Now a permanent fixture in the sales programme of Hermann Historica
, an online-only auction from 7 to 11 December 2020 is the rousing finale of the auction year 2020. Represented on up to nine platforms in addition to its own website and with a lineup of 3641 lots from all special fields of interest, the auction compares favourably with the live auctions held for many decades in the in-house saleroom.
Art and antiques
Paintings, particularly Old Masters, have enjoyed tremendous popularity in recent years. Some masterpieces go on to eclipse their estimated price, with the auction in early November being a case in point. Once again, prospective buyers will be spoilt for choice with a broad spectrum of works from Old Masters to prints. Collectors will be interested in the lively tavern scene of revellers berating a wayfarer, with a minstrel and numerous animals in the foreground. Attributed to Salomon Koninck (1609 1656) on the back, the Dutch Old Master painting from the 17th century is expected to fetch 3,500 euros. Bids are invited from 3,000 euros for the painting of a close helmet, dated 1883, signed by J. Pay and bearing a label from the Museé de Cluny, while the 1893 depiction of a fair in Upper Bavaria by Louis Braun (1836 1916), featuring a dancing bear and its trainer performing for an audience, is valued at 2,500 euros.
The list is endless, from an exceptional 15th century Gothic Madonna of the Mater dolorosa type from the Lower Rhine, now tendered for 4,500 euros, to a fine Flemish tapestry of an idyllic scene with a pavilion, birds and lavish vegetation, opening at 5,000 euros, through to Asian objets d'art, and will satisfy the most discerning buyer. Equally worthy of note, a colourful Tibetan thangka from the 18th/19th century, depicting two deities, will change hands for at least 2,500 euros, and the exceptionally rare koro, a bulbous glass tripod with a deep blue overlay, embellished with lotus ornaments, has a limit of 2,000 euros, a price that is sure to tempt aspiring collectors.
Antique arms and armour
For many years, the swords, daggers and rapiers in the Antique arms section have been a source of delight. A German knightly sword from the mid-14th century, the very embodiment of a medieval edged weapon, is now coming under the hammer. With a double-edged, conically tapering blade and a strikingly large disc pommel, the awe-inspiring sword measures over one metre in length and may command its price, starting at 1,400 euros. Next up, a Spanish cup-hilted rapier dated 1649, with exquisite decorative etching of standing fencers on both sides, is estimated at 1,800 euros. Moreover, the shitogi-tachi was forged in Japan approximately 200 years later. The gilt fittings and the grip beautifully engraved with chrysanthemums, the eye-catching piece is destined to grace a new collection for at least 2,500 euros.
Changes in battle tactics in the early High Middle Ages meant that knightly armour also had to be adapted accordingly. This led to the development of the almost cylindrical, extremely heavy great helm with its marked archaic appearance. With the characteristic eye slots and breathing holes, the particularly accomplished, 13th century-style collector's reproduction now being offered for sale is listed in the catalogue at 1,000 euros. An etched round shield attests to the design of defensive arms in the late 16th century. Highly ornate with decorative tendrils, cartouches and warrior figures, it may now be acquired for 800 euros.
International orders and collectibles from military history
Once again, the fourth auction day presents numerous pieces of recent military equipment. These include an extremely rare full-dress uniform worn by staff officers of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, complete not just with the visor cap, uniform tunic, belt and trousers, but also with the matching case; the whole set is now offered for auction from 1,500 euros. Enthusiasts are bound to be coaxed into investing 1,500 euros for the personal possessions and mementos belonging to the Pour le Mérite bearer and U-boot commander Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen, which provide insight into the military and public persona, as well as the very private life, of a highly decorated marine officer. Furthermore, bids from 1,250 euros are welcome for a photograph album with over 200 snapshots of biplanes, group photographs, the mission in Verdun and other scenes of war, which reveal the living conditions and circumstances of members of a German aviation division during World War I.
Once again, orders and decorations from all over the world are coming under the hammer, such as an Imperial Austrian Order of the Iron Crown, 3nd Class with war decoration, for 400 euros, while a breast star and cross awarded to a Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown of Italy is estimated at 350 euros and a breast cross of the Teutonic Order in Germany at 400 euros.
Five centuries of antique and modern firearms
Headed by a wheellock rifle with a magnificent staghorn stock and first-rate, original wheellock, the procession of antique firearms includes pieces that collectors may otherwise only dream of. Starting at 3,800 euros, the lock is finely engraved with a hunter at rest in the forest and lends the rifle, dated circa 1720, lavishly inlaid with staghorn and bone, an exceedingly distinguished appearance. By contrast, a pair of flintlock pistols with "spider" front sights, embellished with silver tendril inlays and produced circa 1760 by the gunmaker Joseph Prolich of Bamberg, is certain of a warm reception for 1,400 euros. A percussion target rifle by L.H. Damm, bearing a silver signature and likewise engraved, made in Elberfeld circa 1840, has an asking price of just 1,200 euros.