Auctions 432/433

November, 1-3, 2022

Auction 432: Collection Peter Kress - Saxe-Hildburghausen

Deeper and far more extensive than the "Münzgeschichte des Herzogums Sachsen-Hildburghausen" published by Jenny-E. Hollmann 1994, is the "Kurzkatalog der Gepräge von Sachsen-Hildburghausen mit Anhänge" published by Peter Kreß in Thüringer Jahrbücher 15 (2004) and 17 (2006/2007). Of course, the author and collector, as he himself says, builds up on the work of his meritorious predecessors, but the dynastic intertwining of the ducal house, as well as the history of coins beyond the duchy, has never been compiled as compactly as by Peter Kreß in the aforementioned work. Unfortunately, this catalog has not received the attention it deserved because of its completeness. This may be mainly due to the fact that the work has remained unillustrated. After 50 years of collecting and after more than 15 years of publishing his short catalog, this painful gap can now be closed. The Kreß collection is not the complete illustration of his catalog. The author and collector had the ambition to present the whole coin history and not only his collection. Nevertheless, the collection now coming up for auction is probably the most complete ever assembled on this field and therefore offers the type as well as variant collector an accurate impression of the coinage for the first time. His collection has therefore citation character.
Besides the manageable collection area of the Duchy of Saxe-Hildburghausen, the special value of the collection lies in its cross-references to dynastic connections. Who is still aware today that the “Theresienwiese”, where the world-famous Munich Oktoberfest takes place, is named after the Bavarian Queen and born Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen? Medals and history thalers with her name or likeness belong as much to Hildburghausen as to Bavaria and find their place in this collection. The Princess Marie, later Queen of Hanover draws the attention to Brunswick-Hanover, the coinages of the Hildburghausen mint for the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen to the Thuringian neighborhood.
In short, it is much more than the collection of a duodec principality. A browse is worthwhile for every collector, there may be surprises!


Auction 433: Ancient - medieval - modern coins 

The antiquities section of the fall auction (no. 433) of Dr. Busso Peus Nachf. is composed of numerous smaller and larger consignments, two of which deserve special mention. The collection of a provenance enthusiast covers the entire Greek world with a focus on Magna Grecia, whose aesthetics particularly excite the collector. In addition to the above-average quality, it is also the collection history that distinguishes these coins. It so happens that among the 417 Greek coins in this auction alone, 90 literature citations end in "this specimen". So here we are dealing with coins that are cited in the respective reference works, but mostly also illustrated.
The title piece of this auction is a magnificent tetradrachm of Rhegion with frontal lion head (1073). It comes from the collection of Prince Chatkowski, which was auctioned in Vienna in 1908. The pretty tetradrachm from Macedonian Akanthos (1139) comes not only from the famous collection of Consul Hermann Weber, auctioned in 1907, but also from that of the great collector Edward Wright Wigan (1823-1871), sold in Paris in 1872. Thus, the "pedigree" of this coin goes back almost as far as the beginnings of Dr. Busso Peus Nachf. (1870). The very rare tetradrachm of the Thracian minor prince Skostokos (1213) can also be traced back to 1913 and was, of course, included in the authoritative study of these enigmatic coinages. The tetradrachm of the Bactrian king Euthydemos (1393) from the famous collection of the banker Frédéric-Robert Jameson (1861-1942) also has a place in the relevant standard work - unfortunately, however, a special feature of the coin was not recognized there.
The collection of a swan friend includes not only the antiquity section of auction 433, but extends into modern times. It is a motif collection whose claim to completeness in the antiquity part quickly becomes clear. Thus, there are also very rare cities that chose the swan motif, sometimes only as an epithet. Particularly neat is a didrachm of Kamarina, on the reverse of which the eponymous nymph is carried up by a swan (1089). Extremely rare and very attractive is the stater of Argos from the famous "BCD" collection, on whose reverse two dolphins circle a swan (1188). The corresponding, no less rare drachms from the same collection also come to auction (1189-1190). The silver coins of Klazomenai (1249-1271) are aesthetically appealing not only because of the swan motif, but also because of the three-quarter view of Apollo's head. Particularly noteworthy here is a tetradrachm (one of eight offered here!) with flying swan (1270). To point out the numerous rarities among the Cilician swan coins would again be to carry swans to Mallos (1330-1362).
Besides the mentioned delicacies of Greek numismatics, there are also some pieces of special historical value such as an extremely rare Attic didrachm from the so-called Wappenmünzen series (1167) and a Kroisos stater in gold from the rare heavy series (1316).
Of historical weight and great rarity is undoubtedly also the aureus of Octavian from the time of his triumvirate with Marcus Antonius (1443). No. 1459 is a rare denarius bearing the portraits of Caligula and his mother Agrippina I. It was acquired at auction in 1925 and has been in the family ever since, as has No. 1467, a denarius showing the younger Agrippina. The aesthetes among Roman collectors will surely appreciate the aureus of Julia Domna with a pretty back view of Venus (1529).
Finally, among the provincial coins, the magnificent Cistophorus of Augustus deserves special appreciation (1596). The antique section closes with an offer of about 60 lots as well as literature on ancient numismatics.

Also in the section of the world coins two collections stand out, which make their marks on this year's autumn auction. On the one hand, the Feudal-German part of the "Collection of a Swan Friend" and on the other hand, the 2nd part of the Graichen Collection. In the Feudal-German part of the collection of our swan friend, in contrast to the completeness in the antique section, the wide spread of coin issuers and minting periods, which is so characteristic of thematic collections, can be seen. For decades, the collector has closely followed the auction scene and, with a keen eye for detail, has assembled a universal collection in every price segment that makes no claim to completeness. However, the concept of the swan is omnipresent in this context. Thus, we find the swan as a crest above the Hanau coat of arms or as a mint master's mark or simply as a decorative detail on the river in front of the city view. Another field of interest of the collector is British numismatics, which, however, has to do without swans.
In the Graichen II collection, another collector, as already impressively demonstrated in our spring auction, once again demonstrates his keen eye for detail. No spelling error, no incorrect stamp coupling or missminting went unnoticed by the collector. Although the main focus of the Graichen collection was on German coins after 1871, a fascinating amount of over 70 lot numbers has been collected in the process. In addition to the "errors" in minting, however, the collector also bought at great financial expense numerous rare off metal strikes, which appeared in extremely small numbers for representational purposes in the mints. Many of these strikes, specimens and spelling errors are mentioned as notes in the standard citation work, the "Großer Deutscher Münzkatalog" by Arnold/Küthmann/Steinhilber, and if one considers the close exchange the collector had with many dealers and fellow collectors, it can be assumed that some of these notes refer to exactly the specimen from the Graichen collection. The value of these rarities cannot be estimated due to the lack of comparison possibilities. Therefore, Dr. Busso Peus has again opted for a very moderate estimate.
Furthermore, many smaller collections and individual pieces complement the auction, so that once again a balanced offer of gold and silver from the thaler to the heller will be auctioned. Smaller focal points are a nice series of Great Britain, as well as medals on the National poet Goethe. In addition, a small thematic collection on the Reformation can be found passim distributed throughout the catalog. After the as usual numerous imperial coins, an extensive offer of combined lots will conclude the auction. These combined lots, as well as all individual pieces, can and should definitely be viewed in our business premises as of now. Participation is possible as usual in the hall, by remote bidding and by Internet live bidding.