Animals frolic in the sale of Hermann Historica works of art

Top selling was this 16th century BCE Egyptian wooden statuette of a high official, measuring 24 inches high. He made $ 167,700.

Reviewed by Madelia Hickman Ring, catalog photos courtesy of Hermann Historica

GRASBRUNN, MUNICH, GERMANY – The Hermann Historica Late Spring Sales Marathon kicked off May 26 with nearly 600 lots of artwork and antiques, followed by over 300 lots of weapons and of ancient armor on May 27. A representative for the house auction confirmed that many of the top lots were bought by collectors outside of Germany, with more attention from buyers in China than the company saw in over the past two years. Private collectors continued to be the majority of buyers, but commercial and institutional buyers were also active in the sale.

The highest price of $ 167,700 was achieved for an Egyptian wooden statuette from the 16th century BCE, which was part of a private Italian collection. Carved from a single block of wood, the shaved head of the figure, as well as the low-waisted skirt with a triangular pleat on the front, were characteristic of a high official or a dignitary. It was in an exceptionally good state of preservation, retaining much of its original polychrome surface decoration and only slight hairline cracks, although some of the toes have been lost.

Bidders were eager to shake their proverbial paddles for an Eastern Han Dynasty Chinese bronze tree, which dated to 25-220 CE and sold for $ 59,458. The piece, which stood over 53 inches on a flared conical base led by the figure of a horseman on a ram. A thermoluminescence test which had been done in 2000 and which accompanied the lot confirmed its early dating and the tree retained a nice green patina. According to the catalog note, the trees that make silver shake are believed to have been made only in southwest China. In addition to the figure of the ram on the base, the branches also featured animals and mythical creatures as well as coins, which were believed to be offerings to the gods.

A verdigris bronze patina and animal ornamentation enhanced this Chinese coin tree from the Eastern Han Dynasty.  Dating back to 25-220 CE which was confirmed by a thermoluminescence test that came with the lot, it brought in $ 59,458.

A verdigris bronze patina and animal ornamentation enhanced this Chinese coin tree from the Eastern Han Dynasty. Dating back to 25-220 CE which was confirmed by a thermoluminescence test that came with the lot, it brought in $ 59,458.

The pre-sale advertisement for the auction promoted the theme of animals in art – animals domesticated by humans or as emblems of various characteristics – and several pieces in the sale featured animals in one way or another. another one.

At the head of this group was a 7th to 9th century Scandinavian carved oak boar’s head that had been excavated from the Scheldt near Antwerp in the 1930s. Measuring 4¾ by 9 by 5½ inches, it was presumed to have been part of the figurehead of a Viking longboard. Like the money tree, scientific tests have narrowed the date range between 680 and 870 CE. It had impressive provenance starting with the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gabrielse Middleburg of the Netherlands, who had acquired it in 2008 from Dick Meijer Antiques in Amsterdam. Bidders have embarked on a modern boar hunt, chasing it to $ 39,639.

While a carved boar’s head is rarely seen at auction, horses from the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618-906 CE) are seen with greater frequency and fetch high sums when they do. An 18 7/8 inch high example in brownish glaze with an unglazed saddle and cover was accompanied not only by a thermoluminescence certificate, but also from a private South German collection as well as from the Viennese collection of Professor Leopold. The bidders sued him for $ 36,590.

The most significant lot in the May 27 antique arms and armor sale was this German rapier from around 1610 with damascened and gilded silver hilt, which is comparable to the Wallace Collection and Dreger Collection examples at Berlin.  It sold for $ 53,351.

The most significant lot in the May 27 antique arms and armor sale was this German rapier from around 1610 with damascened and gilded silver hilt, which is comparable to the Wallace Collection and Dreger Collection examples at Berlin. It sold for $ 53,351.

While some items depicted outright an animal, others incorporated them in the form of a coin, such as in the case of a C-shaped Neolithic Chinese jade dragon from the Hongshan culture which dated to around 3000. Before our era. Allegedly rare, the sale copy relates to a comparable piece from the Beijing Palace Museum’s jade collection. It belonged to a private West German collection and to the Singaporean collection of a Chinese archaeologist in exile. It was sold to its new owner for $ 28,967.

Other notable results for animal-themed works can be seen in a pair of around 1900 German silver hawks measuring around 17 and 18 inches tall, which flew in at $ 25,882. The circular bases of each figurine featured applied figures of mice, lizards and frogs. A Sassanid silver dish was decorated with the relief sculpture of a stylized horse dated between the 4th and 7th centuries; he moved to a new home for $ 22,868.

The same Rhineland-Palatinate collection featured a reclining Elamite lapis lazuli lion from the third millennium BCE that measured only 2.5 inches. Despite its small size, it brought in the top prize of $ 16,770.

Edged weapons easily lowered the estimates with several examples bringing the highest prices in the May 27 antique arms and armor sale, including the best lot of the day, a German rapier from around 1610 with a silver and gold damask hilt that brought in $ 53,351. Signed “Gio Kneg In Solingen”, the coin retained its original take and measured almost 44½ inches in length. These were examples from the Wallace Collection in London, as well as the Dreger Collection in Berlin.

On May 27, May 27, this gold encrusted Milanese cockade shield retained traces of the original leather lining and handles with remnants of their original red velvet covers.  It almost doubled its starting price and sold for $ 51,827.

On May 27, May 27, this gold encrusted Milanese cockade shield retained traces of the original leather lining and handles with remnants of their original red velvet covers. It almost doubled its starting price and sold for $ 51,827.

A Polish hussar thrustman from around 1670 had a blade of triangular section that had more than doubled its starting price, selling for $ 44,205, while a German Gothic medieval sword from around 1250 with an inlaid blade with gold read “Dicnlacdiclae” and was 41 inches long. It reduced its starting price, closing at $ 27,438.

The bidders attacked the armor section with vigor and several lots saw a fight to the death competition, with plenty of fighting beyond expectations. The second highest price of the day was $ 51,827, which was made for a gold inlaid Milanese coat of arms, made in Italy circa 1560-70. The circular room was decorated in relief, with warriors in classical costume and riveted handles of braided rope with red velvet blankets.

From a comparable vintage, a black and white South German half-armor dating from around 1560 has retained its original buckles and the leather upholstery has only been partially replaced. It earned a little more than its asking price, selling for $ 38,108.

The amount of $ 36,590 was enough to win this nearly 19-inch (618-906 CE) Chinese Tang Dynasty horse, which had a brown-colored glaze over most of its body.  It came from a private collection in South Germany as well as a private Viennese collection.

The amount of $ 36,590 was enough to win this nearly 19-inch (618-906 CE) Chinese Tang Dynasty horse, which had a brown-colored glaze over most of its body. It came from a private collection in South Germany as well as a private Viennese collection.

Equine attributes remain eternal favorites, if the results of the sale are indicative. A bridle of around 1,700 from the arsenal of Frederick Augustus I of Saxony (also known as “Augustus the Strong”) doubled expectations and brought in $ 19,816. It has been described as “magnificent” and “princely” and has survived in good condition with unfaded velvet, a similar example being featured in the equestrian portraits painted by Louis de Silvestre (1675-1760). He had come down to an old family in Dresden.

A 19th century Italian Gothic saddle with lavish bone veneer was done in the style of 15th century saddles, also exceeded the starting price, and closed at $ 11,280. It is similar to the sales of the Royal Armories in London and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

The prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as communicated by the auction house and have been converted into euros on the basis of the exchange rate on the day of the sale.

The next Hermann Historica Art and Antiques auction will be on June 21 with antique weapons and armor on June 22.

Hermann Historica can be found at Bretonischer Ring 3. For more information, www.hermann-historica.de.

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Laura J. Boyer