The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 23, June 4, 2023, Article 20


Here's the announcement for the first of Künker's four June 2023 sales. -Editor

From Taler to Mark and Beyond

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!

  00012a00 00012r00

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

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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

  00019a00 00019r00

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

World Coins
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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

  00294a00 00294r00

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

  00295a00 00295r00

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

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No. 681: Netherlands / Breda. Silver medal commemorating the Peace of Breda on 31 July 1667. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 5,000 euros

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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No. 484: Schwarzenberg. Josef Adam, 1732-1782. 10 ducats 1741, Vienna. Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 125,000 euros

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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

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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

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No. 1096: Mecklenburg-Güstrow. Gustav Adolph, 1636-1695. Reichstaler 1668, Güstrow. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 10,000 euros

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No. 1126: Osnabrück / Bishopric. Franz Wilhelm von Wartenberg, 1625-1661. Reichstaler n.d. (around 1637), Münster. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 15,000 euros

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No. 1215: Wallenstein. Albrecht, 1623-1634, Duke of Friedland. Reichstaler 1629, Jitschin. Very rare. Very fine. Estimate: 20,000 euros

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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