Fine ancient art, antiquities found new homes via Hermann Historica

Corinthian helmet from the 7th century B.C., €57,500

Corinthian helmet from the 7th century B.C., €57,500

GRASBRUNN, Germany – Hermann Historica enjoyed great success with its autumn series of auctions. Of particular note was its sale of Works of Art, Antiquities, and Asian and Russian Art, held on October 22, as well as its sale of Antique Arms and Armor on October 26.

All 850 lots in the October 22 auction found eager new owners. Antique helmets headed the parade of objects, some of which sold for sensational final prices. Right away there was lively interest in a Corinthian helmet of the early second type that had attracted a great deal of attention during the run-up to the auction. Dating from the 7th century B.C., the helmet achieved €57,500.

Pseudo-Chalcidian bronze helmet with ram’s horns, €25,000

Pseudo-Chalcidian bronze helmet with ram’s horns, €25,000

The same process played out for a 4th century B.C. pseudo-Chalcidian bronze helmet with ram’s horns. The artefact from the northern Black Sea area ultimately coaxed an enthusiast into bidding a winning sum of €25,000.

Chinese bronze torso of a Bodhisvatta, €75,000

Chinese bronze torso of a Bodhisvatta, €75,000

However, the piece de resistance of the entire auction was a Chinese bronze torso of a Bodhisvattva in a standing Tribhanga pose. Though it dated to the Tang dynasty, or some time between 618-907 A.D., the fleshy, full-bodied shape clearly indicated the influence of the Indian Gupta period (320-600). The figure earned €75,000.

Large Chinese famille noire vase, €5,750

Large Chinese famille noire vase, €5,750

The demand for works of Asian art continued undiminished. Bidders were particularly drawn to the porcelain pieces from China, among them a large famille noire vase. With its rounded body and elongated neck, the black vase boasted exceptionally graceful lines and was delicately painted with colored flowers and bamboo. Probably dating from the Kangxi period (1661-1722), the decorative piece eventually brought €5,750.

John Warrington Wood marble sculpture of Eve, €22,500

John Warrington Wood marble sculpture of Eve, €22,500

Art collectors were delighted with a special collection of life-size sculptures, one highlight of which was a seated Eve carved by John Warrington Wood (1839 – 1886). The impressive white marble sculpture went for €22,500.

Circa-1720 South German war chest, €13,750

Circa-1720 South German war chest, €13,750

Next up was a small, circa-1720 lavishly embellished war chest from South Germany. Formidable rather than graceful, it was mounted on four flattened ball feet, and its rectangular iron body was covered in decorative tendrils. The phenomenal strongbox closed at €13,750.

Fromanteel miniature lantern clock, €32,500

Fromanteel miniature lantern clock, €32,500

Hermann Historica also achieved an astounding final result with lot 565, a miniature lantern clock. The sophisticated metal timepiece was the work of the famous London clockmaker Fromanteel (1607-1693), who was the first to use the pendulum invented by Huygens in 1657 in English clocks. A whopping €32,500 was subsequently bid for this masterpiece.

Rus Viking nasal helmet, €7,500

Rus Viking nasal helmet, €7,500

Antique arms and armor were showcased on October 26 in an auction featuring 332 lots. One highlight was a Rus viking nasal helmet from Eastern Europe, which was forged in the 10th or the 11th century. Its high skull was made of four vertically riveted segments that tapered to a point. The exceptional helmet changed hands for €7,500.

Bohemian round shield, €7,250

Bohemian round shield, €7,250

A Bohemian round shield provoked an even larger commotion among the bidders. The bullet-proof piece of armor boasted gold-colored polychrome paint and was decorated with a central Bohemian coat of arms below a crown and a banner reading “Bohemia.” It ultimately sold for €7,250.

Two-hand sword by Wolfgang Stantler II, €12,500

Two-hand sword by Wolfgang Stantler II, €12,500

A two-hand sword dating to circa 1580 chalked up the best result of the day. Made by the acclaimed bladesmith Wolfgang Stantler II of Passau, the early sword was in untouched condition, and was snapped up for €12,500.

 

The current rate of exchange is €1 = $1.02.

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