Hermann Historica mounts hefty arms, armor auction Nov. 15

Three lavishly embellished 16th and 17th-century halberds issued to the guards of the Prince Bishops of Salzburg will be sold as separate lots.  Image copyright Hermann Historica GmbH 2019

MUNICH – Hermann Historica will conduct an auction with 734 lots devoted to antique arms and armor from all over the world on Nov. 15. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

The edged weapons and suits of armor are especially superb, including some of the best halberds to come on the market in recent years. Particularly worthy of mention is an etched Augsburg halberd for the Trabant guard of Emperor Maximilian II, dated 1571. The fine ornate etching with decorative tendrils on a stippled, blackened ground bears the Emperor’s monogram, plus the double-headed eagle, with an escutcheon and collar, on both sides. Comparable specimens can be found in the collections of the caliber of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Bids are now invited from 10,000 euros.

No less spectacular are three lavishly embellished, 16th and 17th-century halberds (above) issued to the guards of the Prince Bishops of Salzburg. Once decommissioned, they took a circuitous route, ultimately ending up in the Bavarian Army Museum in Ingolstadt. During the interwar period, the acclaimed weapons expert Hans Schedelmann was able to acquire them from the museum for his private collection as part of an exchange. They are now offered for sale at extremely attractive starting prices of between 4,500 and 8,500 euros.

Also from Hans Schedelmann’s collection is a miniature suit of jousting armor, modeled on a suit of Nuremberg armor, which was made by the eminent artisan smith Schneider of Munich in 1923. Standing just 27.5 centimeters tall, yet faithful to the original down to the finest detail, from the pivoted visor and articulated elements to the screw-mounted breastplate and backplate, this gem was wrought by a master of his craft and is expected to fetch 3,800 euros.

The miniature suit of armor elaborately handmade, modeled on a Nuremberg jousting armor circa 1500. Image copyright Hermann Historica GmbH 2019

The life-size companion piece is a black and white cuirassier’s armor from France, dating circa 1620, featuring a visor helmet and gorget, full arm defences with articulated pauldrons, rerebraces with couters and cuisses sliding on 14 lames, a breastplate and a backplate, the latter with a shot strike mark. The fact that this suit of armor has survived completely in its original condition is particularly remarkable. Only the blackening and the leather lining have been renewed. Bids will be accepted from 30,000 euros for this exceptionally decorative set.

French cuirassier’s black and white armor, circa 1620. Copyright Hermann Historica GmbH 2019

Slightly more recent, yet in equally fine, original condition and no less significant is a Brunswick two-hand sword with an etched blade. Forged circa 1600 and measuring an imposing 173.5 centimeters, the blade of the superlative processional sword bears depictions of a heraldic eagle and lion, surmounted by a bird, with arabesques at the base. A minimum bid of 12,000 euros will secure this edged weapon, whose widely flaring grip in the characteristic Brunswick shape is lavishly adorned with ornamental engravings. Among the numerous Saxon rapiers on offer, an exquisite, silver-inlaid weapon from the same period commands attention. Made in Germany and elaborately finished, the iron knuckle-bow hilt entirely covered in ornamental silver inlays, the wooden grip embellished with silver corded wire and silver dots, the 130.5 cm showstopper is estimated at 19,000 euros.

German silver-inlaid rapier, circa 1600. Image copyright Hermann Historica GmbH 2019

An unusually magnificent 1680 kilij from the Ottoman Empire is an enthusiast’s dream come true. Hardly any sophisticated decoration technique was neglected in embellishing the kilij, which boasts gold-inlaid leafy vines, a script ornament and signatures. The florally nielloed quillons in silver, green nephrite grip scales with an engraved, gilt grip strap and garnets set in gold provide the final flourish. This impressive, sumptuous weapon is certain to far exceed its guide price of 60,000 euros.

An Ottoman silver-mounted and nielloed, gold-inlaid kilij, 1680. Image copyright Hermann Historica GmbH 2019

Hermann Historica will also present a collection of around 60 Japanese tsubas, mostly dating from the 19th century, which have been documented in a family estate for 100 years. Moderately estimated, opening at between 100 and 1200 euros, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for connoisseurs who wish to extend their outstanding collection or for first-time buyers who are just starting out.