Strong international response to the auction of the world’s largest private collection
of antique arms and armour from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Age
MUNICH – Bidders from all over the world came here to acquire objects from the unique Collection of Karsten Klingbeil. Offered in several parts, the first auction took place in December 2011 in conjunction with Pierre Bergé & Associés in Brussels. Now another 116 objects from the collection were up for sale within the autumn series of auctions at Hermann Historica’s, which took place at the firm’s premises in Munich from Oct. 14-23, 2012. Amongst this selection were five complete armours and a selection of helmets and other detached elements of armour, together with edged weapons, polearms and antique firearms.
A North German armour for the field circa 1550-60, probably from Brunswick, with a close helmet of elegant form was sold for 150,000 euros.
A South German half-armour from circa 1580-90 with close helmet in the Augsburg fashion attracted the attention of a great number of potential buyers. Incorporating reinforcing plates for the “Italian tilt”, this fine representation of this rare type, with the provenance of the famous Rutherfurd Stuyvesant Collection, found a new owner at the hammer price of 100,000 euros.
The winning bid for a late 15th century Gothic armour for the field in the Innsbruck fashion represented market strength. With original sallet and a rare early mail shirt in almost entirely undamaged condition was bid from 50,000 to 73,000 euros.
The equipment of a man-at-arms with brigandine, kettle helmet and greaves made of original parts from the 15th and 16th century changed hands at the sum of 60,000 euros.
Equally delicate was a rare Gothic hand-pavise made from wood and canvas, from the town arsenal of Zwickau, circa 1470-80. The rectangular shield, rendered in colour on the outer face, depicts St. George slaying the dragon, the subjects enclosed by a pious inscription on a scrolling frame. 32,000 euros had to be paid for the shield.
Also sold were a selection of rare helmets and elements of armour. With lot 45, an Italian bascinet with a visor from the early 15th century, a so-called “Hundsguge,” was offered for bidding. The helmet comprised a one-piece forged skull fitted with a typically pointed visor and is an extremely rare type, only few examples of which have been preserved worldwide. It sold for its estimate of 40,000 euros.
Two Italian Gothic vambraces, circa 1430-40 – hardly ever appearing on the market – achieved double their starting price. Tradition has it that these vambraces, now sold for 30,000 euros, had been found in the eaves of a cottage in Spain in the 19th century.
Among the rare weapons and firearms was a rapier carried by the Trabanten-Leibgarde of the Prince Electors of Saxony, dating from the early 17th century, and particularly impressive due to its rarity and fine workmanship. It sold for 28,000 euros. An extraordinary German “Great” sword from circa 1400, with broad double-edged blade and the pommel inset with a silver plaque cast with an heraldic beast, achieved a hammer price of 15,000 euros.
An extremely rare pair of ivory-stocked flintlock holster pistols was made by Christoph Tressler in Lindau in circa 1670. These decorated weapons with barrels made from fire-gilt bronze were enriched with silver mounts and their painted ivory full stocks inlaid with decorated silver bands. The pair achieved a hammer price of 60,500 euros.
The winning bids of all sold lots can be found online on www.hermann-historica.com. All prices are net prices and are to be understood plus 23 percent surcharge. Unsold objects can still be purchased.