Once again, Hermann Historica auction house brought history to life. Over 4,200 exclusive lots came under the hammer and certainly did not disappoint. Its May extravaganza showcased the renowned auction house's flair for offering an attractive and diverse range of objects, with a great many rarities and numerous fascinating collections.

The demand for exceptional objects was high, which resulted in some considerable price increases and a high sales quota. One incomparable example is the "Enigma – G" cipher machine. As the rarest model and in excellent condition to boot, the device was able to command its price, ultimately selling for 480,000 euros* (lot number 6206).

Having cultivated an international customer base that continues to grow, Hermann Historica prides itself on the outstanding cooperation between consignors and experts that is founded on trust.

Lot 6206Lot 6206

Orders and military collectibles until 1918

At 10 a.m. on 8 May, the doors opened for the 100th Auction as the acclaimed auction house unveiled a selection of exclusive orders and artefacts from military history. Roughly 530 inimitable collector's items were presented to the crowded saleroom, buyers on the telephone and online.

Lot 4006Lot 4006

The announcement of lot number 4006 immediately sparked a bidding war. And no wonder – the magnificent Grand Cross set with Swords on the Ring of the Bulgarian Order of St. Alexander stood head and shoulders above the rest. This set is the only surviving award of its kind in the world. Therefore, the fact that it changed hands for 35,000 euros, more than double the starting price, in a matter of minutes was par for the course.

However, the biggest surprise of the day was the following object, lot number 4201. Marie of Romania (1875 – 1938) was known for presenting these delicate cuff links, set with rubies. She created the monogram on the original design herself. Did the elegant accessories inspire the new owner with their royal provenance? At any rate, the enthusiast was coaxed into parting with a sensational 15,000 euros*, more than fifteen times the estimate. 

Lot 4201Lot 4201

Lot 4243Lot 4243

Next up, an immense object of contemporary history caused quite a commotion. The large pair of Zeiss 110 binoculars had telescopes measuring an impressive 150 cm long and 80 cm wide, with a total height of 160 cm. The rare optical instrument undeniably met with collectors' approval. Once the avalanche of bids finally petered out, it sold for 34,000* euros (lot number 4243).

Works of Art, Antiquities & Ancient Art

On 14 May, the spotlight of the 100th Auction at Hermann Historica was on art, antiques and ancient artefacts. More than 750 lots from antiquity to the modern era, from magnificent musical instruments down to dainty porcelain statues, changed hands at Hermann Historica. The selection ranged from paintings by prestigious artists and sculptures by famous craftsmen through to glittering jewellery.

Accordingly, the 663 artefacts were in high demand, sparking a veritable wave of euphoria among bidders.

Lot 32Lot 32

An aficionado of antique helmets managed to prevail on the very first lot. After a nail-biting contest, the collector was able to claim his prize – an Illyrian helmet dating from the second half of the 6th to 5th century – for 20,000 euros* (lot number 32). Completely preserved, the bronze helmet was forged in one piece, a testament to the finest craftsmanship. 

A phenomenal Cartier Tank wristwatch now takes pride of place in a new collection for an unbelievable 10,000 euros*. The exquisite timepiece was also the subject of a heated bidding war. And no wonder, given its iconic status as a true classic (Lot number 413).

Lot 413Lot 413

Lot 491Lot 491

The monkey orchestra was one of the most bizarre masterpieces of the Meissen Baroque. It comprised all 21 figurines and was thus much sought-after. The obvious merriment of the simian musicians makes the group one of the most popular collector's items to this day. The lucky new owner of the curio had to part with 11,500 euros* (lot number 491).

Five centuries of antique and modern firearms

The auction of five centuries of antique and modern firearms at Hermann Historica contained 1119 lots. Part I took place on 15 and part II on 16 May 2024. The array included weapons from every corner of the globe, from all eras and epochs, from the oldest rifle of the late 15th century to handcrafted wheellock rifles, culminating in modern-day guns. 

Lot number 1228 was announced as "Raw steel transformed into precision". Needless to say, the collectors all knew straight away that it must be a Korth pistol. The firearm notched up points for its smooth burl wood grips and came complete with the original packaging. Moreover, this was one of the very first samples, made by Willi Korth himself. Bidders paid homage accordingly, with offers coming thick and fast. The pistol achieved the spectacular final price of 42,000 euros*, its limit of 8,000 euros notwithstanding.

Lot 1228Lot 1228

Lot 1998Lot 1998

The next object took the audience back a few centuries in time. The deluxe flintlock rifle with an attachable hunting hanger dates back to circa 1740. Made of fine walnut, it bears the coat of arms of the Princes of Schwarzenberg. The master craftsman of this deluxe firearm is none other than Leopold Becher. One of the most brilliant gunmakers of the Carlsbad School, he supplied weapons to the aristocracy taking the waters at the Bohemian spa town, among them the Princes of Lobkowitz. Such luxury has its price, however. The fabulous rifle now ennobles a new collection for 15,000 euros* (Lot number 1998).

Antique arms and armour from all over the world

A remarkable 400 rare antique arms and armour from every corner of the globe came under the hammer at 1 p.m. on 16 May, including some thrilling highlights and phenomenal pieces. The exceptional assortment of lots led to some very spirited bidding and a resounding success for Hermann Historica.

Lot 3089Lot 3089

With their eyes firmly fixed on the prizes, collectors needed no prompting. Lot number 3089 appealed to international buyers in particular. 14 archer's rings made of jade and hardstone – some lavishly embellished – whetted their appetites and triggered a hard-fought battle. Together with the silk-lined storage box, they now grace a new collection for 5,000 euros*.

A hetman's mace (Pusikan) from Transylvania, produced circa 1600, unleashed another volley of bids. Its entire surface studded with turquoises, the formidable gilt silver mace was a sight to behold. The armoury in Dresden boasts a similarly splendid weapon. More than doubling its catalogue price, it took a new owner's fancy for 34,000 euros* (lot number 3249).

Lot 3249Lot 3249

Lot 3313Lot 3313

The announcement of an exquisite, gold-inlaid rapier took the audience by storm. The intimidating blade, 123 cm long, with its lavish, fine ornamentation inlaid in gold was guaranteed to set collectors' hearts aflutter. The magnum opus ultimately fetched 9,000 euros* (lot number 3313).

Despite the enthusiasm and best efforts of the audience, some rare and sought-after objects are still available. Until 30 June 2024, all unsold lots from this auction may be purchased at the after-sale for their catalogue price, plus a buyer's premium of 29.5%. The principle of the post-auction sale is first come – first served. Don't miss this unique opportunity to snap up your personal favourites at your leisure.

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