Dear Bidders and Phaleristics Enthusiasts,
The time has come again.
On September 26, 2015, Künker GmbH will conduct our 12th auction of orders and decorations. The items offered for sale originate from all over of the world but will focus on the pre-1871 German States.
Very likely the most important item of this group will be the Grand Cross Badge of the Military Order of St. Charles of Wuerttemberg. This particular item was awarded to General Jean-Baptiste-Joseph de Maillard de la Martinière, Baron de Gorcy, while the order’s founder, Charles Eugene of Wuerttemberg was present.
The decoration is a direct link to history.
Firstly, because it was Charles Eugene who drove the famous German writer Schiller into exile, where he wrote his famous drama “The Robbers” and secondly, the recipient of the order, Jean-Baptiste-Joseph de Maillard, became an eye-witness of the events of the French Revolution: as a representative of the first estate he attended the assembly of the Estates-General in Paris in 1789. The order a testimony to both men’s actions – a testimony likely her clearly presenteld in their own hands.
This order is just one of many magnificent historical artifacts listed in our latest catalog featuring orders and decorations.
We hope you enjoy browsing the catalog!
Auction 265: Preview by Michael Autengruber
On Saturday, September 26th, 2015 – a very collector-friendly date indeed – Künker will conduct Auction 265 in Osnabrück. Part of this session will be the 12th phaleristic auction consisting of more than 900 auction lots. The lots on offer include orders, decorations and badges, miniatures, holders, certificates and documents from Germany and its states, as well as Europe and the world, all ranging from the 18th century to the present times, featuring many gems.
Thematically, the auction will focus on three areas: firstly, a collection of orders and decorations deriving from both pre-1871 German States and the German Empire, secondly the Burger Collection of international orders and decorations, and last but not least, a collection of order insignia stemming from the Scandinavian countries.
After the section of phaleristic literature orders and decorations from the German States, such as a Cross 2nd Class of the Bavarian Order of St. Michael, a beautiful collection of civil and military decorations of the Kingdom of Prussia, including a Breast Star of the Order of the Red Eagle 2nd Class with Oak Leaves by Hossauer as well as a Sondershausen Cross 1st Class with Crown of the Princely Schwarzburg Honor Cross, follow suit.
What will very likely be the most important item, will be the Grand Cross Badge (Commander) of the Military Order of St. Charles of Wuerttemberg in gold and enamel. In 1759 it was awarded to General Jean-Baptiste-Joseph de Maillard de la Martinière, Baron de Gorcy (1726–1791), in the presence of the Order’s founder, Charles Eugene of Wuerttemberg (1728–1793). This badge seems to be the only specimen known to exist. Not even the Württembergisches Landesmuseum calls such a Grand Cross Badge its own, and no other example is currently attested to be part of any private collection.
Other items that will cross the auction block include a number of decorations of several members of the von Viebahn family.
The session of decorations of the German Reich (1933–1945) will start with the very well-documented estate of Knight’s Crosses and documents of Colonel Paul-Hermann Werner, the most important commander of the legendary Panzerregiment 31, from the very first year of WWII. The regiment, also nicknamed “Red Devils” or “Diables Rouges” after its insignia, was feared and renowned among the enemy panzer regiments for the military skills of its Colonel.
A highlight of the section of clasps and groups constitutes the alleged estate of a crew member of the merchant submarine “Deutschland”. This particularly interesting estate not only testifies to the pioneering spirit of German trading companies during WWI, but also documents the mixed feelings among the American people towards the German Reich prior to the U.S. intervention in WWI. All together, the German section consists of nearly 250 auction lots.
As a typical feature of this auction, more than 100 small and large convolutes of orders and decorations are offered for sale. It is important to point out, that some convolutes consist of several hundred specimens and they frequently include items of higher quality. Therefore, prior viewing will very likely pay off.
The segment of European orders and decorations, composed of more than 500 specimens, is dominated by items of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Portugal, the Russian Empire (with numerous extremely important pieces), the Soviet Union, Sweden, Spain and Hungary. Several of these offerings contain a considerable number of important single items, such as: a Grand Cross Badge of the Danish Order of the Dannebrog from the reign of King Christian VIII (1839–1848), a set of the Finnish Order of the Cross of Liberty 1st Class with Swords, Oak Leaves and Star, a set of Grand Crosses with Swords of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olaf, and, last but not least, a Cross 2nd Class with Crown of the Russian Order of St. Stanislas.
The Breast Star of the Military Order of Christ of the Republic of Portugal, awarded in 1933 to the Brazilian-based physician and reformist politician Dr. Pedro Ernesto Baptista constitutes another highlight of this auction, just as the Knight’s Badge with Brilliants of the Swedish Order of the Northern Star, awarded in 1868 by King Charles XV to Professor Dr. Gustaf Håkan Jordan Ljunggren.
The final 90 lots of the auction comprise orders and decorations from overseas, for example from Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, Japan, Persia/Iran, Zanzibar, Thailand, the Ottoman Empire, and Tunisia.
The auction sale catalog, lavishly illustrated in color and spanning almost 300 pages, was once again written by Michael Autengruber, our in-house expert on orders and decorations, complying with scientific standards. The many and often detailed historical and technological comments, supplementing the lot descriptions, distinguish this current catalog and make it once again a valuable contribution to specialized phaleristic literature.
Highlights from Auction 265
Kingdom of Bavaria.
Royal Merit Order of St. Michael, Cross 2nd Class.
Estimate: 3,500 euros
Kingdom of Hanover.
Estimate: 750 euros
Bernhard von Münchhausen, the awardee of this medal, belonged to the Lower Saxon noble family of Münchhausen of which the most famous member was Hieronymus Charles Frederick Freiherr von Münchhausen, who was later to be nicknamed “Baron of Lies”. The medal’s recipient, Bernhard von Münchhausen, served as a volunteer in the hunter corps of the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In this capacity, he participated in the Battle of Belle Alliance – better known as the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, and the subsequent conquest of Paris.
Order of the Red Eagle. Breast Star of the 2nd Class with Oak Leaves.
Very rare. II.
Estimate: 3,000 euros
Military Order of St. Charles of Wuerttemberg. Grand Cross Badge.
Extremely rare. II-III.
Estimate: 20,000 euros
Order of the Dannebrog. Grand Cross Badge.
Extremely rare. I-II.
Estimate: 25,000 euros
Order of the Cross of Liberty. Breast Star of the Cross of Liberty 1st Class with Swords, Oak Leaves and Star.
Very rare. I-II.
Estimate: 2,500 euros
Legion of Honor, 7th Model, Commander‘s Decoration.
Estimate: 4,000 euros
Order of the Redeemer, 1st Model. Grand Cross Badge.
Very rare. II.
Estimate: 7,500 euros
Austrian-Imperial Order of the Iron Crown. Decoration of the 2nd Class.
Estimate: 1,000 euros
Military Order of Christ of the Republic of Portugal. Grand Officer’s Breast Star with Brilliants.
Extremely rare. II.
Estimate: 20,000 euros
During his official visit in Brazil, Portuguese President Carmona awarded the Brazil federal speaker of the district of Rio de Janeiro, Dr. Pedro Ernesto Baptista, the Grand Officer’s Cross of the Military Order of Christ, with the date of September 23, 1933. The insignia, consisting of an ordinary Grand Officer’s Cross and Breast Star, are today kept in the National Historical Museum of Rio de Janeiro. In addition to the order’s insignia, he received the Breast Star in Brilliants as a personal gift, which is being offered for sale at this auction.
Pedro Ernesto Baptista was born in Recife in 1884. After having studied medicine and obtaining his degree as Doctor of Medicine in 1908, he pursued a career as a physician and surgeon. He became a politician and an exceptional figure in the city‘s elite to which he belonged due to his family background and his profession. From the start, he devoted his activities to the organization and build-up of a health care system for the less privileged of his home town. Later, he also focused on the set-up of an education system. These ambitions soon led him to the so-called Tenentes, a military and revolutionary circle where he quickly became a key figure. In February 1931, the non-public organization of “Club 3 de Outubro” was founded with the goal of encouraging societal changes.
After Vargas became president, Ernesto, being the family’s personal doctor, gained significant political influence. In 1931, he was appointed Federal Speaker of the Federal District of Rio de Janeiro and presided over the district government until 1936. In 1933, he founded the Party for the Autonomy of the Federal District, or PDAF. Already in the very same year, PDAF gained a majority in the city council. Ernesto and his colleagues immediately started to modify the social conditions in Rio de Janeiro, and tried to meet the requirements of society, especially in terms of health and education. In April of 1935, Batista became mayor of Rio de Janeiro, the first one to be elected. Among other things, he also promoted freedom of the press, which earned him the reputation of sympathizing with the city’s left forces.
Through his actions Baptista adopted a position which was contrary to both the government and the Catholic Church, which led to his removal from office in April of 1936. He was arrested and sentenced to three years and four months in prison. After having been released shortly thereafter, he was convicted again, this time for corruption. It was then, when he decided to withdraw from politics. In 1942, Baptista died of prostate cancer in Rio de Janeiro and was laid to rest in the presence of huge crowds of people.
Order of Saint Andrew. Breast Star in Brilliants.
Royal Order of the Northern Star. Knight’s Badge with Brilliants.
Extremely rare. II.
Estimate: 10,000 euros
Imperial Order of the Double Dragon (雙龍寶星). Decoration of the 3rd Class, 1st Grade, smaller variety.
Estimate: 2,000 euros
The auction lots are on view at our premises in 49076 Osnabrück, Nobbenburger Straße 4a, until Friday, September 25, 2015.
(9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) by appointment.
Sending Bids by Fax, Phone and Email
While online bidding is always available we also gladly accept your bids by:
Telephone: +49 541 96202 0
Fax: +49 541 96202 22
The likelihood of errors increases, if we do receive your bid shortly before the auction. We thus recommend sending your bids as early as possible.
Best regards from Osnabrück,
Your Künker team
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