MUNICH – Collectors can look forward to the large Autumn Auction at Hermann Historica, with almost 9,000 objects, more than ever before, in the sales program. In addition to the three catalogs dedicated to international orders and military history collectibles for the live and online auctions, the auction house’s remaining areas of expertise fill an amazing further nine catalogs from antique arms and armor to works of art, antiquities and contemporary history. The live auction takes place on Nov. 18 and 19, while our online auction is starting for the first time on Sunday, Nov. 24. Bid absentee or live online in all of these auctions through LiveAuctioneers.
Not one but two complete collections and the usual wide range of high-quality lots are being offered for sale in the catalog of “International orders and military collectibles,” along with a special catalog, comprising some 1,252 objects in all. Among the German military antiques, the Saxony chapter is one of the biggest draws due to the disposal of two large collections comprising almost 250 objects: rare helmets, weapons and items of uniform from the Electorate of Saxony, the Kingdom of Saxony as of 1806 and the remaining Saxon Duchies, and the Lengelsen collection of edged weapons, which offers a consistently exquisite, sought-after selection of 18th and 19th century weapons, with a focus on Brunswick and Hannover. Buyers will be interested in the exceptionally rare artifacts from military history. For example, a helmet M 1853 for officers of the ducal infantry is sure to impress with its lavishly gilt appliqués, enameled medallion of the Saxe-Ernestine House Order and remarkably good state of preservation, given its age. This formidable piece is expected to fetch a minimum of 14,000 euros.
No less rare and also in excellent condition, is an M 1875 helmet for trumpeters of the Carabinier Regiment, in the issue from 1897 on. Made with a tombac skull as of 1875, this helmet is certain to coax an enthusiast into investing 7,000 euros. Next up, opening at 3,500 euros, is a hunting hanger, dated 1901, which was bestowed by King Albert of Saxony as a gift of honor. To commemorate the king’s 73rd birthday, a limited series of the edged weapon, sporting the Saxon coat of arms, was made by W.K. & C of Solingen, which were then presented by the monarch.
For many years, the sale of memorabilia from the royal and imperial houses of Europe have attracted a great deal of attention. One prime example is lot number 4229, a coconut trophy fashioned with elaborate craftsmanship, with a splendid silver mounting and of tempting provenance. This trophy was presented to none other than the highly esteemed Empress Elisabeth of Austria (1837–1898), affectionately known as “Sisi” by her exceedingly devoted cousin, King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845–1886). Produced by the court purveyor Wollenweber of Munich, the mounting of .800 silver is inscribed with both cousins’ monograms, surmounted by their respective imperial and royal crowns. Bids from 3,500 euros are welcome for this miniature masterpiece, 28 centimeters tall and weighing 490 grams.
The parade of exceptional lots continues with a general’s uniform worn by King Frederick VI of Denmark, Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg (1768-1839), circa 1814/20, which is valued at 14,000 euros. Featuring multiple trims, ostrich feathers, an unusually tall bicorne and numerous medals, the elaborate ensemble is probably the actual uniform worn by the monarch to the Congress of Vienna.
The highlights in the orders section include a Bulgarian civilian order of merit, a badge of the Grand Cross with diamonds. Instituted by Prince Ferdinand II of Bulgaria in 1891, the order of merit was sumptuously ornate in silver, enamel and gold, set with precious stones. However, the order was only awarded with Diamonds in very few cases. The new owner will have to part with a minimum of 15,000 euros for this bijou, which remains in original condition, complete with all its gemstones.
For many years, the Order of St. Anna, here a Cross 1st Class with Crown, dated 1867, has attracted a great deal of interest. Most unusually, the decoration is enameled in black rather than red. An absolutely first-class piece, which will doubtless command its asking price of 12,000 euros.
Among the lots from beyond Saxony’s borders, a supravest for officers of the Garde du Corps, in the issue of circa 1860, would grace any collection. With its distinguished provenance, namely the Royal House of Hannover, this particularly appealing piece looks set to change hands for 8,000 euros. Also worthy of note is the special catalog accompanying the Lacey collection, whose 95 lots, every last one with uniforms or components thereof, are fittingly described in the title, “The imperial army in field gray.”