to 24 June 2023, Künker will hold their extensive Summer Auction Sales. In this preview, we will exclusively deal with the two public auction sales that take place from 20 to 22 June in Osnabrück. The two eLive Premium Auctions will be presented in a separate preview.
Auction 387 starts with Swedish rarities from the Gunnar Ekström Collection, the most important private collection of Swedish coins and medals that has been compiled to date. This is followed by world issues with a focal point on the German States, including numerous high-caliber pieces. Moreover, auction 387 presents another part of the Friedrich Popken Collection with selected lösers and a small series with Mecklenburg issues.
Auction 388 contains German coins from a North German private collection, which were minted between 1800 and 1918 and are of outstanding quality. The offer includes all rarities and, of course, the popular Frederick the Wise issue.
Rarities from the Gunnar Ekström Collection
Gunnar Ekström is a key figure of Swedish numismatics. Over several decades of active collecting, he compiled what is the most important private collection of Swedish coins and medals to date. His wife decided to sell the collection and use the proceeds to set up a foundation, which has had a profound impact on Swedish numismatics ever since. For example, it funds the professorial chair for Numismatics and Monetary History of the University of Stockholm as well as the numismatic research team that revolutionized what we know about Viking-age and other medieval finds of Northern Europe. Leading numismatists such as Britta Malmer, Kenneth Jonsson and Jens Christian Moesgaard were able to pursue their research thanks to the Gunnar Ekström Foundation. The example of this collector clearly demonstrates that a single individual certainly has the power to positively influence the development of the research landscape.
The series of issues from the Gunnar Ekström Collection offered at Künker is from the possession of the Ekström Foundation, which had displayed it in a showcase at the former museum for Economic and Monetary History in Stockholm. Since the museum closed down and there is no space for this showcase in the new location of the Royal Coin Cabinet, the foundation board decided to offer the previously withheld rarities of the collection on the market to increase the foundation’s financial means. You can look forward to extremely rare coins and medals, including pieces that the Swedish King Gustav III himself gave as a present to his cousin Peter Frederick Louis, the later Duke of Oldenburg!
No. 12: Sweden / Pomerania. Charles X Gustav, 1654-1660. 2 ducats 1658, Stettin. From the Gunnar Ekström Collection, part 8, Ahlström auction 35 (1987), No. 161. Very rare. Very fine +. Estimate: 10,000 euros
No. 15: Sweden / Pomerania. Charles XI, 1660-1697. 1675 Reichstaler, Stettin. From the Gunnar Ekström Collection, part 8, Ahlström auction 35 (1987), No. 225 and Carl Pogge Coll., L. & L. Hamburger auction 36 (1903), No. 1186. Extremely rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 15,000 euros
No. 19: Gustav III, 1771-1792. Gold medal of 27 ducats 1761, celebrating his 16th birthday, by Gustav Ljungberger. From the Gunnar Ekström Collection, part 8, Ahlström auction 35 (1987), No. 495 and the Grand Duke Frederick Augustus of Oldenburg Collection, Riechmann & Co. auction 26 (1924), No. 50. Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 20,000 euros
Coins and medals from all continents, minted between the Middle Ages and the recent past can be found in auction 387. No matter what field you are interested in: do not miss out on taking a close look at this catalog. It contains interesting objects from almost all numismatic fields. We will limit this preview to a few highlights that serve to illustrate the high standard of the offered issues. But do not be fooled! There are also numerous lots with three-figure estimates on offer. You see, there truly is something for everyone.
Let us start with the chapter for fans of coins from Great Britain. Here we have an extremely rare pattern of the 2-guineas piece from 1777. It features the portrait of George III on the obverse and was graded PF63 CAMEO by NGC, a rarity par excellence that testifies to the British mint’s fruitless efforts of creating a multiple gold coin for circulation. The much-later minted and significantly more popular “Una and the Lion” issue served the same purpose. This pattern dates to 1839, i.e., to the beginning of the reign of young Queen Victoria. Künker is able to offer a specimen of this famous coin type graded PF61 CAMEO.
Another, truly spectacular piece – for both friends of Russian numismatics as well as lovers of Prussian issues – is a perfectly preserved gold medal of which probably only this very piece exists in private possession. It is reminiscent of the treaty concluded by Prussia, Russia and Sweden in 1762. At the beginning of the year, the death of Elizabeth I had led to the accession to the Tsar’s throne of the Prussian admirer Peter III. Through a surprising change of alliances, he ensured the survival of the Prussian kingdom. This is commemorated by this medal. Legend has it that the Jewish Enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelssohn came up with the idea for the design. However, this caused Peter to lose many sympathies at home, especially among the Russian military. Therefore, military officials did not hesitate to support Peter’s wife Catherine. Catherine, for her part, feared that Peter might divorce her due to her infidelity, among other things. Therefore, she and her lover launched an intrigue that had a lasting impact on Russian history. What would have happened if Peter III had actually managed to liberate the serfs like he planned? Would there have even been a Russian Revolution at all? We will never know. The medal offered at Künker is a captivating testimony to a crucial turning point in history.
This catalog also offers numerous examples of Habsburg multiple gold issues. At least as exciting is the small series of medals – or, as the Dutch say, “Historie-Penninge”. Our example is a crowded medal on the Peace of Breda in 1667.
Let us round off this section with another medal that refers to a historical turning point. From the Princely Fürstenberg Coin Cabinet in Donaueschingen, Künker offers a contemporary silver medal commemorating the defeat of Mohacs and the death of the Hungarian King Louis II in 1526. The latter’s death cleared the way for the Habsburgs to take power.
No. 42: Belgium. Charles II of Spain, 1665-1700. 8 souverains d’or (ducaton d’or), 1694, Bruges. From the Caballero de las Indias Collection, part 2, Aureo & Calico auction 218 (2009), No. 950. Only 639 specimens minted. Extremely fine. Estimate: 60,000 euros
No. 123: Great Britain. George III, 1760-1820. Pattern of 2 guineas 1777, London. From the J. Halliburton Young Collection, Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge auction (1881), No. 446. Extremely rare. NGC PF63 CAMEO. Proof, minimally touched. Estimate: 100,000 euros
No. 127: Great Britain. Victoria, 1837-1901. 5 pounds 1839, London, “Una and the lion”. Very rare. NGC PF61 CAMEO. Proof, minimally touched. Estimate: 100,000 euros
No. 182: Russia. Peter III, 1762. 1762 gold medal commemorating the Treaty of Hamburg concluded by Prussia, Russia and Sweden. Probably the only specimen in private possession. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 100,000 euros
No. 293: Holy Roman Empire. Ferdinand II, 1592-1618-1637. 10 ducats 1632, St Veit. From the Kroisos Collection, Stack’s auction (2010), No. 483. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 125,000 euros
No. 294: Holy Roman Empire. Tyrol. Archduke Leopold V, 1619-1632. 8 ducats n.d. (1626), Hall, commemorating his wedding to Claudia the Medici. From the Rudolf Scherer Collection (1912). NGC AU55 (Top Pop). Extremely rare. About extremely fine. Estimate: 100,000 euros
No. 295: Holy Roman Empire. Leopold I, 1657–1705. 10 ducats 1675, Kremnica. From Künker auction 214 (2012), No. 7520. Very rare. With incised face value “10”. About extremely fine. Estimate: 150,000 euros
No. 681: Netherlands / Breda. Silver medal commemorating the Peace of Breda on 31 July 1667. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 5,000 euros
No. 750: Hungary. Louis II, 1516-1526. Silver medal commemorating his death at the Battle of Mohacs in 1626. From the Princely Fürstenberg Coin Cabinet Donaueschingen, part III, Adolph E. Cahn auction 77 (1932), No. 765. Original strike. Very fine. Estimate: 12,500 euros
No. 754: China. Hsuang Tung, 1908-1911. 25 cents (1/4 dollar) n.d. (1910), Tientsin. Pattern with smooth edge. NGC PF 65 CAMEO. Extremely rare. Proof. Estimate: 75,000 euros
Coins from the German States
As always, Künker presents an extensive offer of coins and medals from the German States, including many gold and silver rarities. Within the Brunswick chapter, another part of the Friedrich Popken Collection of selected lösers will be sold. The varied designs of the coins are a delight to every connoisseur. And every coin enthusiast will find their special favorite.
In addition to numerous rarities, experts will spot a small series with Mecklenburg coinage. It includes, for example, an extremely rare pistole of 5 talers, minted on the occasion of the visit of Grand Duke Frederick Francis I to the mint of Schwerin, which was under construction at the time. To demonstrate the power of the new machines, eight gold and twenty silver specimens were struck with this die.
No. 368: Brandenburg-Prussia. Frederick II, 1740-1786. Double Friedrich d’or 1753, Cleve. From the Achim von Thielau Collection, Schulmann auction 249 (1969), No. 1167. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 50,000 euros
No. 446: Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Frederick Francis I, 1785-1837. 5 talers (pistole), 1828, commemorating the visit of the Grand Duke to the old mint of Schwerin. Only 8 specimens minted. Extremely fine. Estimate: 15,000 euros
No. 482: Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Johann Ernst VIII, 1680-1729. 2 ducats 1698, Saalfeld. The only known specimen. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 30,000 euros
No. 484: Schwarzenberg. Josef Adam, 1732-1782. 10 ducats 1741, Vienna. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 125,000 euros
No. 944: Brunswick. Augustus the Younger, 1635-1666. Löser of 5 reichstalers 1666, commemorating his death, Zellerfeld. From the Popken Collection. About extremely fine. Estimate: 40,000 euros
No. 958: Brunswick-Calenberg-Hanover. George William, 1648-1665. Löser of 6 reichstalers 1660, Zellerfeld. From the Popken Collection. Extremely rare. Very fine +. Estimate: 50,000 euros
No. 1096: Mecklenburg-Güstrow. Gustav Adolph, 1636-1695. Reichstaler 1668, Güstrow. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 10,000 euros
No. 1126: Osnabrück / Bishopric. Franz Wilhelm von Wartenberg, 1625-1661. Reichstaler n.d. (around 1637), Münster. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 15,000 euros
No. 1215: Wallenstein. Albrecht, 1623-1634, Duke of Friedland. Reichstaler 1629, Jitschin. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 20,000 euros
Catalog 388: From Taler to Mark
Collectors of German coins must also study catalog 388, which presents another collection of coins that were minted between 1800 and 1914. Künker dubbed this catalog “From Taler to Mark”, and the contents were compiled by a North German private collector.
The period between the turn of the century and the end of the First World War is one of the most fascinating episodes of the German past, both from the point of numismatics and history. This era saw the development of what we call the Federal Republic of Germany today. Many coins were created in the presence of the ruling prince at the time. They are a testament to the fact that rulers were highly interested in having an efficient monetary system. The credo of the economists of the time was that a German state without customs barriers be set up that had a currency that could be converted as easily as possible. They hoped that this would lead to progress following the British model. This required a shift from the self-sufficient subsistence economy of a peasant society to an industrial nation based on the division of labor. At the time, no one bothered about the collateral damage that would ensue from this progress, i.e., the destruction of livelihoods and the starving unemployed people. They also did not care about the fact that the trade war could turn into a real war at any time.
Catalog 388 contains all the testimonies to that century: konventionstalers and special issues dedicated to mint visits, diligence medals and commemorative coins. Moreover, collectors will also find those rare issues of the German Empire of which only tiny mintage figures could be created during the First World War due to a shortage in precious metal, for example the Bavarian Wedding issues or those showing Frederick the Wise.
It should also be mentioned that the collector paid attention to outstanding quality! “Extremely fine”, “Extremely fine to FDC”, “First strike” and “Proof” are the most common descriptions that you will find in this catalog.
To order a catalog, contact Künker, Nobbenburger Straße 4a, 49076 Osnabrück; phone: +49 541 / 962020; fax: +49 541 / 9620222; or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can access the auction catalogs online at www.kuenker.de. If you want to submit your bid from your computer at home, please remember to register for this service in good time.
No. 1553: Brunswick. Charles II, 1815-1830. Under the guardianship of King George IV of Great Britain, 1820-1823. 1821 konventionstaler (speciestaler). Very rare. About FDC. Estimate: 7,500 euros
No. 1599: Nassau. Frederick William of Weilburg, 1806-1816. Konventionstaler n.d. (1815), commemorating the visit to the mint in Ehrenbreitstein. Hybrid coin. Extremely rare. Brilliant uncirculated. Estimate: 25,000 euros
No. 1605: Oldenburg. Paul Frederick Augustus, 1829-1853. Double vereinstaler 1840 for the Principality of Birkenfeld. First strike, FDC. Estimate: 5,000 euros
No. 1664: Württemberg. Frederick II (I), 1797-1806-1816. Konventionstaler 1806, Hanau. Very rare. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 7,500 euros
No. 1710: German Empire. Bavaria. 3 marks 1918. Commemorating the golden wedding anniversary of the Bavarian royal couple. Very rare. About FDC. Estimate: 40,000 euros
No. 1722: German Empire. Hesse. 2 marks 1876. Extremely rare in this quality. Proof. Estimate: 25,000 euros
No. 1798: German Empire. Saxony. 3 marks 1917. Frederick the Wise. The rarest silver coin of the German Empire. Proof. Estimate: 100,000 euros
No. 1892: German Empire. Mecklenburg-Strelitz. 10 marks 1873. Very rare, especially in this quality. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 50,000 euros
No. 1927: German Empire. Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. 20 marks 1872. Very rare, especially in this quality. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 100,000 euros
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Source: Fritz Rudolf Kuenker GmbH and Co. KG
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